After launching my Good Stuff series a little over a week ago with Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale, I'm ready to jump in to highlight a second of my very favorites.
Today I'm drinking Good Stuff Beer #2: Old Stock Ale 2009 brewed by North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California. I originally reviewed this beer back at the end of April, while talking about my counterfeiting son, Schrute Bucks and The Office.
Today's review: I couldn't wait to open it up as it's been over 3 months since my first review. Lots of dark fruit, raisins and plums with just a hint of alcohol on the aroma. But that hint of alcohol makes itself very powerfully and prominently known with my first sip. A strong bourbon-like flavor superbly balanced by some soothing honey along with ripened plums and raisins. I also taste a slight caramel and just a little nutty flavor as well. Some spicy cloves and cinnamon also make an appearance. Very warming, even burning from the alcohol, but it's not harsh like those words; rather, it is a great sensation. Medium carbonation, a medium-full body and a wonderful creaminess in my mouth make this a terrific treat. However, all of that praise aside, one is certainly enough. The 11.5% alcohol is powerful and a clear and present danger!
What the brewery has to say about this beer: "Like a fine port, Old Stock Ale is intended to be laid down. With an original gravity of over 1.100 and a generous hopping rate, Old Stock Ale is well-designed to round-out and mellow with age." I'm drinking the 2009 edition, so I guess you can see what skills I have at keeping beer around the house for years (in my cellar). Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
These guys have a Taproom and they are most certainly on Facebook. They even highlighted some of my reviews of their beers over there. We were buds until Facebook came in and tried to steal her away from me. Bitch! Speaking of Facebook, before I was ejected, I was also friends with one chick (I was gonna call her a lady, but I think she'd be pissed off as she likes to curse every chance she gets and is super non-PC) who was very active in the North Coast pages. I asked her once what her favorite North Coast beer was to which I got the BS reply, "I love all North Coast beers. My dad works there." Good enough, but my dad works for a major hospital, and I don't like all the nurses, patients, procedures, or even some of the other doctors. Whatever, it's not exactly apples v. apples. It is BEER, and I almost completely concur about the ALL part. I guess she should have just left the two statements stand alone.
What else is interesting about this brewery? Besides lots of great beers, they are totally surrounded by jazz, supporting the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz, brewing Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale in its honor.
I've had every North Coast beer that is available in Florida, I think. Although there wasn't a bad apple in the bunch, my absolute favorites are Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale (mentioned above), and, duh, of course this guy.
It was my pleasure to drink this Old Stock Ale 2009 again today. I highly recommend you get yourself a few bottles--one for today and a few for 2014. Not! I'm not sure which beer is up next for this series, but stay tuned. It wont be long.
Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter
Night Owl Explorer Binoculars