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 HardTarget
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle Inspection: Certified Organic, 5.7% abv., another of the North Coast offerings celebrating the 25th anniversary of Whole Foods. Ingredients listed: Water, organic malt, hops. Guess yeast just isn’t needed.

Aroma: Chicory coffee mixed in a classic stout smell. A bit rough, but bracing.

Appearance: Some clarity to a blackish, dark brown ruby glass. Tan head gave no lace.

Flavor: Bitter from both the coffee and the hops, chocolate malt added some complexity, but overall this is a straight-forward brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, a touch heavy.

Overall Impression: Very drinkable, but nothing I’ll crave.

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

Black in color-when held to the light it is a deep, deep mahognay color-nice tight tan head. Slight sulfury aroma-slight hints of chocolate and toasted malt. Good roasted flavor. Flavor seems to come more from the roasted malts them any hops. Good body with a great thirst quenching dryness. Quite the nice stout-could be an all night session beer for me. Another great product from North Coast.

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

Pours with a barely see thru eggplant hue with a settled head cap, leaving no lace in the glass.

Aroma is a toasted malt and slightly smoky with a hint of cocoa.

First swigs: Cocoa sweet and toasted almost burnt malt. Smooth cream texture. Suggestion of vanilla ans light black coffee. Full flavored coffee and toasted malt.

Zesty carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. Fizzy feel.

Last swigs: Quite impressive how this is organic and full flavored. Approachable and tasy. Decent version for the style.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky but somewhat boring middle brown color with a thin cap of head. Nose is faint but pleasant with sweet notes and rich coffee well mixed. Not terribly exciting overall but that's the profile for NC's organiics thusfar.

Taste is surprisingly dry and rich with heavy roasted notes alongside the coffee. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy but stretched densely with carbonation that hinders the taste and enjoyment of it quite a bit. I wouldn't turn it down if offered but there are far better stouts for your cash than this.

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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 DogFood11
3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Solid white head sits atop a black bodied brew with a reddish outside ring when held to the light. traces of lacing.

Lately for some reason I just like to get to the point of a review which is the overall view of the product. Not bad at all. For someone that likes a mild roasted/toasted chocolaty malt presence and more of a blended brew with some bitter hop background this is it. Malts tended to be slightly smoked and it was rather hop heavy all considered. Light mouthfeel with some lingering dryness in the late late finish.

Never understood the whole "organic" thing considering there are alot of brews that don't advertise this quality and are yet still organic.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Being a vegetarian and natural foods lover...it's cool to see a fully organic stout. Kudos to North Coast for brewing this one up. Pours from the stubby bottle into my glass a dark black with streaks of deep red. A half inch of bubbly tan head appears and slowly falls. When held up to the light it becomes almost transparent with a burnt sienna hue. Aromas of roasted dark grains with burnt cocoa and an undercurrent of mellow brewed coffee. Maybe a touch of dark fruits lurkin in there. Pretty nice, yet fairly standard.

First sip brings a fairly dry roasty maltiness on the roof of the mouth. Burnt, almost smoky tones emerge with a dash of cocoa and a touch of bitter coffee. I get an interesting fruitiness throughout drinking this brew. It finishes with just a touch of hops and a lingering roasty husky malt. An enjoyable dry stout with the added bonus of all organic ingredients.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess...I would like to see a little more body, but as is it makes for easy drinking. I could see having a few of these no problem...it could become my organic session stout! My thanks to beerinator for passing this one off to me. Always good to try something new from North Coast.

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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 Drew966
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Plowshare Stout pours an opaque dark brown bordering on black with a thin tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Chocolate and cocoa are strong in the aroma. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I would like, but the flavor is quite nice, roasted malt, chocolate and cocoa and coffee flavors are all there. Definitely worth a try.

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

12 oz short, brown bottle.
No best before date.

Pours a deep, russet brown with shades of coal beneath a creamy and frothy, coffee-colored head. Trails of thin lacing.

Sweet molasses and light vanilla. Tame, roasted malts: powdery, milk chocolate, dried almonds, and peanuts. Faint hints of toffee.

Starts sweet and creamy with a toffee flavor, but is immediately overtaken by a chewy, roasted maltiness and a mouth full of hops. Dark chocolate, unsweetened with fruity esters: plum, cherry, apple. Heavy bitterness; very earthy with an aftertaste of coffee beans and hazlenut.

Medium to full in body; chewy roasted quality, very earthen.

A flavorful dry stout, that I'd have again. Bonus points for the USDA organic seal of approval.

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Photo of Phatz
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mac300 for sharing this beer with me. It was a simple easy drinking sesionable stout with few frills.

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolaty almost black color with a very small head and no cap or lacing.

Smell: It has a relatively small but pleasant friendly aroma of dark roasted malts, chocolate coffee and a touch of burnt barley.

Taste: The flavors are the same as the nose would suggest. An earthy burnt smoky dark malt element carries with it some chocolate from beginning to end. The finish is lightly dry with a very gentle hop attribute.

Mouthfeel: A bit light in the mouth but then I have been drinking more RIS lately so maybe it is just my perception. The body seems adequate though for a dry stout.

Drinkability: Extremely approachable flavors make this a quite poundable easy drinking session beer. I think it work as a transition beer for some Guinness fans.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of granger10
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Kind of a rusty brown to deep mohagany color with a larger light tan head that rises then falls to nothing quickly. Moderate lacing. Smells a bit grainy with some plum notes and strong espresso. Taste is almost all coffee. Not really espresso, just strong black coffee. Not too roasty but a bit of roast. Finish is a tad creamy without that acidity I expect from coffee. Interesting. The flavor was rather intense. Just really, really dry. Not too bad, but not really the smoothest stout or the most complex. Decent.

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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 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 ElGordo
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights, topped by a pretty half-inch creamy tan head (adjective overload). Aroma of roasted malt with some milk chocolate and espresso. Palate is slightly sweet up front, developing a more roasty character towards the finish. Hints of dark chocolate and dark, strong espresso come through the malty backbone. Finish is roasty, yet also has some hoppy bitterness. Body is smooth and creamy, but just a tad thin. Not bad, but kind of rough around the edges.

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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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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 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 SkeeterHawk
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pretty color. It is a deep garnet color with a small 1/4" head of tan bubbles at first, but then it falls within 30 seconds or so to end up as a small ring around the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very mild aroma. There is some noticeable roastiness here along with a smooth aromatic like it has oatmeal or something. The head doesn't retain like there are oats, so it is more likely a specialty grain like aromatic or biscuit. The beer gains more of a chocolate flavor as it warms a bit.

Taste: The flavor is much more assertive than the aroma. There is roast up front that has a sweet chocolaty edge to it. There may be a little floral hops in here in the flavor, but the bittering is reserved. The beer is light, but it finishes with a noticeable sweetness and slight acidity to linger for some time. Late in the finish, there is a porter like coffee flavor to linger in the throat for some time.

Opinion: This is a pretty good standard dry stout. We get hyped up on all of these high-octane beers, and one like this is a breath of fresh air in that it is palatable and not too heavy. I am enjoying the beer, and will most likely buy it again to try, but I am not in a stout phase right now. I would still recommend this beer. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - stout dark, but as dark as other, wells up a gorgeous caramel colored full finger thick head, too dark for carbonation

S - a nice light espresso aroma with the requisite hop aromas intertwined, perhaps slight vanilla aromas as well

T - such a smooth coffee flavor, not overbearing, not too subtle, a great balanced bitter/sweet flavor, this is a great stout, love the organic mustiness as well, a superb stout

M - smooth as i said with a great aftertaste

D - high for stout lovers other may find a bit musty, but damn is it good

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Photo of taez555
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a brownish black body with a small off-white head.

Nose has rich chocolate, milk chocolate, fresh coffee beans, toffee and brown sugar. Very rich and completely upfront. Sort of a natural organic smell to it,

Medium bodied with a big present flavor. Coffee, milk chocolate, toasted and dark burnt malts. Touches of natural wood, stone and roots. Touches of root beer almost. A nice earthy muted hop flavor. A rather present bitterness in the finish that lingers for some time.

One of the most flavorful and simple stouts I've had in while. Huge flavor, with a distinctive organic flavor. Great beer.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a nice dark brown almost black with good carbonation. The head is a nice fat finger bard tan and creamy smooth. It fades to a nice lace.

The smell is dark rich toasted malt. Some very good smelling coffee notes.

The taste follow and delivers well. I love the Coffee notes in this beer, What a treat.

The mouthfeel works quite nice. A nice full body, good carbonation.

The drinkability is good. This beer is very nice and I would and did buy more. Prosit, MK

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