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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels) | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels)Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels)

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Vintages: 2005, 2011

Added by BeerBeing on 06-03-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 718
Reviews by Holland:
Photo of Holland
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Intensely brandied and with the firm foundation of Old Stock Ale, this ale zings with savory, spicy and sweet flavors that carry a seriously adult attitude.

Brandy-Barrel Cellar Reserve Old Stock Ale kicks off with a creamy brandy pour- its color is a tawny ruddy brown with dark crimson threads. Mostly clear, its brandy and port influences reign even more true. Its part-froath, part-spritzy head is tarnish and only hangs around for the first few minutes of the session as the beer's alcohol has certainly compromised its foam character to further reinforce its brandy, cognac or sherry-like appearances.

Its incredible aromas are poignant, succulent, sweet and powerfully complex as the malt opens up with toasted maple and butter pecan notes. Its fruity follow-up includes all things dark and dried fruit- cherries, dates, figs, raisins, plumbs prunes and stewed red grapes. As the alcohol intensifies, the scent of undeniable brandy comes to mind, but so do more savory and sweeter alcohol is port wine, sherry, rosey and with cognac-type spice.

And then to taste, much of the same transpires as the malty sweetness of toffee, maple, butter, nuts and toast saturate the taste buds. As the complex alcohol flavors fold in, the sweetness turns to savory flavors of sherry, umami-rich soy, light sauce, light tar and an almost salty-meaty combination rises. The brandy influences are dense and condensed allowing the grape to turn more plumby, raisiny and rich with dates and figs. A tinge of cherry and oak signal a turn to closure while sharp peppercorn, cognac, and lacquer.

Its full, yet understated body is dense and creamy-sweet early while the malts and alcohol sweetness blankets the mouth, but its relatively moderate attenuation dries the beer's finish into a semi-drinkable, feathery texture that gives greater rise to the impressions of alcohol to really spice things up as the beer closes. Its long, spicy and savory finish is the perfect after diner digestive- paired with nuts, blue stilton and great company.

The beer is incredibly complex and it reveals a lot of aromas, tastes and texture in short order. It's put together beautifully as all the flavors strike the right place on the mouth and at the right time. The fruitier and spicier taste from brandy barrels give the ale something unexpected and truly majestic!

 2,343 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 cork and caged 500ml bottle. Served in a snifter glass 5 years later.

Pours a dark caramel brown body, half finger white head, short retention, some lacing. Looks hefty and substantial as it comes out of the bottle. Smell is caramel, molasses, dark fruit, sweet brandy, oak, even a touch of chocolate. This is crazy complex. Flavour is similarly complex with tons of honey, molasses, dark fruit and caramel, with lots of big brandy presence. At first it's got no booze and lots of complexity to it. As it warms, more caramel and heat comes out. Mouthfeel is full bodied, slick, viscous with a nice sweet molasses and brandy warmth on the finish. I can't believe I haven't had this so far, but this is a ridiculously good barrel aged old ale that nobody should sleep on.

 775 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.62/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a snifter. This is from 2011, so 4-5 years since bottling.

A: Pours a hazy dark brown and leaves a finger of light tan head. Looks a bit murky, which makes sense. (4)

S: Sugar coated figs, oak, grapes, toffee, chocolate. (4.5)

T: Oak, grapes, caramel, figs, plums, grapes, big toffee finish. Superb balance and blend of flavors. I figured this for 11 or 12%. Perhaps time has mellowed it, but it's drinking great. (4.75)

M: Medium to full body with low to med. carb and just a touch sticky.

O: Some great flavors in here - sweet and delicious. This beer has held together very well. (4.75)

 627 characters

Photo of barczar
4.41/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is rich, with big nutty toffee notes, rich, buttery caramel, and molasses, the combination of which gives a perception of fudgy brownies. Brandy and oak are prevalent throughout. Hints of dates, raisins, and figs pale in comparison to the booze and caramelized malt notes.

Flavor is very rich and sweet, with dark fruit opening up the profile, providing contrast to prevent the initial taste from becoming cloying. The finish is dry and fairly woody. Raisins and prunes fade to fig sweetness that lingers throughout. Subsequent sips reveal an almost vinous oxidation that opens the stage for vanilla to shine through. Exceedingly complex beer. The finish still has a very hot character to it, but the sweet molasses and treacle notes redeem. The interplay of flavors comes across differently with every taste. I only wish there were a bit more body to make the malt flavors linger a bit more.

 901 characters

Photo of smb
4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a thick burgundy with about a 3mm head and slight swirl, which quickly fades to almost nothing. Smells incredible... apples, brandy, toffee, raisins, figs... wow. Taste is an apple-brandy explosion with full and rich caramel and toffee notes. Incredible drink down and mouthfeel for 15.2% as well.

Overall, this puts the bourbon barrel aged version to shame. If you didn't like that version and you see this on the shelf, do not hesitate to buy it. This is a world class and decadent brew, and the best old ale or brandy-barrel beer I've ever had.

 555 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tbryan5
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.87/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to crack my lone bottle on Christmas with my dad. Pours a deep dark brown without much light getting through. Small bubbles of carbonation and alcohol swirls on the side of the glass. Aromas of deep caramel, fruits and nuts. Rich sweet malts with a vibrant brandy and oak accent. Brown sugar as well. The barrel has integrated with the beer flawlessly here. Sublime.

First sip is smooth caramel and dark fruit drenched malts. Toffee, brown sugar and nuts with a spicy oak kick. Brandy shines through but it is never overpowering. A bit of warmth on the way down with vanilla throughout. Amazingly well balanced and delicious. Quite honestly a masterpiece.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied . Luscious and complex. This is simply an amazing brew and I must say Old Stock lends itself beautifully to well cared for barrel aging. One of the best beers I've had the chance to sample to date.

 909 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of tjthresh
4.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a nose!!! Black grapes, blueberry, light oak, warm alcohol, and sweet toffee and chocolate. Fantastic. Not all that impressive looking though. The pour is brown with some red hues, and a quickly fading soapy tan head. Wonderful flavors. I've always thought brandy barrels are the way to do with barley wine, and this is the best example. Great grape, wood, toffee, chocolate flavor with a bit of warm alcohol to make sure you know what you are drinking. Medium body. Mouth filling. Average carbonation. Just enough to be a complement. Average finish. I'd like it to hang around for a bit longer. Really though. I really can't think of what else I'd want in such a beer. Its a damn shame that its so difficult to come by.

 725 characters

Photo of fenlop54
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of MNMike
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of warmbier804
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of sourdog
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Dizzy
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of williamjbauer
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of valkyre65
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4/5  rDev -11.5%

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.52 out of 5 based on 718 ratings.
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