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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

1,069 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,069
Reviews: 631
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 38
Gots: 23 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,069 | Reviews: 631 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of malcontent
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

malcontent, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

bluemoonswoon, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of hunteraw
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

hunteraw, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of berserker256
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

berserker256, Aug 22, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

franksnbeans, Aug 06, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Halcyondays, Aug 04, 2007
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

barefootbrewer, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of Atron67
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Atron67, Jul 26, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

pmcadamis, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

zeff80, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of GimpyCane
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

GimpyCane, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of EStreet20
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

EStreet20, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of scott
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

scott, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of udubdawg
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

udubdawg, Jun 09, 2007
Photo of KroMagnon
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice rocky head, steady and full and fluffy, tan atop a dark dark nearly opaque beer with a ruby overtone. The aroma is nice too, a lot of chocolate and nuttiness along with a soft caramel and toffee note. The flavor is good too, maybe not as dry as I'd expect for an "Irish Dry Stout" but that's a good thing - I get a lot of malt at first, then a slight acrid bitterness and coffee / roasted note, then finally a little dash of bitterness at the end that compliments the beer. This isn't a huge beer, but it is a rather nicely made brew with a good combination of ingredients and flavors.

KroMagnon, May 23, 2007
Photo of froggyfrog
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark syrupy cocoa-like aroma is noticeable right away upon removing the cap. The pour results in a snifter bowl full of inky black liquid and a short-lived fluffy head. More from the nose: varied grains, Cocoa Krispies, chocolate truffle, and floral hops.

Fuller mouthfeel than anticipated with a puckering dry finish. Some lactose-type qualities evident. Taste is prickly pear and cocoa powder. Some milkiness in the middle with a evergreen hop finish. Hints of nutmeg mixed in. Caramel?

The hop flavors and fruitiness of this dry stout make for an interesting take on what is often a roasted-malt-driven style.

Really a nice beer. If it wasn't for the last-minute dry finish I might mistake this for a sweet stout.

froggyfrog, May 17, 2007
Photo of mountdew1
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. Poured a nice very dark reddish brown with a reasonable bubbly head that quickly disappeared. It left slight lacing around the glass that lasted the whole beer. Aroma was very pleasant, smelled of chocolate mousse. Taste varied, started off with hints of coffee, later on was slighty sweet with chocolate undertones. No bitterness at all in the mouth flavorwise, however the beer felt slightly acidic on the tounge which detracted from the flavor. Was easy to drink except for that acidity. A solid stout.

mountdew1, May 08, 2007
Photo of karengarys
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours transparent black, leaving little very fluffy light carmel color head which sticks to the glass a lot retaining a fluffy foam ring.

Smells malty and hoppy dry.

Tastes stout dry, some cool malts, and a hoppy balance I would never get in a Guiness. It is very good!

Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

Finish is also dry, creamy and clean, but there is a bit of a edgy pine hop bitter bite I'm not particularly fond of.

This is a quite drinkable brew that is worth trying. If you see it, don't pass it up!

karengarys, May 05, 2007
Photo of MmmIPA
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark black body with some ruby highlights towards the bottem.Nice fluffy off white head.Nice lacing on the glass.

I smell oatmeal, or some sort of flaked oats.It dont smell like roasted malts.The smell is very inviting.

Oatmeal taste with some fruit notes.I like the fruity taste to it.You can taste the roasted malts in the aftertaste.

Mouthful is a bit thick and the carbonation is a notch up from your standard stout.

If Guiness tasted like this,I would drink guiness.This is a damn tasty beer and I think my first of the style.I had a SlyFox dry stout and it wasnt near tasty as this.

MmmIPA, May 01, 2007
Photo of BobThomas
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Plan B, West Hartford, CT.

Served in a pint glass. Black with a very thick and creamy head that's sticking a quarter inch out of the top of the glass and isn't going anywhere.

Smells of bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Nothing too intersting.

Taste is more of the same, not too intersting.

I'd dink it again if it were given to me, but I regret not getting North Coast's Old Rasputin from the bottle (which was also on the menu) instead of this one which was of course on tap. Oh well.

BobThomas, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just finished a Guinness Draught which I always find enjoyable (I like the nitro as well) and wanted to compare it directly to something else. I understand this is the same brew that North Coast makes for Trader Joe's under the name Black Hart Stout...it is at least very similar if not indeed the same.

Pours a decent deep black with a very impressive creamy head that melts to very sticky lacing.

Aromas are definite espresso coffees and dark chocolate with roasted dark malts.

Taste is full of chocolate that melts to a bit of dark coffee then back to dark chocolate, finally finishing with a crisp hop bite making this very refreshing.

A great irish stout from North Coast.

IntriqKen, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of tobyandgina
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this dusty sixer at a local liquor store.

Nice head when poured. Good lacing throughout.

Smell was chocolatey, some espresso and even a little hoppy.

Great mouthfeel, lingers for just the right amount of time.

Taste of burnt chocolate and coffee beans. A good deal of malt too.
A great bite to it with some smoothness to compliment.

A wonderful Stout from our friends at North Coast. Cheers!

tobyandgina, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of bashiba
2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a clear dark brown with light amber highlights and a thick and sticky tan head.

Has a light and sweet and roasty malt odor.

Has a very acidic and bitter taste with some hints of smoke and cocoa.

Finishes dry with a cloying bitterness.

Not very good, a real let down as the first North Coast Beer I did not really like.

bashiba, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of Gatch
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pretty dark, but not pitch black. A light, creamy tan head. I like how it has the taste of a really dark beer but is relatively light in color for a Stout.
S - Roasted malt, dark chocolate.
T - I like this a lot. I expected something different since I've never really had an Irish Dry Stout besides Guinness. It seems to taste in between a Porter and an American Stout. The roasted, sweet malt & light hints of dark bitter chocolate create a very smooth and enjoyable Stout, with a surprisingly good, dry finish.
M - Nice carbonation, but the body's a little too thin at first. Once it warmed up, that faded away as well as the watered down taste like some Porters can have. It has a smoky, dry, smooth & creamy feel.
D - Very drinkable for a Stout. A unique style for North Coast to brew and they brewed a great beer. None of the flavors are overwhelming, they blend well and leave a great taste in the mouth. I'd love to have another if I could, and if it was at a bar, I'd feel it necessary to order a second pint.

Gatch, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of tapman
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In a world were nitro-metallic Guiness is now a household name, Old No. 38 tries to bring the flavor. It gets a "5" for effort, but as for what really counts...

Pours a smooth dark brazilian rosewood color with a creamy, tan head that dissipates after a minute and a half or so. The aroma is unfortunately faint, but after almost inhaling a nostrilfull of foam, a sweet, musty smell becomes apparent...bready.

On the sides of the tongue our salt receptors receive flavors of chocolate and buttery hops. The presence of a decent roasted malt follows the beer down the throat, leaving behind a melbatoast aftertaste. I know what you're thinking, but that's actually not a bad thing. The brew is sweet/bitter thanks to the extra sugar/alcohol with a 5.6% ABV being respectable amoung modern IDS brews.

Medium describes the mouthfeel of this beer. The carbonation is noticeably present, but not overpowering and doesn't cover up too much, thankfully.

The second serving went down even smoother I am surprised to say. With the first serving we find that a combonation of acidic flavors (chocolate, bitter, sweet) impacting an unprepared palate acts like an icy hot patch. At first there is a wincing intensity followed by warm chocolatey blandness. I did have one more that evening and that was enough for one night. Perhpas I grade this brew to harshly, but the standards of beer must be raised. I find this to be a very respectable product in that I could taste all that I was able to, the good and the bad. Thanks for not following the nitro-heads and being yourself. Cheers!

tapman, Mar 28, 2007
Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.