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

151 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.99%
Wants: 8
Gots: 49 | FT: 4
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 | Reviews: 37
Reviews by adamette:
Photo of adamette
3.89/5  rDev -1%
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

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off I love what the beer stands for and the proceeds.Poured the corked 750 into an imperial nonic a deep rich amber with a thinner off white head atop.Deeply fruity in the nose,it really stuck out during the pour,more sweet alcohol and cakiness as the beer warms.It's a big sweet alcoholic beer that needs to rest,Iam drinking one now but I'll buy one and let it sit a year,alot of fruit,sweet caramel, and sweet alcohol with no hop profile.The body is thick and non carbonated.It's a big hot young malt bomb,as it ages I think it will get better,it's still pretty good now.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first time I've ever seen Old Stock Ale with Japanese writing on the label with a note about the Otsuchi recovery fund dated March 2012. There's even a link to ostuchi.org I guess this is a recovery charity beer release from the tsunami in northern Japan. I've never seen Old Stock Ale in a 750 ml bottle, well it has arrived. Pours a deep copper crimson brown color with a light khaki cream head, filling my chalice. Aroma has toasted almonds, sweet sugar coated hops, dark fruits including raisins, plum, and tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, asian lychee (banana/pear). Arising tart quality and flowing malt qualities cover up the alcohol, mild earthy hop content. Flavor brings out the alcohol, this beer is young, it's April and I could lay this beer down for 5 years...did I mention that I'm going to buy a few more bottles. As the beer warms the alcohol level becomes more apparrent, flowing forth with a bit of tree bark resinous bitterness and sweet caramelized malt sugars, earthy/herbal bitterness units prolong each sip letting the palate and senses adjust to such a strong beer. The fruit noted in the initial smells is still evident yet it's competing with fresh big beer in this case old ale characteristics...caramel, alcohol, and English hop accents. Mouthfeel is big a bit cloying upon entry to the palate, with even carbonation and big malt characterisitics. Overall impression is decent beer that has great potential with age, enjoyed fresh but will be extraordinary with some age.

Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of RickS95
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Photo of sjones5045
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of puboflyons
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from the 12 fl. oz. bottle on June 18, 2012. The pour is mahogany brown with sparkling ruby red hues all over the glass. The head is beige and moderate. The aroma is alive with sweet barley malts and wood but it does not have the alcohol punchy aroma as many other young Barleywines that I have tried. The body falls into the medium range with a bit of astringent carbonation tickling the tongue. Whereas the aroma is on the subtle side the taste explodes with barley malts and dry hops and more alcohol than I would have liked. It ends dry. It would probably taste extraordinary a year from now but for now it is still very good.

Photo of Gator_Chomp
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very underrated beer. Found in Hawaii, best beer I had in the islands.

Photo of largadeer
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Will. Clear caramel colored body with a thin head that settles to a collar after a moment. Smells decent, but young. Stonefruit, toffee, a little coconut and dried dark fruit. Sweet and a bit boozy. Palate is quite boozy and somewhat astrigent, definitely young. Has some nice coconut and peach flavors, toffee, brown sugar. The fruit esters are pretty interesting and enjoyable here, but the booziness detracts. Body is medium, could use a bit more heft but it's certainly not bad. Overall this is fairly enjoyable but could really use some age. Can see this being excellent in 3-4 years.

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.

Photo of SHODriver
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Photo of DavoleBomb
1.93/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a snifter. Always willing to give a charity beer a try.

2.5 A: Clear deep amber color. Two fingers of tan, fizzy-frothy head. Retention is a touch below average, even for the ABV, and no lacing is left.

2.0 S: This is really unexciting. Light toasty malts. Some toffee and caramel. Light "industrial" aroma. Booze is well hidden though.

2.0 T: Toasty, overly dry and with just the slightest hints of toffee and caramel. Quite astringent as if NC took a piece of wood, purified out the tannins, and through that in without the wood. Good bit of raisin that follows well into the aftertaste.

2.0 M: Lighter medium body. A bit too much carbonation and the carbonation itself is overly fizzy. Astringent aftertaste.

1.5 D: This beer is awful. Not sure how anyone would think otherwise.

Photo of liamt07
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Woo, this will be a big beer, so let's see how it goes down. Looks like a really interesting beer.

Pours a decent looking fizzy head of almost 1 finger, decent for the abv at least, fades at a med pace with no real lacing, over surprisingly clear cranberry ruby darker red colored beer.

Nose has plenty of reddish malts, toasty red malts, lots of sweeteners, caramel, toffee, molasses, and that reddish candy from candy apples, a little bit of darker fruit like hint of fig and apricot, a touch of sweetness and booze gets expressed in the aroma.

Taste comes strong and sweet, syrupy again with plenty of malts. Lots of reddish malts again, light toasty, plenty of caramel, toffee, and a bit of molasses, candied apricots, light fig and syrupy date juice. It gets somewhat smooth and creamy fluffy, with nice carb to help it through. The sweetness and big malts bring a bit of esters, and some booze, booze warmth and slight tingle but still doesn't seem like 11.7%. A slight bitterness comes through towards the finish with a light earthy hop, syrupy malts although a bit drier, slight caramel and candied stone fruit lingering.

Mouth is med to heavier bodied, slightly syrupy and smooth, with good carb for the size of the beer.

overall interesting, not bad, fairly tasty with lots of nice malts, syrups, esters and fruits, nice carbonation and overall profile, hops are a bit on the light side but I guess that's how it supposed to be. The booze is definitely there but blended in well for the actual abv feel.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of Bisco42
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork acquired at Wades Wines in Westlake Village, California, and served into an EKU 28 snifter in me gaff in Los Angeles, California. Cost was $10.99 plus tax. Reviewed live. Expectations are rather high; I quite enjoyed the regular Old Stock Ale (and to a lesser extent, the barrel-aged version). North Coast is a brewery that's increasing gaining my interest.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with olives.

A: Pours a one finger head of off-white colour, quite thin, with slight cream, but of below average retention - though in fairness the ABV is rather high. Colour is a semitransparent chestnut amber. No yeast particles are visible, though the semitransparency doesn't help. No bubble show.

Sm: Vinegar, cream, cherry fruit esters, raisin, biscuity yeast, dried plums, and clean bright malts. Rich and inviting. A light aroma, but a pleasant one.

T: Cream, cherry fruit esters, marvelous biscuity yeast and lees, dried plum and perhaps fig, hints of raisin, very well layered malts, and touches of must. The ABV isn't noticeable in the flavour profile but does manifest as a warming sensation in the stomach. Very nicely balanced and built, with subtlety and enough complexity to make for a very enjoyable old ale. I do wish the yeast were more pronounced. Very pleasant to drink. The fruit notes are wonderful.

Mf: Perfect coarseness to coax out enough of the flavour without inhibiting drinkability. Wet and palatable. Of perfect thickness. Nicely carbonated. Complements the flavour profile well.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV, which is concealed impressively well. I'd certainly get this again if it wasn't so damned expensive. It's a wonderful little old ale and warrants a purchase for anyone interested in the style. Another good beer from North Coast. I look forward to sampling more of their beers.

Age would do this one well, but I quite enjoyed it mere weeks after purchasing it.

Drinks marvelously out of a snifter. I think a snifter is likely the ideal serving vessel for this beer.


Photo of BEERchitect
4.01/5  rDev +2%
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!

Photo of scottfrie
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Photo of mactrail
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber brown in the Leffe chalice with pleasant foam. Smooth blending of many flavors into a complex experience. Raisiny but not overly sweet. Eventually the hops become more assertive. Alcohol is not so hot on the tongue, but it heats the brain up fast enough.

Interesting variety of dark flavors. Bitter chocolate comes to mind. Cocoa, dark caramel, burnt sugar, candied pineapple. Nose of canned peaches. Rather boozy after some sippiing and a bitter finish. Some hints of sherry and buttered fruitcake toast. Crazy stuff and hard to take much at one sitting with the intense flavors as well as the alcohol.

Quite well-balanced strong ale. Belgian-style 750 ml corked bottle. $11 at a store in San Diego.

Photo of Cylinsier
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
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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Otsuchi Old Stock Ale 2012 from North Coast Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.