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 barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with a nice tan head.
Nose of roasted malt and quite a bit of cocoa. Roasted tones dominate upon tasting. Taste is dry right off, roasted coffee. Mouthfeel is rather than and dry. Ap retty good example of the style nut not one I would seek out again.

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Photo of Durge
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold from the bottle, the color is a ruby tinged burnt dark brown, almost opaque. The head is a scant swirl of light brown with fair lacing evidenced. The aroma is a sharp merlot and chocolate coffee. The flavor brings a deep chocolate bread pudding sweetness with a little smokey citrusy bite. I pick up sweet malt and a touch of rye within an effervescent but quite drinkable, tastey stout. Somewhat of a porter perhaps, although as either style this one is a wonderful treat which could easily be sessioned. Well done North Coast!

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Photo of jdklks
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- light black (if that makes sense) with see-through amber edges) and a nice tan-brown head that laces the glass thoroughly.

S- smell is of coffee and dominated by chocolate. smells like hot cocoa at christmas time. also a smoky bitter smell.

T- again, chocolate here, along with dark fruits. tastes like chocolate milk, only better. very good. a sweet but bitter (which seems contradictory and is, but somehow this beer pulls it off) dark fruit aftertaste.

M- a little over-carbonated (like rasputins), but not too much to worry about. full bodied for its style (not like an imperial of course) and medium bodied overall.

D- drinkability is good.

overall this beer is very good for a dry irish stout. underrated for its style for sure.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a lot of highlights. Quite clear; no big-stout opacity here. The nose is a bit muted by the creamy tall head, although mostly chocolate and a hint of roasted barley sneak through.

The flavor is middle of the road, with some decent malt presence but really it's just a hint of roasted barley backed by a mild hop presence. The flavor is ephemeral, un-exciting, and simplistic. The body is light and a little thin.

Easy to drink in the sense of a light body and mild flavor, but it's not begging me to get another bottle.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a pillowy, crater filled tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

Roasty chocolate, black pepper, dark fruits and a bit of malted milk on the nose.

Balance can describe this stout well, not too roasty, hoppy or carbonated...just right amounts of each make for a very approachable and tasty dry stout. It is a bit thin and mild, but that is not always a bad thing. There is nothing offensive about this beer and the chocolate becomes more evident upon warming. This is a damn good beer, quite the sessionable stout. There is always room for this in my fridge...

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Photo of cottonkoozie
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark, almost black except for a little brown around the edges.

S - Lots of roasted malts, with some good hops smell underneath. Smells pretty complex and balanced.

T - Good taste, not very strong or overbearing, but has a nice roasted taste with balancing hops and a coffee finish.

M - Great mouthfeel. Very full feel.

D - Good drinkability, the balance causes this to not be to bitter and very smooth drinking for the style.

Good Irish Dry, the roasted flavors and coffee flavors are not overbearing at all, which makes this beer very smooth all the way through and very drinkable. I would have liked more head and lacing due to the style, but taste wise this is a great beer.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Very dark black with only a bit of ruby hues coming through on the edges. The head is very creamy, large with good retention and lacing.

S- Sweet, spicy, chocolate, smokey, and cooked vegetables. Not as roasty as I would have expected.

T- Sweet, chocolaty, smoky, cooked vegetables. Kind of unique and the flavors work pretty well together.

M- Smooth, with some nice and active carbonation that gives it just a bit of a bite on the tail end.

D- An enjoyable stout. A little different, but worth a try.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black with trippy lacing swirling around the glass and leaving ring around the collar.

Faint smokiness, faint choco-coffee. Like a smoked chocolate coffee salmon the ether bunny leaves you.

Good taste, roasted malts, chocolate taste. Ancient chinese secret.

Dry aftertaste, each sip teases me workin' up my appetite, Sky rockets in flight, afternoon delight.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 3-8-09

Pours super black and opaque, with a deep red around the bottom edge. A pleasant tan head sits on top, with think but short-lasting lacing.

Smell is all smoky malt, with a nice woody edge. Very enjoyable.

Taste is a lot like the smell, very smoky and dry, but with a odd sweet quality. Not bad, just out of place.

Mouthfeel is good, a little thin, but right for the style.

Drinkability is decent, I'm just not a fan of the style.

Overall, a decent beer, I'm just not a fan.

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Photo of dotsonjamesg
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Avery Out of Bounds Stout

Served in an 6 oz frosted stout cup. Purchased this brew in a six-pack at Springhill Liquor in Little Rock, AR.

Appearance: Filtered black with a luscious one-finger head that lingers a little bit.

Smell: Smokey malts...not much else.

Taste: Bitter sweet chocolate bite initially then it moves in to a strong smoky flavor. Bitter sweet flavor lingers on and on.

Mouth feel: It's a lil over carbonated but its not enough to distract me.

Drinkability: If you can enjoy a good stout, its great. The brew isn't too heavy on the palate and it goes down smooth.

Not a big fan of Irish stouts and this one definitely change my mind. Its not bad but I have definitely had better.



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Photo of Jayli
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a deep dark brown, almost opaque and black however when held to the light very faint ruby hues show on the edges. There is a slight tan head that recedes to a film - slight lacing that quickly fades on the sides of the glass. Nose is of strong chocolate and roasted malt. Taste is of roasted and sweet malts, chocolate, with a deeper coffee finish. There is slight hop bite blended in - just enough to give a kick. Mouthfeel is slightly carbonated, creamy mouthfeel...not too filling. This is a nice stout!

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Photo of farrago
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mild foam for a head but sits there like it's waiting for a late bus, patient but ready to go. No real lacing to speak of. Black as coal color, dull orange rust hue at the very outer rims. Carefully toasted nose of dark chocolate, coffee bean, chocolate coated raisins, maple syrup, comes at you slowly with its hands out in friendliness, the hops lack a distinct scent profile but do firm up and sharpen the dominant malts, lasts well but tactfully in keeping with general demeanor. Medium-bodied, probably fuller but it is sufficiently dry that it's hard for the palate to fully register what's soaking in. Again, no lack of black chocolate, coffee, licorice, malted milk ball flavors, slight increase in oatmeal, cereal graininess. Carbonation noticeable when you want to notice it, that is, appropriate level. Drying finish brings out shades of tea leaf, lemon peel and poor brown earth. Hits the right notes but not gonna sing the aria.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.88/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Old 38 is an almost black ale with a reddish tint and a tan head that fades to a tight film. It leaves nice lacing on the glass and stays the whole way down. It has a roasted aroma that's sweet and a touch tart. There are notes of coffee, licorice and brown sugar. It is medium-full bodied and incredibly smooth. It feels a bit fluffy in the mouth. The finish is dry and dusty. The flavor is very roasted, almost smokey, with notes of coffee, chocolate, and caramel. It's a touch sweet and syrupy, but perfectly balanced. I think this may be the stout on which I originally developed my palate. The malt and hops just work together on a new plane of beer existence. I could drink a bucket of this. This is like a beer custom made for me.

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Photo of bowersdm
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a nonic.

A - black, nice head (my notes from when I tried this are really shitty, so I didn't make a note of the size or color)

S - roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, tobacco. it smells like guinness.

T - roasted barley, bitter chocolate, tobacco, and some hops in the finish. it's very dry as it should be, but it's not really to my liking.

M - too much carbonation.

D - i love stouts, but i'm still not a fan of irish dry stouts.

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Photo of webbcreative
3.32/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jan 25, 2009
black. little head to speak of. smells of a bit of coffee. flavors are kind of everywhere, not to well balanced to my pallet. Dry obviously, but also roasted malts, and bitter finish, i like all the flavors individually, but together, they just arent working properly in this one....not a drain pour, just not something i will be having again....

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a black color with a 3 inch head. Lacing is left on the side of my glass.

Smells very much like dark fruit, sugary, plums come to mind, roasted malts.

Mild bitter hop taste in the beginning with some floral notes in the middle. Hint of dark sugar is noticable. This fnished with a roasted coffee burnt aftertaste.

Feels thin and needs more flavor, tad watery feeling in the end.

I couldnt see myself drinking this beer again.

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Photo of mjl21
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No bottling info is given and abv is not listed.

A-Black. Pours a 3/4 finger head that goes away fast. Small tan ring remains. Small splotch of foam remains.

S-Roasted malt and some floral hops.

T-Roasted malt with sweet chocolate and bitterness hitting on the backend.

M-Very smooth. A lot of carbonation. Not too heavy.

D-Very good. Like the carbonation and bitterness. Easy to drink.

A nice Irish Dry stout. Does not bog you down by being too heavy. Could easily have a few in a night.

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Photo of nsmartell
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a fluffy off-white head that didn't stick around for too long.

Smell: Roasted malts and a hint of coffee.

Taste: Just as the smell suggests, tastes of roasted malts and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: Would try again, but won't be seeking out anytime soon.

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

In a tulip:

Light tan head, almost white, with decent retention. Lacing's a little thin but not bad. Tons of caramel: specifically, reminded me of Werther's hard candy. Roasty, chocolate, and black coffee smells as well. The taste focuses on coffee, with a little malt and a roasted bitter. The mouthfeel was a little thin, but not too bad for the style. Perfect level of carbonation. Fairly sessionable, which is somewhat diminished by the big coffee bitter.

Overall: I'm a big north coast fan, and was very happy with this brew. Try the Old Rasputin, which will also not disappoint.

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Photo of tlinner
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit lighter than most stouts; holding it up to the light, you can see to the other side. The nose is pretty weak. I honestly can't smell much of anything. The taste is of roasted malts, sweet chocolate (sweeter than most) and toffee. Finish is pleasantly dry. Not great, not bad. I'd honestly have expected better from this brewery, though.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This 12 oz straggler showed up at the Stout Tasting we hosted several weekends ago; it sat watching helplessly as most of its bigger 'n' badder brethren were voraciously consumed. An Irish Stout sounded good tonight, so out of the fridge and into the pint glass it goes. Thanks to whoever brought this and left it behind.

A: Seems impenetrably black, but held to light it shows thin stripes of vibrant ruby at the top and bottom. Very nice mocha-colored cream rises to two-fingers before settling as a papery-thin film, clingy as a dense froth at the edges. Lacing looks like a sponge blotted the glass - very nice.

S: Familiar grainy roast with a tinny/metallic twang. Fairly robust, lightly sweet.

T: Toasted, nearly charred grain. Bittersweet cocoa, a light coffee roast, a little smoky(?). Flavors are pretty rich, dancing a fine line between sweetness and bitterness. Finishes (as expected) dry/bitter.

M: Notable gritty/grainy texture...leaves a starchy film. Modest carbonation, creamy feel.

D: Wish I had a nice shepherd's pie or beef stew to pair this with; still, it's fine as a stand-alone end to the evening. Likeable, easy to drink, just a bit high in alcohol to be truly sessionable. Worth a try, a stout I'd have again.

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Photo of olmatty
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearnce- Pours a puffy one-finger, tan head with lots of tiny bubbles, poor retention and moderate lacing, beer is opaque black.

Smell- Big hit of chocolate and coffee beans

Taste- Just like the aroma, the chocolate comes first, then some coffee, no sweetness to speak of and the hops are present but unobtrusive. Nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Slightly thin bodied, yet silky carbonation and beautifully creamy and dry.

Drinkability- Just right for a few to go down well. One of the most drinkable stouts I've had.

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Photo of Gavage
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a fluffy 3" head that lasts a while.

Smell: roasted malts and some floral bitterness comes from the glass.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolates, and some softer espresso notes are the core flavors. The bitterness is a bit stronger than expected.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth from start to finish and a hint of dryness late. Aftertaste is long as the roasted tones linger a while in the mouth.

Drinkability: easy to drink stout that is strong on the roasted tones with a bitter profile. A few of these can be had in a session.

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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 taylorhamrick
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark brown, not quite black. A 2cm head sits on top, with loose clumps of bubbles. A little lacing and alright retention. The smell is the nicest part. Some sweetness with a roasted back. A very nice smell for a dry irish stout. The taste is kind of bitter, but without the pleasant coffee taste I'd expect to accompany. There isn't as much sweetness or creaminess as I'd expect from the nose. The mouthfeel is kind of prickly and lacks the smoothness I'd expect from other examples of the style. It actually drinks fairly well, and gets much better as it warms.

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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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