Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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

646 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 646
Hads: 1,188
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.18%
Wants: 49
Gots: 56 | 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 (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: 646 | Hads: 1,188
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)

Photo of AdamBear
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-black with a thin tan head that fades to nothing

S-oh i've come across this smell before. it smells like vomit, much like victory storm king can smell. has a hint of chocolate.

T-oh thankfully there's no vomit in the taste. comes in with a great burnt dark roasted grains taste. its actually of pretty good quality. has a good semi bitter coffee taste to it.

M-medium carbonation with a pretty dry finish

O-this is actually a decent and full flavored stout. the smell turned me off at first but the taste really made up for it. i wouldn't mind having this again. (568 characters)

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

Poured into a beer mug.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is a three finger tan color with good retention and lacing. It doesn't have the beauty of Guinness, but as the old saying goes, looks ain't everything...

S: I really like the subtle chocolate notes this give off, but I also smell a light fruitiness from the esters alongside the typical roast. Not much coffee on the nose, but still a good smell.

T: This has a bit of a milk stout vibe to it, with its lactic twang and light milk chocolate notes intertwining with its roasty base. Just like in the smell, this could use a little more coffee. The back end of the flavor profile sees hints of fruitiness pop up. Not insanely complex, but well balanced and very likable.

M: Light-medium body, with subtle dryness on the finish and medium carbonation. Mild astringency give a pleasant tingling on the tongue, without going overboard.

O: Looking back on it, I regret not buying a six pack of this. Impressive stuff. (982 characters)

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

So this must be why we have nitro. About the best nitro-fuelled beer I've had. The usual creamy body but with a perfect cap of foam. The black beer looks great in the standard pint glass. Texture and flavor are both like chocolate cake, but not sweet. Roasted malt in the nose. Pleasant warmth, a little bit of hops, some caramel hint.

What's not to like about this? A beer made for swilling. This should make the Irish take another critical look at their Beamish Stout. Not as sour and charred as the Irish cousins. On the nitro tap at South Park Abbey in San Diego. (569 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on nitro tap, into a labelled Old #38 Stout shaker pint glass at Matchbox pizza. (I think the head was a little too large but I wont split hairs...)

Classic creamy head, very light tan in appearance. There's some noticeable large soda like bubbles on the side of the glass but not too many, maybe even some cola carbonation strangely. Classic dark walnut brown, and lots of thick lacing of course for nitro.

Very impressive nose, a fruity quality of red berry, cherry, reminds me of Barney Flats, even a hint of sourness that is just playful but not overbearing or disturbing.

Taste matches the nose on the palate nicely. Milk chocolate with a silky classic nitro texture, hinting at some light bodied wetness for a typical Irish Dry. Afterfinish hits with a taste of just light carbon, maybe even some decent coffee.

Overall real solid, and really like this slight fruit angle to this stout. Great stuff! (916 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Two finger white head astride a black settling body. Dry stout, nice looking.

S- Dry dark malts, some chocolate sweetness.

T- Roast malts, chocolate, caramel and light mocha notes.

M- Smooth and full bodied. Kind of light and dry.

O- Opens up as it warms up. Yummy. (340 characters)

Photo of JamesS
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice deep brown/black with wonderful head and great lacing. Very nice deep scent, nice roastiness and quite a bit sweet maltiness. Very nice flavors with a nice roastiness, good earthy finish, but perhaps a bit much on the malt sweetness and just a bit not-enough-dry. Still goes down smooth and is a very nice Irish dry stout... just not as good as the guy at Big Red told me it would be. (402 characters)

Photo of jeremy13586
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark beer with a lite tan one finger head. Dissipated pretty quickly and didn't leave any lacing. Nice layer of bubbles settled on top.

Very big aroma of roasted malt with some chocolate and coffee and a bit of smoke. Also smells of some sweet dark bread.

A whole lot of malt with some nice bitter hops to even it out. It does finish with a bit of astringency.

Medium bodied with a very smooth carbonation.

A very drinkable brew, but I did find myself a bit disappointed. The nose led on that there would be more to the flavor, but I just didn't find it. I'd still probably try it again in the future, but I have some more interesting beers in the queue that Id rather get to first. (693 characters)

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

another great beer from North Coast. a lot to think about with this one. Dark in appearance, pours think with about an inch of dark khaki foam. Smell has strong aromas of roasted coffee, chocolate...a definite smokiness to this beer.
Taste is complex. The roasted flavors come through. Has a bit of a acidic bite to it in the after taste. Finish is not as clean as I normally enjoy. Very good beer overall. (406 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark black with a half of an inch of brown head that has good retention. The nose is roasty with a hint of chocolate and yeast. The taste is roasty, chocolaty, charcoally, burnt, and mildly yeasty. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, smooth, and has little carbonation.

This is a smooth drinking, refreshing Irish Dry Stout. Everything about this beer is traditional. I would have this again for sure. (420 characters)

Photo of dexterk1
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from bottle to glass with a good head and a dark black color.
Odor is of malt, toffee and coffee.
Taste is pretty darn good overall. Malt is upfront along with some coffee. Some hops near the end.
Mouth feel is a little creamy at the beginning. Stays with you and coats your tongue pretty well.
Overall it is a good stout. Old 38 has many reasons to try it. (367 characters)

Photo of scratch69
2.73/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown with ruby highlights. A half a fingers worth of light tan head and little lacing.

Smell- Boozy with a hint of malt.

Taste- Light taste of hops with a slight boozy flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and crisp. Good amount of carbonation.

Overall- Not good. I was hoping for better after I saw the BA score, but I was really disappointed once I tried it. (415 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A very dark brown stout with a thin tan head. No lacing.

S - Molasses, brown sugar, elderberried licorice, burnt marshmallows - a nice aroma.

T - Slightly sweet. A bit of molasses and smoke round it out. Not a lot of action, but it is nice. Aftertaste is a very mild smokiness with a bit of an earthy edge.

M - A little harsher than most stouts I've had, medium to thin bodied, somewhat refreshing.

D - The smell alone makes this worth trying. It is a very solid stout with enough action to turn a "Guinness-is-the-greatest-beer-ever" type to craft. (558 characters)

Photo of acevenom
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with an abundant two-finger length brown head. Holding the glass up to the light reveals a dark amber color around the edges of the glass. There's a sweet aroma. I pick up roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. The flavor is well balanced with the sweet roasted malts and the bitterness of the hops. I can taste the flavor of chocolate and coffee. The finish is dry and carbonation is plentiful enough to aid in lightening the medium body. Each sip is very enjoyable and lacing is present on the glass. This is a very crisp stout that leaves me craving more. This is an excellent beer. (601 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a thick dark black with a nice amount of dark tan head, leaving behind lots of lacing.

S - malty, slightly boozy/sugary (almost a hint of rum), hints of fruit

T - very light in taste surprisingly. bitter hops, sweet malts.. very well balanced

M - very crisp stout (just looked at the description and it's a dry stout so that makes sense). nicely carbonated

O - not a bad stout, my 2nd review for an irish dry stout, and it's not as good as black sun, but it's still pretty awesome in its own way. (511 characters)

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

a really standard product, as normal as a bottle of stout can be, but it is well made and very drinkable. pours coffee colored dark brown, letting just a hint of light in, fair off white head that fades out. smells nice and roasty. flavor is well balanced and tastes stronger than it is. pretty dry finish as well. mouthfeel is good, full bodied but not filling and heavy. just enough carbonation, crisp for a stout. overall not something id rush to buy again, but a stout i am happy to drink anytime. (501 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a single bottle of this as part of a M&M 6-pack from Binny’s in Downer’s Grove, IL for $9.99 in Early 2012.

Pours a very dark brown/black color with a slight brown head. Scent is wonderful with robust malts, sweet milk, cocoa, and coffee. Smooth and very drinkable taste with erupting flavors. Sweet flavors first that finish with a dry after taste. A great pick up and an even better stout. Would love to drink this again. (438 characters)

Photo of DCon
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ The Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar in St. Louis, MO for $4. Tapped from an unknown tap handle (seated at a table) into a 12oz Pint Glass.

Aroma- Has tons of malt but only a light amount of roast. No big coffee attributes or anything huge in here.

Appearance- Received with a 2 finger, dark tan head that lasted forever! Has the deepest dark brown body possibly. Leaves thick lacing behind. Creamy looking from start to finish! Awesome!

Flavor- Tons of malt and light hops make up this brew. Unsweetened chocolate follows it up but VERY light. Almost no bitterness on the finish either but dry.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Lightest Carbonation, Creamy, Smooth, and a bit of cocoa on the finish.

Overall Impression- A delicious and creamy brew! If only there was more attribute (coffee, chocolate, maple syrup, etc.) this would be a 5/5! Missed the mark for me. Enjoyed for the style it was and will have to try more Irish Dry Stouts! (956 characters)

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

#38 hits my Nonic with a pitch black hue and a billowing cream cap. The head slowly falls to a patchwork film and leaves bits of lace.

This is pretty standard Irish Stout fare. Roasted grains and a black coffee bitterness dominate. The beer gets too acidic for my tastes towards the end. The overly fizzy body accentuates the acidity for some reason. Outside of the fizz, it's appreciably light and rather dry. Overall, #38's acidity and harsh carbonation turned me off. I wanted to like it, but I didn't. (506 characters)

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

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours an obsidian black dense body with a tan head that fades to a thin film and a racing carbonation pops up the side of the glass.

S- The earthy dark malt aroma as full notes of black roasted malt and grain with some dark dried fruit hints and some molasses and graham notes coming through in the finish.

T- The dry roasted black malt is earthy with some chocolate malt flavor underneath. There is a chalky flavor to the grain with a slight tartness in the finish and a green hop hint that starts to come through in the finish with a touch of bitterness.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz in the finish that enhances the hop note in the finish.

O- This is a wonderful stout that has great full roasted malt but is not bitter or too sweet. Very sessionable. (814 characters)

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

This brew pours a dark brown color that shows light around the edges. There is a fingers worth of tan head that leaves spotty lacing around the edges.

The nose is malty and has an acidic tone to it. A bit of leather and cocoa.

The taste is about as bland as the nose. There are some present cocoa and caramel malts that are subtle but definitely drinkable.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin but expect as a dry stout. There definitely is a nice dry finish.

Overall, this is a laid back, subtle stout that has some good qualities that could be a bit amplified. (559 characters)

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

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours very dark brown, forming a two finger tan head that has slight red undertones. Head retention and lacing is good.

S: Smells pretty strongly of dark, roasted malts, black coffee, pine, and a touch of dark chocolate.

T: Roasted malts and piney hops add a decent bit of bitterness to this one. Coffee and dark chocolate are layered beneath the hops and roasted malts. Finishes with a touch of bitterness and alcohol.

M: Pretty appropriate for the style. Light side of medium body with almost minimal carbonation.

O: A very well done American Irish dry stout. I honestly can't complain about any aspect of this beer. It's all good, but it could definitely be a tad better all around. (732 characters)

Photo of samie85
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a black color with about two and a half fingers of light brown head.

S-Smells of dark roasted coffee-ish notes with some cocoa and light vanilla notes.

T-Roasted and dark chocolate notes with a roasted bitterness.

M-A little thin-bodied for my taste, but mouth-coating and moderate carbonation.

D-I like my stouts attenuated a little less than this one, but it's incredibly easy drinking and a very nice beer. (421 characters)

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

12 bottle served cold into a goblet.

Old 38 is a very dark brown color with thin but sticky head. Good lacing is left behind.

Aroma is sweet but toasty with very little hops. A little coffee and dark chocolate.

Flavor is robust but well balanced. It has a really nice roasted malt character with the same dark coffee and chocolate as enjoyed in the aroma.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and mildly carbonated.

Overall a great Irish stout. Well crafted and worth a try. (469 characters)

Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 646 ratings.