Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HARSHING MY MELLOW: NORTH COAST “OLD STOCK 2011”

Admit it, your first thought when buying a beer, even a big-ABV beer, isn’t that you’re going to want to “lay it down” for a while to take off its rough edges. No, you’re gonna want to get in there and devour the thing. I’ve had NORTH COAST BREWING’s “Old Stock Ale” on quite a few occasions, different “vintages” as well, and I’ve never found it to be lacking in any way. Nay, it was my pick ‘o the litter at the first Pacific Coast Brewing Holiday Beer Fest I attended some years back. I try and grab one every year somewhere or another, and no, I’ve never thought to age one. I just drink ‘em.

I might’ve messed it up this year, however. OLD STOCK 2011 doesn’t seem to have settled down yet – or something. It’s a 12% ABV old ale that has many of the same characteristics of a quadrupel. It tastes off the bat of vanilla, caramel and – uh – cough medicine. The fumes, man, the fumes! Oh mama it burns! I kept taking eye-watering whiffs of this one in the glass and I swear it made my hair curl. Old Stock 2011 is a thin bodied, semi-opaque chest-warmer. Whatever flavors it’s supposed to have are really not quite there yet. I couldn’t even finish it and it was down the drain after about six ounces. Reminds me of an old Beer Retard “Beer Douche” comic that I’ve embedded for your viewing pleasure here. 4.5/10. Lay this one down, brother.

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