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 snaotheus
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Looks dark but not black, thin brown head. A little light gets through around the edges. Smells dark and bitter with some chocolate and coffee.

Taste is very pleasant -- surprisingly sweet, but balanced with the same bitterness that you can detect in the smell. Chocolate is even stronger in the taste. The sweetness makes me think of molasses.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for a stout, but pleasant. Very drinkable stout.

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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 Cyberkedi
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The rich smoky aroma has strong tones of roast coffee and molasses and just a whisper of unsweetened chocolate, demanding a taste. It pours a nearly opaque chocolate brown with a thick, light tan head that hangs around for quite a bit. Flavor is smoky with a strong overtone of fine coffee and touches of caramel, hops and molasses. Texture is this beer's weakest point - though it is smooth and fizzy, it seems just a little watery. This beer is a winner nonetheless.

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Photo of cvfish
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a dark brown color which produced a tan foamy head which had some retention and left little lacing on the side of the glass

S - The aromas produced by this beer were mild, roasted malts and dark chocolate

T - The of this beer was muted, some roasted malts and dark, bitter chocolate

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation to it

D - Not a real fan of this Stout, but then again I am real picky with my dark beers, but this seems like a gimmick beer with the organic tag

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with one finger of creamy light tan head.

Scent of chocolate, hops, roasted malts, smoke, tobacco, and earth. Very well balanced with a nice strength.

Taste of roasted malts, chocolate, tobacco, and anise. Finishes with some coffee and roasted malts. A solid Stout, I could drink this often.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and somewhat thin, but smooth with fairly strong carbonation.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pours a solid brownish black with a little bit of foam that quickly disappeared into a ring of bubbles on the suface around the glass

S - Aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and sweet cream

T - The taste was just basically coffee and bitter chocolate

M/D = Light bodied and very creamy, nice flavor but there was something about it that wasn't right to me. Can't place it, i guess i'll have to try another.

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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 [email protected]#% 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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Old Plowshare Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 186 ratings