Sunday Afternoon I had the pleasure of cracking open a 2010 Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing. This is an old style English ale that is just beautifully crafted and a real treat. It is 12.5% ABV with all the flavors in the glass beautifully integrated to where I didn’t even notice the alcohol.
What surprised me most was when I went onto the company’s web site and they said they created it specifically to be laid down and aged. Is a matter of fact they had a testimonial from someone who had forgotten about a bottle he had from 2001. He cracked it open thinking it would have gone bad, but to his surprise it was amazing. The flavors had mellowed and integrated even more. That is hard to imagine since it is already so mellow and over the top flavor wise…This 2010 Old Stock was pretty fresh off the shelf…no lay down time at all. I bought this about 2 months ago and have kept it in my beer fridge, so it really has no extra aging on it.
It poured a hazy brown color with a thin beige head. Its nose was delightful. Raisins, plumbs and other dark fruits mixed with a huge malty backbone and a small whiff of alcohol.
The first taste was a treat. It was a big hit of fruit flavors, a little sweet with that maltiness that integrated well into the flavor with an alcohol finish that gave this brew great complexity.
To me it seemed like it was very well integrated and a great flavorful brew, so imagine my surprise when I went to North Coast’s web site and they were recommending to put age on this amazing beer. Well, I must say that while the fresh beer is delicious, I think if you aged it for a couple of years those flavors would even integrate more and become bigger.
I’d love to have an aged Old Stock, but unless I get some at the next Denver Rare Beer Tasting, I’m never going to have any. See Jim and I suffer from the same problem. We both have no self control. If I have a great beer like this I’m gonna drink it. What I would have to do is go to my folk’s house with one of these and “forget” it. Come back in a year or two and drink it then. That is the only way one of these beers are getting any aging in my world. It is just too good right out of the bottle.
If you have access to this brew buy it. It is truly a great beer from North Coast. Seems they have a barrel aged version of this brew. That is next on my list of must gets from North Coast.