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Old Stock Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,776 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,776
Reviews: 1,401
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 145
Gots: 509 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-26-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,776 | Reviews: 1,401 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of allengarvin
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage... about 4 1/2 years old. I thought I'd try one I had laid back.

Appearance is dark, kinda muddy brown. Head appears very briefly and fades instantly away. Sweet, malty licorice aroma. Flavor is hugely malty: bitter chocolate taste, dark molasses bread, caramel... bitterness has faded for the most part, leaving this sweet and full-bodied. Fruitiness remains but is not identifiable by particular type. No hint of oxidation as yet. Alcohol is quite noticible in the finish. Big bodied, creamy.

Good, but it hasn't developed any interesting flavors as yet. I still have a few more 2003's in storage to try again at a later date.

Photo of kernalklink
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured a murky mahogany brown and stuck to the glass. Huge aromas overflowed; alcoholic spiciness, fruits, caramelized sugars. Taste was all malt but very complex. Hints of toffee and vanilla, sweet dried cherries and ripe peaches- the sweetness was total, no balancing bitters present. A huge warming alcoholic effect after every sip of this creamy brew. More dried fruits in the aftertaste, but suprisingly little alcohol. For such a huge beer, it hides it well. Sticky sweet finish and a lingering warming sensation.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

vintage 2007
This is unique to the Old Stock Ales I have had in the past.
Pour is standard and the same...dark amber and clear...except the very minor head disappears immediately to nothing.
Aromas are typical dark dried fruits and graham cracker sugars with a definite alcohol presence...more than in the 2006 vintage...either ABV edition.
Taste is immediately orange backed sweet dark amber malts with a hint of citrus hops and lots of alcohol in the finish.
Aftertaste is definitely alcohol...a little citrus hops...more alcohol.
I still like it, but would look for a year or 6 months behind it before it becomes distinct in it's own right.
Now, it just seems a little too raw and virgin.

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Vintage ( brewage ? ) is 2006. Leaves less than a one finger tan colored head that quickly recedes into a foam ring at the edges, no lacing to speak of. Body is an orange amber.

Smell - apples, figs, apricots. Strong aroma of medicinal alcohol. Caramel, fruity bubblegum, ( think Wrigley's Juicyfruit ) , cotton candy, and that aroma of oranges from model airplane glue.

Taste - everything in the smell, and more. It all adds up to a strangely sweet and medicinal flavor like that of medicine or cough syrup, with much alcohol. This is very, very sweet, and spicely medicinal, and pretty darn good. Spicey, sweet, sugary, fruity gum-like, and even rum at times. Very unique, and pretty good.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and rather dry, even astringent.

Drinkability - this is good ale, and quite unique. A sipper, and maybe only one per session, mostly because of the very high abv, but also partly because this is so sweet that too much of it may be nauseating, like eating too much candy at once ....

Photo of BassAssassin
3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

--2005 Vintage--

A: A hazy brownish amber with a very thin, but creamy head.

S: Raisins soaked in rum is the first smell I noticed. Strong hints of soy sauce are also present. No hop smell is detected. Scent of alcohol is present, but very muted.

T: Malt sweetness up front in the form of dried fruit and raisins. Taste of soy sauce rears its ugly head in mid sip. Finishes sweet. Alcohol is warming, however, there is no character. It's just alcohol. I would've liked a little more alcohol spice and less soy sauce in this beer. Maybe the two years of aging is the problem. Too young or too old? I'm not sure. Decent, but not great.

M: Full bodied and slick with some alcohol bite at the back of the throat. Not much carbonation, but that's to be expected for this style.

D: At 11.4% this is a sipper for sure. A good beer, but there are better examples of the style out there. Fuller's Vintage comes to mind. However, I'd like to try this fresh, especially since they changed the recipe.

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

Appearance: 2005, String lacing sits on top a clouded dark amber, maple. Beer looks creamy and thick, still.

Smell: Sharp grain alcohol, almost vodka like, spicy and sweet with raisins, brown sugar, and some herbal hops.

Taste: Nice round raisin sweetness upfront, alcohol warmth in the nose, hop character is not present, alcohol is grainy, hangs on the tongue like a vodka.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation with a creamy back, fizzy and smooth.

Drinkability: My first old ale, this is stiff! The 13.25 is not exactly hidden, it's in your face and after the beginning seems to mask the sweetness and any hoppiness that might be there. A good night cap.

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

2006 edition via HogTown Harry. Pours a dark mahogany with minimal head. Smell is of dark fruits- taste follows along: figs, raisins, tobacco, coffee malt. Hops are subdued on initial sips. I can’t believe this stuff is 13%!! Not boozy at all which is quite an accomplishment. It is a smooooth brew. Hops show up more on the finish giving this beer a nice bitter rounding to it. Its probably a good thing I only have one bottle of this, or it could spell trouble.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2006 vintage. Poured a slightly hazy ruby color with a minimal, short lived head. Just a few bubbles of carbonation rising in the middle of the glass. This Old Ale has a nice strong malty aroma, with alcohol very present and hints of dried fruit and bitter hops. Taste is big on malt up front and then has a long dry alcohol and bitter hop finish. There's no hiding this 13%, even with some age.

Mouhtfeel is heavy and thick and warm. Minimal carbonation. This is a nice sipper for sure.

Photo of rkuhnel
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally scored a bottle of the 2006 vintage. Poured a red to brown with medium off-white foamy head. Nose is rich malts, woody pine, and fruits. Smooth mouthfeel for so much alcohol which is well masked. Flavor includes chocolate. Nice slightly sweet finish. Would love to get some more and lay it down for a year or two.

Photo of younger35
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 release. Drank from a pint glass.

Appearance- Poured a nice clear dark brown amber. Lots of fizzy carbonation bubbles that contributed to a light head that didnt last long. Almost zero lacing.
Smell- Lots of sweet lightly roasted caramel malts. Almost a very slight licorice aroma in the background. Feint fruit comes through with the alcohol.
Taste- Big sweet roasted malt flavor jumps out of the glass. Caramel, toffee, and lightly roasted coffee add nicely to the candy like taste. Almost overly sweet but it helps to cancel out the big burst of alcohol. Finishes sweet with a roasted bitterness that is pretty nice.
Mouthfeel- Perfect carbonation. Seemed to high at first but settles out nicely. A very chewy stickyness adds to the medium body. VERY warming alcohol really stands out.
Drinkability- Well, considering the 13.25% ABV this is one a night kind of beer but a treat none-the-less. With proper aging I'm sure some of the alcohol kick would subside and make for a much smoother beer. I really enjoyed this beer a lot.

Photo of crwills
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 vintage, the first bottle of this I've tried.

Pours a reddish brown with almost no head at all (just bubbles) into an oversized wine glass. Sweet toffee aroma with a lot of alcohol presence. Flavour maintains the sweetness, with a great, uncomplicated caramel/toffee malt flavour. Aftertaste is almost (but not quite) cloying. Mouthfeel is nice, if a little oily.

Would like to try some older vintages, as well as a fresh one, to compare the differences.

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2002 Vintage.

This beer pours out a good little head that falls right away into almost nothing. The lacing is almost non existant and the color is a transluscent dark brown. The smell is sweet brown sugars and some dark fruit. The taste is sweet, and it has an aftertaste of some hot alcohol tones not prevelent when first drank. The mouthfeel is smooth and nice. Overall I would try a different year, this one didn't wow me.

Photo of stephendr
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
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 +2.2%
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 -16.1%
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%
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 +0.2%
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 -12.7%
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 +0.5%
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 -1.5%
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 -11.7%
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 -2.9%
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 +4.6%
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 +0.2%
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 +3.4%
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!

Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,776 ratings.