Old Stock Ale
North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale
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Old Ale
Ranked #13
Ranked #2,637
4.15 | pDev: 10.36%
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale
Notes: Like a fine port, Old Stock Ale is intended to be laid down. With an original gravity of over 1.100 and a generous hopping rate, Old Stock Ale is well-designed to round out and mellow with age. It’s brewed with classic Maris Otter malt and Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops, all imported from England.
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Reviews: 1,574 | Ratings: 3,405 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl. oz. bottle, 2007 vintage, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 11.7%. Dark reddish brown colour, slightly hazy, big beige head. Strong aroma of sweet sherry, oak, malts and caramel. The flavour is very sweet and malty, again with strong notes of sweet sherry and caramel, ending in a hoppy bitterness. Powerful stuff, a beer to sip slowly. Should not be drunk too cold.

Mar 20, 2021
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KRug from Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2021 vintage, 11.2% ABV

I suspect that this young beast will be very hot, considering it was bottled this year. For some context, the 2013 Old Stock Reserve is one of my top beers of all time, #7 to be specific, so this base version of the beer has pretty big shoes to fill. I don't have all that much to say, so I think it's time that we jump into this thing

Pours a murky medium brown with 2 fingers of creamy tan head that slowly fades to a thin cap and leaves decent lacing, pretty damn impressive for the style and abv

Immediately I notice that this isn't anywhere near as sweet as the 2013 Reserve, with more of an old, noble hop aroma dominating. I'm picking up on aromas of red grape, sweet molasses, apple, earthy hops, toffee, and some fusel alcohol

The taste eases up on the old world hops, but I'm still getting the feeling that this beer is much to young to enjoy to its full potential. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting sweet papaya, tingly alcohol, raisin, and a touch of dark toast. The swallow brings notes of red grape, red apple, brown sugar, plum, earthy hops, spicy alcohol, fruity yeast, and a light nuttiness

A medium full body pairs with tingly carbonation, resulting in a smooth slow sipper. Finishes mostly dry with a decent sweetness

I wanted to like this more than I did. Like, a lot more. That being said, it still wasn't awful, I just don't think I'll ever try it fresh again. Hopefully I can source another bottle and cellar it for a few years and see how it's changed

Mar 19, 2021
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BalancingBrooms from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany with whispy off white head. Aroma is dates and brown sugar. Taste is plum up front with brown sugar middle, ends with a hint of spice. Body is light to medium. Overall a nice old ale but seems young, the flavors seem muted. This was a 2020 bottle, we'll see if time helps.

Jan 16, 2021
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 2002.

Pours clear mahogany and dead still. Figs, toffee, cocoa, and tobacco in the nose. Medium bodied with a slick, almost oily mouthfeel. Dusty malt with notes of bakers chocolate, dark caramel, and leather. Finishes a bit sweet with plenty of plump, figgy malt.

Jan 15, 2021
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Iamaskier from Idaho

4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, hazy amber on pour. Smell is grapey, raisins, sweet malt, earthy, wine-like. Carbonation is moderate. Taste is initially sweet dates, raisins, caramel, plum, spice, toffee. The body is quite strong and there is an earthy finish. The alcohol warmth is moderate after a few sips. Drinking from a glass at close to room temp, and I would highly recommend others do the same. This is a complex, full beer that’s a fantastic sipper. Overall a warm, cozy, delicious beer, and I wish I was disciplined enough to age a bottle or two.

Jan 09, 2021
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dd53grif from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a minimal head that disappears quickly. Aroma is spice and roasted malts. Tastes of caramel and roasted malts with a nice alcohol finish.

Jan 05, 2021
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Guaro from Italy

4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: amber color with splendid ruby ​​reflections, creamy ocher foam with medium-large texture with good hold. Nose: caramel, candied sugar, dried dates and figs, plum and cherries in alcohol. Palate: molasses and raisins are balanced by an elegant and calm note of herbaceous and earthy amaricate. Aftertaste: warm ethyl trail with hints of port. Body: medium, fine carbonation. Cleanliness and perfect balance make this beer full of emotions.

Dec 30, 2020
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IPAs_for_days_13 from Texas

4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Pours a fairly transparent amber color with a thin beige head.
S: Smells very sweet like molasses & fruity like raisins. Theres some nice hop aromas in there as well & of course malts.
T: The taste pretty much follows the nose, the slight hoppiness & sweet caramel malts really pair together perfectly in this ale.
F: Medium-bodied with a chewy/thick feel to it, the 11.2 ABV really warms as you consume.
O: Very good ale to sip on for chilly fall evenings.

Oct 15, 2020
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DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Old Stock Ale 2020

Pours a clear amber with a finger of mildly tan head.

Nose is caramel, butterscotch, something like cinnamon, banana, and raisins. Like a nice loaf of raisin bread.

Taste is similar. Strong malty goodness. Caramel and Butterscotch with that fruit going on in the background. Apple, raisin, banana, pear. A lot of flavors come to mind when you drink this.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with mild carbonation. Seems a little lacking for what you would expect. A brew this malty would seem more dense.

Overall an enjoyable sipper of a brew. Reminds me of Belgians with the flavor profile. I wish I had more to save and let age. Perhaps next year.

Sep 02, 2020
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Peach63 from New York

4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours copper with a 1/4 inch wispy tan head, which quickly dissipates. Minimal lacing.

Aroma of molasses, fuggles hops, raisins, vanilla.

Taste is caramel malt, molasses, toffee, raisins, oak, vanilla. A bit of alcohol burn. Sweetish.

Medium bodied, light carbonation. Sweet finish.

2020 version. This is a very good beer. Grabbing another 4-pack.

Aug 27, 2020
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CraigDeMoss from Kansas

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2019 enjoyed a bit less than room temp

Fizzed once I popped the top. Creamy, big bubble, short lived khaki head. Deep amber to ruby with a good amount of sediment in suspension, still somewhat clear. Inviting leather, tobacco, molasses/brown sugar. Malty sweetness, sticky, boozy maple syrup. Body more on the full side, chewy with slight heat. Hides it’s ABV well. All around a great offering, worth picking up a four pack and trying one every so often.

Aug 18, 2020
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Argail from Louisiana

3.54/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Old Stock Ale 2019. Bottle from frige 48F in the tulip aggressive pour two finger + light tan head. Brown classical color. Smell good dark bread yeasty. Taste flat first when warm boozy sweet. Feel warm & creamy. Good beer. Warms up is better. Once again convinced Ales is not for me.

Jul 05, 2020
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andypeters1971 from Georgia

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wonderful beer all around. Has an unusual orange / dark red tint to its base of brown color, quite notable and unusual. Incredibly well balanced between the malt and sweetness with just enough complexity to make it interesting. Even though it's well-hopped, it has virtually no hop bitterness. This might be on my desert island list of beers.

Mar 20, 2020
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 vintage - 12oz bottle

Pours amber red orange with a creamy frothy receding off-white light khaki colored foam head. Smells like fine caramel malt, toasty, bready, some toffee, dried fruits, apricot, fig, yellow apple, lightly fruity, with mild citrus marmalade and herbal earthy hop notes. Taste is well balanced, sweet, dry, toasty, fruity, with a melange of dried fruit notes, some dark fruits, toasty bready caramel malts, some toffee, marmalade, orange citrus, grapefruit, apricot, fig, yellow apple, raisins, plum, grape, a hint of spice, with some herbal earthy hops. Feels medium bodied, smooth and slick with moderate carbonation. Overall a really nice old stock ale.

Feb 19, 2020
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KooVee from Finland

3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, 2018 vintage, so 1+-2years old. Bb in 14 years.

Clear reddish shade of amber colour. Dense head with staying power.

Nose is (orange) marmalade and malt. A bit of herbal notes. The aroma is by no means aggressive. Surprisingly subdued. Some medicinal phenols emerge as the beers warms up.

Mouthfeel is still quite substantial and sweet. There is a definite element of alcohol mixing with the herbal hops and their bitterness that is too coarse and dominant. Very little in terms of dark fruit, but perhaps still somewhat hidden underneath the dankness. Aftertaste is spicy and phenolic.

Still too young by far. The hops have to mellow down, the alcohol and the phenols to merge.

Feb 08, 2020
Photo of ASKasten

4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Old Stock Ale 2019 is smooth, sweet and too not bitter with a delicate use of spices. Highly recommend to try this fine ale. You will not regret it.

Dec 23, 2019
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2019, 10.2% ABV. At least 10 years since I had this one. Deep caramel colored body with ruby hues when held to light; thinner tan head quickly fades to a foam. Sweet, malty aroma of toasty grain, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, honey, and alcohol. Bold flavors & very sweet: notes of brown sugar, toffee, grain, caramel, spicy & earthy hops, pepper, and booze. Full body, quite syrupy, more sweet than bitter, lower carbonation, and some nice pepper and spicy hop to cut the sweetness on the finish. Much better than I remember, however I was most likely a rookie at beer tasting when I had this last. I doubt I had tried many Old Ales when I had this last time.

Nov 16, 2019
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fptan from Tennessee

4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Referencing the 2018 and 2019 versions.
I've never had a more perfect beer.
The malt character runs deep in this ale, with subtle shifts in flavor after hitting the tongue. It's got a big caramel backbone, not what one would call sweet, but filled with raisin / toffee / plum-like flavors. The hops' role is very small here, and I suspect it helps balance this ale's huge malt character with bitterness while moving out of the way to let the malt speak with the senses. Carbonation is on the low side- I'd imagine 1.9-2.1 volumes if I had to guess.
The look is that of an opaque fresh cider, the bottle is a sophisticated, understated look for a very sophisticated ale.
Old Stock stands leaps and bounds above its peers.

Nov 12, 2019
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egrandfield from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It’s like a malty, lighter, weird barleywine. Could definitely have another. Had the 2019 version poured into a wine glass. Good stuff and very unique. Prost!!!

Nov 09, 2019
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Freonicus from Tennessee

4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lots of caramel and raisins in this. Nice thick mouthfeel. "Its a bit nutty". lol This is a unique beer. Alcohol is hidden decently well. I can see how it would get better with age (best by date is 2035). I like it. Somewhere between a port and a stout.

Nov 09, 2019
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rex_4539 from Greece

3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Murky red color, one finger off white head, ok lacing, light carbonation.

S: Sweet, some wine notes probably due to oak.

T: Sweet (too sweet), a bit malty, oak, plenty of alcohol.

F: Full bodied, plenty of flavor. A slow sipper, hard to drink.

O: An interesting ale, no doubt. But I'd rather drink Fuller's Vintage Ale if I want this style to be honest.

Oct 07, 2019
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paging12 from Virginia

4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tumbler from a bottle. Overall, tastes like a doppelbock. This is a good beer. Nice and bready. Good caramel flavor and aroma. Fizzy when poured.

Sep 28, 2019
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.05/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle
Carpe Brew'Em Snifter
Let's go.

Caramel toffee color with a butter colored head of 2 fingers, receding to a thick ring, no lace left behind.

I get almost no nose whatsoever. I don't know if it's due to the age, but even with agitation, I get only slight hints of oak tannin.

Flavor is muted, has a bit of robust oakiness and some muted toffee with a definite presence of grassy hop. I'm searching for sweetness amongst the richness but I get none. As it warms I do get a little more flavor but it's fleeting. It tastes like it should be something fantastic, but it's akin to licking the glass after the beer is gone.

Mouthfeel is very nice, has a good drying tannic quality to it with lots of thickness and fullness. Burning alcohol is spot on, very warming, and everything seems to be in order here.

Overall, very unimpressive, I want to try 2019 and see if 2018 was just a fluke. My first time trying the beer, I heard of great things, but I'm not getting it here.

Sep 16, 2019
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TinFang from California

4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

2019 version. Best by May 2034, but I like this ale so much I can't conceive of resisting temptation that long. 10.2 ABV.

Smell - intense malty beer with clove/mace/cinnamon hints. Dark fruits but not overtly sweet. Rum, molasses and a touch of alcohol.
Appearance - has glass appeal. Murky ruby tan with 4mm of tan head that settles in little while. Viscous during the pour.
Taste - Not boozy. Deep and complex, plum pudding with refreshed spices before serving.
Feel - a bit thin due to little carbonation.

Definitely a favoite.

Sep 01, 2019
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Mapping_Jim from Oklahoma

3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2018 version. Definitely not as good at previous versions. Malt forward with accompanying sweetness caramel. Some booziness but a bit thin without much mouthfeel. Caramel color is good with a very thin head. Smell is inviting but taste is disappointing. Easy to drink but not particularly satisfying.

Jun 21, 2019
Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 3405 ratings