Old #38 Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout

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very good

1,114 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,114
Reviews: 635
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)
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Ratings: 1,114 | Reviews: 635 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of everetends
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint.

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a medium tan head on it. The does linger and trys to produce some lacing.

S: Smells of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Maybe a hint of cream in there.

T: Bitter coffee and chocolate (pleasant bitterness), roasted malt, a slight nuttiness to it. This beer has elements of dry bitterness and sweetness that have a pretty good balance in this brew. Quite tasty.

M: It is a bit thin, you expect it to be a touch thicker and creamier, but still not watery. Has just enough carbonation.

D: This is a great beer to keep in the fridge and knock back a couple while watching a game or with dinner. Really enjoy this brew.

Photo of brdc
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small capped bottle poured into a snifter.

Pitch black, with a fluffy but quickly disappearing tan head.
Very good aroma, mostly chocolate and coffee, which opens up to a mostly dry, medium bodied, beer with coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors. Not complex, but nicely crafted and definitely worth a shot.

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

12 ounce poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours brown, almost black with a huge tan head that subsides into a thin layer. Minimal lacing.

S - Roasted and chocolate.

T - Chocolate coffee and roasted malt. Very minor bitter linger.

M - A little thin. Just a little carbonation.

D - Yeah, I could drink this all night long.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from jenny lou's in beijing. imported by the same folks (www.realbeer.com.cn) that bring some other american craft brews into china. this is one of their seasonal offerings, along with kona lager.

color is nearly black, some translucency on the edges and up against the light. decent head soon fades to a thin splotchy film and ring around the edge. some very thin lacing here and there.

aroma is roasty with coffee and almost something chocolate, but not quite. some earthiness. whiffs of alcohol that approach whisky?

good, full roasted flavors persist in the flavor. relatively rich and again some coffee nuances. bitterness from both the charred malts and hops seem decently balanced, as it still allows some traces of malty caramel sweetness and faint acidity to come through.

almost thin, but smooth, and quite fluffy with a medium carbonation.

for whatever reason, i enjoyed this much more the second time around. still, irish dry stouts and the 5% ABV malaysia-brewed version of guinness foreign extra are now readily available in beijing (if you look for them), so hopefully instead they'll start importing some harder-to-find styles in the future

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first beer from North Coast Brewing Co.

A- Pours out a savory dark red and settles in the glass as an opaque black liquid with a mocha brown head.

S- Smells like a spiced cookie. Makes me want to drink it.

T- Taste is not as good as I expected but still quite palatable. Too bitter in my opinion but has a rich molasses flavor that makes me feel satisfied. Some coffee flavor.

M- Feels nice and smooth with a medium body that sticks to the tongue

D- This beer is very enjoyable but too viscous to pound quickly

Photo of albern
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I liked this stout a bit more than most of the reviewers, and so be it. It pours a nice deep ruby, tawny brown with a nice creamy tannish head that hangs around a long while. There is ample lacing to this beer. The smell is modest, roasted malts, chocolaty, maybe a hint of a dark cherry chocolate. The beer is preeminently creamy and medium bodied with just a bit of carbonation. The taste is roasted malts, a slightly hoppy bite in the finish to let you know there are hops present, and plenty of chocolately notes throughout. The beer has a slightly chalky finish, slightly drying, but a bit sweet for a dry stout. This isn't the best representation of a dry stout, in fact, it's pretty wide of the mark. I like the beer as is regardless of label or type. This is a smooth, creamy, easy to drink stout that I really enjoyed. L'Chaim.

Photo of daythree16
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Has a one-finger head with great retention that leaves thick chunks of lace as you drink it. Thick, creamy head makes me almost wish I had a straw.

The smell is of chocolate and roasted malts with a slight aroma of alcohol.

Tastes like it smells, with the espresso taste and roasted malts playing the lead and it has really well balanced hop presence. My only problem was a slight metallic taste. However, I've had the beer before, and I don't remember that last time, so it may be a one-time thing.

The beer is a has a good and heavy mouthfeel, but coming in at just under 6% ABV, I could see myself having a few more.

Photo of botham
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic pint. pours deep brown with garnet highlights and a sizable light brown head that remains for a couple minutes, leaving moderate lacings.

aroma is roasted, with a marshmallowy sweet character, and a side note of caramel and dark fruit. odd mix for an irish dry.

taste is roasted, with the same dark fruit base and notes of caramel, coffee, and a lightly burnt quality. not bad.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a thin texture and a smooth finish of residual chocolate and caramel, with a bit of dark fruit.

drinkablility is good. this is a decent irish dry, though there is much better out there.

Photo of Drewcifer
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark brown, nearing black, with a finger of tan head.

The aroma is roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of cocoa powder.

Taste is slightly sweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, a bit of a hazlenutty taste muddled in as well. A pleasant aftertaste, I was expecting bitter but it wasn't there, instead, a very mild finish.

Good body on the heavy side of medium, somewhat creamy and smooth, a very pleasant carbonation - it's there, but not kicking your tongue to be noticed.

Wonderfully drinkable. Great flavor, not as heavy as some stouts, a nice ABV for drinking more than one or two in a sitting, very good example of the style. Probably my favorite Irish Dry I've had so far, and high up in all the stouts I've had.

Photo of cichief
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had from a nitro-pour at the Frisco Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a nice deep dark brown, nearly black, with a nice creamy nitro-poured brown head.

S- Some chocolate and coffee notes, little else.

T- Nice and rich, lots of coffee and some chocolate. Although the beer starts sweetish, the finish is dry.

M- Creamy smooth, this beer is great on nitro. Full bodied.

D- All in all a great beer. I could enjoy several pints a night.

Photo of TheTrevor
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark chocolate brown with a two-finger dark tan head. The smell is toasted malts with some hints of coffee. The taste starts off with some semi-sweet chocolate tasting malt that gives way to some slight coffee tastes that are cut by some hops. The mouthfeel is fairly thick with some pretty mild carbonation. This is a tasty beer, but I think it might sit a little heavy to drink more than one of at a time.

Photo of JEdmund
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big tan head on black

Big aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, something sweet, and a hint of coffee

Taste & Mouthfeel
Very tasty, creamy, big upfront but thin in the middle, however, there's a nice finish of flavor, very sweet like a milk stout, good mouthfeel with nice carbonation (a bit like Rasputin)

A very tasty stout with nice notes of roasted malts and coffee, but a little too lactic and sweet for me.

Photo of dsa7783
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Short, fat, 12 oz bottle purchased singly from Total Wine and More in Union...
Pours a jet-black, ebony hue with a decent-sized foamy head that exhibited impressive staying power before slowly receding and leaving a hefty amount of lacing...
Subtle, cocoa-powder aroma replete with thick, chewy malts and espresso...
Taste strongly mirrored the aroma, with a wonderful flavor of rich, deep, dark chocolate, dark latte, creamy mocha, and rich toffee with hazlenut...
Excellent overall flavor, as expected from a great brewery with a good reputation for churning out impressive brews...
Thick, rich, creamy mouthfeel to match with a superb level of drinkability as well...
This one went down crisply and smoothly without any interference and a full-bodied flavor for a relatively modest 5.6% ABV...
Great stuff...
Sweet, rich, and thick - recommended...

Photo of BigRedN
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from the stubby 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is black with a 1 inch brown head resting upon the liquid. Head fades to a partial cover and leaves little clumps of lace.

Smell: Roasted malts giving off typical stout aromas of burnt chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Big and malty (roasted malts with high roasted coffee bean and bitter chocolate flavor. An ample bitter finish leads me to believe this one is not lacking in hops. Bit flavor, different than the Irish nitro cans I pick up when I am feeling in the mood for an Irish Stout. Good malty, flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, chewy. Seems naturally carbonated (not too much). A touch prickly on the tongue with a dry finish.

Drinkability: Along the lines of Boulevarde's Dry Stout, but fuller in body. I typically look for an ABV around 5 or less for this style cause I like having many at a time. This is a tad high, but still it is a great beer. I would recommend giving this a try.

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

Opened 12 fluid ounce bottle, poured into Nonic glass.

Pours 2" of tan foamy head that holds well, some lacing on glass - Opaque dark brew.

Smell is of coffee with slight bitter action. Nothing complex, but a very clean brew. Finish is short with no aftertaste. While there are other Irish stouts I like more, this is very pleasant. All in all, a good brew.

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

Pour is opaque black with an off-tan head on top. Smell is lightly roasted, chocolate.

The flavour is dry and roasted. Light chocolate tones lurk in the background. Some spicy hops on the very edge of the tongue. Lightly nutty. A good representative of the style.

Mouthfeel is decently full and carbonated, but not exceptionally thick. The drinkability, a shade above average as well. This is a solid, enjoyable take on the style, but it's nothing I would go out of my way for.

The bottom line: As Irish Dry Stouts go, North Coast has put together a good variation on the style. There is nothing here that is particularly memorable, but if you're in the mood for a lighter stout like this, Old #38 is an affordable and tasty option.

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

I don't about the style, but this certainly is a tasty beer. I got big milk and dark chocolate flavors along with chocolate grains and an aroma to match. There's a medium body with a balancing bitterness and touch of citrus hops flavor. Overall this is a great dessert beer and I'd love to see a coffee version of this.

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

Pours almost black with a creamy, foamy semi lasting tan head. Smell is nuts and cream and roastiness. Hazlenut creamer like notes. Flavor is dark and roasty, slighty sweet, and with a light shortly lived slightly dry bitter finish. Average body. Not too thin but not as thick as I prefer. Moderate carbonation. Pretty good standby stout that you could easily have more than one of. Not unhappy that I bought a 6 pack of this in Las Vegas. Nice beer.

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

Pours nearly black with a ruby edge and a frothy tan head. Aroma has hints of coffee, cocoa, and some citric hops. Not an overwhelming nose, but a pleasant one.

Dry roasted notes with a touch of figs and chocolate in the middle that leads into a dry finish with touch of a citric tanginess to it. Flavor fades fast with little to no aftertaste. There's enough carbonation to to give a creamy mouth feel thats a little on the light side.

This is a good sipping stout that would make a nice session beer.

Photo of Gehrig
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old #38 reminds me of the bus number I used to ride in Western New York, first to high school then college. Good times.

The beginning to this beer experience is outstanding, with three tan fingers of cloud topping a nearly black body, with thick layers of lacing on the way down reminding the drinker of its great start. Alas, this peters out somewhat on the track to enjoyment, and it starts with the smell which is, to be kind, difficult to locate. Eventually, some roasted chocolate, and touches of caramel and coffee emerge. I'm honestly shocked at how tepid this is, with the taste as well. Mouthfeel salvages much with #38, with ample carbonation coaxing the coffee forward for more than a cameo.

I'm still perplexed that the same brewery that made the big, bold, and brilliant Old Rasputin made the Little Engine That Should Have But Didn't. Old #38 is a letdown--not a disaster, but a journey into what could have been, but wasn't. In all, decent.

Photo of m1ked
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Opaque blackness. Rootbeer float like head shrinking down to a more modest lacing.

S- Light cocoa, wet smokey wood.

T- Muted burnt wood, subtle cocoa, bitter coffee end.

M- Smooth and creamy. I like this feel.

d- Not my favorite of this style, but still very drinkable. I do enjoy their many other offerings.

Photo of SargeC
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black brew with a dense, tan head.

Smell: malt, coffee, bitter chocolate and hints of caramel.

Taste: Nice even balance of malt and hop flavors. Chocolate, and toffee flavors mix well with the malt.

Mouthfeel: Full body. Very smooth and refined.

Drinkablity: A very tasty and well-crafted brew.

Photo of d0ggnate
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm fond of North Coast brews and I find Old #38 to be a one of those beers that I will only have about once or twice a year, but I enjoy it greatly each time I do.

A: Dark brown/black with thick light brown/tan foamed head. Head disappeared quickly, but left patchy lace on my glass.

S: Hints of dark fruit and day-old coffee fill my nose, but for the most part I smell familiarity.

T: Dry, but delicious. Taste of smoke or chalk-like flavors (but in a good way). Hint of coffee and plum, too.

M: Coats my tongue, but melts away quickly. Very smooth and almost watery. Beer drinks very flat.

Old #38 is a great, extremly drinkable stout. I enjoy it each time I pop the bottle.

Photo of hwwty4
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into my trusty Boulevard Goblet. Poured a dark, dark brown that allowed tan hues to show through when held to the light. Had a light tan head that disappeared quickly and left little lacing. Aroma is heavy on the roasted malts, with a bit of chocolate, nuts and almost buttery notes. Taste is heavy roasted malts and unsweetened chocolate. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but hey, that’s the style. This is one of the better Irish stouts on the market.

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

Dark brew with a creamy head that dissapated very quickly. would have liked to see more head. Bitter hop and chocolate aromas, touch of dark fruit. Good mouthfeel, on the lighter side for a stout, but thats how it was made. Cocoa flavors, roasted malts,bitterish chocolate flavor dominates. This is how Guinness should taste. I was suprised by how much I thouroughly enjoyed this brew, very solid.What it lacks in inital apperance is made up by flavor.If your're looking for a good Irish stout, get it!

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