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
Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of jak
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of tclapper
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of HopStoopid120
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Donsmitty
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Neffbeer
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mralphabet
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Poured dark brown with a good 2 fingers worth of tan head that settles to a nice thin layer. Not much lacing here.

S: I'm getting dark chocolate and roasted malt... not much else.

T: Taste just like the smell.. the dark bitter chocolate hits first with a roasted malt backbone, finish is clean the aftertaste has a little cherry cough syrup too it.

M: Lighter than I was hoping for... I'd say mid to light bodied.... not a lot of carbonation here.

D: Not a bad stout, but feels a little weak.. lighter that I was hoping for... Not the best I've had from North Coast.

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

A - This beer pours a dark brown color, and has a small 1-finger light tan head. The head falls very quickly, leaving no lacing behind.

S - Smells of roasted malts, coffee, and a big bunch of chocolate. There is also a nuttiness and theres some notes of toffee and some pine present.

T - It starts off with a nice roasted bitterness and flavors of chocolate and coffee. There are some nice notes of toffee, some caramel sweetness, and some hops. The finish is roasty, a tad hoppy, and I'm also getting a touch of smokiness.

M - It has a light body and moderate carbonation. It's creamy and it goes down easy. There is a bit of lingering roasted bitterness, hops, and some smokiness in the finish.

D - This has pretty good drinkability. The taste is good, and I could easily drink a few in a sitting. It isn't the best stout I've ever had, but I think it's pretty good. I'd try it again.

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

pours surprisingly translucent. dark brown with some red tints. a nice finger sized khaki head retains and laces ok.

aroma is nice. dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, charcoal, and pine tree bark interplay nicely.

molasses, licorice, some nuttiness, a bit of chocolate, and some slightly charred malts make up a decent flavor profile that is bittered up noticeably by a heavy handed hopping.

mouthfeel is barely medium bodied with a slightly watery finish that leaves me yearning for a bit more. a decent drying, yet sweet aftertaste.

goes down ok. nothing detrimental, but it lacks a bit of body and complexity that I look for in stouts. Would drink again, but I wouldn't seek it out.

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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 Fnord
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Black with a large and thick tan head that won't let go of the glass.

Smell - Chocolate, alcohol, malt shake, and coffe.

Taste - A lot of chocolate malt, with some alcohol and coffee thrown in. There's a little oak in the aftertaste, along with a roasty element. It's somewhere between sweet and dry, with some balanced bitterness thrown in.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth, with a thick body and high carbonation.

Notes - Because of the evident malts, I would call this a porter instead of a stout. Whatever you call it, though, it's very good, maybe even as good as a well-made English porter. That would be a tasting I'd like to try. In the meantime, I'd recommend this beer to anyone with a taste for porter/stouts.

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Photo of bpbieste
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving out of a bottle. Appearance of a very dark brown with a creamy head. Sweet Coffee and smooth chocolate. Smooth taste, very smooth confirming the aforementioned aromas. Mouthfeel has a balanced consistency, not too thin, not too thick. Drinkability: One of the best stouts I've ever tried. I will definitely be having this again in the future.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.
Dark caramel appearance with a 2-inch coffee-colored head which quickly dissolves. Little lace left behind. Nose is sweet roasted coffee, chocolate, roasted malt. Little carbonation. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel but not overly thick. Smokey, sweet molasses and nutty up front with a bitter hop finish that makes this very tasty. Very sessionable at <6%, I will be revisiting this for sure.

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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 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 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 cbutova
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, talk about a beastly head. Pours pitch black with a three finger head that has some large bubbles but is creamy for the most part. Head starts to leave some good lacing as it dies down but retains pretty well. Good looking stout. Smells of roasted malts, coffee, sweets and chocolate. The smell is nice and strong and doesn't seem to let up as I drink this one down. Taste is about the same as smell. A nice roasted malts characteristic that is not too strong but tasteful, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and sweets. I even taste some bourbon, its nice and a pinch of alcohol. I like the balance of flavors here. Moderate body with good appropriate carbonation, a tiny bit of warming makes for a good mouthfeel. A coat of roasted malt flavor is left on the tongue. Drinkability is decent, taste is very good, price isn't the best, no off flavors (the flavors are actually very solid and balanced), depending on the price and the night I would certainly buy this one again.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, dark mahogany, opaque except when held to the light, with a frothy pale tan head.

Aromas of sweet caramel, roasted--almost burnt--grain, dark chocolate, and a light mineral character. Chocolate and roasty up front on the palate, with a substantial minerality in the middle, before finishing with more bitter roastiness hinting at coffee, alongside a light herbal hoppiness. Short finish.

Light to medium in body, with a bit of thinness that would make this quite sessionable.

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Photo of natelocc787
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was better than I expected. Chocolate and black coffee flavors with a creamy vanilla character. The smell was of black coffee and roasted chocolate malt. Taste was the same+the vanilla. Mouthfeel was good but not great, a little thin. Upon finishing the first bottle I thought this was a very fine example. Upon remembering the Rogue Shakespeare is the same style and roughly same ABV I realized this wasn't so great after all. Still a good session beer and well crafted quality.

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Photo of stephens101
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This very dark brown brew is topped with a thick and fluffy tan head which sticks for a bit and slowly recedes. A fairly thick stripe is left behind right above the brew. Coffee notes are floating to my nose before I even go to take a whiff, and that's very promising. Closer inspection reveals a good clean nutty character, some subtle sweet malts, a bit of burnt sugar and a distant astringency. A little sweetness hits the tongue initially, but is quickly followed by more coffee, roasted nuts, dark chocolate and even bubblegum. Clean, and a bit creamy, but dry around the edges going down. Not quite heavy in the body, and drinks a bit more like a porter in my opinion. Well-made brew, and I would not have guessed it was organic without it being noted on the label.

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