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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Ratings: 186 |  Reviews: 155
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 jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours hazy dark reddish brown color with a small foamy khaky head with decent retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, chocolate, roasted malt, raisin, cream, and light herbal. Nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, vanilla, light coffee, and light herbal. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, toast, and light coffee, and light herbal on the finish for a short bit. Very nice robustness and balance of flavors; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice dry stout! Nice robust and balanced flavors; very smooth to drink. Really enjoyable offering.

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Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a foamy, cappucino-like foamy, caramel colored head. It left a sticky ring of lace.

S - It smelled of very sweet malt, chocolate and toffee.

T - It tasted very sweet. Great chocolate, caramel and licorice taste.

M - It was soft and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a nice stout. It was very sweet, almost RIS-like qualities.

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Photo of brentk56
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pour a deep garnet color with black highlights but has a rocky head that leaves the ocasional shard of lace

Smell: Dark chocolate with coffee notes

Taste: Starts off with roasted and chocolate flavors with a touch of mint that arrives at mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavor tends to fade rather than build and a phenolic element creeps in at the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with significant carbonation and an aqueous finish

Drinkability: Not bad, overall, but suffers from some flavor and mouthfeel defects

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Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +11%

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 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 russpowell
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at city market in san antonio tx memorialday weekend. Very nice stout, usually not impressed with most organic ales, but this really worked!

Pours mahogany with a 4 fingers+ tan head. Beautiful lacing & head retention

Slight choclate scents

Taste: choclate up front, followed by slight fruitiness, plus slight roasted barley. Finsihes with slight oakiness & roasted barley

MF: Rich & full, good carbonation

Very drinkable, but too heavy to session on IMHO. I reccomend highly none the less

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Not a very picturesque Irish Dry Stout. Pours black/brown with a twinge of ruby. Initially, a vigorous head, but it eventually bids farewell leaving being only a skimpy membrane of tan bubbles. Certified Organic? Well, that's a relief!

Smell: The aroma is full of dry chocolate malt and sweetened coffee.

Taste: Tastes, however sparingly, of bittersweet chocolate marked by flavors of cold coffee and mild bitterness. Obligatory dry finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: A bit thin and light-bodied, but extremely drinkable and well-balanced. I could easily tackle the rest of the 4-pack if I was so inclined.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

See throughable sienna suffused with dusky garnet and capped by a semi-creamy head of weak chocolate milk brown. The foam achieves some semblance of rockiness and throws up soft streamers of lace as it slowly deflates. A solid look.

The nose is a humdinger and surprised me a little with its roasty power. It smells like the beer will be heavy on chocolate malt, with generous black coffee notes. It's also fairly low on fruity hoppiness, but that's okay given the sub-style.

Old Plowshare is a good stout if you aren't expected something stout. It manages to pack a great deal of flavor into a relatively light body, with a nicely bitter, heavily roasted black malt component that isn't able to dig in enough to be palate fatiguing. A mild, sugared vanilla bean sweetness runs interference and keeps things from becoming too one-dimensional.

The flavor profile is simple, but effective. Faintly ashy notes begin to creep in with warming, although I consider them to be a positive, much like peat in a Scotch ale or smoke in another sort of stout. The finish is on the short side and is dry and fairly clean. This is a distinctive, well-constructed beer.

The body/mouthfeel, as alluded to above, fits the style well. This is an enjoyable drinker that combines a 'just right' amount of carbonation with a light-mediumness that still manages to be as firm as the business end of a shillelah. Creamy it ain't. Tastes like a stout, drinks like a porter.

Old Plowshare is the organic version of North Coast's standard Irish dry stout, Old #38 and is brewed for Whole Foods Market, which is where I picked up this bottle. My flavor memory of Old #38 has long since chugged down the tracks, but I seem to like this stout blueprint just fine. Good when toasting St. Patrick and good on all other occasions as well.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge dark body that no light could penetrate at all. Big head of dark tan then rose up from the bottom of the glass and reached a height of around three fingers before returning back down to earth.

Aroma is very nice, very well balanced I have to admit with loads of roasted malts, light smoked notes, hints of chocolate and coffee. Warming brings out a nice blend of licorice and peat that mixed with a nice woody, earthy tone. Again really nicely done I have to admit. Each sip was rich, creamy, and very dry. Nice follow through on the palate as well left me looking for another sip of the semi sweet and definitley dark stout.

Overall very, very solid.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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 JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of GClarkage
3.07/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

10/26/05- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Odd garnet coloring in the pour. Very bright color for a stout. Large one inch large bubbled head which leaves no lace.

Smell- Fairly dark malt scent with a bit of choc and a bit of coffee.

Taste- Bitter in the hops department, but really no strong flavors that stand out. Sure, there is some bittersweet chocolate and a little coffee, but the flavors don't stand out. They are just kinda there.

Mouthfeel- Ultra carbonated for a stout. I mean wayyyy too much. Hard to consume.

Drinkability- The worst effort so far that I have had from North Coast. A bit disappointed for sure. I need me a Old Rasputain to wash away this pain.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Wasatch
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tannish head, which leaves some nice sticking lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some very light tracers of chocolate/toffee/caramel. The taste is malty, with some toffee/caramel. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, if you can get it locally, go for it.

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Photo of jwc215
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with some ruby highlights and some transparency when held to the light. A thin tan head becomes a lasting thin patch.

The smell is of roastiness with chocolate and coffee notes.

The taste is of roasted chocolate, coffee and some toffee. An earthy backround works with the roastiness to give the sweetness a nice balance. Finishes dry with a brief nod from the alcohol. Reaches medium-bodied.

A nice American stout with a good roasted maltiness.

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Photo of Gavage
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: deep dark black in color with a 1/2" head that lingers around a while. No lacing developed.

Smell: roasted malt aroma is light on the nose.

Taste: grainy roasted malts, hints of chocolate and coffee, a bit of prune sweetness are balanced with some mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium in body. Lightly crisp at the start, smoother and mildly dry at the finish. Aftertaste is short as the flavor softly sit on the tongue.

Drinkability: decent session stout, but not one to blow your tastebuds away.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep, dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a very sweet chocolate and crystal malt scent that is almost like a chocolate stout. It's sweet with a slight roasted feel. The taste is good. It has a smooth and creamy chocolate malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes sweet with a slight earthy edge. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a highly drinkable beer. It's almost a dessert brew; an excellent stout.

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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 Rhettroactive
2.32/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 6/28/11
*From notes

A: Cherry brown in color. A 2.25 finger head is the product of a generous pour. The fluffy head leads to decent lacing.

S: Rusted metal left in a cesspool on the hottest day of the year. It's pretty awful. I can't find a single pleasantry about the bouquet.

T: A bit of milk chocolate up front that comes off as whimpy and meek. The mid is filled with the essence of caramel mocha, as the finish is metallic and a slight bit off-putting.

M: Thin and utterly oily. There's no residual bulid-up in the mouth like most of the quality stouts on the market. Instead, this one is in, out and over.

O: North Coast's Old Plowshare Organic Stout is a weak link in an otherwise solid catalog. I'm guessing they were looking to create an everyday, low ABV stout, and instead found a beer that I came close to drainpouring.

On a sidenote: if you're looking for a proper and simply top-notch interpretation of the low ABV American Stout style, check out Evolution's Rise Up! Stout. You're welcome.

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

A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a frothy, not quite two-finger thick, lightly browned, tan colored head. The beer is a deep, concentrated, dark brown color that shows a concentrated red color when held up to the light. The aroma has a rich, expressive, dark malt character to it that is a mix of aromatic notes of sweet dark chocolate, espresso beans, malted milk shakes, browned saltine crackers and a touch of dusty, almost basement like in some way, malt. I really like the aroma of this beer, purely dark malt driven, but it has quite a bit going on with that & strikes a nice balance.

The carbonation and the dark malt combine to contribute a thin, lightly acidic quality to the front of my first draught of this beer. The middle and finish though gain a fullness and a malt sweetness / richness that is quite nice. A quick swirl of my glass gets rid of the excess carbonation (which wasn't more than at a medium level to begin with). The beer is now much smoother all around which accents the chocolate malt flavors and darkly sweet malt notes much more nicely. The finish has just a touch of burnt grain acidity as well as a roasted bitterness to it, both of which are light enough that they only serve to balance the sweeter dark malt notes found up front.

This is a solid Stout, much less organic one. I would definitely be happy to drink more of these. The mixture of rich chocolate notes with the sharper, roasted grain flavors is just about perfectly balanced & this beer is just so quaffable.

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