Old #38 Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

very good
1,256 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,256 |  Reviews: 664
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.

 569 characters

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.

 579 characters

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.

 624 characters

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

 343 characters

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.

 1,076 characters

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.

 296 characters

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.


 490 characters

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.


 440 characters

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.

 676 characters

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!!

 252 characters

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.

 958 characters

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.

 620 characters

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.

 722 characters

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.

 816 characters

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.

 438 characters

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.

 353 characters

Photo of Overlord
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark, but with an almost ruddy, translucent brown look to it. Not quite "stout-ish." Big light tan head.

Smells ... hmmm...charred, and almost ... sour? Taste is, again, weirdly sour. If I didn't know better, I'd say this was an oatmeal stout (I only know better cuz' I looked up the style). Sour, charred malt, not much balancing sweetness, a bit wearying, even in a 12 oz. bottle. Not too much aroma or flavor to it.

Not my cup of tea, and too thin.

 459 characters

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

Has a opaque dark color with a firm dark cream head that lingers for the whole drink. Aroma was a mix of roasted malts and some cocoa. Taste had the cocoa and malts, but also a coffee flavor to it. Beer had a good creamy thickness to it, and the firm head helped that. Overall a decent stout, right on par with Guinness.

 320 characters

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

Presentation: Stubby 12oz brown pop top with nice label; no freshness date

Appearance: Quite dark brown beer with ruby highlights, only a touch of light gets through here; tan cream head with good retention

Smell: Mild English butter toffee (this is quite nice), sweet roasted grains, touch of mild chocolate

Taste: Medium sweet, roasted grains, a bit earthy...not super complex by any means, but tasty

Mouthfeel: Just a bit too light and carbonated

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: Great aromas; the taste is just a bit simplistic and one dimensional; still, a tasty Irish Dry Stout

 587 characters

Photo of adamette
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Live review. Poured from a 12 oz bottle purchased as a single for $1.89 from Cost Plus World Market in Mentor, Ohio yesterday into my Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale pint glass.

A Almost completely black body (holding it up to direct light reveals a deep, dark mahogany color, maybe 5% light comes through) under a medium brown, creamy looking head.

S Dark Roast malt, maybe with a touch of chocolate. Inviting, interesting.

T Dark malt, not a strong taste. A rather basic Stout taste to me. Gone is the chocolate notes that I thought I smelled.

M Smooth but not as creamy as the look had suggested.

D Fine for a Stout which are not particularly drinkable normally.

Notes: When you consider that you could simply get Old Rasputin (same brewery of course, a superior, masterful beer) then this is certainly second tier from North Coast. That being said, this is a fine Stout.

 878 characters

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

A: Dark black, lots of head on top..

S: Roasted barley, a little bit of smoke, something funky in there...

T: Smokey, bitter, with a nice aftertaste of roasted barley.. Maybe a hint of a cream taste.

M: Lacking something, what it was I am not sure. Just not the body I was looking for.

D: I think that one is enough for me.. Nice and smokey, but is missing the elegance that other's have.

 392 characters

Photo of froghop
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours dark brown with a red tint when held to the light, a small mocha head, and good lacing.

smell cocoa, vanilla, nuts, a little toasted grain, and just a hint of coffee.

taste is smooth and dry, dark and milk chocolate, some vanilla, some roasted nuts, malt, and some strong on the coffee, and ends dry and a little bitter.

 328 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark opaque black with an inch of tan head that fades somewhat rapidly. Nice lacing.

S- Some coffee and toffee sweetness. A bit buttery. A nice bourbon aroma too. Smells really nice.

T- Some sweet fruit, a bit of coffee, some roasted malt. A bit of a hop bitterness, although a bit low for the style. Simple, but good.

M- A bit over-carbonated IMO. Dry finish.

D- Light body and ABV make this one a good session beer. Tasty too... no Old Rasputin though.

 461 characters

Photo of champ103
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights around the edges. At first a one finger beige head forms and gently recedes. Some patchy sticky lace is left behind.
S: A big roasted chocolate and coffee aroma. Some sweet toffee as well. A light fruitiness. Very nice.
T: There is a big roasted flavor with chocolate and coffee again. Though a metallic twang detracts a bit for me.
M/D: This has a medium body. Though it is over carbonated and to watery for me. An easy stout to session though.

Another good beer from North Coast. It is not my favorite from them, but still very enjoyable.

 595 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

Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,256 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.