GarrettB (896) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 19, 2006
2.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2007 After reading the reviews for this dark and inhospitable ale, I’m almost certain I had a spoiled bottle. Everyone’s raving about well balanced sweetness, roastiness and the overall superb quality of the beer. My experience was apparently much narrower, obscuring the verisimilar personality within that humble little bottle. The Old Stock Ale was a passive, pomegranate red beneath a temporal sandy colored head. From this came an abyss of aromas, whose parts included chopped walnuts, figs and brown sugars, along with the more obvious roasted malts. But to say this smell was deep would be doing it a dishonor. I’ve never smelled something quite so dense, deep and dark before. It was a congested pit of pressured flavor within my olfactory – a sensation I hardly expected, even from a putatively shaded beer. But the taste was less sensational, and more painful. It began with a grand explosion of deep sweetness, aggrandized mostly by brown sugar. Then it took a plummet into an eye cringing morass of alcohol and relentlessly assaulted my senses for nigh six seconds afterwards. It was a terrible feeling having a semi-permanent clod of alcohol stuck to my tongue after each and every sip. I read the commercial description and they discuss the necessity of aging, which I’m willing to try and then re-gauge the Old Stock Ale. It’s not that I objurgate to the overwhelming praise in these reviews, only that I must fairly evaluate my experience, which was certainly a negative one. Second review pending.
ZiggyG (131) - Gladstone, Oregon, USA - JUN 17, 2007
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
UPDATED: JAN 10, 2008 Bottle. 2007 vintage. Pour very dark amber. 1 inch tan foam that leaves solid lacing. Smells of sweet fruit and sugar. Taste is too sweet, strong licorice in the finish, tastes more like yager than any beer should. Palate is very very thick and full, completely coats every part of the mouth, there is also the sticky presence of candy sugar that makes that thick palate somewhat less appealing. Overall this is a powerful beer, but it is much too sweet. If I get this again I will age it for a few years and hope that helps.
Crafty07 (404) - Florence, Kentucky, USA - MAR 9, 2008
2.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
No, this beer is not nearly as impressive as many reviewers are claiming! It’s not ever the best offering by North Coast as Pranqster is a better more palatable beer.
But, naturally far too much praise will be hoisted upon this mess. It does NOTHING to hide it high alcohol note.
tpseabird (29) - Dickinson, Texas, USA - JUL 12, 2010
2.4 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pours a nice dark amber. Nearly no aroma. Taste is dusty with a strong alcohol finish. Feel like I’m drinking a bottle of rubbing alcohol with a hidden malt finish. Not balanced and not smooth.
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 20, 2003
2.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
From a non-barley wine person... Pours and looks great, but is way too malty for my tastes.
SanfordBrewer (1377) - Sanford, Florida, USA - DEC 24, 2009
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
(Br-btl cm-lbl, 2006, 13.25%)
lct-mhny, no head, med-co2, full-body.
alchoholic malty §fruity aroma.
spicy §malty T1, §bitter §sour-fruit T2, ^port-wine T3, maltier Tf.
^strong, alchohol overpowers subtler flavors.
glenD (30) - - DEC 11, 2012
2.3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
2012 Vintage in a bottle. I’m an ale kind of guy. This ale is just wrong. It pours a very cloudy dark caramel color. The taste is mostly alcohol with a mild bread aftertaste. It’s a beefy 11.7% and it aint playing. My only afterthought is at least it doesn’t taste like a barley wine. It’ll get you drunk but there are better high percentage ales out there. North Coast has become on of my favorite breweries, but they missed the mark on this one. Maybe I got a bad batch...
dannyboydwp (48) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - FEB 21, 2004
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
2003 - Perhaps I had a bad Bottle, but this beer reaked and tasted of Alcohol. The color was a cherry red. A slight hoppy taste. But, everything was overpowered by the alcohol.
burcusabrews (106) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - NOV 23, 2004
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
2003 vintage. Deep amber with thin beige head, sweet honeyed aroma with some cooked veggies. Flavor rather ordinary some caramel and almonds with a hot finish. Average to just below average barley wine (IMHO)
JAF737300 (1291) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 22, 2007
2.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 7/20
Okay, everyone likes this beer but with about 13% alcohol, I can’t get past the high alcohol content. The palate and flavor just does not do it for me!