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Old Stock Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

2,583 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,583
Reviews: 1,368
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 126
Gots: 437 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,583 | Reviews: 1,368 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage. A reddish brown ale after fizzing from a high quality Belgian-like pour. Some cognac and barleyiwne aroma. Fine carbonation on the tongue. Immediate tummy warming from the alcohol. Barley wine and malt tastes, with Eno epsom salt. Numbing aftertaste. Unique.

Sammy, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.9%

t0rin0, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.
12.5% ABV per label.

Pours a murky dark amber color with a small 1/2 bone colored head that fades to nothing. Very small spots of lacing dot the glass on the drink down. Smells of caramel, rum raisin, and malt. A very nice sweet raisin bread aroma on this beer. Taste is very sweet and rich with brown sugar/caramel and raisin bread flavors. Low carbonation with a thick and chewy mouthfeel. Slight alcohol burn in the throat with each sip. Overall, this is a good beer that I stumbled on at my local Whole Foods in early 2011. I think they found a 4 pack in the back that they put out for sale. After tasting this year's brew, I am kicking myself for not buying more than one. I will look into getting these each year that they are released for aging purposes.

UCLABrewN84, May 25, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.9%

djrn2, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -9%

zestar, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage

G: Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark caramel/toffee with a thin light cream-colored head. Almost entirely opaque with some carbonation.

S: Smells of toffee and caramel. Rich malt base. Still fairly hot in terms of alcohol.

T: Definitely still fairly hot. This is my first of these, and even with a year on it you can definitely taste the 12.5 abv.

M: Medium to full body with a smooth creaminess. Definitely large alcohol notes; this is still quite hot, although still good. This is a beer that could definitely use quite a bit of time more in the cellar.

D: Again, still a little hot. Still, quite nice. I'm hoping that some time in the cellar will help the complexities in this one come out a little bit more.

Thorpe429, May 13, 2009
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9%

acurtis, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -27.2%

nmann08, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a ring of off white bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of raisins are present in the nose.
T: The taste is very malty and has a slight amount of sweetness along with flavors of raisins.
M: It feels full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer tastes very strong but the presence of alcohol is well masked. This definitely a sipping beer.

metter98, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Texasfan549, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage, tasted on 6/30/07

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel color with a modest head that disappears quickly but does splash the chalice with lace

Smell: Rich caramel aroma with hints of figs and dates; considerable alcohol on the nose

Taste: Starts with a rich, sweet caramel flavor; after the swallow, the fruit and alcohol make an appearance with just a touch of bitterness at the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation; considerable warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Not as big in the mouthfeel area as the 2003; nevertheless a top flight Old Ale

Thanks, JesseDaniel, for the opportunity

Just for kicks, I tried the 2011 bottling on 11/27/11 and the major difference, as expected, was the level of hops in the flavor profile; still, this ale uses English hops so they blend very nicely with the big malt bill; the beer also has more of a cherry flavor than I recalled in earlier versions

brentk56, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release 2011 (09/21/11)
Brown sugar, maple syrup, chocolate malt, and an underlying cherry-like alcohol/ester combo works to perfection with an alcohol culmination of rum and port wine. Malty throughout with a full and rounded start and an even fade to malty-dry finish of alcohol warmth with a linger of toffee and chocolate.

Release 2010 (02/23/11)
North Coast continues to develop the recipe for much more sultry flavor and cleaner alcohol taste. Brown sugar and cherry-like esters give the impression of port wines and brandies. Bold toffee flavor dominates early with a follow of ripe grapes, cherries, sherry, dates, and raisons. Syrupy textures give a sticky feel, and with a follow of warming, if not hot alcohols. Seemingly a Barleywine, except for a lightened body and drier finish.

Release 2003 - 3.8 (3/26/07)
These vintage ales turn out as beauties after a few years of age. Still strong flavored with malts and very warm with alcohols, but a lot smoother and more appreciable than the 'fresh' releases. This has all the flavors aromas and textures needed in an Old Ale, but must be respected as a brandy.

Release 1005 - 4.2 (4/27/07)
The regular 11% version with over a years worth of cellering. The beer matures wonderfully in about that time's span. Not nearly as alcoholically intense or fusal as it was last year. Sweetness dominates and the hops have fallen out, leaving a well balanced, quite clean, characterful, fruity, syrupy joy to drink. I do beleive that this beer can handle another year of maturing before tiring. Great way to close the evening.

Release 2006 - 4.1 (1/28/06)
Is the sanctity and purity of Old Ales no longer respected. 13%? What's next. The beer is as flavorful and strong as ever. Very syrupy, malty, thick, and alcoholically harsh. More age will definately mellow the brew and meld the flavors, but for now, it's just tough to drink. The hops are too fresh. The alcohols are too hot and abrasive. The malts are too sugary. Still, a wonderful beer, but one that must be babied and approached with caution.

Release 2005 - 4.1 (1/28/06)
Surprised to have never rated an Old Stock. These are one of my favorite 1-off resease beers. This '05 abounds from the bottle and into the glass with big syrupy, brown sugar, molassas barley flavors with as spicy, hoppy, and bready scent. Alcoholic aroma promises strength to accompany the sweetness. Tastes of strong malts that hinge on dates, molassas, walnuts, and dried cherries. Hop bitterness and flavor round out the sweetness and all boldness without getting too harsh. Strong alcohols boarder on hot fusals and sweet thinning. Moderately heavy, thick, and smooth on the palate. Weakens a bit into the finish to become more easily drank. Another winner for North Coast.

Release 2003 - 3.8 (3/26/06)
Found a 4 pack stocked away at a local beer store. As I remembered, this beer had all of the right ingredients, but quite hot and fusal. Hoping that a couple of years would have mellowed it out. Not so. There are big plumb, fig, and prune flavors with an unneccesarily fusal hot character; too much to ignore. Light chocolate and cherry flavors help, but the heat and hops combine for a tough drinking beer. A heartburn just waiting to happen. Otherwise, a solid brew.

BEERchitect, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2.9%

kjkinsey, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 bottle drank in 2004: Poured a hazy deep burgundy color ale with a small dark beige head with limited retention. Aroma of dried sweet fruit with some floral hops also noticeable. Taste is quite sweet reminiscent of figs and dates with a full body and limited carbonation. Great barley wine, probably one of the best beer from North Coast that I had the chance to sample.

Phyl21ca, May 31, 2005
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -2.9%

GRG1313, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally decided to break out one of these from the old closet. I had been holding onto about a 7 year vertical, and had never even tried one. So the other night, I decided to grab one at random, from a decent ageing and see how they hold up..

2005 Vintage

A - Poured a deep hazy reddish amber, no real head or lace to speak of, just a syrupy looking liquid in the glass, no visible carbonation. Nice color but other then that pretty standard.

S - Strong alcohol notes were apparent immediatly, one I got past that there was some light sweetness coming up, mixed with an off fruitiness and a touch of some earthy grain.

T - Very strong, almost overwhelming. Still alot of alcohol in this for sure. No real hoppiness to speak of, just some maltiness and a slight bit of a bourbon taste to it. Maybe some plums and as it got towards the end a bit of a back hoppiness picked up.

M - Quite harsh due to the high ABV, but as far as liquid feel, very smooth, not alot of life in it, but not too slick either. Had the constency of a cough syrup, a bit thick.

D - A bottle put in a snifter is an all night sipper. Really can't drink more then one of these, and a sip every 5 minutes is more then enough for me.

Overall this was a fairly good old ale. It definatly holds up well with age, will have to try a new one to see what the initial was like, but it was enjoyable, albeit very very strong

mikesgroove, Jul 28, 2007
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

jaydoc, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bottle from the 2009 bottling.

A: The pour is a sort of muddy brownish red color with a short lived tan head that settles down to a thin ring.

S: A strong aroma of dark fruits, leather, toffee, and dark sugars. There is a mild alcoholic presence in the form of sherry, rum which works nicely with the plums and raisins.

T: There is a bitterness and dryness that wasn't quite expected. The leathery quality really shines through along with some dark/burnt sugars. Surprisingly, the fruits are somewhat subdued.

M: The body is full with a smooth carbonation. A bit sticky and chewy as well.

D: Not the best of the old ales that I've come across. Perhaps I need to try this one at varying ages to see how it might differ.

womencantsail, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 2008. A freight train of a beer. This pours out as a nice deep brown color with a tan colored head that doesn't stick around very long. The smell of this brew is sweet and a little smokey some roasted malts in there too, perhaps even some hops shining through it in the back too. The taste is very complex. It reminded me more of a barely wine really. There was a strong alcohol warming sensation here. Also there were some rich dark fruits and roasted malts. The mouthfeel was on the thicker side. Overall a tasty brew!

Knapp85, May 11, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Vintage 2004)

Appearance: Marvelous color; a stunning mosaic of reds, browns, and golds. Even when poured a wee bit aggressively, the head quickly seperated, stretched thinly across the surface of the beer.

Smell: Mammoth malts weigh heavily in the nose. Thick molasses, brandy, vanilla, dried raisins, and alcohol are all very prominent.

Taste: "Hands up" on this malt rollercoaster, please! The vibrant flavors are varied and plentiful. Richly textured caramel and sweetened molasses up front. Sweet, ripened fruits roll by the palate, followed with sugar-coated bread. All of these flavors are punctuated by a zippy spiciness. The 11.4% alcohol is, at first, cumbersome on the palate, but eventually mellows to a relaxing hotness.

Mouthfeel: Medium. Considerably lighter than I remember it being, although its alcohol, syrupiness, and colossal range of flavors help it to seem a bit hardier.

Drinkability: Such an excellent example of balance within a beer. Its all so very impressive. Drinkable? Definitely, but the alcohol can really shake you up, so take it easy, friends. I'll certainly be returning to the store to grab more to cellar.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 on tap at the Comsumer Beverage in Orchard Park,NY.Great to see this highly anticipated annual offering at the growler station at Consumers,pours a rich deep amber with a thinner but well retained creamy-like off white head.One word to describe the nose would be rich just rich and almost warming dark fruit,caramel,brown sugar,and a real alcohol zip as it warms to the right temp,this beer is big and brash to say the least its fresh and nothin is holding this puppy back.Starting out a little sweet with raisin/prune and brown sugar notes up front with that warming alcohol always prevelant a nice drying earthiness shows up late and I thing really cuts thru the sweetness even now at such a very young age a touch of hoppy leafiness shows up as well.This growler is going to be drank slowly over a few days its warming,rich and ever so smooth but the alcohol keeps me from going overboard on it and I think its a good thing,I'll by a bottle and hold and see how it ages.Masterful.

oberon, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

JAHMUR, Nov 20, 2011
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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,583 ratings.