Old #38 Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout
Liked This Beer
3.83 w/ 1,258 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

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Ratings: 1,258 |  Reviews: 664
Photo of sholland119
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty decent representation of the style, though nothing extraordinary. Pours medium brown with a fluffy white head. Aroma has some roasted malt and not much else. Taste is similar. Nice moderate roastiness and a dab of hops. Mouthfeel is nice for the style, a bit less thin than I often encounter. I could certainly enjoy more than one.


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Photo of BWH3
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep brown ale with little if any red hues topped by thick beige head which stands long. The nose is filled by toffee, melanoidins, sherry, and burnt paper. However, the palate is almost entirely dominated by a dry ashy roasted grain flavor that takes on an astringent quality similar to over steeped tea. The beer as the qualities necessary for style including relatively thin, still, and dry, but just to dry on palate. Just an average American version of an Irish Dry Stout

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

L: Pours a deep black color with a medium sized and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass on the way down.
S: Aromas of deeply roasted malts, some coffee, and hints of chocolate at the end.
T: Deep roasted malty base with coffee flavors and then a nice subtle chocolate flavor towards the end right before a big roasty finish.
M: Very smooth, warming, right amount of carbonation. I'll bet if this were on nitro-tap it would be phenomenal.
D: Very drinkable stout with all of the flavors blending well together with a lower ABV which was nice.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Why would anyone have a Guinness when they can drink this beer? Great dark brown color with a thick tan head. Burnt chocolate aroma with matching flavor. Bittersweet and smoky, with a good chunk of dark and milk chocolate thrown in for an incredible combination.

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Photo of petes99
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark with tan head - quickly dissipates.

Nose is terrific.. sweet, chocolate, coffee.

Mouthfeel - its light. If you hold your nose (ie cut off the flavor), you wouldnt realize its a stout. Goes down very easy!

Flavor comes across slowly - starts like a brown ale.. sweetens and gets richer, with just a touch of bitterness. Dries out really well as it passes over your tongue, leaving a nice complex flavor behind. You can continue thinking about the sip for a couple minutes after. Very pleasant, and really nice dry finish.

This is one of my favorites. Its very easy going - nothing abrasive about this brew. Great label to match a very drinkable stout.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured a medium dark cola color with a 1 finger light beige head that was fairly lasting.

S: yeasty with some sweetness, coffee, chocolate, and fruity with some raisins and plums.

T: The flavor was fresh black coffee with some dark chocolate, and dark earthy hop bitterness. There was some dark cocoa beans and a big, dry roasted warming flavor to finish things out.

M: a little thin with moderate carbonation and only a slight creaminess and acidity.

D: Drinkability was nice, dry and silky. Good everyday beer.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.
A - Nearly opaque black with ruby red tinges when held to light source. 2 finger tan head with decent retention. Light lacing
S - Chocolate and toasted malts with notes of semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and floral.
T - Toasted and chocolate malt, coffee and well balanced notes of floral and citrus hops.
M - Medium mouthfeel. Nicely carbonated for the style. Dry finish
D - Goes down smooth. A little heavy on the citrus for my taste. Still, very well made and tasty. Could definitely drink a few.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the steam train on the label. A powerful pour with a dark tan head that lasts and shows plenty of lace. The color is jet black and the nose has grainy toasted malt with coffee and chocolate tones.

Dry and gritty in the spirt of the best of the style. Certainly not an overwhelming amount of flavor but this does have a creamy texture and a roasted, oily finish that satisfies quite nicely.

I don't see this one real often but when I do it's worth trying. Very easy to drink and tasty, too.

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly impenetrable black with the edges showing just a touch of red. The light brown cap has a strong will to survive the duration of this healthy looking treat. Lots of sticky circular rope lacing coats my glass,finishing off this sexy Stout. The nose is sweet with what smells like caramel malts and flavored coffee. Milky Way candy bars,chocolate covered coffee beans,and burnt toast make up the conglomeration of flavors that are mixing together with each sip. This is a little sweeter than most stouts,but not too sweet. Dry and a little watery on the finish,I enjoy the dryness,but the body could use the volume turned up two notches. The creaminess could also use a kick in the azz. Very flavorful and quaffable brew that I will revisit.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say what everyone is thinking. This beer is Old Rasputin's little brother. I mean every flavor is there from the prune to the hop bite to the malt to the sweet finish. I really enjoyed this beer. My only regret was that I was too stupid to buy a four pack of this when I was told to by the Beer guy in Columbus, GA. I was really dumb. He gave me 1 as a freebie, but I think he knew it would just taunt me. Kinda like a "I told you so." Bastard!

Anyways, I poured this one into a brandy snifter but a pint glass would work great. I think this beer could be drank at any temp from 45 - 62 without a problem. It all depends on what you prefer to taste. More great bitter hop go higher more sweet malty goodness go colder. This was a great (almost) find. Do yourself a favor go get 4 of these tonight!

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

Dark walnut brown, nearly black. Creamy tan head, okay lacing, decent retention. Cocoa, graham, and light roasty aromas. Flavor is very roasted, with coffee notes and a slightly charred bitterness. Semisweet chocolate provides a touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel is decent, but the carbonation is too high. This style would be better suited to a light carbonation to enhance a creamy body. Nonetheless, this is miles tastier than the standard Irish stout fare like Guinness and Murphy's.

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

Pours a stong, lively light brown head that recedes to thin island of foam, but some ok tan lacing hugging the glass. Black to dark brown in color with a little viscocity. Great roasted malt, bitter chocolate and coffee aroma. All subtle but undeniabley there. Starts with dark roasted malts that take on an aire of chocolatey sweetness. The middle gets a bit creamy. While the finish is burt then leavesa bloody aftertaste. The palate oasted, well integrated and sessionable. Plenty of flavor and sessionable.

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Photo of avalon07
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a blackish-brown color and a fairly thick consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head and some decent lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, coffee, and hops more than anything else.

T: Taste consisted of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and hops going down. Decent, but not spectacular.

M: A nice level of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole a solid beer, but didn't wow me in any big way.

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Photo of MisterClean
2.7/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Shared with a friend at a homebrew meeting.

A - Light chocolate head and light black in color. Dissipates fast.

S - Slightly peppery, with some smoke, and pineapple type hops.

T - Pepper, smoke, and the hops now taste kind of grassy.

M - Not greatly balanced. Mouthfeel fairly thin and syrupy.

D - Drinkable, but not great. Usually I have high praise for north coast beers.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip glass.

Light is just visible at the bottom of the glass through the deep black. Nice big steady tan head.

Smell of roasted malts, sweet yet bitter chocolate, and some tart berry.

Taste is pretty sweet. Very little coffee, but maybe cherries on top of a smokey, roasty malt.

Mouthfeel is a litte thin if this is one knock on this beer.

Very drinkable beer that would be nice to drink regularly.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown with ruby highlights that show when the glass is held up to the light. A thick mocha head creams the sides of the glass and leaves nice sticky webbing. Beer that looks like this makes me excited to drink it.

The scent is of creamy dark fruits a handful of chocolates and some espresso. Not a strong nose but definitely a present one.

Taste is excellent, black malts with notes of coffee and chocolate. There are light hints of raisins and plums that round out the balance of this stout.

Old #38 is a smooth and creamy stout that has some lovely dark flavors but no bigger ones. A fact that I don't mind one bit. It's got a lot of the big player flavors to make it a great stout but not an overpowering taste. The flavors work well with a mild carbonation and a shallow bitterness all adding up to a medium bodied easy to drink beer.

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

Pours a deep brown with a dense, foamy head - most excellent lacing!!! Smells strongly of chocolate malt and sweet molasses. Tastes almost identical to the smell, with a smooth mouthfeel.

A lazy drinker's review to be sure, but Old #38 Stout is nothing mindblowing- just another absolutely solid beer from North Coast. Simple but very drinkable, I'll definitely pick this up in the future.

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Photo of popery
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An ok stout without much body and somewhat lacking in the taste department. This beer is dark but rather transparent for a stout. The smell is mostly roasted malt, chocolatey malt. There is even an interesting hop character in the background. The taste is similar but the feel is so light that it kind of washes out the beer's potential. I guess it's fairly drinkable, but it wouldn't be my choice for a stout. It's not bad, and if you like light stouts, it's probably a good choice. It's just not my thing.

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Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany with 3 fingers of tan head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Cocoa & coffee

T: Roasted malt, coffee, & iron up front. Charred grain, dryness & leafy hops as this warms. Finishes fruitty (dark fruit)& with a bit too much coffee for me

MF: Smooth & creamy with medium body

Drinks easy enough, a nice stout that has a bit too much coffee character for me

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Wow, that is dark. Pitch black! And not the watered-down version of pitch black that shows hints of dark brown around the edges. Nay! No, and I mean NO!, light creeps through here at all. It's like a brick wall of obsidian! With that said, head is initially about 2-3 fingers, tan, and foamy/loose. After about a minute, it's a mere ring clutching to the glass. Spotty, foamy lacing.

Smell: Toffee and caramel, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and some smoke. Smells a tad meaty.

Taste: Toffee right off the bat. Dark chocolate and coffee come forth as the taste lingers. A couple handfuls of hops wipe clean the palate at the end. I've never had a dry stout this bitter before. The charred, bitter, dryness really reminds of Old Rasputin - anyone else getting that?

Mouthfeel: Pretty high carbonation, which results in some stinging. I've noticed the high carbonation in most dry stouts (other than Guinness), though the BA description of an Irish dry stout contradicts my observations. Medium-thick body and very chewy. Nice warming and pretty good mouth-numbing for such a low ABV.

Drinkability: While the aftertaste definitely reminded me of Old Rasputin (my favorite beer), I can't imagine myself sitting around and drinking these. Carbonation is too high, body is too thick, flavor ain't anything special.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head.

Smells of roasted malt and quite a bit of chocolate. The roasted tones dominate upon tasting, but it's certainly not sweet; as a matter of fact, it's a bit astringent.

Overall, not a beer that I really enjoy, though it could be that the "Dry Stout" isn't my thing.

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Photo of lhaqq
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An average dry stout--not terribly complex, though.
Dark brown/near black color.
Not much effervescence, but honey is dominate, along with roasted malts.
Taste is strongly of mocha and toasted malt, with a smokey finish.
The finish stays on the palate for a while.

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Photo of phantomwyse
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium roasted black coffee, more brown than black. Tannish 1-finger head, i expected more from a stout.

S: Understated chocolate notes, weak milky coffee, some roasted sweetness.

T: Roasted coffee, milk chocolate, slight woodsmokey.

M: Silky dry.

D: Drinkable, yes, but there are much better representations of the style out there.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

4 A decent lacework, ring of light (for a stout) foam. some amber highlights amid the coffee darkness
4.5 S chocolatey, deep, rich, red wine, brownies
3.5 T what i think of as "classical" stout flavors, but more muted than the aromas
2 M plenty carbonated, but too thin given the aromas and flavors. swishing about the mouth doesn't help much. could benefit from the addition of oats? this is one of the rare beers where for me appearance and mouthfeel are not well correlated.
2.5 D due to the watery texture that for me proved a poor match to the other characteristics, i will not be buying regularly.

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

Stout not being a usual summer find for me, on vacation, found and picked up accouple of 38's. A good find indeed.

Pours a dark stout black. Cream like dark tan head. Good lace, good quality as always with North Coast.

The aroma was dark roasted malts.

The taste, again roasted malts, burnt toaste, toffee, coffee bean and slight melted caramel which may have aided in the mouthfeel.

Very drinkable stout, even in summer. I used this as a desert beer.

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Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 69.3% out of 100 with 1,258 ratings
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