Taking Stock of Old Stock

Posted by Jim on Jun 25th, 2011
Jun 25

North Coast Old Stock Ale (2011 Edition)

A / 4.38
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
This is a bottle of the 2011 edition. I’m drinking it out of my Smuttynose Big Beer series snifter. It is served at cellar temperature. Unlike the BA listing, the label on this bottle says this beer is 22.9% ABV.

The liquid is colored brown, with ruby highlights. It is clear, but difficult to see through, due to the liquid being colored so dark. A small head of off white foam is present after I pour, but it quickly settled to a skim. Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles are rising from the bottom of the glass. Swirling the glass about revives the foamy head and leaves a good coating on the sides of the glass.

The nose has some interesting plum notes. I can also smell some crystal sugar, but it doesn’t come across as overly sweet. Some pine hops and alcohol also make up the aroma.

The beer has a rich, malty flavor. Lots of mildly sweet plum, some toffee, a bit of alcohol and heat in the finish and as I swallow. It is very tasty and deceptively balanced. You wouldn’t think this beer is almost 12% alcohol.

Easy drinking with very little coating or stickiness gives this beer an impressive mouthfeel. I can feel the carbonation dancing on my tongue as I sip. A little bit of warmth as I swallow is welcome.

This is a very good old ale. It’s also widely available and well suited to aging, making it a great beer to hold on to to make a vertical (my current collection goes back to 2008). The high ABV will affect you quickly, making this a beer that you enjoy slowly, but that also allows you to savor it. It comes highly recommended.