Old Plowshare Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Plowshare StoutOld Plowshare Stout
Very Good
186 Ratings
Old Plowshare StoutOld Plowshare Stout

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hyuga on 10-01-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 186 |  Reviews: 155
Reviews by beerinator:
Photo of beerinator
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, but certainly not black. Off white head lingered a bit and then faded back into the beer. Retention is good.

Aroma: Roasty, burnt coffee snorts up the nose. The initial aromas are roasty, but there is some sweet malt and a bit of chocolate smell that fills the nose.

Taste: The flavor starts a bit roasty, but the taste finishes sweet with a bit of burned bitterness. The mouthfeel is solid, but not exceedingly full. The caramel sweetness is there, but the bitterness seems to keep it in check.

Notes: Balanced roasty beer. This doesn't look like a dry irish style, but it does have many of the flavors of it. Good beer, especially if you plan to drink more than two.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic a deep cola color with a thinner but well retained light mocha colored head.Nice chocolate tones in the nose with some espresso roast coffee,a nice mix.Mouthfeel is creamy but a bit light,a good mix of malted chocolate and dry roast with a bit of raw earthiness in the finish.A well flavored stout,its got a few different things going on in it.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking pint is deep mohagany in color with three fingers of tan head. The head fades quickly to a centemeter or so leaving a lovely lacing behind. This layer stays around, I might add, to the last sip.

Aromas are clove, chocolate, little coffee, and alcohol. Ooh baby thats tasty. Taste starts off slightly metalic, but very smooth none the less. Next the bitterness comes, though it does not seem to come from hops really. The bitterness stays as a backdrop for a mix of flavors, the strongest of which is like a nutty light-roast coffee. Milk and diluted cane syrup make an appearance.

There is a very remarkable aftertaste. I have not smoked in some weeks but after sipping this beer my mouth tastes just as it would after a bowl of pipe tobacco. Navy flake with a touch of perique or Latakia thrown in. The beer itself has no smoked qualities at all but pipe-smokers will recognize this aftertaste instantly.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and if only it were a touch heavier...oh well, its almost there for a stout. This is just light enough to consider session material. Great all-around no-gimmick stout. Cheers!

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured fairly see through black with alot of deep red around the edges with minimal white head and little lacing. Best thing about this beer was the smell. Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate. All of the good things you want in a stout. Taste was not as deep as the aroma and felt very thin in the mouth and the malt flavor didn't last through. Hops finished bitter towards the end but otherwise did not add alot. I enjoyed this beer and would drink again, but I wouldn't seek it out. I usually want a little more out of a stout.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007.

Very interesting:an organic stout. No organic hops, though. Wonder why?

As dark as night with faint ruby edges; better-than- average retention from the lace, with some clinging action after each sip. Cocoa powder, chocolate syrup and mocha aromas with fruity undertones. Heavy hand of smoothness; slightly crisp with a medium body. Baker's chocolate flavor up front, with a kiss of charred malt in the middle. Hints of black currant and elderberry jump across the dark, bready, malt sweetness. Peripheral hop bitterness is there but overshadowed by the fresh roasted malt character. Finishes milky, semi-sweet, with a lengthy yet very mild roasted grain flavor.

Old Plowshare Stout is a good call, and it's nice to see more brewers explor- ing the organic market. Lots of roasted malt flavors to go around. Quite com- plex, and indeed interesting. The sweet side makes for better pairings with this beer. Try brownies or a molten chocolate cake.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Being a vegetarian and natural foods lover...it's cool to see a fully organic stout. Kudos to North Coast for brewing this one up. Pours from the stubby bottle into my glass a dark black with streaks of deep red. A half inch of bubbly tan head appears and slowly falls. When held up to the light it becomes almost transparent with a burnt sienna hue. Aromas of roasted dark grains with burnt cocoa and an undercurrent of mellow brewed coffee. Maybe a touch of dark fruits lurkin in there. Pretty nice, yet fairly standard.

First sip brings a fairly dry roasty maltiness on the roof of the mouth. Burnt, almost smoky tones emerge with a dash of cocoa and a touch of bitter coffee. I get an interesting fruitiness throughout drinking this brew. It finishes with just a touch of hops and a lingering roasty husky malt. An enjoyable dry stout with the added bonus of all organic ingredients.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess...I would like to see a little more body, but as is it makes for easy drinking. I could see having a few of these no problem...it could become my organic session stout! My thanks to beerinator for passing this one off to me. Always good to try something new from North Coast.

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Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce brown bottle purchased at Whole fods market in greenwich Ct. Pours almost black with a tan head, showing moderate retentive powers. leaves middle of the road spotty lacing. Nose is of a musty burlap bag and some coffee. Medium bodied stout, moderate roasted notes and slight burnt notes. some slick , oily and licorish hints also picked up. Decent, if not anything special stout, decent sessioner.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this at a recent tasting. Sorry I forgot who you were.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate with some roasted malt. The flavor is toffee, chocolate and roasted malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Pretty straight forward and not too complicated, but well executed.

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Photo of jmbraxton
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of ByTor2112
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been drinking off a case of this for a while, so here goes:

Pours a very dark brown, some light comes through at the edges of the glass. Carbonation is lively at first then diminishes to a thin ring of beige foam around the glass.

Aroma-Roasted malt, some earthy hops and a sweeter smell I am trying to pinpoint; toffee?

Mouthfeel-Very good carbonation delivers a tasty palate of hop bitterness and dark malt and roasted malt flavors, some light tannins even.
This tastes like a milk stout as I am getting some sweet, almost sour/tart like flavors. Very nice. A froth on the palate activates the hops and it returns back to an American stout feel as the sweetness yields to the hops. I have sessioned this one and North Coast brewed a winner here.

Not mind blowing but satisfying for Winter and a great brew for any occasion. Cheers!

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Photo of niz
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark ruby in colour when held to the light, with a finger of fluffy beige head which quickly fades.
smells of roasted malts, smoke and chocolate.
mouthfeel is fairly thin with great carbonation, nice and mild for this ale which suits the lighter body of the beer.
tastes of nice and toasty with a burnt carbon like flavor which melds into dark chocolate with slight caramel overtones.
drinkability is great considering it is average alcohol content and not too heavy or syrupy
overall i liked this beer, it was very accurate for the style, organic irish dry stout. i doubt i but would buy it again though, it reminded me of lighthouse keepers stout which is from vancouver island and i find to be a little more tasty,.. and cheaper up here in canada.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of johnnydollar
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is the stout to drink after working in the yard. Light notes of chocolate and coffee, but a thin, fizzy mouthfeel. It may not be the type of beer that I crave often, but it is going down quickly now and it is refreshing. The roasted quality gives it a slight syrupy sweetness making it all the more easy to swallow. Why, I think I'll have another...

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

North Coast- Old Plowshare

Appearance- Dark ruby red brown with a thick cola like head. Heavy lacing though.
Smell- Smooth creamy coffee with a touch of cocoa powder.
Taste- Light french vanilla coffee heavy on the cream. Light touch of cocoa in the end.
Mouthfeel- Smooth throughout with a touch of dry bitterness in the end, otherwise creamy smooth.

Overall- Nevermind the organic label on this 1. It's mighty tasty. This is easily a session stout.
Once again North Coast doesn't dissappoint.

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Photo of dadonabike
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A classic brown/black color as one would expect. Pour to one finger of foam that slowly recedes to an espresso like crème and fine sudsy lacing.

S: The scent is all about roasted and toasted grains w/ a touch of coffee & caramel malt.

T: This is a rich dry stout w/ a ton of roasted & chocolaty malts, not overbearing and acrid but nicely balanced. There are no big tannins and the hops are very mild; no florals to speak of and the bitters are just nicely balanced as in not too malty but not bitter either.

M: The mouthfeel is perfect for me as well not too thin and not syrupy. There is a nice fullness or well rounded quality to this beer with just the right amount of carbonation, I would love to have this on tap sometime.

D: In case it's not obvious I really like this beer! Very drinkable. I have e-mailed these folks to see if they could hook me up with a home brew recipe as I would love for this to be a base for my stout brews.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark brown with a medium sized tan head. The smell has a real strong coffee aroma to it that's very nice along with some malt sweetness. The taste has a malt sweetness that blends well with alot of coffee flavor. This is crisp and very refreshing. The m/f is light,but it does have abit of a mettalic aftertaste. This is a very drinkable beer from one of the better brewerys in the country.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Without much effort this poured a huge light-tan head, creamy and rocky, and the color isn't as typically opaque as most stouts. Light gets through easily and reveals a deep ruby shade. Head reduces, of course, but retention is good, and there's plenty of lace left on the glass.

Aroma is steamed milk, dark baking chocolate, malted milk balls, hints of date and fig, coffee grounds. Doesn't tantalize the nostrils as much as it tickles them in a nice subtle way.

The flavor is a letdown compared to the aroma. It's enjoyable enough but lacks the depth of the aroma. It's almost all roasted dark grains, giving a nutty and rough coffee-like bitterness. A slight lactic element provides a little backup, and there's more coffee in the finish. But that coffee flavor is more Folgers than something on the gourmet end of the spectrum. A simplistic flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but it spreads out nice and airy on the tongue, also provides a pinch of carbonation, all that keeping it from feeling too watery.

Pretty good, but nothing I'm dying to try again. Like Flying Dog, North Coast always excels with their big beers while their more "sessionable" brews aren't as spectacular.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: the pour is of light earthy brown and does not have a wink of black in it. It looks dark in the glass but floats with orange, red, and burnt browns all around. Not a heavy pour either, thin for a stout. The top is dingy white foam with broken pieces of lace mixed about. No retention with the head

S: strong whiffs of roasted barley and malts and further pushed out with roasted coffee. I gather a soft mild chocolate scent. No hops in the mix

T: this brew relies on a heavy dose of roasted malts doused with sweet cocoa powder. Flavors also deliver a rather nice bitterness with just a hint of coffee floating around. After my palate gathered the flavors, I found that this mother drinks rather clean and crisp overall

M: quite light and thin for an American Stout. Lower levels of carbonation make things run smooth. Body is a hearty mild and much like an average porter. Needs more in this department

D: tastes like a stout for the most part and it drinks like a porter. I find this to be a nice drink for all occasions. This little guy packs some nice flavors. A good liquid experience

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Photo of cokes
2.37/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours to a dark mahogany brown with a good deal of translucency, topped with a thick khaki-tan head. It's not an ugly beer, for a brown ale. For a stout, it's simply not black enough.
Aroma-wise, a tic of scorched sugar and caramel, and a tiny notion of roast are succumbed to a brown bag papery astringency and misplayed spearmint hops. It turns towards tea and cocoa powder and wet leaves as it warms, and that represents a marked improvement.
A brown sugared carob tobacco maltiness prevails in the mouth. Roast is nearly absent from the taste profile, aside for a token appearance around the swallow. And it isn't sweet either. The fizzy, abrasive carbonation won't allow for it, and neither will the bizarre acrid tea-like hops, backed with an equally dissonant note of mint.
The body, as mentioned, is thin and overcharged. There is no sense of body, malt, or stoutness here. It congeals a bits after it sits a long while, but all is lost by then.

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Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at WIld Oats supermarket in Detroit. A dry stoat, but not overly. Chocolate primarily and some coffee aroma. Decent dark appearance. Serviceable stout,good roast. middle of the road. I have had much fuller thicker stouts that are much higher drinkable. Good offset on salad, soup, and fish I had.

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Photo of haddon
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark cola color with a light head that fades quickly.

first smell was heavenly. got one of the purest dark chocolate whiffs that I've ever noticed in a stout. espresso, roasted malts and a light hint of bitter hops. exactly what a stout should smell like.

lots of earthy flavors on the palate. moss, burnt wood, coffee been & cocoa. a weird sourness creeps up and competes with the bitterness of the hops. strange indeed.

little light on the body that accentuates carbonation. overall, the feel comes across watery for a stout

not a disappointing beer but not a stout I would go to if given a choice. just OK. it was more than worth the try just to smell it after the pour.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

North Coast's Old Plowshare Stout pours a very deep mahogany brown that borders on becoming black. The frothy tan head holds well, and leaves walls of wrinkly, spotty lace about the glass. The nose is rich with notes of chocolate and cocoa, and a background roastiness that's almost smokey. In the mouth it's light bodied and silky smooth with a restrained, very-fine bubbled carbonation. The flavor isn't quite as rich as the aroma suggests it might be, but there are still some very nice notes of chocolate settled in amidst its roasty, black coffe-like character. A smear of leafy hops also makes it through; and it finishes dry and mildly lingering with hops, roastiness, and a dull bitterness.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights, topped by a pretty half-inch creamy tan head (adjective overload). Aroma of roasted malt with some milk chocolate and espresso. Palate is slightly sweet up front, developing a more roasty character towards the finish. Hints of dark chocolate and dark, strong espresso come through the malty backbone. Finish is roasty, yet also has some hoppy bitterness. Body is smooth and creamy, but just a tad thin. Not bad, but kind of rough around the edges.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, presumably from rileys

appearance: pours into a crowleys pint glass...dark mahogany body, big chocolate foam head with strong retention...about what one would expect for an american stout

smell: dry roasty malts, milk chocolate powder

taste: dry bland chocolate, a touch nutty, light cream...just fairly standard

mouthfeel: dry and creamy

drinkability: fine

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Photo of cjgator3
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brownish black color with a very nice light tan head that possesses excellent retention and lacing qualities. The aroma is very nice with dark roasted malt and coffee, very much like a dry stout. The taste is dark and roasty with that starts out smooth and malty and finishes with a mild roasted bitterness. Overall, Old Plowshare is a solid organic stout that is recommended.

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Old Plowshare Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 186 ratings