Old Stock Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

1,494 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: 1,494 | Ratings: 3,181
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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Photo of sokol_1993
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: dark brown, very little but lasting head. Not too lively.
Smell: Sweet malty smell, but also a lot of alcoholic smell.
Taste: a lot of overwhelmingly alcoholic taste, ooh boy! Extremely warming. Other than that, dark fruit, malty, raisiny, vinous. Sweet, and very viscous to the point that you feel that you can chew it. It became a bit more bitter at the end.
Feel: full body, sweet and strong aftertaste.
Quite a good beer, very complex. Definitely will have it again. But one should leave it until the end of the evening, due to its strong and alcoholic taste; it'll ruin everything for you.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep clear mahogany pour. Low head, fair lacing, body appears medium rich. Color is nice though.
Smell is malt and some molasses. Not much here.
Taste is booze-wrapped malt and bitter caramel with a distant hint of vanilla.
Feels thick, a bit sticky.
A decent sipper, I must be missing something based on the rave reviews. Maybe aging this works wonders?
Maybe I'd like it sweeter. I recall another brewer's old ale Curmudgeon being so. This beer seems vinous only in a medicinal way, acidic and fairly dry.

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Photo of LennyOvies
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 version.

L- Dark brown reddish body, creamy ivory head with loe retention.
S- Malty-sweet, molasses, toffee, liquor, dry fruits.
T- Malty, caramel, toffee, molasses, nuts, vinous, some booze.
F- Full, rich.
O- Remarkable, I imagine this is much better when aged.

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Photo of MMOSNN
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Year-old 2015 version poured in a goblet.
Look - a super hazy brown, but there's some red in there too. The head is very thin and khaki colored. Very spotty lacing.
Smell - raisins, brown sugar, some notes of vanilla and chocolate, and slight booziness.
Taste - so much complexity here. It's similar to the nose and extremely rich. You get sweet notes in the form of caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, and there's a good amount of raisan and chocolate, almost like a Raisinette. I'm not noticing much booze, especially considering the ABV.
Feel - good carbonation, chewy mouthfeel, smooth finish, a little slick.
Overall, age is doing wonders to this beer. It's losing complexity visually due to the aging process, but everything else is completely stellar. I have some 2016 bottles that I plan on aging, and I'll definitely be looking forward to this beer every year.

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Photo of erk0607
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Like oak but with purpleish hues (at least in dim lighting), small ring and small carbonation bubbles

Smell: Like a slightly tart strawberry jam

Taste: Sweet on first sip, turning into a somewhat mediciney taste, berry, malt. Super dark and rich, almost too strong. Very complex. Bitter. Definitely one to let warm up. Flavors just exploded having cupped my tulip glass for a few minutes. Much more rasiny and the malt becomes noticeable. Still noticeable alcohol though.

Feel: Slick, higher viscosity liquid that foams up on the tongue. Noticeable alcohol presence.

Overall: First beer of this style I've had, and I can't say I like it sadly. Reading the BA description of what an Old Ale should be, this fits in very nicely, hence the score. Perhaps it's the alcohol presence, but it reminds me a lot of slightly better tasting NyQuil. I bought a four pack, put two away for a later date, had one for myself and will share the other with a buddy. I gave my ratings based on style, personally this gets a high 2, which I find strange for a guy who loves his Quads.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.03/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice ruby and brown color scheme to it. Aroma is just straight booze, all the 12% abv is there.

Taste once again drops almost nothing but hot alcohol. An amalgamation of brandy, syrup, brown malt. So hot. Red apples dumped in rubbing alcohol. Caramel. Is this complex or just a bunch of mismatched stuff? I wasn't a fan. Just so hot. Sticky.

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Photo of mobrado
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fabulous beer. The only drawback is that the mouthfeel gets a little too sticky from the sweetness as it warms up. But you have to let it open up for all flavors to develop. I could see this age well for many, many years.

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Photo of colts9016
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 Edition

An oversized wine glass was implemented. A hard poor produced a minimal head. the color of the beer is like used oil with no clarity.

Nose. A very rich malt caramel sweetness with citrus, pine, resin, and some fruity esters. It is a super complex nose with background aromas of stone fruit. alcohol, and brown sugar.

A rich complex malt profile with caramel, toffee citrus, pine, resin, fruity esters, and dark cherries.

The mouthfeel is slightly carbonated, full body, chewy thick beer.

Overall this is on awesome beer. Fantastic flavor, rich complex malt, slight alcohol warming but very balanced. very very good. I really enjoy this beer.

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

2015 Edition

Dark, copper with a thin head. No lacing stays on the glass.

Nose: Marsipan, vanilla, syrup, apple, caramel malt & butter.
Taste: Sweetness, marsipan, eggnog, vanilla, bourbon whiskey and cake.
Full, complex body with little but crisp carbonation.


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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 Jacobob10
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 2014 Vintage, no bottle date.

Purchased on 9/23/2015;
Opened on 3/28/2016.

Reddish-brown and clear with a large, frothy, off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Sweet and fruity aroma of caramel and sweet malts with a slightly vinous quality to it. No hops whatsoever. Flavor is sweet and complex, but not so much as an English Barleywine. It's strong but does not overpower. Full bodied and warming.

I don't think I would purchase this one again but there is nothing wrong with it. Just didn't excite me with the complexity that a strong ale can often have. A good sipper for my fantasy baseball draft.

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Photo of LAp
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a thick, 1 finger tan-mocha head. Nose is grape and cherry, with an almost Flanders red hint of funk. The slightest trace of whisky/bourbon is present on the nose as well. The palate is medicinal dark fruit and prominent malt, with a touch of bitter hop on the backend. Mouthfeel is medium, with a solid body rounding out the beer. Overall, a strong contribution to the style, if nothing groundbreaking.

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Photo of twage04
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a copper/brown, hazy color. Some booze and bourbon aroma. Taste is deep booze and dark fruit, bourbon. Definitely a sipper, warms you up. Reminds one of a Belgian dark strong, just maltier. Enjoyable beer but I didn't find myself that taken with it. This was from last year, although I'm not sure if it was early or late 2015. Perhaps could have benefited from aging?

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Photo of 20holmbrew
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a bottle from a four pack - 2015 version. I plan on aging 3 of the 4, buying a 4 pack with each yearly release. Old ales are new to me but seems like an interesting style to experiment with and to see how it changes over time. Reminds me a lot of barleywine. Quite sweet and hot.

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Photo of breakingbland
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Flying Squirrel in Chattanooga

This beer starts with a caramel aroma which continues into the taste along with spice. There is a pleasant level of alcohol heat which along with woodiness gives an impression of bourbon. A great beer!

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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,181 ratings.
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