Old Stock Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,465 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,465
Ratings:
3,080
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
10.73%
 
 
Wants:
174
Gots:
638
For Trade:
23
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-26-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,465 | Ratings: 3,080
Photo of santoslhalper
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage.

Appearence: Pours a reddish brown, that's semi-clear. A little off-white head sits atop and leaves a little lacing.

Smell: A malty, almost oak smell arise first, with a nice malt back. No alcohol presence really, which make it smell less spicy than I had hoped.

Taste and Mouthfeel: An intant attack of malts on the taste buds. Many caramel, molasses, and sticky sweet notes flow around my mouth. The end has a decent amount of juicy hop aftertaste. Tastes a little young (I know I should've aged it.... I just couldn't wait!), but still a very good taste. Nice and sticky in the mouth. Very tart.

Drinkability and Overall: A very intense beer, that with a little bit of proper aging would do wonders. Already I like it a little more than the 2003 (see review below). And the drinkability is much higher on this one simply because the alcohol is well-hidden. If you get this tho, put it down for a while.

This one was sent to me by GClarkage. Thank you again for the great brew.
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2003 vintage. (overall rating 4.3)

Appearence: Pours a nice brown color with a huge burnt umber head. Leaves beautiful lacing. Has only the fewest bubbles of carbonation.

Smell: The bouquet is all malts and alcohol. A rich, wonderfully complex smelling ale that has all the qualities a fine old ale should.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Tastes very sweet and malty with a huge alcohol body. On the tiniest bit of hops are present in the finish. A sticky mouthfeel enhances the flavor of this beer even more. Very complex without being too overpowering. The alcohol content warms you the whole way down. Almost a smoky, caramel flavor sticks in your moth long after the beer is down.

Drinkability and Overall: A very rich, complex ale that is accompanied with a huge amount of alcohol. Not for the average beer drinker but definitly a treat to try. I wouldn't have too many of these tho, considering the high alcohol and the chewy mouthfeel. Put on some Wes Montgomery, light a few candles, snuggle with your old lady, and drink this beer.

Again, thanks to Bashiba for the phenomenal sample.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage
Pours a dark hazy, mud brown with a thin strip of off-white lacing. Small pin pricks of lace slide down the glass along with alcoholic tannins.
Aroma is caramel, peat, raisins and grain alcohol. Whisky like notes in air.
Flavor is smooth caramel and dark citrus, almost a light dark rum flavor. Some roasted and peat notes are in the background and bitterings hiding behind the massive alcohol front.
Mouthfeel is very thick and chewy. Heavily sweet and complex malt balance some of the alcohol burden but not all. Tinge of bitterness at the closing bell also counteracts the pure alcohol hit.
Drinkability is solid but sticky sweetness and heavy alcohol make one enough. Well done to the folks at NC for a classic example of style.

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Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of skybluewater
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage. Pours a deep rusty amber color. Smells of fruit, mostly prune. Taste is very malty, with a dried fruit undertone. Highly (and way too) drinkable for a 11% plus ABV beer-I had to restrain myself from gulping this one! The only drawback is the mouthfeel, which is a bit fizzy, but that disappates as the beer warms.

Great brew here, very soothing on a cold fall night. I'm glad I have three more to get me through the coming cold months.

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Photo of PatandDavid
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was awesome. Shared an '02 bottle of this at one of my favorite beer bars this weekend...none of us knew they had it. Straight out of the celler, the serving temp was awesome. Four of us shared the bottle in small sample glasses, but that was enough for all of us, because the beer was fantastic. Mahagony color, no head when poured. Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation. There's some fruit in the aroma (raisins), but tastewise is where this beer delivers. My notes list raisins, plums, caramel, but I also wrote down chocolate chip cookie dough ( the brown sugar and chocolate also appear). This beer was superb.

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Photo of cncbofh
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Came in a 4-pack. Bottle labeled 2003 Release.

First thing that hit me wasn't the pour (decent head, nice reddish/brownish glow)... but the smell. Oh Gods, the smell!

Figs, raisans, brown sugar, caramel... best smelling brew I've ever had the pleasure of dipping my sniffer into. The taste was exactly the same. Malty, sugary sweet, fruity and very complex. Give this guy a year or two more, and you're in beer heaven. Great stuff.

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Photo of dgallina
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

North Coast Old Stock Ale 2003 vintage.

Pours a deep, clear, reddish brown with small tan head which leaves a light film of foam and moderate lace. The nose is deep with roasted caramel malt and alcohol spice. Flavor starts off with vinous toasted malts, develops into creamy sweetness, and finishes with slight hop bitterness and very strong alcohol spice. Medium-thick and creamy body which serves the style well. The raw alcohol (almost scotch-like) character is a bit over-pronounced for my taste.

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Photo of CortexBomb
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 bottling consumed in early 2005. Served at cellar temp initially, and then allowed to gently warm.

Pours out a nice dark, almost blackish orange / tan with a light head which made an appearance but left in less than a minute. The smell is sweet...some definite malt presence as well but not much beyond that.

Flavour is a serious shock, deep and tasty. The sweet, malty tones from the aroma waste no time in making themselves known, while a soft, but delightful hop reminder lurks on the back of the tongue. There are definite soft, brown sugary tones present, along with other spices such as cinammon, not in abundance, but enough to lend a certain character. Overall sweet and tasty, though the sharpness would probably be brought down a bit by laying this down for a spell.

Mouthfeel is big and oily, just like I like my old ales while the drinkability is downright dangerous. Without strong bitter effects or big alcohol effects on the palate this is one big beer that is easy to drink on a cold evening.

Another big winner for North Coast!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oooooh. I will not do this brew justice.

Pours a hazy orangey-brown witha a thin tan head. Head dissipates to nothing and I mean nothing. No lace either. Smell is fruity and rich, molasses malt. Cherries and fig evident. Some vinuous smells.

Rich warming malt. Fruitiness of cherry, apple, and grapes. Cinamon and light nutmeg. A persistent rounded hoppiness underneath. Just so thick and chewy and tasty. Full bodied and a sweet molassess sticky aftertaste. Oh, so smooth and oh so good. Can't believe I waited so long to try this one. Really smooth for 11% ABV. A masterpiece.

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Photo of bultrey
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm reviewing the draft version of this right after I reviewed the bottle, because I had each only a few days apart from one another. On draft, this is sublime. I mean really f@#$%in good. It has many of the same characteristics as the bottled version, but is just so much smoother and more balanced. Hints of chocolate, fig, and overripe fruit, but with a mellowness that can't be described. If you find this on draft, do not pass it up.

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Photo of clvand0
3.36/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This was the 2003 version that I tried from a small bottle. Pours a very dark color that shows some light around the edges and has a dark head that dies off very quickly. The aroma was sweet and malty with a bit of alcohol. The flavor was a little sharp in my opinion. This one needs to be laid down for a while. The flavor is sweet and malty and finishes with a bitter kick. I'm going to put one of these away for a while.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark maroon color, with a surprisinlgybig head for a beer with this high of an ABV (about 1/2" and inch). Smell is very strong of raisins and alcohol, with a little hop presence. Taste is off the wall with alcohol, wow. A lot of other flavors are present, which are all accented by the alcohol. The flavor finishes with a smooth chocolate and hop favor. Mouthfeel is full, and slick. Perfect for this beer. A big, delicious beer, good for a cold, rainy day such as this.

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Photo of Skidz
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2002 edition

A violent burst of gas escapes from the mouth of the bottle as the cap is lifted. Pours out a gleeming orange and sits a hazy orange rosé. Small off-white head emerges, then fades quite rapidly, leaving little traces along the surface.

Smells of caramel, malts, warmed cinnamon, apples and a nice does of herbal hop aroma. Nice spicy character, and alcohol acending from within.

Tastes of malts and exudes a stong alcoholic spiciness. Figs, prunes and apples make up the estery build. Tight against the sides of the tounge spring peppery and highly herbal notes that last long into the well defined, bitter finish.

Smooth and strong in a medium-full body with well-built and tingling carbonation. Glides along easily and delivers where it counts. A very good warmer that doesn't overtly intrude inside the mouth.

Tastetacular and delicious. Leave a few lying around the house for a cold, lonely winter's day or evening. To be enjoyed long after it's date.

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Photo of aracauna
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A downright gorgeous dark ruby body glows in the light. The yellowish tan head forms easily, but soon fades. The fading head is a bit of a disapointment, but what a gorgeous color the body is. The aroma is thickly malty with occassional whiffs of milk chocolate. There’s a hop bitterness that tingles the sinuses a bit, but it’s held in check to be a balancing note instead of overly dominate. The malt alternates between bread and that phantom chocolate with streaks of hop bitterness to break it up. A good bit of oak comes through toward the late middle. Awesome barleywine.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So, after carrying my laundry home in a driving rainstorm, what could cheer me up more than the North Coast Old Stock that I found in the fridge!

Pours a cloudy coppery molasses color with a small oatmeal colored head that fades pretty quickly. Sugary malt barleywineish smell. Thick brown sugar, maple, caramel with a whiskey-level punch and just a pinch of hops. Gooey and smooth, what you imagined it would have been like had you busted open the bottle of Vermont syrup at your grandmas house. Same finish as a shot of Frangelico with a lemon. You gotta love sweet stuff to love this stuff, but on a cold rainy day Captain Old Spice would give this a resounding "R".

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage Bottle 2003, Sampled September 2004
Pours a pretty, clear, deep ruby color and is topped by an amber-tan creamy head. The aroma is heady with rich notes of malt, caramel, malt extract. The malt aromas are accentuated by hoppy notes of citrus, apricot, and orange. The taste is full and sweet, and it coats my mouth in a fruity accompaniment that is caused by a marriage of citrusy hop notes and dark fruit malt notes. This is pretty tasty, with notes of plum, raisins, citrus, pine, sherry, leather, and caramel. This beer is a good example of the Barley Wine style, it is perhaps weighted towards the hop end of the scale, but not so much that you can't easily pick out the rich notes that the malts bring to this beer.

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Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

red amber in color. This beer really has a nice appearance to it, despite scant head retention.
Smells of a distinct malty sweetness and a touch of the booze.
There are a lot of distinct flavors present in the overall character of this beer. Sometimes i wonder if it's a shame that there's so much alcohol. I think some of the individual tastes are tougher to pinpoint as a result of this. But what the hell's the matter with that? The tastebuds aren't all dead, yet. The malts hang heavily. Like the backdrop for this brew, they're all around and everywhere. Some fig, prune character is resonating in between sips.
definitely a well crafted beer. North Coast has yet to disappoint me. One bottle left, and it'll soon be joining some others, sitting in the dark for days and months and months on end, waiting for me to one day enjoy them. Kind of like veal.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby red, crystal clear liquid was topped with a small foamy head that did not last. The aroma was sweet and malty with honey, raisin, cherry, and vanilla notes. The taste was rich, with warm alcohol reminiscent of port wine or rum, buttery toffee, roasted nuts, and brown sugar. The mouthfeel was dry and roasty with a distracting peppery alcohol afterburn. The aftertaste is also quite bitter. This is definitely an after dinner sipping beer.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured out with a mahogany body with a tall light tan head that peaked from the top of the glass. The head stays around for a while and leaves lace that slowly slides back down to its creator. After being poured a light sweet fruity smell comes from the glass being accompanied by caramel a slight alcohol scent. Caramel covered fruity sweetness meets your lips with the first sip. A bit of hop bittering provides a nice balance as the finish is quite warming with a slight alcohol sting on the tip on the tongue. Some chocolate notes were also detected as this warmed as was a stronger alcohol presence. Mouthfeel was creamy and chewy at times with an almost full body. Drinkability was good, as I could have had another one after this if I wasn’t going to bed afterwards. Great ale here that I recommend to anyone to try.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12ozer from a 4-pack purchased at Town & Country Liquors/Table & Vine, West Springfield, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head above a somehwat murky reddish-brown brew. Head receded somewhat quickly, but a layer bubbles remained for the duration. Lacing was okay. Aroma was stronyl of sweet malts and alcohol, as an old ale should be. Taste is mainly of sweet malts and alcohol, but not the burn your insides of Avery's Beast, but rather a nice, full, warming ethanol, which is much preferrable. Mouthfeel and drinkability were excellent for the style, kind of scarily so, to be truthful. I could see this gracing my fridge again...

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with a strong white head that leaves a pretty lace. Aromas are initially fruity giving off some fig and raisin-like tones followed by some alcohol notes and candy sugar. There's also a bit of a toffee aroma in the mix as well. Initial flavors are big and fruity with a really strong dark fruit flavor. Raisins and figs are most present. Following a strong alcohol flavor overwhelms the mouth. Whew this beer is kicking! Afterwards the flavor of this brew progresses to be quite malty with a mix of caramels and toffees leading the way. The finish to this brew is a bit sweet with still more dark fruits, and just a hint of hops that leaves a tingling spice. For being an Old ale this brew is fairly light bodied and smooth, with a light carbonation that just tingles on the tongue. Definetly a nice brew to try out.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.24/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

From the 2002 bottling...

Appearance: brownish amber, good clarity, thinnish layer of tan suds that quickly fizzle into a creamy crown

Aroma: rum, hazelnuts, wood, raisins, slight waft of woodsy hops, malty sweetness, sherry, hint of roast, over-ripe apples

Flavor: lots of peppery alcohol slightly balanced by malt sweetness, burnt caramel, licorice, "peach-pit-almond" bitterness, finishes semi-sweet with an aftertaste of sherry and the same harsh bitterness lingering, also a hint of desert wildflower honey

Mouthfeel: full body, lots of alcohol warmth, fine carbonation

Other comments: Starts off quite promising, but that odd bitterness gets pretty "kvetching" during the first half of the glass. After my pallate got used to it, however, the bitterness was no longer off-putting. Drank this one at room temperature, as suggested by frank4sail (who gave this beer to me).

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Photo of SeanChouffe
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003
Pours a red color with amber highlights. Carbonation is fine, but plentiful, and the head is a yellow/cream color. Lacing is sticky -- the head dies to a fine layer. Aroma is heavy malt and caramel with fruity esters and some real ?Juicy Fruit? notes. Mouthfeel is smooth, full bodied, thick and syrupy. Flavor is sweet at the start, caramel, with a blunt hop presence and a lingering but pleasant bite at the finish.

IMHO: Intense, but not over the top. A nice balance of characteristics -- not subtle. I would recommend this beer to the barleywine lover.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy chestnut with a thin tan head and not much carbonation. The nose is definitely barleywine caliber, with rich, sweet malty notes and some musty, whiskey-stained oak.

Taste is smooth, rich malt and caramel along with sweet maple syrup, toffee and real cream butter. Definite woody flavors, smokey, mild spices. Maybe some candied cherries to be found as it warms a bit. Slight bready nature and a low alcohol presence in the taste.

Syrupy mouthfeel yet smooth, easy to drink despite the ABV. Tastes like drinking a fine dark chocolate candy with a Grand Marnier center. Could use some aging, I think.

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Photo of silenius
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 version.

Pours a clear brown with major red hightlights. Holding the beer up to a light turns the beer a dark syrupy ruby color. The head is short lived and quickly fades to an off-white collar around the glass. When swilred, the beer leaves alcoholic legs on the sides of the glass. This is going to be an alcoholic monster.

Smell is muscat wine, flowers, caramel and slight hint of dry, clean cardboard. An alcohol burn is there too.

Taste is sweet nutty and caramel malts with a real maple syrup edge to it. Hop bittering is apparent after the sweetness fades a bit. In the end you get a shadow of sweetness balanced by a bitter snap.

This is a thick syrupy beer that has generous carbonation to offset the sweetness. Too much carbonation leaves a carbonic bite that is not so pleasant. Alcohol warms the tongue and throat on the way down.

One is enough for me. I'm aging two of these and will open in a year or three to see what happens to it.

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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,465 ratings.