Jan 10, 2019

North Coast Old Stock Ale 2017 Cellar Reserve

North Coast’s Old Stock Ale was one of the first products that I started cellaring once that bug hit several years ago. Much like the company’s Old Rasputin it was fairly readily available in my area which made it an easy one to grab for aging. In fact, I’m pretty sure I just recently pulled out my last bottle from 2011 that I had squirreled away.

At any rate, as good as that beer is, I hadn’t crossed paths with any of its barrel-aged variants until this opportunity came along. North Coast Old Stock Ale 2017 Cellar Reserve has been aged in Bourbon barrels for an undisclosed length of time. The result is a beer that still retains much of its original characteristics while also presenting a boozy barrel influence.

The aging effect isn’t as smooth with this beer as it was with yesterday’s Barrel-aged Old Rasputin, but it doesn’t need to be really. The base old ale is an already smooth and lightly viscous experience that a little robustness from cellaring helps temper the malt sweetness nicely. Wood, vanilla and an earthy nuttiness are also present as everything glides effortlessly over the palate to a long lasting finish and comforting alcohol warmth in the chest.

This is one of those beers that is perfect for a chilly January evening, sipping slowly while playing some card games with family or reading a book with a snoozing pooch at you feet. I’m hoping I encounter this one during an upcoming beer run. It’ll make for a nice addition to the basement stash.