Old Plowshare Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

very good
155 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 155 | Ratings: 186
Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger light brown head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Totally black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Coffee nose. Flavor is nearly sweet coffee, with a burnt coffee finish. $2.50 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint. No freshness dating indicated on the label. Poured a deep brown with ruby highlights throughout the glass when backlit. Quarter inch, off-white head quickly dissipated into a soapy skim. Only a few spatters of lacing present during the tasting. Nose reveals chocolate malt with a hint of alcohol. Taste follows nose. Chocolate comes across a bit like cocoa (maybe some lactose in the mix). Also picked up a slightly roasty/nutty quality at the finish. Mouthfeel falls between light- and medium-bodied; however, carbonation is a bit prickly and aggressive for the style. A decent stout, but the mouthfeel is off for me, which dramatically impacts the overall quality of the brew.

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Photo of Offa
2.4/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is a sub-par stout, sharp and rough.

In appearance, it's almost black, faintly reddish brown with a very large tan head steadily shrinking to a smaller, lasting head and leaving a tiny bit of weak lace.

The aroma is fairly good overall and rather full, with chocolate, coffee, lightly burnt roasted grain and wood, smokey prunes and fruit.

The taste, thoughm, disappoints. Ok at first, it rapidly deteriorates. It starts off with decent but rather vague, weak chocolate, coffee, a roastiness that is strong but still pretty smooth, light sweetness and light spicey bitterness. However, it goes downhill and rapidy gets worse as it warms. It becomes more pungently and sharply spicey, very acridly peppery, with a strong, sharp fermented prune quality, yet lacks the body and depth to carry any of this. I can see how someone might like this but I find it barely drinkable, rough, with the character thin, weak, unbalanced in every respect, the qualities failing to marry well.

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Photo of wcdoyle
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque, dark brown with a dense, tan head. No visible carbonation up the sides of the glass after the initial pour. Smells of butterscotch. Dark roast and coffee caramel kick up in the taste. Aftertaste trends towards espresso with the same syrupy, oily finish that moves toward astringent. Light and lean on carbonation in the taste to mouthfeel, but I found it a nice balance between sharp-ish and low apparent carbonation of a trad Irish stout. Drinkability. The first time I tried this (2-3 weeks ago), I recall saying something like "that's a d@#% good stout." This time, my impression hasn't changed.

+ for being organic.

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Photo of illidurit
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darkest brown with a big fluffy tan head. Nice retention and decent lacing. Aromas of cocoa powder, graham, brownie mix, iced coffee. Flavor is mainly chocolate malts. Lightly acidic and roasty. Not as sweet as the aroma, but there's a dusting of cocoa and dark chocolate. Sort of light bodied with sharp carbonation. A very solid stout.

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Photo of agirlnamedjess
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- this stout pours a dark brown with an amber glow. creamy head that sticks to the glass
s-sweet creamy coffee smell, it actually smells just like chocolate milk
t-smooth black coffee and bitter chocolate
m-light carbonation
d-this is a really good light stout

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Photo of duffextracold
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown , not quite black color. 1 finger head fades quick.

S- sweet nuts, roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate.

T- Roasty, sweet, chocolatey, slight coffee without the bitterness. quite sweet overall, not really any bitterness at all.

M- Med carbonation level. thin somewhat watery body.

D- Tastes good, goes down easy, body might be a bit thin. otherwise very easy drinking tasty stout.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Holy head! A HUGE forming, sticky and foamy head with amazing lacing. Leaves a nice sheet.

S: Smells like changing the coffee filter. Almost floral... But that's light. Nothing too complex.

T: A little disappointing. Thin, lacking compexity. Spent coffee, a strange sweet note. Kinda fruity, a little metallic? There was mention of V8 peach mango... I could agree with that.

M + D: A hint towards medium body and a thin and kinda watery feel. Not as good as I may have hoped. The scent offered some promise but didn't deliver. Too bad.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.36/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Plowshare Stout is a very dark reddish brown ale with a frothy, bubbly light brown head that has great retention and leaves lumpy lacing. It has a slightly sweet, roasted, almost charred aroma. It is medium, maybe medium-light bodied. It's quite smooth with a dry finish. There is a touch of toffee-like sweetness and a nice coffee-like bitterness. It is well balanced, simple and very drinkable.

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Photo of QuentinCompson
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into chalice

A - Rich malty 1.5 finger head; dark opaque brew with some reddish tones

S - Roasted & black malts

T-M - Basically same as smell, a bit watery intro, roasted & black malts, wet, not much hops to speak of (which fits the style)

D - Super drinkable if you are into this type of stout. I am a huge fan of North Coast beers, though this one didnt quite do it for me. It is mainly just a personal thing though, as I found it lacking in anything that really makes it standout. However, for some, this may be its strength. Its organic simplicity.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark red. Clear but dark, with a thick creamy head of tan foam. Coffee/molasses nose, with some dried fruit and hints of tobacco in the nose. Quite dry with an acidic edge up front. Middle is bitter roasted grains, coffee beans and a bit of fruitiness. Finishes maybe a bit watery, with some astringency and some bitterness, but doesn't stick around particularly long. Kind of a light-ish stout, both in flavour and body. Dry, drinkable and sessionable.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a black color with dark hints of ruby red, very dark. Thick creamy tan head that has great retention, it stays till' the fat lady sings and leaves outstanding lacing.

S-Very strong aroma of coffee and roasted barley, very faint notes of licorice and toffee is definentely there.

T-Coffee and roasted barley, a little licorice and slightly warm alcohol. Mainly just lots of roasted barley and coffee.

M-Medium bodied and creamy, but it seems a tad bit watery, could use some milk sugar of something. A bit dry in the end too.

D-Very sessionable, I could have these all night.

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Photo of biggmike
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very attractive and inviting dark color that was almost black with a generous tan head that dissipated slowly. The aroma was of sweet roasted malt and coffee. Taste is the same with some milk chocolate flavor as well. The mouthfeel was very pleasant. This is a realy great session stout and one I am looking forward to having again.

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Photo of theghost3
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with ruby tones and a one-finger tan head. The smell is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and slightly nutty. The roasted malts are there in the taste, but not as prevalent as in the aroma. There are also flavors of coffee, chocolate, and bread. The mouthfeel is smooth, but not nearly as thick as a typical stout. This is very drinkable, and surprisingly not as heavy as most stouts.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip glass.

Pours dark brown with some ruby highlights when held up, a thick tan head.

The smell is coffeeish and roasty.

Smooth taste. Ligheter than the smell, but still tasty. Easy drinking stout that isn't trying to do too much. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but good for the style.

A nice session stout from North Coast, what else should I expect from them I guess?

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark brown an coal wth ruby highlights after the pour. Rocky brown, but very quick and holey head does not impress much. Dry dark chocolate powder and government issued coffee grounds. Makes me think of a dry Irish stout. The dryness of this stout gives a powdery feel to the palate that mixes well with its simple flavors. Morning blend coffee, powdered dark chocolate ad maybe some earthy hops. Pretty straight forward in every way shape and form. Makes the sessionability just as simple.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Vicious pour netted roughly two fingers of foamy, sticky, tan head. Body is a dark brown color with more transparency than one would think for a stout. Looks a bit like a porter. As head dies down, it leaves web-like lacing around the sides of the glass.

Smell: Tons of malt and roasted aromas up front. Mocha, bread, caramel, and some pine also in the mix. I think I'm catching some herbal spicy notes, too. Wish this smell were a bit stronger, but other than that it's quite good.

Taste: Mocha and dark chocolate, followed quickly by caramel/toffee, pine, and spice. Finishes with roasted notes and hops, possibly some caramel too. Roasted flavors become more prevalent as beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light-bodied for a stout. Carbonation is a bit higher than I'd like, though it's feeling much smoother now that I'm on the second bottle. Good amount of mouth numbing, though this stout doesn't seem to coat the mouth too well. This is a clean feeling stout, similar to and Irish dry stout.

Drinkability: This is not a challenging stout, but it sure is a drinkable one. Flavors are a little under-pronounced, but the light(er) body allows you to have several before getting full. I'm going to drink a second right now. EDIT: drinking second right now, and it tastes even smoother. Enjoy!

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Photo of fank2788
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Deep dark brown bordering on black in the glass with a one finger off white to tan head that dissipates to a thin layer of tiny bubbles with a fair amount of lace. Aromas of dark fruit black coffee with strong roast, black and chocolate malt characters. The taste definitely focuses on the roasted malt and black coffee, dark chocolate character that comes through in the aroma. The roast is pretty intense actually but not so harsh or bitter that it is fatiguing. Bitterness is apparent some from the malt and some from hops, little to no hop flavor or aroma and the bitterness only balances the malt and doesn't really play a major role. The mouthfeel is a little light and thin the active carbonation may be to blame in part. Overall this is a very solid stout a bit different with the heavy roasted focus definitely refreshing and it's organic, so two thumbs up for that.

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Photo of Risser09
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a 1" tan head that has lots of large surface bubbles. The craterous head looks like the moon's surface. Great retention and lots and lots of thick, foamy lace.

Smell: Wow. Robust with a multitude of aromas. Toffee, almond, nougat, roasted barley, chocolate, creamed coffee and caramel. A wonderfully complex beer.

Taste: Many of the flavors match the aroma. Coffee and toffee couple together for a strong burnt flavor. Lingering coffee bitterness and slight alcohol burn. Almond nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, very smooth with scarce carbonation activity. Robust and not so sweet.

Drinkability: This is an awesome stout. One that could be consumed en masse. Very drinkable because it's flavorful and not too sweet. A best buy for sure.

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Photo of drpimento
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty nice beer. Brought this back with me from Miami Beach this past summer and it suffered not. Me either. Four of us sampling and agreeing it's pretty good. Good head and lace; lovely dark rich brown with dark cherry highlights. Vanilla, chocolate and dark malt aroma. Flavor's about the same. Fine carbonation. Good quaff. Satisfying. Session beer. Great finish.

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

I really like this stout. It pours an inky blackness that is pretty impenetrable to light. There is a nice, modest size, tan creamy head that retains a bit and laces well. The nose on the beer is a delight. There are lots of roasted malts, some coffee notes, and lots of milk chocolate and caramel.

The beer is modestly carbonated, very creamy and smooth, quite nourishing, and as the nose indicates, has lots of milk chocolate goodness. The beer has some cherry dark chocolate flavors, a slight chalkiness, and bit of a burnt roast hoppy tingle in the finish. Mostly the beer is just smooth, creamy, and chocolatey. The mouthfeel and aftertaste are a slight bit acerbic, and this knocks things down a peg, but overall, this is a very enjoyable stout. L'Chaim.

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Photo of Brad007
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black color with a thin one-finger brown head into my pint glass.

Aroma is thick with burnt coffee and light chocolate notes in the nose.

Taste is lightly creamy upfront with very little hint of burnt coffee or chocolate.

Mouthfeel is very smooth but also pretty thin. The only thing that remains at the back of throat is very little burnt coffee.

Not bad but feels rather thin for a stout. Also, I expected a bit more of the roasted/burnt coffee to show up and it doesn't seem to show enough. Not bad but there are better examples out there.

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Photo of corby112
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, color with dark ruby edges and a huge foamy tan head that settles into a lasting lacing. Very roasty malt aroma with hints of oatmeal, nuts, chocolate and a feint sweet coffee presence. Bitter and hoppy up front with a nice roasted maltiness, oatmeal, crisp hazelnut and a dry bitter finish.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this nice beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees and watched a nice big head apear. The beer was black with a malty smell that enticed the senses. The taste was mild and slightly sweet. I looked this beer though it was not outstanding I wouldl buy again.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good American stout from North Coast, who has yeet to disappoint me.

The colour is a little bit towards the brown ale, but this is all stout in the smell and taste. Coffee, sweet chocolate and roasted malt. Very low hops. Slightly bitter, roasted malts dominate. Coffee and caramel background.

Smooth body, very easy to drink. Really feels like a low ABV beer.

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Old Plowshare Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 186 ratings.
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