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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

1,151 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,151
Reviews: 646
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 48
Gots: 42 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,151 | Reviews: 646
Photo of orangemoustache
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly impenetrable black with the edges showing just a touch of red. The light brown cap has a strong will to survive the duration of this healthy looking treat. Lots of sticky circular rope lacing coats my glass,finishing off this sexy Stout. The nose is sweet with what smells like caramel malts and flavored coffee. Milky Way candy bars,chocolate covered coffee beans,and burnt toast make up the conglomeration of flavors that are mixing together with each sip. This is a little sweeter than most stouts,but not too sweet. Dry and a little watery on the finish,I enjoy the dryness,but the body could use the volume turned up two notches. The creaminess could also use a kick in the azz. Very flavorful and quaffable brew that I will revisit.

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say what everyone is thinking. This beer is Old Rasputin's little brother. I mean every flavor is there from the prune to the hop bite to the malt to the sweet finish. I really enjoyed this beer. My only regret was that I was too stupid to buy a four pack of this when I was told to by the Beer guy in Columbus, GA. I was really dumb. He gave me 1 as a freebie, but I think he knew it would just taunt me. Kinda like a "I told you so." Bastard!

Anyways, I poured this one into a brandy snifter but a pint glass would work great. I think this beer could be drank at any temp from 45 - 62 without a problem. It all depends on what you prefer to taste. More great bitter hop go higher more sweet malty goodness go colder. This was a great (almost) find. Do yourself a favor go get 4 of these tonight!

Photo of illidurit
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark walnut brown, nearly black. Creamy tan head, okay lacing, decent retention. Cocoa, graham, and light roasty aromas. Flavor is very roasted, with coffee notes and a slightly charred bitterness. Semisweet chocolate provides a touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel is decent, but the carbonation is too high. This style would be better suited to a light carbonation to enhance a creamy body. Nonetheless, this is miles tastier than the standard Irish stout fare like Guinness and Murphy's.

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

Pours a stong, lively light brown head that recedes to thin island of foam, but some ok tan lacing hugging the glass. Black to dark brown in color with a little viscocity. Great roasted malt, bitter chocolate and coffee aroma. All subtle but undeniabley there. Starts with dark roasted malts that take on an aire of chocolatey sweetness. The middle gets a bit creamy. While the finish is burt then leavesa bloody aftertaste. The palate oasted, well integrated and sessionable. Plenty of flavor and sessionable.

Photo of avalon07
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a blackish-brown color and a fairly thick consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head and some decent lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, coffee, and hops more than anything else.

T: Taste consisted of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and hops going down. Decent, but not spectacular.

M: A nice level of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole a solid beer, but didn't wow me in any big way.

Photo of MisterClean
2.7/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Shared with a friend at a homebrew meeting.

A - Light chocolate head and light black in color. Dissipates fast.

S - Slightly peppery, with some smoke, and pineapple type hops.

T - Pepper, smoke, and the hops now taste kind of grassy.

M - Not greatly balanced. Mouthfeel fairly thin and syrupy.

D - Drinkable, but not great. Usually I have high praise for north coast beers.

Photo of aubuc1
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip glass.

Light is just visible at the bottom of the glass through the deep black. Nice big steady tan head.

Smell of roasted malts, sweet yet bitter chocolate, and some tart berry.

Taste is pretty sweet. Very little coffee, but maybe cherries on top of a smokey, roasty malt.

Mouthfeel is a litte thin if this is one knock on this beer.

Very drinkable beer that would be nice to drink regularly.

Photo of jbphoto88
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown with ruby highlights that show when the glass is held up to the light. A thick mocha head creams the sides of the glass and leaves nice sticky webbing. Beer that looks like this makes me excited to drink it.

The scent is of creamy dark fruits a handful of chocolates and some espresso. Not a strong nose but definitely a present one.

Taste is excellent, black malts with notes of coffee and chocolate. There are light hints of raisins and plums that round out the balance of this stout.

Old #38 is a smooth and creamy stout that has some lovely dark flavors but no bigger ones. A fact that I don't mind one bit. It's got a lot of the big player flavors to make it a great stout but not an overpowering taste. The flavors work well with a mild carbonation and a shallow bitterness all adding up to a medium bodied easy to drink beer.

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

Pours a deep brown with a dense, foamy head - most excellent lacing!!! Smells strongly of chocolate malt and sweet molasses. Tastes almost identical to the smell, with a smooth mouthfeel.

A lazy drinker's review to be sure, but Old #38 Stout is nothing mindblowing- just another absolutely solid beer from North Coast. Simple but very drinkable, I'll definitely pick this up in the future.

Photo of popery
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An ok stout without much body and somewhat lacking in the taste department. This beer is dark but rather transparent for a stout. The smell is mostly roasted malt, chocolatey malt. There is even an interesting hop character in the background. The taste is similar but the feel is so light that it kind of washes out the beer's potential. I guess it's fairly drinkable, but it wouldn't be my choice for a stout. It's not bad, and if you like light stouts, it's probably a good choice. It's just not my thing.

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

Pours mahogany with 3 fingers of tan head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Cocoa & coffee

T: Roasted malt, coffee, & iron up front. Charred grain, dryness & leafy hops as this warms. Finishes fruitty (dark fruit)& with a bit too much coffee for me

MF: Smooth & creamy with medium body

Drinks easy enough, a nice stout that has a bit too much coffee character for me

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

Appearance: Wow, that is dark. Pitch black! And not the watered-down version of pitch black that shows hints of dark brown around the edges. Nay! No, and I mean NO!, light creeps through here at all. It's like a brick wall of obsidian! With that said, head is initially about 2-3 fingers, tan, and foamy/loose. After about a minute, it's a mere ring clutching to the glass. Spotty, foamy lacing.

Smell: Toffee and caramel, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and some smoke. Smells a tad meaty.

Taste: Toffee right off the bat. Dark chocolate and coffee come forth as the taste lingers. A couple handfuls of hops wipe clean the palate at the end. I've never had a dry stout this bitter before. The charred, bitter, dryness really reminds of Old Rasputin - anyone else getting that?

Mouthfeel: Pretty high carbonation, which results in some stinging. I've noticed the high carbonation in most dry stouts (other than Guinness), though the BA description of an Irish dry stout contradicts my observations. Medium-thick body and very chewy. Nice warming and pretty good mouth-numbing for such a low ABV.

Drinkability: While the aftertaste definitely reminded me of Old Rasputin (my favorite beer), I can't imagine myself sitting around and drinking these. Carbonation is too high, body is too thick, flavor ain't anything special.

Photo of philipquarles
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
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
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
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
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
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
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
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
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
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
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
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
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
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
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
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
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,151 ratings.