Friday, April 22, 2011

North Coast Brewing Co. - Old Stock Ale 2010

Purchased From: Harvest Fine Wines & Spirits
Serving Type: 12 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter

North Coast's Old Stock Ale, 2010 vintage, is an Old Ale, a style known for unabashed big malt character. The beer would age well, and if I get the change, I may pick up a few bottles to cellar for a couple of years. The beer pours a mild brown with a deep ruby glow. The head is a creamy light tan than measures commendable retention for a beer weighing in at an impressive 11.7% ABV. The nose is sweet and clearly alcoholic. Dark and earthy character is apparent with a mild hint of cocoa and prominent candied cherries.

The beer is gritty and earthy up front with big malts. The alcohol character is pronounced, but doesn't upset the quality of the beer. A sweetness is ever-present, driving together a Port wine-like component with dark fruits in abundance. The finish has slight chocolate and coffee notes with a warming alcohol heat.

Final Verdict: B+*

* - At this point the beer is a bit strong at the edges. A year (or a couple) in the bottle would help to mellow it out and bring out some of its finer notes.

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