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Old #38 Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,114 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,114
Reviews: 634
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 41
Gots: 31 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-18-2001)
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,114 | Reviews: 634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of philipquarles
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head.

Smells of roasted malt and quite a bit of chocolate. The roasted tones dominate upon tasting, but it's certainly not sweet; as a matter of fact, it's a bit astringent.

Overall, not a beer that I really enjoy, though it could be that the "Dry Stout" isn't my thing.

Photo of lhaqq
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An average dry stout--not terribly complex, though.
Dark brown/near black color.
Not much effervescence, but honey is dominate, along with roasted malts.
Taste is strongly of mocha and toasted malt, with a smokey finish.
The finish stays on the palate for a while.

Photo of phantomwyse
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium roasted black coffee, more brown than black. Tannish 1-finger head, i expected more from a stout.

S: Understated chocolate notes, weak milky coffee, some roasted sweetness.

T: Roasted coffee, milk chocolate, slight woodsmokey.

M: Silky dry.

D: Drinkable, yes, but there are much better representations of the style out there.

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

4 A decent lacework, ring of light (for a stout) foam. some amber highlights amid the coffee darkness
4.5 S chocolatey, deep, rich, red wine, brownies
3.5 T what i think of as "classical" stout flavors, but more muted than the aromas
2 M plenty carbonated, but too thin given the aromas and flavors. swishing about the mouth doesn't help much. could benefit from the addition of oats? this is one of the rare beers where for me appearance and mouthfeel are not well correlated.
2.5 D due to the watery texture that for me proved a poor match to the other characteristics, i will not be buying regularly.

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

Stout not being a usual summer find for me, on vacation, found and picked up accouple of 38's. A good find indeed.

Pours a dark stout black. Cream like dark tan head. Good lace, good quality as always with North Coast.

The aroma was dark roasted malts.

The taste, again roasted malts, burnt toaste, toffee, coffee bean and slight melted caramel which may have aided in the mouthfeel.

Very drinkable stout, even in summer. I used this as a desert beer.

Photo of joeyspit
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint glass:

A: Pours black with bronwish hues when held up to light. 1 finger tan head which dissipated pretty quickly for a stout in my opinion.

S: Roasty, caramel, bitter, atringent aroma with some sweetness mixed in as it warms.

T: Roasted malts, semi sweet with good hop balance. Seems a bit bland for a stout. Finishes dry.

M: Full body and creamy smooth with a dry bitter finish that lingers.

D: Very drinkable but again, not as flavorful as I would expect and a bit bland. Good lacing though. This is not a bad beer just has some differences from the usual stout flavors which is good.

Photo of ectomorph
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another mixed 6 from Riverside Beverage!

A - Midnight in my glass with a huge tan head that will not move.

S - Sweet malts from the foam hint at toffee and caramel.

T - Earthy chocolate and toffee malts and enough hop to balance but this is a malt delight!

M - One of my favorite aspects of this style. Full rich body, nice carbonation, and tan foam mustache comes free.

D - Very high, fantastic stout.

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

12 oz bottle, with 1 year + of age

I scored a great deal on a 6 pack because the store said it was old and probably past its prime... i laughed and skipped out of the store.

Old 38 pours a dark brown color, very opaque with a moderate brown head. A bit of astringency to the nose adding to its maturity, chocolate liquor, thick roasted malts and a slight creamy caramel aroma. Chocolate and semi-sweet coffee are very big component directly up front while tasting, tiny bubbles of bright carbonation adds a refreshing zing to the experience, and doesn't ruin its creamy texture. There is still some hop bitterness to the finish and a slightly warming alcohol presence. The drinkability is great, this one goes down very smooth, its hard to keep myself from going to town on the rest of these bottles but i feel that with a few more months it will become even tastier.

Photo of awall422
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

dark dark brown into light black (if that can be a color?) with an aggressive 2 inch head that quickly drops and leaves behind a thick light tan head that lingers on and on.
smell is sweet and smoky, a little caramel with a hint of smokiness and a trace of peat.
taste doesn't live up to the aroma. not bad, but a bit bland. a little sour, roasty and a faint bitter finish. mouthfeel is watery and thin. easy to drink, but not a stand-out.

Photo of philbe311
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rich cloud like brown head... Jet black... No light gets in or ouot...

S - Expresso... Roasted grains... Dark fruit... Cocoa...

T - Hops... Bitter dark chocolate... Malt... Coffee... Tart plums...

M - Creamy head mixes with oily medium body to create a very refreshing stout... Dry... Bitter at end...

D - Excellent stout... A little to bitter for my liking, but a stout that I'll continually search out and enjoy...

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

Smells like sweet milk chocolate and some semi-sweet chocolate with nice hint of honey. Pours to a pitch black that lets no light through at all. Nice tan head that dissappears quickly but clings to the glass. Taste is nice and heavy with sweet chocolate and a tart but not bitter hoppiness throughout. Finish is dry, hence the style and leaves one anticipating another sip. Mouthfeel is spectacular, starts heavy and chewy and finishes silky smooth. Great style and a great example of the style. Bottoms up!

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

I poured this one from a 12oz stubby brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= When held to a bright light this stout was very dark with reddish, brownish, and blackish hints. The 1 inch head poured tan and rocky, leaving clingy lace down the glass.

S= This beer smelled strongly of toffee, with notes of caramel and even figs present too. Had a mildly unpleasant overpowering sweetness in the aroma.

T= This stout produced a good blend of roasted/burnt malt bitterness and slight syrupy sweetness. Dry finish.

MF= Medium bodied stout with a fairly high carbonation level. Instead of a creamy or slick mouthfeel, this left me at times feeling it was a bit thin and crisp on the palate.

D= Not a bad beer by any means, and certainly a good example of a dry stout. I personally prefer to select oatmeal and imperial stouts instead of this one.

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

12-ounce stubby poured into a dimpled seidel yields an ebony body capped with a thick finger of mottled toffee-ivory foam. The head retains at a wide ring and leaves a webby chain of lacing on the glass.

The aroma of the drink is rich and malty with caramel-laced coffee and a bit of chocolate. An herbal hop presence lingers over the drink.

The taste of the drink is dry and toasty up front with plenty of roasty, chocolatey bitterness, a bite of dry citrus, and a fading wink of caramel sweetness.

The drink is fullish-medium in body, and despite a gracious plenty of carbonation to help lighten the feel, a residual stickiness marks the drink's passing. Nicely drinkable.

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

Pours an opaque black with a small tan head. Great head retention and lacing down the glass.

Coffee, chocolate, and slightly smokey scents.

Taste balances between the coffee and chocolate. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

Goes down easy. Thought the body would be heavier, but it has that dry sensation too.

Good session beer. Glad I took a gamble on this brew.

Photo of Jmamay22
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A fairly standard, but well done stout appearance. The liquid is a very dark brown with ruby red highlights around the edges. The creamy tan head slowly disipates, but a thick foamy collar remains clinging to the walls of my glass.

Lots of chocolate in the nose here. Not too much else to report save for an edge of roasted malt that creates a slightly nutty quality. 3.5

The chocolate and roasted notes maintain their strength once tasting and a burnt sugar quality develops. A bit of licorice as well. Dry and bittering finish.

Feel starts off somewhat watery and thin, but grows somewhat on the palate. Still leaves a bit to be desired. The style lends itself well to drinking a few. This isn't quite the best in class, but worth a pass.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Stubby 12 ounce bottle from Tom's Farm, on to the beer:

Opaque appearance with chocolate ruby brown hues on the edges and a short head on top. Breathe in...yummy...chocolate! Bits of brown sugar lava cake poking through. To the taste we go...mellow, sweet, mello, sweet. The carbonation is a bit much upfront. but for the taste, semi-sweet chocolate and hops are the way it's rolling. Coffee is found in the lingering aftertaste. Very pleasant to drink on.

My only complaint is the carbonation level is wound up too high. Model it after the flavor; let it mellow.

Photo of mltobin
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Appearance is black tone with a thin one finger head.
Smell is strong, like black licorice.
Taste is thick and slightly sweet.
Mouthfeel is alright, but makes you thirsty and leaves you wanting to drink some water.
Drinkability is average, I much prefer some other irish stout options out there.

Photo of cjgator3
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark black color, there is some light showing through so it is not quite pitch black, with a creamy light tan head. The aroma is dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. The taste is smooth and malty up front with a good amount of roasted bitterness and hops in the very dry finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, Old #38 is a good dry stout that is definitely worth a try. Recommended.

Photo of dgallina
3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce stubby brown bottle without dating.

Pours opaque dark brown with a finger of tan head and modest lace. Smells like dry toasted bread with hints of chocolate malt and an herbal hop overlay. The flavor is very hop-forward for an irish style. Strong pine hop notes up front permit only a bit of toasted bread and dark fruit flavor to sneak through to the center. Rather dry and a little thin in the mouth; not at all creamy, with carbonation very pronounced. Not a winner for me.

Photo of Tbn2
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

A-Jet Black. When back lit, the slightest bit shines through in a ruby color. Big head comes to the top, takes a while to settle around the outsides, and then leaves spotty lacing the rest of the why down.

S-Roasted chocolate malts and coffee all the way. Not too much else to speak of. Maybe a little yeast in there, but I'm not sure.

T/M-Perfect for the style and just as I expected based on the smell. Lots of coffee and chocolate right off the bat. At the end a spicy bit of hops comes up as a bit of a surprise, very good though. The hops give is a really nice dry, crisp finish. Carbonation is a bit much, but the beer is still very creamy.

Pick this on up. You'll really enjoy it.


Photo of ckeegan04
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Almost jet black in color. Ruby hies show around the edges when held up to light. Thin brown head forms and quickly fades away. Light lacing.

S - Weak aroma of roasted chocolate malts. A good smell, but not very pronounced.

T - Tastes of roasted coffee and chocolate. A little spicy hop bite shows up briefly. A little funky on the aftertaste.

M/D - On the thinner side. Well carbonated. A drinkable stout, but not a great stout.

Photo of cggarcia
4.9/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours nice with foamy cappucino colored head. The aroma made my knees weak - roasted grains, espresso coffee, tart hops. Hops and bitter chocolate dominate the taste with roasted grains scattered nicely. Complex, dry finish that had me wanting more..so I had four more!

Photo of hustlesworth
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- lightly black with deep garnet and rosewood highlights around the bottom edge of the glass. puffy, expansive, tight bubbles head is creamy cappuccino in color and rises out of the glass like a big biscuit with a nice dimpled character of rocky caters and lots of foamy lace.

S- pleasant mild coffee and cocoa aroma, deeply roasted malt and charcoal, burning wood, dark cigar tobacco, leather, and rich compost soil. the foam emits some brown sugar and fruity notes too like raisins and figs all soaked in tar.

T- good deal of charred roasty malt bitterness first, backed up by intense earthy citrus hops, molasses, and dark ripe fruits. coffe tastes stand out with a little bit of dark chocolate as well but not the sweet kind, more like the raw cocoa essence. woodsy, smokey, and nicely bitter with a resinous herbal lasting bitter finish.

MF- thin feel for such a big flavored stout, not to say this beer is thin, just thin compared to other stouts of this immense character. tastes almost imperial, but feels lighter. medium low carbonation gives it a sort of creaminess, but there is still a slight powdery feeling that reminds me how chock full of grain this is.

D- its lighter character sure up the drinkability for me because after one, i don't feel like i just ate lunch. tons of flavor and moderate abv and the fact that i'm not drinking roasted malt concentrated syrup would make her some around the mountain when she comes. for a session, that is.

Photo of srrn
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I had no idea I was buying an Irish dry stout when I picked this up, I gave it a bit of a hit on mouthfeel with an extra 1/2 point for style. Not creamy at all and the mouthfeel is a bit thin. The head lasts a good while and the brew is very very dark brown. Smell is roasted malts, toast, coffee and a bit of almond. Taste is the same, the almond and cherries taste not as strong as an almond stout. All in all a good brew but when I'm in the mood for a dark brew from this brewery I'll buy old Rasputin.

Photo of kdales77
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Wondeful color and aroma. Decent tan head w/ minimal lacing. Very low carbonation, smooth as silk. Definetly a good choive if your looking for something different. I'll need to find other styyles from this brewery soon!

Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,114 ratings.