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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

650 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 650
Hads: 1,214
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 14.88%
Wants: 53
Gots: 71 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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 (25) | 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
Reviews: 650 | Hads: 1,214
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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Appearance - Pours nearly 2 fingers of smooth, dense light mocha head, body is a translucent but very deep mahogany and garnet,. The head comes down to a solid cap in a few minutes BUT left a thin coat of lace that nearly covered the entire glass, nice.

Smell - Nice roastiness, slight molasses, rich coffee, bakers chocolate, lite soy sauce, and maybe a whisper of dark fruit.

Taste - Dark roasted malts, light coffee and chocolate, some toasted dark wheat crusts, I get a very slight nuttiness, and finishes with some unsweetened black coffee, tea tannin and some very light minerals and grassy hops.

Mouthfeel - Nearly medium, and quite smooth, but not nouthcoating. Carb is lower side of medium that is soft and foaming across the center of the tongue but leaves the corners with some very nice bright edges.

Overall - Really a very nice stout, and extremely smooth and drinkable. Flavors are nicely bold, complex, and very well balanced. Fills the mouth during the quaff and finishes with a subtle dryness with a whiff of astringency. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of scotorum
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick

a: Very dark clear ruby, finger thick tan head receded quickly to even surface foam and patchy lacing.

s: Nothing detectable

t: Smoky dark malt. Dry finish.

m: Light to moderate, light for a stout.

o: An easy drinking stout, sessionable for the style.

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Photo of bigdeuce
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Scents of plums and chocolate on the nose. Nice, outrageously, huge 3 finger head. Dark as a good stout should be. Many complex flavors, including chocolate, coffee, and hazelnuts. A classic American made stout. Goes down so smoothly, low bitterness, and it makes you want the next sip. Great session beer and I am probably a bit biased because this was one of my first micro-brewed stouts and I'm glad to be reunited with it!

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Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque onyx with a billowing chocolate head that dissipates slowly, leaving modest lacing.

Roast malt, a bit of acrid coffee, light floral hops, and a metallic note form the aroma.

Toasted bread and roasty malt form the backbone of flavor, with notes of bitter coffee surfacing in the finish. Dark fruit is subtle, but present in the underlying profile. Light tar surfaces in the finish. The metallic character is the only downside.

Body is moderate, with moderate to slightly low carbonation.

Fairly subtle beer that hits on all points for the style. Very drinkable, without all the bells and whistles that drag down some of the new kids on the market. Should go great with these oysters.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a very dark brown with a one inch tan head, that leaves behind tons of lace. Smell is chocolate, coffee, bread, and toffee. Taste is all of that, chocolate being the dominant flavor really well balanced and smooth. Body is fairly light for a stout, plenty of carbonation, a little dry, and very drinkable. This is a solid stout, not earth shattering but nice.

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Photo of Khad
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this poured from a bottle into a Stout glass.

Appearance is very nice, with a pretty black pour and I don't mean ruby. The head comes off as creamy and tan but doesn't stick around long. There is some lacing for the duration but not much. All seems straight forward but pleasant. Yes, as advertised, no mistaking that this is an Irish Stout. To the nose, you get plenty of malt, plenty of dark chocolate and some might say coffee but I got something along the lines of creamy black tea. The mouth-feel is nice and creamy with nothing overbearing, very light on the palate. The taste is once again straight forward and nothing ground breaking but still very enjoyable. Up front is the creamy chocolate, accompanied by mocha and very light expresso in the end. You will also be able to taste a lot of the malt and that's something I like in Stouts. All around a very nice beer although a bit on the pricey side here in Vegas. I'd buy it again if the price was right as this is a nice one but there are better choices out there. This is NOT a big beer and no way resembles a serious Imperial Stout. It's not complex and will remind you of most other Irish style Stouts but it still sits higher on the shelf than most. Recommended.

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

Very dark. Black, for sure, with a sudsy beige cap of an inch or more.

Dark cocoa, coffee, light roast, tanginess, light cream, and earthy notes.

Roasty enough, with light coffee notes. Barley grain, light vanilla, and malt bitterness. Not much for hops. Simple, but decent.

Wooly body with a good tautness. Spicy carbonation creates a nice tickle.

Pretty solid for an Irish Dry Stout.

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

I bought a six pack of this beer. This is my 1st beer today, and the 4th of this pack.

A: Poured into a mug, its rich dark black in color, hard pour resulted in a 2 inch head, creamy and tan in color, some lacing.
to style

S: Dark Malts, rich dutch chocolate. I let it warm up from 40f to 55f. Now I get some rich creamy coffee, some warm bread like malt, but no hops detected. more sweetness hit the nose as it warms more past 60f. to style

T: at first you get bitter dark chocolate and roasted malts. the back end taste leaves a sweet creamy hot chocolate like and coffee but with some bitterness.., balanced dry malt, some yeast , but the hops are barely there. humm barely to style, but I fudge it some

M/D: Nice smooth creamy beer. dry aftertaste with lingering sugar sweetness. light body, light carbonation. to style.

O: Nice beer easy to drink. I could drink this all day. I will buy this again. Good stuff! RECOMMEND

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Photo of megahurts4
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

North Coast Old No.38 Stout

Appearance: very dark brown, small head, and a little lacing.

Smell: vanilla, chocolate, and cocoa.

Taste: roasted grain, chocolate, and a light hop.

Mouthfeel: light.

This has some good aromas and flavors in a light body.

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Photo of RhyminBelmont
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cole's open mic

A- a thick and creamy chocolate milk head comes and chills for a while. Dark dark brown and pretty impermeable.

S- light and crisp roast, might be a little cold to tell but nothing outstanding here.

T- chewy malt and thick slightly drying bitter roast tones. Full of flavor, nails the style.

O- I've been on a non imperial Stout kick lately and this is killing it for me. Would drink again, this would be easy to session. Fridge staple material if not ISO worthy.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on November 14, 2013.

It pours mainly dark brown with a small, short-lasting beige head. But I see some reddish hues glistening around the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is of chocolate malts, smoke. coffee, and perhaps butterscotch...or is that caramel? But it does exhibit a mixture of smoke and sweetness on the nose.

The body is thin to medium, which was probably its least enjoyable aspect.

The taste is more sweet and malty than the nose might suggest with muted coffee but more forward malts and butterscotch. Low bitterness. A very quaff-able beer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thin tan head on a black body.
The aroma is roasted malt with some lemon and coffee. On the light side but good.
The taste has a nice cream to it; roasted malt and mild bitterness round it out.
The texture is smooth except for the finish that has a nice fizz.
A tasty stout with great balance and approachability.

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Photo of stercomm
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a shorty 12 oz bottle into a 16 oz tulip glass

A - Very dark brown in color with a nice big mocha head that recede slowly leaving a nice thin layer along the top of the beer, very slight lacing.

S - Immediate sense is toast with some sweetness and slight cocoa, very subdued smell.

T - Taste profile follows along the smell, balanced, nothing overpowering, toasted malts, a slight sweetness starting out, some hints of chocolate, finishes rather dry.

M - Medium bodied, mild carbonation, slight creaminess.

O - A solid beer, nothing overpowering, nothing out of place.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of North Coast Brewing Company's Old #38 Stout a couple weeks ago for $1.70 at Toskey Sands Market. The only beer I've had from this brewery is Old Rasputin and since that's such a solid Stout I thought I would give one of their other Stouts a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a shorter brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it's got some nice artwork of a steam train that goes good with the name. It poured a dark brown color that bordered on being black and it took on more of a dark brown hue when held to the light with two and a half fingers worth of light mocha colored head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice spotty rings of lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a with a higher amount of sweetness followed by a good amount of dark roasted malts that impart a medium roasted, dark chocolate and cocoa powder like aromas with a light bit of vanilla and coffee coming through. Up next comes a very earthy aroma that may be from the hops, but I'm not sure. The aroma was nice and pretty true to style.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by a good amount of dark roasted malts that impart a nice medium roasted, dark chocolate and cocoa powder like flavors with a very slight amount of vanilla and a very light coffee flavor showing up in the back ground. Towards the end I get that same earthy aspect that I got in the aroma with a slightly higher amount of low bitterness with a nice roasted and chocolate like aftertaste. This a pretty nice tasting beer, that was very true to style.

M- Smooth, slightly rich, a little creamy, on the the thicker side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty nice, the carbonation was a little high, but other than that it was pretty good.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, it had pretty much all the aspects that I look for in the style with nothing that was too out of place for the style. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, a little creamy, not to filling and the taste did a good job at holding my attention, I could see myself drinking a couple of these, it's a pretty easy drinking dark beer. What I liked the most about this beer was how true to style it was, it's just what I want in an Irish Dry Stout. What I liked the least about this beer was the aroma, it wasn't bad, but it had a slight stale aspect to it. I would buy this again, and I would like to try a bottle that I know is fresh, I enjoyed it and it was priced well. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the style. All in all I was happy with this beer, it represents the style nicely and it's pretty easy drinking. Good job North Coast, I'll have to keep an eye out for more of your beers, keep up the good work.

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Photo of bisonbrewing
3.16/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

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.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours deep, deep brown to black. About a 1 finger, tan and chocolate brown head forms and retains pretty well. Lacing is also pretty good.

S- Dry, dark malts are first and foremost. Hints of bitter chocolate and lots of dark malts intermingle to provide a fairly delicious smelling aroma.

T- Starts of with a lot of dark malts and their subsequent bitterness. Very much like chocolate bitterness, but drier. Some burnt flavors also mix in to heighten the bitterness. Just a slight hint of chocolate makes an appearance in the middle of the drink. Ends with more dark malt bitterness that lingers for a little bit.

M- Lighter in body, but smooth and fairly creamy. Sits light in the stomach.

Overall, this is what a dry stout should be; bitter, dry, and light in body. Quality malt scents and flavors make this a great example of the style.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz short brown bottle with a label that features the Steam Engine the beer is named after. Decent looking label of green and the train engine. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - black colored with the smallest hint of ruby and a solid brown. Tan colored head pours lovely and sits to perfection like a sheet of straightened cloth leaving good stick.

S - not much going on other than a dry roasted aroma with hints of dark malt and a faint whiff of bitter chocolate.

T - dark and roasted malt flavors with a hint of coffee and bitter chocolate. A toffee comes toward the middle with a small amount of bland hop flavors creeping in toward the back. Dry finish but the bitterness lingers for a moment.

M - pretty decent texture and not a bad thickness to the body. I can't say its smooth but it is pretty refreshing for a stout. The dry character allowed me to enjoy this stout and the roasted malts are done fairly well in 38.

O - a pretty good stout. Nothing fancy or out of this world about it, but a solid year round offering from a solid brewery. I really dig North Coast and while this isn't one of my favorites from them its still something ill grab from time to time.

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Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 650 ratings.