1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Old #38 Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,119 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,119
Reviews: 637
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 43
Gots: 33 | 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 (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old #38 Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,119 | Reviews: 637 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of renolayton
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can be picky with my stouts...too heavy, no thank you (I prefer to drink, not eat my beer)...too smokey, not today. This brew had a pretty solid balance, with a fairly consistent smokey/heavy roast complexity.

It had good taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability.

It had exceptional appearance and smell.

The two gentlemen I shared this brew with were given a better impression than I (fyi), though I still feel it was a solid, solid choice for a stout.

Photo of dmfrench
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quintessential but perhaps slightly thin Irish Dry

A: Extremely dark ruby brown body, though you would only know it by holding it to a light. A standard pour generates a fine, somewhat persistent, one and a half finger light mocha colored head.

S: Baker's chocolate and light roast espresso predominate... there is a slight acidic hop edge and perhaps just a hint of dark fruit.

T: Quintessential Irish Dry... follows the nose very closely with bitter chocolate and coffee... hopping is more apparent, though it is still tasted as an acidic edge rather than a distinct entity.. Flavors aren't terribly potent, and the finish is on the short side.

M: Perhaps a bit thin, but perhaps I've been drinking too much enormous RIS lately. I think a bit creamier body would help, though this is North Coast...

D: The lack of creaminess leaves me not exactly begging for that next sip, but it's definitely a pleasant drinking experience.

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

Review is from notes taken on 2/9/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours the color of fresh brewed coffee and seems near black; starts with a big and full 2 finger tan head that fluffy at first and it becomes a little pockmarked as it starts to fade; body is entirely opaque;

Smell: A very nice smell of semi-sweet chocolate maltiness and a bit of creamy/milky chocolate and a dry, roasty coffee aspect; nose is a bit more robust than I would expect for an Irish Dry, but it's pretty solid.

Taste: Wow, I'm pretty impressed by this... Not some mind blowing palate changing stout or anything, but super solid and just robust enough; nice and subtle coffee roastiness with a bit of an earthy/nutty bitterness to it; slight presence of semi-sweet chocolate also provides a nice bitter balance; bit of an interesting smokey cola flavor towards the end; this is really a stout that could be enjoyed any time of year.

Mouthfeel: Body is of near-medium weight and it resists coming across heavy; carbonation is present and fairly strong, but still smooth in the body; a thin, sticky and semi-dry coating that eventually becomes a little cottony dry and there is a thin grittiness left on the teeth.

Drinkability: Pretty solid -- a nice surprise from a style that can seem a little lackluster has been resurrected by North Coast, and that shouldn't surprise anybody. Nice flavors and nice scents combine with a more than manageable ABV, no reason anyone shouldn't enjoy a few of these.

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark muddy brown, red through the edges. Small but clinging light brown head.

S - chocolate milkshake, smoked meats, light roastiness.

T - bitter and dry chocolate, some funny hops, which i didnt catch on the nose.

M - smooth, and medium-thin.

D - It's ok. I don't like it as much as I remember liking it the first time i had it. Despite it's not being that good, It's still fine to drink.

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

Beer is black / dark brown with a few tan bubbles, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, malty, with a kind of roasty.

Beer is sweet and medium body. Beer has a coffee-ish bitterness at the back but it's weak. The beer overall is weak, it's sweet and roasty and finishes nicely, I doubt I'll ever have it again.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a nice black color with some brown at the edges. Big, fluffy medium-tan head becomes a bit rocky after a while, and has good retention.

Smell: Deep roasted malt aroma, with a hint of cocoa.

Taste: Chocolate milk with a bit of sugar. Sure, there's the roasted malt bast and some hop bitterness at the finish, but it is like Nesquik abducted my beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and pretty smooth, with some light carbonation.

Drinkability: It is very easy to drink.

I see where it is coming from for an Irish-style dry stout, and while it is fairly tasty (as a beverage) and almost too easy to drink, just too much like hot cocoa in my beer.

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

This stout pours pitch black in color. No light shines through, even when held up directly to it. Nice two finger beige colored head which has settled to about a centimeter thick after about 5 minutes or so. Moderate retention/lacing.

Smells roasty, yet clean at the same time. A fairly mild aroma for the style.

Taste is more of the same. Roasted barley pairs well with a slightly earthy hop bitterness. Finishes rather clean and smooth on the back end.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with a carbonation level that's a bit on the high side.

I could drink a few of these, but I'd be ready to switch things up after that.

Morey's Bottom Line: A pretty good stout. Doesn't have that creaminess that I like in a stout, but maybe dry stouts aren't supposed to? Would happily drink again, but probably won't search it out.

Photo of DerekP
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The only thing that tends to be up in the air in terms of a Stout's appearance is the head. In this case, a beige to sandy brown. Head is definitely sticking around on this one.

Smell is deeply rich. Chocolate cake on ice, chocolate milk, thick brown bread, enough hops to bring it to a splendid balance.

Taste is roasted to burnt up front. Smoky. A touch of bitterness from the hops. Amazing how they pulled off such a milk chocolately, friendly smell while pushing harsher qualities through on the taste. Mucho props. It's part of what makes this beer so delicious.

Enough bite, but a tad bit thin. That in mind, a little dangerous because it's exceptionally drinkable. My only suggestion would be for the brewmaster to add a little more to the body. Other than that, a solid, in some aspects, outstanding stout.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a deeper brown color. One finger tan head shows poor retention. Some light spotty lacing on the sides of the glass when all is said and done.

S- Roasted malts give off a coffee vibe. Some light notes molasses with a helping of chocoalte. Nothing really else going on except for maybe a light hint of bitter hops but nothing else. Muted aroma for the most part.

T- Mild roasted malts in the front of this beer blend with a light chocolate note. Coffee like notes linger for most of the beer but everything is a little on the light side for me. Muted bitter hop finish on this beer lets you know it's there but not in strong force.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little weak for the brewery from what I've had from them. Light roasted malts and chocoalte left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly light alcohol, roasted malts, and a hint of faded bittering hops. Blended well for the style and very clean tasting with no off flavors. Light drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- The lower ABV gives a boost to the drinkability of the beer. Nice overall flavors (although muted) lend to the overall enjoyment of this beer. A nice look at the style and something you can just sit back and enjoy.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a six-pack at the local beer store. Poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a jet black, with a thin, tan colored, dense head. The nose is almost completely coffee, with some molasses and malty notes. The beer has inital flavors of bitter coffee, with a sweet undertone of malt based tastes. There was a smooth, round, full feel to the beer in mouth, and the flavors blend into a decent, light crisp finish. It's more dry than a cream or milk stout, but not as dry as an oatmeal of most dry stouts. The aftertaste is all coffee, but actually without the bitter. The easy aftertaste makes this beer easy to drink all night long.

Photo of JDFish
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured dark brown with a medium almond head that disappeared quickly. Smell is dominated by molasses. Tastewise, there are some citrus notes, some coffee and sweet molasses. A bit of alcohol flavor eeked out and it was a bit chalky and dry at the finish. Decent lacing halfway done. Easy to drink, but just average flavor for this category. Too many other good ones out there...I won't be buying this one again.

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

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: pours a dark "root beer" brown, not quite opaque. slight 1/8" bubbly tan head. head dissipates quickly.

S: instant dark/French roasted coffee aroma, raisin, slight dried apricot. very pleasing.

T: sweetened coffee, less floral/fruitful than aroma implied. finish is French-roasted coffee, lingering raisin reappears on finish, with a slight hint of anise.

M: thin, slightly fizzy, but smooth going down. was expecting a slightly thicker feel.

D: fairly high, but dark roasted coffee taste/finish may not be for everyone. not terribly warming and alcohol is low enough and hidden to enjoy a few, if it's your cup of coffee.

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

Had this on tap at Toronado in San Francisco. Pours an opaque black colour with a finger of tan head. Nice lacing on the glass and good head retention. Smells like both chocolate and coffee with the roasted malt. This is what an irish dry stout should smell like. Nice sweetness level with faint bitterness of the roast. Smooth mouthfeel. Very enjoyable stout.

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

A dark pour, brown edge to it. Roasted malt, alcohol through and through in the nose.

A fair amount of chocolate mouthfeel to this one. Sturdy, chewy, not overly alcoholic as if it made you think in the nose. Does have a hop and slight bitter presence. The carbonation delivers the beer just right. Nothing over the top, dry enough, chewy enough. A damn good stout at a very decent price.

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.

Photo of g00dness
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a semi-opaque black with an inch of lacy Breyer's vanilla-looking head.

Nose couldn't much break through the head, some roasted malt, cream and chocolate.

Taste started with a strong affogato flavor, worked through pumpernickel, hazelnut and cream flavors with a long dry chocolatey finish.

Mouthfeel was smooth, creamy and awesome. Was a bit thin for a stout, a.k.a. normal thickness for a beer :) Went well with dinner.

Drinkability was high. Kind of like a good pressed coffee, where the flavor is there for sure, but its not super thick, so you plow through it.

Excellent beer, and I can see why it was chosen by my local cafe, as it is pretty much the beer version of their coffee.

Photo of mjw06
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice rich two-finger thick tan head that retained well and left only a scant lacing on my mug.

The smell was a slightly faint waxy cocoa, with a just a hint of smokiness.

Full bodied flavor and feel of a smoky and toasty toffee, dark almond and roasted barley. The stout is very close to style, almost lacking in uniqueness, but reveling in goodness. The roasted notes are very smooth on the finish, lacking in any particular astringents or unpleasant residuals.

Photo of AwYeh
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

A: Pours an opaque black even when held up to light; one finger of tan head which dissipates quickly.

S: Roasty with notes of coffee and a bit of dried fruit.

T: Robust, roasted malts with just a bit of sweetness upon finish.

M: Slightly bitter aftertaste and light mouthcoat.

D: Fairly drinkable; beer is quite strong for such a low ABV stout.

Photo of kaseydad
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pint glass pour and I am met with a dark, dark brown ale with a nice beige colored head that quickly develops to a ring around the glass. Roasted malty aroma with some chocolate hints. Smokey taste with some roasted malts in there. There is a somewhat harsh/spicy swallow. with a bitter aftertaste. Very thin mouthfeel. Totally unexpected. It looks hearty and smells good, but much too watery for me. Not very drinkable for myself. I have had this a few times and try to like it, but it just doesn't "do" it for me. Love the brewery, just not this beer.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I threw this in my sixer at random and now I look wondering "this is from the same company that sells Old Rasputin? It must be good!"

A - Wow a ton of mocha head! An aggressive pour produced a 2 inch foam with the beer being pitch black in color.

S - Smells like dry coca with a bit of chocolate nibs and a bit of roasted malt for texture.

T - Ow wow that's dry! It does shine through with roasted flavors of coffee and coco chocolate with a slight creamy finish.

M - Light to medium bodied and creamy!

D - Wow this has to be one of the smoothest dry roasted stouts I have ever drank. In so that I would only be able to finish one or two a sitting. Regardless I will have to track down more beers from the North Coast Brewing Co. since I only had a couple and they are amazing!

Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,119 ratings.