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Old Stock Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,738 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,738
Reviews: 1,392
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 139
Gots: 484 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-26-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,738 | Reviews: 1,392 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bobsy
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 version - Courtesy of Ritzkiss, and a suitable nightcap to an evening of good beer (at least it would have been but for cracking open the Christoffel Blond after I finished it... most of which I ended pouring away). A classic old ale pour that puts you in the mind of a barleywine. Oaky body with an off-white filmy head hugging the surface. Strong malty aroma comprised of toffee, chocolate and dark fruits... it actually follows Thomas Hardy's quite closely. The flavour follows the aroma almost to the letter, with a strong caramel background, off which chocolate and rum soaked dates play. Its very rich and full flavoured. Alcohol is there, but manages to hide somewhat under the layers of flavour. The body is a touch lighter than I expected, verging on medium, and with a moderate and appropriate carbonation.

2007 version - Much the same as the '08, but perhaps a touch softer and better at hiding the alcohol. Perhaps a bit more brown sugar in the flavour too.

Photo of Derek
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage.

A: Amber-copper-brown, very little head, some leg.

S: Toffee, sherry-like alcohol, brown sugar, hints of figs.

T: Toffee, brown sugar, some dark fruit and plenty of alcohol (very brandy-like), balanced bitterness.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body has a drying alcohol finish. Well-crafted.

D: A pleasant sipper.

Thanks Bobsy!

Photo of brokenleadedcask
3.1/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Received from AlleyKatKing, thanks Josh! "Live" review

When I opened the box from our trade I was pleasantly surprised to see this gem waiting for me, a 2007 vintage. It poured a typical orangey root beer color with an orange/brown head, which only lasted 5 minutes. No lacing held onto the glass, not surprising for a almost 12% beer. Smelled of raisins, plum, orange peel, and STILL plenty of booze. I know this isn't barrel aged but I get some oak in the taste, some nutty flavors, some citrus from the hops, and pretty spicy. Some stickiness, thin, and not as creamy as expected after a couple years. Goes down easy, the alcohol as high as it is but it doesn't replace the classic English Old Ale.

Photo of OlRasputin989
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A hazy dark brownish-red, with a big fizzy off white head.

S: baked apples, caramel, raisin bread and an alcoholic tingle, mostly malty sweet.

T: brown sugar, raisins and plums followed by a bittering bourbon and pepper flavor

M: Smooth entry followed by an dry finish

Overall, this beer is a decent barleywine. I'm just not too into the whiskey-like flavor and aftertaste of this one. The mouthfeel after finishing a glass is all but pleasant. It's definitely a sipper.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is my 100th review. Let me take this note to say that I've fallen in love with BA and the members that make it what it is. This one's for you, guys!

Bottle poured into tulip. 2007 Old Stock, 2+ years on this one! Sweet. Didn't even notice when I bought it. I must be blind, because the date is drop set in HUGE letters behind the beer name on the label.

A- Brown, dirty penny brown, with a caramel head that's rather impressive for the ABV. Settles quickly into my glass.

S- Smelled like whiskey while pouring, my first impression. Closer up I get a red wine dryness and pungent sweetness that is very inviting. Alcohol is there, but expertly blended into aroma.

T- Full mouth assault. Cloyingly sweet, tart, and dry in the finish. This is a thickly malted beer with a large flavor profile. There's a bready balance to the tongue, and while the alcohol is in full effect, it's not overbearing, overpowering, or unpleasant. Fruity sweetness on several levels satisfy anyone looking for something unusual and remarkable.

M- Great warming, great 'thickness' to this beer. It takes its time going back and forth on your tongue... in no hurry and strolling at a leisurely pace. Cannot, cannot, cannot be improved upon. This is fantastic beer.

D- Moderate. One'll do ya. But I loved it, and will buy this again. A slow sipper, for sure. An hour or more is not out of the question on this one. The flavors unwind a bit as it creeps into room temperature. I enjoyed the f outta this beer.

In closing, for $3, this beer is a steal. A nice, strong, flavorful beer that demands to be enjoyed slowly, with a smile on your face and a warmth in your head.

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Stock is a superb high-alcohol brew by North Coast. It's got more alcohol than even most barleywines i've had.

Pours a sticky looking amber, reminds me of runny maple syrup.

Aroma is big spicy hot alcohol at first, with some overripe fruits and sticky toffee/caramel malt. Burbon and cognac liquor flavors in here too.

This ones a slooowww sipper, with lots of big sticky hops and packed with malt.

Photo of beerman207
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bamadog for the hookup on this one.

A - Color is a cinnamon with little to no lacing.

S- Nose has a nice spicy tone with cinnamon, chocolate, and caramel coming through. I can barely smell the alcohol which is a plus considering how heavy this one is.

T- Very sweet in the beginning with a nice warming coming through in the finish from the alcohol. I'm picking up raisins, honey, chocolate and dark fruit in the taste here.

M- This one is almost like syrup in the mouthfeel but not in a bad way.

D- I have to give this one low drinkability based on the high ABV. Man, having two of these would leave me feeling a mess.

Photo of bort11
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 2008 vintage, poured into a tulip glass. Quarter inch of fine light tan head. It recedes with no lacing, though that is to be expected with a 12.5% ABV. Quite often the higher the ABV, the less lacing you see. Color is a dark chestnut brown with streaks of highlighting around the edges.

Smell has a pretty bold vanilla aroma. There are some dark sugars and malts. Taste has more of the vanilla mixed with some spicy dark wood. Earthy and dry. Dark root spices, bits of clove and ginger.

A year of aging has been kind to this beer. Mouthfeel has a mild body, thought the carbonation is still crisp. I bet this would have aged nice for another year or so.

Blipped "Old Joe Clark" by Woody Guthrie

Photo of Pagzzz
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - 2009 vintage

Appearance: Deep ruby color with shades of brown, crystal clear, firm tan head on pouring, settles to a thin ring after a few minutes.

Aroma: sweet light and dark caramel, figs, rich maltiness, peaches? Alcohol evident, but not overpowering. Almost no hop aroma.

Taste: Rich, rich malty goodness with myriad caramel flavors. medium-high bitterness is surprisingly high given the subdued hop aroma and flavor. Dark dried and fresh fruits like raisins, dates and figs.

Mouthfeel: full body, sweetness carries through the finish. Super, warm finish calls out for a chilly evening by the fire or a rich full body cigar. very nice!

Photo of BMoney575
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 8-3-09
2007 Vintage
11.7% ABV

Pours a completely cloudy brown color, a thin ring of white head, and quickly fading lacing. Looks boozy.

Smell is huge. Molasses hits up front, dominating all else. Anise is there, with subtle toffee and dark fruit. Everything is taken to the next level by the great alcohol aroma.

Taste is sweet, fruity, and boozy, nowhere near as complex as the smell. Super roasted, the only balancing factor is the bitter alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is just right, thick and creamy to combat the alcohol.

Drinkability is actually quite good, if you're in the mood for a strong old ale.

Overall, not the best I've had, but a good beer nonetheless.

Photo of Hornet2003
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 vintage.

A: Cola coloured with no head, whatsoever.

S: Lots of raisiny, sweet aromas. It reminds me of caramel cooking in a pan.

T: Quite sweet but not cloying at all. There is also a nice hoppy bitterness that lingers on the tongue. There is an alcohol presence but very subtle. Plums, Prunes, and dates are the predominant fruit flavours.

M: I really like the carbonation of this beer. It's prickly and lends itself well to the obviously aggressive nature of the beer. Not syrupy, despite the sweetness.

D: I have to give this an average drinkability rating because although I'm only drinking one in a sitting, I could never imagine drinking more than that. Average denotes that it is a beer that you could drink one and be satisfied with it.

Overall: I really enjoy this "old ale". I could just imagine it would have been a blast to brew, thinking full well that every ingredient added to the kettle is double in strength and quantity to what would make an average beer. I just imagine the brewers with the Mr. Burns finger tapping hand grasp..."Excellent"

Photo of ChuckVee
3.31/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

2007 vintage

Pours a nice deep amber with a head that fades out to nothing quickly. The smell is sweet with some plum and chocolate, but mostly dominated by malt and alchohol. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous. This is definately a sipping beer. Deep, rich flavors of sweet malt, wood, leather, tobacco and a brief kick of hop bitterness are followed by some not so welcome alchohol hotness. I originally put these down for a few years hoping that the rocket fuel aspect of this beer would fade a little. It did, but not enough for me to rate it over a 2.5 in drinkability. Really a shame, considering it's potential for excellence. Wonderfully complex and well crafted Old Ale, but I am not interested in breathing fire after every sip. I have another 3 bottles that I will try in the coming years and see if they fare any better.

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

Extra from tzanio -- thanks bro! This is the 2007, which lists an ABV of 11.7% vs. the 12.5% on this profile.

Poured into a pint glass with a translucent, dark amber body and a thin dusting of off-white head. Falling gauze-like lacing, doesn't stick around too long.

Smell of malt that's rich, but not strong, if that makes sense. Caramel smell, some fig-like fruit.

First sip is al-co-HOL-ic, with some malty sugars. It's not surprising that the booze is up front, but I wasn't expecting to be hit with it quite so hard. Some darkly fruity, raisiny flavors, reminiscent of rum. Finishes with a kind of roast bite, a little hop snap, but most of the restrained bitter is from that roasty flavor.

The mouthfeel is warm with a kind of fuzziness from the booze. The flavors mellow out & the malt gains momentum further down the glass, making it not quite so bracing. A good beer, & one I'm satisfied with after one.

Photo of sweemzander
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2007 vintage.

(A)- Pours a cloudy red mahogany color. Billowy head dissipated down to tan bubbles.

(S)- Tons of caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Vanilla and molasses richness. Slight whiff of cinnamon and roastedness. Kinda reminds me of xmas fruitcake.

(T)- Rich and sweet fruits of berries with a nuttiness of either almond or pecan. Very sweet malts in the form of caramel/brown sugary bread. Very tawny port-like.

(M)- Very thick mouthfeel. Sugary sweetness that is quite extreme. Warming alcohol as you swallow. Solid carbonation.

(D)-This is seriously rich stuff that is only overshadowed by its sweetness. A special beer meant to be sipped slowly. It could replace a nightcap or a tawny port anyday of the week. I dont think I could have more than one of these at a time. Even at near 2 years old, this has many good years of aging left in it if one desired to wait longer. Will certainly try it again in a year or two.

Photo of merryjoulton
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark coppery brown with a healthy head that retains and laces down the side of the glass. Smell is tree fruits, caramel, roasty malts, spices and musk. Taste is along the same lines, very spicy and musty. I'd like to say it tastes "old" but I wouldn't have anything to compare it to its just old... Mouthfeel is thick and rich with nice drinkability.

Photo of Gump
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008. Rich mahogany in color. A good amount of carbonation creates a matching foam top that settles quickly.
The initial sweet malt aroma is woodsy, raisiny and bourbon-like. Before taking the first sip, I notice the head is now completely gone.
Sweet carmel flavors, medical and alcohol, remind me that this is a big beer that should be sipped, but the drinkability is also very good, especially if you like the clean, high-octane burn of 12% ABV.
Well balanced and clean, medium light body.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.65/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed on 06/22/2009. Draft at Sunset Grill. Pours a dark amber with a white head. Aroma of sweet malt and jam. Flavor of super sweet malt, yeast (?). Overpowering sweetness and booze. Wow, I don't know what other people see in this beer, but I don't care for it.

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

2008 Release, poured into a stemmed chalice, one finger white head drops quickly. Dark purple opaque body. Sweet fruits on the nose, fig, plums come to mind. Taste is following and Avery czar, fig flavors, a little 'flaming dr pepper' in this. Lots of heat in the mouth. Served close to proper temp, but needs to be much warmer. Lots of sweetness in this brew but pretty tasty. Drinkability suffers from high ethanol. Mouthfeel is overly carbonated, much to much for BW, imo. This needs lots of age on it.

Photo of WalrusJockey
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 into tulips.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of robbyc1
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

looks like i got a bad batch?

Photo of BierFan
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of argock
4.56/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of cvfish
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,738 ratings.