They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Thursday 8 September 2011

Stock Ale

I know nothing about Stock Ale. I only heard about them a few months ago when I bought my first - the Pitfield's Stock Ale pictured left from Cambridge.

Over to Michael Jackson to tell us a little about it then:

"A style dating from the days when it was impossible to brew in the warm months, and made to be cellared during the summer, was known as Stock Ale", "The old generation American IPA's and Stock Ales were winy-tasting brews, often made with water heavily treated with calcium sulphate to resemble that of Burton. They were seen as autumn and winter drinks, and were often served at room temperature, sometimes 'still', from casks behind the bar."

So now that we have that, and a little more subject matter on the subject, let's look at what we have to drink tonight. Obviously it's going to be my second Stock Ale...

This is the Limited Release, 11.5%, 2009 Vintage Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing Company from the States. These guys are probably better known for making the Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, but tonight we're talking Stock Ales.

A quick check on RateBeer reveals some interesting facts...

"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."

Only Fuggles ey? ... well not that there's anything wrong with that!

This beer evolves a lot over the time it takes to drink it. The aroma is abundant of caramel apples, some candy sugars, a hint of Belgian  peppery yeast and a lot of chocolate cherries. It starts really sweet, thick and rich - and even with a really big carbonation for a 2+yr old beer. There's some almost lactic flavours in the mix, it seems a bit like a Milk Stout mixed with a Barley Wine. Smooth toffees and a marmalade richness. The finish is long and quite drying, with just a hint of bitterness creeping back up the throat. As it goes down slightly, the alcohol becomes a bit more present and a bigger spicy-er fruitiness comes out.

An amazing complex and completely unique beer. I've never had anything like it before, and now it's all I can think about! Pure deliciousness!!

This beer was purchased from the Cask whilst in London.

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