egajdzis (4896) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 16, 2007
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured a hazy, red brown color with thin ring of off white bubbles, no lacing on the glass. Aroma of vanilla, bourbon, dried fruits, light roast, and even a bit of chocolate. Taste of bourbon - strong, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, and alcohol in the finish.
CaptainCougar (7093) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 15, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a viscous hazy dark copper mahogany with a thin ring of off-white head. Aroma of rich, sweet caramel and bourbon vanilla with a touch of brown sugar and molasses. Starts dense and caramely sweet, but has a lot of warming alcohol toward an oaky, doughy dark malty sweet finish. A nice beer and should age well.
Eyedrinkale (3214) - Astoria, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2007
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
More vanilla than bourbon and the beer is strangely ready to drink now. Smooth and easy drinking.
kmweaver (3145) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - DEC 14, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
375mL bottle. Pours a murky brownish color with yellowed edges, similar to a dark cup of tea; yellowish-tan head retaining a slight perimeter of bubbles; looks a bit messy from the beginning, reminiscent of some of the lesser BA offerings from Drakeís. The aroma offers quite a bit: not exactly a sweet, oozing bourbon character, but plenty of cedar and toastiness and a bit of butterscotch (not buttery, but something closer to a caramel candy chewiness); thereís also a stalky/green earthiness hovering over everything in the nose. Itís certainly not shy. Plenty of warming bourbon in the mouthfeel, even at first contact: a lively jolt of citrus at the very tip, following by a mouthfilling chewy bourbon character: dense toasted oak, some butter, and just an enormous warming presence that made me forget we keep the thermostat at 68; itís certainly a bit muddled, in a way that actually reminds me a lot of the recent BA Old Numbskull release or, again, some of the Drakeís BA beers; but the bourbon character here is excellent and generous and filling; any slight roughness at the edges is kept in check by a lively citrus note and very reasonable levels of carbonation; a slightly muddled, tasty barrel-aged beer with a fair amount of dried fruits and caramel lurking beneath the barrel. Definitely a sipper for cold evenings. Lengthy, toasty oak and butter and bourbon in the finish; very warming.
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - DEC 11, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Ruby tints that fade to brief soft pinks glaze the edging of a very dark chestnut body, translucent from above but far too dark to see through from a sideways glance. A thin ring of carbonation breaks at the edge of the glass, no head forms. The nose is melodramatic and understated at once. Alcohol plays a less pivotal role in the dominance of character in this barreled version of Old Stock. Bourbon is fine and elegant, a transitional piece between sultry vanilla and tannic barrel nuances and a softly hopped barleywine of impeccable character. This is more refined than its counterpart, therefore not as engaging; still just as interesting though, due to such nobility expressed through a combination of heritage and seemless barrel aging/blending. Vanilla is strong, bourbon is moderate, spice is adequate. Nothing overpowers, everything is easy to grasp, nothing is simplistic. Caramel becomes the dominant aroma as the temperature approaches that of the surrounding room. Dark fruit is intertwined with sugary malts, mainly apricot and dates. Alcohol is medium-high in kick, less than the other version, but less interesting too. This is a damn tasty barleywine. A dense wall of microscopic carbonation evenly disperses sweet caramel over the tongue and clogs up the back of the throat, creating a barrier that forces tannic waves into the deepest corners of the cheeks and drives spice into the tastebuds. Sweetness is high but doesnít seem overwhelming. Tannins are as strong as Iíve encountered in a barrel-aged brew. Fruits seems glazed with bourbon, much like what would be found on a dessert platter at an overpriced brunch outing. Burned caramel malts linger in a lightly roasty and lightly bitter finish that leaves mild astringency around to clean up the stressed palate. Carbonation mustíve been pinned down by a syrupy body, because itís quite vibrant at the conclusion of each tantalizing sip. This is destined for greatness, but that might take a while.
CheesedMan (550) - Saint Cloud, Florida, USA - DEC 11, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 24, 2008 Pours a deep brown, with some ruby highlights shining through. Aroma is full bore whisky, walking the razor’s edge between balanced and overblown. Vanilla, burnt orange, plums, dates, a touch of smoke, divinity candy (it’s a Southern thing), warm meringue, toffee and spice cake are all in there. While not as elegant as the brandy, there is certainly a lot going on here. Flavor is a bit more agressive, with the whisky being a dominant, almost bullying component. There is a creamy sweetness trying to play along, but seems to have difficulty in asserting it’s profile. There is a faint hint of honey again here, but ever so lightly on the finish. The alcohol does kick a bit more. Oh what this will become over time....
Odeed (1751) - Bakersfield, California, USA - DEC 7, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 30, 2008 this one is more on the orange side in color with a brown head that lasts a bit longer.i pick up more oak and alcohol compared to the brandy.also less compexity.as dave and john said.maybe some age will smooth things out.(RERATE ON 3-30-08.)i think when i first had this after the brandy it overpowered it a bit.this is super complex and deserves a higher rating.
ChillCoat (1030) - Concord, California, USA - DEC 7, 2007
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 25, 2008 Bottle. Just arrived today and since Iíve been sitting at my computer for almost eight hours straight doing paperwork, I figured Iíd take a nice afternoon break. The beer pours a very deep brown color with little carbonation. Even when poured from some height there is only a small brown head that dissipates almost immediately. Iím going to assume it was only recently bottled and I may be opening this one a bit early. Big vanilla and bourbon aromas fill the room even before you bring the glass to your nose. Tons of alcohol dominate the aromas; oak, tons of bourbon, brown sugar and caramel as well. The flavor consists of vanilla, bourbon, Coca-Cola, burnt sugars, pears, dark fruits and more. Almost searing alcohol warmth, tastes like there should be a proof on the label rather than an ABV. I agree with JohnC that age will be nice to this beer. Iím putting the rest away for some time.
I like that the label reads "American Artisan Series"; it leaves me to believe there will be more beers like this coming from North Coast. Please! Original Rating:8/10 4/5 7/10 3/5 1 5/20 =3.7
Re-Rate. Bottle. I’ve sat on this for about eight months now and I was curious as to how it’s doing. Theres definitely much more carbonation now although the head fades very quickly. Smells like I’m drinking a Jack and Coke (not that I would drink either, anymore), bourbon, bourbon and bourbon. When you raise the glass to your nose you can pick up a more complex, woody aroma with some herbal and roast notes. Big vanilla flavors still. Strong bourbon notes as well but the alcohol no longer hits you over the head (although it’s still present). The body seems a bit thin to compete with the big bourbon notes and the alcohol but that’s my only gripe with this awesome beer.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 6, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
clear copper pour with a quickly disappearing tan head. The flavor is of vanilla, oak, and alcohol. It has a bit of burn on the back end. This should age well. Give it a year and it will be super.