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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

1,102 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,102
Reviews: 633
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,102 | Reviews: 633 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yelterdow
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at just under cellar temperature in an oversize snifter for maximum sniffage.

Appearance- a huge, light tan rocky head that dissipates quickly to an uneven, sporadic mess. Pours black and thin.

Smell- Burnt coffee roasts and dark chocolate initially, opening up to a sweeter "Raisinets" aroma with a mild alcohol note.

Taste- The aforementioned espresso/coffee gives way to a sharp hop afterbite that, in my opinion, overwhelms the gustatory experience. It remains for too long and keeps this stout just out of balance.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The thin, watery mouthfeel makes this brew easy drinkin', but the incongruencies in its DNA would prevent me from repurchasing.

yelterdow, Jun 01, 2005
Photo of Vancer
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

OK ! The web page notes that this is a “Dublin Dry Stout”. Now this brew makes sense, it is Not an American Stout. A fine blackish brew with a frothy tan head, lacing all the way down, NICE ! You can smell the chocolate malts, which smoothly flow into a dry, cocoa powder quaff that finishes with traces of burnt toast. Somewhat thin, especially towards the end of the second pint. A dry (46 IBUs) brew, it will make for a pleasant evening of drinking.

Vancer, May 24, 2005
Photo of karst
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with tan head that leaves a little lace. Very nice looking stout with inticing aroma of toffee and alcohol. Taste improves with warming letting more of the roasted and light burnt flavours of the malts emerge. A crisp bitterness from roasted malts along with the hops are well suited giving a dry finish. This is a beer that I will seek out and drink often. Mouthfeel thins a little with loss of carbondation.


karst, May 13, 2005
Photo of budsboy
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Squat bottle with no brew date. Pours nearly black with a rocky tan head that falls back to a thin, sticky coating.

Smells of coffee and roasted malt, deep and cool, with hints of spice (cinamon?).

Grainy, roasty malth comes through first with an agressively bitter finish. Coffee is there at the end. Not a remarkable flavor, but solid.

Fairly light for a stout, still hovering around the full-bodied arena.

It's a good enough stout. I'd have no trouble recommending this one.

budsboy, Apr 25, 2005
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a dark, deep tar black color with minimal head retention. The smells are of molasses, chocolate, caramel, and dark rich coffee. Very strong in the nose. This beer looks and smells like it could knock over a horse. The first taste is of molasses outlined with malty notes and a few bitter hops. Then comes the colombian coffee aftertaste. The strong, freshly roasted coffee flavor is highly acceptional and welcomed. Throughout the beer, the flavors of coffee, molasses, and sweet caramel bounce back and forth, each taking advantage of their turn on my palate. Old No. 38 is a very drinkable beer as well, not too thick and very refreshing. Highly recommended to all beer lovers.

jasonpeckins32, Apr 19, 2005
Photo of SupaCelt
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This old stout was near black. The deepest shade of brown with an old coagulated blood appeal of ruby. Nice fluffy cocoa head that stuck like a champ. Huge islands of lacing trimmed the glass till the last sip.

The smell was chocolate syrup sweet malts over roasted coffee beans. Very enticing to the shnozz.

The taste was favorably creamy although not very thick. I got hints of cap metals in the first few pulls, which quickly subsided. What was left to shine were the chocolate malt tones and the mild hoppy finish. Tastey stuff without a doubt. I got to the bottom of this glass more quickly than I had wished to. What can you do when faced with a delicious beer? Drink it! Very well done. Flavors were well pronounced and just right. Choo, Choo!!!

SupaCelt, Mar 30, 2005
Photo of EagleTalon
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby color, clear, with a thin beige head. Aroma is predominatly roasted, coffee-like and malty; citrus-hop, fruity notes. Flavor starts with sweet malt, followed by roasted coffee and hop bitterness. Pleasant coffee finish. A very enjoyable, drinkable stout. I will make a note to get this one when I can.

EagleTalon, Mar 20, 2005
Photo of yoko
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The pour was dark with a garnet hue - clear - thin. The head rushed to a good 2 fingers with a soap suds top. In just a few minutes the head was gone and the suds remained. The nose was of roasted malts and barley mirroring a mellow roasted grain coffee with an ever slight chocolate. Somehing came up and tickled my nose - must have been hops. The mouth was thin, high toned, and short. It was semi-crisp, smooth, with a slight hop underlying and mingling with the malt. Underneath it all was nothing. It was as if only the top third was palpable. The finish was thin, slightly dry and very short. Guess I expected more. I've so enjoyed North Coast brews especially the Old Rasputin.

yoko, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring at room temperature from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, this pours a dark chestnut/ruby color with 3 inches of seafoam head that clings to the glass and leaves a nice surface layer on top of the pretty stout. Taking a whiff, I smell the aromas of robust brown malts giving a slight chocolate or almond aroma. I also smell the hint of some earthy hops there. Not overly complex, but decent. Taking a sip, i first taste some fruitiness up front (sweetness) followed by some chocolate and nut flavors. Maybe even hints of caramel accompany the chocolate flavor when first sipping. The finish is a little more bitter than the initial sip, due to some hops flavors coming through a little. Very robust beer with a nice feel. The carbonation is not overpowering helping with flavor, alcohol is not there too much either. Just a nice full-bodied ale with nice features that are not blowing you away, but making you realize that this is a nice brew that you could drink all night.

Fish113d, Feb 25, 2005
Photo of stjarnflikka
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark red and all clear beer with a thick chocolate brown foam and some carbonation.

Smell comes nicely with malts, alot of bread with fruits in it. Some roasted tones and traces of coffee and alcohol. A very nice taste, sadly quite weak.

Taste is quite nice. A harsh roasted and dry taste hits palatte with a somewhat sour tone. Bitter coffee and burned edges on this beer together with dark chocolate and it finishes with a quite bitter and dry aftertaste. Finishes somewhat weak.

This is a nice american stout, but i personally like em rougher ;)

stjarnflikka, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of rastaman
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap@North Coast. This was pretty tasy, quite toasty/roasty. Some smokeyness in there aswell. Nutty and chocolatey, long dry finish, really tasty. A really good stout, my favourite at the north Coast taprrom, good balance and lots of flavour, look forward to trying it again.

rastaman, Feb 19, 2005
Photo of JackStraw22
2.73/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer looks great. Dark brown, not quite black body, with some ruby highlights, great tan head. Good retention and nice lacing. Lots of roasted malt in the aroma and slightly smokey. Taste: blech. There's a really metallic taste that is just completely overpowering. It tastes like blood. (I don't drink blood, but have had the taste in my mouth ;-) I've really never tasted something like this, not good at all. I think there must be something wrong with this bottle. I'm going to try another one sometime soon and edit this. Hopefully it will be better,

JackStraw22, Feb 15, 2005
Photo of carln26
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep black color with just a hint of a ruby highlight. A thick, dense tan colored head topped the beer, and slowly settled to a clingy sheet of lace on the side of the glass. The nose has milk chocolate hints and something that hints of blooming flowers, roses almost, backed by a pine hop hint. The taste is more acidic than what I expected. The hops come to the front. The chocolate is there, milder than I anticipated and delivered along with a roasted/nutty malt component. Medium mouth feel, slightly thinner than I would want, but still very drinkable.

carln26, Feb 11, 2005
Photo of Gatzby
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I opened this with "Mmm, stout" echoing in my head and was sorely disappointed. Medium-dark brown in color, letting plenty of light through, definitely not stout-like! Poored smooth, letting off very little head, which disappated quickly.

Smelled mostly of coffee, with a slight alcohol tinge to it. Some minor fruit smell underlying. Didn't have the heady, mouth-watering smell of other stouts. Not unpleasant, but lacking strong, defining characteristics.

Mouthfeel was fairly smooth, more consistent with an ale in my mind. Not very thick or heavy on the tongue. Drinkable, but certainly not the stout I was looking for. Might not be a bad session brew.

Flavor was mostly coffee, with a hint of the hops. No strong alcohol taste, and maybe a slight hint of chocolate. A weak coffee flavor is the most dominant, though.

Overall, an adequate beer, but not exceptional. In a pinch, it would be fine, but I won't go out of my way to find it again.

Gatzby, Feb 03, 2005
Photo of unit555
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Most excellent brew. Poured a deep brown color with an nice head that persisted to the bottom of the glass. An really nice balanced atste with coffee and slight hops you note as it first enters the mouth. Very drinkable. It would be a hit with those who are not huge fans of traditional dry stout.

unit555, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown, was expecting black, so that explains my low appearence score. But besides that I think it is an excellent beer. I aroma is nice with hints of coffee, chocolate, and hops. The taste is not to bitter, with a little bit of coffee and chocolate with a little sweetness. The mouthfeel is dead on. I really like this beer, but i would call it a porter, not a stout.

plaztikjezuz, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This is a stout? WTF, I can see right through it! Pours dark brown, not black, with a modest brown head that quickly recedes, leaving only spots of lace as it does.

Aroma is mainly coffee, dark toasted malts, chocolate, and some dark fruit. A mild floral hops character is hiding in there somewhere.

Flavor is very roasty, lots of coffee, lite on the chocolate, and somewhat nutty. The main thing going on here is bitter coffee and cocoa.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin, especially for a stout. Body is very light, more like a brown ale, bordering on watery. Not bad tasteing, certainly not stout enough for my expectations though. It displays very little of the requisite characteristics of this style, for that, it's score suffers.

AlexJ, Jan 29, 2005
Photo of germaniac
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate brown, almost black. Smells of roasted malt and coffee, with lingering toffee/semi-sweet chocolate notes. Smooth, with the chocolate flavors really coming out in the taste, and a nice light hop bitterness at the end. No. 38 is quite easy to drink, even more so than say, SN Stout. Another good one out of Ft. Bragg.

germaniac, Dec 20, 2004
Photo of mgdeth
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark ruby brown; good, thick tan head. Good carbonation.

Smell - Roasty/toasty coffee smell is present. This one is very appealing! Other aromas possible noted: toffee, burnt sugar. I keep wanting to say licorice, but that is a bit of a stretch.

Taste - A roasty-burned flavor really jumps out of this beer. Hops go just a touch beyond offsetting the malt. In the aftertaste, hops are more assertive. There is also some alcoholic flavor in there.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a thick and creamy feel to it. It is sort of like an after-dinner espresso and cheese cake thown into one.

Drinkability - Despite the stong flavors in this beer, it is pretty drinkable. I could not put away too many in one sitting, but the beer is inviting and makes me want to have more.

Comments - This really is stout done right! I was a bit nervous to try it because I did not remember seeing it around before. However, North Coast Brewing delivers on this one. Highly recommended.

mgdeth, Dec 17, 2004
Photo of GClarkage
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12/09/04- Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA

Appearance- Nice black pour with a 1/2 inch head and nice lacing left in the inside of my glass.

Smell- Roasted malt and chocolate. Maybe some caramel and toffee. Hops?

Taste- Kind of like a weak bittersweet chocolate. Definite roasted malt and definite bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Very full feeling stout with a medium carbonation level.

Drinkability- Nice stout that I would try again if given the chance. Would really like to try it at the brewery on tap.

GClarkage, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of Dmann
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excelent medium bodied stout. It poured a very dark brown/black color with a decent brownish head that stuck around and created some nice lacing down my glass. The smell was very smoky and slightly bittersweet. The flavor was great with a nice blend of dark coffee flavors, semi-sweet malt and a nice burnt roastiness that tasted great on this cold night. Definantly one of the more drinkable stouts concitering it's nice body. Recommended.

Dmann, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of maxpower
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color, nice lasting creamy tan head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass, roasty chocolate-coffee aromas. Roasted burnt chocolate coffee, nice bitter-sweet flavors, good roasted bitterness in the finish. Medium body, kind of porter like.

maxpower, Nov 05, 2004
Photo of schrist275
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

stubby bottle into stout glass.. very dark, nice tan head that has texture and longevity, looking thru the glass all you can see is the ruby dark red along the sides..roasted smell with follow on of malts but with a sublte sweet. the taste grabs the side of the tongue first and keeps the roasted oat flavor all the way thru and up into the nostrils, very full mouth feeling beer this one is..
roasted flavor on the end turning into a burnt flavor aftertaste, bummer up til then it was exactly as it smelled and was expected. gonna have to change my snack to finish.. cant have that flavor clash.

schrist275, Nov 04, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Label Lore: Plain, train motif single label stubby browner with a Reinheitsgebot touting label. No freshness date.

Pours a purple onyx with some light glinting thru under a khaki tight thin wafer thin cover that sticks around throughout the offering.

Plenty of full roasted malt bouquet with a twinge of port wine.

First Swigs: Sweet caramely roasted toffee malts, followed by a lingering.burnt toast.finish. Middle flavors are of black grapes. An easy blend of tobacco leaf and toffee. An indistinguished hops flavor. There is a sweet berry cereal brown sugariness to this one.

A bit of a watery thin body for a stout. Stout lovers will be happy, but drinkability was a bit limited due to Old No. 38 being just overall standard stout that most any local brew pub builds as good if not better.

Last Swigs: Worth a try. Sweet berries meets toffee stout, albeit thin. The flavor makes up for any deficiencies. For $2.25 a single, this was a bit over priced, but it traveled far.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

blitheringidiot, Oct 20, 2004
Photo of Suds
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark, translucent brownish-black brew poured from the bottle. The head is a somewhat shallow, but leaves a fine, thin lace. The aroma is a mix of hops and roasted, nutty grain…coffee beans and acorns? At times it seems a bit acidic and has a metallic feel. The mouthfeel is a little weak for the style, and seems, at times, watery. Still, it’s smooth, tasty, and has a mild-sweetness that’s appealing. The relatively low carbonation also contributes to the smooth feel. Not an outstanding stout, but worth a try.

Suds, Oct 15, 2004
Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,102 ratings.