Old #38 Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,171 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,171
Reviews: 652
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 47
Gots: 50 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,171 | Reviews: 652
Photo of jackndan
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

North Coast No. 38 Stout: A thin stout. Pours without a lot of head, despite a vigorous pour. What little head it had was deep tan, but dissipated very quickly. The aroma was the best part of this beer, rich and smooth, very roasted malt aroma. As is typical, the aroma leads into the taste, very nice roasted malt taste with a bare hint of chocolate/toffee and coffee. The problem with this beer is the mouthfeel is very weak, this is a relatively thin stout, not much to hang the nice flavors off. Needs a backbone.

Photo of RBorsato
4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark brown to black with ruby red highlights (to a light source), a nice creamy tan-brown head, and good carbonation and lace. Roasty malt aromas, light coffee notes, and some light hoppiness for good measure. Smooth roasty robust flavor with a touch of hop flavor; nicely balanced !! Medium bodied and creamy with a dry roasty coffee-ish finish.

Per N.C.B.Co. website:
Style: Dublin Dry Stout
Bitterness: 46 IBU's

1993 GABF- Silver - Dry Stout
1992 GABF- Bronze - Dry Stout

($6.99 / 6-pack)

Photo of BCMan
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew is dark but not dark enough. When put to the light test is apppears to be a deep red color. An aggressive pour produced a small, frothy head that faded nearly as fast as was made. All that was left was a small group of bubbles. The scent is a bit sweet with chocolate tones. The taste is a lot like its smell. The flavor is sweet with chocolate and malt tones. Mouthfeel comes up a little too thin for me. A small aftertaste finishes a bit dry. I was looking for a bit more from this beer.

Photo of Razor
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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**

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

The beer pours a transparent dark brown, pretty much black, with red highlights through light. A thick beige foam tops the liquid, settling into a well maintained dense mist. Plenty of sticky lace clings to the glass.
The aroma is mainly a rich roasty chocolate malt. A distinct graininess, like pure, freshly cracked chocolate malt. Some woody yeast, with heaps of dark roasted fresh coffee. Very light date and fig esters, with faint herbal hops, providing a perfect balance to the bittersweet malt.
The flavor starts with solid chocolate malt up front, slightly burnt, filling the mouth with burnt maltiness immediately. Slightly grainy, adding a bit of husky coarseness, with some dark-roast coffee and a touch of hazelnut. A faint figgy fruitiness eases through, traveling into a mild herbal hopping into the finish. A bit of earthy woodiness and powdery yeast, finishing the beer with impressive dryness. Medium bodied, with a robust, slightly powdery mouthfeel supported by mild, easy-going carbonation.
Probably my favorite beer so far from these folks. Very, very drinkable, with solid, robust flavor. Excellent malt flavor, with a very drinkable grainy chocolate malt unmistakability. One of my top stouts.

Photo of MobBarley
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep ruby hue with an average tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells of citric hops, good dark coffee and, peculiarly, my old hayloft.

Tastes smokey and toasty. A nice piney hop flavor comes first, followed by a multitude of smokey maltiness. Burnt, caramel-like notes abound. The finish is a little sweet, a little hoppy, a little fennel-like and honestly not terribly interesting.

I like the mouthfeel, though like the flavor it is a little thin for the style. Good carbonation keeps it lively. I just wish it were chewier, as it drinks like many a porter I've had.

Drinkability is good for a stout. I can really imagine myself knocking these back like I might an IPA. Good introductory stout, but not your typical North Coast selection.

Photo of Mitchster
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a dark brown, closer approximating a brown ale than a stout in color, forming a very airy tan head with decent retention and lacing. Aroma begins with rich and very pleasant sweet milk chocolate with vanilla, roasted grain, and hints of coffee. Mouthfeel is flittery and light, smooth and refreshing with a medium body. This stuff tastes pretty good too...bittersweet chocolate, dark coffee, vanilla, a tang of metal, chalk, and some burnt wood and cavendish tobacco in the finish. Hops are very well balanced and the brew is only mildly bitter. Alcohol is barely apparent, but I detect a tang as it warms. Finish is medium dry.

Pleasantly surprised with this one...I wasn't expecting much based upon the color and pour, but this is an enjoyable stout with some complexeties and depth beyond it's appearance. A little light in color and body, but worth a try.

Photo of drewbage
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A regular stout from the folks at North Coast, brewers of one of America's best Imperial Stouts (Old Rasputin).

Sampled from a 22oz bottle with a cap in decent condition and a good pop on opening.

Beer pours pitch black with a tan head that disappates quickly into a low barely there head.

Aroma is of lightly buttered popcorn with a burnt coffee scent propelled by CO2. Behind the roast is a molasses and leather the crawls slowly into your nose and holds on tight long after the glass has been moved away.

Flavor starts with a touch of sweetness before a big chicory and roast bite rises up and dries out your palate just in time for a large grassy hop bite and a long lingering dryness.

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

Poured a black with a ruby shine towards the base of my glass. Had a nice fluffy tan head and a little bit of lacing. The nose was super soft and fruity with just hints here and there of coffee, but in my opinion the nose was too delicate and didn't stand up well to the job. Taste was subdued and full of light coffee flavors and a more pronounced flavor of whole beans. This went well with the roasty malt flavors evident further down the glass. The mouthfeel was not too thin, but it could have been thicker. I think I would like to see a nitro-draught of this as it would be an excellent alternative to guinness, which is the standard in the style.

Photo of pio
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

super dark ruby liquid with about a half inch of tan head and a lace like little islands and masses.
beautiful bready barley scent with a slight smoke and peat note. a nice hint of florals. a big biscut, molasses ans pumpernickel. only a hint of java and cocoa.
not too thick on the flavor. pretty damn good smokey notes, a plesant molasses not very bitter at all yet not sweet. a hint of oily leather and nuts.
big bubble carbonation and a bit oily. plesant, but not too much above average in my opinion. a bit watery but again, not unplesant.
a high drinkability due to sessionability.
i could have thought this was a porter.

Photo of findlayfan
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light colored, substantial head.

Nice, somewhat "dusty" smell.

Fairly clear mahagony body with moderate bubbles.

Medium-dry with slight chocolate notes and just a touch of sweetness in the aftertaste.

Overall, a good, drinkable stout - nothing special, but perfectly acceptable.

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A firm tan head stays afloat above a dark body that looks black, but may be very dark brown; superior lacing that coats the entire glass. The nose is light and a bit on the earthy side, full of roasted grain notes and a bit off. The flavor has an odd oatey sense for a stout, but this may be the level of roasting of the barley.

The feel is super; full and creamy smooth without any sense of being syrupy. A very drinkable stout, but just a bit short on flavors.

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

Pours a deep coppery brown with a nice thicket of beige to tan colored head. Nice lacing. Toasted malt aroma, vanilla and cocoa, orange zest, bakers chocolate in there, too. A bit thin, but the toasted malty flavors of a stout are there. Rather quaffable. Right balance of hops. Good.

Photo of rkhaze
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear dark mahogany with a creamy beige head. Left fair lace. Aromas of sweet roasted malt, bitter chocolate, coffee and mildly spicy hops.
Tasted of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and a bit of licorice. Finishes cocoa dry with a mild tangy hop bitterness. Nice bittersweet balance.
Seemed light in the body for the style but that certainly made it more drinkable. A little light for me but still a quality brew.

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown in color with a nice tan head.
Aroma of chocolate, cocoa, and roasty malt with a nice mix of hops (citrus maybe).

Taste is big on the chocolate and cocoa. A mild roasty malt bitterness as well. Significant, but not overwhelming hop flavor (seems citrusy or maybe floral) for a stout. Nicely balanced between sweet and bitter.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability. Fairly easy going for a stout. Nothing real bold, but still quite tastey.

Overall a good stout.

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

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.

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

a few shades off midnight black. full and foamy tan head. light burnt coffeeish aroma. medium body supported by adequate carbonation. could be a little thicker. delicate burnt roasted caramel flavors, with a commanding yet not overwhelming hop presence. sturdy and well built dry stout. i could easily have two or thee of these in a sitting.

Photo of bditty187
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mostly black in color, highlights of a darkish ruby hue. Beige head, the apex was almost two fingers worth, collapsed quickly to half that size, the remainder hung around for a while; it does lace very well. Lightly roasty malts emphasize the nose, distant coffee and chocolate hints too. Stout-like and inviting. Tasty palate, dry roasted malts upfront, far from dominating but solid enough. In the middle, charcoal and chocolate notes wafts through, a faint kiss of sweetness. The finish is also dry but heavier on the coffee taste, hops bitterness. This is pretty much all you want in a Dry Stout. Exceptionally drinkable! Simple but well constructed, session brew material. Medium-full body, light carbonation… very good mouthfeel. Just think of how many great Dry Stouts are ruined by that nitro-gimmick… I’m very glad this one is not. Recommended.

Photo of tavernjef
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a dark coffee brown with dark ruby highlights when put up to the light, thin compact tannish head fading fairly slow to leave ink blot patches of crumbly lace. Aroma is dark, sweet chocolate and a nice alcoholic warmth and spice. Also blends in some nice malty roastyness and dried hops with a nice overlaying touch of fresh coffee beans. Taste is quite different then what the smell leads on; mostly a heavy roasted flavor with an older left-in-the-pot coffee sense, a milding roasted sweetness and the chocolate is all but gone from the nose with only hints of cocoa powder and light burnt brownie drying that comes in and through the finish. Feel is medium bodied with a creamy start and middle wrapping up the finish with a favorable little bittering and drying factions with notes of cocoa, coffee, and cinnamon. A nice stout with a great nose and a nice finish. A solid stout all the way.

Photo of marburg
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My fiancee loves stouts, and I wanted a beer before bed last night. so this Old #38 it was. Deep sea brown/black with smallish tan head.

The nose has a constant -- but also faint and subtle -- chocolate aroma to it. Definite roasted malt presence. The aroma "feels" similar to that of chocolate milk, really. You can almost sense the creamy texture and thickness before you ever take even the first sip. I have to be honest -- I spent a good 5 minutes with my nose to the glass sniffing this beer like a dog to an ass. I must have looked like a complete dumbass. Really. But it was worth it.

Tastes quite nice as well. Chocolate malt presence up front; nice body; subtle hints of straight, bitter coccoa powder. Smacks you around a bit with a healthy bitterness. (Let me just say, too, that I have never chewed coffee grounds before. But if I were to do so, I have to imagine that this is what it would taste like.) Noticeable hop presence that blends nicely with the roasted bitter sensation of the malts.

This is a wickedly good stout. I could seriously drink this beer all night long. What a pleasant surprise.

Photo of nomad
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a colo rso brown you have to call it black. At first had a big stout head: very pocky and cavernous, and didn’t fall as much as in exploding it ended in the ruins of a very thin head. Some wisps and spots of stain, and no lace. A miserable ending to an exciting beginning, at first pour.

Smelled of zesty hops with a citrus zing. Also a nice balance of sweet and roasted malts that combined to come smell like a roasty dark chocolate. Taste was a tasty roast flavor that slowly rolled into a sizable citrus hop flavor. Finish was a hard roast, tilting toward burnt toast.

A full-flavored stout but not captivating due to its simplicity. A good tasting session ale with a highly thin mouthfeel, it was a bit tangy for me to be a drinkable stout.

Photo of edchicma
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gigantic creamy head with excellent chocolate brown appearance. Good malty aroma. Taste was a bit tart on the raosted malt side with an aftertaste that was ok, but not great. Had a medium mouthfeel that didn't feeel overly smooth. Definitely not a guzzler..ok on the sipping scale, but not great.

Photo of Rumrunner
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle.

I like the train on the bottle. Trains are so important to the history of our nation. Maybe not so important now, except to get BA's from one pub to another.

Pours a nice dark chocolate caramel cream brown. Sadly a weak copper head and semi okay lacing. A nice deep coffee aroma. Some chocolate bitterness, mixed in with molasass sweetness and it ends with a charcoal biscuit bite on the nose.

This is a burnt stout from start to finish. For the stout lover who likes a harsh bite. Definite charcoal biscuit bite to begin with. A bitter dark unsweetened chocolate that has a dry quality finds its way through, and then there is the coffee finish. A bitter stout. The aftertaste lingers to remind you of the bitterness with a dry bite on the palate. If you like bitter, this is the stout to try.

A stout that drinks very well. A dry quality that allows this stout to be enjoyed with certain foods. A stout that is not as thick as others but definately has a nice kick to it. Enjoy if you like bitter and not sweet stouts.

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

Clear dark ruby appearance. Good sized creamy and somewhat rocky light brown head. Head has great retention. Looks the part. The nose is great. Roasted malt, coffee bean, bittersweet chocolate...lovely aroma. Mouthfeel is lowly carbonated and quite creamy. Body checks in a little better than medium. The flavors don't quite live up to my expectations after sniffing, but are good nonetheless. Fairly big bitterness stemming from roasted malts and probably some west coast hops. Baker's chocolate, milk sugar and java come to mind while drinking. Solid stout.

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

Another brew picked up at the local Cost Plus. Nice full tannish head from a dark brown brew leaving a nice lacing down the glass. Smells detected include coffee and chocolate. Nice taste of a creamy coffee and chocoate with a nice hop finish. Mouth feel is smooth going down initially and left with a dryness. Nice beer that is very drinkable, would not mind seeing this one again.

Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,171 ratings.