Old #38 Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout
Very Good
1,265 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: 1,265 |  Reviews: 665
Photo of climax
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old #38 poured about the color it looked inside the bottle, dark brown to onyx. Head was quick forming and slow leaving. The nice creamy tan belt of foam left a lingering crater as it so lazily evacuated.

Nose was a bit weak and none too complex IMO, even at the hardly cold temp I first whiffed it. A pretty substantial hop profile was the first thing I smelled followed by more specific flavors of blackberries and roasted barley.

The flavor has a bit more to offer than the nose. Sweet and bitter pretty much duke it out the whole way down. Roasted chocolate, tart berries, and sweet sugars led to a semi-dry nutty finish.

The body was a little shy of full. The feel was fluffy with an initial sharpness from the carbonation. It's a good beer, but it's not as memorable as I was hoping.

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Photo of Florida9
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Durty Nellie's. I was told they pulled one of their Surly beers to get this one on the nitro-tap.

Color is an opaque black. Served with a finger of very creamy tan head that has very good retention. Smell is of lightly roasted malts. Taste is of dry dark malts, though there really isn't a lot going on here. Best I can describe it as is "malt" because there just isn't a whole lot of anything else. Medium body, maybe a little on the thinner side for a malt, but the Nitro certainly lends a creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Over this beer is okay. It reminds me of a better version of Guinness, which, in my opinion is both good and bad. Good because its a better version, but still bad, because Guinness just isn't that great of a beer.

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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 mwa423
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a jet black with a couple fingers of dirty tan head that quickly died and made a nice lacing that stuck to the side of the glass.

S - Sweet and malty, not a lot of smell, but what is there is dead on irish dry stout.

T - Not a lot of taste, but very drinkable. The coffee and malt coat the tongue and leave a little hint of caramel zing on the end.

M/D - Mouthfeel is on the light side but but it isn't thin or watery feeling like Guinness. I would call this a very drinkable stout that I would reach for in an instant when I was looking for dark, but smooth and easy to drink.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a decent topping of brownish head.
Smell is a good toasted taste with a solid coffee ground aroma.
Taste is very toasted with some coffee, malt, and barley taste.
Finish is incredibly dry with a left over taste of iced coffee grounds, solid.
Drinks fairly well here. Very much to style on the Irish Dry, I'm glad I tried this.

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

A: Dark reddish brown, big tan head and leaves behind some nice lacing.

S: Coffee and burnt malt.

T: Chocolate and malty up front, followed by a bitter coffee aftertaste.

M: Smooth and creamy, not too thick at all, but almost a little thin.

D: Very high, very delicious.

North Coast has yet to disappoint me.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pitch black with frothy nitro head, great retention (thanks to the NO2) and tons of lacing

S: nose is very heavy on the roasted notes, huge notes of roasted barley and black patent malts, some chocolate and coffee, very robust. Very nice aroma for a dry stout

T: the front of the palate is quite muted, possibly from the nitrogen, but by mid palate, the huge roasted grain profile makes its appearance. It is not quite as robust as the nose, but still prominent. The finish has roastiness as well which is nice, but the body seems to thin, its like there is something missing.

MF: thick and creamy nitrogen texture with a light tasting body, the nitrogen lends an artificial thickness which is a little disappointing

D: this is very drinkable and a sessionable stout. I love the roasted profile.

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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 drperm
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into my trusty Sam Adams glass

Appearance: Handsome and black, but hardly any head to speak of.

S: Chalky, oddly harshly malty, with a tad bit of chocolate on the end to redeem it. Let it breathe in the glass for a bit and it comes alive and improves.

T: That's the stuff. Bone-dry, chalky again but in a good way, with nice notes of chicory, very dark chocolate, and some supple bitterness.

M: Spritzy yet mellow, like a good iced coffee with carbonation.

D: Let this one sit in the glass for a bit, especially if it's been in a cold fridge. There's a lot going on here for a middleweight Irish stout, and this one might even make a nice session stout. It's been a favorite of mine for a while now; finally getting around to a review. It may not pair up with mussels or scallops as well as Guinness does, but I'd have it with seafood in a jiffy -- also good Mexican (mole) dishes, or lamb stew. Or (vanilla ice cream) dessert!

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Photo of macktbone
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An oldie but a goodie that I may have once or twice every few years.

A- a good solid dark stout. I would like a bit more head on this 5+ % beer. I wouldn't expect this style to lose it's head until at least 10%.

S- dark chocolates, cocoa, licorice, roasted malt and a nutty almond-like grain.

T- grain with an Irish bitterness on the front of the roof of the mouth. Nice chocolate aftertaste.

M- good for the Irish stout style. Thanfully not too watery.

D- I need more of these in my fridge. A good go to beer for folks to try new styles without breakin' the bank.

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Photo of cagocubs
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark tobacco brown with very thin ivory head that dissipates quickly. Nice dark brown color to it.

S: Great smell. The roasted malt/barley are evident with a scent of sweet black licorice. Maybe a tone of coffee.

T: Toasted malts explode in the first sip. You can taste coffee and barley as well. A more earthy taste for a stout. Well balanced and not as repetitive as other dry stouts.

M: A light body for a stout. Smooth and creamy flow with great carbonation.

D: This is one of the better stouts I have had. I wouldn't mind having this one more frequently than others.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass

The color is a dark black with a deep maroon color when held to the light. Some slight head but no lacing.

The smell is light but has a malty flavor that has a pin of brown sugar and a little chocolate flavor as well.

The taste is some dark chocolate and a little roasted malt. Is a nice even flavor but not too strong.

It seems to be missing a little something but that may be me getting used to Imperial Stouts, otherwise this beer is a nice beer experience. It has a nice even medium body and feels great going down. It dies have a slight aftertaste but only the briefest.

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Photo of Chelsea1905
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nice dark mahogany with ruby highlights in the edges. Off tanned head that disipates quicky and leaves a little lacing.

Smells of roasted malt, chocolate and some black patent.

Tastes about the same, little bit of bourbon taste in there.

Good mouthfeel and drinks well. Overall a decent stout

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Photo of feelmefoam
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass. To go along with the railroad theme, Casey Jones by Johnny Cash is playing in the background.

Pours a deep, murky mahogany with hazel highlights around the edges of the glass. Forces up a finger of creamy, off-white head that left a decent amount of foamy lacing as it disappeared.

The nose doesn't present a huge bouquet of aromas, rather, they're a tad muted. Still, chocolate and roasted malts are in the forefront, maybe some earthiness shows up before the whiff is over.

The flavor certainly has good potential, but like the nose, a little muted. Still, a nice amount of chocolate and roasted dark malts come through, followed by a pretty mild earthy hop finish.

This beer has a nice dryness to it as well as a smooth quality that pairs well with its medium body and low carbonation.

All told, this was really a good stout. It didn't knock my socks off, but its definitely a solid stout that I could drink at least two of in a night. Not a flavor bouquet, but it's still tasty. Pretty good showing from North Coast.

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Photo of Ghenna
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hard pour into a SN hop tulip glass. Pours a deep mahogany, 3 finger head, with a smidge of lacing. Smells of roasted malt, and dark chocolate. Slight chocolate bitterness in the taste, as well as malt, not at all sweet, but well balanced. A good example of what I consider to be a classic stout.

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is a dark brown with light brown edges. A small half finger tan head. No lacing.

The smell is of chocolate and roasted malts. Black licorice as well.

The taste is "thin", not much to talk about. Chocolates and roasted malts, and earthy flavor. Maybe some grain or oatmeal characteristic as well.

The mouthfeel is overly carbonated.

The drinkability is good for a generic beer, but for a stout it is not very filling. Could drink a few of these, but probably wont.


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Photo of enfield249
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark red/brown. Red highlights in the corners. Started with a little tan head, faded to almost nothing. Looks a lot like a coke.

S - Grainy, sweet.

T - Sweet, not to roasty. Not quite what a stout should be, but pretty good.

M - Kind of a light mouth feel, and very fresh/clean tasting. Surprising for a stout, but not bad.

D - A very good stout that is surprising, not really directly on style, but good none the less.


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Photo of MrStark
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is opaque black with a nice light brown two-finger head. Slowly dissipates and has tiny amounts of lacing.

Smell is mild and malty. Mostly coffee with hints of dark chocolate.

Taste is roasted coffee with a nice mild chocolate sweetness. Not particularly strong, but the flavor is much better in my opinion than Guinness Draught.

Mouthfeel is smooth wild mild carbonation. Medium to full bodied with a nice clean finish. No lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability is high as this beer goes down easy. I wouldn't mind having a couple of these at a time as this is one of the better examples of this style I've had.

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Photo of matty
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black colored beer with a slowly fading creamy head.Aroma is chocolate.Taste is smoked malts,coffee and cocoa.Smooth and creamy goes down like silk.Like most stouts very enjoyable and flavorful.I highly recommend and would gladly purchase again!!

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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 unclejimbay
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old #38 Stout
North Coast Brewing Co.
Style: Irish Dry Stout
ABV: 5.60 %
@ E Street 9/23/09, JB - bottle>pint glass

4.5 across the board....
Appearnace is deep brown/black in color with a creamy tan head that reduces to a nice collar ring.
Smell has deep roasted fruity malts that suggests some coffee and cocoa character.
Tastes as it smells with a nice semi dry/bitter finish that balance our nicely with the roasty malt tastes.
Mouthfeel is medium-full body with light carbonation as expected.
A very fine stout offering that is delicious without being overly full bodied, could be a sessionable stout candidate.

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Photo of kurp001
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a virtually black color with about one finger of a creamy tan head, all lacing disappears very quickly.

There are some hints of dark fruit in the smell, along with burnt coffee notes.

Taste is mostly black coffee with a bit of a burnt malt flavor; not bad but not terribly exciting.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but there seems to be a surprising amount of carbonation for the style; after it dies down a little bit I think the overall mouthfeel seems more harmonious with the flavors.

Drinkability is good in the sense that this beer goes down relatively easily, but I don't necessarily feel like I really want another. It's good, but a single was plenty for now; perhaps I'll return to this one sometime in the future.

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Photo of jhammel01
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with little carbonation and a very small coffee colored head. Head dissipates quickly and leaves nothing! Not what I expected. Whats the deal? Is this an old beer?

Smells of roasted barley, coffee, dark chocolate. The sweetness of the chocolate is the most dominant.

Taste isnt as strong as I thought either. Not entirely too much going on...

Same taste characteristics of the smell. Up front is burnt maltiness with coffee. Later near the finish is the chocolate. Decently smooth.

Mouthfeel seemed a bit watery and thin. Didnt seem as chewy or thick as other irish stouts Ive had. Still not a bad beer in anyway

All in all, it was a good beer but not my favorite from North Coast (one of my fav's!) It didnt strike me as an Irish Dry Stout but none the less It was a good beer. A good Stout.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into Standard 20oz pint glass.

A: Poured jet black, with thin head that dissipated quickly and laced spottily.

S: Roasted malt, woodiness, dark chocolate, and tiny hint of espresso, but all very subtle.

T: Very nice round flavor for an Irish stout, that didn't leave much of an aftertaste.

M: Very smooth on the palate, but a little on the thick side.

D: Not sure if I can take in too many of these at one sitting.

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Photo of kegger22
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with a moderate head that faded quickly to a collar. The aroma wasn't much, a little bit of sweet coffee. The taste was a little bit of sweet coffee, not a lot there. The feel was medium bodied with decent carbonation. Drinkability was good. Overall, this was actually good for an Irish dry stout, which usually don't amount to much.

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Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 1,265 ratings
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