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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

1,085 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,085
Reviews: 632
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 40
Gots: 28 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old #38 Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,085 | Reviews: 632 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stout colored. Deep brown, low co2 and a light brown head. Head retention is good and the lacing is slippery. Aromas are roasty with some malt/caramel representation with some aroma hops and an earthiness. Flavor is biting from the start with some sweetness hanging in the background. Palate is light bodied and watery with a lingering hop finish.

SeanChouffe, Sep 25, 2004
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not by any measure an outstanding Stout, this was certainly a drinkable brew...

The pour was a bit disappointing - the beer felt 'flat' as it came out of the bottle... While there was some head it was rather unexciting and quickly disappeared. (Yes, I know stouts in general are generally less carbonated - this was flat for a stout)

The smell was typical - malty and roasted, no real hint of hops in the mix. The taste was a bit better, this is a nice dry stout with little hint of sweetness. The usual notes of caramel and coffee were there along with a nice smoky note. Mouthfeel was a bit disappointing - it was heavy on the tongue and left a coating that didn't really invite another sip.

All in all an "ehhh" stout. It was fine, I'd drink it again if it's all that was available but I could name a half dozen other stouts that are much more worth my time.

RedwoodGeorge, Sep 16, 2004
Photo of Furball
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This pours black with a thin, creamy head, almost like it should be on nitro. I can only imagine how that would be! It's opaque and thick in apperance, but actaully quite drinkable. The smell is coffee and charcoal... the taste is slightly acidic when it first hits the mouth, but it quickly smooths out to a rich coffee flavor. The feel is smooth, suprisingly light for a beer that seems so heavy. There's a slight bitterness that i would normally associate with an american stout.
While i feel that this is one of North Coast's better efforts... though none are really bad, i do wish that it had a bit more body.

Furball, Sep 09, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a two-finger light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Virtually black color. Good carbonation. Nose is coffee. Strong coffee flavor, good stout but finishes with a hard water taste. $1.90 for a 12oz bottle from Vintage Cellar Blacksburg, VA

jdhilt, Sep 03, 2004
Photo of Sixpoint
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice beer.

Apparently, this beer has quite a reputation... I've read about it before I even drank it, and that's out here on the east coast.

It pretty much has all of the characteristics of a nice Irish dry stout. It's dry, roasted, and bitter. However, I like the way it has a light sweetness and toffee taste to offset the bitterness.

Appearance was nice, and left a nice cream lacing down the sides of the glass.

This is a very drinkable brew.

Sixpoint, Sep 01, 2004
Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, twist top, no freshness indicator to be found. Pours dark molasas, fairly light for a stout. moderate head/carbonation. Leaves only minimal lacing. Nose is caramel, and coffee. Rich and thick mouthfeel, especially as this one warms up abit. Toffee, expresso, burnt flavors, pleasant and drinkable. Decent, lighter then average stout. Probably needs some more black grains to beef up the roasted flavors and "ooommph" of this one.

Billolick, Sep 01, 2004
Photo of stevef
2.8/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured with a light brown foamy head. The color was dark brown with a slight reddish tint.
The smell was slightly roasty although it didn't have a lot of smell to it.
Taste was of roasty grain with a hint of coffee.
There was just a slight taste of hops in the middle and the beer finished with a metallic aftertaste.
I had a difficult time enjoying this beer due to the lack of smell and the metallic taste was a real turn off.

stevef, Aug 28, 2004
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This surprised me for a stout, being a deep red in color rather than a brown or black. There was a rather good head on it too, which dissipated after a few minutes.

The aroma was mostly of roasted malt, but there were hints of other scents in there as well. I, unfortunately, could not make them out at the time.

The flavor was quite good... starting out as roasted malts and coffee hints, fading to bitter chocolate. It was more bitter than many stouts I have had, which was a plus for me.

Mouthfeel was not as thick as I expected. Likewise drinkability... it was good, but I wouldn't buy more than a couple of these at any one time.

connecticutpoet, Aug 11, 2004
Photo of NEhophead
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Off white 1" head that takes a minute to calm. Nice carbonation is apparent on sight. Solid lacing throughout the glass. A solid, tar-black appearance.

Mocha, chocolate, and roasted malts are all noticeable in the smell. There's also a nice burnt, but creamy sweet aroma.

Burnt, roasted chocolate malts. Very creamy (maybe a touch of vanilla?). Semi-sweet on the palate with a warming nut flavored bitterness at the end.

A full bodied, well balanced stout. Very smooth and creamy on the palate.

A very easy drinking stout that is robust in flavor. Very flavorful and also filling. Even though the alcohol's down to 5.6% abv it still tastes very hearty. A solid take on the style.

NEhophead, Jul 14, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby-influenced dark brown. I've never had a high quality stout that enabled me to see my hand on the other side of the glass (as this one does). The mocha brown head is creamy and leaves a nice lace display in a broken sheets pattern. The aroma is heavy on chocolate and light on hops.

The flavor is nicely roasted malty and decently chocolatey, but is a tad too weak. Things start out promisingly enough with a semi-sweet milk chocolate flavor that is mingled with a mild hoppiness. It then fades too quickly as the beer is swallowed, leaving but a memory. I'm convinced that the too-light body is to blame for the lack of 'oomph' on the palate.

I prefer stouts--even Irish Dry ones--that hang around, make some conversation, get comfortable in the mouth and then say a lingering goodbye. Old No. 38 pulls into the station, slows down a bit and then chugs away with a weak toot of the whistle. It's an enjoyable ride while it lasts, but it could have been so much more.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 11, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish cola color. Light shines through towards the bottom of the glass. Lacing isn't to spectacular but is present. The smell is slightly of roasted malt/caramel, fairly clean to the nose. The taste is very sweet with the roasted mocha/caramel. A slight hoppy bitterness is present but very light and refreshing. Actually a fairly nice stout to drink in the summer, light like a porter but filling and strond on roasted taste like a stout. Very good.

beertaster13, Jul 09, 2004
Photo of cbl2
2.93/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Black with ruby hints and a weak tan head.


An unpleasant salty sardine type aroma emerges from this one along with a burnt smell


Ocean flavor persists along with that smoky/roasted malt presence that was evident in the aroma. There is a touch of sweetness at first, and in the finish. Finish is also very bitter, causing a bit of mouth pucker. Not my favorite stout.

cbl2, Jun 29, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Are you sure this is a stout? What kind? It pours, smells, and tastes more like a porter (if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, hmm...) Pours dark brown with a tan head that quickly disappears. Smells like coffee and malts. Taste is rather boring with carbonation dominating and not much mystery to it. It was a pretty drinkable brew but just not my definition of a stout. Not a good example.

mattcrill, Jun 26, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured to a medium dark with a small head. It's leaving some lace, but not too much.

Dark coffee dominates the smell. Malts come through in the taste, with some of the coffee flavor evident here as well. It's got very decent drinkability and mouthfeel.

A little plain, but there's nothing wrong with it.

watermelonman, May 31, 2004
Photo of Skidz
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out dark brown and sits a dark, murky brown in the glass; nearly opaque. A little fluffy tan head on top.

Smells of roasted grains, spice, chocolate and coffee. Pretty basic aroma.

Tastes of mildly roasted grains, chocolate and coffee. A medium bitterness with nice hops on the finish.

Medium in body but the carbonation is a bit heavy for me. Good taste, but a bit difficult to drink; lots of carbonation.

Skidz, May 24, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola, opaque black body with a moderate tan head that hangs around for a few minutes. Nice sheets and patches of lace adorn the glass. Aroma is subdued, with burnt coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Mouthfeel is light bodied, amply carbonated, and has a mild, peppery, hops bite on the tongue. Dark, roasted malt flavors dominate the taste. Chocolate, roasted coffee, and a chicory nuttiness, all dominate. Bitter hops provide a nice balance. Above average for an Ameican stout, but nothing extraordinary. Nice drinkability.

merlin48, May 19, 2004
Photo of hobbes2112
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally got this one into my local store (I hate TABC) a nice surpise on a warm May afternoon.

Pours with a thick, quickly retreating, tan head.

The smell is fantastic, dry and roasty; the way a Stout should smell.

The tastes reflect what you expect from the aroma, just a little more spread out. In some magical North Coast paradox this is a watery/dry beer. A spread-out compact flavor mapping. I alternate between thinking it is somewhat bland and full on intense, the longer you wait after a mouthfull the more flavors you get. Not a beer you chug, but not really a sipper either.

At about $7.30 for 6 this will absolutely be on my rebuy list.

hobbes2112, May 12, 2004
Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,085 ratings.