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: 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)
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old #38 Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,114 | Reviews: 635 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ByTor2112
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I first tried this way back in the day when nobody on the East Coast knew of this stuff. Thanks to HimerMan for sending this to me as an extra with a trade.
Poured very dark, a hint of garnet when the light passed through it on the side of the glass. Nice espresso colored head that left no lacing.
Dark roasted malt aroma, a little coffe is there also.
Initial taste is dark malt and a burnt tatse, not bad. The hops give a good balance with decent bitterness that combines well with the dark malts. The hops get really earthy as this stout warms up.
Good no-nonsense stout.

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

Rather tasty little stout. Deep brown color, I seem to almost but not quite be able to see through the glass. Scent is probably the best part of this one, not unlike the aroma of chocolate milk with a couple shots of coffee and malt.

Roasty with a sprinkling of hop oil on the flavor, not quite what I was expecting from the nose, but not bad. A little more complex than some other stouts.

Definately worth a try.

Photo of macster
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly thin, somewhat translucent deep ruby brown. Looks almost like a dark ale rather than a Stout. Produces a thick, rocky and long lasting light tan head. No lacing. Mild, but pleasant aromas of charcoal, coffee beans, Baker’s chocolate and dark roasted malts. Mouthfeel fairly thin and watery with a slightly fizzy carbonation. Initial flavor is of charcoal and charred malts followed by a balancing subdued malt and toffee sweetness. Some chocolate and coffee notes also come through. Finish is light and thin, but with a pleasant minerally/charred wood dryness. A solid, but kinda lightweight stout.

Photo of kirok1999
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a ruddy dark black, some red highlights shining through the glass. Nice 1/2" head that lingers and leaves thick lacing.

S- Charcoal, slight chocolate, toffee, coffee, dry hops.

T- Dry charcoal at first, slight alcohol warmth, dry hops and slight coffee/chocolate notes.

M- Thin and dry.

D- Nice for the style. Very dry but a great session beer with the low ABV.

Photo of cabsandking
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark, deep brown color and a minor layer of foam. Light malt nose with a slightly more hoppy floral scent. Roasted coffee and a nice hop bitterness. Dry chalky finish. Thin to medium body and a good mouth, watery and a little chewy. Halfway through sweet brown sugar appears, matched with charcoal bitterness. Descent beer at best.

Photo of mjc410
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours near-opaque with ruby highlights under a low tan glass ring, which leaves nice lacing. The nose is strong with roast, very appetizing. Taste is very roasty with light chocolate and heavy coffee notes. The mouth feel is thin with low carbonation, making this an easy drinker. A very nice stout.

Photo of whynot44
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque mahogany with slight ruby highlights against the light with a moderate tan head that disipates to just a ring fairly quickly but then sticks around and leaves some nice lace.

The aroma is dark roasted malt with some coffee and chocolate notes.

The taste is also dark nutty roasted malts but with more of the coffee and dark chocolate flavors and a bit of burnt caramel.. It starts slightly sweet but then the bite of the roasted malt kicks in. The aftertaste is dry and slightly bitter unsweetened chocolate and espresso.

Medium bodied, a bit light for the style but not bad, fairly smooth and easily drinkable. Definitely worth a try for the dry stout lover or as an intro to the style.

Photo of Applesauce1
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got the Old No. 38 at the Pit Stop in Nelsonville, Oh.

Dark color - dark brown, opaque, looks tempting
smell - not as good, kind of skunky, malty
taste - very impressive; i'm not a big stout drinker, but this one really pulls it off; nutty flavor, some coffee flavor; i can't taste hops in there
mouthfeel - good but a little strong on the carbonation
drinkability - good for a stout, could do two in one night

overall, this is a quality beer that i will have again in the future

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

Pours very deep brown, almost black with a slight head that becomes a thin ring.

Smell is hearty dark roasted grain, cofee, and hints of chocolate.

Taste is roasted grain and coffee up front. Mild chocolate and dark fruit. Finish is clean, a little sweet, but with a nice nuttiness.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. I would prefer a little more fullness, but this is adequate.

A nice dry stout. Flavor is robust and interesting. As mentioned previously, it is a little thin but certainly drinkable. Good job.

Photo of scottoale
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz. bottle with the label depicting a head-on with an old locomotive, this one pours a dark mahogany-brown with a cocoa two-finger head (aggressive pour). The dense head subsides after 6-8mins. leaving a ring on the surface and a healthy amount of lace behind.

Dark roasted malt and chocolate. That's what I smell here...kind of on the sweet side.

Sweet and dark, roasty and chocolaty that carries through to a decent bitter finish. Nuthin' fancy here, just a nice Stout that's sweeter than most Irish Dry's that I've tasted and not all that dry.

While it has some body, it seems a little on the watery side overall in body and in flavor. The flavor is nice and this is one of the easiest drinking stouts that doesn't just plug you...good for the beginner.

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a really great head. It looks like a nitro pour, but the tap is just CO2. Pretty impressive! The smell is dry, roasty barley with a sweet malt background. Taste is dry bakers' chocolate. The chocolate taste is strong, but not overpowering. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I expected, and this particualr pour is a bit higher carbonated than I would have liked. Drinkability is good, but it's a sipping beer rather than a quaffing beer.

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

Black, barely ruby. No head, creamy lacing.

Smells of coriander, chocolate, espresso.

Taste is big chocolate, coffee, some hops and dark fruits and spices, (plum and coriander), with a burnt toast and coffee finish.

Feels slightly thin, has a dry finish as it ought. Coffee aftertaste, very pleasant. Slightly heavy on the CO2.

Sits a tad heavy on the stomach, but it's a stout. Overall quite good. I would buy it again, and I'd certainly drink it over Guinness in the Irish dry stout category.

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

Appearance: Pours black with a bit of red highlight when held to the light. It has a light brown head about 2-3 fingers with decent retention.

Smell: Aromas of dark roasted malts, cocoa, a bit of caramel and some chocolate followed by a nip of espresso work their way through the nasal cavity.

Taste: This is an Irish Dry Stout and everything about it declares that. It is dry and it has a green almost minty feel in the aftertaste. It left me wondering why there was a train and not a 4 leaf clover on the front of the bottle. From the top: The flavor start and ends very roasty with a sense of burnt caramel throughout. A surge of chocolate toffee and nuts hit the palette 2/3rds through the mouth. the swallow is smooth and easy and then another quick surge of flavor leave more cocoa and a hint of mint clinging to your lips in the aftertaste. Between surges of flavor the stout is simple but overall very interesting.

Mouthfeel: This medium body beer is smooth and dry with a burnt bitter tugging at the mouth throughout.

Drinkability: Despite the lack of fireworks or glamour, this beer is tasty and easy. Seek this out if you are a Irish Dry Stout fan, Other wise look and keep moving.

Hope this is helpful.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance - This beer (held up to the light) is a very, very, very dark amber/red color. The head is minimal, that settles at a nice tan ring around the glass, with excellent lacing all the way down.

Smell - The most noticeable aroma here is the unsweetened chocolate right on the nose. Also there is quite a presence of very dark hard roasted coffee. In the background are hints of crisp hops, heavy/bready malt, a touch of spice. The alcohol aroma is present but not too powerful.

Taste - Again, unsweetened chocolate and dark coffee dominate the flavor. In close second is the heavy, hearty, and thick roasted malt flavor. Excellent taste here. The spices come out a bit more than in the smell, and I'm tasting a slight bit of fennel. Also, a hint of dark ripe fruits is present, but not very strong at all. The alcohol is decently hidden, but definitely there.

Mouthfeel - This is a full-bodied beer. The carbonation is very little, and the liquid is thick, smooth, velvety, silky, and soft. Excellent mouthfeel. It truly massages your mouth!

Drinkability - For a stout, this is a very drinkable brew. The mouthfeel is wonderful, it has a very good flavor, and it goes down easy.

Overall, this is a great stout that can hold its own against some of the bigger names. Highly recommended. I really enjoyed this brew!

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

Deep ruby almost opaque body with low carbonation. Light brown head mostly tiny bubbles with a few small/medium here and there.
Decent lace, Retention not as good as the head quickly
Roasted coffee beans and hops in the nose. Some raisen and malt.
Taste is roasted coffee beans in a pleasant dry and hoppy mix. Some smoked flavor, a little dark chocolate and a faint citric hint. Aftertaste lingers well.
Medium to full body. A little coating and a dry finish.
Good drinkability could even be a session brew.


Photo of klewis
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours brown with mahoghany hues and a big foamy head. Moderate lacing.

S: Nice aromas of roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

T: Very pleasing taste with prominent flavors of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.

M: Light-bodied and lightly carbonated

D: The flavor isn't quite like any Irish dry that I've had so far, but damn is it good. However, the light body in contrast to the full flavor is a bit unsettling. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable and quite drinkable beer.

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

Glad I found a single of this and am anticipating making it my go-to stout; North Coast is a great brewery...

Pours a dark and rubied (what?) black color that is not opaque and noticably carbonated with a two-finger cream, almond-hued head. Smells of alcohol up front. Behind that, the hops smell like an american and english blend of some kind, citric mostly with a little grass, sweet malts under all of that.... Taste is sweet for a stout, at first it's smooth, with the chocolate malt last but present. Good blaance between sweet and dark it seems. But by the third sip, some charred malt peaks it's head in and adds the edgy grainy flavor. Further sipping makes it seem like, while that charred malt may be only 1% of the malt bill, it is what lingers most, especially alongside food. The hops are present but not over done, and certainly american in style (this is an american stout to me, not irish, but whats in a name).

Mouthfeel is far too carbonated! And yet it is, other than this, full and creamy on the tounge in an impressive way, but the carbonation is too dominant for this style. Drinkabilitywise, it's easy to get this beer down and it's good, but it's not better than Sierra Nevada stout--next to food especially--which is when I am most often drinking a stout...so it does not live up to my hopes and dreams. North coast crafts another notable brew that I will, alas, not stock--as like many of their other brews, very good but not best of style.

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

a - poured a 1 finger thick head into a pint glass. dark w/ hints of red and purple.
s - very roasty and malty smell. best part of this beer.
t - roasted coffee and raspberry taste.
m - nice and chewy.
d - not rasputin light at all. very enjoyable and easy to drink.

Photo of hanco005
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A—dark solid brownish back with hints of ruby color that shine up from the bottom, a very impressive 2 inch maple colored head appears that collapses down into a doughy looking blob, thick stick lacing is produced as I drink

S—sweeter than other stouts, it’s chocolate tones are strongest, some sweet candy, very sweet overall

T—now the bitterness shows up, more coffee and butter than chocolate, roasted malts are here, not tasting anything else, really…it’s pretty good overall

M—thick and slick, full bodied, mild carbonation

D—I’m having this as a nightcap…and it’s great for that. Not sure that I could drink a lot of these, but it is taste enough to sip.

Photo of wingman14
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin tan head that fades quickly. Smells sweet with chocolate notes, some malt and burnt flavors as well. This one has similar tastes with a bitter aftertaste and some what of a bite to it, mostly a dry finish. Nothing really stands out from this stout, but it is quite tasty. Just nothing that sets itself apart from most other stouts. This is a bit thin bodied, but doesn't take away from the beer. It has good drinkability pretty smooth, I can find myself drinking these all the time. Something to try for any stout drinker!

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

A: Black and opaque with a tannish brown head that is fizzy and fluffy and sticks around nicely. Great lacing throughout.
S: Roasted malts, some caramel, slight sweet bread in the background and pronounced hops in the nose. Smells of roasted bitterness. Some sour citrus peel scents. Roasted scents are the driving force here.
T: Again roasted flavors, slight nut and a definate pronounced hop flavor. There is a hop bitterness in here that makes for a pleasant flavored brew. Some sourness from the roasted flavors. But the dominant roasted flavors offset by the hop bitterness is done really well.
MF: Medium and smooth.
Overall: A solid brew with a definate hop presence. Another solid offering from North Coast.

Photo of HimerMan
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle - Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass, I like this glass.

Pour was nice, with moderate head and low carbonation. Head was a very nice off-white that actually lasted longer than I would have though.

Not a big smell, a bit flat on taste and low amounts of hops. Though the hops were low, which I like, the flavor was mild - sort of lacking though. It did taste very good, but lacked the essentials of a great Irish Dry.

I feel that this may be a bit over-rated due to Old Rasputin, though, all-in-all it is a very good beer.

Definitely worth a try, better than an average stout, give it a chance.


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

Old Rasputin is my number one undisputed favorite beer that I've tried yet; It does everything right. I've found that getting one's hopes up is often a bad idea when drinking beer, so I go in to Old Number 38 with only curiosity. It's an Irish Dry, so it should be noticeably different in flavor profile.

The beer pours a nice licorice black; Ruby highlights are definitely evident when in any kind of direct light, and it's capped with a foamy tan head of about an inch which has great retention and leaves behind intricate wisps of lace.

The smell of the beer, properly adjusted to the right temperature, is huge and full. Lots of nice dry stout qualities here, including that elusive combination of fruitiness and roastiness. There are some dark cherries in the nose, with coffee and toffee roastiness.

The flavor carries some qualities of Old Rasputin - mostly the hops. This is quite a malty beer, with a very different flavor in the malts - a fruity, lightly roasted chocolate and toffee flavor - but I think the hops are what tie the two together. They come and go in a flash, but serve as a roasty, bittersweet reminder of Old Raspy.

The mouthfeel is full, smooth, and fulfilling! Just the right weight, body, and carbonation. It does indeed finish dry, which is refreshing.

A great example of an Irish Dry Stout! North Coast continues to impress me with every beer of theirs I try.

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

Old #38 poured a really dark brown with some black hints, no light could be seen through the glass. It had a 1/4 inch coffee/cream colored head which left a lacing around the glass for the entire experience.
The smell was of sweet roasted malt, I could detect some coffee, chocolate, and possibly a little bit of toffee malt in the beer. There was also a minimal presence of hops in the scent.
The first thing that I tasted was the bitter/sweet roasted malts(coffee and chocolaty). The malt lasted mid way though the body and then the hops hit. I was kind of impressed by the amount of hops, because it really did not show up in the scent. The after taste was slightly bitter....that of really dark chocolate...the after taste lingered for quite a while, and had a slightly burnt quality.
I was surprised by the mouthfeel and drinkability. This beer is thick but not chewy in the mouth, and is not too heavy for a stout on the stomach. I found it to be quite drinkable, and did not feel too filled up after it was finished.

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

I ordered this at a BBQ restaurant in California's central coast and the waitress mocked me for ordering a "girl beer"... wtf? :-) Anyway...

North Coast's "other" stout pours quite dark but not black, with coffee highlights at the edges. The nose is all roasted malt, with hints of dark chocolate and road dust thrown in. The nose hints at a very dry beer, and that impression is confirmed by the flavor of the beer, which is bitter right from the start with roasted malts. The bitterness softens a bit into a more rounded, hop-influenced bitterness, but this beer never stops being bitter and never stops being dry. Quite a nice stout, but definitely meant to be drunk slowly -- the bitterness is too intense, for me at least, to bolt this down.

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