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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.

2,492 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,492
Reviews: 1,358
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 126
Gots: 407 | 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: 2,492 | Reviews: 1,358 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.3/5  rDev +4.4%

2009 bottle, poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark, hazed ruby brown color with a light tan head that quickly fades to a ring with a steady stream of small carbonation bubbles. Caramel malty aroma, very sweet, some dark fruit, mild alcohol, brown sugar. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, high carbonated. Taste is very sweet, caramel malt and brown sugar dominate. Ripe fruit, creamy, light coffee and chocolate flavors. Alcohol is warming, but doesn't burn, overall flavor is very similar to a brandy. Amazingly drinkable.

10-08-2009 00:36:48 | More by yourefragile
Photo of brownbeer


3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

2008 vintage

A- pours a tawny amber with a thin tan head.

S- Candi sugar, red delicious, maple, brown sugar. Very malt driven.

T- Rich and sweet. Caramel, raisin, apple, a bit of residual sugar.

M- Viscous with low carbonation and a little light on the body.

D- A good winter nightcap. I don't think this quite holds up to some of the great old ales. But I will revisit this in about three years.

10-06-2009 22:17:11 | More by brownbeer
Photo of blaheath


4.53/5  rDev +10%

08 Vintage

Dark amber in color, light carbonation with aromas of dark roasted/nutty malt, plums, raisins, and earth. Taste is med/full bodied, oily/syrupy, mineral, wood, apple, raisins, dates, burnt sugar, maple, slight oxidation, toffee, and a long, sweet finish. Recommended.

10-06-2009 03:14:41 | More by blaheath
Photo of wesbrownyeah


4.08/5  rDev -1%

North Coast Brewing Co. Old Stock Ale 2009 11.5% alcohol content. Brown bottle with cream colored label Old Stock ale in red backed with 2009.

A- Pours a deep amber fluid that prevents most light from passing through it. Mild to none head very light lacing. Expected with such high alcohol.

S- Big head banging fumes of alcohol sear the nose, also massive malt backbone. ( Mostly caramel scents with vanilla and lightly wood-like character)

T-M- Whoa... let this one warm up a tad before consuming. After a temp of about 50-55 degrees
is reached... I begin. Very strong caramel and chocolate malty alcohol taste. This is followed by a smooth and fresh oak finish. Full bodied flavor and feel with a toasty alcohol warmth. Almost bourbon like.

D- All and all great for the style and good on a strong ale occation. Will get for others to try.

10-02-2009 00:15:30 | More by wesbrownyeah
Photo of unclejimbay


4.72/5  rDev +14.6%

Old Stock Ale
North Coast Brewing Co.
Style: Old Ale
ABV: 12.50 %, @ E Street, bottle>pint glass

Deep copper in color, creamy tan head that reduced to nice cap & collar.
Mild in aroma, smells a wee bit boozy if anything at all.
Taste was DEE-LISH! Sweet deep roasty/fruity malts on an oak presentation. Complex, with some hops rounding out the sweetness.
Mouthfeel is semi warming and boozy, with a medium full body. Noticeable alcohol without being over done, lower carbonation to help the complexities shine, a big beer that keeps your pace in check!

This was a very impressive brew and very sneaky @ 12.5% abv! It balances the high abv very well, but is compex and bold enough to pace you accordingly, pace yourself on this well made big brew. Nice work NCBC!

09-25-2009 19:04:16 | More by unclejimbay
Photo of kurp001


4.22/5  rDev +2.4%

Pours a rich mahogany that seems near black away from light, the thin head recedes quickly and leaves minimal lacing behind.

Smell is dark fruits and toasty vanilla, with a touch of caramel malts.

The taste is very rich and full; caramel comes through a bit more here, also a touch of chocolate upfront and raisin hints on the finish. Vanilla is still a significant presence in the background. There is a distinct boozy feel to the finish that becomes more apparent as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel features lively but not excessive carbonation; the beer is full-bodied and almost sticky, but not unpleasantly so.

This is absolutely a sipping beer, but for the ABV I'd say it's quite drinkable. A very complex and enjoyable beer, overall.

09-25-2009 14:40:49 | More by kurp001
Photo of waltonc


4.3/5  rDev +4.4%

This is one of those beers I think would get higher scores if it were rarer. Just a delicious, high-quality, flawlessly crafted beverage in every respect. Pours a hazy orange/ruby shade with tan head. Smells and tastes of sweet caramel, brown sugar, malted barley, subtle cherries, apples. This is a sugar bomb, very little hops. Body is on the thicker side with medium/high carbonation. At 12.5% ABV and high sugar, one bottle is enough at a time, but a fantastic brew. Brings back fond memories of driving up to the brewery with JoeySchlitz last November and dining at their brewpub.

09-24-2009 03:05:30 | More by waltonc
Photo of nickd717


4.28/5  rDev +3.9%

2005 vintage on tap at Monk's Kettle in SF. Awesome!

A - Murky dark brown color with a medium, lasting beige head and good lacing.

S - Dark fruits, caramel malt, oak, spices, aged resinous hops, and a little alcohol.

T - Intense and well-balanced with dark fruits - raisin and date stand out - as well as caramel, toffee, vanilla, spices, some hops and well-hidden alcohol.

M - Palate is smooth, full, and creamy with soft carbonation.

D - High for the ABV and style. Paired amazingly well with a creamy tomato soup.

09-23-2009 22:15:58 | More by nickd717
Photo of McDiddyPop


4.45/5  rDev +8%

Enjoyed my first Old Stock Ale finally. 2008 vintage, poured into a pint glass.

Old Stock pours a deep ruby red that shines a bright copper color when held to the light. Perfect clarity with scattered bubbles floating to the top. The thin fizzy head receded quickly and left no lacing to speak of.

The aromas I got from this beer were incredible, only gaining more depth and complexity as I let it warm. It started off with a dry sweet grainy scent- much like a rich pumpernickle rye. The alcohol shows slightly with a mentholated quality. As I kept smelling, I got some rich caramel and toffee that ultimately gained a maple syrup aroma. Awesome.

The taste was almost as complex as the aroma. Malty and delicious. Sweet rich toffee and caramel with a slight alcohol warmth at the back of my throat. For 12.5% the alcohol is barely noticeable, and really starts to show up halfway through the glass as a warming feeling in my stomach.

The mouthfeel seemed a bit thinner than I would expect given the complexity and the strength, but the moderate carbonation level helped bring everything together without getting too heavy on the palate.

Drinkability is extremely high given the ABV but the alcohol still does limit the experience somewhat. The many facets this beer presents make for an enjoyable experience. I can't wait for winter so I can enjoy one of these in front of a fire on a cold night.

09-23-2009 14:27:25 | More by McDiddyPop
Photo of Brenden


4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

The color of this brew is a sort of reddish brown. The head pours well, dissipating none to slowly but not too quickly either. There's a foam left behind that leaves just a trace of some thin lacing around.
The aroma is alcoholic right up front, pretty sweet with some fruit and a bold malt.
There's a metallic sweetness straight up in the flavor, and the caramel malt provides a firm backbone. Perhaps black currants are here, raisin or plum as well, and alcohol sits on the palate all the way. Hops lie underneath, not to be squelched by the other elements but playing its role. Interestingly, it doesn't detract from the experience and is quite complimentary. This one's very interesting in how the flavor shifts in every sip, alternating between fruits and caramel and grains and back again, the alcohol there the entire way.
Thick and robust, this one's got a pretty big body. While smooth, there's also a bite of crispness and the finish is dry, lingering with some hops and malt playing together under an ever-present alcoholic note.
I find the old ale to be an intriguing style, and this one's just a nice brew. That 12.5% really does the job.

09-23-2009 02:53:35 | More by Brenden
Photo of Evil_Pidde


4.53/5  rDev +10%

A: This beer pours dark brown with lots of "redness". The head that dissipates rather quickly is medium large, off-white and leaves some lacings.

S: Heavy roasted sweet malt, that holds both chocolate and fudge notes. Very complex. Hint of cherry.

T: Heavy roasted sweet malt, that holds dark fruity notes. There is of course alcohol in the taste - but not to much. A nice floral hoppy twist brings citric notes. Very complex.

M: The aftertaste is so long, mostly sweet but some dryness/bitterness is also present - very well balanced. The body is full and the carbonation is light.

D: The only thing I can come up with that isn't great about this beer is the alcohol - you can't manage to drink as much of this one as you would like to. One of the best american beers I've ever had!!!

09-18-2009 23:16:45 | More by Evil_Pidde
Photo of webmanspidey


3.43/5  rDev -16.7%

2009 bottle. Poured into a chalice with a mild translucent brown color.. pretty fizzy with a quickly dissipating head. Smell is sweet and nutty, hints of pecans, caramel, and fudge. Taste is very sweet with a huge alcohol burn up front.. behind the burn are some raisins, dark fruit, and nuts. Mouthfeel is fairly light and fizzy. Alcohol is very prevalent here and it hurts the drinkability.. I'm going to have to take my time with this one.

09-12-2009 04:07:20 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of burnstar


4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a dark murky brown with a smallish off-white head. Smell is sweet caramel, raisins, dark fruit and a hint of alcohol. Taste has a background sweetness. Raisins and dark fruit again. Chocolate. Light bitterness and some herbal notes in the finish. Very tasty. Strong and boozy. Medium to full bodied with a dry finish. This is definitely a sipper. Overall a very pleasant and pretty extreme malt bomb.

09-12-2009 00:21:24 | More by burnstar
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -8.3%

***This was done at a promo event where Old Stock 2007 was on tap***

Poured into an American pint glass.

A: Nice amber appearance with a thick white head that laced well.

S: Sweet/tart blend of sour cherry, rhubarb, vanilla, and brown sugar. Fairly impressive.

T: The sweetness was a tad on the thick side, but overall fairly well balanced with all of the flavors from the nose well-evident.

M: Thick-bodied beer, but has a creamy texture that smooths it out.

D: Nice to sip post-meal, but I don't think that it's possible to slug down more than one or two of these during a session.

09-10-2009 21:57:46 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.38/5  rDev -18%

12 oz bottle poured into a Founder's Kentucky Bfast glass. 11.7% ABV. No date other than Vintage 2007.
Thanks to Sweemzander for this beer!

A - Murky brown amber that looks like bad pond water. At the bottom a noticeable steady stream of carbonation rises through the highlights. Little head rises up with a fizz and settles to a ring of light tan foam.

S - Boozy mango, pineapple, raisin, and raspberry fruity sweetness like jam on the buttered toast aroma. Very malty sweet notes in the background. A light kiss of hops is overwhelmed by the booze on the nose. Spicy black pepper from the alcohol on the nose but not outrageous.

T - A subdued sweet malt backbone is instantly washed away by damn-near hot solvent-like alcohol. When you get past the initial burn, the fruity notes begin to emerge with a zing. There sure are some good nuances to this beer but you'll need to dig past the boozy flavor to find them.

M - A spritzy carbonation level dances on the tongue while the hot alcohol and spice certainly makes it zippy with a warm finish. Medium-full bodied and almost syrupy, it's definitely a drink-and-a-half.

D - I have absolutely nothing against high alcohol beer but when the booze is the more prominent factor and overwhelmed good parts of he beer, then I have a problem. This is the case with this beer. Vintage 2007 and it's still this boozy? Wow. It has a lot of good things going on but it's sad they are majorly overshadowed by a boozy burn that's hard to get passed. At least as it warmed it began to really let go of the booze to let the nuances pull out further.

09-08-2009 00:09:52 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of SamN


2.8/5  rDev -32%

12 oz 2009 bottle purchased from Wilbur's, once again. Poured into a tulip glass. I'm thinking this might be far too early to open, but I want to get a baseline for future cellarings.

Pours a clear cherry color with a soda-like fizz of carbonation for head, no retention. Very pretty, lighter than I was expecting.

Smell is of oak brandy, smokey alcohol, leather, old fruits, some light maltyness. Lots to smell, the powerful alcohol nose makes it hard to really smell what's in here, but what I can is very complex and rich.

I don't know what the deal is here, but I can barely taste anything except for the booziness that burns my tongue after swallowing. Honestly, I can't very much at all; malt, a creamy wood taste, like an old brandy. Bummer, I can't tell if it's me or this bottle.

Mouthfeel is a full body with some carbonation. Leaves your mouth with a sticky sweetness. Definitely on point there.

Due to a lack of real taste and an overpowering alcohol presence, this beer is bound to take a while to finish. Maybe I'll pick up some flavors yet.

09-07-2009 23:41:48 | More by SamN
Photo of LordAdmNelson


4.33/5  rDev +5.1%

2007 Vintage

A- A dark molasses-brown with ruby highlights. Smallish head, but high ABV so that's understandable.

S- Big molasses, caramel, vinous notes with some dark fruit. Smells delicious.

T- Follows the nose nicely. This one's a malt bomb, no doubt. Big molasses sweetness followed by some rum and caramel notes. A bit of hops to give it a citrus kick. Plum and raisin flavors in there too. Tasty.

M- A bit thick, coating, smooth. Nice stuff.

D- Pretty high considering the ABV. Delicious stuff that's worth seeking out.

09-07-2009 17:44:20 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of cavedave

New York

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%

2008 vintage

It pours a thick and cloudy, nearly opaque brown with a rapidly disappearing, thin, dark beige head. It looks to be alive.

The aroma is a heavy bouquet of caramel, molasses, alcohol, with lighter notes of citrus,dark fruits, and an even lighter herbosity.

Wow, this brew has a massive, immediate shock of flavor that begins with alcohol and molasses, into graininess, that morphs into less intense dark fruit flavors, to finally finish in a flourish of alcohol, burnt sugar, bitter herbosity, and alcohol. I am afraid to light a match near my mouth. If this description sounds less than delicious, let me clarify that this is extremely delicious, complex on the dark side, and a wonderful brew. As it warms the flavors grow more defined, notes of oak sneak in, and the alcohol becomes less prominent a part of the profile (the opposite of expectations).

In the mouth this brew is full bodied to say the least, but has tasteful carbonation to help keep it light ( but not too much carb.) just right for this style, is very viscous, clings well, promotes a long finish, and showcases the flavors well. The flavors preserved in the mouth between sips are excellent.

It seems ridiculous to rate drinkability of an old ale carrying 12.5 ABV, but compared to other old ales I would rate this as avg. I could sip another of these without trouble, but everything I'd try to do after that would be trouble.

09-03-2009 21:13:37 | More by cavedave
Photo of Kemmerlin


3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

A: Coke brown with an interesting head it poured like coke and the head fizzled and disappeared like coke and the carbonation kept on highly bubbling.
S: has a stale bread and vanilla oak aroma. I do not know much about this beer but it seems to me as though it was aged in oak barrels for quite sometime.
T: highly alcoholic in flavor with the oak vanilla pushin through and syrupy malts yielding a powerful sweet taste.
M/D: slightly bitter and sour with a dry feel after a couple o minutes. The drinkability is decent as a sipper but not the best old ale I've had by far.

08-31-2009 04:14:33 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of kiddynamite920


4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

2009 Vintage 12 oz bottle poured into a small Chimay goblet.

A: A nice deep ruby, visible carbonation. Carbonation was rich on the pour but died down quickly, maybe due to room temperature serving. Small ring left around the edges. Nice color.

S: Boozy raisin smell, some chocolate and sweet malts come through. Hops are still present. Very sweet with some caramel and molasses and even oak notes.

T: Very sweet and with luscious dark fruit character. I get raisins again and a slick caramel flavor. Hops are still present on the palate as well. Glad I tried this one fresh before I age some more.

M: Very viscous, nice and smooth. Quite nice.

D: One and done, nice to have while watching a movie but certainly not a beer you would bring for a night out.

08-31-2009 03:25:58 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of BigMike


3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

2009 Edition

Listed at 11.5% abv. on the label as opposed to 12.5% on the site.

Pours a gorgeous mahogany, ruby red chestnut color. Two finger head disappears in a few seconds.

Lots of nuts and caramel on the nose. Molasses and almonds. Smokey oak aroma too.

Flavor is rich and creamy. A nuttiness dominated the flavor. Caramel, and smoked wood. Cedar. Almonds, molasses. Dried pears and apricots.

Heavy thick and rich mouthfeel. Decent carbonation.
As this warms up the flavor profile remains the same however the flavors are intesified.

Very drinkable as far as having one. After that its a bit too much.

08-31-2009 00:09:10 | More by BigMike
Photo of PatronWizard


4.03/5  rDev -2.2%

Birthday 4-pack from my lovely wife! Whatta woman!

Pours a deep shade of caramel (really dark) with a big fat head of creamy off-white bubbles. Looks great.

Smell is good but rather one dimensional. Got the whole caramel toffee bready biscuit thing going on. Don't know if I actually smell the booze, but my eyes tend to dry a little as I stick my sniffer over the glass.

I docked the smell score a little for being one dimensional but the taste is one dimensionally awesome. Taste like caramel infused with straight liquor baby. Bottle says 11.5%, Daddy says thank you North Coast! Can almost taste some of the bready characteristics but mostly caramel booze. I like. I like a lot. This is a beer for men.

Light on the carbonation, very full bodied, almost have to chew it, syrupy. I need more. I just love a beer that fights back.

Overall: great friggin beer people

08-29-2009 19:23:36 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of dvb


2.58/5  rDev -37.4%

A - Great reddish-brown color. Not much of a head on it. Less than a finger.

S - Very boozy and sweet smelling.

T - Like a Belgian triple with Jack Daniels added to it.

M - Almost syrupy.

D - This one is not for me. I got through it pretty quickly, but only because it was my first of the evening. It's not terrible, but the booziness is just too much. I would not buy it again.

08-29-2009 07:13:02 | More by dvb
Photo of flagmantho


3.8/5  rDev -7.8%

2009 vintage, 11.5% ABV. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: deep copper, slightly opaque with evident carbonation. Had about 1 finger of head which dissipated rapidly.

Smell: malt, caramel, nut and earth aromas. Quite complex and reminds me of a nut brown ale.

Taste: the alcohol is pretty big in this one. Nutty and a little bit estery; bitter at the front (this may be exacerbated by the alcohol) but with little hop flavor. Good flavor, but you really gotta be prepared for the booziness.

Mouthfeel: a thick tongue-coating syrup which stays the course; naturally, this means the alcohol sticks around. Just a few sips in and I'm sure I'd fail a breathalyzer test.

Drinkability: it's tasty, but it really packs a wallop. A good sipper, but twelve ounces is certainly all *I* need.

08-28-2009 01:58:04 | More by flagmantho
Photo of stoutfiend27

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -7.8%

2009 12oz bottle poured into my brooklyn snifter

a-beautiful ruby color with a nice off tan rocky head that lived a short life

s-some malt, maple syrup, sweet

t-toffee, maple syrup, some fruity esters, sweet malt and alcohol

m-thick and chewey, oily but not as viscous as i would have thought

d-alcohol kills this one..more than a couple and i could end up a mess in the morning...one maybe two on a cold weekend night...

overall i was a little taken back by this ...the 2008 i had def had more character...maybe this one is good ...but it needs some time in the cellar imo

08-28-2009 01:15:01 | More by stoutfiend27
Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,492 ratings.