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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

1,139 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,139
Reviews: 642
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 44
Gots: 38 | 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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,139 | Reviews: 642 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lawlerj
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an oversized wine glass.

A - pours a coffee like black, this and viscous. Massive light brown head, decent retention, spotty lacing. I like it.

S - roasted malt is big in the nose, some coffee and dark chocolate as well. The usual suspects for this style, I expect.

T - bitter and smokey malt up front, not a whole lot of strong flavor in the middle, and chocolate milk flavor on the finish in a nice little burst. Coffee notes permeate the flavor.

M - a bit on the heavy side, feels very rich, but not unpleasing.

O - overall, a very solid dry stout. Wouldn't expect any less from this brewery. This might become a go to.

Photo of Duff27
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Aggressive pour yields a huge three-fingered frothy mocha head in my pint glass. Beer itself is dark brown. Great lacing and head retention

S- Smell is of semi-sweet chocolate.

T- Roasted barley. Finish is sweet(!) chocolate with a slightly metallic taste.

M- Creamy. Medium mouthfeel. On the lower end of carbonation it seems.

D/O- I liked this one. Been a damn long time since I've had one, pre-BA days. It's a looker...rich and creamy but not too filling.

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

The beer pours out thick, and has a dark brown head… it looks like Coke to be honest. Well, I drink a LOT of diet soda, so maybe I am slightly jaded. I have had beers this dark before, especially while in Europe. I remember one night I was in some random underground pub in Rzeszów and I ordered whatever they had on tap. We had just gotten in, and I wasn’t familiar with the beers yet. That beer had a similar head as this. That beer ended up being 13% ABV… so needless to say, I only had a couple.

When you first drink a stout, you expect it to be thick, and creamy. This beer looks like it will be thick, but starts off extremely carbonated and smooth. I am quite impressed with how smooth it is actually. It has a certain kick to it at the end too. Not sure what that is sneaking up on me… but it has that bite. I like it!

The beer also has a great nose. It smells just as good as it tastes. And with a low ABV, you might get just as much enjoyment out of smelling this one. But when you do take the first few drinks, the aftertaste sticks around. But it sticks around in place on the palate you wouldn’t expect. That’s not a bad thing, but something unexpected. Stouts are usually not this drinkable. This is a nice after dinner drink… but bring me a six-pack instead of a pint.

The beer is good. I also love the train coming at you on the bottle. There’s a story behind said train, actually. Weird to think this beer started as a home-brew and ended up being chilled in my refrigerator.

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

Dark black colour with a moderate and fairly long lasting tan head. No lacing.

Bitter roast aroma with mild chocoate and earthy hop notes.

Smooth, soft malt with a distinct roasty character. Slightly acrid but not bitter. A touch of hop character is present.

Medium light body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A solid but not exception Dry Stout. Plenty of flavour and easy drinking which are great atributes for the style.

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.

Photo of RickS95
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptionally dark, almost completely black with only a hint of lighter shades coming through. A good, solid, off tan head with fluffy bubbles.

Scents of coffee and bittersweet chocolate fill the nose. Roasty, malty richness.

Has a malty backbone that you'd expect, with coffee dancing across the tongue from the front to the back.

It's initially very creamy on the palate before giving way to some bitterness from the coffee in the finish. Decent lacing.

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I love it in beer and this is really exceptional. Very smooth and easy to drink.

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.

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Nitro-tap at the Glenview House.

A: Perfect nitro pour. It's a bit blacker than Guinness and the head is a bit more tan.

S: Not to much in the nose. There is a faint roast and metallic odor. No hops to speak of.

T: Rich chocolate and toffee. There is quite a bit of residual sweetness and a tad of hop bitterness.

D: Refreshing and warming like a dry stout should be. The mouthfeel is uncharacteristically full and smooth.

Overall: A great example of the style. I've been staring at the sixer of this one at the store for a while. This is a beer that will frequent my fridge from now on.

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

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: It pours a not-quite-opaque black color with a finger and a half of dark khaki head that holds and laces okay.

S: Charred oak, chocolate, and strong roastiness. This is certainly not the typical Guinness or Murphy's.

T: Strong burnt malts, coffee, chicory, chocolate, and some vanilla in the aftertaste.

M: The body is creamy with medium thickness and average carbonation.

D: This drinks more like an English stout. It is a quality brew if you don't have "Irish Dry Stout" in mind.

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

A: Pretty much black with a thin tan head and nice lacing.

S: Tons of roasted, almost charred malt. Some charred coffee grounds as well. Perhaps a bit of anise as well. Not much sweetness to be found here.

T: Big roasted malt flavors along with some subtle smokiness and leather. The mouthfeel keeps this from getting too heavy, but it keeps the beer from being all that I feel it could be. This is a really solid Irish Dry Stout with a major emphasis on the dry. No major complaints here.

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.

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

A= dark black-brown with fair tan head, dissipating quickly to some modest rimming and lacing.

S= a bit on the light side, dry chocolate, starchy roasted malts, slight hops florals.

T= dry chocolate, some molasses as it warms a little, hints of floral hops but more dry than hops-bitter.

M= dry to the point of lips rubbing together yet not quite astringent; slight grassy notes.

O= overall a decent dry stout, middleweight contender but not a star on the national level. It's simply lacking depth of flavor. If it were a local brew I'd probably drink it often. Odd that it showed up in a local beer-wine store in Hagerstown Maryland.

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

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.

Photo of plfahey
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Black with faint ruby highlights and decent clarity. Moderately large creamy mocha colored head with moderately good retention and some nice lacing.

Aroma-Wow. This one has a way more intense aroma than I expected from a beer with a relatively low alcohol content. Rich cocoa, chocolate fudge, and brownies swirl in the forefront, blending with background traces of plum, prune, and blackberry, and hints of a roasted coffee edge. There's also some balance offered by light earthy hops. Smells great.

Flavor-The flavor is more like what I would expect, with a bittersweet chocolate opening to coffee and dry, roasted barley in the finish. Also, some slight earthy hop character makes itself known in the finish. Hop bitterness is moderately low. The fruity esters of the aroma show up in trace amounts at the beginning. The finish is extremely dry, but not astringent-more the type of flinty dryness achieved through addition of roasted unmalted barley.

Mouthfeel-Medium to medium light body, with moderate carbonation. Smooth and silky, with somewhat of a creamy texture. Flinty dry in the finish, making you crave the next sip.

The aroma is a bit over the top for a dry irish stout, but who fucking cares? This is an awesome beer-I'm only disappointed that it's taken me this long in getting around to trying it.

Photo of Fikash
4.41/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Pony Bar in NY.

The head was extremely impressive - thick, solid, the way you'd expect a stout to look, but somehow better. Photogenic.

The mouthfeel was creamy, very drinkable. The taste, leaning very heavy on the chocolate spectrum rather than coffee. Very pleasant.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer very much. Fantastic stout, don't hesitate to try if it's available in your area.

Photo of bum732
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Strong milk chocolate along with hershey's chocolate syrup, some herbal hops, dry roastiness.

L: Black, huge creamy light tan head, great retention and lacing.

T: Strong intense toffee off the bat followed quickly by a fruity mild bitterness before giving way to chocolate syrup. Finishes semi-sweet with a touch of roast, fairly clean.

M: Low carbonation, full creamy body.

Really good for an Irish stout, different from traditionals, sweeter and less hoppy. Great nonetheless.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured by the waitress from bottle into a shaker pint...

A- Very nice black color with a one finger tan head that dies quickly. Left a small bit of foam on top that actually left sporadic lacing here and there.

S- Whoa is this estery... I get a shit ton of dark fruit; blackberry, currant, plum, oh MY! A little bit of roast and coffee are detected in the nose also. Definitely different smelling, but I'm not complaining.

T/M- Just as the nose, I get a large fruit taste and on the tongue it has met its match with the roasty malt flavor common in a stout. The balance between the clash of flavors really is superb and all is smoothed out in the end a chocolate sweetness. I would even throw in a tad of licorice to mix things up here and there. The body is a nice medium with fairly moderate carbonation.

O- Its hard to say. Because of the strong fruit presence I get, I like it, but this is out of the norm. This is by far the fruitiest (dark) stout that I have had. It was very pleasing, but my tongue got confused a few times. I would like to score higher, but have to keep it middle of the road since I'm between a rock and hard place on this one...

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

North Coast Old #38 Stout has a black colour and a good 5 mm head that fades to excellent lacing. The smell is roasty malt with hints of coffee and chocolate. The taste is very dry with some hints bitter coffee. The aftertaste is milky with a hint of bitterness. This is a very nice dry stout. I like it and I don't usually like this style. The mouthful is foamy and thick. Very nice.

Photo of bbb099
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown, almost black with a foamy mocha-colored head. Great retention and average amount of lacing.

S - Light notes of roasted malt, molasses, chocolate.

T - Mild amount of roasted malt flavor with some sourness on the back end. The tartness towards the finish did not taste great, but still quite drinkable overall.

M - High amount of carbonation. Medium to full bodied.

D - The sour finish comes and goes. It's drinkable, but probably not something I would buy again unless it's on tap just to see if it tastes any different.

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

Appearance: Foamy, light brown head with a little bit of lacing. Black color.

Smell: Brown sugar (malty sweet along with molasses), soy sauce.

Taste: Chocolate, molasses, whipped cream and caramel. Very interesting and well balanced flavors.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly bubbly, full body--not too syrupy.

Drinkability: I think this is a great stout. It isn't too heavy, there are good levels of carbonation and the flavors are well balanced. I would drink it again.

(review based on notes from a tasting on Jan 6, 2011)

Photo of MadCat
2.42/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

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

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.

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

Pours a coal-black in color, with a large, tan head.
Plentiful lacing.
Nose is chocolate-cocoa.
Taste follows suit, with chocolate and a roasty character there, in between the creamy chocolate tones.
Delicious and easy to drink, but not a standout stout.

Photo of righthereisay
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured near black with a little head.

lSmelled a lot like coffee, chocolate and licorise. Pretty intense. Nice smell. Did not remind me of an Irish Stout.

The taste was rather good. More coffee/chocolate/licorice. Roasty type of flavor. Not really bitter except at the end.

The body is medium. Not really full. Too much carbonation for my liking. Little dry at the end.

Never had North Coast Brewing before. I could throw these down all night, although they wouldn't be my first choice.

A good February beer.

Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,139 ratings.