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.
1FastSTi (3357) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 19, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Found some old ratings on paper from an unknown date... Thanks Mike. Pours to a murky dark brown body with no head. The aroma is strongly English malts. Light apple brandy meets clean grains. The flavor is extremely complex with tons of sweet English malts, nice tobacco, and light brandy. English walnuts. The palate is full of sweet caramelized goodness. Medium full body with a creamy texture.
Benzai (11307) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - NOV 5, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle [from trade with Heyta, thanks!] @ weekly tasting shared with Joes. Nice medium dark red color, average sized quickly diminishing beige head. Aroma is malts, brandy, slightly nuts, raisins, dark fruits, oak, slightly vanilla. Taste malts, loads of brandy again, nuts, raisins, dark fruits, oak and vanilla. Itís all present in the aroma as well as in the flavor. Alcohol in the flavor as well, itís quite heavy and strong. Sweetish, dark fruit sweetness, definitely an oak touch to it as well. Incredibly tasty!
vyvvy (5008) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - OCT 18, 2015
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled at Brews For New Avenues 2015 - Pours tawny brown with a beige head. The aroma has coconut, brandy, port, caramel, toffee, toast, cream, dark fruit and berries. It has a medium / full rich body with light semi-sharp carbonation. The flavor starts with dry caramel / toffee and dry rye bread. The finish has lots of barrel notes and coconut. Very nice.
ineedbeer (1366) - Oakland, California, USA - OCT 9, 2015
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured from a 500 ml bottle, cellar reserve 2011.
Aroma is malt and booze. Moderate brandy notes with light oak. Quite a bit of dark caramel and toffee with lighter toasted bread and treacle. Moderate raisin, fig and prune.
Pours a very merry, muddy-like, brown with a bit of an auburn hue and a small, thin, tan head that quickly recedes to the edges. No lacing and moderate legs.
Flavor is fairly sweet with quite a bit of caramel and toffee. Medium light toasted bread notes. Moderate treacle with a hint of chocolate and roast. Medium high bitterness. Some moderately strong notes of raisins, figs, prunes and plums. Medium light brandy and light oak notes. Hints of alcohol.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied with low carbonation. Low astringency and medium to medium low alcohol warmth.
Overall, a pretty tasty beer, but its also very sweet and slightly boozy. Nice fruit notes that work well to integrate the brandy and malt. Very enjoyable and complex, but also too sweet to enjoy too much of.
AWISLguy (1967) - Wisconsin, USA - SEP 15, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
500ml bomber from Sonoma Cellars, cellar aged 1 year. Had during the Wedding Weekend and shared by all on the wedding night. Reddish brown pour. Nose is big fruits, sweet caramel, light nut. Taste is sweet raisin, big vanilla, nut. Medium to full bodied and boozy. Finishes sweet, fruity, and long. Fairly big fan. 15.7
Dr_Fellini (976) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - JUL 17, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
2011. Bottle to glass. Pours a deep brown reddish color with a thin light tan head. Aroma is huge dark fruits, molasses. Flavor is quite boozy, but very smooth. Alcohol burn only in the finish in the chest. Very nice. Thanks Taylor!
JBPortland (1291) - Portland, Maine, USA - MAY 13, 2015
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
500ml bottle shared thanks to Lukaduke! Pours viscous dark brown with small head. Nose is deep and rich, sweet nutty raisin, lots of tawny port and madeira notes, cocoa and butterscotch. Palate is ultra creamy, viscous, old leathery dark fruit, caramel, vanilla cream, nutty, spice, toast, malt. Finishes sweet with rich sticky maple, caramel, raisin, chocolate, super complex and chewy. So good!
BiiruBierBeer (738) - 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 (2308) - 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 (7621) - 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.