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Old #38 Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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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:
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Ratings: 1,263 |  Reviews: 664
Photo of dertyd
3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of snohojimbo
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of MaximalC
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with a towering head of craggy, khaki foam with nice retention. Aroma smells primarily of roasted malt with notes of dark chocolate and toffee.

The taste features a substantial dose of herbal, peppery hops that mostly dwarfs the roasty malt base. A touch of caramel and molasses lends modest complexity to the malt profile. Medium body and fine carbonation make for a smooth, robust mouthfeel that suits the style fine.

Overall, this stout is more hop-forward than I prefer, but you may like it if that’s your thing.

 551 characters

Photo of bwarren82
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of crimsonfloyd
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black with tan head. Smells of malt with a hint of sweet mint. Pretty typical stout taste. Minerally with tastes of chocolate. Well carbonated and fairly refreshing. In short, solid, but nothing special.

 203 characters

Photo of CPAles
3.32/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of mmmbeer89
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice and dark coloring. There's not a whole lot of flavor while drinking it, it's kind of watery, but more flavor comes thru on the aftertaste. it's definitely on the light side for a stout beer.

 195 characters

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

Photo of hop_junkie
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of cwkash
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Squire123
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark cola color with some reddish brown highlights.

Aroma is roasted malt with something like figs in the background.

Taste is roasty malt backed with the same fig note with a hint of sweetness. I don't know if there really is anything in there that really is sweet but it tastes that way to me. Hop level is higher than what I've found in other stouts and is apparent from the start lasting all the way through. Rounded dry finish.

Texture is medium-full with a creamy sorta thickness.

I like to keep some stouts around for those who like the style and this one serves as well as any.

 592 characters

Photo of prisoner1572
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This stout pours a very dark brown color with a thick, foamy, deep tan head with good retention. The scent is heavily malty with hints of coffee and chocolate. The flavor is strong and malty with mostly roasted, bitter coffee flavor and a little bit of dark chocolate and toffee. The aftertaste is smooth and creamy, but dry, very much the typical Irish stout mouth-feel (think Guinness). Maybe it’s just because I haven’t had a stout in a while, but this tastes really good right now. My only complaint would be that it’s maybe a little bitter in a stout for my taste, but otherwise it’s a really good, robust, full bodied stout.

 638 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black pour with a brown to the outside color scheme, 1/2" tan head. A little boozy, acrid burnt malt notes.

Taste brought out chocolate malt more than the nose. Chewy, smooth, but amply hopped at the same time. Carbonation on point. Mixture of dry and chewy at the same time.

This is a nice, more sessionable stout than Old Rasputin. Just depends where you're wanting to go with your drinking that day I guess.

 419 characters

Photo of evanwoertz
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate black into the snifter with an initial 2 finger head that fades to a finger in a couple minutes' time. Mossy blobs are left on top to remind me of where the head was.

Lots of bitter dark chocolate in the aroma, with licorice, coffee, barley, and molasses. Nice nose.

Taste is heavy on the coffee but surprisingly the bitterness is countered by the rich malts used generously in the recipe. It's not sweet at all, to call it sweet would be a grave sin; it's very much anti-sweet - tons of roast coffee and burnt raw cocoa/cacao...but still not exactly bitter. With this being said, it has been extremely easy to drink so far, and I'm almost done with it!

Feel is supremely carbonated, and rests on that as its strength. The dryness typical of Irish-style stouts is there, but overshadowed by hard notes of wispy smokiness and occasional wet laps of hydration.

Overall, the Old #38 is a solid performer, I'd have it again; it didn't blow me away but nothing has drank easier to my palate on the stout side of things for a good long while. Nice little crafty brew here.

 1,095 characters

Photo of gandres
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Tap to glass @ North Coast Brewing tap [email protected] Fort Bragg,CA
Appearance: Black, big foam-last long
Aroma: licorice, fragrant, aromatic
Taste: no bold taste, lightly bitter, light sweetness
Palate: light body, soft carbonation, abrupt finish
Overall: good beer, but not the top stout
Drank: April 13, 2016

 302 characters

Photo of beertraveler08
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Beginner2
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

North Coast is a good example of a second (possibly first) generation brewer who did the English style very well, but also made numerous offerings in the Belgian style and few were as good... although possibly successful enough to keep North Coast brewing them. Anyway, perhaps this is a lesson in sticking to your knitting.
Old #38 was first brewed in 1988 from a recipe in a home-brew "how-to" manual. It is dry, true to the Irish tradition. And it's hops (53 IBU) are well-concealed from my sensitive palate.
I was saving this bottle for next winter, but today it snowed (and stuck) in Chicago after opening day (baseball), so I felt obliged to raid my stash.

Bottom-line: I recommend this stout.

Reviewed in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

Old #38 also is listed on the "1001" and deserves to be there. The review was written by one of my top five favorite beer writers, fellow Chicagoan Randy Mosher and I recommend reading it. He did quote Michael Jackson as saying that Old #38 "may well be one of the best stouts produced in America."
I couldn't find that reference, but I will share that MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave Old #38 three of four stars and called it "creamy and chocolatey with lots of flavour development."

 1,266 characters

Photo of Tone
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color. One inch head of a tan color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, hint of roasted malt, hint of tea, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of an Irish Dry Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of yeast, hint of tea, and slight alcohol. Overall, a pretty darn good Irish Dry Stout.

 425 characters

Photo of npendres
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tomb_ride
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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 VABA
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of EdwardAbbey
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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