Otsuchi Old Stock Ale 2012 - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Otsuchi Old Stock Ale  2012Otsuchi Old Stock Ale  2012

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

36 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 36
Hads: 154
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 28.9%
Wants: 8
Gots: 50 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 04-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 36 | Hads: 154
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber / copper body with an inch of off-white head. Earthy, caramel malt, grain, toffee nose. Robust flavor. Moderate sweetness. Some warming alcohol notes, but by no means off-putting. A solid example of the style and a beer that I expect will continue to age gracefully.

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Photo of Bisco42
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage Otsuchi Commemorative Recovery Release - March 2012

Poured into a snifter at 55 degrees, had been cellared upright for exactly 3 years.

L - Pours a dark amber/brown color with a 1 inch head. Lacing remains down the side, but spotty. Bubbles forming up the snifter.

S - Very malt-y, boozy and earthy. Reminiscent of a proper Old Ale.

T - This is where the complexity begins. Getting a lot of different tastes here. Beginning with Marris Otter malt and finishing with the (seemingly) fresh Fuggles hops. The aftertaste bursts with caramel and booze, still burning after 3 years, could probably sit for another several years to allow things to set and combine. Still delicious though, but in small sips every now and again.

F - Thick, robust, full and carbonated. Nothing too overbowering, but enough to allow my palate to retain the entire flavor of the beer. Perhaps the highlight of this fine brew.

O - An excellent take on the easily obtainable Old Ale. Unfortunately, I think this style is lost, and I love how North Coast is continuing to make this extraordinary. Compared to the 2015 version, this is incredibly different but in a good way. Will probably pick up another bottle and allow it to age for longer. NC really got it right with this one.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a bright amber color with a white head. Booze soaked fruit and brown sugar loft over an alcohol taste. Malty sugars go into the flavor with tempered alcohol and a slight herbal note. Toffee, raisin, fig and booze. Bitterness is just a suggestion. A smooth caramel sweet beer that has evened out over time.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.44/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

750ml into snifter.

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a finger of creamy tan head that faded into a thick and lasting collar.
S: Rich and complex notes of leather, tobacco, candied orange rind, sticky hop resin, honey, candied dates, and powdery chocolate.
T: Not as decadent as the nose let on. I get notes of leafy tobacco, wood, candied orange and peat, with hints of chocolate, dates, red grape, and leather. The finish is lightly bitter with a touch of cola and anise, and the aftertaste has lingering honey, butterscotch, and hop resin.
M: More carbonation, fizzy carbonation, than I expected. I definitely wish the bubbles were smoother. The carb creates more texture on the mouthfeel than I remember the 12oz bottles having. This isn’t as smooth, velvety, creamy, soft, or full as I remember, but once some of the carb burns off it’s a bit more drinkable. Medium-full body that definitely could have been smoother.
O: Good but strangely not as good as how I remember the yearly release being. The carbonation was definitely distracting, but maybe it was better fresh.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a cellar temp 750 ml corked and caged bottle, pouring into a snifter.
Pours a mostly clear mahogany with some rich garnet highlights on the edges of the glass.
There is minimal eggshell head that is gone to only a partial edge layer, and then nothing.
Aroma is rich and malty with caramel, toffee, figs and fruity notes. A little booze and red grape note hints at the power of this beer.
First sip reveals is average body with fine and tingly carbonation. Texture is silky and a little sticky on my lips after each sip.
Flavor is what is expected from the nose with lots of malt, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, some fig and red grapes add in for the fruit. The beer finishes very dry and a little bitter, but not really hot or boozy. I am surprised that the booze isnt any hotter after it appeared in the nose. I get the bitterness is probably from the booze, but otherwise the beer is very drinkable and is probably a little dangerous if I tried to drink more than this one bottle tonight.
I am glad I sat on this beer and find it very enjoyable on this chilly January evening.
Nice to see a brewery making commemorative releases for donations to recovery funds too.
Big, tasty malty beer.

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Photo of ikantspel
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 into a tripel karmeliet tulip

Pours a honey brown color with a small robust 3cm head.

A sweet molasses and caramel in the nose with some subtle lingering farmhouse funk

Raisin and dark fruits hit you up front and some of that 11 percent alcohol mingle with some heavy malt flavor

This is wonderful. Happy my local bevmo still carries bottles of this I'm gonna age some

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Photo of mhaugo
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle decanted into a snifter. 11.7% ABV. Served at 55F and allowed to elevate to room temperature.

Appearance: Deep chestnut, slight haze, swiftly fading beige head (3/5).

Aroma: Smells like freshly chipped wood, or yard work on an autumn day. Very earthy, wet, and musty. The smell of fresh mud keeps coming to mind. As it neared room temperature, I got cherries, prunes, and alcohol heat (3.75/5).

Taste: Prunes, raisins, port, vanilla, and dried cigar tobacco. Tannic wood (3.25/5).

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full body with medium carbonation. Definite warmth from the alcohol (3.25/5)

Overall: I wonder if this earthiness that I am taste is an intentional, or unintentional, spike of Brettanomyces. There is definitely a wild yeast chewing through some of this, but I honestly can’t tell if it’s there on purpose or not. Overall it is pretty nice, but lacks the smoothness and roundness of what I generally expect of Old Stock Ale. My internet research has not proven to me that there is a difference between the everyday Old Stock and the one in this bottle, but I’m not in love with this “variant”. I picked this bottle up off a shelf a month or so ago, so perhaps it has not been cellared properly (3.25/5).

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Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm actually a little surprised as I pour this beer, though admittedly it's because it's been so long since I had an Old Ale and I've forgotten how the color and thickness ranges. This one pours about medium orange but, once settled, it looks like cider: thick, very thick dark orange-brown. It's heavy-looking and completely opaque. The head is slightly darker than tan, developing a couple fingers on a hard pour but under one on a softer pour in a different glass. In each glass, though, the head's retention is good, as is the patching left behind.
The smell is rich, quite sweet but tempered as lots of malts give off plenty of dark fruits, plum, fig and raisin, as well as toffee/caramel and some grape must with some almost barley-like grains and a little booziness that isn't too fusel.
In the flavor, all the dark fruits are big as well, with molasses, toffee, caramel and brown sugar. There's a bit of tang from wine-like grape must notes. Up front are raisin and plum, maybe some banana, and raisin fills in the finish. The alcohol takes over more strongly in the taste than the smell.
The feel, a big, rich body that blurs the line between medium and full, takes on a thick sort of smoothness but with a sting to it, a little too much bite that isn't just crispness. It tends in the middle to sit thickly on the tongue, though it evens out at the end.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A bomber, $11.99/750ml. Poured into a chalice.

A complex beer, but too alcohol forward. A beer for a cold night with a cigar. A sipping beer. A beautiful looking/mysterious brew. Easily described as having port-like characteristics. An Old Ale on the high ABV. A lower ABV and the beer would be better. At $11.99 a great buy IMO. Wait till it gets cold, grab a friend and go at it.

A – Pours a dark orange/reddish color (rather unique). A half-finger tan head that quickly dissipates. The head is easily brought back with a swirl. Difficult to discern clarity due to color but clear during pour. Little to no lacing.

S – Dark/dried fruits, sweetness, alcohol, malt, no hops.

T – Alcohol, but not solventy, whiskey, little to no hops evident in taste.

MF – Full bodied, warming alcohol, well carbonated but smooth, even a bit creamy.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

With a slight twist upon the standard "Old Stock Ale" and after one year of age, the beer to recognize the tragedy of the tsunami that leveled Otsuchi, Japan- Its refreshing to get around to tasting the beer that their sister city, Fort Brag devised to assist in the relief of their rebuilding efforts.

Upon the pour, its rich dark hue captivates the eye. With its redish-brown, dark chestnut hue- the mind begins to expect richer and darker flavor. But the attention soon goes to the frothy cap that rises- rocky in its appearance, it's frothy, creamy and strongly withstanding. Decorative patterns of lace follow with each sip taken.

Malty-rich to the nose, the ale projects strong brown sugar, molasses and surprisingly- wine! Or, more so brandy with the strong tinge of alcohol, dark plumy fruit, dense grape, raisin, fig and date. It's kind of a fruit cake melange, except this beer actually smells like something you want to consume.

Sweet, sultry, and so, so seductive, the taste of the beer strikes a tone with the sweet tooth starting with strong toffee, brown sugar and seared honey. A quick rise of peppery alcohols balance the sweet with a slight semblance of bitterness. But as soon as that hits, the stronger brandy-like overtone comes in with the dark, dried fruit flavors and vinous tart tones, dryness, and rich "near-balsamic", "near-leather", "near-tobacco" type of savoriness. And then to finish the spice of fresh-cracked peppercorn provides a lasting memory that almost outlasts the malt sweetness.

Medium-full on the mouth, the beer's malty-sweet upstart provides a weighted impression to start. But its substantial carbonation extends beyond creaminess and makes the beer spicy and effervescent. After that gas expels, the mouth is left with semi-dry malt structures, spicy yeast complements, and strong alcohol warmth.

Without having tasted this beer fresher, I can only attest to a high level of quality that has developed since it first hit the market. Curious about the ale's timid score, this beer is a tremendous example of Old Ale that is taking on mature character gracefully with only one year under its belt. I can only conclude that this beer will age incredibly for years to come!

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Photo of Craig5700
1.88/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Wow, this is one beer you either like or you dont. I'm glad others found this one ok, but not me. Unfortunately this beer tasted like Scotch to me and I'm not a fan of anything related to Whiskey. It sure did pour well and looked good in the mug, so I was very hopeful on the taste but sadly disappointed. No offense to those of you who really enjoyed this one. oh well....there's plenty more to keeping tasting! Respect Beer!

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Photo of sjones5045
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very nice malty smell up front and as the bottle sits some hoppy smell starts to come through. Pours sort of ruby red with nice head. Taste is decent but not as malty as I was expecting or hoping for. The back half of the taste is very boozy it seems to take over and burn out the taste. The more i drank the less taste of malt and hopes but it just became more and more bland. Overall not bad but its not completely balanced and the more I drank the rating for this beer went down. An OK old ale, there is better out there.

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Photo of pkalix
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

dark, reddish-brown. almost close to the purple spectrum(?). no head to speak of.
smell was very weak, but i was getting a thick malty, syrup-y kind of aroma.
definitely syrup-y taste. sweet, fruity malts. sticky sweet. a little warming and notes of alcohol, but for the abv it is relatively hidden.
had an Underberg to help alleve the earlier brunch, so that may have played in some of the tasting, but it is relatively mild in taste and not what i was expecting. an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage. Pours with a three-finger khaki head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Hazy amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is dark fruit and alcohol and flavor is raisins with some alcohol. Clearly warming. $10.49 for a caged and corked 750ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of liamt07
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by me (from Sammy originally), 750ml into a tulip.

Reddish brown, with a beige head and a ring of retention. Nose of raisins, sugars, dark breads, toffee and sweet complex malt notes. Taste has raisin, caramel, toffee, sweet brown sugar, grape juice, and more complex malt character. Medium feel, moderately syrupy/stickiness. Complex and very flavourful, lovely and almost quad-like at times.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Definately worthy of a separate rating, bottle from Whole Foods, Santa Rosa. Big soapy head on mid brown coloured body. Inviting aroma. Good drinkability of caramel and yeast, sweetish, hop presence there, carbonation right there.Everything nicely integrated. Wonder how a bottle will taste in 5 years.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a kind of murky reddish brown. Stunted, bubbly, head.

Big dark malt on the nose. Dark sugars and red fruits.

Fruit up front, desserty cherry flavour turns to dates turns to toffee, dark bread, and just a bit of wood. Touch of booze.

There's nothing wrong with this beer, but I was expecting something more refined. I'd still pick it up again though.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

North Coast Old Stock Ale Otsuchi 2012. 11.7 % ABV.

Murky maroon-ish, deep magenta hue, with a smallish off-white head.

Aroma: vast and malty ,rich, vinous, dark fruits aplenty.

Taste: cherry, grape, a little brandy-like. Medium to full-bodied. Maltastic. Delicerous. (I'm making up words now. That happens.)

Growing heat. Building flavors, increasing immensity.

Oddly, I don't love this, though I like it just enough. Maybe it needs some time, but I think all beers ought to be judged once they're released. Lovely enough, but didn't "wow" me.

Maybe it was the mood I was in, exhausted from bartending another New Year's Eve. I'll look at giving this one another shot.

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Photo of adamette
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Live Review. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle that I bought at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago for $3.50 into a clean, clear glass. No observed "best by" date but it is still 2012 so I am quite sure that it is fine.

A Dark butterscotch translucent body under a brief but creamy head. Typical look for the style. The one inch head lasted 45 seconds after a moderate to vigorous pour. 3.0

S A sweet malt with whiskey notes and even a dark butterscotch sense to it. Smells delicious. 4.0

T Whoa..the taste carries right from the smell. Big sweet syrupy malt with those whiskey like notes of oak barrel aging or something very much like it. Old Ale is not among my favorite styles but this is a pretty good version of it. I am not surprised from North Coast, home of some of my favorite beers in their respective styles. 4.0

M Thick, syrupy goodness with all of that sweet malt. Just like an Old Ale should be, really. 3.5

D/O Drinkability is not high for me. Huge ABV, big, demanding beer means that I will be having only one. Frankly, I think that it is the intention of the beer to be savored and not slammed. Overall a fine representative of the style 4.0

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I opened this bottle while out of power from hurricane Sandy. I had to drink in the dark and review by headlamp.

I served this beer at roomtemp in a snifter. You make do with what you can going without power.

The coloring was ruby-reddish with a touch of borwn. I got lots of foam that died down really quickly.

The nose offered lots of dark fruit with a little tobacco on the back end.

The flavoring is very rich with some decently strong venous qualities. It works out to be a very nice sipper. It worked out to be very good in front of the fire.

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Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high dense beige head that died down every so slowly, leaving wispy patterns of bubbles on the surface and a thick collar around the edge of the glass.
S: If you were blindfolded, you would think that you were smelling a port wine that has a bit of sweetness.
T: Like the smell, the taste of this beer resembles a port wine and has sweet flavors of black currants and grapes.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. No stickiness is detectable. A moderate amount of warming from the alcohol is present in the mouthfeel and finish.
O: Although this beer is one to be sipped, this beer is remarkably drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is relatively well masked from the taste. This makes for a good dessert beer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't get it. Is this a different production than the standard old stock? Or is this just a new label on the same beer? It's good and all, but for the coin, I would hope for something with a little more punch, or a little more clearly different than the standard Old Stock.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep brown with a slight red hue and a small tan head that fades to a small collar. beer was served in a snifter
S: smells instensely malty with notes of caramel and a slight hint of chocolate
T: taste is kind of lacking. muted notes of caramel and overall sweet toasted maltyness with slight hints of fruity alcohol. alcohol is a bit apparent. swallow brings a bit of boozyness to the beer and a faint hint of chocolate
M: medium to heavy with soft carbonation that builds and maintains to a near prickly level
O: from what I read in the description this beer is very to style but I just can't dig it. It's decent and packs a punch but I'm not a fan of poorly masked alcohol and the flavor is pretty weak for the ABV in my opinion even if it is an old ale.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

75 cl

Pours a deep burgundy with a yellowish head, half an inch, which dissipates slowly to a lacing.

Smells of caramel, apples, figs, buttered bread and candi sugar.

Tests like buttered bread and molasses with some apple sweetness and mild cinnamon spice. Also some light hop bitterness and rich bready malts. Some yeast esters as well.

Full, thick body with sharp stings of carbonation on the roof of the mouth and a bit of booze numbness and warmth going down.

An interesting and potent ale, doesn't make any bones about its strength. This will sit you down and you know it from the first sip. Nice flavor and nose and enjoyable body. Would probably be a little more appealing if it contained its alcohol a little better in the mouthfeel, but otherwise a nice sipper. Would love to have this again.

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Photo of RickS95
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks warm and inviting as the dark, hazy chestnut liquid fills the glass. Thick and rich with an slightly yellowish head early on that eventually stands a finger thick with a creamy looking cap of bubbles. Average retention, finally succumbing and leaving a nice ring of bubbles around the edge.

Has a full malty nose, filled with dark ripe fruits. Not quite wine-like, just just an Earthy dark fruit (red apples, red grapes, raisins) scent.

Amazing taste, everything your nose picks up is there, along with some ABV. Very fruity, with a some caramel malts, and just the right amount of hops and alcohol (despite the high ABV) to keep everything in check. I'm not really sure how to make this taste any better.

A little bit sweet, full-bodied, only a skosh of bitter, but good heat from the alcohol in the throat. Nothing is too much, everything is just right.

Really a great beer for a great cause. This isn't something I could drink every night (I'm having it in a 750 ml bottle), but I could drink it every weekend. Not sure I've had many beers better than this.

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Otsuchi Old Stock Ale 2012 from North Coast Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.