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Old Stock Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,739 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,739
Reviews: 1,393
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: 2,739 | Reviews: 1,393 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stephendr
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 vintage smell 4.5 taste 4 appearance 4 mouthfeel 4.5 drinkability 5
12 oz. bottle opened 2/17/7 cellared about two years- color of murkey brown , with a small tan head - nose of licorice , caramel , raisins , beef broth , and roasted malt – taste of prunes , deep red fruit , port qualities , molasses , and care- body creamy smooth , and slight acidity – aftertaste of malts , and bitter sweet chocolate

2006 vintage smell 4.5 taste 4 appearance 4 mouthfeel 4.5 drinkability 5
12 oz. bottle 13.25% opened 2/17/7 cellared about one years - color of dark reddish brown , with a tan head - nose of tannin , molasses , brown sugar , nutty , malty , and subtle red fruit – taste of molasses , caramel and butterscotch – body smooth , chewy , and low carbonation – aftertaste of caramel , and malts

Photo of aforbes10
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004. Pours a syrupy red maple color. Super malty and strong alcohol odor. Strong, heavy malt flavor with astringent alcohol. a fair amount of hops linger after each swallow. Some plummy and raisiny fruity flavors as well. Very thick and sticky. A sipper for sure. A nice old Old Ale.

Photo of shivtim
3.45/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2004 bottle reviewed in February 2007.

Poured out into a pint glass. Slightly hazy red/brown with a small white head that quickly fades. Nose is sweet alcohol with malts and a sprinkling of hops. Taste is sweet malts, a slight smokyness, and some alcohol. Doesn't taste like over 13% though, so I guess it's well masked. Mouthfeel is very dry, like cotton. Yikes. Drinkability would be better, but that mouthfeel and high ABV keep it down.

Photo of Newglarusguy
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a big beer. It's malty and sweet, but with a nice balance of bittering. Their website lists "Maris pale malt and Fuggle hops" imported from England. The taste and color definitely make you think of an English Nut Brown Ale. But it has a better bite. And at 11% ABV, it's got a hell of a kick, too, Without tasting like swill (unlinke Molson's XXX abomination). Their website even mentions that this beer ages well, and they recommend cellaring it up to a year. I may try storing some, and re-checking it in the future. Don't drink this beer with food. This is an after-dinner drink, meant to be savored. It was so damned good, I'm going to do something uncharacteristic: save the last two for a later date...

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

12 oz. bottle of 2005 Old Stock Ale

Appearance - Murky caramel/amber color. One finger light tan head

Smell - Dried fruit and caramel malt in the nose with a hint of licorice.

Taste - Sweet malt and dried prune blend well with the 11.4% abv. and earthy hop bitterness. Very complex flavor.

Mouthfeel - Fairly viscous, med-full body, tingling sensation from carbonation.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. Very complex beer that pleases all the senses. Good choice to lay down in the cellar for a few years.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is complicated; it is very bourbon-y with wonderful wood and bourbon-y sweet flavor. It is not particularly suited to my taste (I wouldn't call it delicious), yet I can still acknowledge that this is a very good beer!

Appearance is a sparkling, beautiful red color with a somewhat abundant head that is very durable. Aroma is very bourbon-y and slightly sweet. Taste is also very bourbon-y, but without the over-sweetness or alcohol astringency that is associated with bourbon-barrel aged beer. It is great for those who like bourbon, but bourbon-barrel-aging is too much for (that's me!). Mouthfeel is rather smooth, and for all that bourbon flavor, this beer is rather drinkable for its style and ABV.

I didn't realize this beer was 13.25% ABV when I opened it up. I drank it after a couple of other beers, and it put me on my rear!

Photo of theopholis
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a trasnslucent cherry-wood/ruby color. Very little head, and it rises and falls failry slowly.

Aroma- Very subdued. Has little smell at all. What is there is full of malt sweetness. I may have poured it to cold.

Taste- The malt sweetness hits you right up. A faily complex beer, even as big as it is. Lots of faint hints of vineous fruits (raisin, prune, etc.) with a very nice failry hoppy finish. The finish is a very nice blend of malt sweetness and flavoring hops that are extremely complimentary.

Mouthfeel- Fairly heavy, but hey....it's an old ale. It's supposed to be. Very full-bodied, perfectly carbonated and clings to the inside of your mouth very nicely. I'll be tasting this beer in the morning when I get up!!

Drinkability- Definately not sessionable. A good beer to quaff while sitting in front of the fire or watching the rain.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with a small thick head.

Smell: Huge caramel overtones with raisins and maltiness coming through.

Taste: A toffee overtone with lots of sugars and raisins.

Mouthfeel: Sugar and malt with some mild carbonation. The caramel lingers on your tongue long after your sip.

Drinkability: The high alcohol content will keep me from drinking a lot of this beer at a time but damn does it hide it well, especially as it warms. Very drinkable for the

Photo of TheSarge
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My Old Stock Ale is dated 2005 and states 11.4% ABV on the label.

Old stock is not as fragrant as I supposed. I detect notes of molasses and citrus.

The body is hazy and caramel in color. The light nearly white head doesn't last too long, and dissipates into a fine lace.

This tastes very sweet and feels warm and very inviting. This is nothing too special for me, but tastes pretty damn good. I just can't butter up much to say about this brew.

Photo of Greenfloyd
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With the proper cellaring, this 2006 vintage could well surpass the young taste rating (4.0) I've given it. Pours into a snifter with an incredible cognac appearance. You can actually feel the heaviness of the body as you swirl this beer for the nose. The smells seemed very tame for such a huge beer. Very subtle malt and caramel fight faint alcohol tones for dominance. The taste however is a smooth warming toffee with full hop involvement as it drifts into a semi-dry, nutty finish. Make no mistake about it though, the warming 13.25 percent alcohol is fairly evident. The huge mouth feel, and warm nutty tones of this Old Ale remind me more of an Amontillado sherry , than a port wine, as suggested. Drink this ale paired with a warm, heaping plate of spare time, and hopefully a good friend....Enjoy

Photo of warmstorage
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, 2005 vintage, pours a deep hazy light brown. Pours with a moderate tan head that goes away rapidly, leaving minimal head.

Aroma is apples, peaches, fruit.

Taste is deep sweet malt, fruit, peaches, sugar, apples, burnt sugar. Warm, warm alcohol without being hot. Super tasty and a great cold weather brew. Heavy fruity yeast esters.

Mouth is bright tingly high carbonation, especially for such a high alcohol brew.

A delicious, warm, fruity beer. Great. I'll definitely keep buying it.

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

2003 Vintage 11.4%

Color: Muddy copper, tan head with a puree of orange peel look. Head is very thin but can be stirred up easily leaving lacing.

Smell: Giant caramel, plums, vanilla, smoldering logs and creosote, sour milk, hint of fresh hops, cinnamon & nutmeg, Alcohol

Taste: Caramel, rasins, plums, alcohol and spices. Starts rich, thick and sweet, ends amazingly dry considering the sugar content.

Body: Full, huge, like hot caramel falling off an apple onto your tongue.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 edition, acquired via trade!

A - Dark ruby color, faint tan head that quickly dissipates.
S - Rich malts, light caramel toffee notes and a hint of alcohol
T- Deeper play in the malts than the nose suggests. The high ABV which gave a hint in the smell fades away to a slight warming texture. Really tasty!
M - Full bodied, a bit warming across the tongue.
D - More of sipper but surprisingly drinkable.

That was a tasty treat!

Photo of montageman
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a La Chouffe tulip - 2002 bottle. Deep burnt orangish red color is left after the creamy tan head disappears completely very quickly. Caramel and dark fruit are in smell as well as a little bit of chocolate. The taste is really nice - caramel and roasted malt up front with a dry almost dark chocolatey finish. Very mellow for 13% - maybe the 4 or so years of aging has done some good for this. Mouthfeel is thick and rich - while I'm usually not a huge fan of lots of carbonation, it works here adding a bit more complexity. This is a very good ole ale, but I don't know if I could do more than sip one of these throughout the night. High recommendation.

Photo of ZAP
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a hell of an old ale....

A-Dark Brown nice little tan head

S-aroma jumps out of the glass immediately on the port...very sweet and rich....molasses, brown sugar, whiskey, dark fruits....perhaps even some berries.

T-Seems much more drinkable than the 04 version. Very big flavor and very rich tasting...Very similar to the aroma profile..finishes with just a little hint of hop spiciness.

M-Top notch...rich, luxurious and impressive

D-I want more of this. I rushed this one and it still tastes great. I can only imagine what it will taste like with a little cellaring. ABV is hidden behind all the malty goodness. This is the type of beer I could see myself drinking 6-to-8 of in a night and then wondering how I got so fucked up.

2004- Rating=4.05Pours a hazy light brown color...small tan head...sweet nose...dark berries...hints of rum...molasses..at 11 1/2 % this is a big ass old ale and it tastes it....immediate spicy alcohol (rum) bite (mainly on the finish)...but this really has a rich, creamy luxurious mouthfeel....flavors are sweet, and "doppelbock-like" to a certain extent...it never gets that overloaded with malt and sweetness but those characteristics are there and strong...the alcohol is very evident in the taste at first but as you drink it mellows...you know you're drinking a big beer when you drink this one...belly is warming up immediately....

Perfect Winter Warmer...the alcohol bite might bother some but I like the spiciness it lends and it also lets me know I need to respect this beer (Note to self:...."do not bong this beer")..

Excellent, old ale I would purchase again....maybe a 4-pack a year..maybe more if I had it available near me...

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very nice mahogany into a snifter, with a nice almond colored head that starts to go down quickly but never fully goes away leaving a nice covering throughout the surface of the beer.

Aromas of ripe fruit, alcohol, berries, bourbon, and some malty sweetness. The alcohol is very noticeable as the beer warms.

Taste is of raisins, caramelly malt, alcohol, cocoa, and toffee. Mouthfeel is pretty full and a little more carbonated than I would prefer. The high and noticeable alcohol definitely drags the drinkability down. This is definitely a sipper.

Pretty solid beer that would be even better in a few years.

Photo of peabody
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out like strong Ice Tea with a reddish tint. Not much suds but they are tan to off-white. Good lacing around the pint glass.
Smell is grape wine with yeast followed by the alcohol.
The bottle says 11.6abv but it smells mabey stronger.
Caramel and sugar odors can be detected through the alcohaze.
Taste is a mixture of grains and fruits combined with lots of yeast and tossed into an alcohol mix. Very slight hop bitterness in the back. Aftertaste is a nice sweet darkness with the alcohol burn occuring near the end. Your whole throat gets this warmth.
Great drink on a dreary cold day!
I couldn't drink a lot of these at one time but it is still a decent brew.

Photo of phishgator
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010
This was poured into a chalice. Solid amber/brown hue with little to no head. Big note of maple syrup, alcohol, and tobacco. It is remiscnate of a weak bourbon. The favor has no presences of hops, all malt and alcohol. There a slight fruitness in the notes as this one warms, but it is truly a night capper. Big body that becomes eaier to drink as it warms.

This is a 2004 vintage. The pour is into a snifter. The color is a deep copper. A thin lace head that disappears right away. The aroma is a leather and faint alcohol. The taste is a slight dry malt flavor. There is a molasses/syrup hint that adds to the overall fullness in the body. The flavor are so heavy they make up the body feel. This is a Big brew and more than one at a sitting is too much for me.

It is much better with some age on it. I remember the original taste not being as smooth. So enjoy this brew!

Photo of tozerm
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I only rate the drinkability as this is a super serious beer with a deep, structured flavor profile. 2006 Edition which seems to be higher in alcohol than the bottle suggests. Beautiful amber-yellow color with just the right amount of head. This beer has an awesome malt backbone with just the right amount of hops to balance it out. Very rich mouthfeel but not cloying. Old Stock is perennially one of my top ten favorite beers and this one is no exception.

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

Cloudy dark amber-ruby body under the thinnest of rings.

Smell is warm, sweet chocolatey, malty, malty malty, wet alfalfa. Fascinating and rich. I like the smell.

Boozy sweet strong overtly alcoholic taste, with dark chocolate dominating. This tastes like it's been distilled, sour mash corn whiskey. Fascinating.

Rich thick round mouthfeel.

Way too strong to drink very much. This is a sipper.

Photo of yinzer
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle - 2003 vintage11.4% - quaffed -12/06 , cellared at 60-65 deg

appearance - light copper, nice head, very good for it's age

smell - Nutty with full sweet Marris Otter camel notes. No raisins though.

taste - The hops have of course mellowed. Taste is not as sweet as the nose was. Considering the alcohol level is still balanced. Somewhat disappointed. A bit of a sour finish, could be the Fuggles. I think they use all Fuggles and no E.K. Goldings.

mouthfeel - medium with nice alcohol finish.

drinkability - still a very enjoyable beer.

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

2004 Old Stock Ale on-tap.

I've had several of these on-tap recently, served in a pint glass it is coppery-plum in color with very little or no head. Lots of bubbles clinging to the glass, looks like a cask-conditioned ale with low-mild carbonation.

Smell is sweet and booze-like, lots of plum, raisin, chewy caramel malt and a boat-load of alcohol, especially as it warms. Very nice!

Thick dark fruits on the palete, sweet and oaked with some bourbon barrel qualities shining through. Big body...thick and viscous with some warmth of alcohol that lingers on after the swallow.

This is a very tasty and strong "old ale" that has aged for the better. I would seek this one out if you like a big, strong ale. Go easy if your new to this style as it's all of 13.5% ABV. My favorite of the North Coast brews.

Photo of beveritt
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

---2005 Vintage on December 24, 2006---
Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into an oversized wine glass. Label is very plain, with just the brewery symbol, the name and the year.

Appearance: Pours a very dark mahogany with just a slight,light tan head. Beer is slightly hazy.

Smell: Smell alcoholy sweet, with strong dark fruit aromas.

Taste: The alcohol is fairly well, hidden, just a sligth warming feeling. Strong tastes of raisins/plums and a slight bready quality.

Mouthfeel: Fairly low carbonation level, as expected. Thick, almost syrupy.

Drinkability: While I enjoyed this beer, it is by no means a session brew. Sit back and enjoy this one over an hour or so.

Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at 45 degrees.

Before I even begin my review, I want to say that I made a stupid error. I thought I had a 2006 release of Old Stock on my hands, when in was in fact a 2005...has I known that, I would have saved it even longer. The 2005 had an ABV of 11.4, so my review might be skewed...I also wanted to make that clear as I've never sampled an '06 release.

A - Pours a milk-chocolatey brown with a small tan head. Too cloudy to notice much carbonation.

S - Very good aroma of raisins, malt, and alcohol; detected some malt in the background.

T - Almost knocked my socks off...powerful punch of malty-caramel and a raisin/grape blend, but the most potent flavor was the grainy alcohol. I must say that the 3 work very well together, but they have to in order to balance out that alcohol flavor. Oh and I'm not complaining about the higher ABV at all - just not used to this many flavors working together. I'm not very good at telling the difference between grapes used, so I can't really comment on that, but I can say that they taste pretty damn good!

M - Medium, bubbly body with a creamy finish. Alcohol remains well after the finish.

D - After giving a 4.5 on the taste, I feel I have to take drinkability down a notch...only because I almost couldn't finish the bottle. Wonderful aroma and taste, but it's only a hair from being too much for my tastes. I'd really like to try the 2006.

Photo of MrSeth
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A strong acrid, musky, citrus fruit and rasberry medley of aromas hovers over this ale. Reminds me of Gale's Prize Old or any of those exemplary old ales. The first sip is a WOW! And a deep wiff reminds me of a cognac of some age. It's a deep copper color with ruby highlights. It finishes with a strong cereal character and some alcohol chasing it along. This is a fine old ale, hella boozey, and definitely good to keep around for evenings after a bad day of work.

Our friend, BeerPanther gave.. that's right GAVE me one of these to try. Is he the world's greatest BeerAdvocate? I think so. :-)

Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,739 ratings.