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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 Lothore


4.4/5  rDev +6.8%

2007 Version

A- Pours a beautiful deep ruby hue with not too much of a head

S- Lots of caramel, malty to the core, coffee undertones, have to admit the nose on this one makes me excited to taste it.

T- masterfully balanced. Lots of raisins and figs all the way through, caramel underneath, hints of coffee towards the end. Alcohol pretty prevalent the whole way.

M- Fairly thick, quite a bit of carbonation.

D- The alcohol cramps the drinkability a bit but it definitely doesn't feel too young to drink for me. I'll have to seek out some vintages of this one and see what i've been missing.

03-07-2008 01:44:16 | More by Lothore
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +0.2%

This beer pours a dark copper with ruby highlights, and has a big fluffy mostly white head that impales itself to the glass on the way down. The Aroma is wonderful, caramel, raisins, dried fruits, slight bit of citrus hops, but mostly sweet smelling malt. Taste hits with the sweet malt and caramel up front, some hop twang in the middle, giving way to an alcohol burn at the end. Mouthfeel is sweet and sticky, ample carbonation. Great sipping beer. Tastes a little sweet, but that just made me drink it quicker.

03-07-2008 01:13:00 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of rye726


4.6/5  rDev +11.7%


Mahogany with not much of a head.

Goes from dull when cold to very sharp when warm. Fruit alcohols with sweet malts and earthy hops.

Mild at first, but complexity grows on the palate. Plums, cherries figs, raisins, prunes, caramel a musky hops.

Full creamy body with good carbonation. A nice old ale, but not my favorite year. Still a well priced hybrid of j.w. lee's and hardy's.

2008 vintage pops up the flavor to a 5

03-06-2008 08:07:42 | More by rye726
Photo of Redwood21


3.88/5  rDev -5.8%

A: the appearance was decent, head could better and have better retention. but at this abv i am not all too depressed. the color is deep black as one might expect

S: not much aroma to note, the style indicates lower on this end, but it could be stronger still. there was some wine alcohol estery aroma and that was about it.

T: ripe dark fruit, with an almost port oak wood taste, with a sweet finish, attributed to the original fruit tastes

M/D: this beer has a sharp almost acutely carbonated feel. it tingles on the tongue and it way too drinkable for this abv

03-06-2008 01:23:55 | More by Redwood21
Photo of Lothar666

Rhode Island

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

This bottle was from 2007.

A- Poured a dark mahogany brown with a creamy off-white head that was a full two fingers thick but receeded rather quickly. No sediment was readily visible.

S- Strong fermented dark fruits in the nose- raisins, apples, figs, pears and grapes combined with the scent of cane sugar and english toffee.

T- A delicious and complex mixture of dark fruits and sugars in the flavor profile with a delightful hop bite and warming alcohol in the finish. Toffee, apples, pears and grapes are all present in this delightful winter brew.

M- Thick, full bodied and syrupy with a pleasant tingle from the hops and the alcohol. Mouth texture is excellent and this one is a pleasure to swish and savor.

D- Drinkability suffers a bit from the undisguised burn of the alcohol, but this is compensated for by complex and delicious flavors, making this one a pleasure to sip on. I would still like to see what a couple years in the cellar will do to this one.

03-05-2008 14:41:13 | More by Lothar666
Photo of neonbrown82


4.05/5  rDev -1.7%

2008 Vintage

This is a very good beer, and a great deal for a four pack. The beer pours to a bright ruby red color with hints of mahogany. A billowing fizzy head appears on the pour, but it quickly recedes, leaving no lace in it's wake. What do you expect for a beer boasting 12.5% on the label? Carbonation remains quite apparent throughout the drink, but it just can't support a head.

The beer has a strong metallic odor to it on the pour, but it falls to the background as it has a chance to breath and warm up. The malt is definitely the highlight here. Lots and lots of it. Smells like some candi sugar, even. Plenty of caramel, as one would expect. Some toasted bread aromas and dark fruity fig esters. Behind all of that is a blast of rocket fuel that really stings the nostrils. It may sound bad, but for some reason it just works with this particular beer. Doesn't smell too particularly hoppy.

The taste, on the other hand, reveals a strong hops presence. The bitterness is nearly as formidable as the malt. Quite a good balance for a beer of this size, even considering the strong alcohol bite it delivers to the palate. I'm having a hard time trying to distinguish any additional spices in here. I'm thinking it's probably just the yeast at play, but there is definitely a spiciness going on.

The body is as full as they come. Despite the apparent carbonation, the bubbles are barely detectable on the tongue. Smooth and silky. The alcohol bite makes up for any lack of bite from the carbonation. It's a sipper for sure. It provides a nice warming effect and a little buzz off of a single 12 oz serving. I enjoyed it, and I look forward to aging some, or even drinking some more fresh, given that it is only $8 for a 4pk! With beers of this "caliber," I am used to paying much more. It definitely helps out the beer's overall drinkability, considering I am unlikely to drink more than one of these on any given night, and most likely not when it is warm out.

03-05-2008 06:17:14 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of GilGarp


3.78/5  rDev -8.3%

2008 release, 12oz. bottle, 12.5% ABV.

Poured it into a tulip style glass, it had a small amount of head. It's a beautiful dark amber color, like a cognac.

Alcohol seems to overwhelm the aroma. The taste and mouthfeel are like that of a Belgian trapist ale turned up loud with a predominant woodsy apple character.

I agree with other reviewers that this one will age very well. It's definately too early to give a fair evaluation but I did anyway.

03-04-2008 04:57:09 | More by GilGarp
Photo of prototypic


4.33/5  rDev +5.1%

2007 Release--11.6% ABV

Appearance: It's clear and a deep red-amber color. Head is off white and about two fingers deep. Retention was average and lacing was light.

Smell: Caramel-toffee malts and dark fruit (raisin and plum) are the strongest scents. There is a brown sugar like, sweet smell to it. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overly strong in smell. Notes of piney hops emerge in addition to a slightly yeasty smell toward the end. Pretty complex.

Taste: Caramel-toffee malts are strong initially and give it a sweet taste. Roasted malt and dark fruit flavors complement the sweetness. Hops give it some balance. Perhaps a bit of citrus sweetness (mostly grapefruit) is noticeable, but not quite as apparent as in a barleywine. Alcohol is blended pretty well, but definitely noticeable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's thick and definitely a sipping beer. Carbonation is good. It's a big beer at 11.6%, but smooth and drinkable nonetheless. I'd still limit myself to one in a sitting due to its strength. Overall, this is an excellent beer. Definitely recommended.

03-04-2008 03:09:38 | More by prototypic
Photo of Gehrig


4.38/5  rDev +6.3%

The most recent manifestation of this lists an 11.6% ABV on the bottle.

A thick finger of tan froth tops a cloudy, cider-brown body. Caramel and brown sugar malt dominate the nose as well as the taste, which is quite sweeter than I expected. Hints of chocolate cake emerge as it progresses. There's a lot to like here. In fact, I find the taste to be quite akin to barleywine, though somewhat less complex and less hopped than my favorite barleywines. I'm impressed with how smooth and creamy this is. While somewhat of a sipper because of the very high ABV, this is one that I can easily enjoy a couple of, primarily because of the easy-going texture and flavor.

Well done, but I can't say I'm entirely surprised, given the greatness of Old Rasputin and Brown Shugga. Well worth trying; a refreshingly sweet old ale.

03-03-2008 03:59:14 | More by Gehrig
Photo of MisterClean


3.68/5  rDev -10.7%

12 oz from Total Wine

A - Dark burgundy, little head, which dissipates really fast and leaves no legs.

S - Barley, wheat, and alcohol.

T - Anise, barley, ginger, and very syrupy.

M - Light bitterness, alcohol, and warming.

D - Could have aged a couple more years.

03-03-2008 00:25:44 | More by MisterClean
Photo of NCSUdo


4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, 2007 batch

A: Pours ruby under a very effervescent tan head. No lace and no retention, but not very surprising.

S: Smells of candied fruit in harmony with a light citrus hop. Citrus is a little bit grapefruit but mostly a freshly peeled orange aroma, it's very good. Maybe a hint of caramel thrown in and very little to no alcohol.

T: Fruity and caramel maltiness up front. Finishes with some hints of alcohol, moderate bitterness and light citrus hops. A bit of chocolate comes through after the finish as well. Again, the citrus is mostly of fresh orange. I even pick up a slight coconut hint that surprised me.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is not prickly, bit it does cause the body to break down to a bit of a froth on the tongue. Alcohol is there a little in taste and big time in warmth. Drinkability is good. It's a sipper but has enough redeeming qualities to make it more than an average drinker.

03-02-2008 22:24:19 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of DIM


4.45/5  rDev +8%

a: Old Stock is a slightly hazey amber copper color. It pours with almost no head, just athin whispy off-white ring around the glass.

s: This smells of apple blossoms, malty sweet raisins, and honey. A pleasant aroma of alcohol blankets everything. It smells a bit like brandy.

t: This is surprisingly subdued, given the abv, and quite complex. Mild flavors of somewhat tart apples and cheries, brown sugar, and alcohol. There was a wonderful element of sweetness that I can't find a word for as well.

m: This was very thick, a perfect vehicle for all the subtle nuances of this one.

d: This is agreat sipper for a winter evening. As great as this was after more than a year, I can't help but think that a few more years would help.

03-02-2008 16:31:27 | More by DIM
Photo of becktone


4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

From the 2007 batch, 11.7%abv.

Eye:This is one fine looking beer. The brew is reddish copper in color with some orange highlights, and is a bit cloudy. Head is off white, tea-stained tan and is creamy in appearance, holds its retention very well-until one starts drinking, then it just shrinks to a thick veil over the top of the beer. and looks to have nice looking lacing, a little thin though as it sits on the sides of the glass.

Nose: Aroma fills the room once the cap is popped. Strong malt backbone fills the nostrils. Easily noticeable is a very familiar smell that I just can't put a finger on. Spicy notes and alcohol are evident. Nice complex and big aroma, some dark fruit in here too. Great aroma all in all.

Tongue: Flavor is very nice on this one. Fruity notes are evident coming from the alcohol, as well as the flavor of the alcohol itself. Big malt flavor as well, I'm specifically getting a bit of caramel, and some spicy notes-either from alcohol or hops, I can't be sure. Pretty hard to pick this one apart, the alcohol is so apparent that it is hard to distinguish the different flavors. However, all the flavors present blend together very nicely.

Mouthfeel and Drnkability: This beer definitely warms as it goes down. Body is medium leaning heavily towards heavy. Lower carbonation gives this beer an authentic feeling in the mouth making it feel as if it has been aged quite a long time before being bottled. This is a beer that is meant to be sipped on, don't try to drink the four pack in one night. This is one that I think I'll revisit every year. Great brew.

02-29-2008 17:16:29 | More by becktone
Photo of SargeC


4/5  rDev -2.9%

Appearance: Deep amber colored brew. Thick, golden-tan head.

Smell: Sweet malt, alcohol, bourbon, sherry and hints of grapes.

Taste: Strong malt presence. Sweet and boozy in the start, evolves into a fruit flavored, crisp and slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Dense and waxy.

Drinkablity: Very flavorful, yet simple in its approach.

02-26-2008 03:02:37 | More by SargeC
Photo of Slynger


3.35/5  rDev -18.7%

Bright clear auburn color with dirty white head. Darkly fruity cherries, plums, and apples. Sweet, malty, caramel and toffee, barleywine-like nose. Taste is sharp, spicy, hot, bitter, and sweet, with a big alcohol kick. Heavy malty sweet with dark cherry and plum brandy spiciness. Full and syrupy mouthfeel. Whew!! Rip-roaring, red-hot, and raw. Stick Old Stock on your shelf for a while.

02-18-2008 04:57:07 | More by Slynger
Photo of wagenvolks


4/5  rDev -2.9%

12 oz. bottle into a tulip @ Flying Saucer, Raleigh. Nice ta' meet ya NCBeernut.

Bottle poured an attractive deep purple, with amber-plum highlights. The head is actually large for a beer of this magnitude, ABV-wise (11.7% says the bottle, contra the 13.25% of BA). The aroma is an intoxicating mix of dark cherries, brandy, and oaked bourbon barrels. It's not a convential aroma.

Flavor brings some serious heat, in the form of a whopping booze note alongside prune, oak, cranberry, sour apple, and a touch of under-ripe hops. Mouthfeel is well carbonated, viscous, and leaves a fuselage of alcohol sitting on the tarmac that is the back of the palate. All in all, a decent Oldie...probably not the most drinkable beer in the world, but I could definately go for a few in the cellar.

[EDIT: Purchased a cellared 2005 Old Stock at the Whip-In in Austin, Texas. Consumed on 3/3/2009. Flavor profile is amazing. Gone is the boozy heat, replaced by intricate malt layers of rich toffee, dark chocolate truffle, and a subdued, yet still warming sherry liquor note. A slight hint of oxidation mingles with some hoppy bitterness in the finish. This beer is delicious with 4 years on it! A-4.0; S-4.5; T-4.5; M-4.0; D-4.0; Overall-4.3]

02-16-2008 04:51:03 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.08/5  rDev -1%

Aroma is strong and malty with a touch of salt and a hint of caramel. It pours a lovely clear brown with a fairly thick, if not persistent, head. Flavor is malty and sweet, and has a nice alcohol zing to it. Finish is smooth but with a strong alcohol bite.

02-14-2008 03:11:31 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of Zeckster

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +0.2%

Served into a pint glass. 2007 Limited Release.

Dark Amber/Coffee colored body that created a tan rocky head, which quickly drops low.

Has a caramel mocha like flavor. Very sweet malts.

I can already feel the headache brewing with only half the bottle gone. Its really quite excellent

02-13-2008 01:30:03 | More by Zeckster
Photo of pershan


3.5/5  rDev -15%

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a slightly cloudy, reddish-brown color into a chalice with a thin, tan head. A slightly sweet, alcoholic nose. A real big alcohol component throughout, mixed with malt sweetness, and a bit of hop bitterness at the finish. In my opinion, the alcohol and malt sweetness are too dominant, with not nearly enough hop flavor and bitterness to balance out the 11% ABV.

02-11-2008 15:19:29 | More by pershan
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

2007 bottle, label states 11.7% abv. Pours a crisp deep ruby with a thin head that quickly diminishes leaving no ring or lacing. Aroma is a nice blend of burnt caramel, brown malt and some dried fruits. The taste is a great complex blend of toffee, burnt caramel, fruit, molasses, and a touch of mocha with just a slight hop character. The beer is certainly on the heavy side, but it becomes smoother the more it warms. This one is a sipper for sure, but an enjoyable one.

02-11-2008 03:24:45 | More by atsprings
Photo of Tilley4


3.83/5  rDev -7%

Been dying to try this one for a while and finally found a bottle of 07 lingering around the shelves here.

Nice dark reddish pour with a pretty active head.

Smells like a strong ass barleywine. Sweet but malty, yet strong also.

Definitely a kick to this one. Little rough yet but you can tell it has potential to be really f$#king awesome in a year or two.

Will be on the lookout for more and see if I can age it.

02-09-2008 20:39:32 | More by Tilley4
Photo of largadeer


4.08/5  rDev -1%

2007 vintage.

Appearance - Semi-clear burgundy with very little head or lace, just a small ring of foam around the glass. This stuff could be mistaken for port.

Smell - Sweet and boozy with a big toffee and berry aroma.

Taste & mouthfeel - Sweet without being cloying. The malt backbone is enormous, providing a wide range of flavors from ripe fruit and caramel to burnt toast. Bittering hops are still noticeably present, though they take a back seat to the malt. A slight alcohol bite appears for a second in the background and then disappears in the finish. The beer ends on a drier note, with a bourbon-like character.

02-09-2008 00:46:19 | More by largadeer
Photo of BMan1113VR


4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

2007 vintage. Very nice malty (cookie and molasses) and hoppy (pine) aroma. Also detected some tawny port, alcohol and raspberry. Poured a medium sparkling clear amber with a creamy off-white head. Initial flavor is alcohol followed by a long and nutty aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy and carbonation is soft. There is a strong presence of alcohol throughout. Will probably improve with age.

02-07-2008 17:47:56 | More by BMan1113VR
Photo of london1o1

New York

4.53/5  rDev +10%

I recently drank a 2002 and 2006 Old Stock side by side (in Jan. '08). The difference is remarkable. I suppose I should be rating the '06, since that's closer to what people will be drinking straight out of the stores, but I can't bare to rate such an inferior product. While there were many similarities (I'm not sure if the recipe has remained unaltered or not, but they certainly taste as if they were at least similar recipes), and the '06 tasted like something that could some day develop into the '02, the various flavors of the '06 are so much more rough and aggressive, while the '02 has allowed them to mellow and intermingle, resulting in a much rounder, more subtle combination of flavors. I cannot recommend aging this beer enough. I still have a bottle of the '02 and the '06, and plan and trying them with the '08 in '10.

02-07-2008 07:19:37 | More by london1o1
Photo of armock

New York

4.22/5  rDev +2.4%

A - Poured a nice amber color with a tan head that leaves some lacing

S - Is of sweet malt with some hops and alcohol that get through

T - Is more sweet malt with an alcohol kick to it

M - Fairly thin with very little carbonation to it

D - This is a very good beer that has a good taste to it if the abv wasn't so high it would be easy to drink more than one or two well it still is but I wouldn't recommend it

02-05-2008 18:37:36 | More by armock
Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,492 ratings.