Otsuchi Old Stock Ale 2012 | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Otsuchi Old Stock Ale  2012Otsuchi Old Stock Ale  2012
Very Good
Otsuchi Old Stock Ale  2012Otsuchi Old Stock Ale  2012

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 177
Photo of RickS95
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks warm and inviting as the dark, hazy chestnut liquid fills the glass. Thick and rich with an slightly yellowish head early on that eventually stands a finger thick with a creamy looking cap of bubbles. Average retention, finally succumbing and leaving a nice ring of bubbles around the edge.

Has a full malty nose, filled with dark ripe fruits. Not quite wine-like, just just an Earthy dark fruit (red apples, red grapes, raisins) scent.

Amazing taste, everything your nose picks up is there, along with some ABV. Very fruity, with a some caramel malts, and just the right amount of hops and alcohol (despite the high ABV) to keep everything in check. I'm not really sure how to make this taste any better.

A little bit sweet, full-bodied, only a skosh of bitter, but good heat from the alcohol in the throat. Nothing is too much, everything is just right.

Really a great beer for a great cause. This isn't something I could drink every night (I'm having it in a 750 ml bottle), but I could drink it every weekend. Not sure I've had many beers better than this.

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Photo of liamt07
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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 Pencible
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a hazy dark copper with some light tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet biscuit and honey, with some raisin and butterscotch and copper and roasted barley.
T: It tasted like raisin and toffee and honey drizzled biscuit, with some butterscotch and copper and roasted barley. It had a clean and sweet aftertaste that was a little earthy.
M: It was thick with lots of carbonation. Full and lively body.
D: This was a great old ale with complex and classic scent and taste. It had a delicious character that, as well as the body, was meant for aging. The alcohol was well hidden, so it was easy to drink, but worth sipping. Nice now, but will definitely improve with age.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 22oz caged and corked bottle

Apppearance - Dark tan/brown, 1/2 inch white foamy head and some lacing.

Smell - Malts, mix of sweet and dark fruits. Bready, biscuit yeast aroma. Some kiwi and coconut tropical smells also.

Taste - Much like the smell, hops are sweet, tropical and sweet. Yeast gives it the grassy biscuit flavor. Alcohol is very present in each sip. Im getting a pina colada taste, makes it very tropical and flavorful. Theres some malts in teh finish but theres pretty masked under the hops and booze.

Mouthfeel - The hops and yeast smack the tounge along with the wallop of the booze. Palette gets more hops and alot of the tropcial flavors. Finish is sweet, dry and alcoholish.

Overall - Really big beer, love the flavors it offers, but the alcohol is present in each sip and really warm. Id love to age this brew but fear the great hop flavor would die, but the plus is the alcohol flavor would die down too. Worth a shot to try fresh for sure. Its a nice big beer, glad i got it. I will age and try a few years down the road.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

75 cl

Pours a deep burgundy with a yellowish head, half an inch, which dissipates slowly to a lacing.

Smells of caramel, apples, figs, buttered bread and candi sugar.

Tests like buttered bread and molasses with some apple sweetness and mild cinnamon spice. Also some light hop bitterness and rich bready malts. Some yeast esters as well.

Full, thick body with sharp stings of carbonation on the roof of the mouth and a bit of booze numbness and warmth going down.

An interesting and potent ale, doesn't make any bones about its strength. This will sit you down and you know it from the first sip. Nice flavor and nose and enjoyable body. Would probably be a little more appealing if it contained its alcohol a little better in the mouthfeel, but otherwise a nice sipper. Would love to have this again.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I opened this bottle while out of power from hurricane Sandy. I had to drink in the dark and review by headlamp.

I served this beer at roomtemp in a snifter. You make do with what you can going without power.

The coloring was ruby-reddish with a touch of borwn. I got lots of foam that died down really quickly.

The nose offered lots of dark fruit with a little tobacco on the back end.

The flavoring is very rich with some decently strong venous qualities. It works out to be a very nice sipper. It worked out to be very good in front of the fire.

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Photo of pkalix
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
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 Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
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 WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first time I've ever seen Old Stock Ale with Japanese writing on the label with a note about the Otsuchi recovery fund dated March 2012. There's even a link to ostuchi.org I guess this is a recovery charity beer release from the tsunami in northern Japan. I've never seen Old Stock Ale in a 750 ml bottle, well it has arrived. Pours a deep copper crimson brown color with a light khaki cream head, filling my chalice. Aroma has toasted almonds, sweet sugar coated hops, dark fruits including raisins, plum, and tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, asian lychee (banana/pear). Arising tart quality and flowing malt qualities cover up the alcohol, mild earthy hop content. Flavor brings out the alcohol, this beer is young, it's April and I could lay this beer down for 5 years...did I mention that I'm going to buy a few more bottles. As the beer warms the alcohol level becomes more apparrent, flowing forth with a bit of tree bark resinous bitterness and sweet caramelized malt sugars, earthy/herbal bitterness units prolong each sip letting the palate and senses adjust to such a strong beer. The fruit noted in the initial smells is still evident yet it's competing with fresh big beer in this case old ale characteristics...caramel, alcohol, and English hop accents. Mouthfeel is big a bit cloying upon entry to the palate, with even carbonation and big malt characterisitics. Overall impression is decent beer that has great potential with age, enjoyed fresh but will be extraordinary with some age.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
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 Bisco42
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
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 jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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 puboflyons
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from the 12 fl. oz. bottle on June 18, 2012. The pour is mahogany brown with sparkling ruby red hues all over the glass. The head is beige and moderate. The aroma is alive with sweet barley malts and wood but it does not have the alcohol punchy aroma as many other young Barleywines that I have tried. The body falls into the medium range with a bit of astringent carbonation tickling the tongue. Whereas the aroma is on the subtle side the taste explodes with barley malts and dry hops and more alcohol than I would have liked. It ends dry. It would probably taste extraordinary a year from now but for now it is still very good.

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Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Woo, this will be a big beer, so let's see how it goes down. Looks like a really interesting beer.

Pours a decent looking fizzy head of almost 1 finger, decent for the abv at least, fades at a med pace with no real lacing, over surprisingly clear cranberry ruby darker red colored beer.

Nose has plenty of reddish malts, toasty red malts, lots of sweeteners, caramel, toffee, molasses, and that reddish candy from candy apples, a little bit of darker fruit like hint of fig and apricot, a touch of sweetness and booze gets expressed in the aroma.

Taste comes strong and sweet, syrupy again with plenty of malts. Lots of reddish malts again, light toasty, plenty of caramel, toffee, and a bit of molasses, candied apricots, light fig and syrupy date juice. It gets somewhat smooth and creamy fluffy, with nice carb to help it through. The sweetness and big malts bring a bit of esters, and some booze, booze warmth and slight tingle but still doesn't seem like 11.7%. A slight bitterness comes through towards the finish with a light earthy hop, syrupy malts although a bit drier, slight caramel and candied stone fruit lingering.

Mouth is med to heavier bodied, slightly syrupy and smooth, with good carb for the size of the beer.

overall interesting, not bad, fairly tasty with lots of nice malts, syrups, esters and fruits, nice carbonation and overall profile, hops are a bit on the light side but I guess that's how it supposed to be. The booze is definitely there but blended in well for the actual abv feel.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
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 jzeilinger
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
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 Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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 BEERchitect
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
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 RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't get it. Is this a different production than the standard old stock? Or is this just a new label on the same beer? It's good and all, but for the coin, I would hope for something with a little more punch, or a little more clearly different than the standard Old Stock.

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Photo of sjones5045
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
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 feloniousmonk
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
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 metter98
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high dense beige head that died down every so slowly, leaving wispy patterns of bubbles on the surface and a thick collar around the edge of the glass.
S: If you were blindfolded, you would think that you were smelling a port wine that has a bit of sweetness.
T: Like the smell, the taste of this beer resembles a port wine and has sweet flavors of black currants and grapes.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. No stickiness is detectable. A moderate amount of warming from the alcohol is present in the mouthfeel and finish.
O: Although this beer is one to be sipped, this beer is remarkably drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is relatively well masked from the taste. This makes for a good dessert beer.

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Photo of adamette
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
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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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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 srandycarter
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep clear copper, off white head leaves to ring pretty quick. Small amount of sudsy lace.

S - Deep somewhat burnt caramel with spices.

T - Taste makes smell only in larger degree and a booze note.

M - Med to heavy body, good carb, balance harsh a bit with hops and booze.

D - Another fun one from NC!

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Otsuchi Old Stock Ale 2012 from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 177 ratings