Old Stock Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,214 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: 3,214 |  Reviews: 1,507
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

 1,519 characters

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.

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Photo of DWolf
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of SgunnarW
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

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

Melbourne Bros. Stemmed Tulip
2010 Vintage
A ~ Pours reddened mahogany with a dusty khaki head with lively carbonation. Lacing is thin & glossy. The white rind about the glass lasts the whole drink.

S ~ Raisins. . .Scones smothered in grape jelly. Hints of orange juice. There are some pear & spice notes with a hint of tobacco.

T ~ Raisin notes following through with big punches of candied fruits & pached pear w/ oranges & cassia. Caramel notes are very thick w/ twinges overcooked/burnt notes. Very grapey. . When mellow & warm it's like toast & jam.

M ~ Very zealous, bubbly carb make this drink like grape soda. Bittering is more prevalent than expected. Resinous, sweet, & slightly medicinal.

D ~ An old ale that still has a hop punch. Drinking pretty well right now. I enjoyed this beer.

 801 characters

Photo of BearsDitkaBears
2.5/5  rDev -39%

Photo of Zachtheporter
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of yamar68
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage (11.5%) poured from a 12oz bottle to a brandy snifter:

Smell bursts from the bottle. Lots of sweet darkness - toffee, caramel, milk chocolate. There’s some other subtle nuances that I’m struggling to pin down. Touch of booze. It pours a murky dark burgundy with a slim tan cap that fades quickly. The taste is roughly 95% malts at this point. Big burnt caramel and a tiny touch of oxidation that keeps things interesting. Finishes off a bit nutty, no real detectable booze in the aftertaste. Carbonation and body have held up remarkable well. Overall, a big beer that can stand the test of time.

 613 characters

Photo of quirkzoo
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Pours a gorgeous bright burgundy with one finger of off white head. I hold this one up to the light for a while just to look at it, really stunning. The smell is nice, lots of caramel, maple syrup sweetness, followed by some dark fruits, raisins and figs, then a touch of vanilla like aromatics. The taste opens up a bit more with just enough bitterness to balance out the sweet fruity flavors. Mouthfeel is nice with some good warming alcohol but not much bite for 11.7%. Overall this is a really nice bottle and I am glad it came in a 4 pack, I am looking forward to trying this again with some age.

 616 characters

Photo of mtrog313
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of 12owls
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of alwaysplayin
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of stoutlover1978
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass—2011 vintage

Appearance: 3/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, dark red/brown in color, cloudy

Smell: caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, and slight citrus hops

Taste: big time caramel, small chocolate, alcohol, and toffee

Mouthfeel: very sweet with and alcohol burn that bitters at the very end, moderate carbonation, medium-heavy bodied

Overall: A nice and malty treat—yet there is just enough bitterness to balance this out. I was genuinely surprised that this good and complex a beer did not come in a bomber. This almost reminds me of an English barleywine or a strong ale akin to the Southern Tier Cuvee series..I will definitely pick this up again.

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Photo of shelby415
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of tdm168
3.31/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thin layer of bubbly, soft, loose, off white head that has little retention. The nose has an odd medicinal, cherry aroma. The flavor is malty and caramelly up front followed by some cherry notes and finishes warm with some alcohol coming through. The flavor is a little medicinal as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is an unusual beer. The medicinal characteristics detract from what appears to be a great underlying beer. Overall, I'm disappointed.

 529 characters

Photo of TheBishopco
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,214 ratings.
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