Old Stock Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,445 | Reviews: 1,354 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dantes:
3.78/5 rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Package: 12oz. crowned brown bottle somewhere between a stubby and a longneck. No specific bottling/consume by date, but the label denotes it as a “limited release” 2002. One of the classiest labels I’ve seen, printed to look like textured, bond paper with blue printing and “Whale-tail” logo. 11.4% ABV.
Cost: $8.99 a 4-Pack at Artisan
Presentation: Snifter at 50º
Appearance: Strong-tea color with a woody, auburn tint. Some haze. Generated a small, quickly disappearing off-white head. Isolated strings of small bubble-strings. Generous gunsmoke.
Smell: Nice aroma, a bit like a smoldering hardwood fire in a bottle. Notes of tobacco, leather, wet, Fall leaves, with a touch of fruitiness. Strong, volatile alcohol fumes. Brought to mind an oxidized Islay whisky. Little indication of hops on the nose.
Taste: Surprisingly dry on the palate for a “new” barley wine. Invoked lots of “dry” adjectives: Bourbon-tinged pipe tobacco, hardwood, damp, burning leaves, and wet leather. Almost a complete 180º from the Bigfoot I had the night before. This had only a modest taste of hops (masked by the alcohol?) and little of the maltiness and fruitiness I expect in a barley wine. As it warmed, a bit more fruitiness (plums, blackcurrant, and dried apple) came out. Exhibited a long, dry, alcohol-laden finish. Probably the driest barley wine I’ve had.
Mouthfeel: For something with this high an ABV, this possessed only moderate body. Nice, subtle carbonation helped tame this beast.
Drinkability: One of the stronger barley wines, this is somewhat demanding. I found it interesting, but not the thing I would choose with which to finish the night.
This beer puzzled me. North Coast’s products are not common around here, so I was excited to find it. This isn't a hop-bomb like Bigfoot, nor a malty-sweet barley wine like Old Horizontal or Adam. Maybe more like Stone’s Old Guardian, but even drier and more austere. I didn’t dislike it, but I’m not sure I loved it either. Normally, I would expect a barley wine to improve with age, but this one almost seems pre-aged. The expected fruit and malt fullness is already subdued, leading me to wonder what it would be like in 2 or 3 years: drier? More complex? I’m not sure. Perhaps this 4-pack was subjected to too much heat. In any case, I’ve set two aside to find out!
Backwash: Might be perfect if mixed 50/50 with some Old Horizontal.
Serving type: bottle
08-04-2003 23:00:22 | More by Dantes
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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,445 ratings.