Thursday, February 28, 2013

North Coast - Old Stock Ale - Vertical Tasting (2010-2011)

I've done vertical tastings in the past but have never written up a review.  For my first I decided on North Coast's Old Stock Ale, the 2010 and 2011 vintage.  I've had a few bottle from the 2010 case, tonight was the first time I opened the 2011 case.

As a continuation of North Coast Brewing Co.’s commitment to quality, our Old Stock Ale is crafted in the tradition of our critically acclaimed Pranqster Belgian Style Golden Ale and Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. It’s brewed with classic floor-malted Maris Otter Pale Malt and Fuggles Hops imported from England, so it’s a beer to be served proudly. Like a fine wine, North Coast’s Old Stock Ale is intended to be laid down. With an original gravity of over 1100 and a generous hopping rate, Old Stock Ale is well-designed to round-out and mellow with age. North Coast Brewing Co. Old Stock Ale is a vintage dated ale. We produce a small quantity each year and it remains available from release date until our stock is depleted.

pre-2006 ABV: 11.4%.
2006 vintages: 11.6% & 13.25%.
2007 vintage: 11.7%.
2008 vintage: 12.5%.
2009 vintage: 11.5%.
2010 vintage: 11.7%.
2011 vintage: 11.9%
2012 vintage: 11.7%

The ABV is 11.7 and 11.9 and the IBU rating is 35
Style - English Old Ale / English Barley Wine
Glass to use - Snifter, Gobbet, Chalice or Oversized wine glass
Delivery - 12oz Bottle

The Pour - 2010 | Pours a deep cherry red color with a very small tan head. Great lacing.
                  2011 | Pours a mahogany color with a good tan head. Good lacing.
Aroma - 2010 | Deep dark fruits, molasses, just a hint of leather and boozy.
               2011 | Molasses, chocolate maybe cocoa and fruit.
Taste - 2010 | Malty, dark fruit, toffee, a bit of leather and boozy.
            2011 | Malty, sweet, dark chocolate, dark fruit and spices.
Mouth Feel - 2010 | Light carbonation and full body, lots of alcohol.
                      2011 | Medium carbonation and full body, smooth.
Overall - I opened both bottles after cooling in the frig for 90 minutes.  The session lasted about an hour.  The brews were at room temperature towards the end which lead to wonderful toffee and chocolate taste notes.  Reminds me of a good Port or Sherry.  What a difference in color, the 2010 is much darker and I love the deep cheery color.  Though there was not much head on the 2010 it did stick around for the entire session.  Though the 2011 has 0.2% more alcohol it is much more hidden than the 2010.  The 2010 is starting to show its age with the slight leather taste and aroma.  I give the nod to the 2010 but both brews are excellent and deserving of an A grade.  

This beer gets a Duper rating of (2010) = A; (2011) = A-
BeerAdvocate Rating = 92
Ratebeer Rating = 99