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Old #38 Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,150 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,150
Reviews: 646
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 47
Gots: 42 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,150 | Reviews: 646
Photo of oelergud
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
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
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
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
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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

Pours a deep black color, tinged with red, with a good creamy head, somewhat bubbled, but not too much lacing, just spots of foam running down back onto edge. Not catching a very strong aroma here, but there is a nice roasted malt and toffee duo going on, with faint dark fruits underneath thats pretty nice. But, thats about it. So good, just need more. Taste has good amount of roasted toasted malts, the dark fruits in there, and its really all good and great, but like the aroma it just falls short, not enough strength to stnad up to the taste. Its not like I want something bang! pow! super tons of malts and hops or whatever, but just enough so it doesn't seem watered down. Or perhaps its because I wasn't impressed with the body, thought it a little lacking. It finished off nice, with this nice dry roastiness, but still lacking something. Still, a rather tasty beer that I want again.

Photo of tgbljb
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep reddish-brown color with abundant tannish puffy head that fell to a thin coating. Absolutely beautiful lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is darrk and roasty. Strong coffee notes present. Unsweetened chocolate also present. Taste is stong on coffee, with strong burnt malt textrires also present. Strong malt gives way to a profound hoppy dryness. Finished nice and dry with a lingering bitter dryness as its ending note. Nice and creamy and extremely refreshing. An excellent example of the style with great drinkability. Great job!

Photo of jmz62565
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a very dark ruby black with a large foamy tan head. The smell is faint with some roasted malt,but little else. The high carbonation helps make this a very tasty beer. The coffee and roasted malt flavors are very pronounced in this beer. The m/f is medium with a very good balance of flavors ending with a toffee aftertaste. This is a very good beer that should not be missed. North Coast is a fine brewer.

Photo of Zorro
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear deep brown beer that can pass light with a good tan head.

Smell is sharp and a little metallic and soapy to the nose. Lots of dark roasted malt aromas with a bit of chocolate and black coffee aromas. There is a mild herbal aroma to this but it isn't that strong.

Taste roasted and smoky from the very start with a bit more sweetness than I would have expected. Not a lot of extra flavor levels here just coffee and chocolate with roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is OK.

An OK stout but I doubt that I would buy this again. This just doesn't stand out from the crowd of other stouts on the market.

Photo of marcobrau
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old No. 38 pours with out of the bottle with a good deal of carbonation resulting in a lasting head of foam that leaves some nice lacing down the sides of the glass. This stout isn't too dark, with ruby highlights evident along the sides of my pint glass as I hold it up to the light. One of the best things about this beer is its cocoa-like aroma, almost more reminiscent of baking chocolate. This isn't a very full-boded stout, which is probably one of the characteristics that puts into the dry category. The predominant flavor in this stout is chocolate malt, with a slightly roasted coffee finish accented by big bitter burst of hops. A superb silkly smooth mouthfeel adds to the whole experience. This is definitely one of my favorite stouts.

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice head that falls and leaves a strong lacing. The smell is chocolately with a little coffee. Smooth and inviting. Taste is bitter chocolate with a nice coffee aftertaste. This is the hoppiest stout I've ever had, but it is from the west coast. The hops even out the flavor as you drink. Feels smooth in the mouth. It's a little different than the malty stouts I predominately try, but still very nice.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear light black color stout with a bigger then average creamy off-white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of coffee was pretty intense with some roasted malt. Coffee taste was not as dominant as I would have expected because of the aroma. Body is quite light with low carbonation. Hops level is definitely too low for my own taste. Not bad overall but a bit boring I guess.

Photo of TheEclecticGent
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

My girlfriend bought a six-pack of this since we both like North Coast Pranqster so much. It appears black in the tall mug that I poured it into, held against the light it is a very rich dark brown. This beer pours thick with a very thin mocha colored head that fades quickly leaving a fairy ring with some lacing as I drink it. The aroma is of dark chocolate and malty with a hint of coffee lurking in the shadows. It tastes full of roasted chocolate and caramel. The complexity of the flavor is really good but it comes off lacking something. I can’t put my finger on it really. It seems a bit thin in the mouthfeel and that may be it. It has the potential flavor but the body just doesn’t back it up. I can definitely drink more of this but it always makes me want to tweak with the recipe in my head, trying to make it better.

Photo of Higravity
3.01/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was oh so average. Nothing to see here folks move along. Black body topped with a slight tan head, giving way to some lacing. Smell is very muted, a little roastedness and coffee shine through. The taste is roasty coffee but it doesn't really finish dry and the body was too thin. I could drink this one again but I might be bored. Yawn, well on to the next one.

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

Old #38 Stout

Appearance- Dark brown with a thick light brown head.
Smell- light roasted hops. Coffee and cocoa.
Taste- very light coffee blended with cocoa powder.
Mouthfeel- Watery. Smooth but the flavor seems too subdued.

Overall- a stout that is just on the edge of bursting with flavor but just doesn't quite go over the edge. Smooth and easy drinking.

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

Appearance: Eight-ball black with a well-formed, homogeneous, beige head.

Smell: Luscious chocolate, burnt espresso, woody elements, and a deeply hidden licorice tone. Smooth and bitter, with just a hint of raisiny fruitiness.

Taste: Pleasant but somewhat weak combination of milk chocolate, French roast, and citric hops. Finish is chocolatey and reminiscent of coffee grounds. This has a great, simple flavor, but it just needs a bit more punch. Probably a good crossover strout.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and chewy with a bit of graininess, very nice.

Drinkability: Relatively light-bodied for a stout and low in alcohol, this is very drinkable, but would be even more so if it had a stronger flavor.

Photo of Drew966
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jet black pour from 12oz bottle with nice tan head. Taste has nice roasted malt taste, but also seems crisp for lack of a better description. Not a bad stout, but somehow I feel a bit disappointed with it. Definitely worth a try though. A bit lighter in taste perhaps than some of my favorites in this style.

Photo of DogFood11
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Anytime I see an offering from North Coast I haven't sampled its a no brainer to put it into the stable. This reminds me to make a point of planning a trip north for some great breweries soon.

Pour is easily manageable, Forms a big brown head that is meaty, chunky and clings to the glass, dries and forms crispies...damn nice, near perfect.

Lots of coffee, burnt aroma. Comes across with a nice woody burnt flavor that has a counterpunch of bitter hops. Bitterness is on the high end of the scale for a stout and it works well. charred taste lingers a bit and gives it a dry finish. Some chalkiness but nothing to hold back a fine brew.

Another winner from a fine brewery.

Photo of nlmartin
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer was poured into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer poured black with a ruby opaqueness to light. The beer head was light brown color very thick. The beer had major head retention. A road map of lace was left behind.

Smell: The smell was pretty straight forward small on chocolate and ok on coffee.

Taste: The beer was straight forward on taste little bits of chocolate playing with toasted and roasted malts and coffee. The hops played nicely and added to the pleasant bitterness.

Mouthfeel: This beer was light bodied and properly carbonated to add to the drinking experience.

Drinkability: This is a masterful easy drinking uncomplicated beer. This would be a perfectly sessionable beer.

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Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,150 ratings.