Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Old Plowshare Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Plowshare StoutOld Plowshare Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

155 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 155
Hads: 186
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 12
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hyuga on 10-01-2005

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 Plowshare Stout Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 155 | Hads: 186
Photo of Pencible
4.8/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured an opaque dark brown with tan head. It smelled like creamy milk chocolate and roasted coffee malts, with a bit of copper hops. It tasted like sweet cream and milk chocolate malt with light coffee hops. It was watery with no carbonation, and had a brief bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was one of the most delicious stouts ever, with a silky smooth body. This was so good, I could drink it all day.

 414 characters

Photo of mjc410
4.75/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The pour into my Sam Smith glass raises a creamy looking light tan head that's about two fingers tall. It recedes slowly and reluctantly. The lace seems heavy, but still manages to stick at its highest extent. The body, even when not backlit, is obviously brown, not black. When illuminated from behind, it's a translucent, relaxed brown. The nose is caramelly, touched by chocolate with even lighter coffee hints, with a bitter acidity coming through, too. It's hard for me to say much more, but it has a wonderful smell. The taste starts smooth and sweet, with a light chocolate/malt flavor, then moves into a slightly bitter mocha ending. Great taste, simply. The mouth feels just a bit thicker than what I want an Irish stout to be. It's really thick, with just a tad too much carbonation. This is one of the finest beers I've had recently, and certainly one of the best stouts yet.

 886 characters

Photo of bpbieste
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving out of a bottle. Appearance of a very dark brown with a creamy head. Sweet Coffee and smooth chocolate. Smooth taste, very smooth confirming the aforementioned aromas. Mouthfeel has a balanced consistency, not too thin, not too thick. Drinkability: One of the best stouts I've ever tried. I will definitely be having this again in the future.

 350 characters

Photo of dadonabike
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A classic brown/black color as one would expect. Pour to one finger of foam that slowly recedes to an espresso like crème and fine sudsy lacing.

S: The scent is all about roasted and toasted grains w/ a touch of coffee & caramel malt.

T: This is a rich dry stout w/ a ton of roasted & chocolaty malts, not overbearing and acrid but nicely balanced. There are no big tannins and the hops are very mild; no florals to speak of and the bitters are just nicely balanced as in not too malty but not bitter either.

M: The mouthfeel is perfect for me as well not too thin and not syrupy. There is a nice fullness or well rounded quality to this beer with just the right amount of carbonation, I would love to have this on tap sometime.

D: In case it's not obvious I really like this beer! Very drinkable. I have e-mailed these folks to see if they could hook me up with a home brew recipe as I would love for this to be a base for my stout brews.

 949 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.59/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a not-quite opaque deep brown almost black with a thin off-white head, the beer showed decent ruby highlights when held up to light. The roasty aroma was evident from arms length while pouring the beer, even more evident when held to the nose. Fresh-brewed coffee and milk chocolate are also present making one of the most fragrant brews I've come across in a long time. The taste is also a great balance of flavors. This was much better than I was expecting from an organic stout. The beer is medium bodied with low carbonation. This one would make for a great session on a cold winter night.

 600 characters

Photo of Risser09
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a 1" tan head that has lots of large surface bubbles. The craterous head looks like the moon's surface. Great retention and lots and lots of thick, foamy lace.

Smell: Wow. Robust with a multitude of aromas. Toffee, almond, nougat, roasted barley, chocolate, creamed coffee and caramel. A wonderfully complex beer.

Taste: Many of the flavors match the aroma. Coffee and toffee couple together for a strong burnt flavor. Lingering coffee bitterness and slight alcohol burn. Almond nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, very smooth with scarce carbonation activity. Robust and not so sweet.

Drinkability: This is an awesome stout. One that could be consumed en masse. Very drinkable because it's flavorful and not too sweet. A best buy for sure.

 844 characters

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark dark brown, with a nice tan head. It smells nice and roasty, dark malts, roasted coffee, maybe some bitter chocolate in there. Tastes of roasted malt, caramel and coffee, some nice unexpected fruity undertones, and a great bitter finish. I like this one a lot.

Not a heavy beer though very fulfilling. I could do a couple of these in one setting. I recommend this for anyone wanting to venture into the dark side.

 419 characters

Photo of yesyouam
4.36/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Plowshare Stout is a very dark reddish brown ale with a frothy, bubbly light brown head that has great retention and leaves lumpy lacing. It has a slightly sweet, roasted, almost charred aroma. It is medium, maybe medium-light bodied. It's quite smooth with a dry finish. There is a touch of toffee-like sweetness and a nice coffee-like bitterness. It is well balanced, simple and very drinkable.

 400 characters

Photo of BeerSox
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pitch black except for a hint of ruby at the bottom. A one finger than head settles to a thin cap, with rings of solid lacing along the glass.

Roasty coffee and chocolate aromas sit on top of a powdery creaminess.

The coffee and chocolate is repeated, along with some smooth roasty malts. The feel is smooth and full bodied. The finish is lingering malts. As the beer warms, a bit of smokiness emerges.

This is a full flavored smooth, and complex stout. It's incredibly drinkable, and the flavors slowly bloom as the beer warms. Recommended.

 574 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, talk about a beastly head. Pours pitch black with a three finger head that has some large bubbles but is creamy for the most part. Head starts to leave some good lacing as it dies down but retains pretty well. Good looking stout. Smells of roasted malts, coffee, sweets and chocolate. The smell is nice and strong and doesn't seem to let up as I drink this one down. Taste is about the same as smell. A nice roasted malts characteristic that is not too strong but tasteful, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and sweets. I even taste some bourbon, its nice and a pinch of alcohol. I like the balance of flavors here. Moderate body with good appropriate carbonation, a tiny bit of warming makes for a good mouthfeel. A coat of roasted malt flavor is left on the tongue. Drinkability is decent, taste is very good, price isn't the best, no off flavors (the flavors are actually very solid and balanced), depending on the price and the night I would certainly buy this one again.

 973 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a nice dark brown almost black with good carbonation. The head is a nice fat finger bard tan and creamy smooth. It fades to a nice lace.

The smell is dark rich toasted malt. Some very good smelling coffee notes.

The taste follow and delivers well. I love the Coffee notes in this beer, What a treat.

The mouthfeel works quite nice. A nice full body, good carbonation.

The drinkability is good. This beer is very nice and I would and did buy more. Prosit, MK

 527 characters

Photo of clabaugh
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep mahogany with a creeping, crawling head colored a dark khaki. While ebullient at first, the head recedes rather rapidly. Lacing ornaments the inside of the glass.

Smell: Milk chocolate and smokey malts (organic in this case). Evidence of the alcohol content wafts into one's nostrils. Faintly nutty, with traces of caramel.

Taste: Delicately chocolately, reinforced by some hoppy bitterness. Aptly sweet, buttery malts that taste less of smoke than the smell indicates. Mild coffee bean rounds out a very satisfying flavor slate.

Mouthfeel: Caressing on the tongue, and a spot chewy. Veyr soft and comforting on the palate. Luxurious.

Drinkability: Bountiful, delicious flavor. A truly craveable beer that is quite easy to consume. Very pleasantly surprised with the enjoyment derived from this beer.

 831 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at city market in san antonio tx memorialday weekend. Very nice stout, usually not impressed with most organic ales, but this really worked!

Pours mahogany with a 4 fingers+ tan head. Beautiful lacing & head retention

Slight choclate scents

Taste: choclate up front, followed by slight fruitiness, plus slight roasted barley. Finsihes with slight oakiness & roasted barley

MF: Rich & full, good carbonation

Very drinkable, but too heavy to session on IMHO. I reccomend highly none the less

 515 characters

Photo of biggmike
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very attractive and inviting dark color that was almost black with a generous tan head that dissipated slowly. The aroma was of sweet roasted malt and coffee. Taste is the same with some milk chocolate flavor as well. The mouthfeel was very pleasant. This is a realy great session stout and one I am looking forward to having again.

 351 characters

Photo of theghost3
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with ruby tones and a one-finger tan head. The smell is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and slightly nutty. The roasted malts are there in the taste, but not as prevalent as in the aroma. There are also flavors of coffee, chocolate, and bread. The mouthfeel is smooth, but not nearly as thick as a typical stout. This is very drinkable, and surprisingly not as heavy as most stouts.

 403 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Looks dark but not black, thin brown head. A little light gets through around the edges. Smells dark and bitter with some chocolate and coffee.

Taste is very pleasant -- surprisingly sweet, but balanced with the same bitterness that you can detect in the smell. Chocolate is even stronger in the taste. The sweetness makes me think of molasses.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for a stout, but pleasant. Very drinkable stout.

 466 characters

Photo of taez555
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a brownish black body with a small off-white head.

Nose has rich chocolate, milk chocolate, fresh coffee beans, toffee and brown sugar. Very rich and completely upfront. Sort of a natural organic smell to it,

Medium bodied with a big present flavor. Coffee, milk chocolate, toasted and dark burnt malts. Touches of natural wood, stone and roots. Touches of root beer almost. A nice earthy muted hop flavor. A rather present bitterness in the finish that lingers for some time.

One of the most flavorful and simple stouts I've had in while. Huge flavor, with a distinctive organic flavor. Great beer.

 625 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep, dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a very sweet chocolate and crystal malt scent that is almost like a chocolate stout. It's sweet with a slight roasted feel. The taste is good. It has a smooth and creamy chocolate malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes sweet with a slight earthy edge. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a highly drinkable beer. It's almost a dessert brew; an excellent stout.

 537 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The rich smoky aroma has strong tones of roast coffee and molasses and just a whisper of unsweetened chocolate, demanding a taste. It pours a nearly opaque chocolate brown with a thick, light tan head that hangs around for quite a bit. Flavor is smoky with a strong overtone of fine coffee and touches of caramel, hops and molasses. Texture is this beer's weakest point - though it is smooth and fizzy, it seems just a little watery. This beer is a winner nonetheless.

 468 characters

Photo of ByTor2112
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been drinking off a case of this for a while, so here goes:

Pours a very dark brown, some light comes through at the edges of the glass. Carbonation is lively at first then diminishes to a thin ring of beige foam around the glass.

Aroma-Roasted malt, some earthy hops and a sweeter smell I am trying to pinpoint; toffee?

Mouthfeel-Very good carbonation delivers a tasty palate of hop bitterness and dark malt and roasted malt flavors, some light tannins even.
This tastes like a milk stout as I am getting some sweet, almost sour/tart like flavors. Very nice. A froth on the palate activates the hops and it returns back to an American stout feel as the sweetness yields to the hops. I have sessioned this one and North Coast brewed a winner here.

Not mind blowing but satisfying for Winter and a great brew for any occasion. Cheers!

 845 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - stout dark, but as dark as other, wells up a gorgeous caramel colored full finger thick head, too dark for carbonation

S - a nice light espresso aroma with the requisite hop aromas intertwined, perhaps slight vanilla aromas as well

T - such a smooth coffee flavor, not overbearing, not too subtle, a great balanced bitter/sweet flavor, this is a great stout, love the organic mustiness as well, a superb stout

M - smooth as i said with a great aftertaste

D - high for stout lovers other may find a bit musty, but damn is it good

 544 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with one finger of creamy light tan head.

Scent of chocolate, hops, roasted malts, smoke, tobacco, and earth. Very well balanced with a nice strength.

Taste of roasted malts, chocolate, tobacco, and anise. Finishes with some coffee and roasted malts. A solid Stout, I could drink this often.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and somewhat thin, but smooth with fairly strong carbonation.

 407 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass translucent blackish brown with a brown head which rose well and fell to lace the glass.

The aroma was chocolate with expresso. Also present was a nice caramel aroma and a light fruitiness. As the beer warmed and the head fell some roasty and smoky character emerged.

The flavor was nicely done with a dark chocolate and coffee, expresso, flavor. Some caramel character was present but it did not add sweetness to this dry brew. The bittering was earthy and it's presence with the dark grains led to the dryness.

The finish was dry with lasting earhty hop presence and bittering and coffee long and pleasant into the aftertaste. The body was not quite medium but well done for a dry stout. A nice beer, can drink this one without issue. The alcohol is a bit on the high side for a dry stout, but this one is well done.

12 ounce bottle. USDA organic and brewed only for Whole Foods.

 924 characters

Photo of wcdoyle
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque, dark brown with a dense, tan head. No visible carbonation up the sides of the glass after the initial pour. Smells of butterscotch. Dark roast and coffee caramel kick up in the taste. Aftertaste trends towards espresso with the same syrupy, oily finish that moves toward astringent. Light and lean on carbonation in the taste to mouthfeel, but I found it a nice balance between sharp-ish and low apparent carbonation of a trad Irish stout. Drinkability. The first time I tried this (2-3 weeks ago), I recall saying something like "that's a d@#% good stout." This time, my impression hasn't changed.

+ for being organic.

 628 characters

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Toasty, deep mahogany color. Two-finger head with great legs and respectable retention. Smell is roasty, and suggests espresso. Taste is malty, with a whallop of coffee in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is substantial and satisfying. I'm a big fan of this beer, as I don't know of a better session stout.

 299 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Plowshare Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.