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Old Stock Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,437 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,437
Hads: 2,968
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 164
Gots: 594 | 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 (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Stock Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,437 | Hads: 2,968
Photo of georgiaboy8686
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The 2014 edition. Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Look: Very aggressive pour yielded hardly any head which fizzled rather quickly. No lacing whatsoever. The color is slightly amber to mostly ruby. A bubble rises from the bottom ever now and then.

Smell: Smell is sweet and boozy. Dark fruits, brown sugar, and candied cherry. There is a slight burn in the nose from the 11.8%. For what it's worth, my wife passed by me drinking the beer and said it smelled like doughnuts.

Taste: This beer reminds me of a Belgian Quad, in that it has lots of dark fruit characteristics. Right out of the fridge it was quit boozy, but as it has warmed to room temperature it has become smooth. Like the smell, the taste is quit sweet.

Feel: This is where it differs from a Quad. It is thicker, almost to the extent that a stout would be.

Overall: It's a good beer. I think it would be perfect candidate to cellar. I'm looking forward to seeing how it evolves over time.

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Photo of Indydoc
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Beautiful deep orange/amber color
Smell: Clean slightly earthy
Taste: Very complex and subtle, caramel and vanilla notes - Delicious!
Feel: Silky, alcohol well hidden (beware!)

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Photo of guityler83
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Large foamy head poured from the bottle. The fine, off white / khaki colored head had great persistence and left a layer atop the beer that stayed for even longer. Alcohol legs kick up when swirled and slowly glide down the edge of the mini-snifter. The beer is a dark mahogany / rosewood color with excellent clarity.

S: Tons of big malt character. Sweet toffee, raisins, caramel and dates. Melenoidin character comes through prominently along with toasty bread sweetness. Medium earthy / herbal hop aroma and a slight alcohol bite.

T: Moderate bitterness with herbal hop flavors blending into the middle then dropping off in the end. The super complex malt bill is the star of this beer Mellenoidins for days, toasted bread crust, raisins, caramel, dark cherry and other bready bakery flavors. The sweetness is high in the middle and end where the hops drop off and there is a slight hottness to the alcohol. In a weired way it reminds me of a cough syrup beer.

M: Big alcohol warming in the chest warms you right up - good winter beer. Low carbonation with a substantially big body and viscous mouthfeel.

O: A big beer that drinks like one. The great malt character in this beer reminded me of a few barley wines I’ve had. I would be interested in doing a side by side with a fresh vs aged (2yr+) to see how this develops, I have a feeling I’d like the aged more

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Photo of KYGunner
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours with a great deal of effervescence that continually fuels a thick fizzy head. Great barley brown color.

Lots of strong aromas as I can smell it from three feet away. Barley malts, grainy, earthy, caramel, toffee, dates and light prune mix with a tinny alcohol.

The front end reveals dark fruits; prune, date and raisin. Mid palate has the malts and grains. It ends a little sweeter with caramel, molasses, sorghum and apricot.

The feel is a little hot but I served this at about 60F so that should have finished most of the booze.

Great beer, wonderful winter supper.

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Photo of AirBob
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage

A - One finger of dense off-white head. Opaque, but not hazy, ruby-brown body with plenty of visible carbonation. Good retention.

S - Rum. Brown sugar. Woodsy. Golden raisins. Slight notes of chewing tobacco and light chocolate.

T - Follows the nose, but way more fruit towards the end and more dry woodsyness towards the front. Still picking up on a little chewing tobacco.

M - Medium carbonation. Full bodied. Sweet finish, but still pretty drinkable for such a big beer. Alcohol is hidden pretty well too

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Photo of cvm4
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - Pours a murky deep brown body with a one finger khaki head. Not much lacing or retention to speak of.

S - A great mix of bourbon qualities such as oak, vanilla and brown sugar as well as the awesome base of old stock.

T - Bourbon characteristics are very pronounced along with the base shining through.

F - Medium bodied and low carbonation. Tight carbonation bubbles. A bit of alcohol heat come in.

O - Set it down for a year or two to let it calm down and meld together. It's a great beer, just has way more potential down the road.

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Photo of Oldejoe
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks. Warm golden brown, lighter frothy head.
Smell. Warm, earthy, mild spicey, hint of a bite.
Taste. Good malt high on back palate, swirly bitters around the lower mouth.
Mouth. Fairly full, chewy, bit of sparkle.
Overall. One of my favorites. I think I need to let it warm up a bit.

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Photo of BIA_BrewMasta
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A top tier ale. The balance between ABV and drinkability is fantastic for an ale. Marketing is a little weak for how good the beer is. Worth looking into for the brewery. Fantastic beer

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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 bottle had on 1-12-2015. 12 oz bottle purchased at CBX.
A: pours a dark copper orange, +1 finger graham cracker color foam head, few spots of lacing.
S: sweet malt with some heat from the alcohol, some orange
M: medium body with some sticks residue on the tongue
T: sweet butter caramel, oak, vanilla, burbon notes for sure, alcohol as it warms is more noticeable, slight orange or citrus at the end, the finish is a little bitter and hot bite from the alcohol
O: great old ale, I'm sure more time would mellow this out some.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a 7 oz Libbey Embassy snifter (bottle marked "11072014").

Appearance: Clear, deep, garnet brown with khaki foam. An airy, bubbly head leaves a dense collar of foam; spare lacing.

Smell: Big, sweetly malty, with growing alcoholic fumes.

Taste: Full and malty; plenty of caramel, rum soaked raisins, and almost numbing alcoholic bite.

Mouthfeel: Relatively full body, lush and smooth. Lively, prickly carbonation.

Overall: Unapologetically boozy; big and complex malts make. A nice sipper.

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Photo of happilyhopped
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle of 2014 Old Stock Ale From North Coast. Poured into medium sized snifter.

A: Pours almost syrupy, definitely more viscous than most beers. Color is a honey amber color when held up to the light. When not, it appears a kind of murky brown color like a burnt sienna. About a quarter inch of head appears, but dissipates very quickly leaving only a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Bubbles are very tiny, almost champagne'esque

S: Initial smell is of toffee and booze. Definitely a slight burn in the nostrils from the alcohol heat. After getting past that i get a bit of citrus, possibly a hint of orange zest, lime or grapefruit leaves.

T: Initial taste is of rich sweet caramel. Also getting a lot of brown sugar, some vanilla, and subtle toffee as well. There is a slight fruity tinge to the beer as well. Candied orange and dried citrus fruits come to mind. Almost like the orange flavor you get in orange flavored dark chocolate. The finish is a little lighter than i expected, though still packs a punch. Just a hint of hoppy bitterness finishes it off. Very subtle. Very good. A few minutes after a sip i noticed similarities to the malty flavor of some bourbons that lingers long after the alcohol burn fades off.

M: There is an intense, perhaps overwhelming feeling of bubbles covering your mouth. Very similar to champagne because the bubbles are so tiny. I feel them dancing across my tongue after taking a sip a minute ago so the sensation lingers a bit. Not my favorite feeling, but not one i necessarily mind. Definitely got some thickness to it too. Coats the mouth and is slightly syrupy.

O: Overall this beer is pretty delicious for me. I like old ales and for 11.8% the booze isn't overwhelming. It is on the sweet side as most old ales tend to be, but the nice fruity characteristics mixed with the slightly bitter finish really help balance it out. I bought a few of these to cellar after tasting how good this can be with a few years on it. So i am drinking this fresh and will try it again in a year to see how it evolves.

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Photo of Thirstygoat
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Layer of whitish head rapidly disperses, No lacing . Dark expresso brown.

Bit of sweetness on the nose
Malty with dry fruit,maybe prunes or figs
Satisfying viscous mouthfeel
This is a beer for cold winter days

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Photo of Badger5209
1.92/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This is a very sweet beer, literally, not figuratively. I didn't like it. Poured some out, which I never do. I see this is highly rated, which is why I bought it. But the emperor has no clothes as far as I am concerned.

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Photo of JasW
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The 2014 poured a gorgeous burgundy-tinted dark amber color into a tulip. Boozy nose. Has one of the most complex yet inexplicably balanced tastes of any beer I've ever tried. Malt, yeast, hops, fruit -- they all seem to be in there. My head is swimming, and it's not just the 11.8% ABV. This beer is an unabashed treat, and the folks at North Coast deserve a medal. Or at least people lining up to buy it. I could believe that kind of hype for an ale like this.

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Photo of jopezu
5/5  rDev +22%

old stock ale 2013 bottle poured into a snifter. deep amber cider color. slight head that dissipates quickly, but holds a compact, effervescent carbonated mouthfeel very well throughout the duration. nose is sweet sugar, dark fruit and bread. taste is a subtle, roving complexity; burnt sugar, raisin, fig, plum, and toast. at 11.9 abv, there is a gliding ester quality and warming booze tone. an amazingly balanced sipper. enjoy!

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up in Totowa a few weeks back, 2014 on the bottle. Never had this before and I haven't had an Old Ale in quite some time and even though I've been reviewing beers on here for years, bottles like this always throw me for a loop. There's a *lot* going on here and although that's not a bad thing, it can overwhelm the taste buds pretty easily. Very complex and strong, this was an Old Ale that was true to form.

This had a very dark brown hue with a hint of plum tint to it, with strong carbonation and a fluffy head that quickly settled down. Lots of bread and dark fruit in the nose, reinforced by currant, booze, and yeast in the taste. Some brown sugar sweetness and fig was underneath everything but the overall taste was that of a highly fermented apple cider. Sweet, malty, and potent, this packed quite a punch even though the warming effect really wasn't there. A bit more sweet or potent and this could have been a Barleywine. A bit more wheat and it could have been a Dark Wheat Ale or Dunkelweizen. A bit more fruit and this would have been a true fall seasonal with pear and grape notes. As it was, this was the epitome of what an Old Ale should be, given that other years reviewed on here had varying tasting profiles, like a Lambic.

Strong this felt and strong this was but that didn't detract from the profile or drinkability of this beer. The yeast and fruit flavors lingered beautifully long after the liquid went down and there was enough malt her to make this full but just short of feeling cloying or chewy. Short of having too much grain or rye, this beer nailed what an Old Ale should be and in terms of quality, stands toe-to-toe with the Old Rasputin. An outstanding offering and the example of why brewers should add an Old Ale to their portfolio. Complexity is rarely more enjoyable than this.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter; 2012 vintage, bottled in early 2012. Pours slightly hazy dark ruby red color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, toast, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, cherry, brown sugar, brown bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, cherry, brown sugar, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, cherry, brown sugar, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy and moderately slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome old ale. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; and quite smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter 2012 bottle

A: like a glass of cloudy Carmel almost no head

S: You get these nice hop notes but they are over powered by Carmel malts, figs, dates

T: rich Carmel toffee dates smooth hints of hops but very mellow but you can tell this was pretty high hopped but they are so mellow. Almost no booze taste

M: medium to full bodied doesn't lay on the tongue too much

O: just a beautiful beer, it has the deep hints of hops but very mellow in taste smooth Carmel toffee deep thick doughy bread taste. This beer is quite impressive and thank god easily looked over

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Photo of PatrickKellyCT
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage

Look: Almost looks like dark apple cider, very thick and dense appearance, a ring of lace formed around the glass

Smell: Lots of brown sugar, some caramel/toffee, a little bit of alcohol. Very malty.

Taste: Just like the smell. Tons and tons of sweet brown sugary malts. Massive beer, very complex. Definitely some alcohol but it is masked well by all of the surrounding flavors.

Moutfeel: Very dense mouthfeel, sticky and syrupy. Definitely a sipper.

Overall a great beer on a cool November night. Enjoy! I'll be sipping this one for hours.

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Photo of brongladest
4/5  rDev -2.4%

A: dark , white head
S:intensely malty, a bit bready, alittle boozy/bourbony
T: huge malt, bready, bourbon boozy, slight bitter at the end
M: full body, a bit creamy
final verdict: good beer, would be better aged a year or two

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Photo of wordemupg
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355ml 2003 bottle poured into tulip 5/10/14, big thanks towards Phly21ca for the bottle

A 11 years old and still some noise when I pop the cap so that's a good sign, clear dark brown has a red glow when held to the light, a finger of foam doesn't last long and leaves no lace

S leather, tobacco, sugar coated raisins, a little molasses, some oxidization, but its held up remarkably well for a beer this old

T brown sugar, a little brandy, has a desert wine aspect that's hard to place, no booze at all, lots of burnt sugars, its past its prime I'm sure but still very good

M leaning towards full, low carbonation but not flat, the booze is completely gone, is it nutty on the finish? hazelnut maybe? I cant place it to save my life

O I wasn't sure what to expect but this ones done well considering it was bottled over a decade ago, there's signs of age no doubt and its over the hill but still drinking surprisingly well

I think this might be the oldest beer I've ever drank, I had a 99 JW Lees Harvest Ale back in 2010 so it would be close. I was expecting a novelty but this one was well worth drinking, now I want to find other vintages, thanks again Phil for the experience

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Photo of Damian
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
2012 vintage
Served in a snifter

The nearly crystal clear, crimson-mahogany liquid was topped by a one-finger tall, foamy, khaki colored crown that quickly faded to a film of bubbles. Spotty lacing trickled down the glass.

The nose was pleasant yet subtle initially. Semi-sweet with caramel and toffee notes. Somewhat fruity. Raisins and figs were noticeable. As the beer warmed, the aroma became much sweeter and more intense. Strong rum-like notes really came forth. Loads of brown sugar. Notes of oak were detectible as well.

Sharp, boozy notes overwhelmed the flavor profile initially. Carmel malts came through on the front end. Fruity with hints of plums, raisins and figs. Brown sugar was noticeable in the center. Subtle metallic notes appeared on the back end. The finish was hot and biting with strong earthy and piney hop notes. Really tough drinking. With time, the flavor profile intensified and the alcohol became much less of an issue.

The mouthfeel was perhaps the most impressive aspect of this beer. Super creamy, soft and supple. Somewhat sticky. The liquid contained a fine, medium, tongue blanketing effervescence that made the beer feel light and airy on the palate but still gave it enough weight.

Even with two years of age on this bottle, North Coast's Old Stock Ale was quite boozy and rough around the edges. With its almost cloying sweetness on the front end and harsh, hoppy and boozy notes on the finish, this drank a lot like an old school, West Coast-style barleywine. Perhaps a bit more time in the cellar would do it some good.

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Photo of FLima
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage.
Murky brown orange color with a thin head with short retention.
Aroma with notes of molasses, lots of dark fruits, banana and licorice.
Bold flavor with notes of prunes, raisins, real toffee, definitely with a profound vinous character, burnt coconut, orange marmalade, rum flamed banana, maple syrup, and earthy and herbal hops. Flavors just keep coming, you have to stop sometime. Quite dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Medium to full body with mild carbonation with the tiniest bubbles. Alcohol of 11.9% abv is intriguingly well hidden, and when it starts to show up it positively contributes to its flavor.
This is an outstanding Old Ale, those American bastards, they did it again! Great complexity with lots of vinous, dark fruit and toffee notes. Nectar from heaven.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%

This beer has several outstanding qualities, but the spice profile is not my best friend. Body was great. Color was beautiful. Something in the finish that I did not care for. That being said, it is still a good beer.

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Photo of samtrillo
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

2014 Vintage...

No head or lacing. Deep dark purple hue.

Smells of rich caramel malt and alcohol. Maybe a bit of red wine or grape.

Tastes of a sweet caramelized barleywine like flavor. Alcohol definitely noticeable but enjoyable guided by this beer. A bit of red grape in the taste.

Low carbonation and a bouncy mouthfeel with the ABV and big malt.

Overall, I'm into big beers like this. Reminds me of a barleywine.

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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,437 ratings.