Old Stock Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,219 Ratings
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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Ratings: 3,219 |  Reviews: 1,509
Photo of zeff80
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Edition - sampled on St. Patrick's Day 2009

A - Poured out a cloudy, opaque, dark brown color with a reddish hue. It had a small, short-lived, off-white head that left no lace.

S - It smelled of brandy, fruitiness and sweet caramel malt.

T - It tasted very sweet and a little boozy. It had caramel and toffee flavors with a subtle chocolate taste.

M - It was soft, smooth and dry. A medium-bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This was very good but didn't live up to my hopes. I'd like to try a newer version to compare.

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Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of largadeer
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage.

Appearance - Semi-clear burgundy with very little head or lace, just a small ring of foam around the glass. This stuff could be mistaken for port.

Smell - Sweet and boozy with a big toffee and berry aroma.

Taste & mouthfeel - Sweet without being cloying. The malt backbone is enormous, providing a wide range of flavors from ripe fruit and caramel to burnt toast. Bittering hops are still noticeably present, though they take a back seat to the malt. A slight alcohol bite appears for a second in the background and then disappears in the finish. The beer ends on a drier note, with a bourbon-like character.

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Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

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

12 ounce bottle into snifter; 2012 vintage, bottled in early 2012. Pours slightly hazy dark ruby red color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, toast, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, cherry, brown sugar, brown bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, cherry, brown sugar, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, cherry, brown sugar, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy and moderately slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome old ale. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; and quite smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mothman
3.32/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Finally getting around to reviewing this one. Doing a side-by-side with an 07-08.

Poured into a pair of snifters.

Both pour a light layer of fizzy beige head. Color is a murky caramel brown with a peach hue to it.

Aroma: Both are similar but the 07 sticks out more and is more flavorful. Caramel, dark fruits, plums, raisins, licorice, toffee, and malts. It has cereal grains as well.

Taste: More cereal grains and malts. Toffee and some caramel. The malts come out more in the 07. The 08 has a little more of the dark fruits, licorice, plums, and molasses showing. There is some red apples here and raisins.

Mouthfeel: Warm, smooth, and dry. Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends dry with grains.

Overall, I enjoyed the -bal aged version way more. This is a rather boring old ale. It is decent, but fairly average. Drinking 24 oz of this might be a challenge..

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Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage

G: Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark caramel/toffee with a thin light cream-colored head. Almost entirely opaque with some carbonation.

S: Smells of toffee and caramel. Rich malt base. Still fairly hot in terms of alcohol.

T: Definitely still fairly hot. This is my first of these, and even with a year on it you can definitely taste the 12.5 abv.

M: Medium to full body with a smooth creaminess. Definitely large alcohol notes; this is still quite hot, although still good. This is a beer that could definitely use quite a bit of time more in the cellar.

D: Again, still a little hot. Still, quite nice. I'm hoping that some time in the cellar will help the complexities in this one come out a little bit more.

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Photo of chinchill
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz 2015 bottle allowed to warm for about 25 minutes then served in a Porter Bar goblet.

Aroma: complex mix of various dark dried fruits, fruitcake, and hints of toffee.

Flavor: similar to the aroma; good complexity and balance. Sweet for style, leaning a bit towards a barleywine.

Feel: full and smooth but with more alcohol heat than optimal. Light but appropriate carbonation.

Overall: excellent.

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

A - Small head that dissapates quickly. Dark amber color seems to have nice clarity.

S - Caramel, alcohol, and some hops. Some roasted notes, a little bit woody as well.

T - Lots of hop flavor and maltyness. Strong alcoholic flavor. A little bit of raisiny flavor but not as sherry like as some other barley wines. Finishes with a nice long, drawn out bitterness.

M - Relatively thin and dry for such a strong ber. High level of carbonation as well.

D - Not overly complex, but a very solid and enjoyable example of the style.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2000. The aroma starts with dark fruit, alcohol, a touch of sweet maltiness, and some light hop character. The color is brownish with some crimson tints. The head starts fairly creamy with a light beige color but dissipates quickly as expected in a high alcohol beer. The flavor starts with a burst of sharp dark fruit and malt, followed by a fairly heavy touch of alcohol, and then a drying hop character which is somewhat aggressive, but far from overwhelming. The finish is dry, but one sided. An excellent beer, but it's no Samiclaus or Thomas Hardy's either. An excellent beer from an excellent brewery!

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Photo of oberon
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 on tap at the Comsumer Beverage in Orchard Park,NY.Great to see this highly anticipated annual offering at the growler station at Consumers,pours a rich deep amber with a thinner but well retained creamy-like off white head.One word to describe the nose would be rich just rich and almost warming dark fruit,caramel,brown sugar,and a real alcohol zip as it warms to the right temp,this beer is big and brash to say the least its fresh and nothin is holding this puppy back.Starting out a little sweet with raisin/prune and brown sugar notes up front with that warming alcohol always prevelant a nice drying earthiness shows up late and I thing really cuts thru the sweetness even now at such a very young age a touch of hoppy leafiness shows up as well.This growler is going to be drank slowly over a few days its warming,rich and ever so smooth but the alcohol keeps me from going overboard on it and I think its a good thing,I'll by a bottle and hold and see how it ages.Masterful.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

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

Seems appropriate, nice cold night, they make some nice beers too, great brewery, and this beer is no exception, just haven't reviewed it yet. 2013 vintage, just in time for the end for the year.

Pours a decent fizzy fluffy slight brownish reddish colored head that keeps trying to rise to a huge head but the alcohol keeps battling it back, but eventually stabilizes on an almost 1 finger head that starts to fade at a med pace, then slows to a crawl at a thick frothy small head cover, light lacing, dark ruby cranberry murky sediment laden beer.

Nose is pretty nice, right on for an old ale almost barleywine like, fairly sweet smelling malts, little syrupy, reddish candy malt and lots of toffee, butterscotch and biscotti like candy, nice soft candy malt aged malt like, little dark fruit plum fig date like, caramel and butterscotch candies, mild phenolic booze and bitter hop aroma.

Taste is fairly sweet, a big candy flavor again, with lots of caramel and toffee, butterscotch candies again, some caramelized sugars and candied dark fruits. Candied dark fruits come through with fig/date like, but no raisin, hint of brown sugar and molasses, with a little syrupy sweet candy. A light aged soft malt but not as much as I expected for an old ale, but there, with a little toffee and brittle candy. Mild booze warmth and hint of tingle, but a clean booze, as well as a hint of spicy hop character. Finish is drier but sticky sweet, lots more candy with toffee, brittle, and caramel galore, little butterscotch too, mild syrupy but not a lot, and hint of warming booze and hop bitterness.

Mouth is fuller bod, little syrupy but smooth, some booze warmth and tingle, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, a cross between barleywine and old ale, aged malts are lighter but nice, good candy with toffee and butterscotch, caramel, etc, booze is held in check and balanced decently by the sweetness but not overly sweet and there is enough booze warmth to be a good strong old ale. Tasty and enjoyable sipper for the cold night.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from grub courtesy of the Birthday Club 2, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of bourbon, spices caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste is malty, but as boozy as you might expect from such a high ABV. Flavors of caramel, bourbon and some spices start out. There's a very mild hops presence that is just enough to provide some balance. The alcohol burn isn't really there at first but it kind of creeps up on you, which is nearly unavoidable with a 13.25% ABV. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very flavorful, goes down nicely, not too filling, extremely strong kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent high-powered beer to sip on for as long as you can handle it.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

A: Pours a crystal clear garnet red in color. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that reduces to a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate lacing is observed.

S: There are lots of aromas in this beer with a nice complexity. I get notes of vanilla, caramel malts, and some dark fruit (fig). Overall a fairly sweet smelling beer with some light hint of alcohol.

T: The taste follows the smell with an almost cloying sweetness to this beer. There is a definite presence of caramel malts along with some brown sugar and molasses. After that the dark fruit is very noticeable with fig being most dominant of the dark fruits. There is a light hint of vanilla and some wood. Light lingering presence of alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Some alcohol heat is present. Smooth.

O: Overall, there is just a little too much alcohol presence in this beer (in the taste, smell, and mouthfeel) for it to be easy to drink. While it is not the easiest to drink, it is not unenjoyable. This is definitely a sipping beer.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Kegatron
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

Pours a deep clear ruby with a near finger of fizzy mocha head. This immediately dissipates, leaving back some very thin foamy ringing out the sides and a spackling of light spotty lace. The aroma smells of ripe dark fruit, cocoa, caramelized sugars, roast and spicy warmth. This is pretty cut and dry with the flavors but they really come together into a delicious blend.

The taste mirrors the nose, with notes of dark fruit, roasty molasses, cocoa and a kiss of brown sugars on the finish. There is just a ton of sticky delicious flavor to this. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a sharp carbonation up front that spreads out into a firm creaminess as it works its way over the tongue. The alcohol underneath here will definitely warm you up but doesn’t detract from the other flavors at all. This is a VERY steady sipper for 12% ABV.

This has to be one of the most underrated beers out there. It’s 12% ABV yet drinks like a champ, it’s readily available on shelves, and its tastes and smells awesome! What a great beer! I’d be putting away cases of this if I had the cellar room.

 1,141 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Pretty sure this was a 2012 vintage.

Rusty brown color, slightly hazy, an aggressive pour yielding a relatively small beige head that laced the glass well. Sugary aroma--malts, maple, brown sugar, butterscotch--dark fruits, minor hit of booze. The taste was similar, lots of sweet malts, dark sugars, toffee, some chocolate and hazelnut, rum raisin. Heavier medium body, smooth, some alcohol warmth, as would be expected from the ABV. Very nice overall. I'll have to seek out more of this, and keep some in the cellar.

 519 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy amber color with beige head. Aroma has dark fruits and brown sugar. Taste follows with dried raisins, bitter burnt sugar, earthy hops. Medium to light body, medium bitterness, quite dry. A well made old ale but I think it's too bitter and earthy for the style.

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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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