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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.

2,677 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,677
Reviews: 1,373
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 133
Gots: 458 | 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: 2,677 | Reviews: 1,373 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jt31914
2.38/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle

A: 1 inch of head with a dark amber and brown color; not anything unusual.

S: Strong alcohol tones, some hoppiness and scotch aromas as well. Very much a liquor smell.

T: Tastes of burnt caramel with a dry fig/pearlike finish. The burnt taste is too strong and odd tasting for me, while the finish is tingly and odd. This beer is unique, but not in a way that I enjoyed.

M/D: Bubbly in mouth and somewhat harsh on finish (although at 11.5% I shouldn't be surprised). Not overly drinkable and honestly this brew is a big disappointment.

Photo of MASPuros
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 On tap at the Verdugo in a tulip glass

A: Murky and a dirty amber color ... little foam and not much sign of bubbles. Looks sticky and syrupy

S: Reminds me of carmel apples, dark fruits like apple cider with hints of caramel and toffee. Nice sweet smell.

T: A mixture of fruits and carmel. Nice sweetness and a slight hop bitterness. Slight tobacco and leather taste. Pleasant warming feeling from the ABV ... each component complimented the other. Nice balance

M: Sticky with tiny bubbles. I love the aftertaste this leaves on the palate. Almost like I had a glass of sweet brandy.

Overall great beer I will be seeking more of! Don't take this one lightly .. sip and enjoy!

Photo of bminor7
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12 from Pearl St. Beverage in Burlington. This is the 2010 vintage. I'll compare to the 2008 vintage, which I had right after this.

Clear cranberry hue...not much lacing or foam to speak of. Heavy and syrupy body, which I like. This body you can tell just from the scent, which is dark fruits, heavy amounts of sugar, and a snappy alcohol burn. Very similar to a BSDA but more well-rounded. Taste has many vinous elements, darm malts with subdued hops. sticky MF and hot alcohol following up the back, but not in an offensive quantity. There is also a savory spicy quality that I have not met before. This would go well with Thanksgiving dinner, for sure.

12 from EBI in Saratoga. Dusty old 2008 vintage picked up in late 2009.

Appearance is much different than the 2010. Still a garnet hue but this beer is almost totally opaque with turbidity. A coffee-crema ring of foam forms at the edge of the glass, looking to stay awhile. A deep, cherry and spicy prune and alcohol scent...really intense, I found myself huffing it. Methinks this one has improved significantly. The taste is also worth a few words, namely detailed elements of dark fruits like plum, cranberry, hot ABV (got at least one shiver from a good sip), still sugar there but less obvious and more effectively integrated. Heavy and not something you should have more than one of. I say that, and this is my 2nd Old Stock within the last 3 hours, so I'm feeling alright. But about that beer - outstanding new, superfluous aged.
I was very excited to try this and glad I picked it up. I would recommend it, unless you go to the same beer stores I do.

Photo of sitarist
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage aged a few months.

Pours a deep leather tan with an off white head that fades quickly to a coating. Some legs but no lacing.

Smells like apple cider with hints of caramel and toffee. Fruity sweet and welcoming. Warn and boozy.

Taste= Over ripe fruit(apples and pears), sweet(caramel and toffee), nutty, with a nice brandy like alcohol presence. Warming and well balanced, I cant wait to see what the cellar does to this beer over time.

It is heavy bodied, but with a nice dose of a fizzy' flavor dancing carbonation. The flavors stick to your palate as it dries.

Highly sip-able! Nothing is overbearing. They say to age this beer; I cant imagine how great this beer will get its all-ready near perfect. I'm looking forward to next winter. Just beware of the high ABV..

(July 2013: Drinking a bottle of the 2009 next to a bottle of 2013. I just have to say that this beer is amazing fresh, but it ages unbelievably.)

(Aug/5/2013: 2009 vs 2012... 2009 has aged so well, it has mellowed nicely, flavors have married, still complex, but more subdued...Its flavor has benefited the most from aging; I get raisin, prune, chewing-tobacco, dates, caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Near perfect body/mouthfeel.
The 2012 has a ruby hue, more clear than the 2009. 2012s' aroma compares nicely to the 2009, not quite as complex. Flavor is quite different... Ripe apple, caramel, dates, toffee, brown sugar. A little bit more heat on my tongue, but still pleasantly smooth.)

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

Twelve ounce bottle into snifter.

A: Two finger head over a dark amber with ruby highlighted body. Lace doesn't stick but is present on tip. Head dwindles to a nice sheen.

S: Musty basement Maris Otter Pale Malt heaven. Brandy und rum raisin.

T: Super in your face dark molasses liqueur with a malt backbone. Fuggles hops are heavily blanketed but rise up enough for a molasses soaked spice and pleasant dry finish. Give me a case of this and the blizzard of '78, a warm fire, und plenty of vittles for the crock pot.

M: Medium syrupy yumminess.

D: A strong ale. Buy lots, drink a few, and cellar the rest. You'll be thankful in the future.

Wow this one just gets better and better as you let it set in the glass. A-one brew!

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours out a russet, sandy brown amber, deep and clear and topped with a thin but stout, sandy brown head. No lacing but none really expected, decent enough legs considering the alcohol content.

S: Aroma is of raisins covered in cognac, caramel, figs, caramel apples and earth. Subtle but deep.

T/MF: First sips bring on thick rows of caramel and a boozy heat. Raisins from the aroma and caramel apple evident in the aroma do most of the heavy lifting in terms of flavor. The finish is what to me is most interesting about this beer. Finish is a bit like gin, with a light taste of juniper berries and pine, mixed with a bit of tobacco to boot. Feel is every bit of 11.5% with a surprisingly lively carbonation that really works to get things moving across the tongue.

D: A deep sipper to be sure, but full of flavors too complex to detail here because I would really only be doing this beer a disservice. This beer would make an excellent addition to the cellar, it would be interesting to see how this develops over time.

Photo of kaseydad
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage

Snifter pour and I am met with hazy brown colored ale with nice burgundy highlights and a big finger and a half off-white head. Not bad for a 4 year old brew. Not bad at all. The aroma consists of some bourbon-like qualities, raspberries and strawberry syrup. Simply amazing. A good hop quick on the taste with some wood aspects, a slight boozy burn on the swallow and a medicine/cough syrup aftertaste, which stays in the throat. The booze burn stays for awhile which is unique and there is a slight numbing sensation on the gums. Full-bodied mouthfeel. Drinkability is pretty good even with the high alcohol content but consuming more than one could be tiresome.

Overall I have had this many times and am never disappointed. I recently had an 05 vintage and that was amazing as well. A great beer to cellar at the right temperature....waiting to consume is the problem.

Photo of HumulusLupuLust
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i)low, thin head; hazy dark copper

II)couldn't get over how much this smelled like powdered grape kool-aid, green apple, raisons, watermelon candy from cracker barrel, not too much alcohol on the nose, misc. fruit, wood, smoked peat, cinnamon

III)first sip rang juniper berry, caramel; nice carbonation; well hidden alcohol, however, spicy; lemon, oak finish, hint of peat, alcohol warms halfway through.

this beer reminds me of an oaky tripel, a 11.7% that sips like a 7-9er. this beer is now one of my favorites. last year's was good, this one's great.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.05/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Minimal head, no retention, no lacing. This is to be expected from a more boozy beer such as this. The beer itself is a semi clear deep garnet color.

S- Golden raisins, toffee and nuts. Some alcohol is present as well.

T- Malty, sweet, grainy and lightly bready. Big toasty malts, plums and some alcohol.

M- Full bodied and highly carbonated. A little too much carbonation. Its very sharp and prickly. I would rather this beer be smoother and velvety.

D- Pretty warming beer at 11.7%. One and done for me. This is probably better with age.

Photo of HiGravShawn
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Nice caramel coloring with decent head for a big brew.

S: Okay. Has a definite molasses thing going on. Getting a metallic smell in there from something.

T: Big, malty, and sweet. Kinda slaps you across the face on the first sip. To be expected though as it's 12% ABV. Once settled it is very enjoyable for a sipping and/or dessert brew.

M: Thick and viscous like a syrup. Matches the flavor well.

D: Drinkable for what it is... a sipping beer.

Conclusion: Too sweet for my general tastes, but when it comes to big, malty sipping brews this is a good one to keep around.

Photo of ricke49
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For a 10%+ abv brew this is truly an amazingly drinkable (hidden alcohol) concoction. But not so hidden as to deny the desired 'warmth'.

And having consumed a 12 oz. bottle (at a price that equates to $6.42 - if it were in a 22 oz. bomber) I believe this quality ale ranks as a true bargin.

The malt base is essentially perfect; and the limited hop presence - well, what would one expect from this style? It all ties together in a delightfuly sippable ale that North Coast should be very proud of, and all ale lovers should be lucky enough to sample.

Raisin and caramel mix without being overly sweet. This one ale would get me through the coldest winter and would be one of my two creations to retain (in the hypothetical world of only being allowed two different beers) - the other being, to balance things out, Deschutes ESB.

Photo of kbnooshay
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark amber brown color with a frothy beige-tan head. Lots of carbonation sticking to the sides of my glass. Aroma is of very strong alcohol and dark fruits. Taste is strong. Mostly alcohol with dark fruit and lots of sweet sweet malt. Brown sugary sweet. Nice hints of raisin and apples. I dunno if i held on to this too long or what, but the hops are way too mellowed out. They are supposed to be there right? This needs balance. Feel is slightly syrupy and coating. This is not drinkable. Too sweet and cloying.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

My first Old Ale.

A - Pours a hazy dark orange with ruby red hints. Thin head that disappears quickly. Still active carbonation can be seen rising up in the glass.

S - Boozy sweet smell as the beer was poured. Upon further inspection. Nice sweet alcoholic notes are quickly present. Sweet bourbon and some brandy as well. Maple syrup notes as well as caramel. Some yeasty esters are definitely present. Very complex nose but aromas are very poignant. The yeasty notes remind me of some Belgian Quads.

T - Very sweet start to this beer. Boozy sweetness with almost a wine like feel and even taste. Chalky middle due to the yeast character. Almost no hop character except for at the last second there is a faint dry bitterness. Raisins and other dark fruits are very present.

M - Crisp even though there doesn't seem to be much CO2, there is. Medium-hig body with a high level of complexity. Still the finish is a bit more watery than expected because of the chalky yeast.

D - Overall a very good beer. Surprisingly since I dont enjoy very very sweet beers. At 11.5 the ABV is a bit much.

Photo of MOB210SA
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought the last one of these from Gabriel's, not knowing if they would get more, I've been holding onto this for the past couple weeks. Since then they restocked, and there's more so Ill grab some more, depending on this. The makers of Old Raputin, I know I wont be disappointed. I actually picked this and Old Rasputin up for the first time, together.

2008 bottle. Different ABV than the site says, 1% more making it 12.5%

Good pour resulted a quickly fizzling half finger head, cream tan. Died down in a hurry. Leaving no lacing and a very modest head. The head sticks to the walls, but falls too quick to leave any real lacing. Great looking ruby orange. The walls of my glass are bare at the end.

First whiff, reveals lots of sweet malt, and sweet fruit. With a nose reminiscent of Avery's The Beast. Just toned down slightly. Loads of strong dried fruit, and dark fruit. Cognac (my favorite liquor) is shining through too. I'm not detecting too much hops, but some. Hidden is not something that has anything to do with the alcohol here. Oh, it is there.

The taste is mostly dried dark fruits, musky maltiness with a good hot finish. Again, the alcohol is def. there. A plum/raisin, with a small fruitiness that I cant quite pick out. After reading feloniousmonk's review I have to say it is indeed apple that I was smelling. Thanks felonious for unknowingly helping.

Not exactly full bodied. Its a big ale, and is slightly syrupy, but goes down smooth and warms you through to your bones. If this is how all old stock ales are, I'm coming back for more.

This was damn good, but I have to say there are a lot of 10% beers that I could drink all night. This isnt one of them. I know its slightly stronger, but that isnt the reason. Simply put, A single bottle is very drinkable. More probably wouldnt be.

Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

North Coast Old Stock Ale is heavy, sweet, and ALE.

It poured dark murky brown with very little head and no lace. It smelled and tasted like fermented dark fruit and had a heavy thick feel, exactly as expected from old ale. This has the feel of murky, dusky, dark-wood places, and seeps deep into the dusky dark part of the soul.

Old Stock is a terrific ale that would be a pleasure to sip with, or after, dinner or slowly with a book in a dark quiet place. It's exactly as an ale should feel

Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: deep dark brown, copperish highlights

smell: toffee and heavy caramel

taste: tons of sweetness, toffee, caramel

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: decent beer but was a little on the sweet side. I'll be aging another though. would probably go well with some apple pie

Photo of wescj
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Very thick burgandy in color, about a half inch of tan head. Very enticing.

Smells nice and sweet, in a well-rounded way that lets you know it's going to be a malty one.

Very complex malt flavors. Toffee and raisen are a couple of prime flavors. Nice and sweet. Doesn't cloy, though; there's enough hops to make a good balance. Enough booze to leave a good, warm taste.

Delightfully dry mouthfeel, wit a winey aftertaste. Very good beer overall.

Photo of THORN
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Fl. Oz. bottle poured into Duvel snifter. Served 50-55 F.
A: Dark brown, purple around the edges. Pours half inch of dark vanilla colored head, very bubbly. Retains no head and very little lace.
S: Bold malts, chocolate, and caramel. Faint coffee and raisins.
T: Malts are the most abundant flavor in this beer. they are toasted and sweet. Caramel starts a transition to slight bitter hops. After-tones of coconut and sweet raisins. Alcohol isn't noticeable.
M: Medium to medium light on tongue. A little bit syrupy.
D: Not over-whelming in flavor, but very drinkable for the ABV.

Photo of mbudner
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured into a snifter

A- Pours caramel-colored with a very thin yellow-ish head that dissipated quickly leaving no lacing. When held to the light, it almost has a ruby glow to it.

S- It smells delicious. I'm getting some dried fig, sweet caramel, brandy notes from a combination of the fruitiness (possibly apricots) and the booziness. As it warms, I'm getting a lot of raisin and maybe some honey.

T- Less sweet than the nose would have led me to believe and more of an assertive bitterness from the alcohol than I expected. Last time I had this was a few months ago in a spotted vertical of '03, '04, '06, and '08. I can definitely see why/how this is a must age beer. Not that it is bad fresh at all. After sipping on it for a little, I'm either more acclimated to the booziness or it is starting to fade with exposure and warmth and the beer is really beginning to shine. Similar dark fruits in the taste as well as a bit of tobacco. As it nears room temperature and loses a lot of the carbonation, it becomes much more peaty, almost like a scotch ale. I'm really liking this as it progresses.

M- Assertively carbonated, which I haven't seen much in the style, but if I recall correctly, this mellows with age and is therefore a very good thing. Not too cloying (which I feared upon first whiff.) Nice creamy mouthfeel in the finish, which is surprising due to the initial carbonation level on the tip of the tongue.

D- Dangerously drinkable for an 11.5% old ale. Not too sweet or cloying and the alcohol really begins to mask itself after a few minutes of exposure.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, 2009 Vintage,

A: Pours a dark brown, good rich colour, light white head.

S: Classic dark Olde English barleywine and some booze, real light hopping.

T: Robust, full flavours of caramel and malt. Booze is well integrated at this young an age.

M: Smooth, solventy, rich and powerful with residual sugar and ethanol.

D: This is already quite good. Really a sipper right now. I can see 5-7 years of aging could turn this into something phenomenal, I'd love to sample a bottle in 2015.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.28/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. 2009 vintage.

Pours a cloudy deep brown with no head or lacing at all. Nose is sweet, a bit boozy and quite fruity, theres some candy apple here.

Wow, taste is really complex, nice hint of sweetness, a bit boozy. Age this sucker as long as you can! Drinkability is a bit low due to booziness.

Photo of generalnotsew
3.13/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Diarrhea feces brown with no head. But I will give it an average as I have never had an Old Ale before. May be what it is supposed to look like. But still, doesn't look very pleasant.

S: Very malty and spicy in the nose. I am picking up some fig and a lot of sweetness. Has a fruit quality. Very complex.

T: I am getting cherry and fig here. Bit of a hop aftertaste. I really can't get into the taste. I am not going any further for now as I would be wasted trying to pick this one apart.

M: Very thick and chewy. Doesn't look like it has much carbonation but it is there. Extremely warming on the throat. I can still feel it burning.

D: I just can't picture myself drinking many of these. Way too overpowering not to mention the abv.

I had to adjust today. The more I tried to drink the less I liked it. Never had the style before so I could chalk it up to that. That being said I am usually pretty easy to please and this just didn't do it for me. The low drinkability was the hardest for me to do. Sometimes I feel that score does not fit right. This is definitely a sipper. Doubt I will buy this again.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass (not the best I know, but it was all that as availible)

A: Pleasant chesnut brown with no head after pour.

S: Sweet nuts like cashew and macadamia. Fig and banana. Dark and sweet - not overpowering; delightful!

T: Deliciously similar to the smell, except that the high alcohol content unfortunately has a slightly-too-strong presence on the back of the palate.

M: Smooth with a light, pleasant carbonation. Lingering alcohol sting.

D: This beer is great, but the high abv steers me away frommore than just a bottle. Alcohol content isn't always an issue with me, but the sting in this beer keeps reminding me of it's guilty pleasure.

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

2009 vintage into pint glass:

A: Cloudy reddish-brown body with large light-mocha head which disappeared quickly. With alcohol this big, can't really expect much more.

S: Light buttery smell, some nuts, floral and some dark fruit, chocolate and booze

T: Like the smell, except sweeter with some additional toffee and dark fruit, which gives it a very red wine-like taste, which leads into a long alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Very low on the carbonation, plus the aforementioned alcohol-burn finish

D: The high alcohol is detectable, but it's quite easy going down anyway. Flavors work well together, but could be a bit more foreward

Photo of fastsrt
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into a snifter
A: no head, carbonation keeping a small ring alive. looks like a double, with a rich carmel color.

S: dark fruits, booze, figs, raisons smell is reminiscent of a quad.

T: sweet dried dark fruits, caramel, the alcohol is a big part of the flavor complexity.

M: this thing is thick and full body it has a great feel, and the way it finishes and lingers on the pallet is exactly the way a beer this big should feel.

D: this is a sipper, but a savior none the less, any more than 2 would be bad news. bought a four pack and am going to lay the other 3 down should be amazing with some age.
2010 in a wine glass

A: creamy head, rich amber

S: rich, fruity, richer than the quad i just had.

T: there is some hot alcohol there, this beer will become more complex and balanced with age.

M: nice carbonation.

D: it is one of my favorite beers. I have some from, 09 and the stock ale reserve.

Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,677 ratings.