Old Stock Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
3,219 Ratings
Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
3,219
Reviews:
1,509
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
10.73%
 
 
Wants:
186
Gots:
681
For Trade:
20
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Ratings: 3,219 |  Reviews: 1,509
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage. A reddish brown ale after fizzing from a high quality Belgian-like pour. Some cognac and barleyiwne aroma. Fine carbonation on the tongue. Immediate tummy warming from the alcohol. Barley wine and malt tastes, with Eno epsom salt. Numbing aftertaste. Unique.

 272 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.
12.5% ABV per label.

Pours a murky dark amber color with a small 1/2 bone colored head that fades to nothing. Very small spots of lacing dot the glass on the drink down. Smells of caramel, rum raisin, and malt. A very nice sweet raisin bread aroma on this beer. Taste is very sweet and rich with brown sugar/caramel and raisin bread flavors. Low carbonation with a thick and chewy mouthfeel. Slight alcohol burn in the throat with each sip. Overall, this is a good beer that I stumbled on at my local Whole Foods in early 2011. I think they found a 4 pack in the back that they put out for sale. After tasting this year's brew, I am kicking myself for not buying more than one. I will look into getting these each year that they are released for aging purposes.

 776 characters

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer totally kicked my ass. i was unaware of the abv, and its fairly well hidden, so i ended up a whole lot more wasted than i set out to get, but thats okay... pours a thick honey color with an average white bubbly head. smells of sweet caramel, fresh apples, and fruity yeast. flavor is complex and very rich. there are tropical fruity notes from the yeast like banana and papaya, but they are subtle. balanced by earthy sweet hops that come more to the fore in the finish. again, the alcohol content is not readily apparent, so be careful with this one. feel is nice, if a bit on the heavier side body-wise. fair carbonation. overall an exciting beer that is entirely original as far as i am concerned. ill just have to proceed with more caution next time i hook into one of these...

 791 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 2008. A freight train of a beer. This pours out as a nice deep brown color with a tan colored head that doesn't stick around very long. The smell of this brew is sweet and a little smokey some roasted malts in there too, perhaps even some hops shining through it in the back too. The taste is very complex. It reminded me more of a barely wine really. There was a strong alcohol warming sensation here. Also there were some rich dark fruits and roasted malts. The mouthfeel was on the thicker side. Overall a tasty brew!

 531 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -26.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a ring of off white bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of raisins are present in the nose.
T: The taste is very malty and has a slight amount of sweetness along with flavors of raisins.
M: It feels full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer tastes very strong but the presence of alcohol is well masked. This definitely a sipping beer.

 446 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release 2011 (09/21/11)
Brown sugar, maple syrup, chocolate malt, and an underlying cherry-like alcohol/ester combo works to perfection with an alcohol culmination of rum and port wine. Malty throughout with a full and rounded start and an even fade to malty-dry finish of alcohol warmth with a linger of toffee and chocolate.

Release 2010 (02/23/11)
North Coast continues to develop the recipe for much more sultry flavor and cleaner alcohol taste. Brown sugar and cherry-like esters give the impression of port wines and brandies. Bold toffee flavor dominates early with a follow of ripe grapes, cherries, sherry, dates, and raisons. Syrupy textures give a sticky feel, and with a follow of warming, if not hot alcohols. Seemingly a Barleywine, except for a lightened body and drier finish.

Release 2003 - 3.8 (3/26/07)
These vintage ales turn out as beauties after a few years of age. Still strong flavored with malts and very warm with alcohols, but a lot smoother and more appreciable than the 'fresh' releases. This has all the flavors aromas and textures needed in an Old Ale, but must be respected as a brandy.

Release 1005 - 4.2 (4/27/07)
The regular 11% version with over a years worth of cellering. The beer matures wonderfully in about that time's span. Not nearly as alcoholically intense or fusal as it was last year. Sweetness dominates and the hops have fallen out, leaving a well balanced, quite clean, characterful, fruity, syrupy joy to drink. I do beleive that this beer can handle another year of maturing before tiring. Great way to close the evening.

Release 2006 - 4.1 (1/28/06)
Is the sanctity and purity of Old Ales no longer respected. 13%? What's next. The beer is as flavorful and strong as ever. Very syrupy, malty, thick, and alcoholically harsh. More age will definately mellow the brew and meld the flavors, but for now, it's just tough to drink. The hops are too fresh. The alcohols are too hot and abrasive. The malts are too sugary. Still, a wonderful beer, but one that must be babied and approached with caution.

Release 2005 - 4.1 (1/28/06)
Surprised to have never rated an Old Stock. These are one of my favorite 1-off resease beers. This '05 abounds from the bottle and into the glass with big syrupy, brown sugar, molassas barley flavors with as spicy, hoppy, and bready scent. Alcoholic aroma promises strength to accompany the sweetness. Tastes of strong malts that hinge on dates, molassas, walnuts, and dried cherries. Hop bitterness and flavor round out the sweetness and all boldness without getting too harsh. Strong alcohols boarder on hot fusals and sweet thinning. Moderately heavy, thick, and smooth on the palate. Weakens a bit into the finish to become more easily drank. Another winner for North Coast.

Release 2003 - 3.8 (3/26/06)
Found a 4 pack stocked away at a local beer store. As I remembered, this beer had all of the right ingredients, but quite hot and fusal. Hoping that a couple of years would have mellowed it out. Not so. There are big plumb, fig, and prune flavors with an unneccesarily fusal hot character; too much to ignore. Light chocolate and cherry flavors help, but the heat and hops combine for a tough drinking beer. A heartburn just waiting to happen. Otherwise, a solid brew.

 3,262 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, 11.9% ABV, procured from a random grocery store in Portland, Oregon last summer.

This beer pours a hazy, dark golden brown hue, with one finger of fizzy pale beige head, which leaves little in the way of lace as it hastily dissipates. It smells of reserved, but sturdy, caramel malt, brown sugar, candied apple, mild Belgian spice, and musty, dusty earthy hops. The taste is caramel/toffee malt, a bit of bread pudding, soft black fruit, mild savoury spice - mixed and muddled, somewhat bitter earthy hops, and a very subtle booze warming. The carbonation is sedate, with a feeble prick here and there, the body a stolid medium weight, and deftly smooth, but for an incisive booze edge, sans heat. It finishes still rather sweet, the musty fruit and simmering booze edge quite up to the task of pummeling the palate.

English barleywine, Old Ale, what's a few flavour nuances between friends? A lovely sipper, strong, but you don't immediately know it, and very well balanced. A preferable steeling against the newly-arrived, sub-zero temperatures into which I intend to wade...

 1,093 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given recommendations from trusted acquaintances. It's labelled "Old Stock Ale 2011". ABV 11.9%, as concurrent with the site at the date of this writing. Cost was $3.49 USD plus tax in Orange County, California.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream lacing, good thickness, and great retention (especially for the high ABV). I'm quite impressed by the retention, frankly. The colour is a delightful transparent caramel-ruby. Sitting in me Guinness goblet I can hardly wait to drink it.

Sm: Caramelized malt, cream, toasted malt, some sort of vague dark fruit (which is buried), and yeast. A light to mild strength aroma, but nevertheless a pleasant one.

T: A mellow flavour of dark fruit over a toasted malt foundation, with assorted esters about the fringe, adding complexity. A bit of alcohol warmth tamed by the pleasant yeast. I really quite fancy this one, lads. It's really nicely balanced, and the subtlety of the flavour grows on you as you drink. It's really quite lovely. I'm digging this one, especially for the style. The yeast never comes off as musty at all.

Mf: Smooth and wet, complementing the flavour profile near perfectly. It's unobtrusive yet supportive. Not unique, but certainly remarkable.

Dr: It's a great beer, highly drinkable, with an alcohol punch that warms but doesn't dissuade. Really lovely. Everyone should try this. I'm impressed.

 1,541 characters

Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of brentk56
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage, tasted on 6/30/07

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel color with a modest head that disappears quickly but does splash the chalice with lace

Smell: Rich caramel aroma with hints of figs and dates; considerable alcohol on the nose

Taste: Starts with a rich, sweet caramel flavor; after the swallow, the fruit and alcohol make an appearance with just a touch of bitterness at the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation; considerable warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Not as big in the mouthfeel area as the 2003; nevertheless a top flight Old Ale

Thanks, JesseDaniel, for the opportunity

Just for kicks, I tried the 2011 bottling on 11/27/11 and the major difference, as expected, was the level of hops in the flavor profile; still, this ale uses English hops so they blend very nicely with the big malt bill; the beer also has more of a cherry flavor than I recalled in earlier versions

 928 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 bottle drank in 2004: Poured a hazy deep burgundy color ale with a small dark beige head with limited retention. Aroma of dried sweet fruit with some floral hops also noticeable. Taste is quite sweet reminiscent of figs and dates with a full body and limited carbonation. Great barley wine, probably one of the best beer from North Coast that I had the chance to sample.

 375 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,219 ratings.
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