Otsuchi Old Stock Ale 2012
North Coast Brewing Co.

Otsuchi Old Stock Ale  2012Otsuchi Old Stock Ale  2012
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English Old Ale
3.99 | pDev: 13.03%
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Otsuchi Old Stock Ale  2012Otsuchi Old Stock Ale  2012
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 179 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From old, undated notes. Poured from the bottle.

Murky dark rust color.

Big, noisy off-white head; no lacing.

Booze, caramel & a hint of citrus in the nose. Interesting.

Thick mouthfeel.

Caramel malts & booze in the taste; hoppy back end dries this out and makes it more palatable.

Too boozy & sweet for me, but drinkable.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent copper with a tight band of foam around the shoulders. Nose expresses caramel and a hint of earth and ethanol. Taste consistent with nose; however, it comes off a bit thin. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (closer to light) with a pleasant, even carbonation. Overall, I've had better five year old Old Stocks (which I actually think is the sweet spot for this beer) but this one just seemed a little dull. I wouldn't sit on these for much longer as I think they will become oxidized within the next couple years.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"Enjoy this bottle with friends and celebrate the recovery of Otsuchi." Brewed in the style of an Old Ale, available in 750ml. bottles and on limited draft. Special commemorative vintage and benefit beer for the 2012 Otsuchi tsunami relief fund. Released in 2012.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy head of a cinnamon beige tone over a deep copper amber body with maple hues, abundant, lively carbonation and high clarity. Retention is below average and there is no visible lacing. 3.25

(Smell) Rich, bready malts, viscous fruit syrups and molasses, mild alcohol and light oxidation. Gentle but rich and enticing aroma. Potency is modest. 3.75

(Taste) Similar flavor to the aroma, with fruit sugars, raisins and date notes building a rich complexity atop a smooth bread and molasses body, modestly sweet with some mild graininess on the back end. Not overly complex but overall enjoyable. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, moderately viscous, lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to acidic, grainy and oxidization. Alcohol presence is modest, and there are no off characters to note. 3.75

(Overall) It's as enjoyable as the North Coast Old Stock regular recipe. I'm not actually aware of any difference between this commemorative release and the standard recipe, but even if there is none, I am pleased to support a relief fund in some fashion. It's one of the better Old Ales I have sampled as of late, especially considering it was well balanced, not overly grainy nor sweet, and has a decent well-rounded fruit presence to it. It's held up exceptionally well, and worth giving a shot at a reasonable price. 4

North Coast Brewing Co.'s
Old Stock Ale Otsuchi 2012

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber burgundy color with nice clarity and a massively thick cream colored lacing ring.

S - Toasted toffee, oak, and bourbon.

T - Toffee, oak, roasted caramel, vanilla, cherries, and very bourbon forward.

M - Heavy side of medium in the texture, velvety and soft, semi-dry finish.

O - Enjoyable, wish I had another bottle in the cellar, 'could maybe use a little more age to help round out the bourbon character?

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've been holding on to this bottle for some time . . . One of the first I decided to "cellar." This one pours murky, brown wine, almost like a Belgian quad or a Belgian dark. Aroma is boozy, winey with dark fruits, and cinnamon. Taste is similar to regular Old Stock with more spices and dark fruits added . . . Grapes, dates, figs, raisins, pumpkin and maybe some caramel and nutmeg. Feel is surprisingly carbonated. I like the feel but think some won't expect or be impressed with it. Overall, worthy of its 87 rating and maybe just slighly underrated.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Looks like a cloudy iced tea. Foamy khaki head. Not the sexiest beer alive. 3.75

Raisins, dates and brown sugar commingle on the aroma. A bit of an oaken quality. Caramel is there but I wasn't catching it. 4

What you smell is what you get. Caramel and raisin wine with a peculiar funk like baby doodoo. 3.75

Drinks well. Creamy, full-bodied and thick on the tongue. Some solvent feel but only mildly distracts. 4

Good stuff.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber / copper body with an inch of off-white head. Earthy, caramel malt, grain, toffee nose. Robust flavor. Moderate sweetness. Some warming alcohol notes, but by no means off-putting. A solid example of the style and a beer that I expect will continue to age gracefully.

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Photo of Bisco42
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage Otsuchi Commemorative Recovery Release - March 2012

Poured into a snifter at 55 degrees, had been cellared upright for exactly 3 years.

L - Pours a dark amber/brown color with a 1 inch head. Lacing remains down the side, but spotty. Bubbles forming up the snifter.

S - Very malt-y, boozy and earthy. Reminiscent of a proper Old Ale.

T - This is where the complexity begins. Getting a lot of different tastes here. Beginning with Marris Otter malt and finishing with the (seemingly) fresh Fuggles hops. The aftertaste bursts with caramel and booze, still burning after 3 years, could probably sit for another several years to allow things to set and combine. Still delicious though, but in small sips every now and again.

F - Thick, robust, full and carbonated. Nothing too overbowering, but enough to allow my palate to retain the entire flavor of the beer. Perhaps the highlight of this fine brew.

O - An excellent take on the easily obtainable Old Ale. Unfortunately, I think this style is lost, and I love how North Coast is continuing to make this extraordinary. Compared to the 2015 version, this is incredibly different but in a good way. Will probably pick up another bottle and allow it to age for longer. NC really got it right with this one.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a bright amber color with a white head. Booze soaked fruit and brown sugar loft over an alcohol taste. Malty sugars go into the flavor with tempered alcohol and a slight herbal note. Toffee, raisin, fig and booze. Bitterness is just a suggestion. A smooth caramel sweet beer that has evened out over time.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.44/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

750ml into snifter.

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a finger of creamy tan head that faded into a thick and lasting collar.
S: Rich and complex notes of leather, tobacco, candied orange rind, sticky hop resin, honey, candied dates, and powdery chocolate.
T: Not as decadent as the nose let on. I get notes of leafy tobacco, wood, candied orange and peat, with hints of chocolate, dates, red grape, and leather. The finish is lightly bitter with a touch of cola and anise, and the aftertaste has lingering honey, butterscotch, and hop resin.
M: More carbonation, fizzy carbonation, than I expected. I definitely wish the bubbles were smoother. The carb creates more texture on the mouthfeel than I remember the 12oz bottles having. This isn’t as smooth, velvety, creamy, soft, or full as I remember, but once some of the carb burns off it’s a bit more drinkable. Medium-full body that definitely could have been smoother.
O: Good but strangely not as good as how I remember the yearly release being. The carbonation was definitely distracting, but maybe it was better fresh.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a cellar temp 750 ml corked and caged bottle, pouring into a snifter.
Pours a mostly clear mahogany with some rich garnet highlights on the edges of the glass.
There is minimal eggshell head that is gone to only a partial edge layer, and then nothing.
Aroma is rich and malty with caramel, toffee, figs and fruity notes. A little booze and red grape note hints at the power of this beer.
First sip reveals is average body with fine and tingly carbonation. Texture is silky and a little sticky on my lips after each sip.
Flavor is what is expected from the nose with lots of malt, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, some fig and red grapes add in for the fruit. The beer finishes very dry and a little bitter, but not really hot or boozy. I am surprised that the booze isnt any hotter after it appeared in the nose. I get the bitterness is probably from the booze, but otherwise the beer is very drinkable and is probably a little dangerous if I tried to drink more than this one bottle tonight.
I am glad I sat on this beer and find it very enjoyable on this chilly January evening.
Nice to see a brewery making commemorative releases for donations to recovery funds too.
Big, tasty malty beer.

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Photo of ikantspel
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 into a tripel karmeliet tulip

Pours a honey brown color with a small robust 3cm head.

A sweet molasses and caramel in the nose with some subtle lingering farmhouse funk

Raisin and dark fruits hit you up front and some of that 11 percent alcohol mingle with some heavy malt flavor

This is wonderful. Happy my local bevmo still carries bottles of this I'm gonna age some

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Photo of mhaugo
3.36/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle decanted into a snifter. 11.7% ABV. Served at 55F and allowed to elevate to room temperature.

Appearance: Deep chestnut, slight haze, swiftly fading beige head (3/5).

Aroma: Smells like freshly chipped wood, or yard work on an autumn day. Very earthy, wet, and musty. The smell of fresh mud keeps coming to mind. As it neared room temperature, I got cherries, prunes, and alcohol heat (3.75/5).

Taste: Prunes, raisins, port, vanilla, and dried cigar tobacco. Tannic wood (3.25/5).

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full body with medium carbonation. Definite warmth from the alcohol (3.25/5)

Overall: I wonder if this earthiness that I am taste is an intentional, or unintentional, spike of Brettanomyces. There is definitely a wild yeast chewing through some of this, but I honestly can’t tell if it’s there on purpose or not. Overall it is pretty nice, but lacks the smoothness and roundness of what I generally expect of Old Stock Ale. My internet research has not proven to me that there is a difference between the everyday Old Stock and the one in this bottle, but I’m not in love with this “variant”. I picked this bottle up off a shelf a month or so ago, so perhaps it has not been cellared properly (3.25/5).

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Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm actually a little surprised as I pour this beer, though admittedly it's because it's been so long since I had an Old Ale and I've forgotten how the color and thickness ranges. This one pours about medium orange but, once settled, it looks like cider: thick, very thick dark orange-brown. It's heavy-looking and completely opaque. The head is slightly darker than tan, developing a couple fingers on a hard pour but under one on a softer pour in a different glass. In each glass, though, the head's retention is good, as is the patching left behind.
The smell is rich, quite sweet but tempered as lots of malts give off plenty of dark fruits, plum, fig and raisin, as well as toffee/caramel and some grape must with some almost barley-like grains and a little booziness that isn't too fusel.
In the flavor, all the dark fruits are big as well, with molasses, toffee, caramel and brown sugar. There's a bit of tang from wine-like grape must notes. Up front are raisin and plum, maybe some banana, and raisin fills in the finish. The alcohol takes over more strongly in the taste than the smell.
The feel, a big, rich body that blurs the line between medium and full, takes on a thick sort of smoothness but with a sting to it, a little too much bite that isn't just crispness. It tends in the middle to sit thickly on the tongue, though it evens out at the end.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A bomber, $11.99/750ml. Poured into a chalice.

A complex beer, but too alcohol forward. A beer for a cold night with a cigar. A sipping beer. A beautiful looking/mysterious brew. Easily described as having port-like characteristics. An Old Ale on the high ABV. A lower ABV and the beer would be better. At $11.99 a great buy IMO. Wait till it gets cold, grab a friend and go at it.

A – Pours a dark orange/reddish color (rather unique). A half-finger tan head that quickly dissipates. The head is easily brought back with a swirl. Difficult to discern clarity due to color but clear during pour. Little to no lacing.

S – Dark/dried fruits, sweetness, alcohol, malt, no hops.

T – Alcohol, but not solventy, whiskey, little to no hops evident in taste.

MF – Full bodied, warming alcohol, well carbonated but smooth, even a bit creamy.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

With a slight twist upon the standard "Old Stock Ale" and after one year of age, the beer to recognize the tragedy of the tsunami that leveled Otsuchi, Japan- Its refreshing to get around to tasting the beer that their sister city, Fort Brag devised to assist in the relief of their rebuilding efforts.

Upon the pour, its rich dark hue captivates the eye. With its redish-brown, dark chestnut hue- the mind begins to expect richer and darker flavor. But the attention soon goes to the frothy cap that rises- rocky in its appearance, it's frothy, creamy and strongly withstanding. Decorative patterns of lace follow with each sip taken.

Malty-rich to the nose, the ale projects strong brown sugar, molasses and surprisingly- wine! Or, more so brandy with the strong tinge of alcohol, dark plumy fruit, dense grape, raisin, fig and date. It's kind of a fruit cake melange, except this beer actually smells like something you want to consume.

Sweet, sultry, and so, so seductive, the taste of the beer strikes a tone with the sweet tooth starting with strong toffee, brown sugar and seared honey. A quick rise of peppery alcohols balance the sweet with a slight semblance of bitterness. But as soon as that hits, the stronger brandy-like overtone comes in with the dark, dried fruit flavors and vinous tart tones, dryness, and rich "near-balsamic", "near-leather", "near-tobacco" type of savoriness. And then to finish the spice of fresh-cracked peppercorn provides a lasting memory that almost outlasts the malt sweetness.

Medium-full on the mouth, the beer's malty-sweet upstart provides a weighted impression to start. But its substantial carbonation extends beyond creaminess and makes the beer spicy and effervescent. After that gas expels, the mouth is left with semi-dry malt structures, spicy yeast complements, and strong alcohol warmth.

Without having tasted this beer fresher, I can only attest to a high level of quality that has developed since it first hit the market. Curious about the ale's timid score, this beer is a tremendous example of Old Ale that is taking on mature character gracefully with only one year under its belt. I can only conclude that this beer will age incredibly for years to come!

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Photo of Craig5700
1.88/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Wow, this is one beer you either like or you dont. I'm glad others found this one ok, but not me. Unfortunately this beer tasted like Scotch to me and I'm not a fan of anything related to Whiskey. It sure did pour well and looked good in the mug, so I was very hopeful on the taste but sadly disappointed. No offense to those of you who really enjoyed this one. oh well....there's plenty more to keeping tasting! Respect Beer!

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Photo of sjones5045
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very nice malty smell up front and as the bottle sits some hoppy smell starts to come through. Pours sort of ruby red with nice head. Taste is decent but not as malty as I was expecting or hoping for. The back half of the taste is very boozy it seems to take over and burn out the taste. The more i drank the less taste of malt and hopes but it just became more and more bland. Overall not bad but its not completely balanced and the more I drank the rating for this beer went down. An OK old ale, there is better out there.

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Photo of pkalix
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

dark, reddish-brown. almost close to the purple spectrum(?). no head to speak of.
smell was very weak, but i was getting a thick malty, syrup-y kind of aroma.
definitely syrup-y taste. sweet, fruity malts. sticky sweet. a little warming and notes of alcohol, but for the abv it is relatively hidden.
had an Underberg to help alleve the earlier brunch, so that may have played in some of the tasting, but it is relatively mild in taste and not what i was expecting. an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage. Pours with a three-finger khaki head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Hazy amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is dark fruit and alcohol and flavor is raisins with some alcohol. Clearly warming. $10.49 for a caged and corked 750ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of liamt07
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by me (from Sammy originally), 750ml into a tulip.

Reddish brown, with a beige head and a ring of retention. Nose of raisins, sugars, dark breads, toffee and sweet complex malt notes. Taste has raisin, caramel, toffee, sweet brown sugar, grape juice, and more complex malt character. Medium feel, moderately syrupy/stickiness. Complex and very flavourful, lovely and almost quad-like at times.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Definately worthy of a separate rating, bottle from Whole Foods, Santa Rosa. Big soapy head on mid brown coloured body. Inviting aroma. Good drinkability of caramel and yeast, sweetish, hop presence there, carbonation right there.Everything nicely integrated. Wonder how a bottle will taste in 5 years.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a kind of murky reddish brown. Stunted, bubbly, head.

Big dark malt on the nose. Dark sugars and red fruits.

Fruit up front, desserty cherry flavour turns to dates turns to toffee, dark bread, and just a bit of wood. Touch of booze.

There's nothing wrong with this beer, but I was expecting something more refined. I'd still pick it up again though.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

North Coast Old Stock Ale Otsuchi 2012. 11.7 % ABV.

Murky maroon-ish, deep magenta hue, with a smallish off-white head.

Aroma: vast and malty ,rich, vinous, dark fruits aplenty.

Taste: cherry, grape, a little brandy-like. Medium to full-bodied. Maltastic. Delicerous. (I'm making up words now. That happens.)

Growing heat. Building flavors, increasing immensity.

Oddly, I don't love this, though I like it just enough. Maybe it needs some time, but I think all beers ought to be judged once they're released. Lovely enough, but didn't "wow" me.

Maybe it was the mood I was in, exhausted from bartending another New Year's Eve. I'll look at giving this one another shot.

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Photo of adamette
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Live Review. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle that I bought at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago for $3.50 into a clean, clear glass. No observed "best by" date but it is still 2012 so I am quite sure that it is fine.

A Dark butterscotch translucent body under a brief but creamy head. Typical look for the style. The one inch head lasted 45 seconds after a moderate to vigorous pour. 3.0

S A sweet malt with whiskey notes and even a dark butterscotch sense to it. Smells delicious. 4.0

T Whoa..the taste carries right from the smell. Big sweet syrupy malt with those whiskey like notes of oak barrel aging or something very much like it. Old Ale is not among my favorite styles but this is a pretty good version of it. I am not surprised from North Coast, home of some of my favorite beers in their respective styles. 4.0

M Thick, syrupy goodness with all of that sweet malt. Just like an Old Ale should be, really. 3.5

D/O Drinkability is not high for me. Huge ABV, big, demanding beer means that I will be having only one. Frankly, I think that it is the intention of the beer to be savored and not slammed. Overall a fine representative of the style 4.0

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Otsuchi Old Stock Ale 2012 from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 179 ratings