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.
ClarkVV (5686) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 16, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2011 bottle, drunk 8/4/16.
Dark mahogany with burgundy-amber highlights and a dark beige head atop that is small and shows moderate to low retention. Clarity is high.
Soft, rich, "Sweet" brandy in the nose with easygoing oakiness, tons of chocolate-caramel maltiness and a big vinousness-like prune character adding balancing acidity. Definitely some oxidation at this point, but nothing inappropriate for its five year age. Thereís certainly some dry, light suggestions of alcohol, but nothing youíd like what youíd expect given itís 15.2% tag. It certainly is all balanced easily by the massive maltiness. Tobacco, vanilla, grape, fudge and more caramel linger long on the finish with no flaw.
In the mouth, itís softly-malty in texture, very comforting, as expected, with tons of various dark malt notes of chocolate fudge, prune and vanilla. The balance leans towards sweet, of course, but itís not over-oaked, the brandy character is wonderful, and itís still fairly balanced, overall. The oxidation is a bit strong here, but Iíve always found that to work pretty well in the style, so it doesnít really bother me. Alcohol nicely restrained. Pretty similar, if somewhat less elegant, than Angelís Share. Very low carbonation, but not problematically so.
HonusWagner (2072) - Florida, USA - JUL 10, 2016
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Purchased in LA. A luscious and complex beer loaded with fruit but its also really goddamn boozy and sweet. Itís good but I think I like the non-BA beer the most.
gregwilsonstl (2061) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - APR 23, 2016
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Really sweet. Some woody. Tastes like brandy. Side by side w bourbon variant. Thx maltser85. Tasted at my Outdoor bottle share.
palner (23) - - APR 9, 2016
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle at home, pours dark red, with a quickly dissapearing head and not alot of bobbels. Aroma of marcipan, dark fruits, apple and alcohol. Taste of Danish christmas, dades, "brun kage", alkohol but not a lot considering the 15%. Itís gives quite a buss. Fantastisk beer.
GothGargoyle (2318) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 5, 2016
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2011 vintage. Rusty brown with virtually no head. Aroma is candied pecans, soy sauce, caramel, dark fruits. Full bodied, very sweet on the palate, light oxidation, long finish. Taste is candied pecans, caramel, dark fruits.
bvc (1239) - Washington, USA - MAR 2, 2016
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
375ml corked, 2005 bottle. Cola brown with slight ruby tint and faint signs of carbonation. Oak, brandy, cherry, fig, raisin, leather, brown sugar and molasses. Body is a little thin, but holding up well since that last time I had one back in 08.
thepatrickman (781) - Durham, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 25, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
From notes (10/26/15). This is a great showcase of how barrel aging can complement a base beer without overwhelming it. The Old Ale underneath still comes through, with biscuit and caramel malt notes, as well as a bit of (style-appropriate) oxidization. But everything is deepened by the brandy barrels, which add a lot of complexity, sweetness, and an entirely new palate of boozy flavor. Fantastic.
oldrtybastrd (5003) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 8, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a dark golden brown with small fizzy head. Aromas of malt, booze, nutty notes. Strong malty start with some smooth brandy notes and dark fruits.
rouhlas (2675) - GREECE - JAN 4, 2016
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
500 ml bottle (v2011) from trade with RobertDale. Thank you Bob! Dark ruby copper brown color with no head. Malty aroma, caramel, light chocolate, dark fruits, dried fruits, raisins, plums, light wood, alcohol - brandy. Sweet taste like aroma, dark dried fruits. Medium oily sticky body with flat carbonation.
JohnnyJ (5367) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 25, 2015
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2011 bottle. Dark red brown pour, with a thin caramel colored head. Dark fruit, doughy, brandy, oak, nuts, caramel, and dates. Tasty, complex, and the abv is well hidden.