North Coast Old Stock: Why Wait?

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.

-Don

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11 Comments on “North Coast Old Stock: Why Wait?”

  1. Rob Crozier
    September 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    I hear ya about having self control but I have to pat myself on the back for saving 2 bottles of the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary offerings – the imperial stout and the barleywine to enjoy sometime down the road. I’ve hid them behind so many bottles that I am not reminded visually of them.

    Thanks for the review. I do love English Old Ales. Southern Tier is soon to release their version soon – Old Man Winter Ale.

    • Don
      September 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

      I really think self control is over rated. I’m really not into delayed gratification, I want a Golden Goose NOW, daddy!

  2. September 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    Yeah, I’m the guy who drinks the Stone Vetical series beers as soon as I get them home. If it’s meant to be aged, I say keep it at your brewery until it’s ready! That’s what they do with whiskey, right?

    • Don
      September 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

      Precisely. But the good news here is it is great fresh, and doesn’t need aging just to be drinkable.

      • Rob Crozier
        September 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

        Agreed about the aging thing – it should standard that if a beer needs to be aged it should be done at the brewery. Something tells me if word gets out that a highly anticipated beer is done and sitting and aging, us beer geeks will raise holy hell wondering why we have to wait.

        • September 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

          And then we’d pay double the price to get it.

  3. mikemoriendi
    September 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    I have a 2007 bottle of this. I got it at my local beer bar I frequent. I realized the bottles he had were old so I bought one to take home.

    • September 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

      But are you laying it sideways? Otherwise, it probably turns to poo.

      Sounds like an interesting beer. I’ve had their Pilsner and thought it was pretty good. I made my chelada with it!

      • September 29, 2010 at 11:33 am #

        All this Chelada talk Scott. Got a link?

  4. Mark S.
    September 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    So, so good. Must acquire more post-haste! Unfortunately, once it is in my house it tends to disappear pretty quickly. I “discovered” both this brewery and the Founders line at my local liquor store around the same time last winter. Good times…

    Their Red Seal Ale and Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout are also quite good. I haven’t had the chance to try any of the Belgian style ales that they won their medals for at GABF…

    • September 29, 2010 at 11:32 am #

      The only thing that bugs me about these guys is the “buy it and cellar it” recommendation on some of their beers. Sounds like this one doesn’t suffer, but the Old Rasputin XII was awful without aging.

      Still, I hear great things about North Coast – I need to keep an eye out for them.

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