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 Craig5700
1.88/5  rDev -52.3%
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 DavoleBomb
1.93/5  rDev -51%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a snifter. Always willing to give a charity beer a try.

2.5 A: Clear deep amber color. Two fingers of tan, fizzy-frothy head. Retention is a touch below average, even for the ABV, and no lacing is left.

2.0 S: This is really unexciting. Light toasty malts. Some toffee and caramel. Light "industrial" aroma. Booze is well hidden though.

2.0 T: Toasty, overly dry and with just the slightest hints of toffee and caramel. Quite astringent as if NC took a piece of wood, purified out the tannins, and through that in without the wood. Good bit of raisin that follows well into the aftertaste.

2.0 M: Lighter medium body. A bit too much carbonation and the carbonation itself is overly fizzy. Astringent aftertaste.

1.5 D: This beer is awful. Not sure how anyone would think otherwise.

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Photo of mhaugo
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
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 scottfrie
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
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 SHODriver
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep brown with a slight red hue and a small tan head that fades to a small collar. beer was served in a snifter
S: smells instensely malty with notes of caramel and a slight hint of chocolate
T: taste is kind of lacking. muted notes of caramel and overall sweet toasted maltyness with slight hints of fruity alcohol. alcohol is a bit apparent. swallow brings a bit of boozyness to the beer and a faint hint of chocolate
M: medium to heavy with soft carbonation that builds and maintains to a near prickly level
O: from what I read in the description this beer is very to style but I just can't dig it. It's decent and packs a punch but I'm not a fan of poorly masked alcohol and the flavor is pretty weak for the ABV in my opinion even if it is an old ale.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork acquired at Wades Wines in Westlake Village, California, and served into an EKU 28 snifter in me gaff in Los Angeles, California. Cost was $10.99 plus tax. Reviewed live. Expectations are rather high; I quite enjoyed the regular Old Stock Ale (and to a lesser extent, the barrel-aged version). North Coast is a brewery that's increasing gaining my interest.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with olives.

A: Pours a one finger head of off-white colour, quite thin, with slight cream, but of below average retention - though in fairness the ABV is rather high. Colour is a semitransparent chestnut amber. No yeast particles are visible, though the semitransparency doesn't help. No bubble show.

Sm: Vinegar, cream, cherry fruit esters, raisin, biscuity yeast, dried plums, and clean bright malts. Rich and inviting. A light aroma, but a pleasant one.

T: Cream, cherry fruit esters, marvelous biscuity yeast and lees, dried plum and perhaps fig, hints of raisin, very well layered malts, and touches of must. The ABV isn't noticeable in the flavour profile but does manifest as a warming sensation in the stomach. Very nicely balanced and built, with subtlety and enough complexity to make for a very enjoyable old ale. I do wish the yeast were more pronounced. Very pleasant to drink. The fruit notes are wonderful.

Mf: Perfect coarseness to coax out enough of the flavour without inhibiting drinkability. Wet and palatable. Of perfect thickness. Nicely carbonated. Complements the flavour profile well.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV, which is concealed impressively well. I'd certainly get this again if it wasn't so damned expensive. It's a wonderful little old ale and warrants a purchase for anyone interested in the style. Another good beer from North Coast. I look forward to sampling more of their beers.

Age would do this one well, but I quite enjoyed it mere weeks after purchasing it.

Drinks marvelously out of a snifter. I think a snifter is likely the ideal serving vessel for this beer.


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Photo of largadeer
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Will. Clear caramel colored body with a thin head that settles to a collar after a moment. Smells decent, but young. Stonefruit, toffee, a little coconut and dried dark fruit. Sweet and a bit boozy. Palate is quite boozy and somewhat astrigent, definitely young. Has some nice coconut and peach flavors, toffee, brown sugar. The fruit esters are pretty interesting and enjoyable here, but the booziness detracts. Body is medium, could use a bit more heft but it's certainly not bad. Overall this is fairly enjoyable but could really use some age. Can see this being excellent in 3-4 years.

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Photo of ikantspel
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
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 Sludgeman
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
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 mactrail
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber brown in the Leffe chalice with pleasant foam. Smooth blending of many flavors into a complex experience. Raisiny but not overly sweet. Eventually the hops become more assertive. Alcohol is not so hot on the tongue, but it heats the brain up fast enough.

Interesting variety of dark flavors. Bitter chocolate comes to mind. Cocoa, dark caramel, burnt sugar, candied pineapple. Nose of canned peaches. Rather boozy after some sippiing and a bitter finish. Some hints of sherry and buttered fruitcake toast. Crazy stuff and hard to take much at one sitting with the intense flavors as well as the alcohol.

Quite well-balanced strong ale. Belgian-style 750 ml corked bottle. $11 at a store in San Diego.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
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 Brenden
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
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 Jwale73
3.82/5  rDev -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 ONovoMexicano
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
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 oberon
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off I love what the beer stands for and the proceeds.Poured the corked 750 into an imperial nonic a deep rich amber with a thinner off white head atop.Deeply fruity in the nose,it really stuck out during the pour,more sweet alcohol and cakiness as the beer warms.It's a big sweet alcoholic beer that needs to rest,Iam drinking one now but I'll buy one and let it sit a year,alot of fruit,sweet caramel, and sweet alcohol with no hop profile.The body is thick and non carbonated.It's a big hot young malt bomb,as it ages I think it will get better,it's still pretty good now.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
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 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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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 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 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 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 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 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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Otsuchi Old Stock Ale 2012 from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 177 ratings