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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.

2,638 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,638
Reviews: 1,371
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 128
Gots: 450 | 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: 2,638 | Reviews: 1,371 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Byeast
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My bottle of North Coast's -Old Stock Ale , is a 2005 vintage.
Poured a clear ,deep mahogany/ruby, with a very thin head of tan lace. Smell is an intense , deep , sweet malty aroma , some caramel , with a good fuggles hop kick to balance , rum like alcohol in the nose, very nice. Taste is rich and tongue coating , sweet , chewy malty goodness ,bit of coffee and raisin, balaced with a fair amount of hop character. Mouthfeel is chewy and slightly viscous. Wow , im very impressed. A awsome old ale , the alcohol has a very pleasant effect to the senses and brain. A rich , strong and tasty treat. I will be buying some more to cellar , and more to drink!

Byeast, Mar 29, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 vintage

Pours a very clear ruby color with a minimal head. Smells of candied cherries swimming in some sort of spirit. A lot of pineapple in the nose as well. Flavor is of hard cherry candies and apple juice. Some oxidization present, but it doesn't detract too much. Alcohol is present as well, but is a mellowing bitterness in the finish. This is kind of a one-trick beer, honestly, but, for what it is, tastes pretty damned good. Mouthfeel is viscous will slightlu stinging carbonation. Very appropriate here. All told, it's a little too hot and a little too slick to make me want to drink a lot of.

Now, this is the Old Stock I remember. This is one of the 2004s that I've had laying around the past several months. I could not stand the 2005 as green as it was, when I had it earlier this month, but it just goes to show what can happen in a year and some change. I don't know if I'll have the patience to hold on to my last 2004 until next year, but this seems pretty optimal for what this beer brings to the table. The alcohol is drastically mellowed, but the oxidation flavors have increased (which is why I'd be afraid of aging it longer than it has). Overall, this is a pretty solid old ale (more like an American barleywine in the malt profile, really), but one should seriously consider laying this down for at least a year.

goochpunch, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of jakester
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the 2004 model. I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet. No dates are necessary.

Pours a deep, dark garnet/red with a one finger head of deep beige foam. Carbonation appears moderate. The head falls to islands and a ring, with minimal to no lacing.

Aroma is rum soaked raisins right in your face, followed by dark crystal malt complexity. Not much in the way of hop aroma. Alcohol is definitely present, but fairly well hidden for now. We'll see as it warms...

First flavor is dark crystal malt, fairly complex, followed by rum soaked fruits, especially raisins. Hop bitterness seems pretty high, or the alcohol is grabbing the back of my throat. Residual sugar is pretty high. There might be some piney hop flavor, it's a little hard to tell. The alcohol is coming through strongly. Still, for 11.4%, it's not bad. Aftertaste is sweet and heat.

Mouthfeel is pretty full and resiny slick. Carbonation adds a nice zing. Lips are sticky from sugar. Back of my throat is being attacked by hop bitterness and alcohol. Finish is warm and sticky.

I'm not sure how "drinkable" a beer like this is, but it sure is tasty.
Rich and complex, strong and dark, like I like my women! I can feel the alcohol after half the bottle. Sitting around a campfire, this would be awesome!

jakester, Mar 26, 2006
Photo of unklesyd
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2005. Had the 2004 about three weeks ago. Wanted to try side by side, but... uh, didn't.

Fantastic ruby: deep melted red as it pours. Even though there is NO head, the surface of the brew bubbles and seems to hold some mysteries of its own.

Lots going on in the nose. The obvious dried fruits are not overpowering, but subtle. Very inviting. Hints of spicy/floral hops melded with well cooked malt tell that this is a well-balanced beer.

Good blend of flavors, including a contiuation of the interplay between crunchy carmel-y malts and subtle hops that have died back a bit. Lots of lingering on the back of the tongue, as a heavy cream sauce laced with a sharp liquor would leave.

Wonderful heaviness after the sip is done: not too thick or syrupy as you drink, dry yet lingering on the aftertaste.

More than willing to drink another of these. Not now... later. This is an end-of-session capper. Liked the fresher version. I little more cutting and not as heavy as 2004. Get it while you can.

unklesyd, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of Liquids
2.98/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My first old ale. Coppery amber to translucent brown color. Thin, loud fizzing, soda-like, quickly dissipating head. Sweet, alcoholic, inviting aroma. Extremely alcoholic bite and aftertaste, which is not surprising at 11.4%. Beneath seems to lie a tasty, medium-bodied, moderately hopped brown ale. Carbonation dissapears quickly and leaves a medium mouthfeel, as in comparison to the strong alcohol wash, everything seems thin and watery. Probably not a style that strives for "balanced," but could be impressive if the alcohol wash weren't so intense and overpowering. Drinkable, but slow going, and at the first few sips I thought I might find myself drainpouring it before I finished. More than one of these is hard to imagine. Would probably be best over a meal and conversation. Would not return here (glad I got a single), and may avoid this style in the future.

Liquids, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of kaimcm
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle 2005

A: deep and rich amber. looks like a ruby with a very thin ring around the perimeter. extremely warm color.

S: candied sugars, rum soaked pastries, alcohol, raisons, dates

T/M: very rich and viscous, a syrupy mouthfeel brings a coating malt and sweetness. The sugar is quelled by a warming and spicy alcohol character. Raisons, dates, concentrated vinous flavours abound. Rum cake as well. A powdery aspirin quality arrives at the end of the lingering finish.

D: Expensive and 11.4% ABV, but considering, goes down pretty easy. An awesome and complex brew. Cheers to North Coast. We need to see their beers more frequently and more affordably out here in NE. Another winner.

kaimcm, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of Hibernator
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

North Coast Old Stock Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a chestnut brown. Thin off-white colored lace circles the beer. Random spots of sticky lace appear on the glass.

Pleasant aroma of juicy malts and figs with a backdrop of sugars.

Sweet malty backbone with vinous fruit flavors at the forefront. Juicy raisins or pruins dipped in caramel and brown sugar. Fruity cherry flavors with a toffee buttery presence. Nicely hopped finish.

Incredibly well balanced for such a power house of an Old Ale. A true sipper at 11.4% ABV and very well crafted. Beautifully complex and multi dimensional. Recommended.

Hibernator, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of custardcb
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 Bottling of Old Stock. Pours a nice rust color with a light tan head. The bubbles in the head are quiet large and retain their structure for quiet some time. While it isn't cloudy in appearance I wouldn't call it completely clear either.

The nose is a bit biscuity with hints of rains and toasted nuts; it almost reminds me of some tawny ports. Upon tastey the alcohol is rather evident and so is a bit of acidity. There is a slightly tart taste to it but fruit tones are evident as well. Mostly those of figs and other real earthy foods.

Overall it is a bit strong and I usually only have one or two while drinking them because of the alcohol content. Anymore after that and I wouldn't be able to enjoy the full characteristics of the beer.

custardcb, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of cubedbee
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, this is a murky caramel brown , no head, a slight spotty lacing, not much to look at. Nose is rich and malty, definitely not of caramel, slight hint of alcohol. Taste is very full and malty, caramel, toffee, raisins, plums, dry chocolate, nuts, alcohol—very intense and flavorful, very good. Full bodied with a thick luxurious mouthfeel, this is a real pleasure to sip. For the beast of a beer this is, it’s great, but I honestly would have trouble downing two of these in a row.

cubedbee, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2005 edition, pours a deep dark copper with a good head to start with, but it shrinks to nothing pretty quick, to just a thin film around the edges, and a little bubbling going on.

Aroma is ... well, its a little fierce. Strong caramelized malts and a biting alcoholic duo with some darker fruits underneath, something like raisins. Mouthfeel is a little more than medium bodied, smooth, and sort of creamy-like.

Taste was a little baffling at first, coming off a little metallic. I let it sit for a while, and the second time around the metallic tinge was gone, and now its more clear that this is simply a heavily malted and alcoholic beer, but handling the alcohol well. Massive amounts of caramel malts and some raisin and a warming alcohol. I'm really warming up to this beer, now that the beer itself is warming up.

I started out not impressed , but this turned out pretty wicked awesome. I think I'll grab a few more stash them in the cellar.

objectivemonkey, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Served in a snifter)
A 2006 brew sampled on 1/27/08

A- This beer pours a brown dense body with light red hue. There is a matrix of microbubbles racing to the surface. The is a thick head of tan that last for a few sips.

S- The smell of sweet caramel has a faint cherry lifesaver note to it with a white caramel a butterscotch candy hint.

T- This beer had a soft cherry lifesaver note that fades to sweet caramel malt with just a faint hint of soft bitterness from the last note of green hops. This is balanced with a fusel alcohol hint. As this beer warms the finish takes on more of a sherry quality to the alcohol.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and an alcohol heat finishes the beer.

D- This beer still has a good bit of alcohol but I think it really need the hops to support the malt. I don't know if it could improve any more or if its on its way down. If the alcohol mellows it may just leave a big sugary sweetness.

(Served in a snifter)
A 2004 brew samples 2/28/06

A- This beer pours a deep warm brown body with a thin wisp of bubbles forming the head but they are soon gone. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a sweet dark malt aroma with a big alcohol with a faint hop spice to it. The alcohol really dominates.

T- There is a smooth soft malt flavor that is quickly overtaken by an alcohol flavor. There is a slight bitter note in the finish that is not really hops, but maybe oxidation.

M- This beer has a medium full mouthfeel with a silky texture. The alcohol is softer in the finish that it is in the taste.

D- This beer has some nice malt but not a lot of depth and complexity. The alcohol really is hot and might need another few years to rest.

rhoadsrage, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of NJpadreFan
1.75/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

North Coast- Old Stock Ale

Appearance- hazy ruby red with absolutely no head. Flat, no bubbles.
Smell- Alcohol, raisins, cherries, prunes, & alcohol.
Taste- Alcohol immediately followed by raisin/ prune juice (which I hate!) followed by even more alcohol. wretched!!
Mouthfeel- burning stinging alcohol! aftertaste is stomach turning pruno.

Overall- this is bad, real bad! Honestly, for the life of me, who likes the flavor of rubbing alcohol mixed with raisin/ prune juice. This is comparable to cough syrup!
Sorry North Coast this is liquid hell!

NJpadreFan, Feb 27, 2006
Photo of Bcant
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 brewing year.

From a 12oz bottle to a large snifter, this old beer from North Coast is a purely-brown colored body with a cappuccino like head that dissipates fast, leaving only the thinnest rim of teeny-tiny bubbles hugging the glass. The bouquet is sweet and alcoholic, featuring toasty caramel and date notes. At first the smell is very present but when you really get your nose in there the alcohol dominates. Complex malt flavors: caramel, raisons, cane sugar and coffee. The alcohol is warming and not as raw as the bouquet suggests. The mouthfeel is big and sticky and biter(ish) hop finish enhances drinkability; though anyone who takes this one on too aggressively is in for a world of trouble.

Bcant, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of francisweizen
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 vintage. Cola brown with nary a head to speak of. A few fine bubbles appear and they are than washed away. Served at toom temp this one really warms up with the aromas of caramel, figs, and spices such as cardamom and cinnamon. Where they came from I don't know. Taste is spicy and warming with some nice big maltiness and only a bit of hops to help meld this one a bit. At this point it's a malt monster with many complexities shining through that just arent there when this is fresh. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but thinning out a bit by now, this in no means hurts the excellent drinkability. Drink it fresh, but always put a few in the back of your cellar/closet.

francisweizen, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of jmz62565
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a clear dark red almost like beet juice with a small tan head. The color is really nice. The smell has a malty sweetness to it along with some dark fruits and alcohol. The taste has a strong malt sweetness along with a strong alcohol flavor. Some darker fruits,prunes and raisins, have also a presence in this beer. The m/f is heavy and the balance is OK,but not great. Overall, this is a very good brew from a brewer who knows what he's doing.

jmz62565, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of danielharper
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from Frugal MacDougal, Nashville, TN.

2004 bottling date.

Pours deep brown color, like a thin chocolate milk, with a thick khaki head that dissipates to soapscum after a few minutes. Looks great in the glass.

Very sweet, malty caramel in nose. Thus far the alcohol is hidden from me conpletely, making this a very incredible find for a beer as big as this.

Taste... ahh, now there's the alcohol. Very sweet up-front flavor, all that caramel and the like, but with a strong alcohol phenol as the beer goes down. Warms the chest like hard liquor, but smoothly and very drinkably like a very fine example of such. I was expecting a bit more hoppiness here, but the malts are very nice in and of themselves, and make this beer really wonderful.

Nice, thick mouthfeel. A joy to wash around the mouth and allow the flavors to settle in. Not the thickest beer I've had, but close.

This is a "sipper", not a "gulper", but it's one that I'll sip as regularly as I can get them. A very good beer.

danielharper, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of ashleyshalyn
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from short little glass bottle 12 oz into a snifter

A: Reddish mahogany w/ no head

S: Malty Malty fruit, alcohol w/ slight nutty essence and raisons

T: Strawberry and Raspberry malt sweetness with alcohol and an oily caramel characteristic.

M: Full, thick, and syrupy.

This is a killer Ale to try. I highly recommend giving it a whirl!

ashleyshalyn, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of monkeybutler
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this case of 2004 for almost 6 months now. I bought one of the last ones from the Beer Yard, and it was money well spent.

It pours a deep ruby red-brown, which little head to speak of, almost no lacing and moderate carbonation.

The smell is of bourbon and sweet malt aroma.

The tast is great. I can't say enough. It's sweet and rich like a port, smooth as a 12 year bourbon and satisfying in ways I can't describe.

It's cloyingly malty, and not quite as syrupy as you'd think, as far as thickness goes. You get a little carbonic bite in the finish.

I could drink this all night. Well...not all night, maybe 1/4 a night, and I'd be dead asleep after that.

It's such a good old ale, or barleywine or whatever. I just hope that I can stave off temptation to drink my last 8 bottles. I'd like to save some for years to come.

monkeybutler, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of Citadel82
4.93/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2003 Bottling enjoyed with friends during the superbowl and paired with a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup...Sublime!

Poured out deep brown with an aple tan head that left plenty of lace. Aroma of cocoa and toasted malt. Rich and deep and dessert like. Taste was wonderfully complex blend of caramel, chocolate and toasted malt. Thick and rich and luscious on the tongue makes this tipple exceptional as a nightcap or with a good book.

Citadel82, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of edmundfitzoil
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2004 edition in a stubby brown bottle.

This beer poured a deep copper color, like a mahogany, with a short and fizzy head. The nose was of full and complex with numerous fruits along with a strong maltiness and some underlying alcohol. The flavor was large as well. Each sip held a new surprise and another facet of the beer's flavor profile to explore. A wonderously complex and outstanding example of the style with a high drinkability rating because of a hidden and alochol content.

edmundfitzoil, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of kingjames1
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


I've reviewed a relatively fresh 2003 and an aged 2003. I personally feel that this one is better fresh (or maybe 2005 is just better). This is a truly great beer. Rich malts balanced wonderfully with hops-bitterness. This is a beer to savor and sip lovingly. Yet very drinkable, especially at 11 + % abv. Excellent.

kingjames1, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release 2011 (09/21/11)
Brown sugar, maple syrup, chocolate malt, and an underlying cherry-like alcohol/ester combo works to perfection with an alcohol culmination of rum and port wine. Malty throughout with a full and rounded start and an even fade to malty-dry finish of alcohol warmth with a linger of toffee and chocolate.

Release 2010 (02/23/11)
North Coast continues to develop the recipe for much more sultry flavor and cleaner alcohol taste. Brown sugar and cherry-like esters give the impression of port wines and brandies. Bold toffee flavor dominates early with a follow of ripe grapes, cherries, sherry, dates, and raisons. Syrupy textures give a sticky feel, and with a follow of warming, if not hot alcohols. Seemingly a Barleywine, except for a lightened body and drier finish.

Release 2003 - 3.8 (3/26/07)
These vintage ales turn out as beauties after a few years of age. Still strong flavored with malts and very warm with alcohols, but a lot smoother and more appreciable than the 'fresh' releases. This has all the flavors aromas and textures needed in an Old Ale, but must be respected as a brandy.

Release 1005 - 4.2 (4/27/07)
The regular 11% version with over a years worth of cellering. The beer matures wonderfully in about that time's span. Not nearly as alcoholically intense or fusal as it was last year. Sweetness dominates and the hops have fallen out, leaving a well balanced, quite clean, characterful, fruity, syrupy joy to drink. I do beleive that this beer can handle another year of maturing before tiring. Great way to close the evening.

Release 2006 - 4.1 (1/28/06)
Is the sanctity and purity of Old Ales no longer respected. 13%? What's next. The beer is as flavorful and strong as ever. Very syrupy, malty, thick, and alcoholically harsh. More age will definately mellow the brew and meld the flavors, but for now, it's just tough to drink. The hops are too fresh. The alcohols are too hot and abrasive. The malts are too sugary. Still, a wonderful beer, but one that must be babied and approached with caution.

Release 2005 - 4.1 (1/28/06)
Surprised to have never rated an Old Stock. These are one of my favorite 1-off resease beers. This '05 abounds from the bottle and into the glass with big syrupy, brown sugar, molassas barley flavors with as spicy, hoppy, and bready scent. Alcoholic aroma promises strength to accompany the sweetness. Tastes of strong malts that hinge on dates, molassas, walnuts, and dried cherries. Hop bitterness and flavor round out the sweetness and all boldness without getting too harsh. Strong alcohols boarder on hot fusals and sweet thinning. Moderately heavy, thick, and smooth on the palate. Weakens a bit into the finish to become more easily drank. Another winner for North Coast.

Release 2003 - 3.8 (3/26/06)
Found a 4 pack stocked away at a local beer store. As I remembered, this beer had all of the right ingredients, but quite hot and fusal. Hoping that a couple of years would have mellowed it out. Not so. There are big plumb, fig, and prune flavors with an unneccesarily fusal hot character; too much to ignore. Light chocolate and cherry flavors help, but the heat and hops combine for a tough drinking beer. A heartburn just waiting to happen. Otherwise, a solid brew.

BEERchitect, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of Gusler
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Release 2005) 4.4
Upon its disinterment from the stubby 12-ounce brown bottle, it sets in the glass a clear deep mahogany color with a generous and creamy light tan head, which after its demise leaves a nice blanket of lace to obfuscate the glass. Nose is cotton candy sweet, hints of fusel alcohol and caramel greets your nose, start is quite sweet and the grain profile pronounced, top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is adequately acidic, the hops and alcohol provide a nice spiciness, dry and sticky aftertaste, tummy gets a bit of warming also, a beer I look forward to each year, but the current release could stand a bit of aging, as there is a certain amount of rawness.

(Release 2004) 4.35
The beer evacuates the 12-ounce brown bottle a clear deep mahogany color with the head modest and frothy, the color a winsome light tan in color as it evaporates quickly the lace is somewhat thin, but still covers the glass. Nose has a hint of fusel alcohol, sweet and fresh, the hops noticeable along with the caramel and molasses, the start sweet and the grain profile decent, the top is middling in its feel. Finish is stern in its acidity and the hops delightfully spicy, dry aftertaste that soothes the palate, the 11.4 percent ABV heats up the gustatory system, a long time favorite beer and brewery.

(Release 2003) 4.35
The beer as it sets in the glass translucent incarnadine color with a modest and semi-creamy head that is a winsome light tan in color as it passes out of existence rather quickly; the remnants form a somewhat patchy sheet of lace to cover the glass. The aroma of sweet malt, a ripe plum or maybe better yet raisins also present, the every present fresh, clean and crispness also noticed, not a bad thing, just can’t find a better way to describe the nose with the front quite sweet, thickly malted, the top also rich in its feel to the palate. Finish is moderately carbonated, the hops pleasing in their bite, spicy but not overly so, aftertaste desert dry. The big thing is the huge “Tummy Warming” sensation from the 11.4 percent ABV, oh how I love this beer and have a case in storage, but alas only two 2002 releases left as this beer is an overwhelming favorite when I’m in the mood to “Rock My World”!

(Release 2002) - 4.05
I must be losing what little “Brain Cells” I have left as I swear that I have sampled this beer several times, yet nowhere in my extensive list of notes can I find it. Oh well, another “bad boy barley wine” to sample.

The beer as it sets tempting me to drink it before its time is up, is a transpicuous deep ruby red, the head sententious, the lace fine sheets of lace to coat the glass. The aroma of fine malt, lightly sweet, clean and fresh, hints of butter, quite pleasant. Begins malt and quite sweet, the top thick-bodied, with the finish peacefully carbonated and the hops delightful in the spiciness, malt dry and long lasting alcohol bitter aftertaste, a “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” as the high ABV sneaks up on you and warms the tummy, a fine “Winter Warmer”.

Gusler, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2005 Vintage

Appearance: Pours a really clear orangish blood red color with small 1/4" head of tanish foam at first pour. The head was only around for 20-30 seconds to end up a stagnant looking beer due to the elevated alcohol. No worries.

Aroma: Alcohol is very noticeable in the nose. It smells something like I imagine a British Bitter would if it had a shot of vodka in it...the alcohol is a bit solventy. Deeper in the aroma, you can pick out ripe fruit like dates. There is a little toasty malt and caramel becoming noticeable as the beer warms a bit.

Taste: There is a bit of a roasty component in the flavor that I noticed initially that wasn't present in the aroma. The beer is really fruity and there is even a bit of citrus that you can pick out in the flavor that, again, wasn't in the aroma. Interesting how the aroma differs from the flavor. The alcohol is definitely noticeable in the flavor also, and contributes some assertive spicy notes along with some of the solvent that I mentioned from the aroma. The finish is pretty balanced leaving the beer tasting like it is pretty well attenuated.

Opinion: This is one of my more favorite beers, and one that I like to collect to see how well it ages. This is a young example here which doesn’t exhibit the depth of the esters and spiciness to go along with the malt that you get from a well aged example. This is one great beer, and one that I would highly recommend

SkeeterHawk, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of Pegasus
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky dark brown, with a modest, but thick and persistent tan head, and thick, glass-coating lacing.

Aroma: Deep aroma of coffee, bitter cocoa, dark fruit, and sweet alcohol, quite beguiling.

Taste: Opens with a complex burnt caramel, molasses and dark fruit sweetness. This progresses to notes of coffee and earth. Late in the taste, a spicy, warming alcohol presence appears. There is a lingering note of bitter chocolate, which lingers well past the end of the taste.

Mouth feel: Thick, rich, velvety, remarkably full.

Drinkability/notes: Utterly superb, has the presence of a cognac or liquer, would serve well as a dessert beer. This certainly numbers among the best beers that I have ever tried. For the serious homebrewer, this is a beer to aspire to.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom short brown glass bottle with a pop-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Pegasus, Jan 22, 2006
Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,638 ratings.