Old #38 Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

very good
660 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 660 | Ratings: 1,247
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.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a single bottle of this as part of a M&M 6-pack from Binny’s in Downer’s Grove, IL for $9.99 in Early 2012.

Pours a very dark brown/black color with a slight brown head. Scent is wonderful with robust malts, sweet milk, cocoa, and coffee. Smooth and very drinkable taste with erupting flavors. Sweet flavors first that finish with a dry after taste. A great pick up and an even better stout. Would love to drink this again.

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Photo of acevenom
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with an abundant two-finger length brown head. Holding the glass up to the light reveals a dark amber color around the edges of the glass. There's a sweet aroma. I pick up roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. The flavor is well balanced with the sweet roasted malts and the bitterness of the hops. I can taste the flavor of chocolate and coffee. The finish is dry and carbonation is plentiful enough to aid in lightening the medium body. Each sip is very enjoyable and lacing is present on the glass. This is a very crisp stout that leaves me craving more. This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, opaque sable with a thick, fine-bubbled, fairly persistent beige head. Aroma is strong, smoky and oily with undertones of unsweetened chocolate and molasses and just a whiff of coffee. Smoky flavor has a woody undertone as well as firm tones of molasses and mocha. Texture is smooth and fairly tingly, leaving a satisfying and slightly gritty finish.

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Photo of Jordan
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Starts sweet. Burnt malty notes resonate on the nose and palate. Very rich, silky smooth and creamy. Finishes slightly dry and bitter. Another exceptional beer by North Coast.

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Photo of far333
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany colored with ruby highlights coming through the edges. Light brown head rises up and falls quickly, exposing an aroma of sassafras and brown sugar, followed by powdery sweet cocoa. Taste is darker and more pungent than the aroma suggests. It's very even without any flavors taking over - semisweet chocolate followed by bitter espresso, followed by charred wood, with nuances of molasses and brown sugar. An understated hop bitter rides beneath, providing a good contrast to the other flavors. A bitter smoke lingers. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, full and round. Very drinkable for my tastes. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for sending this one along.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Pitch black with a very thin rim of ruby along the bottom edge of the glass. A tan one finger head slowly settles to a thin cap, coating the glass.

Lots of light and toasty grain with a very velvety smooth creamy overtone. A little bit of brown sugar is in there.

Roasted grain sets up the base, with some molasses notes in the middle. Full bodied (lighter bodied for a stout, as you would expect for the style). Bitterness is on the low end, mostly coming from the malts.

A very smooth Irish Dry Stout, on the top of that I have tried. I'd recommend this over Guinness Draught, unless you really want the nitro feel. A little higher on the %ABV side, still maybe sessionable. Recommended.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I threw this in my sixer at random and now I look wondering "this is from the same company that sells Old Rasputin? It must be good!"

A - Wow a ton of mocha head! An aggressive pour produced a 2 inch foam with the beer being pitch black in color.

S - Smells like dry coca with a bit of chocolate nibs and a bit of roasted malt for texture.

T - Ow wow that's dry! It does shine through with roasted flavors of coffee and coco chocolate with a slight creamy finish.

M - Light to medium bodied and creamy!

D - Wow this has to be one of the smoothest dry roasted stouts I have ever drank. In so that I would only be able to finish one or two a sitting. Regardless I will have to track down more beers from the North Coast Brewing Co. since I only had a couple and they are amazing!

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Photo of jwc215
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a one-finger head that slowly descends to a lasting thin cover, then a lasting patch that leaves trailing lace.

The smell is of robust coffee with chocolate notes. Mild roasted smokiness in the background.

The taste is of chocolate and espresso cofee. Dark roasted grains give a slight smoky character. Hints of dark fruitiness. Sweetness well-balanced by toasty bitterness. Suggestions of chocolate-covered fruits in the long, dry, bittersweet finish.

Thins just a tad to pull from expected full body to a higher side of medium. Nice, smooth, creamy texture.

Easy to drink - rich and complex without being overly powerful. Alcohol is well-covered. This is one very nice stout!

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Photo of Scooter77
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mmm, Mmm, MmMm, Mmm…What a great stout this is. It pours a dark, almost black color with an ever so slight touch of red, topped off by a thick creamy tan head. The aromas were of dark roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. The taste is full of roasted malts and dark roasted coffee beans, with mild undertones of hops and chocolate, which leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth and creamy; a very easy drinking brew. This is a must have for any stout lover.

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Photo of Fikash
4.41/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Pony Bar in NY.

The head was extremely impressive - thick, solid, the way you'd expect a stout to look, but somehow better. Photogenic.

The mouthfeel was creamy, very drinkable. The taste, leaning very heavy on the chocolate spectrum rather than coffee. Very pleasant.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer very much. Fantastic stout, don't hesitate to try if it's available in your area.

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Photo of rand
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From nitrous tap to pint

A: Pours dark brown with a coffee-tan head. Tight foamy 2-inch head, appropriate for a nitrous pour.

S: Smells of burnt sugars, coffee and whole grain bread. Nice heavy nose for the style

T: Coffe and molasses at the front, surprisingly sweet for a dry stout. The caramally sugars combine nicely with lightly astringent coffee flavors, and make a nice transition mid-sip to bready, yeasty flavors. There's a touch of raspberry towards the end, with a nicely balanced finish leaning more sweet than dry.

M: Rich and creamy, full-bodied. Of course nitro pulls lead to a richer texture, but this has amazing body for the low ABV.

Probably the best Dry Irish I've had. This is one of my least favorite styles, but I didnt just like this in relation to its brethren - this is just a damn good beer.

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Photo of compass40204
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Starts with a surprisingly light mouthfeel, especially for a beer this rich. Clean up front. Gives way to roasty flavors of black patent malt and some bitter chocolate. Persistent lacing from a thick tan head. Aroma kinda unspectacular, just a pleasant malt character, faint. Starts gently, finishes strong. I may have another...

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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.

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

A: Pours kind of brown/red from the bottle, but almost pitch black in the glass. Red notes around the side. Full head of small bubbles and quite the smooth texture on top. Did the whole Guinness falling bubbles thing even. The head is a little too bubbly though. Too many large gas pockets.

S: Hello roasted malt, how are you today? I get black patent/roasted unmalted barley pretty strong. Coffee like without being coffeeish. I also get notes of burnt sugar and caramel. Some cloying sweetness. Dark cooked fruits, like cooking cider or jelly or applesauce.

T: Dry, that's for sure, not as much sweetness as I got in the nose, but I think the real dryness here comes from a dry taste, as in the taste of dry roasted [blank]. Be that coffee or malt or whatever. That's what I taste. No hops really, just roastedness.

M: Dry, very dry. That's about it.

D: I could put back a few, and love it, but not something I would want to session or drink all night.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Short, fat, 12 oz bottle purchased singly from Total Wine and More in Union...
Pours a jet-black, ebony hue with a decent-sized foamy head that exhibited impressive staying power before slowly receding and leaving a hefty amount of lacing...
Subtle, cocoa-powder aroma replete with thick, chewy malts and espresso...
Taste strongly mirrored the aroma, with a wonderful flavor of rich, deep, dark chocolate, dark latte, creamy mocha, and rich toffee with hazlenut...
Excellent overall flavor, as expected from a great brewery with a good reputation for churning out impressive brews...
Thick, rich, creamy mouthfeel to match with a superb level of drinkability as well...
This one went down crisply and smoothly without any interference and a full-bodied flavor for a relatively modest 5.6% ABV...
Great stuff...
Sweet, rich, and thick - recommended...

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Photo of Hampton73
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a one finger tan head. Red color shines when held to the light.

Aroma is dark malty chocolate and coffee with English noble hops in the nose.

The flavor is dark roasted barley and coffee with a dry finish.

The flavor and aroma are more English or Irish than they are American, but it has the intensity of the American microbrew.

This is one of my favorite stouts.

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Photo of morimech
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I am surprised this beer does not get even higher scores. An attractive stout with a dark brown color that appears black in the glass. Thick, creamy tan head that has good retention. Just light lacing though. Really surprised by the aroma. I am a sucker for English hops and this stout seems to be stuffed with them. Awesome floral and herbal aromas that compliment the chocolate and roasted malt. The hops come into play in the flavor as well. The beginning is hop flavors followed by the customary roasted malt that gives some chocolate and coffee notes. Not being on nitro or casked, it cannot compete in the mouthfeel department. But this beer still has a nice body and carbonation. Nice flavor and low ABV makes this extremely drinkable.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a dark coffee brown with dark ruby highlights when put up to the light, thin compact tannish head fading fairly slow to leave ink blot patches of crumbly lace. Aroma is dark, sweet chocolate and a nice alcoholic warmth and spice. Also blends in some nice malty roastyness and dried hops with a nice overlaying touch of fresh coffee beans. Taste is quite different then what the smell leads on; mostly a heavy roasted flavor with an older left-in-the-pot coffee sense, a milding roasted sweetness and the chocolate is all but gone from the nose with only hints of cocoa powder and light burnt brownie drying that comes in and through the finish. Feel is medium bodied with a creamy start and middle wrapping up the finish with a favorable little bittering and drying factions with notes of cocoa, coffee, and cinnamon. A nice stout with a great nose and a nice finish. A solid stout all the way.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - generous head, dark black/brown, pours light/medium

smell - roasted malts and barley, cocoa, coffee

taste - coffee and chocolate notes, carefully roasted barley and malt, hops, water, a nice balance to bring forth a very balanced stout flavor

mouthfeel - slightly creamy, medium body, not too light, slightly dry

drinkability - very flavorful for simple ingredients, nice example of the style, really didn't know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised

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Photo of kdales77
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Wondeful color and aroma. Decent tan head w/ minimal lacing. Very low carbonation, smooth as silk. Definetly a good choive if your looking for something different. I'll need to find other styyles from this brewery soon!

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Photo of mgdeth
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

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Photo of marburg
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My fiancee loves stouts, and I wanted a beer before bed last night. so this Old #38 it was. Deep sea brown/black with smallish tan head.

The nose has a constant -- but also faint and subtle -- chocolate aroma to it. Definite roasted malt presence. The aroma "feels" similar to that of chocolate milk, really. You can almost sense the creamy texture and thickness before you ever take even the first sip. I have to be honest -- I spent a good 5 minutes with my nose to the glass sniffing this beer like a dog to an ass. I must have looked like a complete dumbass. Really. But it was worth it.

Tastes quite nice as well. Chocolate malt presence up front; nice body; subtle hints of straight, bitter coccoa powder. Smacks you around a bit with a healthy bitterness. (Let me just say, too, that I have never chewed coffee grounds before. But if I were to do so, I have to imagine that this is what it would taste like.) Noticeable hop presence that blends nicely with the roasted bitter sensation of the malts.

This is a wickedly good stout. I could seriously drink this beer all night long. What a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- lightly black with deep garnet and rosewood highlights around the bottom edge of the glass. puffy, expansive, tight bubbles head is creamy cappuccino in color and rises out of the glass like a big biscuit with a nice dimpled character of rocky caters and lots of foamy lace.

S- pleasant mild coffee and cocoa aroma, deeply roasted malt and charcoal, burning wood, dark cigar tobacco, leather, and rich compost soil. the foam emits some brown sugar and fruity notes too like raisins and figs all soaked in tar.

T- good deal of charred roasty malt bitterness first, backed up by intense earthy citrus hops, molasses, and dark ripe fruits. coffe tastes stand out with a little bit of dark chocolate as well but not the sweet kind, more like the raw cocoa essence. woodsy, smokey, and nicely bitter with a resinous herbal lasting bitter finish.

MF- thin feel for such a big flavored stout, not to say this beer is thin, just thin compared to other stouts of this immense character. tastes almost imperial, but feels lighter. medium low carbonation gives it a sort of creaminess, but there is still a slight powdery feeling that reminds me how chock full of grain this is.

D- its lighter character sure up the drinkability for me because after one, i don't feel like i just ate lunch. tons of flavor and moderate abv and the fact that i'm not drinking roasted malt concentrated syrup would make her some around the mountain when she comes. for a session, that is.

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Photo of ectomorph
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another mixed 6 from Riverside Beverage!

A - Midnight in my glass with a huge tan head that will not move.

S - Sweet malts from the foam hint at toffee and caramel.

T - Earthy chocolate and toffee malts and enough hop to balance but this is a malt delight!

M - One of my favorite aspects of this style. Full rich body, nice carbonation, and tan foam mustache comes free.

D - Very high, fantastic stout.

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Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,247 ratings.
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