Old #38 Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

644 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 644
Hads: 1,179
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 7.57%
Wants: 47
Gots: 53 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-18-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 644 | Hads: 1,179
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours bright, dense black under a 1” tan foam cap.
S: Malt aromas with chocolate and light coffee notes.
T: Rich roast malt, caramel with a little chocolate in the flavor. Nothing harsh or burnt.
F: Medium full body, medium to medium low carbonation.
O: This is a nice, drink all day kind of a stout. (310 characters)

Photo of stevoj
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On nitro at Boise Brewing. Pours extra thick and creamy, head silky smooth and tight. Inky black body, roast grain on the aroma, plenty of coffeeish bitterness. Pretty slippery and slick for a stout. Extra appearance points for the nitro body. (243 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: [3.50] Very dark, almost black beer. Pours out with a 1/2 a finger of tan head. The head is creamy and recedes down but does not disappear. I can't find an ABV or a date.

S: [3.50] Bittersweet cocoa. Dark fruits. Raisins maybe.

T: [3.50] Smoked hickory up front with a hint of bacon. The middle has some sweetness and the finish has a slight bitter note.

M: [3.75] The mouthfeel is creaming and it coats the tongue.

O: [3.50] This is decent beer. I got none of the coffee flavors indicated on the label. But the body and the mouthfeel were nice. The flavor holds up well. The bottle is missing ABV and a date - I always hate that. I'd guess this is in the 6.7% ABV range. No my favorite but it is worth repeating. (738 characters)

Photo of SensorySupernova
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black with very smooth off-white head. Eventually settled to a ring of lace around the outside.

Smell: Roast malt, coffee.

Taste: Roasted malt up front, pretty dry, coffee, fades at the end to leave very little aftertaste. Very little bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin, fine carbonation.

Overall: Solid flavor, pretty standard, would be nice with more body. (377 characters)

Photo of kitch
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. There was no bottled or best by date on the bottle.

Appearance: The beer poured a rich opaque black colour with a bit less than one finger caramel tan head that dissipates quickly leaving a small amount of lacing.

Aroma: Aromas are a bit weak, but mainly of roasted malts, cocoa dark chocolate and brown sugar. There is also a slight amount coffee mixed in.

Taste: Sweet cocoa and roasted malts followed by brown sugar, milk chocolate, coffee and maybe a small amount of caramel.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, sticky, light to medium bodied with light carbonation and a small alcohol kick.

Overall: Overall this was a decent stout that may be a little bit on the sweet side. However when compared to Guinness, I have to say that I’m leaning towards Guinness for a variety of reasons. It’s not as sweet, only one-third of the cost, and a lot easier to find in Hong Kong since its available in every supermarket. (957 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

All aboard the North Coast Old #38 - next stop: anything but a train-related joke. Please have your tickets ready [Dammit Doc!]. I like North Coast, especially their Old Rasputin RIS (which is a DSM or a ‘Doc’s Stout Must-haves’ not to be confused with the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ or ‘The Other DSM’) so it’s only natural that their Old #38 Stout - North Coast’s take on the Irish Dry Stout style (e.g. the one that Guinness is) and I should cross paths for a good old fashioned review. In case you were wondering what the Old #38 is North Coast’s web page has the answer young grasshopper: “Named for a retired California Western Railroad steam engine on the Fort Bragg to Willits run through the Redwoods”. Goody.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Rich black opaque body with a delightful 1 cm mocha head that beckons the drinker to sip and be merry. The head soon reduces to a thin lace but my appetite remains. This beer on nitro tap would be a force to be reckoned with. 8/10.

S: Classic Stout aromas - coffee and cocoa make a smell-pearance, along with brown sugar and some toasty smoke-char. “Hey you wanted a classic Stout, you got it!” says North Coast as it lays down the aroma gauntlet to Stout-lovers worldwide. 9/10.

T: The coffee characters take on a ripe coffee berry flavour, merging with powdered cocoa and topped off with a hint of brown sugar and that smoky roasting note towards the finish, which is a balanced juxtaposition between dryness and coffee grind bitters. The aroma does perhaps oversell the flavour a little as it has a watery/metallic aftertaste that detracts from the overall taste. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied, slightly watery, with a light to flat carbonation. Certainly not winning any awards here. 6/10.

D: There is a damn good brew in this Stout that is marred by aftertaste and body, which is a shame because I do enjoy nearly all of North Coast’s brews, it just feels as if this particular North Coast Stout was brewed on a Friday afternoon. How does it compare to Guinness? Well I would say favourably, but then again Guinness borders on water for me with all the drops in ABV it has had over the last decade - Old #38 fortunately doesn’t suffer from the mid-strength handicap of today’s Guinness, yet in some ways I would take a Guinness over this any day (it’s a lot cheaper for starters, and the nitro-cans beat bottles). 7/10.

Food match: The perfect match for a Irish Dry Stout is still Beef & Guinness pie. (2,545 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Nitro tap.

Appearance : creamy, Guinness-like head, 1 finger and pinkish white. The body is beautiful from the nitro, cascading down like a waterfall. Mostly opaque, 95% probably. Dark brown to black. (The head stays throughout the tasting)

Aroma : A weak aroma, but I can detect cocoa, oat, some spiced hop. Maybe some cured wood there too.

Taste : roasted malt and hops play a polite game of tag, adding in roasted caramel and cocoa powder. Slight woody notes also accompany. Cocoa plant, and hop is so polite. It ends only a pinch hoppy. Good. Good. Good.

Mouthfeel : OMG. Smooth as a good shit. Forgive me I'm kinda plastered. I'm sure that has something to do with the nitro, but it is so creamy, it's like a dessert. It ends slightly roasted and dry.

Overall : What a beer. Better than Guinness. I gotta buy me a nitro keg. Damn. (841 characters)

Photo of MartyMaltose
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Solid all around, and very affordable for the quality if purchased as a sixer at World Market. It is a perfect enhancer for all manly meals--pizza, curries, grilled burgers or sausages, pasta with red sauce. In an ideal world, this would be the basic stout served everywhere, with premium stouts offered where there are lots of taps. I enjoy drinking these North Coast brews that have no faddish flavorings but are simply beautiful products of a remarkable brewer who is an artist with the basics. (497 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours black with tall, long lasting, creamy, beige head and nice lacing. Aroma is of bready malt, toast, dark fruit, coffee and brown sugar. Body is medium, creamy and smooth. Taste is of toasted malt, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit and herbal hops. Finish is long and dry. On a sweet side but tasty brew. (336 characters)

Photo of Foxybrau
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found #38 to be very good across the board. Nothing elaborate on the nose or the palate, just a straightforward stout that moves along nicely front to back. Would definitely drink it again. (193 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown, with hardly any light getting through. The head is creamy tan and burns off quickly, leaving small amounts of lacing. Dark malts dominate, with notes of dark chocolate and coffee and earthy hops adding to it. The taste is very similar to the aroma, just not quite as robust and forward.The body is thinner, has a hit of carbonation and a nice dry finish. (374 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours dark brown with a frothy brown head that settles and laces fairly well.

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, a little coffee, maybe a little spice.

T: Dark roasted malt, some coffee, bittersweet chocolate, a little smokiness, a little dark fruit, maybe even a touch of licorice.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Pretty darn solid stout. (409 characters)

Photo of DrainBamage
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours thick black with a lace of head. Smells like chocolate and coffee malts.At first sip its very sweet but goes down smooth and ends with a little bitterness. Overall a fairly drinkable Stout. (195 characters)

Photo of Chessmaster
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%

Served from bottle into a Sam Smith's pint glass.

A:Pours an attractive black with brown/ruby highlights. Head dissipates quickly to thin cap

S: Primarily toasty notes, with sweet caramel smell.

T:Caramel and roasted grain, which finishes with a dry bitterness. Very nice

M: Medium bodied, soft carbonation, pleasant

O: Very drinkable and enjoyable stout. Delicious flavor and nice aroma. Would buy again. (410 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured into a mug to a nice shade of black with a huge and rocky light tan head with excellent staying power
S: smells a little sweet with some notes of roasted malt and coffee
T: taste is smooth light chocolate flavor with a little coffee and some light roasted malt notes. swallow is a little sweet with more coffee and roasted malt
M: this beer has a medium heft on the palate with soft but adequate carbonation and a drying finish
O: A very good beer that's a pleasure to drink. It isn't a monster of a stout but it drinks nicely and has good flavors. (558 characters)

Photo of BucBasil
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

The beer's head leaps to the top of the glass as soon as it's poured, but then settles back down slowly, a bit more retention than cola but still somewhat fizzy. Head was Light tan by the way. The beer is an opaque brown color with only a slight amount of light coming through on the edges of this dark dark brew.

S: Toasty character stands out as well as a sweet caramely note. Brown sugar and slight traces of alcohol mix in with some dark fruit and some watery hot chocolate.

T: Not so in your face, but actually somewhat sweet at first.Caramel and toast. Finishes nice and roasty with a bit of char and coffee in the aftertaste.

F: The low point of this beer. A bit watery feeling. Not as creamy or substantive as you want any stout to be.

Overall a solid brew. Could be a regular go to, but there are a lot of similar beers out there. Kind of depends on whats next to it. (930 characters)

Photo of HuskerTornado
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into Chimay glass. Pours black with a mocha colored head. Tall head that eventually settles into a thin layer on top of the beer. A fair amount of lacing as it moves down the glass.

Smell is of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, some hops and bit of dark fruits.

Taste is dark roasted toffee malts up front, chocolate flavors as well as hop bitterness come through the middle, and the finish has a mocha bittersweet finish to it. Mouthfeel is full bodied thick and smooth.

Overall, a very good dry stout. (537 characters)

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: Solid black body. Slightly beige head which dissipates quickly.

S: Not much of a nose but some smokey fudge and caramel.

T: Thick and full of fizz. Smokiness and earth, just on the right side of dry. No chocolate and in fact no malt character at all but there is some caramel in the aftertaste. Sharp and assertive but lacking backbone. Not as hoppy as I was expecting.

O: Totally lacking in malt character and one dimensional but still quite drinkable. (459 characters)

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Very, very dark brown, ruby when held up to a bright light. Decent, if porous, head, but little lacing. No carbonation apparent. Bottle art reminds me of lame early 90's shirts, but it's endearing.

S: Wow, rounded considering the nearly purity-law ingredients list. Realistic coffee foremost, with chocolate and dark malts in the background. Not shy at all. Consider me impressed.

T: Similar to the nose: coffee (if I didn't know better I'd say they added coffee beans), faint milk chocolate. The hops' flavor isn't apparent but the bitterness is in the finish, which is long, and also contains a little sweetness, but nowhere near indulgent. Concisely, great.

M: Just shy of full-bodied, with slightly too much carbonation for my preferences. Yet, this relatively light body increases its drinkability. Decent tradeoff.

O: This is a great stout, enjoyable during any season; doesn't require a super-dark beer mood. The coffee is so impressive, yet that is only one aspect to this beer. This is my summer-stout. (1,018 characters)

Photo of tmm313
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Black with slight brown around the edges. Poured a nice 2 finger head with awesome lacing.

S- I got a big burst of caramel right after it was poured. From there, it added hints of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Seemed to weaken as it warmed.

T- Roasted malts, baker's chocolate, coffee, caramel, a touch of spicy hop, and some bready notes. Roast grew stronger as it warmed.

M- On the lighter side of medium. Not overly drying. Pretty good carbonation.

O- I could definitely drink this if it were offered, but I'm just not the biggest fan of thinner stouts. (574 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice dry easy drinking stout hopefully.

Pours a big darker almost mocha colored creamy frothy thick 2 finger head that fades slwoly with lots of layers of lacing, super dark color, just about jet black with faint hints of black light sneaking through.

NOse brings nice dark malts, mocha and cocoa, little cocoa dust, mild creamy chocolate, hint of roast, some caramel and toasty brown malts, a little vanilla flavored coffee little coffee roast.

Taste brings creamy malts, creamy brown malts with nice toasty malts, little caramel and toffee, fair sweetness, into a mild roasty note, little coffee, vanilla flavored coffee again and a bit nutty. A little cocoa, just a touch of chocolate and mocha but not a lot of those. A mild herbal earthy hop bitterness comes through, with a little bitterness. A little grainy malt note and hint of yeast as well, and a creamy flavor and feel. Finish is still a bit sweet but mostly dry, little sticky and creamy feeling, almost like a touch of lactose in there, mild cocoa and coffee lingering too. It also has a weird yeasty like slight bitter herbal note on the finish, not sure if a bad hop thing or weird grainy plus yeast thing.

Mouth is med bod, little creamy, lots of carbonation.

Overall not bad, nice stout flavors, over carbonated, and that weird back end bitter herbal yeasty thing that's hard to describe and takes away a bit, not a lot of hops which could have been a bit more. Still pretty nice beer. (1,458 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For the price I don't think a beer can set up any better with a lush creamy head that stayed mounted for the entire experience. The color is simply black and beautiful.

The nose is dry malty chocolate with a hint of Graham cracker and marshmallow. The malt is chocolatey but a tea leaf pervades.

The flavor has a hint of mint, chocolate, slight coffee roast, lactose, marshmallow, sherry and brandy soaked raisin.

The feel is as dry as to be expected but it has a thinness that is distracting. The finish is a tad creamy and even more dry.

Overall, this is exceptional for the price but we'll done within its own merit. (623 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer almost pitch black deep-deep brown color with a one finger head of a cream color. The head has a good level of retention, sitting around for some time before fading to leave a nice level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a nice roasted malt smell with dark chocolate and a notes of coffee. Some light smells of vanilla and caramel are mixed in with the darker and roasted aromas producing a somewhat semi-sweet chocolate bar like smell.

Taste – The taste begins a bit sweeter than the nose would have let on with some vanilla and brown sugar sweetness mixed with a nice roasted flavor. A little bit of chocolate is upfront as well, but this remains relatively light throughout the taste. In opposition to the chocolate, the coffee begins very light but increases quite a bit as the flavors advance, becoming the dominant darker flavor toward the end of the flavor profile. With the coffees increase in intensity, the bitterness of the beer increases as well, and with a slight increase in the sweetness, due to a bit of a cola flavor coming to the tongue at the end of the taste, one is left with a bitter-sweet, dark roasted coffee flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker side for a brew of 5.6 % abv. with a slightly lower carbonation level. The slightly thicker body and lower carbonation are great for the darker flavors of the brew all while not being too low or too thick to keep it from being drinkable.

Overall – A nice Irish stout. Not the driest out there in terms of its sweetness but a very nice and easy drinker none the less. Very enjoyable. (1,735 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Londonderry Quick Stop.
Pours a dark brown bordering on black with a huge off white head that takes a few to recede. Aromas of roast and hints of caramel, dried fruit, and chocolate. The flavor follows the aroma quite well. Slightly tart roasted grains with a hint of caramel and chocolate. Meidum bosy with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost creamy mouthfeel. Decent stout, I could drink it, but its not one of my favorites. (453 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark brown/black color with grow with no vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: roasted coffee, toffee, caramel, chocolate, and a little bready.

Taste: chocolate, toffee, caramel, a little smoke, roasted coffee, and a little bready.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little dry, low carbonation, and light to medium bodied. Very easy to drink and very enjoyable.

Overall: At 5.6%, this beer has a lot of flavor. A solid put together Irish dry stout. Grab me another. (644 characters)

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Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 644 ratings.