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

12 oz single purchased at Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA poured into a standard pint glass

A: Very dark brown that appears black until its held up to the light to reveal red highlights. An aggressive pour yielded barely a finger thick head that didn't linger for very long. The small amount of bubbles left on the surface leave a little bit of lacing, but it doesn't cling to the glass.

S: The smell is completely dominated by roasted malts. There is a slight hint of a chocolate smell to add a little bit of character to the aroma.

T: The initial flavor is lightly sweet from the malts, but the finish is a bit bitter from the dark chocolate. Its nothing outstanding to me, but I give it a bit higher than average on taste due to the balance.

M: It is very thin bodied for a stout. Lack of carbonation does not give it a nice creamy texture as I like in stouts.

D: The balance and lack of alcohol burn make this one pretty drinkable for me.

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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 CrellMoset
2.99/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of proteus93 - thanks!!! Poured my share into an Allagash flute.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, with some nice lacing, an average-retention one-finger tan head. Not bad at all, and the lacing in particular is

Aroma: Agitation reveals a hollow, shallow chocolatey note, some toasted malts ... almost like a spent coffee filter, unfortuantely.

Taste: Ok, first, there are a few lightly diluted coffee notes, faint toasty malts note, and a faint hop bitterness. But, there are also a lot of V8 mango peach notes in here, and that's just not cool. Not cool.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, but largely watery, a little fluffy, but minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Not so hot, really. Watery, spent coffee-grounds, eh, but the alcohol is well-hidden and of a reasonable level. Still, not too impressed with the flavors in this one. Not recommended.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The lady friend picked up this one to bake bread with. The bread was tasty, and the brew wasn't bad either.

Appearance - Nice and black with almost an inch of chocolate-colored head. The head disappears pretty quickly.

Smell - A little burned malts and some real coffee notes going on.

Taste - Pretty mild up front. Followed by a mocha-chocolate flavor that lingers. Just a little bite, almost no booze.

Mouthfeel - Pretty thin, actually. More watery than I'd expect from the style.

Drinkability - I'm not a big stout guy in general, but this one goes down pretty smooth.

Overall, not a bad stout. It's not my favorite style, but this one is totally approachable, and pretty easy to put away. That being said, it lacks complexity and depth.

Also, you can make some pretty rad bread with it.

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Photo of lhaqq
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Looks brown to black, but if held to the light is a translucent dark amber. I was surprised that, being a stout, it was so light. Has a caramel-colored head that is somewhat thin for a stout and dissipates rather quickly, but a remnant stays throughout drinking.
S: Strong smell of malts and roasted coffee. The smell isn't just prominent at the beginning, but stays for awhile.
T: Tastes malty and earthy. Has a coffee finish that isn't very bitter.
M: Has a feel similar to but lighter than most stouts.
D: Easy to drink, not sure if I will get it again, though. I usually don't prefer something this easy to drink and this light when I reach for a stout, but nevertheless still a good beer.

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

12 oz bottle. Pours nearly jet black with 2 cm of a 2 cm dense tan head that is slowly diminishing. Aroma of mocha. Initial flavor is slightly sweet with coffee and malt. Flavor ends with a hint of bitter chocolate, long bitter aftertaste. Light to moderate carbonation, tons of lacing, moderate body, limited alcohol presence. Overall, I think this beer probably deserves a better rating because it is pretty decent drinking.

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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 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 popery
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It's a relatively light stout with a lot of roasted flavor but there isn't quite enough going on to push the score into a higher tier of stouts. Also, there is a slight metallic aftertaste, but maybe I just got an imperfect batch or something.

It's a dark, red beer that can be seen through. The head is fluffy and pretty great looking. I like the head a lot, so I gave the beer a slightly higher score than it should probably get as compared to really great stouts. There is a lot going on in the nose for a beer with an abv of 5.7%, but it's only good relative to the quality stronger stouts.

The beer tastes pretty good but doesn't live up to the nose. Not all of the coffee and chocolate notes come through on the tongue. Partly, it's due to this funny metallic taste that's coming through for me. The feel and drinkability suffer for this metallic taste, as well. It's not a bad stout. It's just not a great one.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown wih red edges. Big fluffy head, creamy, drops to a film kinda fast.
Smell is malt, coffee, soy sauce, smoke, hint of yeast.
Taste is malt, smoke, soy sauce,peat, bitter chocolate, slightmetallicnote that increases in aftertaste with hops, toffee & coffee.
Smooth, rich, medium full body, light effervescence. Good stuff. only down side is the metallic note.

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Photo of Pencible
4.8/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured an opaque dark brown with tan head. It smelled like creamy milk chocolate and roasted coffee malts, with a bit of copper hops. It tasted like sweet cream and milk chocolate malt with light coffee hops. It was watery with no carbonation, and had a brief bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was one of the most delicious stouts ever, with a silky smooth body. This was so good, I could drink it all day.

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

Pours a 1 finger head with good retention and a nice brown color.

Dark malts and chocolate come out on the nose. Nice chocolate malts on the nose provide an inticing smell.

The taste is of chocolate and caramel malts with a little bit of roasred characteristic. There is a balancing hop bitterness and bittersweet chocolate and a little undertone of mint.

There is adequate carbonation and fullness on the palate. There is a tiny bit of creaminess. I like stouts that are full bodied and not thin, and this one satisfies.

This is a well done beer. Organic beers are often lackluster, but this one delivers. Give it a try.

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

a: coke colored body with a ton of frothy light amazingly thick head like a sculpture; organics oftentimes have great head

s: roasted coffee is dominant; dark chocolate; terra firma; some milk; grain husk

t: roasted coffee; raw wheat husk; dirt; light dark chocolate overtones

m: smooth but not too creamy; could probably be improved by nitro-tap

d: north coast dominates; a great stout w/ nice roasted coffee flavors

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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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Photo of Crosling
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Different, multi-dimensional dry stout aroma, which gives hints of espresso and coffee, but also a nice variety of fruits and chocolate. Nearly opaque black color, with a thin but lovely colored light tan head. Flavor brings a medley of rich malts into play, which bring several different flavor characteristics. Really rich body as well. Impressive beer.

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

[email protected] Twist in Stockholm

A: Blackbrown with a huge, beige, head.

S: Cafe latte, Roasted Malts, Molasses, Milk Chocolate.

T: Espresso, Cacao, Toffee, Smoke, Roasted malts.

M: Very sippable with a medium carbonation.

A very drinkable stout but not very special. Not something i will seek out again.

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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 Pleepleus
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from hyland24, Thanks Hammer. Poured from Bottle into Pint glass, black with a tan creamy half inch head that reduced quickly. Smells like Malt and chocolate, fabulous. Tastes like the smell with a late cofee bitterness. Thin for a stout, does not make it bad, just more like a porter with its carbonation and watery finish. I enjoyed this alot and I am beginning to think there may be something to this whole "Organic" craze.

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Photo of iceball585
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, one finger thick fluffy head that faded slowly to a thin ring around the glass

S- Chocolate, roasted malts, oats, smokey, hint of coffee beans

T- Smokey, dark chocolate, black coffee, dark malts, earthy hops

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, slightly watery finish

D- Worth trying

This beer has a nice full auroma but the flavors seem to fade too quickly. I wish the flavor would linger just a little while longer.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pitch black except for a hint of ruby at the bottom. A one finger than head settles to a thin cap, with rings of solid lacing along the glass.

Roasty coffee and chocolate aromas sit on top of a powdery creaminess.

The coffee and chocolate is repeated, along with some smooth roasty malts. The feel is smooth and full bodied. The finish is lingering malts. As the beer warms, a bit of smokiness emerges.

This is a full flavored smooth, and complex stout. It's incredibly drinkable, and the flavors slowly bloom as the beer warms. Recommended.

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

Pours out a dark, rusty brown with a creamy, khaki head that holds up very well. Leaves some very thick lace. Smells very chocolaty with undertones of roast. There is a touch of roast and fruity esters in the background, but the chocolate sticks out the most. Kind of reminds me of Old Chub. As in the smell, the chocolate really sticks out the most. Lots of cocoa with the darker malts giving a well-rounded roasted character rather than a full blown coffee feel. The esters are very fruity and almost candy-ish. Touch of smoke. Not too sweet and is (pleasantly) middle-of-the-road stout (meaning this isn't in your face nor is it weak in flavor). Mouthfeel is thin to moderate with a smooth-ish carbonation which pricks at times. Pretty drinkable. I'm not crazy about stouts all-around, but I like this one a lot.

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Photo of nasty15108
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aquired in a trade from Hyland24. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint.

A - Poured almost black with slight ruby hues. Mininal head and lacing.

S - Smelled delicious. As soon as I uncapped the bottle I could the chocolate maltiness. Big sweet chocolate aroma with a slight hint of espresso.

T - Sweet chocolate and malt flavors up front, followed by a slightly bitter smokey finish.

MF&D - IMO this would better fit into the porter catagory. Very thin for a stout. The good amount of carbonation provides a slight tongue tingle. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Short, fat, stout, single, 12 oz bottle purchased from Total Wine and More in Union for $1.99...
"Organic stout" on the front logo sticker...
Most of North Coast's stuff is usually pretty good, so I expected the same from this sample...
Pours a engine-oil, jet-black hue with a decent-sized foamy head that soon dissipated and left a minimal amount of lacing...
Rich cocoa and espresso aroma coming through along with enticing mocha nuances...
Taste paid homage to the smell, with a warm suggestion of rich latte, dark espresso, and chocolate factors thrown into the mix...
Mouthfeel was decent, but slightly more watered-down than I had anticipated...
Easy drinkability due to the lack of any cloying factors present and relatively modest 5.7% ABV...
Decent stuff...
Worth a shot...

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Photo of hyland24
2.82/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- Poured a thin dark brown almost black with red hues when held up to the light. No head and little to no lacing.

S- Malt with hints of roasted coffee ad a slight hop smell.

T- Malty start, with a slightly smoky flavor although it tasted very watered down.

MF&D- Way to thin for a stout both in texture and in flavor. Disappointed overall with the body of this stout. Dont bother nothing special.

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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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