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Old Stock Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,783 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,783
Reviews: 1,401
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 145
Gots: 509 | FT: 20
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: 2,783 | Reviews: 1,401 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Douglas14
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edition 2007, Served at ~60 degrees in a snifter.

Pours an absolutely beautiful dark, rich, mohagany color with an equally beautiful beige head that resides rather quickly...due to the high alcohol. The first smell i get is sour apples, followed by dark fruits, and of course malt. There is some spiciness to it as well. The taste is rich and complex. Dark, sour and tart fruits come first. Oak and wood follow and remain throughout the rest of the sip, and again, the same spices. A very noticable alcohol burn warms the stomach.

The entire package makes for a unique experience, one which I cannot wait to experience again.

North Coast has charged its way into my top five breweries.

Photo of MSchae1017
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a snifter from the 12oz bottle.

This beer pours a rusty amber with a small tan head that dissipates without leaving any lace due to the large amount of alcohol. The smell is strong with pale and caramel malts along with a bit of fruityness. Alcohol is present in the flavor and gives a pleasant warmth. The various malts are present and give a bit of fruityness along with a subtle hop presence that gives this beer a very nice balance. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodies leaving some stickiness and some nice carbonation. Overall a very nice old ale. Looking forward to seeing how this holds up.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a warm chestnut brown with just a faint tan head, which quickly subsides leaving almost no remnants. Appears very light & thin with just a touch of carbonation erupting in the center.

Intense sweet fruit & malt masking the alcohol aroma. Slightly acidic and nutty as well.

Sweet dark fruit, perhaps raisins and over ripe cherries. Amongst the chocolate and fierce alcohol presence at the finish, I can sense some unidentified yeast notes. This is rich and full of character.

The Old Stock is relatively thick, medium carbonation and hearty alcohol.

This is an excellent and greatly enjoyable beer. Drinkability is great, but this is a sipper. This will be a favorite throughout the winter for me.

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.

a. poured a rich burnt amber color, fairly dark and only somewhat translucent. A fairly vigorous pour into a goblet yielded a fairly thick and billowy light amber head - more than I was expecting given the 12.5% abv.

s. Dried fruit. Figs, raisins, currants, burnt maple syrup, toast, and some port and cognac undertones creeping through. A bit of hop bitter aroma keeps the fruit from being overwhelming. Reminiscent in smell of a strong and sweet barleywine. Very nice indeed.

t. Strong but surprisingly pleasant given the high abv. Rich nutty fruits balanced with some strong, almost alcohol malts, and some hop bitterness tossed in to keep it on the beer side of the beverage spectrum. The roasted malt and barley flavors come through on the finish, helping to mellow out the fruits. Taste is wonderful.

m. Thick, rich, and strong. The alcohol is slightly detectable on the palette, but not at all overwhelming. I found the carbonation slightly higher than I would have liked, but the bubbles were fine, and given the thick viscosity, i'd rather carbonation than a lack there of.

d. Just about as drinkable as any 12+ abv. I've had. Smooth and creamy helps it go down beautifully. Definitely a sipping beer that is beautiful on it's own but definitely strong enough to stand up to a wide range of foods. Would definitely age beautifully... this is a winner that I regret having walked past so many times.

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

Picked up a 4-pack of this at the Toco Hills Package store in Atlanta. Got home and cracked one open. Poured into my Caracole tulip glass. Pours a deep brown with not much head. Not a whole lot of lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is dried fruit - prunes and sweet raisins particularly, and alcohol. Taste is very complex. Starts off with raisins and moves to a sweet caramel/toffee light chocolate mix. Finished with a relatively strong alcohol presence. Moderate to little carbonation. The high ABV makes this tough to drink, but this is an exceptional beer. should be interesting to see how it ages.

Photo of slyke
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

Appearance is a pleasant mohagony color with a finger of tan head that falls to a cap after about three minutes.

Smell contains elements of alcohol, raisin-like sweetness and a bit of medicine.

Taste is similar to the smell, but the medicine note is more prominent.

Mouthfeel is coating, almost syrupy.

This beer is a pretty solid sipper. While not something I'll drink regularly, perhaps it would make a good one to enjoy when I have a cold. With the strong ABV, I'm sure it would help me sleep.

Photo of SFRider
3.06/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark Amber/Red.
Smell: Sweet malts.
Taste: Bitter sweet. Musky at the end. The after taste really lingers with heavy muskness, slightly skunky on the breath.
Mouthfeel: A syrup like smooth. Medium carbonation.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. I definitely plan on drinking this beer again.
Serving Type: Bottle poured into a wine glass.

I didn't enjoy this beer as much at the end as I did in the beginning. Certainly has a high ABV, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be a great beer. Has a good smell, and my first sip was enjoyable. But by the end, it had warmed up a bit and was tough to get down. Make sure you drink it cold. It's definitely worth having once. And I know a number of other beer drinkers really like this brew - so give it a shot. Would I have it again? Maybe - but likely not too soon. Far too many new beers for me to try.

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

2007 vintage

a: Deep brown body with some hints of ruby against the light. An off-white head quickly fades leaving only a small ring of foam around the edges.

s: Raisins, medicinal phenols and alcohol.

t: Caramel malt, rum raisin, medicinal alcohol flavor. All about the big and complex malt profile and I'm lovin it.

m: Syrupy, full body with just enough carbonation to lighten it up a bit.

d: mmmm...I like. Great option for the frugal beer cellerer. I'm going to be laying a few down this year for sure. Reminds me of several British brews.

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

It starts out with a nice smell of toffee, some cherries, pear, some dried fruits - figs, apples, plums? Lots of foam, though. Somewhat surprising. Some alcohol, as well.

The taste is good, but not as good as the smell. Soft, sweet fruits, mentioned above, caramell, toffee, almonds (?), quite bitter too, and som "green" hops. Its pretty easy to drink, almost a bit thin, and somewhat mild. I didnt find much alcohol in the taste, surprisingly, but I felt it in my head pretty soon.

Total: nice beer, but needs more depth in taste, and less alcohol. Expensive too.

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage

Great beer. Pours an dark woody brown - not a ton of head but a good amount. Aroma is incredibly inviting - fruity with a bit of toffee or something similar and a bit of chocolate. Very complex and multi-layered taste - invites multiple tastings to figure out what exactly is going on. Drinkability is very good - the alcohol is very high in this drink and it is blended well, but it still gets to you after a few (tonight I've had WAY too much to drink, so it is hard to telll, honestly). Fantastic beer - highly recommended.

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

***2008*** 12oz bottle.

Pours a nice brown/slightly reddish color (almost looks like sludge! but a good sludge indeed). The head on this is quite minimal but the head slowly formed to thin layer that was an off white color. Faded quickly leaving a nice lace around the edge.

The aroma is potent. This years version being 12.5% it's no wonder. You catch a whiff of the alcohol right up front. But beneath that is a great dark fruit/malty backbone. The hops, well, there's so much action going on with the alcohol & malt that they get somewhat lost in the mix. But that's ok for this type of brew. There's underlying sweetness in the aroma.

The taste...well it's a sipping beer no doubt. Tons of flavor and alcohol arrive ripping your taste buds apart. Chocolate, roasted malts, toffee, dark fruit, and the warm sensation of alcohol. It's all here! I'm sure these flavors will enhance greatly as the beer warms and the alcohol may very well get quite crazy as it warms.

Thick and heavy on the palate. Very close to syrup like consistency. Low levels of carbonation, which works well with how this beer feels.

This is quite a delicious and fairly complex beer. The alcohol is constantly in your face which makes this beer not so easy to drink. It's tasty, it's potent, and it's surely a sipping beer. One 12oz should be enough to slowly slip on in the cool evenings.

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage (11.7% abv). 12fl oz. bottle served in my DFH snifter. Brown/ruby in appearance with little light penetration but decent clarity considering the depth of color. One inch cream-colored head eventually settled into a broken skim that coalesced around the shoulders of the bowl; no lacing present during the tasting. Bold nose - sugary sweet up front, caramel notes and dark fruit (perhaps raisins, figs, prunes). Hot booze, toffee, bourbon and a hint of vanilla. Alcohol warmth throughout the mouth. Slightly viscous with some carbonation burn from start to finish. Tasty, but definitely a sipper. Looking forward to seeing how this one ages, but a little too hot right now.

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

Pours a ruby color with a creamy white colored head. Not much in the way of retention. Some lacing.

Big malt and dark fruit in the nose. Some what raisiny. Some alcohol in the nose.

Raisin and rum flavors are picked up first. Slight vanilla flavors linger in there. Big warming alcohol punch.

Very creamy and smooth. Easy to drink despite the noticable alcohol content. Good carbonation, lively.

Enjoyable brew. I am sure it would be just as tasty possibly more with some age.

Photo of steelcutoats
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Stock Ale Review

This is a monster of a beer. I poured a 12 oz. bottle into my crystal tasting snifter. The color was a deep caramel, almost impervious to light. The aroma was thick with deep notes of fruit and roasted malts. The taste was unique as "Old Ales" go...very smooth and fruity, probably from figs if I had to guess. There isn't much in the way of hops in this beer, but it has a great overall taste. Truly epic, pick up a few and mellow out to some Led Zeppelin.

Photo of aubuc1
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from 2007 poured in to a goblet.

Pours a deep brown/amber with a very thin head.

The smell is berries sweet malt.

Taste is of raisins, then sour raspberry. Maltiness follows and finishes with an alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel is full and carbonated, very nice.

For almost 12% this is masked very well. Much smoother than I anticipated. Great experience.

Photo of baggio
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle@home, 2007 vintage, 11.5% ABV

A: Dark red with a nice, white, creamy lace that sticks to the glass.

S: Alcohol, Malt, Ripe dark fruit, Caramel, Sugar.

T: Bourbon, Caramel, Raisin, Molasses, Dark caramel, Hint of vanilla.

M: Thick and creamy with almost no carbonation and a slightly boozy finish.

This beer was perfect for sipping late at night. Rich and powerful and quite complex. Could use some more aging still i reckon, still very nice. Recommended!

Photo of orangemoustache
3.2/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown with a thin off-white head that dissipates at a fairly rapid rate leaving behind no lacing. The nose is strong with alcohol and some lightly toasted malt,maybe a hint of raisins on the tail. Jeez this alcohol is way stronger on the tongue than in the nose,I was hoping it would be a bit more hidden(it packs quite a wallop). I also taste some dark fermented fruits and a touch of over ripened peach. Some slight toasted grains and light hop bitterness. The body is medium and slick. Carbonation is minimal with a tangy alcohol burn on the tongue. A decent brew and definitely interesting.

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 edition

The nose on the beer is very chocolaty and malty, and smells like a barleywine. The colour is a deep red with a very small head that dissipates quite quickly. The beer tastes really strong. It has a big barleywine sweet flavour with a hint of chocolate. There is a presence of alcohol as well. This is just a bit over powering. The mouthfeel is quite thick, which is good. Not drinkable at all really.

I bought this and I am aging 3/4 of the four pack. I will review them in a year!

Photo of DoubleJ
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage (11.7% ABV), and on to the beer we go:

Pours hazy, caramel colored. In the glass it rests ruby brown with caramel and orange hues. My nose is catching that kick of booze, with burnt sugar, vanilla, dates, and delicate yeast. The first sips of this ale are hit hard with the alcohol. It's sweet at first (akin to caramel chews), fusel alcohol cuts through. In comes flavors of vanilla and a lovely pick-me-up of buttery yeast. The taste starts to grown on you as you adjust to the alcohol character, but it's a sipper nonetheless.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

***2008 Vintage***

I had my doubts about this one due to the beer being so young. Decided to give it a shot. I was told that this one tastes good even at this early date.

A- Very dark brown/ruby color with a tan head that did not stick around too long. Carbonation bubbles eveident, heavy oxidation.

S- Wow. There was an attactive boozey sweetness that would just not go away. All I could smell was candy and alcohol. Caramel. Sugar. VERY SWEET.

T- Jackpot! Rich as hell. The figgy caramel and toffee came through the most. Hot booze. Reminded me of a barley wine but with less hop and more sugar.

M- Carbonation. Lots of it. Burning my tongue and throat from the booze. Syrupy, thick.

D- This one is so tasty that I could not put it down. Perfect nightcap beer. Well done. I would love to lay one down for a while.

Photo of cvstrickland
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12-ounce stubby from the 2007 brewing, labeled at 11.7% abv, poured into a pint willi glass yields a clear copper-burgundy body with a cap of ecru foam that settles quickly to a persistent sheet. No lacing remains on the glass.

The smell is dark and sugary with note of ripe red apple, dark rum, and brown bread.

The taste is rich and sweet with an odd oxidized flavor of clear brown sugar rock candy and a sting of fiery alcohol. The drink takes a fruity turn as the alcohol morphs from hot and chemical, to soft and caramelly, to peppery and plummy... but the backbone of the drink never strays from boozy in feel and flavor. This brewing of Old Stock Ale is apparently in need of more aging, and big-time.

Medium in body, raw in character... and, oh yes, a sipper.

Photo of elniko
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into snifter, 2008 vintage. I have three more in my cave aging that I am really looking foward. The 2004 vintage that I had recently was stupendous.

A: Very little head, rich opaque coloring. No carbonation apparent. Interesting looking brew.

S: First thing I notice is alcohol which makes sense since ABV is 13.25%. Strong on the nose, hints of raisin and caramel.

T & M: Wow....this is one strong brew. I get tones of toffee in the finish. Mouthfeel is full with very little bitterness. I can't wait until my other bottles age as some of the up front strongness should meld into some wonderful flavors. Definite caramel tones as well.

D: I don't think there is any way I could drink more than one, still wonderful job by North Coast as usual.

Photo of Bananaman
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice beer from North Coast Brewing. Can't really decide if I think it's a Barley Wine or an Old Ale. I have two more bottles that I will store for a while.

Looks amazing in the glass! The bottle is really beautiful too. Mahogny colored with a nice beige foam-ring.

Taste is very sweet, almost syrupy with some nice hints of bitter berries and hardly roasted nuts. There is a really nice hoppiness that is balanced by the sweet maltyness. Really nice!

I think this one could be close to "a five" after a couple of years in the "beer cellar".

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

12 oz. bottle 2008. Pours a reddish-brown with an average, fizzy, off-white head. Aroma is sweet malts, a tiny bit hoppy, and a little plum. Flavor is sweet with a bit of a bitter finish. It is very warming on the palate with light alcoholic finish. Warms very well, first barley wine. Good experience.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dense almond head raises about one finger, then resides to a thin layer. Impressive for nearly 12% abv. Below, our quarry is a cloudy, rich cinnamon, neatly contained by a snifter glass. This Old Stock is an 07 vintage, and North Coast's logo is worth noting, for its distinctive and elegant graphic.

Nuts and wheat bread stand out, followed by molasses, plumb and raisin. As this one warms, oak and vanilla are presented on alcohol fumes. Chuck full of character, Old Stock harkens back to a time of oak lined parlors filled with cigars, books, and honor.

Darn, the flavor suffers from the lofty expectations of appearance and aroma. Still the acidic entry is tamed by roasted nuts and leather, with a lingering finish. The rest of this four pack is destine for a slumber in the cellar. Let's see what this baby can do with time.

The dense body is a touch oily, with light carbonation and a strong warming alcohol, just short of burning.

Aging will do this one well. Yet it still rates well, despite the strong presence of alcohol and sharp flavors. Old Stock is highly contemplative, to be enjoyed with a cigar, and stimulating conversation. Bring this one out when debating an upcoming presidential election.

Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,783 ratings.