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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.

2,420 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,420
Reviews: 1,354
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 123
Gots: 393 | FT: 16
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)
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Ratings: 2,420 | Reviews: 1,354 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WalrusJockey

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 into tulips.

A- dark and cloudy, but still translucent. Color is cinnamon-brown, with a negligible head.

S- very rich, complex, great nose. Chocolate and caramel, with vanilla and woody tannins. Cinnamon, currants and other faint fruit smells are in the background. Alcohol smell is detectable, but very faint, especially considering the strength of the beer.

T- very sweet malt, followed by a pronounced alcohol bite. Flavors of honey, rasins, toffee, and tannins are all very noticable. Slight crispness, as well. Swallow is caramel and coffee/choco roastiness, with a lingering, bitter/dry aftertaste. Very nice.

M- thick, with very light carbonation. This beer lounges about the mouth, a step lighter than syrupy.

D- 12.5%? Low drinkability. Very re-purchase-able, though.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 03:50:56 | More by WalrusJockey
Photo of robbyc1


4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 version tasted in Summer 2009, very deep brownish red highlights, opaque with a small off white head, no lace.

Nose has alcohol, deep malt, very much like a barleywine, winey and smoky, time has sheltered the hops if any were there. Not as complex as I remember but the deep malt has plums, other stone fruits, like soaked in bourbon barrels.

Taste has the same flavors I was expecting, including the soaked plums, with a semi-sweet aftertaste, not dry but like an after dinner type aperitif. A sipper with an abv kick, heaviness in the mouthfeel, and a nice drinker with a bit of sourness in the mouth, keeping it from being to sweet.

This ale has aged nicely and I suspect it would hold up for several more years if left alone. A great Friday night sipper for me, the last one in my storage, dang.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 01:15:25 | More by robbyc1
Photo of tai4ji2x


3.25/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, 2008 vintage. tasted in early may 2009.

bit of a gusher. poured into a tulip as best as i could.

very dark, ruby amber, almost brown. clear but for some dust-like micro-particles. 1-finger tan head fades to thin wisps and ring. a sparse thin ring of lace hera or there.

aroma: malty dark caramel and dried fruits (dates, figs), w some apple juice concentrate. grassy euro hop w touch of american, giving a citrus character, though not fresh zest - more like candied/dried peel. slight alcohol and phenols, with almost rum or brandy notes. whiff of acidity.

taste: sweet caramel and dried fruit again, but also rum and brandy, getting towards the boozy side. moderate bitterness from the mostly euro hops, with notes of resinous citrus rind (not fresh zest). touch of acidity, then more booze and phenols. possible faint coffee note in aftertaste.

medium body, but sometimes thin and watery, and then also moments of light syrupy feel. resins toward the finish, with lots of astringency from phenols (and alcohol?). carbonation is mild, but gets sharp and accentuated those phenols.

looks like i got a bad batch?

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2009 09:16:51 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of BierFan


3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a short brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. 2009 vintage, abv of 11.5%.

Appearance: No carbonation whatsoever. Totally flat. Dark brown body, almost black.

Smell: Very sweet aroma. Rum, raisins, brown sugar.

Taste: Booziness is masked well by the sweetness. Raisins are unmistakeable. Good sipping beer.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Mouthfeel is very hurt by the lack of carbonation, but it remains highly drinkable and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2009 22:46:02 | More by BierFan
Photo of ectomorph


3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2008 Old Stock Ale 12oz bottle with no expiration date noticed (not that it matters here I guess).

A - Cloudy dark amber/red brew with a tan head that fades fast, but you see carbonation coming from the bottom like mad.

S - Sweet raisin bread and light floral notes. I was expecting alcohol, but I smell none.

T - Balanced, but on the sweet side of things. Alcohol warmth is to be expected, but this brew finishes CLEAN. Caramel sweetness is met with a medium hop bite.

M - Very full bodied and almost chewy beer. The lasting carbonation, keeps this from feeling like a barleywine.

D - Moderate/low. These things are 12.5% and more than 3 is would surely make my brain turn off. :)

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 21:31:37 | More by ectomorph
Photo of argock


4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. 2008 release. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.60.

A: Scarlet-ruby hued ale with 1/2-1 finger of tan head that dissipates rapidly and leaves no real lacing.

S: A huge nose on this brew with raisins, plum, vanilla, brown sugar, bourbon, and earthy hops all rolled into one. Alcohol aromas tickle the nose hairs without singing them.

T: Huge flavor as well with fruity maltiness with components of brown sugar, vanilla, wood, bourbon, caramel, and raisins/prunes with a good and surprisingly drying earthy hops finish. Alcohol is definitely there and not shy but is enhancing rather than dominating.

M: Feel is really smooth with a melt in your mouth goodness. Carbonation is light but lively and the smoothness is good as gold with a lightly wet cardboard, brown sugar, earthy/spicy hops aftertaste.

D: High ABV aside, for the style, this is a dangerously drinkable old ale with a lot of alcohol aromas and flavors that accentuate the dark fruit-dominated malitness and dry earthy hops. A really exceptional sipper that I will try again in other releases.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2009 02:15:10 | More by argock
Photo of cvfish


3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - This beer poured a reddish brown color that produced a small light tan head that actually had decent lacing and retention

S - The aromas produced by this beer had a good bit of caramelized malts, raisins, and bit of spice

T - The taste of this one I enjoyed more than other Old Ales, caramelized malts, raisins, cinnamon, and some booze again

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium to heavy body with a light amount of carbonation

D - This particular Old Ales was my favorite, but not enough to get me to become a fan of the style, just not for me

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2009 21:25:28 | More by cvfish
Photo of Docer


3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This looked good, and I haven't really tasted any 'old style' ales ever... and being a big fan of barleywines.. I thought I would like this... grabbed a 12oz. bottle at a favorite market. 11.5% alc. on this bottle..

- Very much a dark ruby red/brown ale... looks like an imperial red... no haze.. filtered clear... little to no head at all, and maybe a spec of lacing... overall the carbonation looks more like a cider or sour.

- Little bit of prune, raisin, sweetness... sour.. alcohol.. and caramel malt goodness... definitely ester..

- Rich caramel malt.. bursting with sweetness and alcohol strength... heart burn here we come... a certain woodiness and earthiness to it.. tad sour finish, bit of licorice... bit of brandy barrel...

- Not oily or too chewy.. bit dry, with such a robust alcohol presence..

- Quite drinkable.. but wonder what even a milder form of this would be like... as it is a tad strong on the gut.. but overall it is very good, and would drink another.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 20:41:10 | More by Docer
Photo of Durge


4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this at Prime 16 during my first visit to this great New Haven beer bar & restaurant. I had just recently had a bottle of this same brew from a 12 ounce bottle and knew it would be a good choice here on tap. Poured into a small snifter, this one was a deep dark amber color, cloudy, with a whispy light oatmeal colored head and fair lace. The aroma was licorice and sweet floral hop and some brandy. The taste is almost root beer sweet with more brandy-like alcohol. It's full bodied with fine tingly carbonation. There is a tart cherry-pineapple quality somewhere here. Very nice and warming. Not highly sessionable but quite tastey.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2009 05:08:01 | More by Durge
Photo of irishking1977

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought as part of a mixed pack, on a whim.

A- Dark brown, ruby color with barely any head whatsoever. The pour and subsequent look of the beer made me assume that this beer was going to be barely carbonated, and that the taste would really have to blow me away.
S - A fruit cornucopia; raisins, apricot, plums, and a hint of cinnamon.
T- Remarkably tasty and completely unexpected considering it was a shot in the dark. Few beers taste the way they smell; my taste buds backed up what my olfactory senses found.
M - Minimum to moderate carbonation. In most cases, I am not a big fan of beers without big carbonation, but this one appears to be an exception. It was somewhat chewy, but not overwhelming.
D - The big ABV might frighten some because high ABV means really boozy and might negatively affect the taste, but I found that I didn't even think about it while sipping it. It definitely can be sneaky though, so watch out!

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 02:02:30 | More by irishking1977
Photo of mugglesandhops


3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 poured into snifter. Poured a dark red/brown little head. Decent head with swirl of the glass. Smell is booze, pineapple, maybe a little spices like cinnamon. Taste as is smells. More booze in the taste than the smell though. Fairly thick as it warms. Fairly strong alcohol so this is a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 01:57:21 | More by mugglesandhops
Photo of alcstradamus


3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A--Pours brown in color with a finger of head in my 16 oz. snifter. Only spotty lacing left behind.

S--Raisins, citrus/floral hops, caramel

T--Mostly raisins and caramel, wood, a bit of alcohol. Complex but not overly bold

M--Medium bodied, but too thin and highly carbonated to really impress

D--Solid beer with a nice complex flavor profile, but the mouthfeel drags it down a bit and keeps it from being great

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 00:33:05 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of mwilbur


4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008. Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a very dark and cloudy orange-red with 1 inch light tan head. Good retention and lacing. Very nice.
S: Strong alcohol and dark fruit notes. Caramel malt with a hint of wood and whiskey.
T: Caramel malt, raisin, hint of yeast, and-yes- alcohol.
M: Very smooth and warming. Lingers and matures nicely. Definitely a surprise strong-point to this beer.
D: The high ABV certainly holds this back here from anything higher than a 4 for me. However, the alcohol is by no means a distraction to this brew. A wonderful sipper.

Cellared the 2008 and trying it again today...
A: Pours a dark, murky brown with barely any head into a snifter. (4)
S: Still a strong smell of alcohol from a foot away. Closer in, heavy caramel and sweet raisiny malt waft to the surface. (4)
T: Wow has this one mellowed and smoothed the edges! Soft alcohol notes mix with caramel malt, dark dried fruit, and hints of sweet bourbon. (4.5)
M: Heavy and smooth with some sticky sweetness. Mild alcohol burn and slight oily feel too. Still lingers on the palate nicely though not quite as long as before. (4)
D: Definitely aged well, though I'm not sure I'd push it much further. Scores pretty similar to 3 years ago. Still a solid brew and a warming sipper. (4)

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2009 03:47:32 | More by mwilbur
Photo of NewGeneric


4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed the 2008 vintage after work the other night. Poured a murky reddish brown with almost no head and no lacing. Smelled like sherry. Tasted of sherry, caramel malts, and alcohol with a nice roasty finish. Smooth, but slightly overcarbonated for my tastes and little oily. Definitely not a session beer, but it goes down easily.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2009 22:09:22 | More by NewGeneric
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like honey. A deep, heavy syrupy amber colour, with a minimal head of off-white foam. Hell, this is one full-bodied, thick beer. Retention is minimal, but that's not unexpected. Can't believe how heavy it looks.

Lots of roasted characters, mixed with a nutty sweetness, and plenty of booze. Certainly notes of port, oak, a little pepper and lots of heavy, sugary liqueur. Very nice indeed, and incredibly heavy, again.

Thick, chewy and syrupy in the mouth. I'm unsurprised that the first thing I note about the beer is its texture. The flavour is full of rich boozy notes, spirits, port, but with a pleasant roasted character, and a light phenolic afterpalate that helps to clean out the residual alcohol fumes. Phew. Unsurprisingly, the 12.5% ABV is felt in force. Mouthfeel is truly wonderful, with a heavy, syrupy feel mixed in with a light tingle from some hidden carbonation and the alcohol itself.

Heavy as hell. I was surprised I didn't need to consume this with a knife and fork. This was only a small bottle, but I had trouble finishing it alone. Share, share, share, and give some friends a unique beer experience.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 01:45:30 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of albern


3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer I sampled was a 2008 release. It pours a syrupy thick cloudy mahogany amber color with not much head. This is a full bodied beer just by watching this pour into the glass. The nose is boozy, floral, liqueur smelling, very sweet, raisiny, with tons of sweet brown sugared malts.

The taste isn't too far from the nose. This beer is really boozy, and for me it is relegated to the "sipper" category. This is a thick beer, with a bit of a throaty burn. There are tons of sweet brown sugared malts, raisins, heavy fruits, and liqueur like soaked pineapple or other such fruit. This beer is just too strong, too boozy, and too syrupy for my tastes. It is an extreme beer for sure.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 01:10:03 | More by albern
Photo of Soneast


4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 release. Pours a dark amber color, with a half inch, cream colored head that recedes to a bubbly ring. Drank at cellar temp ~58°F.

A rich sherry-like aroma. Heavy malt character assaults the senses, along with brown sugars and burnt caramels, as well as an ever present alcohol aroma.

The flavors consist of rich malt character, brown sugar and some dark fruits. Rich and complex, amazing warmth from the alcohol as well as the light bite towards the finish to give you a hint of the 12.5% ABV but not overwhelming by any means.

Thick on the tongue and sugary on the lips, and just a hint of carbonation, to really detract from the syrupy body. Despite drinking this at a respectable temp, I still found it to improve overall as it warmed to near room temperature. It just really smooths out and loses that "bite," the flavors meld perfectly. Yeah, I can't drink more than one, but hey this is a sipper and there is nothing wrong with that.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 03:57:13 | More by Soneast
Photo of BARFLYB


4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz 2008 bottle into a 12oz snifter.

A- Old Stock Ale pours a old ale reddish brown color. With a slightly hard pour no head came up just some popping bubbles. A few swirls managed to produce some small white bubbles. No lacing, pretty much what I expected.

S- Right out of the bottle this pretty much smells like alcohol and malts. As this opens up the alcohol remains but a bunch of dark fruit and caramel come out. Some traces of sherry and sugars are there too. A very nice rich smelling beer.

T- As with the smell this was pretty standard cold but blew me away when it came to. Loads of rich sweet malts with caramel. Not much hops as they faded but a good sense. The alcohol which usually distracts me from the beer works well in this. Dark fruit like plums plus figs and raisins. Some hard alcohol like tastes, this one is great.

M- Well above medium bodied with pretty low carbonation but there is some there. This one is sweet but boozy and still a bit hot after only a year. On par with the english old ales in which I believe this was inspired by.

D- 12.5%, that is alot, and it is noted in the taste. While the ABV is high this is very drinkable although it needs to be sipped and one is plenty although I kind of want to crack another one right now.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2009 04:57:38 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of kels


4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up some '07 off a tip from my brother pwoods the other day. Enjoyed in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a lovely rusty red with some golden highlights. A skim of white head fizzles out quickly, and retains like an oily slick at the surface of the beer. Little specks of lacing hang around. The liquid is slightly hazy and no visible carbonation exists within.

Smell: The aroma is still very big for a 2 year old beer. It is full of caramel, honey, and syrupy/chewy fruits like raisins and prunes and apricots. The smell is very sweet, and tones of the alcohol creep out with it.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Feel is full and smooth and very slick. There's a definitely stickiness to it that is especially present in the aftertaste. Alcohol is big, but not overwhelming or sharp thanks to the aging. Don't get me wrong - it's still big. Lots of sweet candied fruits come through, slight yeasty presence and a lot of caramelly, chewy malts. A hint of spiciness is present, especially in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Not too bad. This style is certainly meant to be big and typically hot, so I'm pretty impressed by its smoothness and flavor.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2009 13:33:56 | More by kels
Photo of WYVYRN527


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

2008 release, poured from a 12 oz. bottle...

The beer pours a deep mahogany with a thin head that settles very quickly. Carbonation is subtle but present. The aromas from this brew resemble rasins, caramel, figs, and molasses. Flavors are a blitzkrieg on the palate. Fruity, and very sweet, with hints of dried fruits and spices. Hops are slight, just on the finish. This beer needs some time to develop. It also shows more as it warms. The mouthfeel is viscous, and it coats the tongue. For it's strength, the brew is very drinkable. I would like to taste it again after two or three years of age.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 05:14:29 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of cnally


3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage. killa!

deep brown coloring, very hazy and not even close to clear. a one finger head of tan color fades quick and has trouble sticking to the glass.

big caramel malt scent, the alcohol is right up those nostrils. gonna be a sipper!

the caramel just takes over the flavor initially. this sort of takes a slightly brandy-style flavoring, with a sweet woodsy quality, but the alcohol absolutely saturates the flavor on the back end.

good full mouthfeel. very good. lower carbonation and slightly sticky.

I don't think you could have too much of this one. it is not bad. but it is heady.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 03:03:05 | More by cnally
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 01:57:45 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of beachbum1975


4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Newtonty was kind enough to give me one of his 4-pack - thanks, G-ROD! You're rad.

2009 Vintage 12 ounce brown bottle - no freshness date.

Some beers will be good, just by looking at them. This is one of them... Pours a cloudy, ruddy brown with a surprisingly big 1 ½ thick, thank head. After a few minutes this, thick looking beers' head subsides leaving a small skimming of goodness on the top. No lacing seen.

Smells like a complex mix of malt goodness. Some mustiness, caramel and brown sugar...

Much like the nose, super sweet, complex malt-bomb. Hints of brown sugar, caramel and sweet figs. Mouthfeel is thick and coating. Average carbonation on the mouthfeel. This is quite nice. I thought it would be hot with alcohol, but the sweetness was so large, it hid it. I can see why people would want to age these!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 22:02:25 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of McKibben25


3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Drank Old Stock Ale last night for the first time. Smelled delicious and poured a beautiful red mohagony color. Had a nice off white head that was thick and hung around. The beer itself was a little too sweet for me. I love dark beers and I though the Malts that were used, which tasted like chocolate, coffee, and smoked malts to me were a bit over powering. It was thick and heavy and I had a tough time drinking the four pack. A descent beer but not one I'll purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 13:18:51 | More by McKibben25
Photo of brow1901


3.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours a dark red. It's really red but more of marron I suppose. Bone white head disappears fast and leaves no lacing.

S- Nothing to exicting, the malts stand out. No hop profile what so ever. Faint alcohol scent.

T- Too sweet, some alcohol flavors that come with don't meld perfectly. I was looking for something more exciting. Caramel malts are all I got.

M- Smooth, good balance of light and mild mouthfeel. Not a dry finish but decent. Leaves a funky aftertaste though.

D- Pretty undrinkable in my opinion. I really dislike the aftertaste, alcohol burn. The 11% is a bit too heavy also. Worthy of a try but not a favorite, I might put the other two down for a while, see what the turn into.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 03:36:31 | More by brow1901
Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,420 ratings.