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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Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 723
Photo of rjp217
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011.... Unbelievable barrel depth on this beast. Vanilla, toffee, maple, caramel. Oxidation is nonexistent on this bottle. Minimal carb as well. This beer pushes any boundaries I've seen out of barrel aging, just brilliant.

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Photo of Guinnesswasmyfirstlove
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 2011 vintage from the brewery in Ft. Bragg. Had to convince my girlfriend it was worth the purchase. It definitely was... (And she agrees!)

L: Dark, velvety red copper with almost no head after a vigorous pour

S: boozy and port

T: caramel, port, sweet, strong (in a good way), vanilla, COMPLEX

F: creamy, full, alcohol

O: Wow this one is special. Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. I would buy again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of soughtbygod
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Pours a dark brown almost purple, head disappears quickly,
aroma is amazing, vanilla, figs, chocolate
the taste comes through leaving sweet caramel coffee notes on the back of the tongue that linger and present vanilla as it sits
as it warms it becomes less syrup and more buttery, has almost a barley wine character to it and at 15% the alcohol is very well hidden in the layer, presenting only a pleasant heat, not overwhelming
the mouth-feel is sticky and coats the mouth very well, it is much better than many BA stouts that I have had, i hope to get this one again.

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Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've waited seven long years to try this masterpiece, and I wasn't even slightly let down.

Beautiful dark ruby pour with a very minimal, fleeting off-white head.

Aroma and flavor of dates, figs, persimmons, walnuts, raisins, caramel, toffee, toasted coconut, leather, tobacco, honey, brown sugar brandy, apples, pears, kumquats, breadfruit, canned peaches, starfruit, casaba melon, white grape, mandarin orange/tangerine, with almost a mentholated, extremely long finish.

Yup, this was definitely worth the wait.

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Photo of Crosling
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of, if not the best beer I've had in 2008. Incredibly complex aroma that gives notes of raisins, figs, caramel, toffee from the base beer as well as added dimensions of brandy soaked wood, vanilla and coconut from the oak. Flavor consists of chocolate, caramel, brandy, coconut, vanilla, dark fruit. Port-like character. Chewy and beyond rich. This beer is amazing and a total jaw dropper. Thanks to Steve for sharing.

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Photo of MarcWP
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into FW snifter.

Pours a murky mahogany color with fizzy active tan head that dissipates quickly to a small ring around the edge of the snifter. Nice carbonation bubbles coming up from the bottom. Looks inviting!

Aroma is a beautiful Brandy infused dark fruit and caramelized sugar mix. Oak, brown sugar, vanilla, Cabernet, chewy fig, dates, molasses, peloncillo, old raisin, leather, burnt marshmallow, and it goes on and on.

On the palate the Brandy elevates the base beer (already a top tier beer for its style) to a class in of its own. Big grape, plum, sweet red wine, date, brûlée winter fruit, adjoins molasses, agave, brown sugar, coconut rum, vanilla, maple syrup, and just enough leather and dark bread to round things out gorgeously!

Mouthfeel on this is perfect for an old ale and/or barleywine. Surprisingly plenty of carbonation that gives the body a heavy side of medium illusion when in reality if you took some of that carbonation away it would be in the light medium range. Just silky and brings out the flavors in the best way possible.

Overall, this is one of the best beers I've EVER had. Served in a snifter is the best way to enjoy this. The Brandy in this is just KICKIN! A sipper in every sense of the word, a beer to be enjoyed during the cold months, paired with a fine cigar, or as a digestif after a gourmet dinner. Absolutely marvelous.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh my lord.
I know I'll be prejudice because I love old ales and North Coast may be my favorite anyway, but oh, what they have done with this one!
2005 Vintage aged in Brandy Barrels.

What does that do to it?
Deep amber almost black in the glass with a smallish head that is indicative of high ABV brews.

Aromas of milk chocolate, dark, dark raising, prunes, dark cherry and a touch of brandy. Additionally, I can definite sense Oak in the aroma. Absolutely delicious. Decadent.

Taste is again milk chocolate...very sweet...and very sweet dark raisins...this is almost like a candy bar. Aftertaste as you swallow is reminisent of chocolate covered raisens....but enjoyed at a great movie. Only a bit of alcohol warmth as you swallow but you can definitely feel it later.

I LOVE North Coast.
Thank you for this offering.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I cracked open a bottle for Valentines day, and have to say that this beer is drinking sublimely right now. If you have any bottles, I would recommend opening and drinking. I have been feeling lately that (while good) I haven't had a beer lately that has blown me away. This beer did.

Pour: The bottle popped with a dull plup, and after soo many Lost Abbey flat bottles lately, my heart sank. Fortunately, the beer poured a deep amber with an inch of thick white head.

Smell: Deep caramelized sugar, brandy, malt, alcohol.

Taste: A sublime and incredibly smooth mixture of carmel, brandy, vanilla, malt sweetness, with just the right amount of alcohol kick to keep it from being cloying. This is what barrel aged perfection tastes like.

Drinkability: Incredibly drinkable for such a high alcohol content. You definitely want to sip, but I could sit their for a week straight sipping this beer.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks David.

After the disappointing lineup at T23 and realizing that I had missed all the good stuff in a bottle share later on, I thought, "F*** it" and shared this with my girlfriend and a friend in Berkeley. It redeemed the evening.

A: Pours a very dark, but still clear against the light, maroon body. Pulling out the cork produced just a small pop, and the head is consequently weak, composed of mostly large bubbles that quickly die off. Even the Duvel tulip etching doesn't bring out much carbonation. However, the beer doesn't need it. And at almost 15%, I'm certainly not going to expect more than what I got.

S: Even the bottle gives a strong whiff of grape / port before I've poured it. The beer is aggressively brandy-dominated, with strong notes of caramel, raisin, oak, dates. Even a touch of tobacco. Coconut and vanilla are noted. Still a small amount of booze, but nothing that singes the nose hairs, only imparts warmth. Outstanding.

T: While this is very barrel-defined, it's not barrel-dominated. That makes the difference for me. The base beer is (at least when young) fairly sweet and one-dimensional. The age has brought out some complexity, and the barrels amplify that in a very integrated way. Brandy, coconut, vanilla, dates, and raisins are all noticed immediately. Rather than producing cloying sweetness, they work with the tannins and tobacco-ey flavors to balance the beer. I pick up brown sugar, caramel, and honey (shut up, Arne). The finish has some heat to it and carries lingering brandy and barrel flavors.

M: While this beer has heat to it, I think it's just the right amount for a 15% beer. It's not solventy or even hot, just slightly warm. It's not particularly viscous or bursting with sugars; its viscosity is medium-full, though it is decidedly full in flavor. Pretty much the sweet spot of my palate.

D: The girlfriend wasn't a big fan of this, so I wound up enjoying most of her pour, too. I had no trouble putting down a lot of it, though obviously it's big beer and not something I SHOULD be drinking a lot of. If it came out again, I'd get it, no questions. Hopefully they won't charge $20 a pint or whatever they were asking for Old Rasputin XII.

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Photo of gford217
4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of Solomon420 poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy caramel brown with amber showing through. The head was surprisingly active given the age and bubbled up to a one inch tan head before quickly receding to a thin ring.

The aroma is unbelievable. It starts with the brandy but then opens up to dark fruits with raisins and figs mainly and tons of caramel and brown sugar sweetness. There are hints of vanilla and wood as well.

The taste is just as spectacular with a huge sugary caramel sweetness of the base beer that underpins everything else. The dark fruits are complemented by hints of vanilla, toffee and chocolate with wood and brandy in the finish.

The mouthfeel is very smooth with good carbonation and has a dry boozy finish.

This is a great, great beer and very drinkable for the ABV. Quite simply, one of the best beers I've ever had. Can't thank Damian enough for this rare gem.

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with good friends Treyrab, Nittanybeerfan, Dyan, randawakes, and ashherb17 at the most Epic F'ing Tasting Ever!"

Poured into a snifter. A gorgeous aged brown with burgundy hues. No head upon pour, but come on it's an old ale that's been sitting for over 4 years...

Absolutely F'ing tremendous. Unbelievable butterscotch, toasted pecan and toffee, vanilla, super sweet caramel and some very subdued sour notes. I can not stress how incredible this beer has aged. So mellow and balanced. God, I need more of this beer. Beermails sent.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was simply floored to come home today to find a bottle of this in the mail. I have been dreaming of trying this one for as long as I can remember. Old ales have become a favorite of mine, and from what I hear it really does not get better then this. Served at cellar temp and poured into an oversized wine glass, this one was consumed on 01/23/2009.

In a word perfect. This beer was soo sublime in every way it is hard to put into words. The pour was wonderul. From the rich caramel color that came out of the bottle to the nice puff of off white that graced the top, it was just spot on for the style. The aroma was loaded with brandy and vanilla notes. Hints of oak and rich toffee notes are just all over this one. Smooth as could be with hardly a hint of alcohol even as it approaches 12 percent, is an achievment in of itself. The vanilla and toffee notes in here were sublime. Perfect balance here of flavors as the I sat and enjoyed this one till almost 2 am at this point and I still have a half glass to go. This was exactly what I wanted, just what it should be, and well, well worth the wait.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage. First time having this and I am so pleased to have come across it. Deep brown color with moderate carbonation. Head dissipates completely in approximately 60 seconds. Dark fruits, sugary sweetness! Nectar of the Old Ale gods! The taste is so balanced with the brandy influence definitely there but refined and subtle. Absolutely perfect drinking experience and I must have this one again!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.93/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer is a deep, dark, chestnut hue with a soft, fluffy beige head. The aroma is wonderful, offering scents of toffee, caramel, oak, booze, vanilla. Wow, what flavor! A delightful beer to sip. Brandy character comes in late, lingering on the palate between drinks. Although there is certainly an alcohol presence, this beer is silky smooth and elegant. 15.2% and something I could sip on for hours. Wonderfully complex, delicious, well-balanced. A world-class beer.

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Photo of Vancer
4.92/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Here is one big arse beer sent by the great soloman420 - thanks Damien! 375ml in a cork & cage bottle.

This thing is all sweet brandy, all the way through. Sweet bourbon cherries, as in a whisky mash permeate the aroma and is semi-intoxicating. Big pop of vanilla and dark fruits (fig). No way is this a beer, but it sure says so on the label.

Sharp and tangy, the booze cuts like a knife, not surprising and actually expected. Man, when a person loves beer AND bourbon, this is the bomb!

This one is drinking like a cherry mash dream in the STL heat, and the great one sent TWO bottles, so one will be saved for a nice wintery nite in December - maybe Xmas eve!

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Photo of joshuaseresse
4.89/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by brian23456 and myself at our epic battle of the 12ozers tasting. A big, special thanks to ebay for providing this bottle... Split with some other upright BAs. Poured into snifter:

A - Nice dark brown with caramel ruby hues. No lacing, no head. Flat. What I expected.

S - Brandy, bourbon, maple syrup, caramel, brown sugar, toffee. Really smooth and delicious. You can tell this brew aged very well.

T - Follows the nose. Great taste. Sweet caramel and brown sugar. No burn from the barrel. The brandy mixes really well, but tastes a bit bourbony.

M - Just a tad of carbonation, but pretty smooth. Really no burn or heat from the barrel.

D - Went down really easy. Candy booze. I had to restrain myself just downing it. Really well aged and delcious. Wish I had a bottle of my own or they made more. A must try.

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Photo of lupercmda
4.89/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW. A nice thick brown pour. Smells of the toffee and caramel and the brandy barrel. Nice thick mouth feel is immediately felt. Tastes of the caramel, toffee and molasses with a hint of figs and raisins. A sweet beer that oozes the wonderfulness of the apple brandy barrel. Almost perfect beer!!!

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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.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.82/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split this 2005 bottle at cellar temp with Stopper. Poured into an SA "pint" glass. the beer pours a clear chestnut hue with minimal beige head foaming up and fading to an edge layer.
Aroma is toffee, vanilla, baileys cream, caramel, brown sugar and some booze, not really heat or fusol, more like a rich sherry nose.
First sip reveals a silky smooth texture with minimal almost non-existent carbonation and fairly chewy texture.
Flavor is vanilla, caramel, brown sugar and some toffee, no hops to be found. Only a little bit of warmth making this a dangerously easy 14.7% drinking beer. I really enjoyed this and wish I had another, but wouldnt drink more than one in a setting and was glad to split this one with a friend.

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Photo of Houser
4.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Almost the perfect old ale. Looks like it should, ruby with some haze. Smells great, caramel, vanilla, sweet. Taste is much the same with backend booziness. Just ever so slightly undercarbed in my opinion, but can't complain. Great beer.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, cloudy brown in color. There is just a hint of froth that comes from a pretty aggressive pour. The head is gone quicker than it had formed.
The smell is absolutely top notch. Dare I say heavenly. Brandy, caramel, toffee, vanilla, all there. And if the smell wasn't enough, the flavor was even better. A truly decadent sipper. The vanilla flavors are just absolutely wonderful. When you start with a base beer that is as incredible and strong as Old Stock only good things can happen from imparting some barrel influence. Incredibly full and creamy in the mouthfeel, this is a definite sipper. At the same time, you really don't get taken back by the high ABV. I was afraid that there would be a lot of heat, or a very noticeable alcohol flavor to this. But yet again, it doesn't disappoint.
Why oh why has this not been brewed and barrel aged again?! I'd much rather have the Old Stock in either the brandy or bourbon barrel aged as an option over the BA Rasputin. It's time to get those barrels going at North Coast and make this a annual release.
I realize this is getting harder to come by if not impossible to get. If you have one, consider yourself lucky, find some friends and share the bottle.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big, big thanks to mcallister for hooking me up with this one. Shared with bmanning, Amyliz4, and Heather at a recent tasting.

Very slight hiss as I popped the cork out. Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A: Pours a very dark bronze with a miniscule tan head that ends up sticking around of the edge of the glass the entire way down.

S: Very complex. Lots of dates, caramel, and dark fruits. Almost a strong Belgian dark without the standard yeast. Great old ale scents, alongside hints of brandy and a god amount of vanilla. Nice raisins and a bit of butterscotch and toffee as well.

T: Beautiful notes of sherry, vanilla, dark fruits, raisins, and bits of butterscotch. Notes of sweet brandy make their way in as well, although after five years in the bottle, this isn't too hot.

M: Medium bodied with very low carbonation. Minimal alcohol heat, given that this one is almost fifteen perfect.

D: Absolutely incredible. Big thanks again to mcallister for getting this one out to me. Fairly low alcohol on an extremely complex beer. This has aged wonderfully, and I would be very happy to try it again in the future.

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Photo of mcallister
4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish mahagony. Very little head accept a thin light tannish ring around the glass.

Absolutely amazing complex aroma. A grapey raisiny brandy smell with vanilla laden oak. Lush caramel, fig, date, hints of prune, rum soaked raisin. RS is prevelant and is brought forth with a brown sugar maple coated dried fruit enigma.

My kind of beer (and about every other BA's for that matter). Absolutely delicious. Complex sums it up. Endless flavors dance on the palate. Much more toasty vanilla riddled oak on the mid palate and finish which hints at canied figs and dates. Speaking of fresh dates round out the entire flavors with brown sugar and maple, with a slight nutty honey twinge. Caramel, slight earth, woody, dark malty sweetness, brandy raisins, and even some oxidation.

Alcohol is definitely a factor. Nice and warming yet not in an obtrusive manner. Although the alcohol may play a factor in the less than full mouthfeel (less than what you would expect from this).

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Photo of Viggo
4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to fartingdog for cracking this one open when we visited San Fran, I've been looking to try this one since it came out.

Pours a hazy reddish brown, caramel coloured, thin tan head forms, settles to a medium ring around the glass, drops some decent lace spots on the glass. Smell is wow, brandy, thick toffee, cake, alcohol, lots of fruit, raisins/figs, wood, vanilla, port, very rich, fantastic. Taste is amazing as well, figs and rum raisins, buttery toffee, oak, brandy, dark fruits, alcohol, very intense and rich flavour, touch of vanilla, wood and brandy in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, some warmth going down but the ABV is well hidden. Reminds me a lot of the brandy barrel Angels Share. This is insanely good stuff. I would kill to get more. Thanks a ton Dave, you're the man!

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Photo of fartingdog
4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Murky dark brown, head quickly dissipates to a thin ring around edges.

S- Caramel, brandy- sweet. Slight hints of dark fruit (raisin).

T- Rich dark caramel, brandy, date. Hints of oak and a faint tinge of smokiness. Very rich and complex. It only gets better and more intriguing as it warms.

M- Rich and full. Coats the mouth pleasantly. slight caarbonation bite and alcohol warming in the finish.

D- Delicously decadent. A beer to be sipped and savored.

An excellent beer, beautifully rich and complex. I prefer the bourbon barrel version, but this is still a fantastically well done beer.

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.52 out of 5 based on 723 ratings.
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