Saturday, October 24, 2009

North Coast Old Stock Ale, 2009

Brewery: North Coast Brewing Company, Ft. Bragg, California
Name: Old Stock Ale
Style: Old Ale
Origin: English

Hazy and brown, with a fluffy head that quickly dissipates into non-existence. Just a hint of bubbles rising to the surface. Old ales tend to be malt-forward, with hop bitterness just balancing the sweetness. This beer is annual OMG favorite and the 2009 seems dominated by a fruity character, with an underlying creamy malt smoothness. The aroma is black currants, perhaps a ripe plum suggestion, caramel and toffee, alcohol, and maybe a hint of licorice. Flavor follows the profile pretty well, but the carbonation level keeps the mouthfeel from being too syrup. This beer ends pretty sweet and cloying, after the carbonation is done dancing on your tongue. At 12.5% ABV, this is a sipping beer and a dessert/after dinner beer. North Coast compares this beer to port, and it's a good comparison. The folks at Chicago's Beverage Tasting Institute have given at least one vintage of this beer a 96/100. They were also kind enough to taste West Town Brewing Company's (OMG Beer!'s brewing division) Bitter Sun IPA.

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