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Old Stock Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

2,825 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,825
Reviews: 1,417
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 145
Gots: 532 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-26-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,825 | Reviews: 1,417
Photo of BeerDocT
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 vintage. Purchased to try now, not purchased to put in a dark room for the next five years.

Appearance 3.0: Poured out a deep walnut color. Absolutely no head. No lacing. CO2 bubbles make it look like you've got a glass full of cola.

Smell 4.0: Good bouquet. Sharp smells with big notes of barley and sweet malt, along with some hints of a very aggressive yeastiness.

Taste 4.0: Front is dry, and this quickly transitions into a big middle where the predominmate taste is a sweet barley malt. Like sticking your finger into Liquid malt extract and tasting it. Finish serves to clean things up with hints of corn, a light hoppiness (definitely British hops) and a pleasant tartness. Aftertaste is reliatively short with an emphasis on the malt and slight tinges of corn.

Mouthfeel 3.75: Too carbonated. I don't know how that is going to work out with the suggested aging, but my experience with the high-gravity homebrews of friends who choose to CO2 big beers is that the conditioning just continues until you get explosions and a beer that is almost undrinkable.

Overall 4.0: A good beer. High ABV will make it a favorite of some based on that alone, but this is a good beer on its merits. Good, but not great. It has several big problems in its profile and while I enjoyed it, I won't purchase it again. Too expensive for the taste results, but I am saving one for aging. However, I doubt that will improve any of the problem areas with this brew.

Photo of MartyMaltose
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle. Awesome beer-drinking experience with boldness, richness, and variety built into each sip--like listening to Richard Strauss instead of the usual Mozart. My peak of love for this beer was 2012-2013; seems like this year it's all heat and less sweet. Maybe it's gone from my #1 favorite to just one of my favorites--but I'm still overjoyed that it exists. The price at Total Wine was quite reasonable for what you get.

Photo of crob3888
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Practically a barleywine/old ale hybrid.

Lots of sweet malts and alcohol warmth in this mahogany beauty. Raisin, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, dark cherries. Delicious.

Photo of vfgccp
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle opened April 2015

A - Murky mahogany brown. Fine dark bone white head pours a quarter finger high but hangs around with nice retention. Low lace.

S - Sweet and surprisingly bright. Butter scotch, lemon, maple syrup, amaretto, and bread crust.

T - Smooth caramel, fruitcake and butterscotch with a toasty amaretto backdrop. The impression is net sweet, but the boozy warmth and bright carbonation bring a really nice balance to the beer.

M - Silky smooth with a medium light frame. Warm finish. Really nice carbonation.

O - A really nice example of the style. The 2013 is drinking really well.

Photo of ScotB260
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burnt caramel color with an average head. Sticky lacing on the glass, no "legs" what so ever. In fact I've never seen a beer that stuck to the glass quite like this. Smells of honey and oats. Taste is very rich, but mellow with the high ABV. This is definitely at the top of my ales list.

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage
Cloudy dark Amber color. Thin head that dissipates quickly.
Dark fruit smell of raisins little banana flavor.
Taste of caramel brûléed sugar and sweet bread.

Overall a really excellent beer

Photo of Wobbly
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of the rare barley wines/old ales made in the US that can compete with the English classics.

Photo of fx20736
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark Amber, offwhite head, no lace

Smell: orchard fruits, malt, white raisins, plums

Taste: brown sugar, dates, sherry, gingerbread cookies

Feel: sticky

Overall: Complex aroma and flavvors, this is an amazing beer

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

2014 vintage

A - 4.75 - Pours an incredibly dark ruby with cognac brown and caramel orange tinges. Forms a half finger of medium tan colored, quickly dissipating head. Low head potential and retention, little to no lacing.
S - 4.5 - Simple, but bold. Heavy malt, nuttiness, marzipan, light whisky and the unmistakable aroma of very distant and light peach.
T - 5 - Heavy malts, caramel, peanut butter, marzipan, whiskey, oak wood sap, bittersweet dark chocolate and molasses. Once at room temperature, swish this one around your mouth and sip it slowly, it is EXTREMELY complex. Absolutely no trace of booze, extremely impressive at the extreme ABV.
F - 4.5 - Nice medium bodied mouthfeel.
O - 5 - One of the absolute best representations of the old ale style I've had and one of the tastiest beers I've had the pleasure of drinking in a LONG time. For fans of these two beers, it almost reminds me of a delicious hybrid mixture of Founder's Curmudgeon and Backwood Bastard. A+, 5 star beer. HIGHLY recommended to stock up on and cellar for a special occasion!

Photo of AlaskanYoung
1.5/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Says review is optional. It is not

Photo of StArnoldFan
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not a huge fan of old ales, but this has to be one if the best examples of the style. 2015 vintage, smooth and sweet. Straight sipper and much better as it warms. I'd like to get ahold of an aged vintage and see how it changes over time.

Photo of mblk6062
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I always look forward to the release of this awesome Old Ale, and the 2015 version did not disappoint! This year's has more of a molasses/bourbon smell, leading to a toffee/raisin taste, with that always wonderful, warm banana bread finish. I will be buying as much of this as I can get my hands on - will only get better with age!

Photo of Bisco42
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage Otsuchi Commemorative Recovery Release - March 2012

Poured into a snifter at 55 degrees, had been cellared upright for exactly 3 years.

L - Pours a dark amber/brown color with a 1 inch head. Lacing remains down the side, but spotty. Bubbles forming up the snifter.

S - Very malt-y, boozy and earthy. Reminiscent of a proper Old Ale.

T - This is where the complexity begins. Getting a lot of different tastes here. Beginning with Marris Otter malt and finishing with the (seemingly) fresh Fuggles hops. The aftertaste bursts with caramel and booze, still burning after 3 years, could probably sit for another several years to allow things to set and combine. Still delicious though, but in small sips every now and again.

F - Thick, robust, full and carbonated. Nothing too overbowering, but enough to allow my palate to retain the entire flavor of the beer. Perhaps the highlight of this fine brew.

O - An excellent take on the easily obtainable Old Ale. Unfortunately, I think this style is lost, and I love how North Coast is continuing to make this extraordinary. Compared to the 2015 version, this is incredibly different but in a good way. Will probably pick up another bottle and allow it to age for longer. NC really got it right with this one.

Photo of vic21234
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

A- Pours a clear and slightly fizzy ruby color with a small amount of head which quickly fades.

S- Dark fruits with a slight hint of tartness.

T- Raisins and dark fruits along with overall sweetness.

M- Medium bodied, sweet with and slight alcohol bite.

Nice old ale, I'll be sitting the rest down for a few years though to see how it does.

Photo of myuncle
3.19/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I was expecting more. I would lean to buying others.

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage at 55 degrees into hand washed and dried snifter
Aroma of malt and wood, some alcohol but not overpowering
Head small (2 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to 3 mm ring and partial layer
Lacing poor – few small gravitationally elongated circular islands of tiny bubbles
Body dark amber, clear, effervescent
Flavor very subdued, sweet, dates, warming alcohol; no hops, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.25

Photo of thetravelguy01
3.03/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was hoping for more from this. It's not bad, hopefully it will improve with age.

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice beer. 2014 variety. dark brown and clear. i didn't get a lot of aroma but there was a bit of sugariness. caramel and vanilla is prominent, a little sour. at 11.8%abv, it's masked well.

Photo of Kevinpitts
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Must serve this at proper temp or else its just not the same. Hearty ale with some alcohol bite to it. Nice flavor.

Photo of JebBeerFish
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

There are times when I get caught up in trying to find hard-to-find craft beer, and overlook the very good more widely available craft beer. Old Stock Ale is such a beer that I have overlooked for that reason, as well as its' label which I have found somewhat boring.

This is a very good beer. The beer bursts with flavor early on, especially bourbon and vanilla, as well as dark fruits and a balanced sweetness. It brings to mind Backwoods Bastard in the prominence of the bourbon and vanilla. As it warmed, and especially, towards the end, it evolves into sherry flavors and a tartness. The higher abv is noticeable, but not in an unpleasant way. I intend to stock up on a number of 4 packs.

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just did a vertical of the 2010, 2013, and 2014. 2010 was more fruit and plumb flavor. 2013 was a nice balance of malt, fruit and hop, and 2014 was more brash and hop flavor. A nice ale regardless of the year!

Photo of Tucquan
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2015-02-06 in Paoli, PA

Photo of Andrew041180
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured an amber brown with a relatively thick head that receded to a ring. Nothing particularly interesting to look at. Smell was really nice. Faint, but a burnt caramel and brown sugar type aroma. Taste was a bit too rich for me. Aroma amplified quite a bit. The feel was excellent, actually felt the carbonation for quite a while even though there were no real visible signs of any. Nice and thick. Low drinkability though and I felt that the beer flattened out maybe half an hour (halfway) thru it.

Photo of georgiaboy8686
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The 2014 edition. Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Look: Very aggressive pour yielded hardly any head which fizzled rather quickly. No lacing whatsoever. The color is slightly amber to mostly ruby. A bubble rises from the bottom ever now and then.

Smell: Smell is sweet and boozy. Dark fruits, brown sugar, and candied cherry. There is a slight burn in the nose from the 11.8%. For what it's worth, my wife passed by me drinking the beer and said it smelled like doughnuts.

Taste: This beer reminds me of a Belgian Quad, in that it has lots of dark fruit characteristics. Right out of the fridge it was quit boozy, but as it has warmed to room temperature it has become smooth. Like the smell, the taste is quit sweet.

Feel: This is where it differs from a Quad. It is thicker, almost to the extent that a stout would be.

Overall: It's a good beer. I think it would be perfect candidate to cellar. I'm looking forward to seeing how it evolves over time.

Photo of justme
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

May have liked it more if I liked the slight coffee flavor (of which I am not fond). The one I had was 2014.

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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,825 ratings.