Old Stock Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale
Liked This Beer
4.12 w/ 3,230 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: 3,230 |  Reviews: 1,512
Photo of cjacobsen
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of Neffbeer
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of scott2269
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of dogfishandi
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

12oz bottle around fridge temp pouredinto a snifter. 11.9% ABV

pours out a wonderful deep red color with one finger of light tan head. not the best retention, no real lace. absolutly love the color of this beer, exspecially when held to the light.

nice aromas of candied dark fruits, thick burnt caramel, some molasses. alcohol noticable, but by no means overpowering.

very nice taste, a little hot and spicy alcohol, but thats to be expected with such a big, young beer. lots of fruits, dark fruits, fruity esters, rum soaked cherries. a nice burnt caramel character, slight toffee, molasses, very nice. finishes with a hot alcohol warming effect.

big, full, dense body. carbonation just slightly too prickly.

pretty much the staple old ale, very nice malt character to this. a little hot right now, but age should do wonders to this. cant wait to try this in a few years.

 893 characters

Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of eerbayman
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of avaldivia
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of thebouch01
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of LucienDeRubempre
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of richbrew
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of mrand01
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured in to Weyerbacher tulip.

A: Completely opaque. Pour left around 1/4" of tan head that quickly dissipated.

S: Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and a bit of alcohol.

T: Dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and alcohol. This is still hot, as I expected it to be. I always like to try a beer fresh for comparisons sake.

M: Heavy bodied with prickly carbonation. This beer needs some time to chill out.

O: I've had the Old Stock Cellar Reserve as well as some lightly aged regular Old Stock, so I know what this beer will turn in to. I guess I was hoping for more fresh.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Thanks Kara

A - pours a murky brown with a layer of fine bubbles on the top
S - The aroma is mostly brown sugar and molasses, very nice aroma.
T - big brown sugar and molasses flavor up front, almost a lemony flavor, there are some plums in there as well. Nice drinkable flavor
M - smooth and creamy mouthfeel, there is a good amount of carbonation, not overly bubbly but enough to let you know its there.
D - very drinkable, i'm not picking up the booziness that others have noted. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of match1112
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: reddish brown, no head to speak of just a little tan colored ring around the glass.

s: very sweet with hints of brown sugar, possible plum or raisins, it's hard to tell with all the alochol in there.

t: sweet and malty with rubbing alochol like features.

m: medium heavy body with sticky sweet feel to it. and a ling warming finish.

o: this is one of those beers that gets bettter with lots of age on it. otherwise it's just too much.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - This is the 2011 release of the brew. There is no head left after a very fast paced, short lived, soda like top. I am a bit worried by this but don't really know what to make of it at this point. There is some rising carbonation which makes it obvious that the beer did not lose its seal.

S - Molasses, brown sugar and evaporating alcohol.

T - Pungent plum, alcohol, and a strong ending of booze with no hoppy taste. The flavor makes this beverage a serious sipper.

M - Abrasive throughout which too adds to the sipping of this beer being required.

~ This is a very unique brew and one that I have now cellared for 2010 and 2011 in anticipation of collecting through 2015 for a cellared vertical. Sip this beer by a warm fir and enjoy it in moderation friends.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here’s one that’s always on the shelves but never in my fridge: Old Stock Ale. From what I hear, this is one of the most well-aging beers; unfortunately, it’s just one semi-vintage for me tonight.

Brewed a year or so before the date of this tasting (2010 vintage).

A: Well, this one certainly isn’t a looker. The body is a hazy rust red/brown, with so much haze that it’s almost opaque. No head whatsoever, just a ring of cream circling the outside of the glass; there’s literally just a mild discoloration over the rest of the beer’s surface. Odd, but at least there’s a nice web of bubble-cream as the beer starts to disappear. Very thick and oily-looking, yet very flat.

S: You can tell from just opening the bottle that this is a malty, sugary dream. The gang’s all here in top form: raisin, molasses, toffee roasts, and quite a bit of mocha. These are the malts that really excite me, as they smell more like a rich caramel than a super-syrupy nightmare. In fact, the more I explore, the more I can pick up the coffee and chocolate aromas, which help to counteract any sort of thick, unappetizing sweetness. Other than the malts, there’s a woody bourbon scent, as if it had been barrel-aged – a mellow addition that I really like.

T: Very nice. This palate is nothing but malt character and enthusiastic spicing: ripe black cherries, honey, cocoa nibs, butterscotch, leafy grains, and another big helping of sinewy fruits (probably the biggest taste in the entire palate). For such a high-alcohol beer, the tastes are actually pretty mild and balanced – for instance, I can taste some crushed red pepper and cinnamon, but even these bold spices never get to an overpowering level. As far as hops go, this one tastes like it’s brewed with some mild European ones: contrary to all the dark fruits, it has a brisk, pub-style bitterness. Perfect hopping for this style. The finish is a mild (as expected) bready yeast and vinous fruit concoction. Wonderfully earthy all-around.

M: Viscous and oily, like the liquid that’s left at the bottom of a root beer float; that, coupled with its alcoholic heat and astringency, gives this ale a thick and fiery profile. Plus, it still has a bit of sharp carbonation, adding a loveable kick to its character.

O: The more I drink this beer, the more it reminds me of alcoholic Dr. Pepper. I say that lovingly because of its unmistakable spicy-cherry feel – trust me, though, there’s certainly much more in this bottle than those “23 flavors” Dr. Pepper has. This is a superbly well-rounded beer, tasty enough that it gives yet another stimulus to my growing love of old ales. A vertical of this would be amazing – or even its barrel-aged counterpart (though I don’t know how soon I’ll be shelling out $20+ for a bottle of the stuff).

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Photo of codsmith
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Edition

A: Dark reddish-brown and almost completely opaque. Has a very thin light tan head that is creamy

S: Sweet malt loaded with a lot of fruit esters, caramel and nut aromas. Has the smell is similar to a port wine. No noticeable hops. There is a strong alcohol smell

T: A very complex mixture of deep malt flavors of molasses, caramel, chocolate and nut. The beer starts off mellow and ends with a punch of fruit and hop bitterness

M: Medium-to-full body. Alcohol warmth is very evident. Moderate carbonation

O: I very well done example of an Old Ale. It fits perfectly into style guidelines. Alcohol warmth was a little crazy, but this is probably a beer that really needs to be aged to truly bring out the complex flavors

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Photo of biboergosum
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
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 JayQue
3.46/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage

Another milestone in my quest for the top 100 Beers of Fame. This one did not quite live up to my expectations but is still a good winter warmer.

Pours a hazy brown iced tea color. Settles down to a clear, more reddish color. Surprisingly big tan head for this level abv. Head retention is good. Lacing is minimal.

Smell is very mild for such a strong beer. Malt and a little Belgian style spices. Taste is more pronounced. Malts, a little dark fruit and a touch of spices.

Mouthfeel is about average for this strong a beer. There is a a definite alcohol presence that provides a "bite" as well as warming. I wonder what a few years of aging would do to this beer?

Overall, a pretty good Old Ale, but most of the rest that I have sampled were at least as good.

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Photo of jsanford
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a North Coast Snifter. 2011 vintage.

A - Pours a dark mahogany with a creamy ivory head that settles to a nice ring and patches of haze.
S - Big aromas of sweet malt, caramel, toffee, apples, dried fruit, and candied citrus peel. A bit reminiscent of a good brandied fruit cake.
T - Taste is very similar to the nose, lots of sweet caramel and toffee flavors with notes of raisin, fig, brown sugar, candied apple, and baked brown bread. Expertly balanced, so smooth despite the +11% ABV.
M - Medium-full mouthfeel, surprisingly creamy, with lowish carbonation. A sweet, slow-sipper, but deceptively drinkable.
O - Just a great beer, definitely one of the benchmarks of the style. Affordable, too!

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Photo of droomyster
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have this every year and think that the 2011 vintage might be the best one yet. Pours a mahogany body with just a bit of tan head that quickly dissipates to a collar. Big wafts of molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar and dates are carried up on streams of hot alcoholic vapors. This is clearly going to be some concentrated stuff. I love that the flavors of super sweet without being medicinal, with notes of amontillado sherry lending a nuttiness to the autumnal sugars. The carbonation is low but still substantial enough to keep an otherwise sticky beer from gluing your mouth shut. A slow sipper, to be sure, and one that should be in everyone's arsenal as the weather turns cold. This 2011 is a very special beer.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 version on tap at O'Brien's

A: Dark reddish color with a thin but creamy tan head.

S: Lots of wet earth and wood, booze soaked fruit and some rye bread.

T: Raisin, fig, burnt brown sugar, brandy-soaked apricots and some Belgian yeast. It's definitely a bit syrupy and you feel the alcohol pretty quickly. I definitely enjoyed this one though.

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Photo of sneakybird
3.28/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A deep copper or mahogany color, with short, off-white head. This beer is alive. The head fades pretty quick to a thin film, but is being constantly replinished in a curious donut shape in the center of the glass. Someting to do with the shape of the glass?

A nice fruit aroma, mostly apricot and raisin with maybe a touch of citrus. Some sweet caramely malt notes behind.

Taste is very rich and complex, with that malty sweetnes paramount. Some bitterness, but definitely playing second fiddle to the malt. Actually hop flavor is low to none. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overly so. The carbonation is moderate, but the beer is so smooth and full bodied that it's barely noticeable.

A good sipping beer, but a little overly sweet for my taste. A little more bitterness or hop character may have provided more balance. This is the 2011 vintage and has lots of potential to improve with age.

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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87.9% out of 100 with 3,230 ratings
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