Old Stock Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Stock AleOld Stock Ale
3,283 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: 3,283 |  Reviews: 1,530
Photo of DrDemento456
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a feeling I wouldn't hold onto this for a year. 2010 vintage poured into my Samuel Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Wow a nice half inch of foam from such a big ale! Semi dark amber in color with a bit of haze.

S - First impression of the nose, slight caramel, bit of toffee and vanilla. Second whiff same but with a slight it of alcohol in the nose.

T - Huh. Its hard to say its very smooth since the ABV is rather high but I get slight caramel with a bit of toffee, alcohol, and a touch of vanilla. Hard to drink...

M - Heavy, thinner than KBS but the ABV weighs down drink ability a bit.

D - OK wow this would definitely be a bit easier to drink with some age so don't crack these bad boys right away. Still as I sip it gets easier yet less flavor, which is kind of sad. Not the best old ale I ever had but still very drinkable. May buy another to age.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, this is the 2010 vintage. The beer pours a vibrant, deep amber-red coloring with no head. Heavy smells of sweet malt, caramel, and a bit of hazelnut, with a slight hint of sour grapes. Flavors are heavy sweet, with caramel and toffee tones. Also, there are roasted characteristics present, with a shift to a slightly sour aftertaste. The beer has a sharp and carbonated feel in mouth initially, yet has a full and syrupy/viscous feeling throughout the mouth. There is a spiced and slightly sour aftertaste, with a strong nudge of the booze, and the finish is viscous and stale. Strong flavors and alcohol notes make this a sipper, and only one or two per sitting for me, but tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of jefferz5000
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage

Pours a nice clear deep reddish amber hue. Quite beautiful with an off white head that eventually fades into a subtle ring around the edges of the glass.

Smells fragrant and sweet. Figs, dates, vanilla, raisin, some hops, perhaps some honey?

The taste is quite similar to the nose, but I actually like it better. I'm getting more vanilla and everything meshes quite well. It's very smooth as well, considering the 12.5% abv. It IS a 2008 bottle though, so that is helping.

Feels quite nice. A pleasant amount of carbonation, but doesn't take away from the rich smoothness of this beer. Medium to full bodied, I'd say.

For 12.5%, drinkability is rather high. Kinda scary, but like I said before, it is the 2008 vintage. I honestly haven't had any other vintage yet, but I can't imagine something younger being better. A very respectable beer.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage. got a bunch more that im gonna put some years on.

A: dark mahogany. hard to tell if it is opaque or just dark enough for me not to be able to see through. big fluffy tan head died way too fast and is now completely gone. carbonation party.

S: sherry, caramel, dessert fruits. getting some faint woody notes in here too. i can definitely see how some age will help this brew, but this still has a decent complexity.

T: vanilla, getting some caramel in the sweet malts when pulling across the palate, the alcohol component is really strong. reminds me of vodka shooters. again, some age to cool off the alcohol would be great.

M: soft carbonation works well with the sweetness of this brew. solid medium/full body.

D: still an enjoyable brew even without any years on it, really looking forward to trying the rest of this 4-pack once a year going forward.

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Photo of walteez
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is coming mostly from memory as I only managed to snag a single bottle from a friend & had nothing to take notes on while tasting.

A: This beer pours a beautiful color - a nice amber, red / orange & a little hazy... not much head here.

S: It smells of sweet fruits, raisins maybe? I also get a hint of a citrusy smell in the nose. The aroma makes me think of a Belgian Triple or Quad.

T: I get a lot of fruit up front with just a hint of hop bitterness (but the bitter fades quickly). There's definitely an alcohol undertone in this beer - it warms my cheeks & my throat as it goes down but it isn't too boozy.

M: I got a lot of carbonation in this beer. I could feel little bubbles dancing across my tongue as I sampled it. From others I've talked to, this seems uncommon. Even with the off feel it was still a very enjoyable beer, if a bit strong on the alcohol.

D: I keep reminiscing of Belgian Tripels and Quads as I drink it. The sweet raisiny, fruity, malt just takes me there & I'm not opposed at all. While I expect a beer of this strength to be nice and warming, the alcohol hit me about half way through the first glass & that hinders its drinkability a bit in my eyes.

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Photo of jjchristiano
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I thought I was drinking a nice brandy carbonated beverage. It was as if I were taking a nice snifter of brandy with a cigar but it was a cold beer. This is not a guzzling beer but a nice sipping beer for a night where 1 or max 2 will give you the buzz you need with a ton of flavor. I am sorry that I just grabbed one of these as I was doing a mixed 6 pack of things to try. It was great.

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Photo of seand
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottle (not a typo), poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep, dark brown, with a small amount of tan head. Just a ring around the edge retains for a little while, leaving nearly no lacing.

S: Full, sweet, and boozy, with notes of bourbon, and slightly vinous.

T: Sweet to start, becoming a bit whiskey-like through the middle. Very full flavored, and so very smooth. Just the tiniest hint of a resinous hop note right on the finish. Lovely.

M: Full body, with low to medium prickly carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. I wish I had more than just the one.

I don't have a more recent one to compare with, but based on this bottle this beer seems to be one worth aging.

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Photo of aepb1
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Brown body with an off-white head

S- Dark sweet fruity malts and some booze. A good example of the style

T- Sweet caramel malts, boozy hot middle, sweet dark fruity malts in aftertaste

M- Full-bodied, smooth and a bit hot

D- Very good example of style and a very solid beer

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Photo of Robertgc
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle at 54 degrees. Smell is good, a little sweetness, then follows with an almost scotch aftertaste. Not quite as smooth as some of my favorites, but flavor and mouthfeel is very good. 11.7% abv is quite noticeable up front, maybe a little too much. Overall good

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Photo of drizzam
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The body is a hazy amber in color topped by a one finger fluffy tan head. Head retention is about as good as it gets for a beer with 11.5% ABV and it leaves some spotty lacing.

S - Sweet malt, dark fruit and that booziness you would expect from this high of an ABV.

T & M - The nose did not betray the tongue. Dark fruit and sweet caramel malt is finished with that warming alcohol. The alcohol warmth follows after the swallow, down the throat and into my belly. Smooth and somewhat creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol warmth is either easy to get used to or it just seems to become less hot after a few drinks. Finishes with a bit of a sweet malty aftertaste.

D - The drinkability of this brew is dangerously high in comparison to the ABV. North Coast has proven to me with just about all of their beers, that they are a very knowledgeable and high quality brewery. Definitely worth a try!

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Photo of bsp77
3.2/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Glowing reddish-brown with thin off-white head and very little lacing.

Smell: Toffee, plum, cherry and light English hops.

Taste: Very sweet malts with toffee, butterscotch, plum and cherry. Light spicy and floral hops on the the finish that do nothing to cut the sweetness, along with more medicinal cherry. There are some nice flavors to be found here, but just too sweet.

Feel: Thick and chewy body with low carbonation. Nicely warming but with a cloyingly sweet finish.

Drinkability: Sweet and boozy. Maybe I would like this better with a couple of years on it. As is, I will pass in the future.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Vintage 2008.

A- Pours a murky brown color. Half inch eggshell white head shows poor retention. Nice streaks of lacing on the sides of the glass that caught me by surprise.

S- Darker fruits upfront on the nose. There is a big caramel malt base that I love on this beer once it has a few years of age on it. Brown sugar sweetness mixes with molasses as well. Light metallic hint to this lets me know I'm smelling vintage I suppose.

T- Caramel/Toffee malts come through on the front with a big burst of darker fruits. Middle of the beer mixes the brown sugar and molasses together with hints of alcohol and even more darker fruit. The alcohol leads from the middle to well in the ending of this aged beauty. Light soy flavoring as well but this gets put in the very background with chocoalte covered darker fruits leading the onward charge to the ending.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style but light overall. This beer blankets your entire palate when sipping. Darker fruits and heavy malts left on the palate. Aftertaste is warming alcohol, caramel malts, chocolate covered darker fruit. Flavors were put well together although a little off balanced from the darker fruits hogging all the glory. The metallic nose didn't transcribe into the beer itself so I was happy. Heavy drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This beer was very drinkable. The alcohol was never a factor in the overall taste. The ABV limits this one but a two year old treat is well worth the wait even if you end up drinking a couple of bottles.

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Photo of wschmit
3.28/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2010 12 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Short, 1 cm slightly yellow head settles quickly into a ring of fine carbonation and patches on top of a slightly hazy sherry-like body pretty good carbonation.

S: Not overly sweet for a "young' old ale. Slightly saccharine malt notes of raisin, and even a bit of peach or berries, perhaps in conjunction with mild hopping. Pleasant but moderate nose.

T: A bit one-note malt flavor, with alcohol present. I even detect a vaguely metallic sensation by the end. The earthy, mildly bitter hops are actually detectable--with mixed results, for me.

M: Decent, even high carbonation for the style, but it's young still. Helps it go down.

D: Mid-range. The booze isn't overwhelming, but there's not much to assist the palate. I'm gonna hold on to another bottle for a year and give that a fair shake, but I'm not terribly hopeful.

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Photo of bohemiandonut
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 Bottle

It's that time again. I find myself once more gainfully unemployed with nothing I'd rather do than tick new beers and even review a few of then. Apparently this is one I should have tried a long time ago.

Pour is unexpectedly amber and translucent. Little head, but a couple well-received swirls decide that this beer is no joke.

Smell is definitely not a booze-fest. I get a bit of nutty, English-style malt with a similar English-style fruitiness. Nothing dreamy, but it is intriguing how mild the aromatics are here given the abv. I sip...

Oh, there's the alcohol! It's "hidden" under what appears to be a Belgian candi sugar, which accentuates the dark fruit esters donated by the malt. Very reminiscent of the Belgian style. Unfortunately, the flavors are a bit discordant (at this age?), and I'm reminded mainly of the many failed American attempts to brew a decent Quad or Dubbel. I'd be interested in trying some of this aged, but I can't imagine an experience vastly different to or better than what I can get from Rochefort or Bernadus any time.

Really, I think there's just way too much sugar in this beer for it to work. It comes off a bit too syrupy for me. Decent nightcap to be sure, but there are ones far better in this league.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisiting the 08 vintage, same brew, but a very different experience. This is a rich, long sipper that makes me like this brew again after the poor review I did when I had it younger.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Simple and somewhat classic design with the emblems of North Coast Brewing over a dark cream background. Bottling date as 2008 brew. Notes 12.5% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a snifter.

A - Clear amber brown pour. Short head with short retention, it stills retains a fair surface memory ring and leaves no lacing. For the time passing it is holding itself visually well.

S - Nose has grown, malty, rich, sweet range with caramel and toffee, some port.

T - Hmm, time has done this brew, and maybe my appreciation, some good. Sure enough there is a hefty boozy sense, but now it hold the brew and does not hinder it. Malt touches shine, with caramel, toffee, and a nice fruity sense of raising, those notes of port...

M - Medium-full body with medium low carbonation that tingles well in the back of the tongue, sticky touch with a warming sense picking up the finish after the creamy flow.

D - Rich long sipper, it has mellowed the hard alcoholic edge, while pushing up a nice complex range.

Notes: OK, credit where credit is due. I was pretty disapointed last I had this ale, but this year+ of aging has done wonders with it and puts it back where I had it originally in my memory. If a bit of patience is all it requires to feel this good...

09-30-09 Review
A 3 S 3 T 3.5 M 3 D 3

A - Amber brown translucent hue. Short head that fades in a blink leaving no lacing and a minimal memory on the surface.

S - Alcohol over a malty range of notes. But nothing too remarkable.

T - Booze highlight over that caramel malt. Some notes of dry fruit emerge, raisins and a touch of coffee.

M - Fairly carbonated but with a flat smoothness that does not stimulate much.

D - Hmm, it sure is a drink to enjoy as a sipper and gains toward the end but may not have a very enticing range to help you get there.

Notes: It had been a while since I had this drink, and I had great memories. I was really looking forward to revisit it, but must confess it was a bit of a let down. It felt a bit flat during most of the experience. In fact it even felt too boozy, which typically is not a problem for me, quite the contrary... I typically like it. But on this occasion I found little to make the alcohol presence interesting. Luckily towards the end on the last pour it recuperated some of the tones and complexities that I remembered, but not many. Not that its temperature had changed so much, but at least it ended into a somewhat higher note. I´ll try to cellar the rest of this 4pack and see if a couple of years have a good effect on it.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance> Medium to dark brown, mud puddle. No liveliness, no head, no lacing. It aged an additional three years at my house and looks like it's been pulled from centuries of storage.

Smell> Mostly sharp alcohol nose, followed closely by malt aroma, with slight notes of sour beer.

Taste> WOW. Sherry, anyone? (editors note: the person pouring read the bottle as having 14.5% ABV and I was thinking that even seemed low... reading BA's ABV listing of 11.5%, I am guffawed).
The ale is sweet, but the pungency of the alcohol is inescapable; it seems into every other flavor (yes, there are notes of other things, but almost all is overshadowed by the alcohol). The finish is reminiscent of prunes and port.

Mouf> average for the style

Drink> If only I had a few (several) shots of espresso to accompany me, this could have been like a fourloko night. It's tasty to sip, but honestly this was just too intense for me to drink much of.

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Photo of foogerd
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Bottle.
A- Dark amber brown, minimal head and some lacing.

S- Really sweet raisins some malt and brown sugar, a somewhat subdued aroma.

T- Finally this brew redeems itself, so much complexity from the sweetness department here. Theres sugared raisins vanilla even some dark chocolate powder here. A slight tartness rounds out the sweetness of this brew, very dry finish.

M- Smooth chewey and carbonated.

D- Sweet malty and tasty with a noticeable alcoholic presence.
I'd love to see how this would taste mellowed out from age.

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Photo of morayeel
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All i can say is what a monster of a beer.
North coast brewing is awsome. I feel i need to let the case i bought age a year before i review it due to the wildness.

Very hoppy and boozzy with carmel and some fruit taste.

Bought the 2010 case so im going to age this case a few months and then taste and review later.

12% this ale rocks

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Photo of ryanonline
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

deep dark brown with tinges of ruby, and lots of tan head that chillaxes right at the top for a bit. very cloudy, nice.

hoppy, yet not over-abundantly so as well as somewhat sweet. raisins and figs with just a touch of leather.

lots of the same in the taste, but a faint amount of spice (hop presence?). lots o' sweet dark fruit flavor, I even get some caramel. nice dry alcohol flavor as well.

creamy and full bodied with some moderately effervescent carbonation, and a nice even finish. the mouthfeel is where its at on this one.

still retains some nice drinkability despite being full bodied. good stuff.

love this beer, this one and old rasputin from north coast. yummy yummy.

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

Blind Beer #11 - http://flic.kr/p/99QzG7

Special Thanks to Flexabull for sending me this beer in Round 3 of the Blind Beer BIF.

Last beer for this round of the BIF. Heavily duct taped cap, actually trying to open this one without removing the tape caused me to crack the top of the bottle. Thankfully it was all captured by said tape and the cap itself. Wrapping calls out snifter so I went with my Ommegang glass.

Appearance is cloudy brown with a thin head that doesn't last long at all. Aroma is very boozy and has vanilla and cherry notes. This has to have some kick to it and the alcohol is probably the reason the head retention was so minimal. I'm wondering if its the alcohol, but there is a green tinge on the edge of the beer when you tilt the glass.

Flavor is booze, malt, cherries, dried figs, plums. I'm loving the layers in this beer, getting some chocolate and molasses as it warms. While I definitely feel the booze as a warming sensation, the finish is mellow and chewy and not as hot as one would expect with the alcohol. This is a great sipper and I wouldn't doubt its vintage.

Going to guess American Barleywine on the style.

Answer is: North Coast Old Stock 2005! Wow! I know what I need to start filling my cellar with. I have some 2009 in the cellar and just shelled out for a bottle of the bourbon aged Old Stock. I'll be sure to forget about that bottle for awhile.

What a great beer to conclude this BIF. Thanks again Paul, I've had a blast.

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Photo of Elimination
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a beast of a beer

A remarkable red velvet maroon color, slight brown hues, dark, but still a visible shine from the other side. Thin little head, hugging the rim of the glass.

Smell concord grape juice, molasses, brown sugar, slight bread, a bit of a citrus hop.

Now this was a 2010, but still is a little fresh. Grapes, raisins, darker fruits, a bit of carmel, toffee, and a good amount of sharper hop notes.

Thick moutfeel, has a sticky viscosity, perfect.

Now, some people say old ales and barleywines walk a thin line. This is definately one that could go either way for me. It has a sharper hop presence than most old ales, yet has such a great strong malt backbone it still fits nicely in as a old ale. Either way, a great beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. Beer is brown with a lot of haze and a thin brown head of small bubbles that breaks super quickly and pulls back to a halo. Carbonation appears low.

Aroma is super sweet and molasses. Lots of malt sugar.

Beer is way thinner than I expected, the lead off is almost entirely alcohol, the midpalate is mild sweetness with some roasted candies like caramel or darker molasses. The finish is a little dry.

I reviewed this tonight because it was the new vintage, I realized I had never reviewed it before but I'm currently setting up quite a vertical that I will replace this review with in the future. This beer is pretty hot young.

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Photo of ElGallo
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. 11.7% ABV. 12 oz. bottle poured into a balloon glass.

I had heard that this was North Coast's gem, and it did not disappoint. Good finger of head on the pour but it dissipates quickly. Not much lacing to speak of. Color is a deep but clear amber with some ruby tones when gently swirled.

The nose is sweet and malty. Not as dark-malt heavy as say Old Engine Oil, and maybe a bit barleywine like. Very intriguing.

This tastes just as good as it looks and smells. A smooth, warming, malt-forward ale with a sweet but pleasant aftertaste that lingers. Some nice brandy notes come through as it warms.

Overall, this is a hit for lovers of old ale and malt-forward beers in general. Must find more to age... and drink now :)

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage, poured into goblet.

appears an opaque cloudy brown with orange highlights. little head.

aromas of brown sugar, vanilla, very nice. tastes of caramel, toffe, raisins, but not too sweet. pretty tasty, I've have to buy some more to cellar again.

mouthfeel is sticky, syrupy, but not that thick. just enough carbonation to move it over your tongue. barely any alcohol taste for an almost 12% abv beer. very impressive.

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Photo of mexikrainian
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Stone tulip.

Appearance: murky amber-brown with zero head and non-existent lacing.

Aroma: caramel, molasses, malts, dried fruits, and apple.

Flavor: apple, caramel, brown sugar, subtle hops, spices, and warm alcohol.

Mouthfeel: syrupy, medium body with light carbonation.

Overall impression: this will keep you warm in the winter. be ready for bold flavors with high alcohol. reminiscent of a whiskey throat feel.

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Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 3,283 ratings