“Chocolate rich Stouts go so well with high-percentage dark chocolate. The levels of bitterness and sugars, and in some cases, like [North Coast Brewings' Old Rasputin], the fruity notes are a good match…. Once they are in your mouth, there is little delineation between the beer and chocolate flavors. They pair together to create a beautiful balance of bitter and caramel. It really is magical.”
To illustrate suggestions for pairing beer with food, author Brian Freedman offers North Coast Brewing Co.’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout with a chocolate tarte. Says Freedman, “A successful marriage of beer and food is often just as much about alchemy and the magic of the unexpected as it is about a thought-out plan of attack.”
“The dark stuff from Ireland is a fine beer—smooth, satisfying and surprisingly low-carb. But when it comes to pure flavor, Guinness cedes its foamy crown to American-brewed Irish-style stouts…As demonstrated in our picks here, the results are uncommonly good…
North Coast is probably more famous for their intense Russian stout, Old Rasputin, but save that one for dessert. For day-long drinking, go with Old No. 38, a smooth, rounded beer with a bit more chocolate and fruit sweetness than a typical Irish dry stout. Soft edges and a mellow, woody finish make it wonderfully complex. 5.5% ABV”
“I was totally unprepared for the onslaught of rich complexity, intense flavor and stellar balance coming out of my brandy snifter of this incredible stuff. Why am I telling you this now? After a number of delays, a scant fourteen cases of this heady stuff has been bestowed upon Anchorage, and if you want to go on a beery scavenger hunt, you might be lucky enough to score one or two bottles for yourself. I’ve already got my share so I’ll watch the fray from the sidelines. The word’s on the street and this is some truly sought after stuff both for immediate consumption and vintage collecting.
If you’re lucky enough to score some you’ll find that the beer decants a slightly opaque brown in the glass. Minimal head forms and quickly races to the edge of the glass to leave just a tan ring around the sides. I’d suggest using brandy snifters or even wine glasses to showcase this beer. The shape of the glass helps concentrate and feature the aroma of the beer. And this is a beer that should definitely be shared in small doses with your closest of friends….The aroma is about as perfect as it gets for this big style of beer.” Read the whole review by James ‘Dr. Fermento’ Roberts on AnchoragePress.com
“The North Coast Brewing Company Old Stock Cellar Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged edition is a winner! It pours as a full-bodied tawny ale, with a lightly rocky, but more creamy of a tan head. Your initial notes are of cider, but not a spiced cider more of that ripe apple scent you get standing under an apple tree in late October. Your first sip engulfs your pallet in a warm toffee apple with very slight hints of the ale’s fresh form (that Toffee/Vanilla/Coffee vibe) but this early in the aging process you can already see how the ale has matured. The toasty marshmallow has rounded off into the toffee and the initial booziness has turned into that of ripe harvest fruits. It ends with a pleasant if noticeable warmth reminiscent of a bourbon spiked coffee on a foggy Mendocino morning.
“This is a masterpiece of brewing perfection. I have always been a huge fan of Old Stock Ale (personally having been collecting the regular releases of it since 2003). While it tastes beautiful right now I will suggest hanging on to it for another 5 years. I intend to hold on to mine 2 years till I open another one (perhaps with the 2011 special edition?) Open another again in 5 years and then 10. Patience is a virtue and definitely not for the weak so if you plan to age this baby remember out of sight, out of mind. This is a gem, an investment, a beer for when your children graduate.
“This beer is truly the milk bath Cleopatra bathed in regularly—pure, decadent, luxury.
“What would I pair this with? A cold winter evening with rain tapping on the roof and a good book (perhaps a cigar? but nothing too heavy). This is definitely a beer that can be considered a philosophy beer. Sit. Sip. Contemplate.” Read the whole review on FugglyBrew.com
North Coast Brewing Co. has just released a special batch of its award-winning Old Stock Ale. The vintage 2009 brew has been aged for 18 months in oak Bourbon barrels and has been called by Brewmaster, Mark Ruedrich, “One of the most exciting beers we’ve produced since we began our barrel aging program back in 1998.” Old Stock Cellar Reserve is bottled in a distinctively decorated 500 ml bottle with a cork and wire finish and has gone to a limited number of distributors in select markets.
North Coast Brewing’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout was named by RateBeer as one of America’s Best Beers for 2011 and given a Gold Award. The brew received an overall score of 100 and a style rating of 97 and was called a “perfect balance” with “coffee, chocolate and dark fruit” flavors.
SFWeekly‘s Blind Tasting for Best Barleywine:
North Coast Brewing Company Old Stock Ale (Fort Bragg, Calif.): 9 points. Honey- and rose-colored and with minimal head, this was the panel’s uncontested favorite. Nothing about the beer screamed “barleywine,” but the marked aromas of applejack, cherry, oak, bourbon, and bread, along with hot flavors of boozy fruit, caramel, and very faint smoke, earned it the warmest reception.
“Beer and Jazz are seldom mentioned in the same circles, however craft beer and jazz are increasingly finding the same home. The North Coast Brewing Co. has celebrated this fact with their Belgian Dark Strong Ale called Brother Thelonious. Anyone passionate about jazz music should instantly pair the name to Thelonious Monk, a marvel jazz pianist who is known as one of the giants of American music. The name pairs so well with this beer because it is a style traditionally brewed by monks. So there you have it, the Brother Thelonious is a Belgian Abbey Style beer brewed in a style made famous by monks, and to honor Thelonious Monk.
“What we have here then is one of America’s most masterful breweries brining to us a historic beer style mastered by Belgian Monks, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Brother Thelonious goes to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which allows the world’s most promising young musicians the opportunity to learn under the tutelage of America’s jazz masters. I’m impressed. Not to mention that the beer is 9.4% abv, and claims a classic mahogany red color – I’d say that so far Brother Thelonious has hit all the right notes.
“The mouthfeel is soft and easy with a light silky character and moderate carbonation. It will finish clean and lightly crisp at first when it is colder, but eventually becomes a warming and more soothing drink as the ambient room temperature gets to it. I would enjoy this beer with just about anyone, and with a wide variety of foods. Creamy and old cheeses will work very well here, so will roasted meats, anything from the grill, or chocolate or fruit based desserts.”
Red Seal Ale and Acme IPA from North Coast Brewing Co. were named winners of their style categories at the recent Hong Kong International Beer Awards. In a competition dominated by European breweries, North Coast’s double honors stood out. The event was held at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre with a goal of educating, inspiring and raising awareness of the “wonderful world of beer.” “We’ve been exporting our beers to China for a couple of years now,” said Doug Moody, North Coast Senior Vice President. “It’s an increasingly important part of our business and it’s been a pleasure to introduce our beers to a whole new country of enthusiasts.”