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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

1,114 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,114
Reviews: 634
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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,114 | Reviews: 634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Enola
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is dark. It had a small head at first but that went away rather quickly. It has a very bitter taste and that certainly affects mouthfeel and drinkability. I think there are better stout choices out there but this one would work if needed. Too bitter af an aftertaste to suit me.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Poured deep deep brown color with rusty hues and sparse head. Nose was roasty and chocolatey, but more in the roasty department. I enjoyed it. Taste was not as good as the nose. It was mostly roasted with a light hop bitter, but a lingering hop that stuck around just a bit too long for my taste. I would have liked to see a touch of the chocolatey sweetness in there as well. The feel was light moderate with an active carbonation. Overall, a solid beer. Flavor was a touch thin for me, but otherwise good.

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serviceable pleasant stout, with roast in nose. Dark black, roasted barley and chicory and some sourness in finish, and chocolate bar sugar and bit of chocolate malt. No complaints with this brewery. Medium mouthfeel, with biscuit crumbs. Dry aftertaste.

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

I'm trying a few new stouts, New Holland's the Poet and Mendocino's Black Hawk in addition to this one.

Old #38 pours a near-black, ruby highlighted like most porters. It has a decent off-white head that leaves good lacing in its wake. Visually, Old #38 and the Poet are indistinguishable.

Does not smell strongly of anything, but what's there is a bit of old coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Taste is an improvement over the smell, caramelly upfront with a long roasted and bitter finish.

Medium body and frothy. The best, most robust of the three, I think, but not outstanding.

Photo of Troyone
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an off black color with an amber hue, decent lacing, frothy tan head, and difficult to see the carb action.

Difficult to identify the odors however a slight milk chocolate malt is evident.

Lightly sweet/acidic, moderate/heavy bitter, and amost burnt dark chocolate malt with a pine/grapefruit/orange hops flavor.

Medium/full bodied, dry almost creamy texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a moderately/heavy metallic/astringent finish.

The burnt dark chocolate taste and metallic/astringent finish makes this a difficult taste to aquire.

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

Stubby brown (non-twist off cap) bottle - no freshness date.

A bit darker than cola color with a healthy 1" beige head. Nice lacing.

Pleasant aroma of sturdy roasted malts, Wonderful mocha cappuccino notes along with toasted almonds. Sweet, rich and roasty!

Nice crispness from the hops comes right through. Burnt/roasted dark malts are evident along with a dark chocolate & coffee undercurrent. The coffee flavors build in the long, somewhat bitter, flavorful finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit over carbonated for a stout. The medium body is highlighted by the generous use of hops, making its finish amply dry and enjoyable.

Drinkability is very good, especially due to the wonderful late blooming coffee flavors.

A good stout all around. Very impressive thick dense head for a non-nitro stout. Enjoyable late blooming flavors (again) that take the flavor profile to another level. West coast version of a Bell's Kalamazoo Stout perhaps?

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

This beer pours a dark brown with a slight ruby tint to it. The head is slightly dark tan. It is fluffy and fades slowly leaving decent lacing. It smalls malty. It has a sweet molasses aroma to it. Roasted malt aroma is present. It has a slight chocolate aroma also. It has a stromg coffee flavor to it. The roasted malts are quite present. It is sweet, with a little chocolate flavor. Very roasted though, that is the strongest flavor I detect. This beer is thick and smooth. It is full bodied, leaving a coffeelike taste on the palate. It is carbonated well. I think that beer might make a good session beer. It is low in alcohol, so that wouldnt be a factor. Also, the flavor, while slightly aggressive, is smooth enough to enjoy. I think this is a good beer that is definately worth a try.

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

On nitro-tap at La Cave Du Vin in Cleveland

Pours an opaque black with a huge, dense, creamy, tan head. Tons of lacing. The aroma is bitter but also milky, kind of like a sweet latte.

Taste is much like the smell. Bitter latte, dark chocolate, creamy, milky flavors. The nitro left it creamy and smooth (took it forever to settle btw). An easy drinker for sure but very full flavored. A well-crafted straightforward stout. You replace all the nitro Guinness taps with this stuff and you might have world peace or something.

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

The appearance is black with red hues showing through. The head is a large frothy tan color, which laces quite nicely.

Its smell is roasty and chocolaty.

The flavor is of roasted malt. Coffee and chocolate are also in there as well.This brew has an earthy quality and a bit of a burnt quality as well.

Mouth feel is medium bodied and a bit heavy on the carbonation.

This is quite an easy drinking beer, I can definitely see myself picking up some more in the future.

Photo of misterscooter
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Overall, this is a good stout with only a few blemishes. It pours a dark brown with just a bit of light coming through on the edges. A beautiful, thick head formed and lazily faded away until a small layer stuck round the edges. The smell is a malty chocolate smell with some anis mixed in.

Like most stouts, it is thick and a bit dry. It wasn't as smooth as I expected because of a slight chalky feel in the mouth. But the taste was great for a stout, classic at that. Malty with the hint of licorice and kept me pouring it down despite that downgrade with the chalkiness. Another good pickup from North Coast.

Found in the Cost Plus 2004/05 Winter Brews pack.

Photo of bobbyc881
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out nice and dark. Holding it up to the light, it's more of a really deep red-brown. Nicely formed head, which remains throughout and sticks to the sides of my glass. What do they call that, lacing?

The smell is brilliant - coffee, chocolate, cherries.

The taste matches the smells nicely. A pleasant fruity flavor mixed with chocolates. Feels smooth with very little carbonation.

Leaves behind a sweet taste in my mouth. I could definately put down a few of these. I'm a big fan of stouts, and this is one of the better ones I've tried. I'll be picking up a six-pack of these next time I'm out.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Aroma: dominant chocolate with a good dose of coffee, and roastedness. A slight hint of dark, tart fruits (plumbs or cherries) and licorice. Sweet caramel malts throughout.
Appearance: Almost completely black. Just under syrupy in the pour. Nice off white to golden head. compact bubbles form a 1 inch head that remains chuncky and thick.
Taste: Again, dominant bitter sweet chocolates laced with roasted coffee. All balanced nicely with sweetness of malt, caramels, vanillas. A full, well rounded stout that introduces a mild tartness in the body that lingers through the finish. Low to no hop flavor or bittering.
Aftertaste: leaves mouth a bit sweet and tacky. Lingering hints of coffee and chocolate. Again, a bit tart.
Impression: understandibly a winter beer. Chocolates make it a beer that would nicely conclude any meal.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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 ;)

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.

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,

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.

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