Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Old #38 Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout
Very Good
1,263 Ratings
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
53 IBUs

Added by kbub6f on 10-18-2001

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,263 |  Reviews: 664
Photo of Chessmaster
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%

Served from bottle into a Sam Smith's pint glass.

A:Pours an attractive black with brown/ruby highlights. Head dissipates quickly to thin cap

S: Primarily toasty notes, with sweet caramel smell.

T:Caramel and roasted grain, which finishes with a dry bitterness. Very nice

M: Medium bodied, soft carbonation, pleasant

O: Very drinkable and enjoyable stout. Delicious flavor and nice aroma. Would buy again.

 410 characters

Photo of scott
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

unknown vintage

Dark amber, thin, and little-to-no head.
A real robust aroma, with a little alcohol to note. (And some other ingredient I can't put my finger on.)
This is very tasty, with roast and chocolate being cut through with a knife wielding hop. Dry, crisp, refreshing and very exacting. Medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Well crafted and very easy to drink. So much so, that I will have another. Highly recommended.

 443 characters

Photo of Khaymanbb
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BierStein711
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into shaker pint

A:Two finger soda looking head jet black beer

S: toast, coffee, roasted malt

T: roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and booze

M: Toasty and warming

Overall this is a perfect winter beer, excellent stout. Buy some soon. Commit yourself to a six pack with this one. I will definitely have this again soon.

 329 characters

Photo of Brent
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer that falls into the "it made me happy" category. Fantastic aroma - like Hershey's chocolate syrup in milk. Crammed full of mocha-coffee notes and roasted malt, but not burned or overdone. Hops is there enough to balance the chocolate/coffee sweet elements - very drinkable. Just dry enough at the finish to invite another quaff.

 341 characters

Photo of petes99
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark with tan head - quickly dissipates.

Nose is terrific.. sweet, chocolate, coffee.

Mouthfeel - its light. If you hold your nose (ie cut off the flavor), you wouldnt realize its a stout. Goes down very easy!

Flavor comes across slowly - starts like a brown ale.. sweetens and gets richer, with just a touch of bitterness. Dries out really well as it passes over your tongue, leaving a nice complex flavor behind. You can continue thinking about the sip for a couple minutes after. Very pleasant, and really nice dry finish.

This is one of my favorites. Its very easy going - nothing abrasive about this brew. Great label to match a very drinkable stout.

 666 characters

Photo of Drewcifer
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark brown, nearing black, with a finger of tan head.

The aroma is roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of cocoa powder.

Taste is slightly sweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, a bit of a hazlenutty taste muddled in as well. A pleasant aftertaste, I was expecting bitter but it wasn't there, instead, a very mild finish.

Good body on the heavy side of medium, somewhat creamy and smooth, a very pleasant carbonation - it's there, but not kicking your tongue to be noticed.

Wonderfully drinkable. Great flavor, not as heavy as some stouts, a nice ABV for drinking more than one or two in a sitting, very good example of the style. Probably my favorite Irish Dry I've had so far, and high up in all the stouts I've had.

 732 characters

Photo of bobbyc881
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

 611 characters

Photo of juve_77
4.56/5  rDev +19.1%

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

I’m a big Old Rasputin fan, so I had to give this a whirl.

Pours a dark brown that still lets through plenty of light. The beer in the glass lets through just a little light giving it a mysterious glow. Very nice.

Smells much like a brown ale but with a very crisp roasted smell. It also smells just a tad sour. Again, very nice.

Tastes fantastic! There’s a prominent, yet delicate coffee roast to this, but with all the malty flavors of a brown ale. There’s also some brown sugar, and perhaps… is it peach?

The mouth feel really fills up my mouth with a slick heavy body coupled with a subtle carbonation.

What a fantastic beer! Nothing like Old Rasputin, but equally impressive. This is another fine beer from the North Coast Brewing Company. I really need to get out to California.

 808 characters

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

This beer is what Guinness ought to be. it looks a little more tantalizing, smell a lot better and actually have great flavor and mouthfeel, unlike it's more heralded forefather.

Note: do not drink this in a bottle or not on nitro. This beer is meant to have a thick pillowy head.

This is the best Dry Irish style stout in America - bar none!

a black with cascading creamy rising nitro head, thick cafe au lait or cappuccino top

s a little chocolate with strong coffee aroma on a nice roasted malt backdrop

t much like the smell is a stronger roasted presence and a touch of what seems to be oatmeal

m full, rich, creamy - perfect

d surprisingly sessionable, totally satisfying

 685 characters

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

Picked up this dusty sixer at a local liquor store.

Nice head when poured. Good lacing throughout.

Smell was chocolatey, some espresso and even a little hoppy.

Great mouthfeel, lingers for just the right amount of time.

Taste of burnt chocolate and coffee beans. A good deal of malt too.
A great bite to it with some smoothness to compliment.

A wonderful Stout from our friends at North Coast. Cheers!

 417 characters

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

Okay I am golfing yesterday, come into the clubhouse bar to grab a beer for the back 9. Obviously water was apart of the equation also. But anyways I'm looking for something tasty..I see a green covered brown bottle next to a Heineken, it's called Old#38. They say it's a stout. So I was all for it. Little did I know this was a North Coast brew. But I was excited to have a stout on this windy day of golf. It kept me warm. Mouth feel is dry, smooth, tinge of alcohol, and some burnt taste of something. Smell was like coffee and chocolate. Appearance was nice. Foam proceeded to pour over my styrofoam issued course cup after "they" poured the brew for me, which was a little dismaying since I obviously wanted to drink what I paid for. So the head was thick and visually the brew looked like a Guinness. It is dry like a guinness with more carbonation and just about the same foam content. I was still able to enjoy the most o' this beer and am looking forward to getting a six pack; or an absurdly priced 4-pack. (I have had the 6 pack, twice now, they did not disappoint). Good stuff North Coast. Keep up the good work.

 1,124 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Perfectly black brew with a creamy and frothy two finger light brown head that leaves lots of creamy lace on the glass. The head never settles below a tight cap, and a swirl brings back a full two fingers. This is a very appetizing appearance!

S - The first thing I smell is cold coffee with lots of creamer, followed by some bitter dark baking chocolate and some smoldering campfire notes. Smells great, but it could be a bit more assertive.

T - Sweet creamy coffee with dark baker's chocolate...very much a continuation of the nose. Initially sweet before becoming more roasty and coffee-like mid sip, then finishing with some dark roast bitterness and a good dose of leafy hops. Outstanding.

M - Creamy and lush, with some tingly carbonation and a relatively light body. At first I didn't see why this was under Irish Dry Stouts instead of just plain old American Stouts, but now I see...the body is very creamy, light, and similar to the big three.

D - Flawless. I could session with this on a hot day, or sip it slowly from a snifter in the winter. This is a remarkable brew that IMO is highly underrated.

 1,126 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

North Coast Old No. 38 Stout has a thick, creamy, beige head and a dark brown (almost black) appearance with heavy lace left on the glass. The aroma is of brown bread, dark-roasted malt, and hop spice in the nose. Taste is the same, with chocolate, dark coffee, raisin, black cherries, and hop bitterness all mixed together. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, and North Coast Old No. 38 Stout finishes semi-dry, rich, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is a most excellent beer!


 480 characters

Photo of PanamaD
4.52/5  rDev +18%

Photo of dudecandle
4.52/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque black with hints of brown when up against the light. Wisps of head, but some more on agitation.

S: Light coffee and some charcoal, dark fruit with some subtle caramel sweetness

T: My favorite thing about this stout is that the chocolate isn't the most forward. The coffee stands out the strongest for me, some barley sweetness, with a good dose of dark fruit and charcoal. Yes, charcoal, it's just dirtier than 'smokey'. It's also got a very welcome herbal hop on the finish. Very well rounded.

M: Big body, with that good long finish with the hops.

D: This is an excellent stout. The flavors are so big that I was shocked to later learn how low the alcohol is. Great complexity in the flavor, nothing stands out too powerfully, and everything comes together quite nicely.

 786 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours bright, dense black under a 1” tan foam cap.
S: Malt aromas with chocolate and light coffee notes.
T: Rich roast malt, caramel with a little chocolate in the flavor. Nothing harsh or burnt.
F: Medium full body, medium to medium low carbonation.
O: This is a nice, drink all day kind of a stout.

 310 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just finished a Guinness Draught which I always find enjoyable (I like the nitro as well) and wanted to compare it directly to something else. I understand this is the same brew that North Coast makes for Trader Joe's under the name Black Hart Stout...it is at least very similar if not indeed the same.

Pours a decent deep black with a very impressive creamy head that melts to very sticky lacing.

Aromas are definite espresso coffees and dark chocolate with roasted dark malts.

Taste is full of chocolate that melts to a bit of dark coffee then back to dark chocolate, finally finishing with a crisp hop bite making this very refreshing.

A great irish stout from North Coast.

 691 characters

Photo of RickS95
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptionally dark, almost completely black with only a hint of lighter shades coming through. A good, solid, off tan head with fluffy bubbles.

Scents of coffee and bittersweet chocolate fill the nose. Roasty, malty richness.

Has a malty backbone that you'd expect, with coffee dancing across the tongue from the front to the back.

It's initially very creamy on the palate before giving way to some bitterness from the coffee in the finish. Decent lacing.

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I love it in beer and this is really exceptional. Very smooth and easy to drink.

 570 characters

Photo of plfahey
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Black with faint ruby highlights and decent clarity. Moderately large creamy mocha colored head with moderately good retention and some nice lacing.

Aroma-Wow. This one has a way more intense aroma than I expected from a beer with a relatively low alcohol content. Rich cocoa, chocolate fudge, and brownies swirl in the forefront, blending with background traces of plum, prune, and blackberry, and hints of a roasted coffee edge. There's also some balance offered by light earthy hops. Smells great.

Flavor-The flavor is more like what I would expect, with a bittersweet chocolate opening to coffee and dry, roasted barley in the finish. Also, some slight earthy hop character makes itself known in the finish. Hop bitterness is moderately low. The fruity esters of the aroma show up in trace amounts at the beginning. The finish is extremely dry, but not astringent-more the type of flinty dryness achieved through addition of roasted unmalted barley.

Mouthfeel-Medium to medium light body, with moderate carbonation. Smooth and silky, with somewhat of a creamy texture. Flinty dry in the finish, making you crave the next sip.

The aroma is a bit over the top for a dry irish stout, but who fucking cares? This is an awesome beer-I'm only disappointed that it's taken me this long in getting around to trying it.

 1,371 characters

Photo of Jude
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of runwild99
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of kbenson13
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of turtlemead
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 1,263 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.