Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beer Review: Old Stock Ale (fresh)

Reviewing the Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
Score: 90

2011 vintage bottle served in a brandy glass. I bought a four pack with the intent of aging this beer for a few years, but I need a baseline to judge the aged results. Provided this blog last a few years from now, I plan to revisit this review with an aged update.

Appearance: Pours a deep caramel/rose brandy color. Pours a very thin head that totally disappears when it settles. Falls somewhere between translucent and transparent, though much much closer to translucent. No lacing, but not surprising given 11.7% ABV. 3.5/5

Smell: Sweet caramel/toffee and slight vanilla nose. Some fruit and rum aromas. Molasses-sugary sweetness too. An odor of rubbing alcohol is definitely apparent in the nose. 4.5/5

Taste: Very complex and sweet. Molasses, caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Some vanilla/peaty flavors. Reminds me of butterscotch candy on the mid-palate. A little bitter. Definitely detecting some dark fruits. Finishes with a warming alcohol sweetness that does not linger very long. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimum carbonation. Very warming alcohol sensation on the palate. Finishes sweet. 4/5

Overall: A very complex beer with bold, aggressive flavors. Alcohol is not very balanced, but not overly singeing either. Can't wait to revisit this one if a few years.

Recommendation: Casual beer drinkers should avoid this one. Like a fresh barleywine, the flavors are very in-your-face and not particularly balanced. More experience beer drinkers will likely appreciate the beer's complexity. This is a beer that has a lot of potential to be great with some aging that mellows out the alcohol.

Pairings: Sharp and stinky cheeses.

Cost: $15.99 for a four pack.

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