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Old #38 Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

648 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 648
Hads: 1,206
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 14.88%
Wants: 52
Gots: 67 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

53 IBUs
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old #38 Stout Alström Bros
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Reviews: 648 | Hads: 1,206
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serviceable pleasant stout, with roast in nose. Dark black, roasted barley and chicory and some sourness in finish, and chocolate bar sugar and bit of chocolate malt. No complaints with this brewery. Medium mouthfeel, with biscuit crumbs. Dry aftertaste.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 2 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a small cap. Nice chunky rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee beans, and some slight cocoa aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, coffee, cocoa powder, and some vanilla flavors. A mild roasty aftertaste sticks around after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. A bit on the thin side though. Overall, this is a good stout with a very nice set of roasty, coffee, and chocolate flavors.

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Photo of metter98
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense tan head that died down but never completely faded away, leaving a thin head covering the surface and webs of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of chocolate malts in the nose along with some notes of roasted malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and does not have much in the way of perceptible bitterness. For this reason, there are some faint hints of sweetness.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied and airy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Slight hints of smoothness become evident as the beer warms up. Some dryness is present in the finish.
O: This beer is extremely drinkable given its light body. I would definitely consider this to be sessionable because it has some nice flavors and I wouldn't mind drinking more than one of these during a single sitting.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a really standard product, as normal as a bottle of stout can be, but it is well made and very drinkable. pours coffee colored dark brown, letting just a hint of light in, fair off white head that fades out. smells nice and roasty. flavor is well balanced and tastes stronger than it is. pretty dry finish as well. mouthfeel is good, full bodied but not filling and heavy. just enough carbonation, crisp for a stout. overall not something id rush to buy again, but a stout i am happy to drink anytime.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.73/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out like a typical Irish Stout, the black body with a tan thick head. The head had some pretty good retention and stuck around for a little while. The smell of the beer was of old leather and earth. Some roasted burnt notes as well. The taste was kind of metallic... Not really what I was thinking it'd be like. I was kind of turned off by the taste of this beer completely. Perhaps it was a bad batch but I just couldn't get over how much I disliked the taste of this beer. Everything else was pretty good here.

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Photo of brentk56
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly translucent dark brown color with a rather unimpressive head that reveals the brown liquid beneath with rapidity

Smell: Roasted malt and chocolate

Taste: Chocolate, up front, with a developing roasty taste that adds some hop elements by mid-palate; after the swallow, the chocolate comes back to the front; the finish is dry and somewhat crisp

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; rather thin for the style

Overall: A pleasant enough beer but the mouthfeel and flavor need to be bigger to get better marks from me

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Aroma: dominant chocolate with a good dose of coffee, and roastedness. A slight hint of dark, tart fruits (plumbs or cherries) and licorice. Sweet caramel malts throughout.
Appearance: Almost completely black. Just under syrupy in the pour. Nice off white to golden head. compact bubbles form a 1 inch head that remains chuncky and thick.
Taste: Again, dominant bitter sweet chocolates laced with roasted coffee. All balanced nicely with sweetness of malt, caramels, vanillas. A full, well rounded stout that introduces a mild tartness in the body that lingers through the finish. Low to no hop flavor or bittering.
Aftertaste: leaves mouth a bit sweet and tacky. Lingering hints of coffee and chocolate. Again, a bit tart.
Impression: understandibly a winter beer. Chocolates make it a beer that would nicely conclude any meal.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear light black color stout with a bigger then average creamy off-white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of coffee was pretty intense with some roasted malt. Coffee taste was not as dominant as I would have expected because of the aroma. Body is quite light with low carbonation. Hops level is definitely too low for my own taste. Not bad overall but a bit boring I guess.

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Photo of zeff80
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black color with a foamy, tan, three finger head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of coffee, oatmeal, toasty malt and nuts.

T - It tasted of oatmeal, roasted malt and a burnt toastiness.

M - It was dry and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a really good stout, although it seems more like an Oatmeal Stout than an Irish Dry. Still it was very good.

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Photo of oberon
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby-influenced dark brown. I've never had a high quality stout that enabled me to see my hand on the other side of the glass (as this one does). The mocha brown head is creamy and leaves a nice lace display in a broken sheets pattern. The aroma is heavy on chocolate and light on hops.

The flavor is nicely roasted malty and decently chocolatey, but is a tad too weak. Things start out promisingly enough with a semi-sweet milk chocolate flavor that is mingled with a mild hoppiness. It then fades too quickly as the beer is swallowed, leaving but a memory. I'm convinced that the too-light body is to blame for the lack of 'oomph' on the palate.

I prefer stouts--even Irish Dry ones--that hang around, make some conversation, get comfortable in the mouth and then say a lingering goodbye. Old No. 38 pulls into the station, slows down a bit and then chugs away with a weak toot of the whistle. It's an enjoyable ride while it lasts, but it could have been so much more.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour was near spot on for the style and really showed a tremendous amount of promise. Dark as night with a rich and creamy tan head that rose up from the bottom and settled down very nicely along the top of the glass. Bu that was about the best it would get. Too light of a n aroma, as roasted malts and chocolate notes seem to be horribly off balance. Hints of coffee maybe? But it all seemed to be a bit of a mess for me to be honest. Smooth, even carbonation on a somewhat mellow profile, needed a bit more of a punch to really be anything worthwhile to me. Roasted chocolate, hints of tobacco, a light sweetness, but again it really all seemed terribly off balance to me to be honest.

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Photo of nickfl
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of medium brown head that sit atop a black body with no light showing through. The head settles down rapidly but leaves reasonable lace.

S - Light notes of licorice and roasted malt with a bit of caramel.

T - Caramel and molasses up front with a hint of pine hops. More dark malt in the middle as notes of chocolate and roasted grain begin to come out. It finishes with bittersweet chocolate and some burnt caramel flavor as well as moderate hop bitterness. Licorice and some charred carbon notes linger on the palate after the beer is gone.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - A well made stout, its flavor profile isn't particularly dark for the style, but it has enough roasted character to give it a very nice dark chocolate character in the finish. The gaps are filled in with dark malt that brings notes of molasses and licorice to the table as well as a bit of caramel. Like all of North Coast's offerings, this is a solid beer that is free of flaws and enjoyable.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is dark brown in color with a pretty solid tan head.

S: The nose is primarily of dark chocolate and coffee with a pretty solid roasted malt aroma in the background. A little bit more sniffing gives off some dark fruit aromas.

T: The dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts all work quite well together in terms of the flavors. The fruits are a bit harder to pick out than they were in the nose, but still there, as is a bit of char.

M: The body is medium with a smooth, mildly creamy feel on the tongue.

D: A very nice, sessionable stout. I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful it is.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a distinctly brown color, with a mediocre tan head that quickly subsided while my head was turned for a few moments to watch a Seinfeld episode.

Smell: Black malts and bittersweet chocolate lead with some toffee and floral hop notes lingering in the background. There's a slight sourness here.

Taste: An unmistakable roasted malt taste from beginning to end. A brief suggestion of chocolate, but its mostly just a coffee-like flavor throughout. Again, slightly sour.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Short, simple, and to the point. Not unlike this review itself. A rather thin body - thankfully the carbonation remains somewhat low. A very "easy" stout. Let me just finish with a joke. What do you get when you cross a baked potato with a


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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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

No controversy surrounding the number here, Jack! It pours into a Guinness-esque cascade, which settles out into a sleek black-brown topped by a finger-and-a-half of light tan foam. Quite lovely, I should say. The nose is somewhat weak, comprising light roasted malts, very light cocoa, and a hint of maple syrup. The taste does not deviate too far from this, holding notes of mild roasted malts, dark chocolate, a touch of espresso, and a vague feeling of gingerbread at the finish. The nitro allows everything to coalesce and slide about in an unassuming manner. The body is a sleek medium, with a light and comforting nitrogenation and a consequently ridiculously smooth feel. Overall, a nice little Irish stout. Were this always on nitro, I'd have a solid go-to when all other taps fail.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown with reddish highlights and a full foamy tan head that holds well and leaves very good spider-web lace throughout the entire glass. The aroma is of sweet caramel malt, cocoa, and some roastiness. The body is medium-light and the mouthfeel is nicely creamy. The flavor starts with cocoa and toffee up front, becoming very chocolatey with a slight acidity as it crosses the palate, ending with swirling flavors of nuttiness, cocoa and biscuit, and eventually finishing with drying bitterness and a residual bittersweet chocolate note.

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Photo of mactrail
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So this must be why we have nitro. About the best nitro-fuelled beer I've had. The usual creamy body but with a perfect cap of foam. The black beer looks great in the standard pint glass. Texture and flavor are both like chocolate cake, but not sweet. Roasted malt in the nose. Pleasant warmth, a little bit of hops, some caramel hint.

What's not to like about this? A beer made for swilling. This should make the Irish take another critical look at their Beamish Stout. Not as sour and charred as the Irish cousins. On the nitro tap at South Park Abbey in San Diego.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, dark fruit, some chocolate and a faint touch hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character followed by some mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and dark fruit. The hops presence is very mild but about where it should be for this type of beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is solid beer but there are better ones within the style.

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

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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Pours an opaque dark brown with a small tan head. Pretty standard stout, with roasted malts on the nose, semi-sweet chocolate, and a touch of molasses. Basic roasted malts in the taste, with a touch of chocolate, molasses, and an elusive touch of sour apple. Medium-to-full body, smooth, and pretty drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany with 3 fingers of tan head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Cocoa & coffee

T: Roasted malt, coffee, & iron up front. Charred grain, dryness & leafy hops as this warms. Finishes fruitty (dark fruit)& with a bit too much coffee for me

MF: Smooth & creamy with medium body

Drinks easy enough, a nice stout that has a bit too much coffee character for me

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 from notes 12-2006. Pours a clear but deep ruby with a tan head. Nose is fairly mild actually. Minute amounts of cherry. Flavor hits with a quick punch of sweetness and then the alcohol takes over. In my opinion it stays way too long as it leaves a aftertaste on the mouth. Just seems a bit too much, though it doesn’t completely overpower. I wonder what age would do to that. Slight cherry tone. Feel is slightly syrupy with minimal carbonation. Even though at first the alcohol is extremely present, this one is highly drinkable. Though I doubt you’d want to go through too many of these at once.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours very dark brown, almost black color; with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of cocoa, chocolate, roasted malt, light char, toast, molasses, raisin, toffee, light coffee, and roasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity; decent strength. Taste of cocoa, chocolate, roasted malt, toast, light char, molasses, toffee, light raisin, light coffee, and roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of cocoa, chocolate, roasted malt, toast, molasses, toffee, light raisin, and earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted flavors with some light fruitiness; with good robustness, and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, chalky, and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with almost zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good dry stout style. Good balance and complexity of nicely robust flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering; but I probably got an old bottle judging by the fruitiness and molasses notes.

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Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 648 ratings.