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: 1,178
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.18%
Wants: 47
Gots: 54 | 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.
View: Beers (24) | 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: 644 | Hads: 1,178
Photo of tito42
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle to a tulip.

A: Nearly opaque black with a touch of cola around the edges of the glass. Thick, foamy, cocoa head.

S: Roasted barley, bready yeast, earthy hops, peat, and hints of plum and chocolate.

T: Strong roasted barley presence up front. Flavors of plum and chocolate are much more present than in your reference Irish Dry Stout (Guinness). White cane sugar.

M: Light-bodied as a dry stout should be, with a middling hops finish for the style and a bit of a drying effect on the tongue.

O: Very solid dry stout. My first North Coast brew, I'll definitely be trying more of their offerings. (619 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color, with ruby highlights, big, thick cloud-deck of tan foam.
Aroma-Faint chocolate, coffee notes
Taste-Dark roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, drying finish. Roasty and tasty, a nice example of the style. (294 characters)

Photo of olfolxholme
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into Samuel Smith tulip pint glass

A - Massive cocoa head on top of a surprisingly dark brown beer with red highlights. Impressive head retention, bits of lacing. Lives up to expectations, for sure.

S - Initial aroma is a blast of chocolate and lots of sweet, sugary, dark roasted malt. Some coffee. Aroma fades a bit, but is still a very pleasant component of the beer.

T - Roasted malt character, chocolate, a touch of bitterness. A pinch of mineral character. Cereal grains in the aftertaste - reminds me of Grape Nuts.

M - I have to remind myself that this is an Irish Dry Stout and that the thinner mouthfeel is appropriate (as compared to an American Imperial Stout, which I usually drink). It's pleasantly carbonated, very refreshing, and just because it's thinner than most of the stouts I drink - that doesn't mean it's "thin." Some dryness with the grape nuts aftertaste. Definitely begs for another sip.

O - I really enjoyed this beer. It's not a style I drink that often, but it makes me want to try a few others and compare. My hunch is that this is a fuller flavored representative of the style. A lot of the flavor and aroma profile could work just as well in a bigger, oilier Imperial Stout. But it works quite well in this context. A MUST TRY for fans of the style, and one I will check in with from time to time, I'm sure. Worth trying for any BA. Could be an excellent "gateway beer" for Guiness drinkers.

54 (1,446 characters)

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. (1,269 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

North Coast Old No. 38 Stout has a thick, creamy, beige head and a dark brown (almost black) appearance with heavy lace left on the glass. The aroma is of brown bread, dark-roasted malt, and hop spice in the nose. Taste is the same, with chocolate, dark coffee, raisin, black cherries, and hop bitterness all mixed together. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, and North Coast Old No. 38 Stout finishes semi-dry, rich, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is a most excellent beer!

RJT (480 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown to black in appearance. Strong two finger head on pour but lighter in color than expected - ivory - for this dark of a beer. Mouthfeel is decent but watery towards the end. Smell is powerful - strong bold coffee with a hint of mocha. Taste is sweet forward but a dry finish. Another great borderline sessionable stout. (329 characters)

Photo of KajII
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Suggesteed Glassware: Nonic Pint]

The pour was a muddy jet black with a large (2-3 finger) light brown frothy head that slowly receded, down to a medium film with a large collar and had good streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a roasted dark bread malt and a leathery yeast with notes of molasses, baker’s chocolate and dark roasted coffee.

The taste was very similar to the aroma starting off a bitter malty with a slight molasses sweetness and a strong bitter chocolate note, and finishing with a large dose of roasted coffee and a smooth bitter ending. The flavor lasted a decently long time following the swallow with a bitter coffee taste that was left to linger.

Mouthfeel was a few shade above medium in body with a thin oily texture and a carbonation that was just past mild.

Overall this brew was a prime example of a bitter Dry Stout, possessing a decent body and taste along with a nice easy drinkability...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews (966 characters)

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

A: Pours a dark brown with a good sized and fluffy light brown head. Fades slowly, leaving moderate fluffy lacing behind. Decent head retention.

S: Mild roast with some char and a bit of anise. A bit of dark fruit surprisingly.

T: Again, some dark fruit up front, mixing with a bit of roasted malt. Fruit fades away into the middle leaving the char to stand on its own with a bit of creaminess. Creaminess and sweetness fades away into the finish, leaving just bitter char and hints of dark chocolate. Lingering bitter roasted malt characteristic between sips.

M: Fairly thin, low ABV but creamy and smooth.

O: A surprisingly good irish dry stout. Flavorful despite low ABV, the sweet dark fruits really mix in well. Has a nice creaminess to it too that is typical of good irish dry stouts. I really enjoyed this one, one of the best examples of the style. It's a bit simple as you would expect but honestly packs a lot of flavor in 5.6%. Very drinkable too. (962 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This pours a solid black with creamy, thick “chocolate milk” in beer form foam.

I get a toffee cocoa aroma that’s both smooth & sweet.

The beer itself is sweet with a body that holds up as expected, with a flavor that’s sweet, creamy and chocolaty.

But.

The Old 38 I had finished like… bbq sauce. Yes. Bbq sauce. It doesn’t taste like it, doesn’t smell like it, and there’s no reason to think of bbq sauce given that it’s a stout, but after I finished my pint while struggling to place the “off” notes I realized it’s … bbq sauce. Go figure. Is it maple syrup (artificial maple syrup) that’s lending those hints? I never noticed such a characteristic in other brews made with maple but I definitely found this here—and corroborated my findings with others tasting with me. Pretty sure I won’t try this one again. (851 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Deep clear brown when pouring, black in the glass with an off white head.

S-Molasses, coffee, roasted malt and some vanilla

T-Chocolate, roasted-almost burnt malt, some coffee as well. No bitterness to speak of.

M-Medium bodied, smooth with some carbonation.

O-An easy drinking stout, doesn't bring anything overpowering to the table but enough to enjoy. (360 characters)

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. (972 characters)

Photo of troysoy2
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle in a pint glass.

Nice light tan head that sticks around for the long run, splotchy lacing here and there, and an opaque, black body with a tinge of red to it.

The smell can tend to be a little metallic on occasion, but it's got a nice, dry roasted malt to it.

Slight tartness, with a graininess strangely akin to Russian Standard Vodka? Strange tangent, but that's what's in my fridge at the moment. ANYHOW, the finish is mildly dry with a moderate roastiness. Slightly light on the mouthfeel, but hey, it keeps this stuff really nicely drinkable and easily likeable. I mean, I like it... not bad at all. (620 characters)

Photo of The_Kings_Quart
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Nice dark mocha pour with about a finger's worth of creamy head that fades to a thin skim along the top.

S: Very delicate chocolate and spice. Little bit of coffee and a less than pleasant hit of yeast now and then. Gives it an almost metallic smell at times.

T: Nicer than what the smell left me with. Much milder compared to others of its kind, but there's a very faint tartness that's a nice touch. More coffee to the finish, which is a bit oily, but still clean enough.

MF: Airy and a little too susceptible to foaming in the mouth. Mild carbonation. Nothing particularly thrilling here.

O: Had two bottles of this because the first tasted like liquid tinfoil. Second bottle was good, but this is still much better on tap as far as I'm concerned. Nevertheless, a decent brew, and worth trying. (805 characters)

Photo of BenHesk12
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (781 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some roasted malts. Taste is also mild, kind of bland for this style. Some roasted malts, a hint of coffee, a touch of hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer. (277 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a warm black color with a two finger khaki colored foamy head which lasts for about two minutes. Medium body and medium-light carbonation levels. It could stand to have a bit more fullness in the body IMHO.

Aroma is bitter char-malt forward with lesser components of dark chocolate and roasted malt in the middle with just a touch of fig in the background. Contrary to the nose, the flavor is mostly toasted-malt forward with less emphasis on bitter char and more on tea and herbal / earthy hopping bittering. In this sense, the flavor felt a bit more 'porter-ish' to me than like a stout. (600 characters)

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

A- Awesome, poor's a black with maybe a slight amber color reflecting from the light in the room. Nice huge head that is a dark mocha cream color.

S- Great barley smell.

T- Wonderful malty flavor with the chocolate notes.

M- Medium full body with a creamy head that compliments the body wonderful.

O- This is a terrific stout that just has everything I look for when I want a simple wonderfully produced stout. (418 characters)

Photo of pschul4
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very nice dark black with no hues around the edges. Lacing is better than I was expecting

S- Roasted malts and some chocolate. Not a ton going on but I like whats there

T- Lots of tasty malts and chocolate notes hitting the right spots along with a decent alcohol backbone that cleans everything up without being overbearing.

M- Nice and smooth. A winner in this catagory

O- Really enjoying this one and it cured my stout fix without having to crack open one of the yetis or IRSs I've been trying to age (518 characters)

Photo of Josiah2729
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark black with half a finger of creamy tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, decent lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted malt, some coffee, slight hoppiness.

Taste: Dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, a hint of bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness, slight carbonation, somewhat of a creamy texture.

Overall: Delicious stout, I will try again. (410 characters)

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

undated 12 oz bottle served in a Porter Bar goblet.

A: Pours with a well-proportioned, creamy tan head. The liquid pours dark brown and somewhat clear, but is essentially opaque and nearly black in the glass. As the head settles, the glass gets partially coated with sticky lace.

S: The nose features dark roasted grains, of course, but also has a considerable note of spicy hops, as well as hints of toffee and vanilla.

T: Fine dark roasted malt flavor, with no burnt elements. The hops are way less evident in the flavor but a great sweet/bitter balance is obtained. Hints of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and vanilla, with some hop spiciness coming through.

M: full body, and very creamy, with an excellent level of carbonation. An inevitable warming from the high ABV. [4.25]

O: an exceptional stout; well worth seeking out. [4.25] (844 characters)

Photo of bmwats
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Black with a lot of carbonation. Pours about a finger and a half, foamy, brown head. Disintegrates fairly slowly and unevenly leaving only a slight beer ring. No real lacing.

S: Woody chocolate, with hefty floral tones, and honey.

T: Woody, with unsweetened chocolate, and a bit of a hop bite.

M: Full, hearty body, with the washed-out feel often characteristic of the style. Pretty heavy on the palette, though.

D: Sip and enjoy.... it's kind of thick.

Atmosphere is pretty solid. Dark body, heavy carbonation, thick foamy head. Nose is chocolaty and floral malt goodness with some sweet tones. Woody body, with a chocolaty flavor and hop bite.... well done. Overall, this is a really good quaff. (755 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Here comes a good old fashioned stout taste. The raostiness was the first thing that hit me. Nice. Overall, this is a very "sessionable" stout. It reminds me of how a stout should taste plus a little smoke.

It's pretty average looking (black), with some lace and weak head in my conditions. But the taste is good. I would buy again if I were seeking a drinkable stout with a smokey flavor. Nice.I said that twice so it must be so. (432 characters)

Photo of IllNate
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with red highlights. Thick frothy tan head. Great looking poor, except a bit light on color. Dark roast with rich malt, hints of coffee and licorice. Taste follow with darkly roasted malt and a lightly burnt tones, again coffee and licorice. Nice and dry with a good amount of bitterness, nice drinker. Hop character is earthy and at times piney, but the malt dominates. Mouthfeel is smooth and the bittering is near perfect. Overall a very fine stout, full bodied, yet dry. (493 characters)

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

Appearance - Pours a near black, with cola brown edging. Head is a little over finger width, good retention, with an average lace.

Smell - Strong coffee aromas, backed by a strong, bittersweet hop.

Taste - Roasted malt body. Predominantly coffee, with notes of mocha. Hops are classically european and dry.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, smooth and creamy. Finish is a touch on the dry side.

Overall - Solid irish dry. Reminiscent of Guinness Extra Stout, but a touch smoother. Good, but nothing necessarily original. (515 characters)

Photo of McNealc31
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring as black as the coal that likely fueled engine No. 38, this stout from North Coast offers quite the inviting aroma, as well. Overflowing with caramel, currants, and raisins. Very smooth on the palate and a bit sweeter than expected as there is a flavor of burnt marshmallows. The hops come in late and are not particularly strong, but just enough to cut the sweetness before it gets cloying. Charred woods comes to the forefront as it warms. The dry finish also becomes more noticeable.

Overall, another very impressive brew from North Coast. It takes a bit to get used to all the fruit notes, but the charred and toasted character along with peppery hops lead to a very nice balance. Pick this up when you find it! (724 characters)

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