Gypsy19 (726) - California, USA - FEB 28, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2010 (Prologue and preface: Itís hard to descibe the level of anticipation I have going into this rating. This, while not my biggest want ever, though still very high on my personal all-time list, is probably my longest want, time-wise. I wanted this beer as soon as I joined this site. Being a noob, I didnít then understand the concept of "rare beers" or "wants" or that a beer would not be available to one who simply had some cash, and was ready to buy. I soon learned these concepts, and after years of wanting this item, finally procured one of these when the opportunity presented iteself, though not the first opportunity Iíve had. So, in short, Iím really looking forward to this as a long-time fan of regular Old Stock and North Coast in general, as they were my first real craft brewer that I fell in love with, and Old Stock was one of my very first craft brews and still one of my very favorites that I revisit all of the time when available. And now you want to age it in a brandy barrel?!? Wow. Iíll be surprised if this is anything but world class, though Iíll give it an accurate rating either way...) 375ml. 2005 vintage. Pours a murky brownish amber with a small yellow head. Iím guessing its murked up because of the age on it, but it doesnít really smell that oxidized. I could actually smell the brandy barrel as soon as I uncorked it, a good sign. Other aromas include loads of dark fruit, maple, brown sugar, sweet malt, and wood, not really any alcohol notes. Very nice aroma. Not quite as complex as Iíd hoped for, but still awesome overall. Flavor: Alright, so this is quite different than regular Old Stock. The brandy is all over the place, and the 14.7% is pretty apparent. The fruit normally present in a later vintage of this is subdued now, allowing the brandy flavor to become the spotlight. Though thereís still some good caramel, brown sugar, and the like, in fact lots of it, however the brandy still controls the way the flavor is interpreted as a whole. Sticky mouthfeel, higher viscosity, still some very nice carbonation which is a pleasant surprise. Okay, so my rating isnít off the charts like Iíd expected, but thatís not taking anything away from this beer at all: Crazy as this sounds, at 5 years old this thing needs some more age! It hasnít even peaked yet, and I just see it getting better and would like to revisit it after another 5 years... Of course by then its trade value will be astronomical, but I should seek it out again in 2015, note to self. For today, itís still pretty awesome, and I love it totally. Note: Let this thing warm to almost room temperature even if you, like me, usually prefer them a couple of degrees cooler. Even though "only" a 4.2 rating, a perfect 5 for the beautiful package, the presentation, the experience overall; a very personal one. Thanks North Coast.
Ed5388 (2116) - Forked River, New Jersey, USA - OCT 1, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
500ml c&c bottle (2011) shared by dmac! Poured a clear dark brownish Amber color with almost no head. Atoma is boozy with notes of caramel, toffee, brandy, oak, and vanilla. Taste is much the same with some dark fruit note, lots of alcohol burn, and some sweet marshmallow in the aftertaste. Solid stuff
BOLTZ7555 (2822) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - SEP 27, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle generously shared by Sparky! World-class, my friend! Dark cherry-cola colored pour with a razor thin khaki head. Thick, syrupy, and sweet but not cloying. Molasses, maple, caramel, brown sugar, and some dark fruit. The brandy comes through but isnít overly aggressive. A little warmth in the belly but not a burn. Extremely well crafted, complex, and delicious! Had been waiting for this one for a while and glad to have tried it!
slowrunner77 (3720) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 25, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
"2005 bottle, 2007 release, brought out of the cellar. The brandy version held up quite well. While not quite as awesome as the newer bourbon release, it beat the same vintage bourbon edition head to head. Low carbonation the only drawback, and maybe the aroma had faded a touch, but the flavor was exuisite! Plums, caramel, toffee, brown sugar and ample brandy. Goes down smooth and warm.
dmac (4045) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - SEP 25, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
500ml c&c bottle from Jonathan Ron Rio Grande. Poured a syrupy deep brown with a smaller bubbly beige head that quickly and totally fades. Aroma is great with lots of brandy, barrel, caramel, molasses, burnt sugars and some alcohol. Syrupy body, average carbonation, decent alcohol heat, nice. Flavor is brandy, caramel, molassess, touch of toffee, burnt sugars, barrel, vanilla extract. Great stuff.
wavers1 (879) - Notown, California, USA - SEP 10, 2014
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
On tap and bottle several times, simply amazing! Pours with green hues fromthe oak, fast fading head, good carb. Big aromas and even bigger taste, drinks way too easy for the abv. Beyond beer.
John25 (517) - Middletown, New Jersey, USA - SEP 7, 2014
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Cola color. Huge raisin dark fruit taste and aroma. Sweet light warm alcohol feel. Excellent.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
conway (1453) - - SEP 7, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Clear ruby with no head. Aroma is caramel, toffee, brandy and raisin. Taste follows and adds some marshmallow and maple syrup. Medium mouthfeel and incredibly sticky. Great.
Ernesto987 (3714) - Connecticut, USA - SEP 2, 2014
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
bottle, wow this is great, lots of complexity, the brandy is vibrant but it isnt overwhelmingly sweet, its very well balance which is very difficult to do with this level of complexity.
deekyn (1201) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 1, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A - pours gold tinged mahogany with zero head. Flat like mad. S - nice sweet maple nose. Fresh maple syrup rolls to a sturdy grain profile. Doughnuts. Less complex nose than I like. Brant barrel and oak. M - heavy body with a rich sweet palate. Slippery mf. T - strong but linear. The taste is all grains in the face. Cereal and dry feed grains. Light corn as well. Some nice maple and corn syrup. Brandy heat on the end. O - nice but not as full profile as the bourbon.
joeneugs (3262) - Livermore, California, USA - AUG 31, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Beercraft. It pours a very dark amber color with an off white head. The aroma has strong alcohol, raisin, plum, fig, honey and molasses. Maybe a touch of brandy. The flavor is ultra sweet butterscotch, brandy, raisin and fig. Huge alcohol burn and woody barrel notes. Sweet butterscotch finish. Hard to drink more than a few ounces.