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Old Plowshare Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Plowshare StoutOld Plowshare Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

185 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 14
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: hyuga on 10-01-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of briman
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours dark brown, but not opaque, with some ruby highlights when held up to the light. Decent clarity. Half-inch tan head dissipated quickly leaving very little lacing.

Very mild but noticeable aromas of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt.

Taste is sweet upfront, little bit of chocolate, but the the coffee and roasted malt flavors become more evident. Finish has a tinge of hops, but to me it's mostly a mild roasty, burnt malt bitterness.

Mouthfeel seems thin, and not as robust as I would like for a stout. The lightness of it does make it the kind of stout I could drink a few of, especially if I wanted to stay away from something overly heavy.

briman, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz single purchased at Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA poured into a standard pint glass

A: Very dark brown that appears black until its held up to the light to reveal red highlights. An aggressive pour yielded barely a finger thick head that didn't linger for very long. The small amount of bubbles left on the surface leave a little bit of lacing, but it doesn't cling to the glass.

S: The smell is completely dominated by roasted malts. There is a slight hint of a chocolate smell to add a little bit of character to the aroma.

T: The initial flavor is lightly sweet from the malts, but the finish is a bit bitter from the dark chocolate. Its nothing outstanding to me, but I give it a bit higher than average on taste due to the balance.

M: It is very thin bodied for a stout. Lack of carbonation does not give it a nice creamy texture as I like in stouts.

D: The balance and lack of alcohol burn make this one pretty drinkable for me.

GatorBeerNerd, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of Donsmitty
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Donsmitty, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of Bubba83
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4-pack at the local Whole Foods in hopes it would not be another dissapointing Organic beer.

Appearance - I had to dock this a little bit because it's just dark brown, and I feel like American Stouts should be black as night. With that said, there is an excellent three finger tan head floating on top, with good lacing down the glass.

Smell - The smell is a little bit subdued, but smells of roasted barley and tingly hops do barely emerge.

Taste - I was actually a little bit surprised, I expected less flavor after the mellow nose and brown appearance. Hops tickle all the way through the sip, with a faint spicy earthyness. The malt speaks up with a half chocolate, half roasted barley type character which play well together.

Mouthfeel - Always excellence in this department from North Coast. It pops nicely around the mouth, and has a nice semi-oily body that just feels smooth as it runs over the tongue.

Drinkability - Highly drinkable, I could drink the rest of the 4 pack within the next hour no problem. I think I will save the rest for another time though.

Overall the best Organic Beer I've had to date. It could be a little darker and have more malt complexity, but using a ton of different types of malt might be difficult since all must be organic. Enjoyable and recommended.

Bubba83, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of haddon
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark cola color with a light head that fades quickly.

first smell was heavenly. got one of the purest dark chocolate whiffs that I've ever noticed in a stout. espresso, roasted malts and a light hint of bitter hops. exactly what a stout should smell like.

lots of earthy flavors on the palate. moss, burnt wood, coffee been & cocoa. a weird sourness creeps up and competes with the bitterness of the hops. strange indeed.

little light on the body that accentuates carbonation. overall, the feel comes across watery for a stout

not a disappointing beer but not a stout I would go to if given a choice. just OK. it was more than worth the try just to smell it after the pour.

haddon, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of beerinator
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, but certainly not black. Off white head lingered a bit and then faded back into the beer. Retention is good.

Aroma: Roasty, burnt coffee snorts up the nose. The initial aromas are roasty, but there is some sweet malt and a bit of chocolate smell that fills the nose.

Taste: The flavor starts a bit roasty, but the taste finishes sweet with a bit of burned bitterness. The mouthfeel is solid, but not exceedingly full. The caramel sweetness is there, but the bitterness seems to keep it in check.

Notes: Balanced roasty beer. This doesn't look like a dry irish style, but it does have many of the flavors of it. Good beer, especially if you plan to drink more than two.

beerinator, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of cheers2beers
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours a solid black liquid with a nice creamy tan head. There is alot of cascade-like beading on the inside. A minimal amount of laceing can be found as well.

Smell: The aromas consist of bitter chocolates from the start with a hint of fresh coffee grounds. Lots of fig, plum, and a mild raisin. Not much alcohol in the nose.

Taste: Mmm...This is really good. Nothing is over the top. All flavors are pleasantly subtle to make great combination. Mild chocolate and the dark fruits is dominate on the palate. Not much coffee here, as I would have guessed, but it does leave you with a vanilla and a light alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a medium-thick to thick body with a good amount of carbonation. From the creamy foam to the easy to drink liquid everything is smooth. Leaves with a light vanilla aftertaste.

Drinkability: This is truely a great stout. Nothing extra ordinary just a good tasteing beer. I would definitely recommend you try this one.


cheers2beers, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of ByTor2112
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
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!

ByTor2112, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of lhaqq
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Looks brown to black, but if held to the light is a translucent dark amber. I was surprised that, being a stout, it was so light. Has a caramel-colored head that is somewhat thin for a stout and dissipates rather quickly, but a remnant stays throughout drinking.
S: Strong smell of malts and roasted coffee. The smell isn't just prominent at the beginning, but stays for awhile.
T: Tastes malty and earthy. Has a coffee finish that isn't very bitter.
M: Has a feel similar to but lighter than most stouts.
D: Easy to drink, not sure if I will get it again, though. I usually don't prefer something this easy to drink and this light when I reach for a stout, but nevertheless still a good beer.

lhaqq, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of regspeir
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.
Dark caramel appearance with a 2-inch coffee-colored head which quickly dissolves. Little lace left behind. Nose is sweet roasted coffee, chocolate, roasted malt. Little carbonation. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel but not overly thick. Smokey, sweet molasses and nutty up front with a bitter hop finish that makes this very tasty. Very sessionable at <6%, I will be revisiting this for sure.

regspeir, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of jmbraxton
5/5  rDev +30.5%

jmbraxton, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of fank2788
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Deep dark brown bordering on black in the glass with a one finger off white to tan head that dissipates to a thin layer of tiny bubbles with a fair amount of lace. Aromas of dark fruit black coffee with strong roast, black and chocolate malt characters. The taste definitely focuses on the roasted malt and black coffee, dark chocolate character that comes through in the aroma. The roast is pretty intense actually but not so harsh or bitter that it is fatiguing. Bitterness is apparent some from the malt and some from hops, little to no hop flavor or aroma and the bitterness only balances the malt and doesn't really play a major role. The mouthfeel is a little light and thin the active carbonation may be to blame in part. Overall this is a very solid stout a bit different with the heavy roasted focus definitely refreshing and it's organic, so two thumbs up for that.

fank2788, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of alexskovan
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep coppery amber, but not totally opaque. Tan head that lingered a bit, then dropped to about a half inch and stayed. Nice lacing. Smell is caramel and toffee malt and yeast, with floral hops behind. Taste is slightly sweet and smooth, with a nice tannic finish, like tea. Not an overbearing stout -- in fact, I think this beer might be better classified as a Porter. Good stuff.

alexskovan, Jan 07, 2007
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.

jeffjfindley, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of Geech
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Geech, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of joekfsu
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours nearly jet black with 2 cm of a 2 cm dense tan head that is slowly diminishing. Aroma of mocha. Initial flavor is slightly sweet with coffee and malt. Flavor ends with a hint of bitter chocolate, long bitter aftertaste. Light to moderate carbonation, tons of lacing, moderate body, limited alcohol presence. Overall, I think this beer probably deserves a better rating because it is pretty decent drinking.

joekfsu, Sep 24, 2008
Photo of Fnord
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Black with a large and thick tan head that won't let go of the glass.

Smell - Chocolate, alcohol, malt shake, and coffe.

Taste - A lot of chocolate malt, with some alcohol and coffee thrown in. There's a little oak in the aftertaste, along with a roasty element. It's somewhere between sweet and dry, with some balanced bitterness thrown in.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth, with a thick body and high carbonation.

Notes - Because of the evident malts, I would call this a porter instead of a stout. Whatever you call it, though, it's very good, maybe even as good as a well-made English porter. That would be a tasting I'd like to try. In the meantime, I'd recommend this beer to anyone with a taste for porter/stouts.

Fnord, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of hopsleeroy
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured fairly see through black with alot of deep red around the edges with minimal white head and little lacing. Best thing about this beer was the smell. Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate. All of the good things you want in a stout. Taste was not as deep as the aroma and felt very thin in the mouth and the malt flavor didn't last through. Hops finished bitter towards the end but otherwise did not add alot. I enjoyed this beer and would drink again, but I wouldn't seek it out. I usually want a little more out of a stout.

hopsleeroy, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of meadhead
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a proclaimed organic stout
is it placebo effect?
because it tastes crisp-

yet short of perfect
I geuss

nice roasted dark chocolate
and robust full bitter
noble hops come
right through,

flavor keeps in the center
bit of tart from the yeast
is slightly detectable
a refined carbonation
that makes a full mouthfeel

not bad
not bad at all

drinks very very easy
an American stout
that has some quality breeding

meadhead, May 06, 2007
Photo of Pleepleus
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from hyland24, Thanks Hammer. Poured from Bottle into Pint glass, black with a tan creamy half inch head that reduced quickly. Smells like Malt and chocolate, fabulous. Tastes like the smell with a late cofee bitterness. Thin for a stout, does not make it bad, just more like a porter with its carbonation and watery finish. I enjoyed this alot and I am beginning to think there may be something to this whole "Organic" craze.

Pleepleus, May 03, 2008
Photo of hyland24
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- Poured a thin dark brown almost black with red hues when held up to the light. No head and little to no lacing.

S- Malt with hints of roasted coffee ad a slight hop smell.

T- Malty start, with a slightly smoky flavor although it tasted very watered down.

MF&D- Way to thin for a stout both in texture and in flavor. Disappointed overall with the body of this stout. Dont bother nothing special.

hyland24, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of clabaugh
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

clabaugh, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of ChuckD
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Shoreline poured into a chalice. Nice tawny lacing covering a dark black body.

To the nose - sweet roasted malts right up front. Full bodied and thick. A little floralness to be found.

In the mouth, full bodied and malt depths. Sweet butterscotch with a slight smokiness. A hop whisper - not enough though to lighten things up.

The feel is too thing for the style and does not match the taste. Much too thin and metallic. It finishes fairly clean and organic.

Musings: A nice tasting stout - with a pedestrian like body. It could be top notch if the feel backed up the taste.

ChuckD, Feb 26, 2007
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.

wcdoyle, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of duffextracold
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown , not quite black color. 1 finger head fades quick.

S- sweet nuts, roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate.

T- Roasty, sweet, chocolatey, slight coffee without the bitterness. quite sweet overall, not really any bitterness at all.

M- Med carbonation level. thin somewhat watery body.

D- Tastes good, goes down easy, body might be a bit thin. otherwise very easy drinking tasty stout.

duffextracold, Mar 22, 2009
Old Plowshare Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.