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 JackStraw22
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
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,

 559 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.86/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 05/10/2009. 12 oz. bottle. The beer pours black with a thick light tan head. Aroma of super sweet malt, roasted malt, and some raisins. Flavor of roasted, sweet malt with some vegetal notes. This was not very interesting. It was sweet and meh.

 255 characters

Photo of Gatzby
2.87/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I opened this with "Mmm, stout" echoing in my head and was sorely disappointed. Medium-dark brown in color, letting plenty of light through, definitely not stout-like! Poored smooth, letting off very little head, which disappated quickly.

Smelled mostly of coffee, with a slight alcohol tinge to it. Some minor fruit smell underlying. Didn't have the heady, mouth-watering smell of other stouts. Not unpleasant, but lacking strong, defining characteristics.

Mouthfeel was fairly smooth, more consistent with an ale in my mind. Not very thick or heavy on the tongue. Drinkable, but certainly not the stout I was looking for. Might not be a bad session brew.

Flavor was mostly coffee, with a hint of the hops. No strong alcohol taste, and maybe a slight hint of chocolate. A weak coffee flavor is the most dominant, though.

Overall, an adequate beer, but not exceptional. In a pinch, it would be fine, but I won't go out of my way to find it again.

 958 characters

Photo of OneDropSoup
2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to (I'm pretty sure) crazynelson for the extra!

Pours a thick, opaque black with a thin ring of tan head, subtle highlights around the bottom. Tiny bubbles, this has a champagne-like consistency, not as thick as other dry stouts. Some lacing that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smells like grape soda at first, then sort of funky/veggie-ish, & a little sweet. Getting very mild milk & roast notes toward the end. Tastes of grape soda up front, too, then fades to a dull, almost chalky malt flavor that characterizes a lot of dry stouts, but here just seems limp. I was very happy with the first after-taste, which finished in a pleasant milk chocolate/roast coffee character. Sadly, that disappeared after the first sip, & I desperately tried to get it back after that, as it was the best part of the brew. No luck.

The mouthfeel is thin, nothing like the thick creaminess I expect from the style. A little fizzy, but that dies in about half a second. This reminds me more of a brown ale or a weak porter than a stout, & I'm sad to say I find it lackluster. North Coast has never disappointed me before, but there is just so much more to be expected from the style.

 1,171 characters

Photo of Seanstoppable
2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a mug as a completely pitch black beer with plenty of thick tan head. Head slowly evaporated, leaving lacing down the glass. Taste is smooth, with some brief chocolaty hints. Not very strong and doesn't last very long either. Overall, I was very underwhelmed by the averageness of this beer. Drinkable, but unremarkable.

 332 characters

Photo of cbl2
2.91/5  rDev -24%
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.

 420 characters

Photo of joel_bou
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of LJWalker
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of mlefebvre7
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour was near spot on for the style and really showed a tremendous amount of promise. Dark as night with a rich and creamy tan head that rose up from the bottom and settled down very nicely along the top of the glass. Bu that was about the best it would get. Too light of a n aroma, as roasted malts and chocolate notes seem to be horribly off balance. Hints of coffee maybe? But it all seemed to be a bit of a mess for me to be honest. Smooth, even carbonation on a somewhat mellow profile, needed a bit more of a punch to really be anything worthwhile to me. Roasted chocolate, hints of tobacco, a light sweetness, but again it really all seemed terribly off balance to me to be honest.

 692 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of NickMunford
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of akttr
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of disemgrowler
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of ToddThompson
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of tb4475
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of YeastInception
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of brpendergast85
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of Nock
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of BrickOneal
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of gafferjohn
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of rickyleepotts
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours out thick, and has a dark brown head… it looks like Coke to be honest. Well, I drink a LOT of diet soda, so maybe I am slightly jaded. I have had beers this dark before, especially while in Europe. I remember one night I was in some random underground pub in Rzeszów and I ordered whatever they had on tap. We had just gotten in, and I wasn’t familiar with the beers yet. That beer had a similar head as this. That beer ended up being 13% ABV… so needless to say, I only had a couple.

When you first drink a stout, you expect it to be thick, and creamy. This beer looks like it will be thick, but starts off extremely carbonated and smooth. I am quite impressed with how smooth it is actually. It has a certain kick to it at the end too. Not sure what that is sneaking up on me… but it has that bite. I like it!

The beer also has a great nose. It smells just as good as it tastes. And with a low ABV, you might get just as much enjoyment out of smelling this one. But when you do take the first few drinks, the aftertaste sticks around. But it sticks around in place on the palate you wouldn’t expect. That’s not a bad thing, but something unexpected. Stouts are usually not this drinkable. This is a nice after dinner drink… but bring me a six-pack instead of a pint.

The beer is good. I also love the train coming at you on the bottle. There’s a story behind said train, actually. Weird to think this beer started as a home-brew and ended up being chilled in my refrigerator.

 1,512 characters

Photo of GarthT
3/5  rDev -21.7%

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.