North Coast Brewing Co. - Old Stock Ale 2005
This one has been sitting in the cellar for quite a while... and now I only have one bottle left :(
Appearance: A roasty orange gold beer with moderate carbonation for an old ale. The color is regal with note of amber and a rich hue. The head is slight... lending a nice creamy head after the initial pour but subsiding to an attractive lace around the rim of the glass after a minute or two. No lacing is present and with this beer it provides the feeling of a complex beverage meant for contemplation and thought, not guzzling or general quaffing. A beautiful beverage when served in a snifter!
Bouquet: A malty toffee is notable with molasses, raisins, and a slight aroma of earthy hops also present.
Taste: This unbelievably smooth and eloquent beverage can barely be described by my mortal tongue. This complex nectar introduces itself with an understated handshake and the firm grip of a confident and capable young man. The toffee, caramel, raisin, and deep brown sugar notes crescendo to a strong high point then subside to a pleasant but lingering after tastes that manages to finish dry enough to demand another sip and command your voice to bring up its delicious nature and composition. The dynamic taste is what hooks me in with this beer. The notes and all so subtle and perfectly in balance, it is like drinking a heavenly harmony and getting to witness the wonderful notes for as long as the pint can be savored.
Conclusion: I have not started into my Old Stock 2006's yet, but I will be very sad to be rid of my 2005 vintage. This is truly a great beer, worthy of a full night all on its own. I hope yoy can all find one of these to sample. It is so good now, and I think it will be for another year or so, if properly stored. I think I will try my last bottle next year around this same time.
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