1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Old #38 Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout

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

1,055 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,055
Reviews: 630
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.99%
Wants: 39
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old #38 Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,055 | Reviews: 630 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of happygnome


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%

a: pours a jet black color with about an inch or so of tan head that doesnt dissapear too fast and leaves a good amount of sticky lacing on the edge of the glass
s: sweet roasted chocolate malts dominate the aroma followed by a crisp bready smell
t: the roasted chocolate malts really dominate the flavor of this one, slightly bready, not much hop bitterness but very well balanced
m: medium to full bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation

overall, i really enjoy this and will prolly be picking up another one

12-26-2007 01:06:30 | More by happygnome
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.55/5  rDev -7.1%

12oz picked up at New Vintage for about $1.50 and pulled from the basement cooler.. shared with my bro... my half from a shaker pint.

Good 1" lite tan head.. dark dark brown (clear) with dark red highlites... lacing melts away but is still obvious.

Dark roasted grains and a touch of roasted barley with a kiss of chocolate is the only aroma evident.

Flavor is all dark grains.. very little sweetness.. only enough to barely balance.. bigger dark roast malts and touch of caramel.. could use a touch more black grain bitterness... I am getting no hops.

This is only the 4-5th time I've had this brew, and I think North Coast can do better, but I also need to fine tune my palate to understand more what a good American "Irish Dry Stout" actually tastes like.

12-25-2007 09:35:19 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Bitterbill


3.93/5  rDev +2.9%

I got this one in a great trade with JDV. Thanks Deniz!

This pours from 12oz bottle a very dark brown with reddish hues and a large tannish head of foam.

The smell has good notes of roasted malt and sweet chocolate but it's fairly light on the nose.

The taste has some nice sweetness to it from the chocolate followed by the roasted malt. Nice and tasty and a smooth drinking Stout. It has a medium mouthfeel to it and it finishes with that good roasty flavour. Pretty darned drinkable and the relatively low abv helps in that regard. I like this stuff! And that head of foam just keeps on hanging in there as a solid 1/2 inch layer with plenty of sticky lacing. Very attractive looking Stout and a very tasty one. I recommend it.

Thanks agai, Deniz!

12-20-2007 23:25:17 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of NitroGen


3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

P: 12 oz. Brown bottle

A: Thick dark espresso pours, with two fingers of dark foam head

S: Roasted coffee, sweet caramel and a alcohol

T: Bitter coffee, roasted almost burnt grains with hints and dark chocolate without any sweetness.

M: Crisp and bright to the mouth that leaves a dry taste on the tongue and palate.

D: Balanced flavors is great for the mouth. Would have one at a time rather than one after another.

12-17-2007 06:39:30 | More by NitroGen
Photo of bunnyhustle


3.93/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured into oversized wine glass. Pours nearly black but is more like a deep, dark brown. Tan head doesnt last too long and leaves nothing behind, no lacing. Smell is of chocolate (dark) and what seems to be a slightly tart fruit, maybe a little raisin like, cant quite place it. Taste is of toasted grains, almost burnt and some dark chocolate, and again the fruit which I still cant place. Very crisp tasting and very light bodied. Leaves a dry chocolate taste in the mouth. I like the lower ABV, this makes it easier to enjoy a few in one session. Not quite Old Rasputin, but a great offering.

12-11-2007 06:27:38 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of clemsonbrewer

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +6%

Thin tan head on a dark brown body with reddish light shining around the edges. Little lacing that isn't very sticky. Chocolate ice cream nose. Seriously though... in ice cream form. Good roasted malt taste. Smooth feeling both in the mouth and on the way down. Nice roasted palate. This is another good stout.

11-29-2007 03:48:12 | More by clemsonbrewer
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.48/5  rDev -8.9%

I've yet to be disappointed by a North Coast beer, and this is no exception. This stout offers lots of roastiness with not a lot of accompanying flavors I'm accustomed to in a stout (coffee, chocolate, liquorice, etc), but was quite dry and certainly lives up to my expectations for this style (dry stout).

The beer pours a non-viscous black-red, with abundant cumulus-like head formation which had pretty good vitality. Aroma was pretty minimal, but offered a small quantity of roastiness. Flavor was very roasty and dry, like having a mouthful of cinders, which for me is a good thing. Mouthfeel was clean but a bit thin.

All-in-all, I thought this a very nice dry stout. I'm not sure where I got this particular sample, but I believe I picked it up during Murray's Wine & Spirits going-out-of-business sale.

11-27-2007 01:10:14 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of kimcgolf


3.65/5  rDev -4.5%

Pours to a jet black with thick tan head that lingers well and leaves excellent lacing. Nose is a pleasant malt chocolate-toffee, and the taste follows suit perfectly. Mouthfeel of this medium bodied beer is sweet and slightly tingly, and the finish is smooth and sweet.

A nice tasty beer.

10-27-2007 12:24:20 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of bassmantin


3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours relatively light for a stout, brown and semi-transparent. It almost looks like a Coke. The head is moderate and tan. Smells like an oatmeal stout, nothing too complex, but certainly not unpleasant. Taste is promising up front but falls with nice roasty malts and smokiness. Mouthfeel is a little creamy, but disappointing for a stout. As this beer warms more flavors emerge. I guess that is typical for a stout.

Bottom line: Nice smoky stout. Best served slightly warmer.

10-21-2007 00:41:20 | More by bassmantin
Photo of jockstrappy


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a dark cola-like brown with a fluffy beige head. Aroma is a combination of burnt coffee and dark chocolate. Taste is roasted malt up front with notes of coffee and cocoa, and an appealing hop bitterness in the finish. This beer leaves a nice warming sensation in your stomach. This beer is light on the palate for a stout, with a taste that begs you to keep sipping. Nice offering. North Coast is a very solid brewery indeed.

10-20-2007 00:22:23 | More by jockstrappy
Photo of doubleipa


3.08/5  rDev -19.4%

1 inch head, frothy, light-brown. Weak aroma, toasted, burnt, mild coffee. Nothing much else. Not very impressed. Would have expected more from the brewery that produces Rasputin. Coffee was th eonly distinctive aroma or taste. I'm not sure how old this bottle is since I picked it up at KClingers in Hanover, PA.

10-11-2007 20:08:27 | More by doubleipa
Photo of malcontent


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a dense, dark shade of walnut (not quite black) with a finger of tan head. Head retention is OK and the lacing minimal but still, a nice looking brew.

Vaguely smoky and peaty with a definite hop presence on the finish. Nice to see a stout not covering up the hops. As it warms, the smoke aroma increases by volumes.

Strong roasted quality intensifies as the burnt nature lingers on the finish. Hop bitterness melds with the malt bitterness to create a slight coffee effect. Pretty good!

Not as full-bodied/creamy as I like from a stout but is far from thin. Carbonation resists going overboard.

This lacks the effortless quaffability that a certain stout from Dublin does, but still, it makes for a nice drink and I could absolutely see myself revisiting this in the future.

09-17-2007 21:52:18 | More by malcontent
Photo of bluemoonswoon


4.22/5  rDev +10.5%

12oz stubby poured into a nonic pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours pure black two inches of tan tightly packed bubbly rocky and creamy head the really looks inviting. None of that cascading you get from a Guiness but this wasn't a nitro so whatever. Good lacing down the glass

S: Smells like a Guiness but better, seems sweeter and toastier.

T/MF: Really toasty and roasty with a decent hop kick that does not overpower the toasted malt flavors, really nicely balanced, not too sweet and not too bitter. The hops keep the beer from tasting too watery and imparts a slight fruity taste on the beer then fades away and lets the malts take controll to the finish.

D: Like it better than Guiness, doesn't have that flat taste like the other does, really lets me know I'm drinking a beer.

09-12-2007 05:39:03 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of hunteraw


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%

Appearance: Very dark, not quite opaque with brown hues. Good sized head, fair retention, some lacing. Good appearance.

Smell: a bit more fruit than I'd expect in the nose - not that that's a bad thing. Caramel, some cocoa powder and roast.

Taste: Profile very similar to the aroma just described, but with a good amount of hops bitterness as backup, and a bit of a boozy finish you can feel in your nose as you swallow.

Mouthfeel: medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer. Alcohol low enough to be sessionable.

09-05-2007 02:43:19 | More by hunteraw
Photo of berserker256


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%

Stouts always look dark brown to black and this one is no exception. Looks like coffee with a tan head. I think the roasting of the malt sort of gives this beer a semi-sweet coffee-like taste. This is a nice smooth stout that's not too bitter or pungent. I would classify this beer as one of the better stouts around.

08-22-2007 03:07:30 | More by berserker256
Photo of franksnbeans


4.1/5  rDev +7.3%

Pours almost black with a nice creamy/tan head. Smells of some malts, coffee, toffee, chocolate, smokey and nuts. Subtle flavors of sweetness along with every flavor the aroma promised. A little dry and bitter finish, same with the carbonation, a little. Had everything you could want in a stout just more mild than I would like in each category. I very much enjoyed this and could drink as many as I please.

08-06-2007 01:54:33 | More by franksnbeans
Photo of Halcyondays


4.13/5  rDev +8.1%

12 oz. bottle,

A: Dark ruby red/black, with a thick, tan head, which leaves excellent lacing, in a glass. A great looking stout, in my honest opinion.

S: Roasted malts, predominately, with smooth, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, coffee, mocha, and a hint of vanilla, it smells really good.

T: Dark, black coffee, with dark chocolate, and a hint of hops in the end, holding it all together.

M: Pretty full-bodied, smooth, and creamy, with a soft, subtle, roasty bitterness, a good Irish-style dry stout.

D: A great beer, easily sessionable, I could drink this all day, a great product from North Coast, kind of like a mini-Old Rasputin in a way.

08-04-2007 05:38:18 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of barefootbrewer


3.98/5  rDev +4.2%

This beer poured a black color with a 1” head. The smell is sweet and a somewhat floral. The taste is roasted, caramel, malty and the hops were noticeable. The mouthfeel is medium to full. Overall, this is a tasty brew that seems to go down easy – I swear I just had a full glass here!

07-30-2007 14:16:31 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of Atron67


4.08/5  rDev +6.8%

A- poured a black that was slightly brown around the thinner areas, had a foamy tannish head, which left pretty heavy lacing
S- sweet/ish maltyness, notes of roasted also are present, coffee is also present,
T- Pretty good, not my favorite but good, has a slightly sweet flavor that finishs with a dry roasted flavor smooth, pretty clean,
M- medium/heavy body, mild/medium carbonation which provides a little acidity on the tongue when tasting,
d- this is a pretty good stout, and one i would be able to drink a couple of in a night, tasty and a nice ild coffee and roasted flavors make it a nice mild flavored stout

07-25-2007 23:18:54 | More by Atron67
Photo of pmcadamis


4.55/5  rDev +19.1%

A - Perfectly black brew with a creamy and frothy two finger light brown head that leaves lots of creamy lace on the glass. The head never settles below a tight cap, and a swirl brings back a full two fingers. This is a very appetizing appearance!

S - The first thing I smell is cold coffee with lots of creamer, followed by some bitter dark baking chocolate and some smoldering campfire notes. Smells great, but it could be a bit more assertive.

T - Sweet creamy coffee with dark baker's chocolate...very much a continuation of the nose. Initially sweet before becoming more roasty and coffee-like mid sip, then finishing with some dark roast bitterness and a good dose of leafy hops. Outstanding.

M - Creamy and lush, with some tingly carbonation and a relatively light body. At first I didn't see why this was under Irish Dry Stouts instead of just plain old American Stouts, but now I see...the body is very creamy, light, and similar to the big three.

D - Flawless. I could session with this on a hot day, or sip it slowly from a snifter in the winter. This is a remarkable brew that IMO is highly underrated.

07-22-2007 17:41:25 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of zeff80


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%

A - Poured out a jet black color with a foamy, tan, three finger head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of coffee, oatmeal, toasty malt and nuts.

T - It tasted of oatmeal, roasted malt and a burnt toastiness.

M - It was dry and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a really good stout, although it seems more like an Oatmeal Stout than an Irish Dry. Still it was very good.

07-16-2007 17:23:32 | More by zeff80
Photo of GimpyCane


4.1/5  rDev +7.3%

This stout was a nice surprise. Poured dark brown with a caramel hue shinning through that left a fizzy one finger tan head. The head didn't stick around for long. The true enjoyment is in the aroma. Upon pouring a blast of roasted grain, molasses and caramel hit my nose. Followed by dates, cola and licorice that ended with a hint of smoke and dark plum. This light to medium body brew started off with a roasted and smokey malt that was mask by a sweet cola and date middle. A moderate coffee bitter such as espresso was left lingering on the palate. Another plus, you can drink this all night and really enough it. Really good beer by North Coast. I paired this brew up with homemade Cherry cola BBQ sauce and baby back ribs, green apple cole slaw and roasted garlic potato salad. Enjoy

07-12-2007 01:42:14 | More by GimpyCane
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +8.6%

12 ounce bottle, shaker pint glass.

A - Pours out a nearly black color. Shows some red when held to the light. Nice tan head.

S - Some nice cocoas and coffee in there.

T - Nice. A huge roasty character on top of the chocolate flavors. Bitterness comes through in the aftertaste, along with a smoky flavor.

M - Nice and full while still maintaining a playful carbonation.

D - Makes me want more and more. Very complex for a dry stout.

Notes: Another winner from North Coast. Really blows the "Big 3" nitro'ed stouts out of the water flavorwise. Excellent brew overall.

07-05-2007 23:24:17 | More by EStreet20
Photo of scott


4.63/5  rDev +21.2%

unknown vintage

Dark amber, thin, and little-to-no head.
A real robust aroma, with a little alcohol to note. (And some other ingredient I can't put my finger on.)
This is very tasty, with roast and chocolate being cut through with a knife wielding hop. Dry, crisp, refreshing and very exacting. Medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Well crafted and very easy to drink. So much so, that I will have another. Highly recommended.

06-26-2007 04:46:19 | More by scott
Photo of udubdawg


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%

Pours a reddish dark brown. Color is a little lighter than my fuzzy memory thought it would be. Head is light brown and has decent retention, leaving attractive spotty lace.

Roasty aromas here, full of coffee and chocolate as well, and a little alcohol. Nothing spectacular, but pleasant.

Tasty. Bitterness isn't huge, but significantly more than expected and a pleasant surprise. Coffee that is evenly blended into the aroma comes out more strongly here. A very faint residual sweetness. I dig it.

Body is slightly on the light side of medium and appropriate for the style. Crisp up front, creamy in the finish - Nice.

Highly drinkable. I've had better but considering the lack of quality Irish Dry Stouts available locally, sign me up. I'd take this over Guinness any day. And I hear North Coast WILL finally be available locally within the month!

06-09-2007 02:35:11 | More by udubdawg
Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,055 ratings.