Old Stock Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,204 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: 3,204 |  Reviews: 1,503
Photo of TheSandPeople
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of haazer
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle.

A- A hard pour leaves a large, tight carmel colored head. Brew is a copper and dark cherry color. Effervescent bubbles on the top of the brew makes head diminish.

S- Big amounts of vanilla, caramel and dark fruits. Some molasses, figs, brown sugar, and a slight bit of bourbon. No booze. Smells great.

T- The flavor follows the nose but not quite as good. The vanilla and bourbon flavor is there, and theres also a bit of cherry and plum. I get a bit of nuttiness too. A bit of heat but the booze has mellowed out from more than a year of sitting. Fresh I could see this being pretty hot.

M- Medium bodied brew with smooth, low to mid level carbonation. A bit of warming and drying from the abv but nothing intense. How and old ale should feel.

O- A real good old ale. I agree with the other BA's on the avg score of this brew. I feel like the age has given it my rating. I'd like to have a fresh bottle but I feel it would be too hot. Love the subtle bourbon flavor. Would love to try the uber expensive barrel version.

 1,041 characters

Photo of Zodijackyl
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours ruby red. Aroma of sticky caramel candy, delicious. Taste of sticky, savory caramel malt, strong and tart. The barley has a rustic, coppery taste similar to heavier Belgian tripels/quads. Extremely drinkable for a beer this heavy. There's a bit of hop sweetness that shines through in the aftertaste. Extremely clean mouthfeel, the taste has a strong presence, but it is purely pleasant, throughout and after.

Very smooth and balanced, doesn't taste as strong as it is, there's not even a hint of alcohol. Top notch.

 523 characters

Photo of Swervine44
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of JustinMatthew
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of beardedterror
1.93/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2012 vintage: Poured into a snifter, served at cellar temps:

A: Pours a deep ruby red color. 1 finger head, which dissipates quickly: to be expected of something this high ABV.

S: Pineapple is the first thing I notice, which is not really welcomed in an old ale. Some crystal malts and some dark fruit come in much, much later, but the pineapple is very overpowering.

T: Booze. Very harsh, unpleasant fruity alcohol flavor dominates the front palate. Slightly bitter, with a very strange fruit flavor that I can't put my finger on; closest to pineapple. Very slight roasty, caramel flavor comes through 2 minutes after initial taste. Very long lasting finish. Absolutely no hop flavors whatsoever.

M: Creamy, thick texture. Feels good in the mouth. Low carbonation. Very harsh, hot alcohol feel.

O: Should probably be aged for at least another year. EXTREMELY far outside the style guidelines for an Old ale. Nearly outside for a barleywine at that. Harsh alcohol flavors make this unpleasant. Tastes like pineapple booze.

 1,027 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a dark red amber. Half finger light tan dissipating head and light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark fruits. Subdued aroma. Very sweet flavor of caramel malt, brown sugar, black cherries. A bit of a sharp sherry like taste. Still hot and not quite balanced, but complex. Have some in the cellar.

 367 characters

Photo of TexAggie011
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of staggerlee024
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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

2011 Old Ale

A: A hazy copper color with a thin line of off-white bubbles on top.

S: Earthy peat moss, caramel, strawberry, and a bit of booze.

T: Much like the aroma...The booze hits up front and then is overtaken by caramel and a little bit of peach, vanilla, and tropical fruit. The flavors linger into the finish and then the alcohol peeks it's head back in.

M: Heavy feel and light carbonation. A little burn in the finish.

O: The flavors in this beer are excellent and at times mask the 12% ABV. It really is an incredible Old Ale. Very smooth, almost drinks like a baby whisky. Lots of depth and the flavors change as it warms.

 639 characters

Photo of iskeptopotamus
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of UltimateLivewire
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Buschyfor3
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of amrozga
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ng85
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of Talisker
1.74/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

2012 vintage.

12oz bottle (x2) from a four-pack purchased at Draeger's, San Mateo CA.

Old Stock Ale is year after year one of my favorite beers. I drink it on tap at the brewpub, buy bottles - I love it fresh, love it aged.

This 2012 vintage is a disaster, judging by these bottles. Metallic odor reminiscent of a macro lager. Thin mouthfeel, no robustness. Little complexity or flavor at all, but what's there is muted and off - maybe hints of cardboard, but hard to find anything going on at all.

Old Stock Ale has been one the unsung giants of the American beer scene. What happened to it in 2012?

 604 characters

Photo of creez
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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

2011 vintage. Muddy brown in color with a reddish hue. Poured with a thick beige foam that quickly reduced to a few wisps. , sweet malty aroma with ripe fruit and burnt caramel notes. Very boozy – even when cold. Thick and syrupy feel with light/lazy carbonation and a surprisingly dry finish. Dark caramel malt and ripe fruit flavors up front that are overrun with an unmistakable booziness from the middle thru to the finish. A bit of spicy hop bitterness in the middle that welcomes the booze. Finishes dry and boozy. Definitely a sipper.

 543 characters

Photo of OldTime
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of ububru
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of harrymel
2.94/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2012, reviewed 07MAR12
ABV 11.7%
Pours a ruby ale with a nice dome of cream foam. Smells of alcohol, grain, some caramel, nothing special. Flavor is alcoholic, bitter, some sweetness, some bitterness. Really poorly defined. I don't recall having had this so fresh, but I don't recommend. Medium on viscous body with moderate carb and a semi dry finish. I'm not impressed fresh. Maybe one should simply buy and age as the beer is better with just a year on it.

Note to NC: release beer when ready, no sooner.

Vintage 2010, Reviewed 22MAR11
A: Pours a beautiful mahogany ale with hues of cherry red. Single finger head of roasted peanut dissipates in a couple minutes and leaves a thin sheet of the same. Spotty lacing. Brilliant clarity.
S: Initially, alcohol comes out punching! Then I get the tones of vanilla, malt, cherries (maraschino), light soapy smell (not bad, but different). Good nose, will be better with age I bet.
T: Mmmm. Toffee, light noble hops, cascade resin and citrus are subdued, yet present. Alcohol is slightly sweet, but not in any way offensive. Hint of cornbread. Again, maraschino cherries. Nice. The toffee keeps teasing me, more time = more toffee = more happy!
M: Full bodied and medium carbonation. Dries the mouth and forces my tongue to push for resonating flavors. Nice.
O: Excellent crafsmanship. Good old ale. The profile compels me to keep a dozen in the cellar for a year or two. Should become more tawny in character. Pretty stoked about the potential here. 4/4/4/4/4-4

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Photo of jmccraney
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Kevlee722
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of papat444
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

***2006 Vintage***

From notes. Original tasting: Sept. 2, 2008.

Thanks to HogTownHarry for this one!

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: . Pours a nice dark brown body with minimal head and lacing.

Smell: Malty & sweet.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Taste is creamy, chewy and sweet but not overbearing. Caramel and malt round it off.

Overall: Very drinkable for a high 13.5 ABV. I wasn’t blown away but was not let down either. Would recommend.

 449 characters

Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,204 ratings.
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