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.
BiiruBierBeer (488) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - MAY 2, 2015
3.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Smells like heavy alcohol with some caramel malt sweetness. Taste is heavy booze as well but it does have some really nice caramel and toffee flavors in there. Full body, low carbonation, and hot.
UDBeernut (2005) - Between JAX and SGJ, Florida, USA - APR 23, 2015
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from my cellar, pours the part with a light khaki head. Big sweetness from the brandy, some chocolate. Full body but smooth. Yeah, u got in Billy D.
lusikka (6872) - Tampere, FINLAND - MAR 25, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500 ml bottle. Cheers veliemboys. Pours a dark amber colour with a small head. Aroma of toasted malts, nuttiness, wood and some green apples. Flavour of sweet caramel malts, wood, some red berries, green apples, burnt toffee, mild vanilla and quite heavy alcohol notes. Full bodied and soft mouthfeel. Finishes warming, sweet and quite complex with itís fruitiness. Numbs your mouth. Very sweet and strong. Could work as a dessert.
daleharshman (968) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 24, 2015
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Catching up on notes. 2011 brandy barrel vintage shared by a buddy on July 6, 2014. Pours brown with red highlights and a thin layer of beige head. Excellent AROMA of butterscotch, thick thick toffee, molasses, and some sticky port wine. FLAVOR of thick sticky caramel, nice vanilla, brown sugar, sweet brandy, more butterscotch, and light booze. The huge ABV is almost completely hidden though a little booze is noticeable. Actually surprisingly light in body for 15.2%. Excellent, and very glad to have tried this. (362, 956)
olio (7248) - Tampere, FINLAND - MAR 21, 2015
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
50 cl bottle. 2011 vintage.
Pours clear dark red color with a small head. Very sweet aroma with lots of ripe fruits, kind of mead-like notes, syrupy, maybe some honey too. Sweet caramel malt dominant flavor with syrup and molasses, a bucket load of ripe fruits, lots of malty body to back up the sweetness. Lingering sweet fruity aftertaste. A slow sipper definitely, I like it. Yes, I like booze, so sue me.
laiti (6725) - Helsinki, FINLAND - MAR 21, 2015
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
50 cl bottle vintage 2011 (15,2%) @ olio
Aroma has cellar tones, ripe fruits, vanilla and raisins. Intensive sniffing: only sugary sweet raisins. Flavour starts with some odd plastic aroma but then turns into strong porto, sweet sugary tones, raisins, ripe fruits and some sherry. Also vanilla is present. Warming alcohol tones in the finish. After some sips all I taste is raisins and alcohol. Nice slow sippiní sherry or porto, but a beer? Not sure if.
tiong (4504) - Espoo, FINLAND - MAR 21, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500ml bottle from Healthy Spirits, San Francisco, CA
2011 vintage - Pours dark brown, almost black with a small head. Aroma of raisin, ripe berries, sweet malts, syrup, brandy, stingy wood, oak and apples. Taste is complex, vinous, sweetish, heavy and syrupy with loads of port and brandy notes, ripe apples, stingy wood, oak, toffee and caramel. Finish is complex, vinous and layered with loads of ripe apples, port notes, toffee, caramel, oak and vanilla. Tastes more like a dessert wine than a beer. Complex and an extremely slow sipper.
biggsbowler (451) - Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA - MAR 16, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle í11 - dark brown pour. brandy, vanilla, burnt brown sugars, and alcohol in the nose. Caramel, brown sugars, malty, brandy, vanilla, oak flavors. Itís nice.
maxifunk777 (14) - California, USA - MAR 16, 2015
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
The 2011 verison was the best beer Iíve ever had the pleasure of drinking. Calling this a smooth tasting beer is a under statement. The color, the smell, the taste man-o-man perfection if there is a better beer youíll have to prove it to me.
TheBeerGod (5466) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - FEB 24, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle - 500mL corked and caged. 2011 Vintage. Murky opaque brown pour with a short tan head. Aroma is brandy, grape skins, caramel, booze, brown sugar, soft wood and candy notes. Taste is grape skins, wine, caramel, sweet malt, brown sugar notes, soft woodiness, booze and hops. Body is medium with a moderate, prickly carbonation. Ends with more brandy notes, grapes, booze, caramel, brown sugar, hops, sweet malt, toasted dark bread and faint wood notes.