1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Old #38 Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,055 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,055
Reviews: 630
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.99%
Wants: 39
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,055 | Reviews: 630 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MadCat:
Photo of MadCat

New Jersey

2.4/5  rDev -37.2%

Appearance: Nice black with a small light brown head, leaves some lacing

Smell: Funky sweet medicinal smell, I doubt its supposed to be like that. There is some roasted malt in the background, but the rest of the smell is covered up by the funk.

Taste: Just as funky and medicinal, but not as sweet. I can taste some good roasted malts in the background

Mouthfeel: Medium body with crisp carbonation.

Drinkability: Tempted to drainpour, but I will soldier on in hopes it gets better.

Overall, it looks like I got a bad bottle. Glad I only bought one, but I am sorely disappointed, as I was looking forward to this. Probably not going to try and find another. Side note, I did have a dunkelweizen earlier in the night, but I don't think that affected my palate as I cleansed it, and I smell the funk in addition to tasting it.

03-01-2011 02:41:00 | More by MadCat
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Pours very well dark with ruby tinges,does have nice caramel color head.Nice roasty smell,with chocolate and coffee in it as well,what a good stout should smell like.I do agree with a few others in saying it is a little thin and weak for the style,taste to me doesnt match the smell.A little bitterness in the ending salvaged this one for me.Nothing great but not horrible either.

02-09-2003 08:12:21 | More by oberon
Photo of RoyalT


4.13/5  rDev +8.1%

Appearance – What a head! I controlled it at the pour but it just stayed there, like a Venezuelan soccar goalie fending his net. I finally lost the waiting game and just drank it down. The body is pure, beautiful, solid black. The lacing literally covered my glass with a dark tan film of intricate design.

Smell – Big espresso and chocolate flavors with a lot of bitternes and some darkish malt to boot. The espresso bean, coffee, and chocolate aromas come together to form a wonderful (imperial) stout fragerance.

Taste – The smells from the nose come out in the taste. The coffee and dark chocalate especially are in full force, but the rest of this (rather complex) bouquet wimp out at the tongue.

Mouthfeel – A little thinner than I had hoped for, but good nevertheless. This one is on the full side of medium-bodied and somehow has a refreshing finishing.

Drinkability – At 1.29 per bottle this is a steal.

Update – I originally reviewed this in 2003 but drink it regularly so am posting an update with a 2005 vintage. I juggled some scores around but over all this is a good stout that smells terrific.

11-14-2003 05:43:22 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Zakk


4/5  rDev +4.7%

06-04-2012 02:15:02 | More by Zakk
Photo of Dmann


4.47/5  rDev +17%

This is an excelent medium bodied stout. It poured a very dark brown/black color with a decent brownish head that stuck around and created some nice lacing down my glass. The smell was very smoky and slightly bittersweet. The flavor was great with a nice blend of dark coffee flavors, semi-sweet malt and a nice burnt roastiness that tasted great on this cold night. Definantly one of the more drinkable stouts concitering it's nice body. Recommended.

11-29-2004 09:15:50 | More by Dmann
Photo of EastBay_Nick


2/5  rDev -47.6%

07-14-2013 06:01:46 | More by EastBay_Nick
Photo of danthehopslamman


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

08-13-2012 20:30:55 | More by danthehopslamman
Photo of NWer


4/5  rDev +4.7%

02-24-2012 22:14:18 | More by NWer
Photo of warnerry


3.93/5  rDev +2.9%

Pours black with two fingers of rather quickly dissipating head.

Smell is primarily roasted malt with a hint of coffee.

Tastes is roasted malts with some hop presence. The roasted taste is quite persistent and leaves some mild lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a little thin with moderate carbonation.

This is a very drinkable stout, though a little light on the palate.

02-24-2011 02:21:41 | More by warnerry
Photo of SAxDRC5


3.55/5  rDev -7.1%

A - Pours an opaque dark brown. light tan head. Head stays around for quite a while. leaves a white lacing.

S - Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate and burnt coffee. maybe a slight scent of sweet fruit.

T - Taste is about the same as the smell. The dominant flavor is the roasted malts. a bit of brown sugar flavor. ends with coffee, chocolate, and hops.

M - Fairly light. pretty creamy feeling. a bit dry. not the typical feel for a stout.

D - low ABV for a stout makes it quite drinkable.

09-26-2010 03:06:47 | More by SAxDRC5
Photo of Jason


4/5  rDev +4.7%

Presentation: 12oz short brown twist, no freshness date.

Appearance: Black in colour with a light brown bubbly rocky head that clings to the glass.

Smell: Some toffee, dark carob and faint alcohol aromas.

Taste: A good dose of roasted/toasted and light burnt flavours, firm malty body with a semi crisp smoothness. A little more bitterness from the roasted flavours than the hops, but the hops are still very noticeable. Lingering roasted flavours dry this brew into the after taste but there are still some residual dextrins that remain.

Notes: Full bodied dry stout ... roasted flavours are done to a T, good drinking for stout lovers.

04-05-2002 10:48:11 | More by Jason
Photo of merlin48


3.63/5  rDev -5%

Pours a dark cola, opaque black body with a moderate tan head that hangs around for a few minutes. Nice sheets and patches of lace adorn the glass. Aroma is subdued, with burnt coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Mouthfeel is light bodied, amply carbonated, and has a mild, peppery, hops bite on the tongue. Dark, roasted malt flavors dominate the taste. Chocolate, roasted coffee, and a chicory nuttiness, all dominate. Bitter hops provide a nice balance. Above average for an Ameican stout, but nothing extraordinary. Nice drinkability.

05-19-2004 21:13:06 | More by merlin48
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

12 ouncer, twist top, no freshness indicator to be found. Pours dark molasas, fairly light for a stout. moderate head/carbonation. Leaves only minimal lacing. Nose is caramel, and coffee. Rich and thick mouthfeel, especially as this one warms up abit. Toffee, expresso, burnt flavors, pleasant and drinkable. Decent, lighter then average stout. Probably needs some more black grains to beef up the roasted flavors and "ooommph" of this one.

09-01-2004 00:57:43 | More by Billolick
Photo of bisonbrewing


3.16/5  rDev -17.3%

pours dark brown/black with a small creamy head dissipating quickly. sediment suspended throughout the glass. dry malted barley predominates the nose while a subtle hint of coffee/bitter chocolate harkens back to the murphys and Guinness I had in Ireland. underwhelming malt flavor up front, followed by a dry roasted character, light hops, and bitter chocolate. thin/weak body is its most salient feature, although for the style its quite on point.

10-25-2013 20:16:10 | More by bisonbrewing
Photo of mctizzz


4/5  rDev +4.7%

03-15-2013 04:36:21 | More by mctizzz
Photo of tigg924


3.18/5  rDev -16.8%

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/3 inch head, murky, high carbonation, decent lacing

Smell: charred malt and a rather unpleasant lactose smell

Taste: bitter root followed by charred malt,with a sweetish dark chocolate at the end--smoke is in the background throughout.

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, bitter at first but it gets sweeter and smoky, medium-light bodied

Overall: A nice smoky stout with a pleasant aftertaste. Way better tasting than the smell which was a bit off-putting. I would consider getting this again, but there are others in the style I would reach for first.

11-16-2011 14:35:19 | More by tigg924
Photo of aquazr1


4/5  rDev +4.7%

07-17-2014 00:33:24 | More by aquazr1
Photo of mattster


3.78/5  rDev -1%

Opened 12 fluid ounce bottle, poured into Nonic glass.

Pours 2" of tan foamy head that holds well, some lacing on glass - Opaque dark brew.

Smell is of coffee with slight bitter action. Nothing complex, but a very clean brew. Finish is short with no aftertaste. While there are other Irish stouts I like more, this is very pleasant. All in all, a good brew.

03-27-2008 04:55:54 | More by mattster
Photo of Byeast


4.1/5  rDev +7.3%

Appearance: poured with a solid , rocky , 2.5 inches of tan root beer float foam. Basically opaque black , dark brown at the bottom , and a sticky lace was left.

Smell: dark roasted malted barley , some chocolate and light coffee , bit of dark fruitiness as well.

Taste: Rich roasty malt and bittersweet chocolate , dark dry grain , bit of sweetness like molasses , some burnt notes, plenty of bitterness from the hops and grain , and some coffee in the finish.

Mouthfeel: smooth , medium body , with mildly dry finish.

Drinkability: Roasty and tasty! Lots of dark flavor and a good dose of pleasant bitterness leave me wanting another sip. Great stout. Almost like old rasputin's baby brother.

01-22-2007 03:47:12 | More by Byeast
Photo of magictrokini


3.98/5  rDev +4.2%

Why would anyone have a Guinness when they can drink this beer? Great dark brown color with a thick tan head. Burnt chocolate aroma with matching flavor. Bittersweet and smoky, with a good chunk of dark and milk chocolate thrown in for an incredible combination.

12-10-2008 22:37:51 | More by magictrokini
Photo of mkrass


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

10-27-2012 18:12:19 | More by mkrass
Photo of BenHesk12


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%

North Coasts Old no.38 stout is a simple, dry stout enjoyable on any occasion. At only 7 dollars for a six pack, this beer has good value and good flavor. The beer pours a dark black with a substantial frothy brown head and is aromatic of burnt coffee. A somewhat strong carbonation hits the mouth making it drinkable but slightly harsh. For a dry irish stout, this old 38 is has no surprises. Well balanced, mild but not watery, bitter and flavorful enough to keep you interested until the glass is empty. This isn't a beer I would get excited about but definitely a go-to beer at a pub, and I would easily recommend it to a friend. If this is North Coasts attempt at making an entry level affordable beer to a wider audience, I think it hit the mark and I wholeheartedly approve.

09-26-2012 03:32:27 | More by BenHesk12
Photo of MattyG85


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Guinness stout glass. No noticeable date on the bottle.

Appearance: Pours a dark black with a little ruby red on the bottom of the glass. Decent three finger tan quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. Lacing is moderate around the glass.

Smell: Dark roasted malts with plenty of caramel and toffee. Hints of chocolate and coffee. Also a pretty noticeable aroma of dark fruit with hints of plums and raisins. Light hints of molasses and earthy hops in the background.

Taste: Upfront are the roasted caramel and toffee malts along with some yeast and grains. Hints of chocolate and coffee come in the middle along with a good amount of plums and other dark fruits. Finishes with a light presence of earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a carbonation on the higher side. Creamy and smooth but would be better with a little less carbonation.

Overall: A pretty decent dry stout. The dark fruits add a nice touch. Body could of been fuller with less carbonation.

11-30-2011 02:57:02 | More by MattyG85
Photo of far333


4.43/5  rDev +16%

Mahogany colored with ruby highlights coming through the edges. Light brown head rises up and falls quickly, exposing an aroma of sassafras and brown sugar, followed by powdery sweet cocoa. Taste is darker and more pungent than the aroma suggests. It's very even without any flavors taking over - semisweet chocolate followed by bitter espresso, followed by charred wood, with nuances of molasses and brown sugar. An understated hop bitter rides beneath, providing a good contrast to the other flavors. A bitter smoke lingers. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, full and round. Very drinkable for my tastes. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for sending this one along.

11-09-2005 00:25:17 | More by far333
Photo of Razor


3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

Old No. 38 Stout is definitely a darker beer in appearance. There is a distinct dark brown/reddish color almost to the point of being black. It is a great appearance for a stout beer and I'm very satisfied with the look. There is a tannish head to Old No. 38 after pooring into a glass which looked better than average.

There is an intense smell of chocolate and coffee aromas that are quickly picked up by your nose, but not too powerful to overwhelm the rich smell.

The taste is very nice for a stout beer which consists of a malty chocolate and coffee tast as stated above. It also has a hint of bitterness in the after taste that is refreshing.

Mouthfeel is a basic average. It doesn't have a crisp kick but I wouldn't expect it with the look of this beer. There just wasn't anything that excited my mouth but it also isn't bad.

The drinkability is abover average. It has a nice taste to it with chocolate and coffee flavors.

Overall Old No. 38 Stout is a good beer. It has a refreshing flavor and is a great choice for a stout.

**Pocket A's in one hand, Old No. 38 Stout in my other**

02-18-2004 02:13:01 | More by Razor
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,055 ratings.