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.
Dr_MedievAle (135) - Alabama, USA - JUL 13, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
aroma: plum, caramel, apricot. appearance: dark amber pour with off-white minimal head. very little retention. lively carb bubbles, though. taste: medium sweet and salty caramel sauce, plums, and cola flavors dance lightly with bitter and charred oak. ends on a spicy alcohol note. palate: medium body, creamy texture with refreshingly live carbonation
good stuff, but the barrel integration is nowhere near that which we see in bourbon county brand barley wine. but, hey, not everyone can be jordan; some have to settle with being lebron.
bhensonb (10702) - Woodland, California, USA - JUL 9, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from ReedM. Thanks a bunch. Pours dark brown with a transient tan head. Aroma is brandy with brown sugar. Full bodied. Itís very brandy, with oak and moderate treacle. Subtle oak. Extremely wonderful ale. Next time calvados barrels!!!
marcus (6320) - Sacramento, California, USA - JUL 9, 2014
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared by bhensonb. Pours dark brown with a transient beige head and a marvelous treacle, brandy and brown sugar aroma. There is a hearty dark molasses that is so complex it is hard to describe. There is vanilla, celery, brandy and oak as well as some tastes I cannot identify. Kudos to North Coast.
SudsMcDuff (5789) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - JUN 26, 2014
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
been on my wishlist since early í09, so i thought iíd drink this before i got on a plane to asheville. .. . deep tawny .. light foam .. . barel, tons of brandy, sherry, cognac, and opaís celllar .. . quite damn hot .. rich and complex, but a but to thin to make it great .. an experience though!! .. . iíve milked cow, what have you ever done!?!
jackl (4299) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - JUN 23, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to Leighton. Brownish pour with a modest off-white head. Big roasted peanut butter. Very moreish and rich. Mild signs of oxidization. Honeyed red apple skin, grape juice. Supple rich sweet malts. Like drinking a relaxed pair of old jeans. Toasted nuts, caramelized pears. Mild tart fruits and wood to keep things interesting. Full body, rich and smooth. Very accomplished.
dfroms (205) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - JUN 19, 2014
3.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle, 2011 vintage. Garnet-colored with no head. Aroma is rich prunes, brandy, cherry, rye bread, caramel, port. Taste is sweet caramel and port, cherry, boozy heat, molasses. Some prickly carbonation. Mouthfeel is a little too light. Hot. Aroma is the best part.
deyholla (6490) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - JUN 17, 2014
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to a trade! Pours a cloudy dark brown with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly and completely. Aroma is full of sweet grains with a strong bread note, caramel, strong toffee and brandy. Flavor is strong brandy with notes of sweet grains and caramel with toffee in the finish.
AdamJackson (2348) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - JUN 15, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Ultra rich dark mohogany brown with a 2 finger head that fades fast. Smells like a burnt caramel and toffee. Smells pretty fantastic. This is hard. Ultra complex. Sweet sugar cereal like corn pops and toffee. Lots of sweet hard candies, refined cocoa, sweet and boozy but with a gigantic oak presence. This is seriously fantastic. 2011 bottle
AirForceHops (2953) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - JUN 14, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle 2011 vintage of course, nice holding it two years before selling it! Dark muddy water color with flat CO 2. Aroma is almonds, raisins, brandy and a little chocolate fudge aspect. Nice!
The flavor is rich and decadent. I canít claim to know a lot about brandy but damn this is complex. Layers of crazy flavor, maple syrup, vanilla, almonds upfront with a light port wine flavor in the center. It has some some light oxidation in the form of dark fruit, rum soaked figs, burnt sugar and plums. If you enjoyed this young, same on you! This has developed really nicely. Finish is sweet with a hint of booze leading to a warming sensation down the throat. Layers of rich malty goodness, hot damn!
Prufrockstar (799) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 7, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2011 bottle. Pours murky brown with floating chunks, but I expect thatís because the bottle was sitting on its side for awhile. Aroma: beautiful. Fucking wow. Brown sugar, brandy-soaked raisins, leather, vanilla. Damn. Taste: sweet, amazing vanilla raisin and leather. Surprisingly dry finish, which is followed by waves of sexy. Full, velvety body. Overall: goddamn, this is awesome.