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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

184 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 184
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: 184 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerthulhu
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%

A: Pours a dark cranberry red with a moderate tan head.

S: Rich dark coffee with some chocolate.

T: Taste is acidic coffee, that finishes with rich dark chocolate and some black licorice notes. Hops are earth and bitter complimenting the roasted malt providing a slight smokey finish.

M: Mouthful is light to moderate, some creaminess.

D: above ave. drinkability and a good session stout.

beerthulhu, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of harpus
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

harpus, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of Brad007
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Pours a pitch black color with a thin one-finger brown head into my pint glass.

Aroma is thick with burnt coffee and light chocolate notes in the nose.

Taste is lightly creamy upfront with very little hint of burnt coffee or chocolate.

Mouthfeel is very smooth but also pretty thin. The only thing that remains at the back of throat is very little burnt coffee.

Not bad but feels rather thin for a stout. Also, I expected a bit more of the roasted/burnt coffee to show up and it doesn't seem to show enough. Not bad but there are better examples out there.

Brad007, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%

12oz single, presumably from rileys

appearance: pours into a crowleys pint glass...dark mahogany body, big chocolate foam head with strong retention...about what one would expect for an american stout

smell: dry roasty malts, milk chocolate powder

taste: dry bland chocolate, a touch nutty, light cream...just fairly standard

mouthfeel: dry and creamy

drinkability: fine

dirtylou, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

Dark brown an coal wth ruby highlights after the pour. Rocky brown, but very quick and holey head does not impress much. Dry dark chocolate powder and government issued coffee grounds. Makes me think of a dry Irish stout. The dryness of this stout gives a powdery feel to the palate that mixes well with its simple flavors. Morning blend coffee, powdered dark chocolate ad maybe some earthy hops. Pretty straight forward in every way shape and form. Makes the sessionability just as simple.

scruffwhor, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of Rhettroactive
2.35/5  rDev -38.6%

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 6/28/11
*From notes

A: Cherry brown in color. A 2.25 finger head is the product of a generous pour. The fluffy head leads to decent lacing.

S: Rusted metal left in a cesspool on the hottest day of the year. It's pretty awful. I can't find a single pleasantry about the bouquet.

T: A bit of milk chocolate up front that comes off as whimpy and meek. The mid is filled with the essence of caramel mocha, as the finish is metallic and a slight bit off-putting.

M: Thin and utterly oily. There's no residual bulid-up in the mouth like most of the quality stouts on the market. Instead, this one is in, out and over.

O: North Coast's Old Plowshare Organic Stout is a weak link in an otherwise solid catalog. I'm guessing they were looking to create an everyday, low ABV stout, and instead found a beer that I came close to drainpouring.

On a sidenote: if you're looking for a proper and simply top-notch interpretation of the low ABV American Stout style, check out Evolution's Rise Up! Stout. You're welcome.

Rhettroactive, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of Dogbrick
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%

Dark reddish-brown color with a lot of light penetration. Medium thin beige head that lasts pretty well, and thin sheets of lacing. Aroma of roasted malt and coffee. Medium-bodied and creamy with lots of roasted coffee flavor throughout. Other flavors like chocolate and malt are not as consistent though. The finish is mildly bitter coffee and a little watery. Above average overall, and not by far.

Dogbrick, May 04, 2006
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%

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.

Cyberkedi, May 14, 2009
Photo of cjgator3
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brownish black color with a very nice light tan head that possesses excellent retention and lacing qualities. The aroma is very nice with dark roasted malt and coffee, very much like a dry stout. The taste is dark and roasty with that starts out smooth and malty and finishes with a mild roasted bitterness. Overall, Old Plowshare is a solid organic stout that is recommended.

cjgator3, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of illidurit
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%

Darkest brown with a big fluffy tan head. Nice retention and decent lacing. Aromas of cocoa powder, graham, brownie mix, iced coffee. Flavor is mainly chocolate malts. Lightly acidic and roasty. Not as sweet as the aroma, but there's a dusting of cocoa and dark chocolate. Sort of light bodied with sharp carbonation. A very solid stout.

illidurit, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint. No freshness dating indicated on the label. Poured a deep brown with ruby highlights throughout the glass when backlit. Quarter inch, off-white head quickly dissipated into a soapy skim. Only a few spatters of lacing present during the tasting. Nose reveals chocolate malt with a hint of alcohol. Taste follows nose. Chocolate comes across a bit like cocoa (maybe some lactose in the mix). Also picked up a slightly roasty/nutty quality at the finish. Mouthfeel falls between light- and medium-bodied; however, carbonation is a bit prickly and aggressive for the style. A decent stout, but the mouthfeel is off for me, which dramatically impacts the overall quality of the brew.

Jwale73, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of popery
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%

It's a relatively light stout with a lot of roasted flavor but there isn't quite enough going on to push the score into a higher tier of stouts. Also, there is a slight metallic aftertaste, but maybe I just got an imperfect batch or something.

It's a dark, red beer that can be seen through. The head is fluffy and pretty great looking. I like the head a lot, so I gave the beer a slightly higher score than it should probably get as compared to really great stouts. There is a lot going on in the nose for a beer with an abv of 5.7%, but it's only good relative to the quality stronger stouts.

The beer tastes pretty good but doesn't live up to the nose. Not all of the coffee and chocolate notes come through on the tongue. Partly, it's due to this funny metallic taste that's coming through for me. The feel and drinkability suffer for this metallic taste, as well. It's not a bad stout. It's just not a great one.

popery, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of drpimento
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%

Pretty nice beer. Brought this back with me from Miami Beach this past summer and it suffered not. Me either. Four of us sampling and agreeing it's pretty good. Good head and lace; lovely dark rich brown with dark cherry highlights. Vanilla, chocolate and dark malt aroma. Flavor's about the same. Fine carbonation. Good quaff. Satisfying. Session beer. Great finish.

drpimento, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of cokes
2.38/5  rDev -37.9%

Pours to a dark mahogany brown with a good deal of translucency, topped with a thick khaki-tan head. It's not an ugly beer, for a brown ale. For a stout, it's simply not black enough.
Aroma-wise, a tic of scorched sugar and caramel, and a tiny notion of roast are succumbed to a brown bag papery astringency and misplayed spearmint hops. It turns towards tea and cocoa powder and wet leaves as it warms, and that represents a marked improvement.
A brown sugared carob tobacco maltiness prevails in the mouth. Roast is nearly absent from the taste profile, aside for a token appearance around the swallow. And it isn't sweet either. The fizzy, abrasive carbonation won't allow for it, and neither will the bizarre acrid tea-like hops, backed with an equally dissonant note of mint.
The body, as mentioned, is thin and overcharged. There is no sense of body, malt, or stoutness here. It congeals a bits after it sits a long while, but all is lost by then.

cokes, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of Pencible
4.83/5  rDev +26.1%

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.

Pencible, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

jfcaa193, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev +4.4%

deapokid, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of cbutova
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%

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.

cbutova, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%

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.

GCBrewingCo, Nov 30, 2005
Photo of Metalmonk
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%

Without much effort this poured a huge light-tan head, creamy and rocky, and the color isn't as typically opaque as most stouts. Light gets through easily and reveals a deep ruby shade. Head reduces, of course, but retention is good, and there's plenty of lace left on the glass.

Aroma is steamed milk, dark baking chocolate, malted milk balls, hints of date and fig, coffee grounds. Doesn't tantalize the nostrils as much as it tickles them in a nice subtle way.

The flavor is a letdown compared to the aroma. It's enjoyable enough but lacks the depth of the aroma. It's almost all roasted dark grains, giving a nutty and rough coffee-like bitterness. A slight lactic element provides a little backup, and there's more coffee in the finish. But that coffee flavor is more Folgers than something on the gourmet end of the spectrum. A simplistic flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but it spreads out nice and airy on the tongue, also provides a pinch of carbonation, all that keeping it from feeling too watery.

Pretty good, but nothing I'm dying to try again. Like Flying Dog, North Coast always excels with their big beers while their more "sessionable" brews aren't as spectacular.

Metalmonk, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

BeerForMuscle, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of allengarvin
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%

Old Ploughshare, on pour, is a deep, ruby-red tinted beer with small, thin coat of foam across the top. Aroma is somewhat faint, mostly roasted, bready malt. Lots more roastiness at taste, along with moderately-high bittering hops. I can't detect any hop flavor. Finishes dry with a lingering taste of toasted malt. Medium-bodied, fairly carbonated.

Nothing bad here, but nothing stands out either. I admit stouts are not my favorite style, but I can't see any reason to buy this again.

allengarvin, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.1/5  rDev +7%

North Coast- Old Plowshare

Appearance- Dark ruby red brown with a thick cola like head. Heavy lacing though.
Smell- Smooth creamy coffee with a touch of cocoa powder.
Taste- Light french vanilla coffee heavy on the cream. Light touch of cocoa in the end.
Mouthfeel- Smooth throughout with a touch of dry bitterness in the end, otherwise creamy smooth.

Overall- Nevermind the organic label on this 1. It's mighty tasty. This is easily a session stout.
Once again North Coast doesn't dissappoint.

NJpadreFan, Aug 07, 2007
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007.

Very interesting:an organic stout. No organic hops, though. Wonder why?

As dark as night with faint ruby edges; better-than- average retention from the lace, with some clinging action after each sip. Cocoa powder, chocolate syrup and mocha aromas with fruity undertones. Heavy hand of smoothness; slightly crisp with a medium body. Baker's chocolate flavor up front, with a kiss of charred malt in the middle. Hints of black currant and elderberry jump across the dark, bready, malt sweetness. Peripheral hop bitterness is there but overshadowed by the fresh roasted malt character. Finishes milky, semi-sweet, with a lengthy yet very mild roasted grain flavor.

Old Plowshare Stout is a good call, and it's nice to see more brewers explor- ing the organic market. Lots of roasted malt flavors to go around. Quite com- plex, and indeed interesting. The sweet side makes for better pairings with this beer. Try brownies or a molten chocolate cake.

BeerAdvocate, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of dsa7783
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

Short, fat, stout, single, 12 oz bottle purchased from Total Wine and More in Union for $1.99...
"Organic stout" on the front logo sticker...
Most of North Coast's stuff is usually pretty good, so I expected the same from this sample...
Pours a engine-oil, jet-black hue with a decent-sized foamy head that soon dissipated and left a minimal amount of lacing...
Rich cocoa and espresso aroma coming through along with enticing mocha nuances...
Taste paid homage to the smell, with a warm suggestion of rich latte, dark espresso, and chocolate factors thrown into the mix...
Mouthfeel was decent, but slightly more watered-down than I had anticipated...
Easy drinkability due to the lack of any cloying factors present and relatively modest 5.7% ABV...
Decent stuff...
Worth a shot...

dsa7783, Apr 01, 2008
Old Plowshare Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.