Old Stock Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

1,499 Reviews
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-26-2001

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Reviews: 1,499 | Ratings: 3,190
Photo of BJB13
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 release.
12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a murky, deep reddish amber covered by almost one finger of off white head that fast faded into a crown with sticky lacing. The nose is subdued and dominated by molasses backed up by dark fruit. Taste is malt forward and sweet but not cloying. Molasses, dark fruit and caramel flavors with a lack of booziness though it does finish with some heat. Smooth and creamy it is lighter than I expected with a body on the high side of medium.

This is a sipper that drinks easy. So easy it could be trouble without some self control.
Enjoyable and recommended.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2012. Pours a coppery color with off-white head. Dark fruits, fig, caramel sweetness, bread, and some cereal on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with dried fruit and caramel.

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Photo of EMH73
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 Vintage
Pours a rust color with a minimal head. Smells of molasses, caramel, sweet fruit notes, malt and booze. Taste follows the nose with notes of raisins and a hint of smoke. Syrupy mouth feel, light carbonation and finishes slightly dry.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2016

A: Pours a deep reddish-brown color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Sweet caramel and molasses up front with some fruity notes underneath. A bit boozy, but not too bad

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with caramel maltiness and some brown bread and goes into the molasses and fruity notes. Alcohol is nicely masked but still provides more fruity notes. Finishes with lingering alcohol and molasses

M: Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation

O: A great cold weather beer because of the abv and heartiness. Definitely worth checking out, especially if there's already some age on it

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Photo of car2052
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 Vintage. Poured from 12 oz. bottle to snifter.

A: A murky, rusty red. Not a big head to speak of.
S: Concord grape juice, raisin, Bran cereal and brown bread.
T: Sweet dark fruit and prune upfront. A sweet grape taste in the middle. Alcoholic strength shows up in the end.
M: Pretty heavy without becoming syrupy.
O: Not a bad beer. A bit on the sweet side, but wonderful grape aromas and tastes.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From tap at NCBC in Fort Bragg CA. A first four me on this style. Sweet sweet sweet. Definitely a good choice for warm winter nights. High alcohol for sure!

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Photo of bbtkd
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

North Coast Old Stock Ale 2016, 12% ABV, 34 IBU. Pours medium viscosity and dark brown, with a slight off-white head. Nose is malt and slight alcohol. Taste is malt, oak, and alcohol - hard to hide the 12%. Decent mouthfeel, and overall very good.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2016 batch "BY JULY 2032"
12oz bottle poured into a stretch snifter is a cloudy amber colored body with little head, but a slight ring and islands of bubbles. Active bubble-up through the murk and a little spotted lacing.

Aroma is malt, oak, booze, and a hint of sour.
Flavor leans bright, but that might be carbonation driven. Caramel malt, oak, and I think I taste almost a smoke flavor.
Mouthfeel is lighter toward medium and a little carbonated tickle on the tongue. Finish is oily, but clean.

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Photo of Stoutmaster9
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 batch. Four pack for about twelve bucks.
Poured into a pint glass.

Slightly murky amber -brown, with lots of zesty wee bubbles and an enduring half finger head, creamy lacing.
Smells sweet and malty. Strong booze. Echo of fruit.
Taste follows the nose. Malty. Creamy. At first simple, with subtle fruits not overpowered by the booze, not altogether.

There is little doubt; this is a brew of perilous enchantment. Going to save a pint or three for some time. It feels like I have had this before, a lifetime ago. Beyond strange. I would slowly savor one of these only on a full belly, upon a cozy, quiet Shire night.

The second half of the pint, after warming up, was beyond boozy. Difficult to get through, even in 'sipping mode'. Served on the frosty side would be better!

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: cloudy; medium brown in color; 1+ finger light brown head that receded to a splotchy cap; no lacing;

S: definitely malt forward; a little spice; a little boozy; some caramel and wood;

T: all malt - a little sweet; oak, a little dried fruit; booze; a little port-like; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium to full bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: nice complexity; a great sipper;

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz short bottle into goblet. Freshness date of May 2017.

L: Deep ruby, finger width tan head with decent retention.

S: Sweet caramel aroma, bit of dried fruit.

T: Follows the nose closely, strong alcohol burn, toasted grains, figs and raisins.

F: Medium-Full body, syrupy yet decently smooth.

O: A bit disappointed but still a solid beer. Not an every day drinker.

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Photo of AustinWadkins
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Pours a dark Amber color with a moderate head that quickly bubbles down and vanishes

Smell is sweet, raisins, pecan, licorice, fig, faint smoke, alcohol

Taste is sweet, licorice, raisins, alcohol, bit of yeast in the end. Very warming

Overall this beer was fantastic! You could deffinetly taste the aging! Definitely worth the wait!

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 version:

Look--Pours with little head that dissipates quickly but persistent lacing throughout. Color is a pleasing and interesting garnet.

Aroma--Toasty malts forward, followed by smoke, with a background bitterness, and just a touch of booze. Excellent complexity augmented by the fact that this beer has plenty of the aroma it is selling.

Taste--Excellent complexity. Dried fruits and toasted malts on the front of the palate, somewhat like a Scotch Ale, followed by brown sugar, smoke, chocolate, vanilla, anise, and a touch of wine or oak. But just when this seems and sounds like a sweet syrupy "mess," a touch of hops and booze brings a pleasant balance at the end to a pleasing finish. In fact, I felt like just a bit more of the bitterness would have made this perfect. Despite the high ABV (11.8%), the "booze" is present, but as a complementary "warming note," not a "burn."

Feel--Elusive in its description. Initially thin on the palate. Then the sweetness rounds it out, with the booze and hops providing a nice finish, though I wouldn't call it "crisp." Perhaps the only disappointing aspect of the brew. Like the taste, it needed just one more notch of balance.

Overall--I have nothing truly negative to say about this brew. I am more of a Belgian fan, but this take on a classic English style rivals or exceeds plenty of offerings from the other side of the Channel--and this is a state-side take. The complexity is outstanding. I just wanted one more "notch" of something bitter, sour, or (?) to provide a counterpoint to the malty sweetness. Still--highly recommended.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Old Stock Ale 2015

Pours a dark red, almost brown body. The head is bubbly, and 2 finger. The nose is minimal, but I do smell something that I can't really describe. The taste is somewhat mellow, at first, then the booze hits me. Some hints of vanilla. Interesting beer. I don't know if ageing it further would imporve it. Drinking at 62 F, if it matters.

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Photo of kitschiguy
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle / 11.8%

Poured a dark, cloudy reddish brown. Head not great. Some lacing.

Nose is very nice - bready and biscuity like a good strong English ale.

Palate offers up much more though - a little spice, vanilla, dried fruit and a port-like note. Long finish with low bitterness. Complex if a little boozy.

Mouth is surprisingly thin given the strength and complexity but it's still pretty good,

Overall a great beer. Will probabaly age well which is good as I have 2 more that I'll keep for at least a year.


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Photo of do_ob
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle.

Bottle into a snifter. Mahogany in color (brownish red), and opaque in appearance. Little head to speak of, but a thin skirting remained throughout. The color is very interesting and inviting. Nose is sweet licorice, caramel, toffee, and dark fruits. Not overly sweet but overall it's got a candy nose. The taste is a good balance of the aroma. Strong caramel and dark fruit throughout with a touch of sweet alcohol. No burn whatsoever. Hints of earthy, Belgian yeast here and there along with candied sugar, toffee, and syrup. Very delicious. The feel is perfect - dense and syrupy without being chewy or overly filling. Modest carbonation makes this one a pleasure to sip. It only gets better as it approaches room temperature.

Right up there with Curmudgeon. Slightly sweeter in comparison, but tastes just as good. A lovely beer for the cold months.

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Photo of Hop_God
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


A: deep amber to copper red. Thin round bubbles white to caramel in color

S: figs. Booze. Caramel. Hops

T: scattered. Raw alcohol. Hops. Some oak. Little caramel and bitterness. Not much of anything going on.

F: medium body. Crisp thin finish

O: yea it's ok. I fear that it's too fresh. Will age a few. Maybe similar to HOD doggie claws which I don't like fresh but 4-7 years on it is outstanding

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Photo of RBBLASC
3.47/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Look - medium dark like a Quad with minimal head.

Smell - slight boozy, with hints of dark fruit.

Taste - heavy sweet intertwined with boozy. Hints of fig like sweetness that cannot hide the alocohol content. Similar to a boozy quad.

Feel - felt heavy on the tongue with the high concentrations of malt, and little carbonation to lively it up.

I would like to let it age and see what happens.

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Photo of Delmarvabeer
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass, temp around 40 F (recommended 60F)
A: Hazy Brown/Amber color with no head but a slight rimming around the edge.
S: sweet, syrupy with a slight hint of dried fruit, very boozy smelling
T: Very sweet, malty. Slight bitterness on the back end, but very slight
F: Very heavy and thick, chewy, very low carbonation
O: Not sure is this is my type of beer but has a decent flavor and is very heavy. Could only drink one per sitting.

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Photo of MoMaMe
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a full body beer with a lot of flavor.
It starts off fruity and ends with a sweet, syrupy finish. It's a heavy beer. On first taste, the favors were complex and indulgent - quite enjoyable. But because of its sweetness, richness, and malt-heaviness, it's not a beer for casual drinking. The favors linger a long time on the palate, and the alcohol taste is noticeable - not surprising nice it's 11.8%

It's definitely a good beer worth trying, quite delicious.

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Photo of stevoj
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 edition. Heavy malt aroma, touches of dried fruit, wood and peat. Alcohol even burns the nose slightly. Dark brown/ruby with thin but tight beige head. Taste is more malt, oak barrel, plums. silky mouthfeel and lots of alcohol warmth. Smooth finish.

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Photo of jds16
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2015 bottle. Not bad, but I was expecting more here. Nice deep copper color, head vanishes immediately. Smells like toffee and booze, tastes like nuts soaked overnight in liquor. Thick mouthfeel seems just right. Definitely improved as it warmed, but came off as too one dimensional to me. As much as people talk this up I feel like I'll need to give this another try but this bottle was merely good.

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Photo of Guppy314
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle, pours as deep cloudy copper. There is a beige head that fades to nothing. Aroma is of malt with some indistinct spice like cardamom. Flavor is malt-forward and boozy with caramels and sweet toffee finishing with a slight butterscotch. Definitely worthwhile, but one is enough.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2016 vintage.
I was expecting more from it. It's not bad, don't get me wrong but it lacks a bit on deepness. It's a lot about nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnut) but not so much about dark fruits as I thought it'd be. I like the dryness though.
Maybe some aging might do the trick

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Photo of HopHunter19
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brown, very little but lasting head. Kind of murky.
S - lots of malts, dark fruits, caramel, little yeasty
T - basically the same as the smell but way more boozy
M - medium to heavy mouthfeel, alc present but okay, aftertaste is dark fruit, caramel malts, yeast
O - okay beer, would rather have a imperial stout or English barley wine. Bells Third Coast Old Ale is better.

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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,190 ratings.
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