1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

2,533 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,533
Reviews: 1,363
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 124
Gots: 413 | FT: 14
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Stock Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,533 | Reviews: 1,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tat2dhllblly
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

tat2dhllblly, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of jsnoek
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

jsnoek, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of jonstep
3.23/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Old Stock Ale is from North Coast Brewing Co, and my prime decision for trying this brew. I am a fan of the Acme brand, so I thought I’d see if the quality carried over to this brand. I got a 12oz bottle of this brew from the local beer/wine superstore. I chilled it overnight and poured it into a 12 oz. weizen glass. Following is what I found:

Appearance: A nice dark brown color that was cloudy in appearance. The head lasted about a minute and was about a ½ an inch thick.

Smell: It may have been my stuffy nose, but there was not much of a smell.

Taste: The taste was a toasty taste, and the alcohol content was obvious. This is a strong beer.

Mouthfeel: The beer feels good on the palate, carbonation is not too strong. You can sure taste the alcohol.

Overall: I felt the beer was a little strong for my palate. It is a quality brew however, and it shows. I probably would not buy this beer again, as it is a little strong for me. I like getting my alcohol in over two to three beers rather than one strong one. I should also note the Old Stock Ale I bought was designated "2011" and had a 11.9 ABV rather than the 11.7 listed on the BA page.

jonstep, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of Fatehunter
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Over a year of sitting in the cellar. Let's see the change.
2010 Bottling

Poured into a tulip glass. Hazy copper, half finger of head, quickly gone though.

Still smells like lots of ripe fruit: apple, orange, pear. There's more malt to smell, dry grains.

Tastes sweet, malty, a pear and cider. Ends as a bitter sweet combo. Alcohol hidden.

Heavy body, sticky texture, low carbonation. Lasting heat but not "alcoholy".

It tastes better than a year ago. Very complex and drinkable for a high ABV.

---
2010 Bottling

A - Poured from bottle into 200 mL tulip glass. 1/4 inch dirty white head developed and quickly faded. Rust/amber color, not quite transparent. Noticeable carbonation.

S - Bright, new fruit with pear and apple most apparent. Under that is malt. Quite pleasant.

T - Alcohol, caramel and malty sweetness. The taste lingers in the mouth for awhile afterward. Almost like the beer version of port.

M - Syrupy and fairly carbonated. It is heavy on the tongue.

D - For its style it is good. One bottle is plenty to enjoy for awhile. I have a few more of these that are going to sit in storage for a few years, maybe even a decade. I'm excited to see how time changes it.

Fatehunter, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of davidmsilver
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

davidmsilver, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of CORKSCREWFISH
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

CORKSCREWFISH, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of gtermi
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pour a nice dark brown with a very thick head. The head quickly fades and barely leaves any lace on the glass. Just looking at the beer, it seems very smooth and drinkable.

S: Wow this beer smells very sweet. I am getting some good amount of caramel and a little earthy smell. I love the way it smells like a 4% beer, but its actually almost 12%.

T: This beer is very sweet to me. The malt is very present and just seems like it probably needs a little more time to mellow out, but I still find it to be very tasty.

M: The beer is so smooth for such a high alcohol beer. I was expecting it to be a very harsh beer, but it goes down like a nice wine.

O: This is just a very nice beer. I have always enjoyed Old Ale's and this one is another great one. This isnt one that I could drink all the time, but its nice beer to relax with. North Coast is a great brewery.

gtermi, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of cdwil
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

cdwil, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of jrpapajcik
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

jrpapajcik, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of nickapalooza86
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well It is Jan/13

My review score stands but the alcohol is gone, dark fruit is in the back end and caramel is up front with its toffee cousin! and that is just the way I like it.

This is the kind of beer you are supposed to age. Ones that actualy develop and change for the better!

Poured 2011 vintage into snifter.

Pours a great hazy orangish-brown. Can not see a thing through it.

Smells of raisons and dark fruit. I am also getting a bourbon type alcohol.

The taste is the same as the nose. Some faint fruit and some spicy alcohol. You do not get the alcohol untill the very end.

This is one great beer! I am very excited to see what a year or two will do with this. I would reccommend it if you can get it in your area.

nickapalooza86, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of JaredKent
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Unaged 2011 Bottle, poured into a Tulip Glass

Appearance: Upon pouring, a thin tan head builds but dissipates shortly. A very nice brown hue to this beer with a hint of red, reminiscent of burnt caramel. Around a 25 SRM. A bit hazy in appearance.

Scent: Immediately I get fruit; plums, raisins, prunes and other dried fruit. Very strong, warming malt aromas. The appearance matches the aroma with a bit of burnt caramel on the nose. A bit of sherry with a slight hint of spiciness on the finish.

Taste: The taste on this Old Ale closely matches the nose. Very strong raisin and dried fruit flavors up front. A hint of soy sauce mixed in with the dark fruit. Intense malt body. Bittersweet on the finish. Intense flavor profile. Though this is 11.9%, the complexity of the flavors in combination with the strong malt characteristics mask the heat of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: For a Strong Ale of this strength, this beer is very smooth on the mouth. Perfect level of carbonation to complement the heavy body and strong flavors.

Overall: This is my first English Old Ale, and it's a good first impression. This was the 2011 vintage, unaged. Very enjoyable this young, though further aging will only bring out more complex flavors. I have three more bottles that will be aged. I'll be interested in seeing how this has changed after a year, or more, of aging.

JaredKent, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of dav
4/5  rDev -2.9%

dav, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of Grebdioz
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Grebdioz, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of BSW
3/5  rDev -27.2%

BSW, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of jpd7374
4/5  rDev -2.9%

jpd7374, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of musicman575
4.95/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If one can make wine from barley, this is definitely a port.

Sparse little bubbles rise very slowly out of nowhere through the dark cola-colored liquid.

Smells of cocoa, dates, raisins, molasses, smokiness, oakiness, and everything else that is rich, sweet, and brown.

What an enormous flavor! It's almost overwhelmingly tasty. It's comparable to, let's say, the best hot chocolate you've ever had, or maybe the most well-balanced manhattan.

The carbonation isn't terribly present until you take a sip, then a single layer of microbubbles effervesces across the tongue to invigorate the drink. Amazing.

musicman575, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of jak
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

jak, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of AaronBurr
3.5/5  rDev -15%

AaronBurr, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -15%

jophish17, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of BoringBunny
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

BoringBunny, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of cbgbslev
4/5  rDev -2.9%

cbgbslev, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of bigorange
4/5  rDev -2.9%

bigorange, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of nsabo
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying a 2009 bottle in Dec, 2011.
Sticky and syrupy but not heavily viscous. This has all the qualities of a good loaf of pumpernickel bread: caraway seeds, molasses, cocoa, brown sugar. There’s a thick presence of caramel, vanilla, and dried dark fruit (raisins, dates, figs), slight booze heat, and a hop appearance for just a second that finishes each sip with a pleasant dry, sweet finish.
A friend of mine who loves cask ales used to wake up, open an old stock in the morning and leave it out all day until he was ready to drink it after dinner when it was nearly flat. I have tried it that way, and immediately poured from the bottle into a glass. Both are excellent. It must be the pricing that North Coast’s Rasputin gets all the glory for this brewery, but Old Stock has been quietly superior. It’s North Coast’s best beer, and it’s better than just about any barleywine and old ale around.
A note on the pricing: I picked up a 4pk/$10 in Colorado. In Washington, I’ve seen a 4pk/$13-$14 and $3.50/bottle. Do the math: compared to most (non-barrel aged) barleywines that come in bombers, these prices are typically better and the quality of the beer is better. Instead I hear about Bigfoot (put a damn leash on those hops, why is this called a barleywine?) or Adam (tasty, but without oak or barrels the price tag is uncalled for).

nsabo, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of remhaze
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So far I've tried the old stock ale 2009 and 2011.

2009:
A - dark golden brown.
S - dark caramel, sweet
T - for someone who is into bourbon, this is the drink for you. I love it. It's a bit surprising at first how thick and syrupy, but it's great and hits the spot. Good with a nice cigar and light cheese.
M - thick syrup
O - it's delicious. Will definitely buy again for special occasion. Not an everyday beer. I would treat this like all my other whiskeys. Drink a little, or share with friends over a nice cigar.

2011:
A - dark golden brown
S- light caramel, a bit sweet. Not as sweet as 2009
T - definitely a lighter beer with nice touch of bourbon. Not as syrupy, but sweet and caramel. I bet it'll be the same as 2009 once it's aged properly.
M - nice, smooth, and light
O - this I can drink everyday over a nice meal or BBQ. The light touch of bourbon really makes it different than any other beers I've tasted

remhaze, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of MNJR
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Really looked forward to trying this one and it did not disappoint. Deep ruby garnet color, thin head but very effervescent on the pour. Smells of caramel, brandy, port wine, pear, leather, cocoa. Needless to say, very complex aromas. Taste is rich, warm and rewarding. The first thing I notice is the sharp carbonation and prickly, crisp mouthfeel. Flavors are abundant: currant, spice, vanilla, oak, tart cherry-like fruit, coffee, brown sugar, clove, cocoa, hops, all with a sublime underpinning of rich, complex malt. Extreme beer, easily one of the best of it's kind, but of course it is a rare style to be found. This is s special treat. Treat it with respect: it deserves it.

MNJR, Dec 20, 2011
Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,533 ratings.