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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.

2,529 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,529
Reviews: 1,363
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 124
Gots: 413 | FT: 14
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: 2,529 | Reviews: 1,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The color is opaque brown. Very cloudy like a Cali Mud Slid. The head is 2 finger tan almost brown and very thick, Also noisy, The loudest head I've ever heard. Crackling like Rice Krispies. Good retention and nice lace.

The smell is like total alcohol washed malt. What a great breakfast that would be. Rice Krispies drenched in JimBeam.

The taste is good, malty, strong alcohol, Nice hop presence but balanced to the malt side.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy, full body and adequate carbonation.

The drinkability is just ok, I have had bigger beers that drink easier than this, But wow this is a fine brew and always will have a place in the Bier Keller. Prosit und Zum Wohl! MK

MuenchenerKindl, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of AndoBrew
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*I LIKE IT will always buy to drink and to age*

app: oh such a wonderfull color, deep rich copper red ruby. with a sweet little tan kahki head

smell: rich strong malty caramel butterscotch maple smell, dark fruits, a little sweetnes, a little clean booze

taste: not as sweet or rich. the taste has a lot more booze, and some sharper tones, not very smooth.. I think it needs to warm up a bit, so I will wait.

5 min later, much better. nice and flavorful instead of just cold booze. DO NOT DRINK THIS BEER TO COLD IT WILL SUCK.

this is full of dark rich fruits, nutty overtones.. just delicious malts all over the place, nice clean booze. a real treat.

mf: thick a little gooey, a nice little amount of spritz, could use a touch more. I think a tad to gooey.

drinkable?: it is, it really is. easpecially for what it is, it really is. of course its big and heavy and slow going but..

great beer, even young.

AndoBrew, Oct 31, 2006
Photo of SudNut
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a dark amber orange with minimal head.

Duck or you will be knocked out by the alcohol smell rising off of this one; it’s a good one though. Ahhh, just breath it in, a malty sweet nose with caramel, plum and alcohol.

Wow I was taken back by the first sip, malty sweet caramel and coffee with a bit of alcohol burn. Although the alcohol was well masked. With each sip I was left pondering a new flavor, chocolate, plum or is it raisins??? This beer has an intriguing taste I like.

Mouthfeel was thick and a bit sticky leaves a sticky sweet film on your lips, like after a good smooch with the Mrs. MMM

I was left wanting another one of these. Highly drinkable Old Ale but watch out for the demons in the bottom! This one has some punch.

SudNut, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a very carbonated hazy reddish-brown color, with minimal off-white head that lingers a while, then fades to no lacing. Very strong aroma of malt, dark fruit and alcohol, wiith taste more of the same. As beer warms, the alcohol (13.25%) becomes much more dominant. The palate is smooth and warming at first, but again is overcome by the high alcohol content. This would make a great winter warmer.

kimcgolf, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of johnniemarg
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a delerium tulip.

Pours a dark, muddy reddish brown with no head.

Smells of caramel, apples, raisins, brown sugar and alcohol. The alcohol spice mixed with the other scents reminds me of cinnamon, making this beer smell like fresh apple pie.

The taste is in line with the smell: apples, raisins and brown sugar with a nice alcohol bite in the finish. Again, tastes like apple pie liqueur, although the raisin flavors become more prevalent as this warms. This is tasty.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with the consistency of heavy cream, but with an oily texture. The alcohol is prickly and warming. Very light carbonation.

This is a very tasty old ale.

johnniemarg, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of sockeye101
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow...this is heavy tongue thumping ale if there ever was one. Smells of raisins, sweet carmel and alcohol immediately hit me as a poured. A nice deep golden/orange color was present with a nice white head and nice lacing. Flavors were nice and balanced, hops up front followed with a dried fruit flavor and then an over the top sweet maltiness. Mouthfeel was creamy and smooth. Overall a great old ale, however it was a bit on the sweet side....but with an abv of 13.5 I suppose that is expected. 2006 bottling.

sockeye101, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of gonzo138
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 edition 11.4% ABV

A- pours a very deep red color with a thin white head that receded quickly but left a nice ring of cream colored lace around the edge of the snifter

S- a very very malty sweet aroma, very strong, alchohol smell is very present as well

T- complements smell, incredibly thick malty sweetness a little chocolatey, alcohol taste is noticable, a nice bitterness at the finish

M- very heavy body, super thick and sticky mouthfeel, low carbonation

D- a hefty brew, takes a bit of time to finish one, but an excellent beer, something to have after dinner

gonzo138, Oct 18, 2006
Photo of rayjay
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle. I see they bumped this already heavy beer up another 2% abv, topping out to 13.25%, so lets see what the real difference is...

Very thick and brown, and a small but respectable head considering the abv; enjoy it while it lasts because this one will soon be a big flat sticky beer. I happened to touch the top of the bottle after I poured the beer, and my finger stuck for a second or two. Looks like liquid brown sugar or caramel, the color of gingerbread.

Strong nose, lots of alcohol, sticky carmel malts (and gobs of 'em), smells almost like beer brandy.

Sweetness prevails. Big english barleywine body and thick tongue-coating belgian quad mouthfeel, with some hot and bitter notes resulting from both the hops and alcohol. Thick lip-smacking syrup is left on your mouth. It drinks like strong candy; creme brulee, toffee, buttery peanut brittle, fruit cake, persimmons, plums, bread pudding, cognac, and young sweet whiskey are all there. Alcohol is very well masked, especially for a 13%-er that's this young still, although everything about this beer is BIG.

In a word, I'd call it "Double Old Nick."

Dangerous but highly recommended. Cheers!

rayjay, Oct 18, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is the 2005 vintage. The beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: This beer is a deep and dark caramel / amber combo. The head on the beer is an off white beige coloration almost two fingers high. The beer has minimal retention and settles into a persistent ring of foam.

Smell: This beer strongly reminds me of the smell of my grandmother’s fruit cakes. The beer has a very vinous port wine / brandy smell combined with berries, cherries, mixed nuts, citrus fruits and caramel malts.

Taste: The beer captures all the sweet smells in the flavor. This flavor also includes a great spicy complement of anise and a slightly peppery alcohol bite. The hops bring a bitterness that cuts the sweetness of the beer.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer has a body of a super heavy weight. The beer is very smooth and creamy. The beer has a definite warming alcohol feel. I have enjoyed numerous bottles of this beer. The beer is fantastic from the start until it sadly ends. This beer is a very strong beer and I enjoy it because of its strength and smoothness.

nlmartin, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle - 2006 edition

Pours a clear mahogany brown with ruby highlights. A very creamy tan head forms and just slightly thins and maintains. Mild lacing on the glass.

Sweet malty aroma with a slightly toasted nuttiness and a rich dark fruitiness woven in. The booze becomes apparent as it warms.

Sweet and malty upfront with the same lightly toasted nuttiness that I detected in the smell. A blend of dark fruity flavors appears and lead into a mild booziness as it finishes sweet. Almost a faint smokiness in the aftertaste.

Rich, creamy texture. Well carbonated.

For such a big beer and being quite young, this is quite a fine version of this yearly treat. I expect that my remaining bottles will only bring me more enjoyment as they have some time to mature in my cellar.

MaltyGoodness, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of jeffjfindley
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful blood red to amber color. Not much of a head though, and what there is doesn't stick around very long.

Smell: Over the top wonderful. Very fruity, especially plums. I can't sniff this beer without making a verbal exclamation of delight.

Taste: In addition to the aforementioned fruitiness, this also posseses some serious port wine character to it. There is no mistaking the fact that this beer has a serious ABV. I don't believe it gets more satisfying than this.

Mouthfeel: Malty throughout with the stimulating warmth you would expect from a brew of these proportions.

Drinkabilty: This is disappearing from my goblet at an alarming rate. The high alcohol content should serve to dissuade the well-advised to stick to one or two before getting on that forklift, but aside from that this one is extraordinarily drinkable.

jeffjfindley, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of jletts
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Old Stock purchased at the local PCC, let warm to approximately 55 degrees and poured into a goblet.

Appearance- beautiful blood-mahogany color, one of the most striking features of this beer. Head was fairly thin with decent lacing.

Smell- alcohol and toasty caramel comes through in the front, followed by a strong malty alcohol with slight nutty and then sweet plums and perhaps other sweet fruit.

Taste- sweet syrupy caramel is what I first noticed with lots and lots of malty goodness. The hops were not prevalent. Hints of sweet fermented fruit, plums and perhaps raisins proceeded a warm burbon-like alcohol finish with just a slight touch of peat showing through at the very end. The flavors change as the beer warms and the sweet fruit comes through more. The alcohol is not as strong in the flavor as one might expect with a beer of this ABV. This may age nicely.

Mouthfeel- substantial, moderately thick and a bit syrupy. Good for the style.

Drinkability- very high, though too strong for more than one or two in a sitting. I would definately get this beer again and maybe set some aside for a few years.

North Coast seems to do well with the stronger styles. I also really enjoyed their Russian Imperial Stout.

jletts, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of czechsaaz
4.93/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2002 vintage, 4 years old. Celar Temp in a snifter. 11.4% 12 oz bottle.

Lots of malt aroma, particularly dark malts like Munich or Vienna. There's also a bunch of wine-like yeast smells with lots of fruit esters too. The wine character that was pretty up front on the first sniffs disappears after a minute. I get some coffee notes and caramel and even a cinnamin spiceyness. Very complex.

Very dark red color with a solid layer of tan head that leaves good lacing. Some rising carbonation bubbles too.

Lots of malt backbone again with lots of darker malts. What really gets me is the fermentation fruitiness. Lots of ripe plums and cherries and some grape flavors like port wine. Solid hop bitterness but its a back seat to the malty profile. It's got some brown sugar character in the aftertaste that is pretty sweet. Seems like the hops are dropping out with age.

Full bodied and smooth. Carbonation level is fairly light on the toungue. Theres also a warming alcohol effect in the aftertaste too.

Another winner. Not sure how much longer this is going to age. If the hops drop out any m,ore it will get pretty sweet. But right now its drinking marvelously.

czechsaaz, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of lackenhauser
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good,somewhat mudded orange color. Seemed decently carbonated though no real head. Great aroma-some major phenolic and metallic notes. Malty and slightly sweet as well. Fantastic flavor-a big spicy and "hot" taste to it but not an alcohol burn. Huge malt flavor with a slight bitterness that comes more from the alcohol then any hops. Just screams "belgian" in the flavor. Great body to go with it. Not as sweet/syrupy as it could be. Nice dry finish. Really an enjoyable beer for being so "big". To think "The Beast" is only 2% bigger then this and nowhere near as balanced.

lackenhauser, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 on tap at the Comsumer Beverage in Orchard Park,NY.Great to see this highly anticipated annual offering at the growler station at Consumers,pours a rich deep amber with a thinner but well retained creamy-like off white head.One word to describe the nose would be rich just rich and almost warming dark fruit,caramel,brown sugar,and a real alcohol zip as it warms to the right temp,this beer is big and brash to say the least its fresh and nothin is holding this puppy back.Starting out a little sweet with raisin/prune and brown sugar notes up front with that warming alcohol always prevelant a nice drying earthiness shows up late and I thing really cuts thru the sweetness even now at such a very young age a touch of hoppy leafiness shows up as well.This growler is going to be drank slowly over a few days its warming,rich and ever so smooth but the alcohol keeps me from going overboard on it and I think its a good thing,I'll by a bottle and hold and see how it ages.Masterful.

oberon, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber...yellowish head that disappears quickly.
Smells of fresh pineapple and dried fruit.
Tastes very sweet... malty...raisin flavor....blackberry...very alcoholic..bourbon-like and slightly sherry-like . There is a background citrus rind bitter.
Mouthfeel is heavy and cloying...very little carbonation.
Pretty good brew...good for just one..ABV is so high.

Hautacam, Sep 20, 2006
Photo of BlindPig
3.45/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was no way near as good as the 2006. (I think they may of changed their recipe since this is only 11.4% abv and 06 is 13.25%.
A- Basically no head or lacing. The little it had goes away fast. Cloudy brown orange.
S- Alcohol. Smoe fruits and malts also. It has a sweet rich smell too.
T-Alcohol comes through a lot. Some fruits like cherries and plums come through lightly. Hops also show themselves but not much. Get light warmth from alcohol also. It is pretty sweet probably from fruits and malts. Has a light to medium bitterness in the after taste. Also finishes dry.
M- To thin. A lot thinner than the 06 and less carbonation. Smooth also.
D- Way prefer the 2006. This is to thin and flavors are just different. It's like they stopper flexing their muscles and held hands. They are all blended together better but not in a good way. Also alcohol isn't as covered up as well. I would definitely say go for the 06 if you have the option.

BlindPig, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of clickpush
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage

Pour: 12oz bottle to tulip glass. Looks like syrup the color of rubies, a bit thick with a brilliant red aura. Has a very small head, no more than a half inch at best, which goes down very quickly to a large halo and okay lacing. Halo is fueled by the ceaseless streams of bubbles coming up through the body of the beer.

Nose: Very sweet, prunes, oranges, all malt and no detectable hops. Smell is very strong and appealing - best not to drink this in a bee-heavy setting.

Mouth: This beer races through the mouth with its very strong and tingly carbonation, filling all the crevices with its sweet caramel and fruit flavors. Front to back this beer is malty, malty, malty. The swallow is so sharp as to be astringent, and the exhale is full of alcohol and raises the metaphoric temperature of the mouth considerably.

Needs some time on the shelf to mellow out, but I like it.

clickpush, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of timtheenchanta
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby color with a much bigger head than I expect from a beer that's 13.25. Very light tan with large bubbles and leaves spots on top during the duration.

Big spicy nose from the alcohol with a huge raisin aroma and a hint of tanned leather. The alcohol really rules the nose and makes it difficult to pick much else out.

Very hot taste as this one was brewed this year. Very spicy alcohol bite with lots of raisin taste. There's a huge malty sweetness down beneath the alcohol but this beer really has a time trying to cover up all of this booze.

For a beer this big with all of the aroma it has I felt like this one was a tad thing. There's not a ton of carbonation but I didn't really expect much.

An okay beer but this style really isn't as thrilling when it's fresh. I'll probably buy some more of these and put them down for a couple of years.

timtheenchanta, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of dblinkhorn
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 Edition, 13.25% ABV

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a beautiful dark ruby/amber color that is crystal clear and has medium carbonation activity. The head is off-white and slightly tan and is soapy in the body, but silky at the top. This dissipates quickly with little lacing to a bit of lace floating on top of the brew.

Smell - Smells like cherry Koolaid with malt added. It is quite fruity-smelling of mainly cherries, pear, and some plum. The malt character smells slightly roasted with buscuity property. The hops are difficult to detect but some crisp bitterness is on the nose.

Taste - Again very fruity. Lots of sweet cherry flavor and some mild chocolate characteristics up front. Oily hoppiness is present that is slightly bitter. A strong earthiness accompanies a sip, along with rich malts that taste somewhat roasted. This stuff reminds me of Fuller's Vintage ale. The alcohol is definitely present at 13.25%, although it isn't as harsh as I was expecting it to be with an ABV that high.

Mouthfeel - It has mild carbonation, and is full-bodied. It is very smooth in the mouth, feels like velvet in there. Little actual alcohol 'burn' but a nice warming sensation as with a very good brandy. For this ABV, it's surprisingly well-hidden.

Drinkability - The flavors are quite strong, but not terribly complex. The mouthfeel is near perfection and very smooth. For a 13.25% ABV, this stuff has only medium alcohol burn. However, whether or not you can taste it, it still enters your bloodstream.

Overall, quite a tasty Old Ale. I think it's comparable to Fuller's Vintage ale. Definitely a recommended brew.

dblinkhorn, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 edition, 11.4% ABV. Pours a cloudy, muddy dark copper/chestnut color. A thin foamy tan head rises, but falls very quickly, leaving a small collar around the edge of the glass. Aroma of dark candied fruit, alcohol, apples, and caramel. Flavor is very similar, candy, caramel, along with some darker fruits. This really shines as it warms up, as the flavors really come out, but the alcohol is more intense. More vinous at the end when it warms, maybe some citrusy hops thrown in at the end. Medium body. This was a nice sipper, could probably age for a year or ten.

Bierguy5, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of dherling
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks like cokeacola in my pint glass. The off white, bubbly head dissapeared quickly. Lots of sweet malt in the nose, with a nutty metalic whisp as well. This tastes huge, and as I glance over, I realize this is 13.25% alc. It's a 2006, maybe I should have let this sit an extra 2-3 years. I get unmistakable barley wine traits here, big malt, lots of alcohol, raisins, chocolate/coffee-like bitterness on the edge, and a lot of warmth and burnt wood on the end. This leaves a slime trail going down the back of my throat, and all 500 pounds of that big ass beer lingers eternally on my palate. I'd like to try one aged for a few years where the burn of the alcohol has mellowed some.

dherling, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of BillyB
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very strong alcoholic aroma and tastes jump out from this one. A nice drink once you get about a third of the way through but the alcohol takes some getting used to.
Strong whiskey, dark fruit, raisiny aromas and taste. A bit smoky, earthy, barnyard complex taste profile.
Probably a lot smoother after being aged a couple years. This one was an experience but a little harsh.

BillyB, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of UnionMade
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2002 vintage, carefully cellared in the best conditions I can manage.
Muddy caramel brown, topped with a whisp of ivory head. Looks viscous and earthy. The head drops out entirely after a couple sips. A surprisingly authentic english aroma. Distinctively biscuity, thick maris otter sweetness with an earthen, woody english hop aroma. Fuggles or some variety thereof. Resiny hops and vinous fruity notes. In the vein of Harvest Ale or Thomas Hardy's. The first sip just glides along the palate. Soft, gentle carbonation, kinda casky like real ale should be, with a thick, syrupy mouthfeel. A nice sparkle to this one. Full and rich with malt, malt, more malt and powerful fruitiness. Surprisingly understated (and underanticipated) sherry and vinous flavors. Cider, too. I'd have thought this would have shown more age with four years. I bet it could easily go until 2010, if not longer. Some hop bitterness remains in the finish, dulled enough so the malt really shines, but contributes a good amount of earthy, wooden flavor. A full compliment of caramel and dark fruit takes up the finish, joining with some boozy indertones. Vague smoky phenols, too. Really, really fruity all the way through. Good thing I like that flavor profile. The flavors continue to intensify as the brew approaches room temperature. I wouldn't recommend sitting with this one forever, because the already gentle carbonation seems to run out and the last few sips were pretty much still for me. Great stuff. The complexity seems to grow in leaps and bounds over the years, as it acquires that rich, succulent dark fruitiness, moving slowly towards sherry oldness. With four years on it, I expected this to have shown its age much more. One of the best aging beers I've ever had, particularly amongst american breweries. Huge, but full of nuance. I don't recall this being especially noteworthy amongst big beers when fresh from the brewery. Well worth the cellaring.

UnionMade, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of egajdzis
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2001 Vintage, poured a beautiful copper color with a small off white head and very little lacing. Musty, fruity, slight alcoholic aroma. Plums, grapes, carame, and grapes are all prominent flavors. This was an enjoyable barleywine when aged for the proper amount of time. A fresh one can be tough to get down.

egajdzis, Aug 28, 2006
Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,529 ratings.