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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.

2,437 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,437
Reviews: 1,354
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 126
Gots: 396 | 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: 2,437 | Reviews: 1,354 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of youngblood


4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a 2004 vintage.
A - Pours a leathery brown with weathered amber on the outer regions. Light brown head perches atop the brew. Head remains steady for most of the beer leaving heavy lace.
S - Loads of bread/biscuit coming from this. Strong undercurrent of raisins, figs, and dates. Some leather and tobacco hidden in there also. Beauty of a sniffer.
T - This might have the most complex, rich flavor of any beer I've ever had. Strong malt sweetness resulting in a doughy flavor. Alcohol provides estery sweetness, traces of raisin and tobacco. Bit of plum and tannin swirling around.
M - Strong thick mouthfeel, slightly sticky. Leaves the mouth satisfied and smiling.
D - This is a sipper because of all the flavors, but that doesn't mean its hard to drink my any means.

This is a beer to have with serious thinking. The complexity of this beer easily stands up to any Barleywine or any other old ale that I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 14:36:58 | More by youngblood
Photo of bamadog


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

This particular bottle is from 2008 and lists the ABV at 12.5%. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a trusty pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a nice deep carmelly brown with hints of amber coming through when held up to light. A very small head of about 1/2 finger was present for about a total of 15 seconds and it faded to an uneven skim floating at the top. It appears fairly cloudy and just looks thick and chewy. Not much lacing to speak of - it doesn't seem to want to hold to glass and slides down to rejoin the body of the beer with a slick oily residue.

Smell: As I sat here typing my notes about the appearance, without even putting my nose to the glass I could just smell carmelly and burnt sugar notes from the amount of malts present. when I put my nose to the rim of the pint glass, I am overwhelmed by the malts as mentioned, but there is definitely a presence of alcohol. I'm curious about the taste -- will the alcohol be masked at all or will it be overly present?

Taste: My first few tastes are amazing, yet confusing as well. The first flavor that I pick up on is actually a metallic, copper like flavor that lingers for a few brief seconds, but then the sweet carmelly/burnt sugar maltiness becomes present... Following that flavor I get subtle hints of sweet dark fruits (perhaps raisins -- yep, I'm almost positive that I taste raisins). Lastly, I get a firm presence of alcohol, but my question about the masking has been answered - very well balanced and a nice presence that doesn't dominate. Wow. The taste is very interesting and the flavors seem to take their turns as listed in the above order. I really thought the alcohol would dominate the aftertaste but it doesn't, it's more the burnt sugar. I'm very impressed.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation is certainly present and I didn't really expect quite this much, so there's a nice prickling on the tongue. The thickness is right, it's a chewy ale and it coats very nicely. Once the coating begins to fade there is a nice drying to it.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipping style ale with such a high ABV, but the taste is amazing so I wouldn't mind trying to get down a couple in a night/sitting. Not much more than that though as I would be thoroughly intoxicated if that were the case. I really can't get over how well the alcohol is masked in the overall flavor of the beer. Thoroughly impressed.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 02:53:40 | More by bamadog
Photo of nickynick


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

North Coast Old Stock Ale poured a cloudy ruby/caramel olor with a nice tan head. The smell was of chocolate and caramel. The taste was super sweet caramel with hints of alcohol and hops. Mouthfeel was just a little to thick for my liking. Drinkability is tough with a ale like this, while the high alcohol makes it sipper, it does go down well. Overall a nice sipping beer, probably would be great with an after dinner cigar.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 22:49:04 | More by nickynick
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The only thing bad about this beer that I can say is that the carbonation is very low and there is no retention.

Smell is of dark fruits such as plums and cooking sherry.

Taste is nicely balanced with fruity esters and a nice malt balance.

This beer has a slight astringency too it, but maintains a full mouthfeel.

This is sort of an old ale/barleywine. Lots of dark fruits in here make for an interesting brew. Not overly boozy and out of whack. Really nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 04:53:24 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of BarrelO


4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a goblet. 2008 vintage.

A: Dark brownish red with a head that quickly fades and leaves little lacing.

S: Dark fruits, caramel, solventy alcohol, a bit of rye bread.

T: More dark fruits, cherries, bourbon, molasses. A good amount of alcohol heat.

M: Plenty syrupy with just enough carbonation.

D: North Coast can do no wrong in my book. Just a bit too boozy, but slow sippers don't get much better than this.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 03:50:12 | More by BarrelO
Photo of dukew456


4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip, vintage 08.

A - Very attractive light brown to amber body with a nice two-finger off white head. Head dissipates rather quickly, but that is to be expected with such a high ABV. Decent lacing.

S - Fruity/bourbon-like up front, with plenty of malt-fueled sweetness. Alcoholic smells take the background and blend very well with rich, toffee-like aromas.

T - Dark fruit and fig characteristics meet up with an oakey, leathery flavor up front that is pretty much the quintessence of what an old ale should be. Slight alcoholic warming and a molasses finish round this beer out. Very tasty.

M&D - The modest carbonation helps to purvey the rich flavors of this beer and lends a silkiness that is very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 06:32:39 | More by dukew456
Photo of GClarkage


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

03/25/09- Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA.

Vinatge 2008, 12.5% abv.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, 12.5% abv. Poured into my Old Stock glass.

Appearance- Nice congac hued color (light caramel color with an orange tint). About a 1/4 inch head upon pour. Leaves some light spotty lace and a few short lived streaks. Perfectly fine for a high abv brew.

Smell- Roasted sweet caramel. A good amount of alcohol. Pretty deep malt, some burnt sugar. Maybe a dried date scent. A bit more outgoing this would be phenomonal.

Taste- First thing that comes to mind is a bit watery, After that the caramel malts come in, then the light alcohol burn. Malt is heavily roasted with a decent and suprising hoppy bitterness. Some dark fruit flavors, but a bit more alcohol flavor than needed.

Mouthfeel- Too carbonated for an old ale. Also a bit watery as stated above. Where is this hoppy aftertaste coming from? Old Stock and hops?

Drinkability- Still a good job and flavorful. I've had many Old Stocks through the years and am finally going to do a vertical from 2003 to present and rate them. I have had many bottles better than this one, and this one is fairly good. Will update as I do the years and will be complete by Sunday I am hoping. Looking for an average of 4.3 or so if the bottles held up.


Vintage 2007, 11.7%

Appearance- Better head retention, fairly thick rim remains for the entire consumption of beer. Lacing is also a bit more. Possibly a bit darker in color.

Smell- Relatively similar. Has a slight odd chlorine scent to it. Otherwise very aeromatic. Lots of dark malts and some dark fruits. Alcohol is here as well.

Taste- Very malty, lots of caramel. Alcohol is a bit more hidden. Fairly bready and more of an intesne flavor than the '08. Hops are much less detectable than the '08.

Mouthfeel- Much more smoother, though still a bit more carbonation than desired. Slightly creamy and a bit thicker than the '08. Has a slightly odd aftertaste when waiting a minute bewteen sips.

Drinkability- Already much better than the '08. As long as the rest of them taste this good, I'll be happy. A bit smoother would make for a top notch old ale though.


Vintage 2006, 13.25% version.

Appearance- Leaning towards the '08 version. Larger bubbled quick receeding head, lighter lace markings and a nice brandy-cognac looking color.

Smell- Quite different in the nose. Still has the dark fruits with much more alcohol and a medicinal-plastic nose...phenols? Stong nose, but not as nice of a scent as the other years.

Taste- Fuller flavor for sure. Lots of super roasted caramel. Much more alcohol burn in the flavor. Hops are back, but not as much as in the '08. Probably more raisin flavor among the dark fruits detected.

Mouthfeel- Higher carbonation is back. Alcohol literally leaves a light tongue burn. Alcohol is detectable in the aftertaste as well. As is a nice hoppy bitterness.

Drinkability- I wish I had purchased the second running version with a lower abv level to compare. Stronger, a bit more flavor, but a bit weird in the nose and brisk in the mouthfeel. So far '07 is the winner. I do like it a bit better than the '08 though.


Vintage 2005, 11.4% abv

Appearance- No major differences. The color seems a bit more hued towards a ruby red rather than a brown caramel tint. Nice light ring of haed throughout the beer. Some light lace sheeting.

Smell- Pretty much roasted caramel and some alcohol soaked furits. Odd that when the beer was first opened it bursted with aroma. I could smell it from several feet away. After about 5 minutes I really had to sink my nose into the glass to get a scent. Some definite leather notes as well. Would probably pair very well with some pipe tobacco.

Taste- The most flavorful per abv level one so far. Nothing flavor really takes over one another. Some nice deep roasted caramel, a touch of hoppy goodness, some dried fig, date and grape notes. A bit of an earthy leathery flavor.

Mouthfeel- The smoothest of them all so far. Flavor lasts a bit after the swallow. Caramel burnt malt aftertaste with the slightest of alcohol burn and slight hop bite. Carbonation is near perfect level. Just a touch too high.

Drinkability- Probably tied with the '07 for my favorite. You can tell it has aged nicely and probably will continue to do so. Going to raise the mouthfeel and drinkability a notch. I will need an outstanding one in the next two to raise the taste a notch.


Vintage 2004, 11.4% abv.

Only can type limited words due to length. Basically it's all alcohol in this year. Hops held up good, but still my least liked tied with the '08.

Vintage 2003, 11.4% abv.

Appears this one is just as good as the '05 and '07. Very nice roasted caramel taste and lower on the abv spectrum. Pretty smooth as well. Call it a three way tie.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 03:52:47 | More by GClarkage
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage enjoyed 22/03/09.

Fig flesh with a glowing strawberry blush when held up to the light. Its colour is sensuous and delightful. The head is surprisingly broad and maintained given the high alcohol. I have a cat who will sit in front of the fireplace, entranced by the flicker of the flames; with this beer I am that cat. Endlessly I can stare, spellbound and marveling at the beauty of its lush colour.

This bouquet does ripe fruit and rich caramel like no other vintage English old ale or aged American barleywine I've ever come across; the Thomas Hardy's and J.W. Lees of the world could even stand to take a note or two from North Coast. Resiny, bitter hops impart a complex earthiness as well as notes of sticky pine serum. Dark, long boiled malts provide toasted bread and sugar-coated, port soaked dark fruits. It is magnificent.

The taste resembles the traditional English plum pudding - a rich, sweet, indulgent treat that combines raisins, figs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and brandy. Dark fruits abound, floral notes underlay and everything is succulently caramelized. It is exactly like the sugary, brandy glazed, candy fruit centered confectionery. I don't believe beers can be any richer.

This bottle has been aged for nearly three years already and it is still decadently, indulgently, mercifully rich; and yet, there is a certain tameness to it. The alcohol never strikes out of line, it is only ever warming at most. Peaty, toffee flavours mingle with the candied fruit. The flavours linger gracefully on the tongue, never astringent or obnoxiously strong. For all its strength and substance, the beer is never anything but graceful.

I will take vocal lessons just to sign this beer's praises. I've been fortunate enough to try both the brandy and bourbon barrel aged versions of Old Stock and however much those impressed me, this right here is impressing me even more. This is so peaty, so malty, so fruity, so spicy, so delicious and well rounded. How much of this comes with age is tough for me to say. How a beer can be so complex, so voluptuous is simply beyond me altogether.

If ever I came across a genie who would grant me three beer wishes, I could see asking for three different vintages of North Coast's Old Stock Ale. Granted, there are lots of good ways to spend those wishes, but asking for this beer times three would be as worthy a request as anything else. If ever I've consumed something rich and voluptuous, surely this is it.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2009 02:42:06 | More by biegaman
Photo of CHSLBrew


3.23/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

A-Mostly clear copper beer. Tan head rises nicely to a couple centimeters, then recedes quickly to sparse bubbles, then nothing.

S-Alcohol mixed with fruity esters, semi-sweet and toasty, hearty malts, and some slight hoppiness.

T-Toasty malts (maybe a hint of roast flavor?), very malty with a bit of earthiness, along with some perfumy hops flirting with a duo of light esters and alcohol. Bitterness is substantial. Alcohol seems a bit too harsh in the finish and after.

M-Very warming... duh. Medium-low carbonation, the slight tingle of the bubbles is subtle and appropriate. Body is full and thick.

D-Ok, but very heavy and perhaps a bit too harsh, boozy. Very complex and makes a nice slow-sipper. 2008 bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2009 20:19:06 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of latercol


4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 will be interesting to see how this matures...

Poured a hazy brownish red...very flat on the pour but the carbonation is in there hiding.

smell fruity and plummy very nice.

taste strong dark fruits with alcohol.

mouthfeel smooth can feel the carbonation.

A slow drinker for sure. will try another in a year or so:)

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2009 03:19:49 | More by latercol
Photo of zeff80


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

2007 Edition - sampled on St. Patrick's Day 2009

A - Poured out a cloudy, opaque, dark brown color with a reddish hue. It had a small, short-lived, off-white head that left no lace.

S - It smelled of brandy, fruitiness and sweet caramel malt.

T - It tasted very sweet and a little boozy. It had caramel and toffee flavors with a subtle chocolate taste.

M - It was soft, smooth and dry. A medium-bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This was very good but didn't live up to my hopes. I'd like to try a newer version to compare.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2009 02:16:46 | More by zeff80
Photo of Naugled

New York

3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: gorgeous brown red color, slight haze when poured, quick tan head, as it warms the clarity improves tremendously

S: molasses is the first thing I smell, fruit cake is next then malt and some biscuit.

T: sweet candied fruit flavor with good bitterness in the finish. molasses comes through with a bit of astringency and a little hotness, but appropriate. not very complex though for an old ale.

M: soft full feel, it doesn't look very carbonated but it's a it too much in the mouth. less would be more pleasant

D: very drinkable old ale

A good solid old ale that could be a good ager.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 00:08:32 | More by Naugled
Photo of davexisxrabid


3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my Sam Adams sensory glass. 2007 date on the bottle.

Cloudy gold/amber/bronze color with a half inch white head. Well carbonated, no lacing on the glass.

Aroma was very malty with a strong clove scent and a floral hop aroma.

Immediate flavor of citrus at first. Effervescent but not too bitter and the alcohol is readily apparent. Balanced between the malt and the hops but the alcohol kind of unbalances it. Good for sipping.

Flavor does linger a bit on the palate; the spice and alcohol make this one a definite sipper. Medium-full bodied, heavy on the palate.

Average drinkability but too boozy to be a session beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 15:52:14 | More by davexisxrabid
Photo of walshclimb


3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 vintage reviewed 3/12/09. Pours cloudy reddish brown with thin head that quickly dissipates to a thin film that leaves almost no lace. Sweet malt aroma with caramel, bananas, maybe a little tropical fruit, and alcohol. Big malty initial flavor quickly transitions to a somewhat complex aftertaste that is an interesting balance between sweet malt, mild bitter hops and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, moderately carbonated, and very boozy. This is worth trying but not something I would purchase often. There is too much of an alcohol overtone and not enough interest in the other flavors. I think it is a challenge to make a 12.5% abv beer that is not overwhelming. (My bottle said 12.5, which is different than what is listed on this website - I assume it changes annually).

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 03:05:33 | More by walshclimb
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enormous billowy head rises from a hard pour. Foam is stiff, but fairly loose and drops quickly. Liquid is dark copper and cloudy. Nose is rich and malty, with dark fruit and molasses. First sip explodes with fruity flavours, a lemony hop some apple, and a big bitter finish with a hint of anise. Alcohol is also noticed as is a considerable level of sugars. Syrupy body is heavy and carbonation low.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 05:03:46 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of mullenite


4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle

Poured a murky red-brown with a 1/4 finger cream head that went away really fast to leave a ring around the edge f the glass with some spottiness left on the top.

Very sweet smell with lots of dark fruits: cherries, figs, plums.

Taste has a slightly chocolaty and fruity thing going on. Kind of like a chocolate covered cherry without all the gooey drippy over-sweetened mess. You can taste the alcohol but if anything it adds to the flavor and doesn't really hurt it. Just another layer of complexity.

Medium body with a little more carbonation than I'm used to for the style, probably would die off with some age, we'll see when I taste the 2007. There is almost no alcohol warmth despite the added flavor.

Pretty easy to drink despite the ABV%

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 16:35:14 | More by mullenite
Photo of gford217


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

2006 bottle courtesy of jastack poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark, slightly hazy reddish amber with a large creamy off-white head that lingers as a cap for ages and leaves some decent lacing on the way down.

The aroma is super sweet with tons of caramel malts, toffee and brown sugar. Lots of dark fruit, especially raisins adding even more sweetness to the mix. Hints of booze in the nose as well, especially brandy.

Taste is a bit more musty than the aroma with the same massive sweetness of the caramel malts and dark fruit. There is even more of a brandy presence than in the aroma with a big booze burn in the finish. There is a faint, faint hop presence that I couldn't pick up in the nose.

The mouthfeel is sugary sweet and almost syrupy but with plenty of carbonation that makes up for it.

I enjoyed this one a good bit and this is one of the better old ales I've had in recent memory. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 03:12:45 | More by gford217
Photo of chakadrum


2.83/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I browsed the shelves of Total Wine for something interesting that I had never tried before. I've felt that North Coast is a bit hit or miss but I must say the 12.5% ABV caught me off guard and I was quite curious.

The was a dark ruby thing. Beautiful. Light head with minimal lacing. Dissipated quickly. That's about all it had going for it.

To be blunt, this beer was not impressive. I suspect this one falls into that category of high ABV hype. You think it is good because it is strong and has a bunch going on. It just didn't deliver.

Smell was really nice. Lots of biscuit. It reminded me of Manchester, England for some reason. It got my excited.

I taste alcohol. I taste solvent. The biscuit is all cut up. No fun. It reminds me of the time a friend suggested we drink Steel Reserve. Biggest mistake of my life. Ok, maybe that is being a bit dramatic.

Even if the biggest advocate of this beer ever came up to me, paid me $50 and gave me a free bottle of the freshest of this brew, I'd still be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 02:05:13 | More by chakadrum
Photo of trbergman


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

12oz bottle into a tulip.

A - Cloudy chestnut body with a thin, tan head that doesn't stick around long.

S - Burnt toffee, brown sugar, dried apricot, raisin, tobacco.

T - Sweet malt with flavors of dried fruits - apricot, fig, and raisin. There's a hint of tobacco and some warming alcohol. Earthy hop flavor and bitterness cut through the malt and keep the beer from being cloying. It's good, but not exactly my thing.

M - Warm, viscous, and smooth.

D - Done well, I think, for the style, but not really something I'm into. It just gets to be a little too sweet.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 04:02:51 | More by trbergman
Photo of cleeze


3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a unique brew. So far North Coast is batting a 100 with me.

Poured a nice mahogany color with an off brown frothy head. Badd ass lacing

Smells sweet plum goodness maybe. fruity deffinatly.

Sweet Malty goodness all up in the mix. Very complex. Again fruity.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 18:38:26 | More by cleeze
Photo of Riccymon


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

This is the 2008 vintage. After drinking a handful of bottles of another old ale (Great Divide's Hibernation Ale) in the previous weeks, this was right in line with my impression of the style.

Poured from the bottle a dark, lifeless purpley-red with just a covering of brownish head that quickly dissipates. Smell is of dark rye, cherry, and vanilla. Taste is at first malty with some caramel, grape, and cherry, but finishes with significant bitterness from the alcohol and hoppiness. Port-like for sure.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, leaving my mouth tingling. Drinkability? Not so much... this is the definition of a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 02:27:52 | More by Riccymon
Photo of steadydose


3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Goblet, no head, sticky lacing, brown color, carbonation clings to sides of glass, slightly hazy/murky.

S: Sweet, caramel, port wine(cinsuat) brandy hints, raisins.

T: Sweet malt, boozy, low level bitterness that lingers a second. Sweet finish, port like.

M: Good Carbonation, supple, alcohol.

D: Good sipping beer, high alcohol limits the amount I will drink in a sitting, but I really enjoyed this beer.

Makes for a good desert beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 01:59:22 | More by steadydose
Photo of htomsirveaux


3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle tried 9 Feb 2008. This was the 2007 vintage.

Small parchment colored head. Slightly murky deep copper red color. Aroma of ethanol, cherries, and cranberries. Lots of alcohol upfront, very warming in the mouth. Burnt caramel. Licorice, rye and some leather. Lots of alcohol. Dark dried fruit. Finishs with alcohol and some cherry pits. Medium body.

Powerful alcohol hit detracts from an otherwise decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 05:51:07 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of DefenCorps


3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, 2007 vintage. I don't get much of a hankering for old ales but I'm tired tonight and could use something that puts me to sleep gently. Into my 22oz snifter

A: Crystal clear deep ruby red with a thin tan head that recedes rather quickly to a wispy disk. Some carbonation is visible. Solid

S: Rich and malty with plums, fruits, caramel and alcohol. Almost brandy-like in richness, this is a very intense beer. There's a mild bread-like aroma present as well, probably from all the Marris-Otter they use in this brew? Reminds me in ways of a young JW Lees

T: Opens up rather big and rich. Fruity with plums, and as with the nose, alcohol is noticeable, creating a warming effect. The classic MO flavors are present, an intense complex sweetness that I can't quite describe - dark honey? Finishes long, mildly sweet and alcoholic.

M: Medium in body with carbonation that's maybe a touch too high, this one finishes rather well

D: A slow sipper if there was one. I'll drink one a year for the next 4 years, I guess?

**Edit 03 Jan 2014**

I found a long forgotten four pack in the cellar.

Age has tamed and arguably dulled this beast. Nutty, toffee, with walnut and almond oil, burnt sugar, earthy and mildly dusty. Alcohol is noticeable. The palate has a fruity character with date sugar, a moderate, almondy nuttiness from the alcohol , almost amaretto like, actually. Brown sugar, toffee and burnt sugar bitterness are present. Solid stuff. 3.75/3.75/3.75

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 04:53:18 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of superdedooperboy


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

Served at The Mellow Mushroom in Evans, GA.

2008 bottling; 12 oz. brown bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a rich, hazy red-orange, raising a small off-white head of large bubbles that settles quickly to nothingness. This is a thick ale, sticking to the sides of the glass as it's swirled.

Nose consists mostly of rum-soaked figs, plums, and raisins, with a warming alcoholic presence.

Thick and chewy in the mouth; rich, sweet caramel opens up with a big, juicy middle of figs and other dark fruits, some sour cherries, a rounded bittering hop presence, and rumminess. It slides over the back of the tongue with a big wallop of warming alcohol that gets much bigger as the drink warms, leaving a heavy lingering dryness that calls for another sip.

Most definitely a quiet sipper, at 12.5% ABV this is quite a big beer, and the alcohol certainly shows itself. Nicely complex, but too astringent in its alcohol presence to attribute any real drinkability to it. Overall, delightful and contemplative.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 16:12:40 | More by superdedooperboy
Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,437 ratings.