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Old Stock Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,813 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,813
Reviews: 1,413
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 144
Gots: 523 | FT: 23
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.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,813 | Reviews: 1,413
Photo of cvstrickland
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
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 +3.9%
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 +3.6%
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 -0.7%
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 -4.6%
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.

Photo of changeup45
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4/3/2008. 2008 Batch with 12.5% abv. Pours a deep amber color with very little head or lacing. Aroma is winey, candy sugars with sour fruits. The flavor is sugary and sour with bitter fruits, a touch of malt, alcoholic and red wine-like. Smooth and warming. It does go down quite easily but seems a bit basic. Obviously this beer is very young so perhaps I'll take the advice of others (and the brewery) and let the others age for a while.

Photo of charlzm
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 08/20/08 at Blue Palms Brewhouse, Hollywood, CA.

This particular sample was aged two years - yes, the keg was from 2006 and was just now being tapped.

Deep caramel brown colored beer. Hints of highlights by the dim bar lights. A really fine, creamy head about 1/8 inch thick sits atop the brew.

An aroma of sweet, dark malts, pitted fruits and... is that nutmeg? wafts into the nostrils.

Mouthfeel is a tad chewy.

Flavor reminds me of sweet red wine with some thin roasted malt character, nuttiness and that subtle spice again. Some bitterness on finish. Sort of like a brown ale on steroids. No discernable alcohol character, which is amazing considering the ABV. Only a slight off character (a touch of cardboard, due perhaps to oxidization) mars this brew.

Very drinkable. Too drinkable, maybe?

Photo of Thunderball
4.62/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip, and delivered a pencil thin, off-white head. The smell was of caramel sweetness with some spice. The mouth feel was of a spice and white pepper, with a bread like component. The taste, and this is the best part. vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, spice, pepper, bitter sweet chocolate, toasted english muffin. So complex, so much going on that my tongue is fatigued. The alcohol shows itself in the stomach, and the brain. This is by far the best brew I have had the pleasure to introduce to my lips! To me, this is like "mother's milk". Whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger. Tonight, I'm invincible!

Photo of IBUnit63
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007 into Cab glass...

Big, bready pillowy 1-finger yeasty head with nice seam, a thick cling to the glass and staying power. Wood-colored body... a split between mahogany hue and cherry darkness - a deep chestnut color? Ample carbonation.

Oooh...some bourbon, vanilla, alcohol - apples, cinnamon and raising with brown sugar. Smells like dessert.

Powerful stuff. Raisins, figs and deep dark caramel malt - a little coffee and some slight earth. Runs very hot from the alcohol - it's great but use warmth to calm it down.

Nice feel - a little astringent from alcohol - it's good nonetheless. Burns like a good single-barrel bourbon.

This needs time but it's good nonetheless - easy to drink for style but a nice sipper.

Photo of froghop
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured this 2008 into a snifter, a dark caramel in color with a small tan head, good lacing.

smell of burnt toffee, roasted nuts, some berry, and some cocoa.

taste is thick, nuts, toffee, malt, touch of cocoa, with an oily finish, as it warms becomes more smooth.

Photo of oneeye
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

North Coast 2007 Old Stock Ale

Poured into a snifter.
Pours dark brown with a black cherry glow. A small brownish yellow creamy head. A Creamy head that stays with the beer. Little lace with caramel highlights.
The aroma is strong with whiffs of alcohol. A mixture of dried dark fruits with the smell of nature. Hints of black cherry and vanilla. The smell of a sunny fall day. Dried leaves and trees.
A strong taste of malts and alcohol. Bourbon like or a strong wine with woody features. Dark fruit with bakers chocolate. Funky cheeries with a hint of vanilla. Sour apples and dark caramel brown sugar. The taste of burnt malts and a warmth of alcohol linger on.
Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a bitter warmth.
Drinkability is great. When you choose to drink a beer this big, plan on sipping this one. You only need one Old Stock Ale to enjoy the whole experience.
I'll be back in a couple years to review the other bottle I put in the cellar.

Photo of dbONE
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was given to me in 12 oz bottles from the folk at NC. I went home after the event and poured the 2008 batch in a belgian glass.
Watching emerge from the bottle a nice ruby/amber appeared into a aroma that started with molasses and deviled eggs with a hint of wood, caramel and vanilla.
The head was bright white the fade away quickly.
A tang approaches the palette with caramel and low carbonation and trickles through the rest of the palette with the same sweet flavor.
Hoppy bitterness shine as it disapears to the back of the throat leaving a coat on the tongue that lingers for a great aftertaste.
The 12.5% is hidden in this creation well so take your time and let it warm. If you cellar this one you will find it to be a different experience, if you can wait that long.

Photo of shuriyukum
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, touch of ruby red. Small, uniform bubbles and a thin lace. Appears creamy.

Aroma: Malty, sweet, toasty, chocolate, toffee.

Taste: Sweet and malty up front, a plethora of flavor (as dictated by the aroma) and finished clean, just slightly bitter. Enough to balance out the heavy malt flavors and definite presence of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thick and fullbodied, as expected for an old ale of this caliber. Characteristic of a barleywine, yummy and delicious. Leaves a definite, flavorful presence on the palate but is well enjoyed.

Drinkability: Extremely well-balanced for its strength, a testament to the design of the this brew. It may be tough to swig a couple back to back...but this ain't the beer to do that! Savor and enjoy with a chocolately dessert, or better yet, a smooth cigar.

This is a unique old ale, tasty & delicious. A great example from America when considering what Fuller's and Thomas Hardy have out on the market.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage from Total Wine in Chantilly, VA. Poured into a Watou chalice.

Appearance: A deep, ruby brown body with a fast-fading, highly active head that dissipates into nearly nothing, minimal carbonation. Looks very thick and syrupy.

Aroma: Sweet fruity alcohol and roasted malts (molasses) - very interesting how these two meld together. A little too mild, even as things warm, however.

Taste: Tons of lightly-smoked, roasted, and toasted malts - brown sugar, buttery toffee & butterscotch, burnt toast and coffee (both of which become more prominent as it warms) - and a few fruity esters - raisins, figs. In conjunction with the sweet, smooth alcohol, it's reminiscent of dark rum, in places. Very interesting and complex.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and thick, with medium-to-large sized bubbles that are surprisingly uniform. Warming alcohol feel in finish.

Drinkability: This one's sorta high in alcohol, but it's as well-hidden as you can expect, and everything else is great/interesting/complex/tasty, so I'll give it a nice middle of the road number.

Photo of garcia2a
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one's been in the cellar for a few years and decided to treat myself.

This beer pours a deep, opaque ruby-brown with light carbonation. The head was thin, cream colored and rimmed.

The bouquet was of heavy sweet malts with hints of carmel, toffee, baker's chocolate and just a faint back nose of spice. This translated well into the taste as the first bite was sweet toffee malts with a light bitter aftertaste. This sweet with bitter was nicely balanced and played well through the drinking.

This beer is a heavybodied beer along the lines of barleywine, so it is not your everyday drinker. It is a flavor packed treat that if you have it, savor it!

Photo of QuentinCompson
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into Orval chalice

A - Nice pour; Finger and a half head down into murky dark amber brew; too smooth for lacing, it seems...

S - Dark caramel alcohol hop; rainy flowers; dark purple; scentious

T-M - Malty nose, carbonation, thick brew, caramel chocolatey hops tinted out with flowers and spice, maybe some wood barrels involved; Malty throughout really, almost mashy.

D - If I had a few of these, after a dinner at a party, I would be a happy camper. Excellent stout brew, the carbonation lifts off a lot of the heaviness of an average stout...

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Woundreful apperance in bottle and coloer, deep rich amber, almost no head, light lace.

S. Rich carmel, malty. with light smokey aroma.Can def smell the high abv.

T. Huge, malt and oak, smokey with subtle hints of carmel and fig.

M. Smooth but big bodied with a slight tartness.

D. Not a session beer by any means, but I would def have more than one. It's high abv makes it a great buy, but not your pick as a "go to" beer.

Photo of zymrgy
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 version 12.5% alc
Nice sweet, almond and raisin nose.

Sweetness predominates the flavor.
Has an ammaretto/cherry flavor with hints of raisin. Very subtle hop bitterness in the finish in an attempt to balance the sweetness.
Has a slight alcohol burn at the end but not excessive for the the strength.

A very dangerous beer to to drink because it seems so smooth but is very big.

Can't wait for the 2009!

Photo of daliandragon
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a goblet with a rusty orange color and a tiny wisp of cover acting as head. Nose is very sweet and malty with fruit and oak tones. Raisin and maybe fig notes predominate for me.

At 11.7% I was expecting the booze to overwhelm but despite a pleasant warming sensation this is more about sweet malt doused nicely with dry fruit and wood. Slight caramel, vanilla, and bourbon notes meet in the aftertaste.

I usually don't like big, aggressive brews but I find this one manageable. It is decadent without being overwhelming. I can see it as a nightcap and would look for it again. For the style and abv, I find this extremely drinkable.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautiful ruby tinted brown similar to a lot of barleywines but slightly darker in color. There is very little head even with an aggressive pour. What little head is there quickly disappears completely. It leaves no lacing.

S: Very sweet malty aroma, once again reminiscent of many barleywines. Dark fruit aromas mix in with the malts with no hint of alcohol for such a high ABV. I thought I remembered more of a bourbon aroma when I had it on tap at a local restaurant, but I can not pick it up here.

T: Much more aggressive in the mouth than the aroma would suggest. It starts out very sweet from the malt as soon as it touches the lips. The flavor has hints of raisins and caramel. There is a nice balance of bitterness to go with the fruity malty sweetness. The finish is dry, but leaves the mouth with a warming boozy aftertaste. It warms much more than many Winter Warmers. Outstanding brew.

M: A medium body thickness with just a hint of carbonation in the mouth. It is slightly slick in the mouth.

D: The warming from the alcohol make this one a sipper. Since it gets better as it warms up, that is just fine.

Photo of Strix
3.45/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reddish-orange with a decent head that gradually fades to nothing.

Smells of alcohol. With a little caramel.

Taste is unabated alcohol. Finishes with caramel, bourbon, and woody notes. This is quite hot at this point - not entirely unpleasant, but the alcohol is front and center.

Mouthfeel smooth and creamy.

This is worth a try, if you don't mind the serious alcohol bite. I probably won't be back though.

Photo of julian
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought from QFC U-Village in Seattle. 2008 12oz bottle

A: brownish amber color with about 75% opacity. visible carbonation but not extreme. head is pretty meager and vanishes just about as quick as it appeared.

S: the 12.5% abv is clearly noticeable to the nose which is nicely complimented by a faintly sweet vanilla and molasses essence mixed with a rich and sweet sherry aroma. alcohol still more dominant however.

T: No avoiding the boozy taste of this one. It's strong, yet malty sweet. Slightly phenolic taste, but mostly malty and alcoholic.

M: medium carbonation and slightly chewy boozy feel. warms the mouth, but goes down relatively easily.

D: This is a force to be reckoned with. The sweeter malty and sherry taste is comforting and assuring but the dominant alcohol is reminder to how potent this brew really is.

Photo of RixBeer
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut-mahogany color that is very reminiscent of a hardwood floor. Darker on one end than the other, with a nice fluffy eggshell colored 1/4" head that does NOT fade at all. DAMN that is some serious sticking!

Smells of sweet maple and caramel malt with huge sherry overtones and some nice fig aromas popping out now and again. Some very mild sherry aromas in the mix as well.

Some nice caramel and sherry flavors with a nice bittersweet apple in the flavor from the hops. A semi hot burn in the finish with tiny undertones of figs, nuts and maple [syrup].

Nice carbonation with a very nice mouthfeel. Deceivingly light compared to prior versions [IMHO].

This beer is very drinkable and surprisingly smooth. Just don't plan on going anywhere. This one packs a huge punch. Thank you North Coast!

Photo of midaszero
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle poured into North Coast Snifter I got at a glass night for Old Stock awhile back.

A - Nice mahogany color with off white head and ok lacing.

S - Smells kind of sweet and you can smell the 12.5% ABV

T - Slight caramel tasting with some whiskey like dryness

M - Well carbonated and not much burn for all the alcohol

D - One full bottle is usually all it takes but more is drinkable if that is what you desire.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know this is supposed to be an old ale, but I've got to knock it down a notch because I think it's more representative of a barleywine. Served in a tulip glass, the beer was a reddish brown, a little hazy, with an almost nonexistent head. Mainly a fruity aroma. The taste was fairly balanced between fruit and malt, but I was looking for more of a malt presence. I thought the alcohol was a little on the intrusive side, being more than noticeable.

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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,813 ratings.