Old #38 Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout
Very Good
1,274 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,274 |  Reviews: 667
Photo of Jmamay22
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A fairly standard, but well done stout appearance. The liquid is a very dark brown with ruby red highlights around the edges. The creamy tan head slowly disipates, but a thick foamy collar remains clinging to the walls of my glass.

Lots of chocolate in the nose here. Not too much else to report save for an edge of roasted malt that creates a slightly nutty quality. 3.5

The chocolate and roasted notes maintain their strength once tasting and a burnt sugar quality develops. A bit of licorice as well. Dry and bittering finish.

Feel starts off somewhat watery and thin, but grows somewhat on the palate. Still leaves a bit to be desired. The style lends itself well to drinking a few. This isn't quite the best in class, but worth a pass.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Stubby 12 ounce bottle from Tom's Farm, on to the beer:

Opaque appearance with chocolate ruby brown hues on the edges and a short head on top. Breathe in...yummy...chocolate! Bits of brown sugar lava cake poking through. To the taste we go...mellow, sweet, mello, sweet. The carbonation is a bit much upfront. but for the taste, semi-sweet chocolate and hops are the way it's rolling. Coffee is found in the lingering aftertaste. Very pleasant to drink on.

My only complaint is the carbonation level is wound up too high. Model it after the flavor; let it mellow.

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Photo of mltobin
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Appearance is black tone with a thin one finger head.
Smell is strong, like black licorice.
Taste is thick and slightly sweet.
Mouthfeel is alright, but makes you thirsty and leaves you wanting to drink some water.
Drinkability is average, I much prefer some other irish stout options out there.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark black color, there is some light showing through so it is not quite pitch black, with a creamy light tan head. The aroma is dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. The taste is smooth and malty up front with a good amount of roasted bitterness and hops in the very dry finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, Old #38 is a good dry stout that is definitely worth a try. Recommended.

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

12 ounce stubby brown bottle without dating.

Pours opaque dark brown with a finger of tan head and modest lace. Smells like dry toasted bread with hints of chocolate malt and an herbal hop overlay. The flavor is very hop-forward for an irish style. Strong pine hop notes up front permit only a bit of toasted bread and dark fruit flavor to sneak through to the center. Rather dry and a little thin in the mouth; not at all creamy, with carbonation very pronounced. Not a winner for me.

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Photo of Tbn2
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

A-Jet Black. When back lit, the slightest bit shines through in a ruby color. Big head comes to the top, takes a while to settle around the outsides, and then leaves spotty lacing the rest of the why down.

S-Roasted chocolate malts and coffee all the way. Not too much else to speak of. Maybe a little yeast in there, but I'm not sure.

T/M-Perfect for the style and just as I expected based on the smell. Lots of coffee and chocolate right off the bat. At the end a spicy bit of hops comes up as a bit of a surprise, very good though. The hops give is a really nice dry, crisp finish. Carbonation is a bit much, but the beer is still very creamy.

Pick this on up. You'll really enjoy it.


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Photo of ckeegan04
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Almost jet black in color. Ruby hies show around the edges when held up to light. Thin brown head forms and quickly fades away. Light lacing.

S - Weak aroma of roasted chocolate malts. A good smell, but not very pronounced.

T - Tastes of roasted coffee and chocolate. A little spicy hop bite shows up briefly. A little funky on the aftertaste.

M/D - On the thinner side. Well carbonated. A drinkable stout, but not a great stout.

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Photo of cggarcia
4.89/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours nice with foamy cappucino colored head. The aroma made my knees weak - roasted grains, espresso coffee, tart hops. Hops and bitter chocolate dominate the taste with roasted grains scattered nicely. Complex, dry finish that had me wanting more..so I had four more!

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- lightly black with deep garnet and rosewood highlights around the bottom edge of the glass. puffy, expansive, tight bubbles head is creamy cappuccino in color and rises out of the glass like a big biscuit with a nice dimpled character of rocky caters and lots of foamy lace.

S- pleasant mild coffee and cocoa aroma, deeply roasted malt and charcoal, burning wood, dark cigar tobacco, leather, and rich compost soil. the foam emits some brown sugar and fruity notes too like raisins and figs all soaked in tar.

T- good deal of charred roasty malt bitterness first, backed up by intense earthy citrus hops, molasses, and dark ripe fruits. coffe tastes stand out with a little bit of dark chocolate as well but not the sweet kind, more like the raw cocoa essence. woodsy, smokey, and nicely bitter with a resinous herbal lasting bitter finish.

MF- thin feel for such a big flavored stout, not to say this beer is thin, just thin compared to other stouts of this immense character. tastes almost imperial, but feels lighter. medium low carbonation gives it a sort of creaminess, but there is still a slight powdery feeling that reminds me how chock full of grain this is.

D- its lighter character sure up the drinkability for me because after one, i don't feel like i just ate lunch. tons of flavor and moderate abv and the fact that i'm not drinking roasted malt concentrated syrup would make her some around the mountain when she comes. for a session, that is.

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Photo of srrn
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I had no idea I was buying an Irish dry stout when I picked this up, I gave it a bit of a hit on mouthfeel with an extra 1/2 point for style. Not creamy at all and the mouthfeel is a bit thin. The head lasts a good while and the brew is very very dark brown. Smell is roasted malts, toast, coffee and a bit of almond. Taste is the same, the almond and cherries taste not as strong as an almond stout. All in all a good brew but when I'm in the mood for a dark brew from this brewery I'll buy old Rasputin.

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Photo of kdales77
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Wondeful color and aroma. Decent tan head w/ minimal lacing. Very low carbonation, smooth as silk. Definetly a good choive if your looking for something different. I'll need to find other styyles from this brewery soon!

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint.

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a medium tan head on it. The does linger and trys to produce some lacing.

S: Smells of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Maybe a hint of cream in there.

T: Bitter coffee and chocolate (pleasant bitterness), roasted malt, a slight nuttiness to it. This beer has elements of dry bitterness and sweetness that have a pretty good balance in this brew. Quite tasty.

M: It is a bit thin, you expect it to be a touch thicker and creamier, but still not watery. Has just enough carbonation.

D: This is a great beer to keep in the fridge and knock back a couple while watching a game or with dinner. Really enjoy this brew.

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Photo of brdc
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small capped bottle poured into a snifter.

Pitch black, with a fluffy but quickly disappearing tan head.
Very good aroma, mostly chocolate and coffee, which opens up to a mostly dry, medium bodied, beer with coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors. Not complex, but nicely crafted and definitely worth a shot.

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

12 ounce poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours brown, almost black with a huge tan head that subsides into a thin layer. Minimal lacing.

S - Roasted and chocolate.

T - Chocolate coffee and roasted malt. Very minor bitter linger.

M - A little thin. Just a little carbonation.

D - Yeah, I could drink this all night long.

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

from jenny lou's in beijing. imported by the same folks (www.realbeer.com.cn) that bring some other american craft brews into china. this is one of their seasonal offerings, along with kona lager.

color is nearly black, some translucency on the edges and up against the light. decent head soon fades to a thin splotchy film and ring around the edge. some very thin lacing here and there.

aroma is roasty with coffee and almost something chocolate, but not quite. some earthiness. whiffs of alcohol that approach whisky?

good, full roasted flavors persist in the flavor. relatively rich and again some coffee nuances. bitterness from both the charred malts and hops seem decently balanced, as it still allows some traces of malty caramel sweetness and faint acidity to come through.

almost thin, but smooth, and quite fluffy with a medium carbonation.

for whatever reason, i enjoyed this much more the second time around. still, irish dry stouts and the 5% ABV malaysia-brewed version of guinness foreign extra are now readily available in beijing (if you look for them), so hopefully instead they'll start importing some harder-to-find styles in the future

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first beer from North Coast Brewing Co.

A- Pours out a savory dark red and settles in the glass as an opaque black liquid with a mocha brown head.

S- Smells like a spiced cookie. Makes me want to drink it.

T- Taste is not as good as I expected but still quite palatable. Too bitter in my opinion but has a rich molasses flavor that makes me feel satisfied. Some coffee flavor.

M- Feels nice and smooth with a medium body that sticks to the tongue

D- This beer is very enjoyable but too viscous to pound quickly

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Photo of albern
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I liked this stout a bit more than most of the reviewers, and so be it. It pours a nice deep ruby, tawny brown with a nice creamy tannish head that hangs around a long while. There is ample lacing to this beer. The smell is modest, roasted malts, chocolaty, maybe a hint of a dark cherry chocolate. The beer is preeminently creamy and medium bodied with just a bit of carbonation. The taste is roasted malts, a slightly hoppy bite in the finish to let you know there are hops present, and plenty of chocolately notes throughout. The beer has a slightly chalky finish, slightly drying, but a bit sweet for a dry stout. This isn't the best representation of a dry stout, in fact, it's pretty wide of the mark. I like the beer as is regardless of label or type. This is a smooth, creamy, easy to drink stout that I really enjoyed. L'Chaim.

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Photo of daythree16
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Has a one-finger head with great retention that leaves thick chunks of lace as you drink it. Thick, creamy head makes me almost wish I had a straw.

The smell is of chocolate and roasted malts with a slight aroma of alcohol.

Tastes like it smells, with the espresso taste and roasted malts playing the lead and it has really well balanced hop presence. My only problem was a slight metallic taste. However, I've had the beer before, and I don't remember that last time, so it may be a one-time thing.

The beer is a has a good and heavy mouthfeel, but coming in at just under 6% ABV, I could see myself having a few more.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic pint. pours deep brown with garnet highlights and a sizable light brown head that remains for a couple minutes, leaving moderate lacings.

aroma is roasted, with a marshmallowy sweet character, and a side note of caramel and dark fruit. odd mix for an irish dry.

taste is roasted, with the same dark fruit base and notes of caramel, coffee, and a lightly burnt quality. not bad.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a thin texture and a smooth finish of residual chocolate and caramel, with a bit of dark fruit.

drinkablility is good. this is a decent irish dry, though there is much better out there.

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

Pours a very dark brown, nearing black, with a finger of tan head.

The aroma is roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of cocoa powder.

Taste is slightly sweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, a bit of a hazlenutty taste muddled in as well. A pleasant aftertaste, I was expecting bitter but it wasn't there, instead, a very mild finish.

Good body on the heavy side of medium, somewhat creamy and smooth, a very pleasant carbonation - it's there, but not kicking your tongue to be noticed.

Wonderfully drinkable. Great flavor, not as heavy as some stouts, a nice ABV for drinking more than one or two in a sitting, very good example of the style. Probably my favorite Irish Dry I've had so far, and high up in all the stouts I've had.

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

Had from a nitro-pour at the Frisco Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a nice deep dark brown, nearly black, with a nice creamy nitro-poured brown head.

S- Some chocolate and coffee notes, little else.

T- Nice and rich, lots of coffee and some chocolate. Although the beer starts sweetish, the finish is dry.

M- Creamy smooth, this beer is great on nitro. Full bodied.

D- All in all a great beer. I could enjoy several pints a night.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark chocolate brown with a two-finger dark tan head. The smell is toasted malts with some hints of coffee. The taste starts off with some semi-sweet chocolate tasting malt that gives way to some slight coffee tastes that are cut by some hops. The mouthfeel is fairly thick with some pretty mild carbonation. This is a tasty beer, but I think it might sit a little heavy to drink more than one of at a time.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big tan head on black

Big aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, something sweet, and a hint of coffee

Taste & Mouthfeel
Very tasty, creamy, big upfront but thin in the middle, however, there's a nice finish of flavor, very sweet like a milk stout, good mouthfeel with nice carbonation (a bit like Rasputin)

A very tasty stout with nice notes of roasted malts and coffee, but a little too lactic and sweet for me.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Short, fat, 12 oz bottle purchased singly from Total Wine and More in Union...
Pours a jet-black, ebony hue with a decent-sized foamy head that exhibited impressive staying power before slowly receding and leaving a hefty amount of lacing...
Subtle, cocoa-powder aroma replete with thick, chewy malts and espresso...
Taste strongly mirrored the aroma, with a wonderful flavor of rich, deep, dark chocolate, dark latte, creamy mocha, and rich toffee with hazlenut...
Excellent overall flavor, as expected from a great brewery with a good reputation for churning out impressive brews...
Thick, rich, creamy mouthfeel to match with a superb level of drinkability as well...
This one went down crisply and smoothly without any interference and a full-bodied flavor for a relatively modest 5.6% ABV...
Great stuff...
Sweet, rich, and thick - recommended...

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

Appearance: Poured from the stubby 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is black with a 1 inch brown head resting upon the liquid. Head fades to a partial cover and leaves little clumps of lace.

Smell: Roasted malts giving off typical stout aromas of burnt chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Big and malty (roasted malts with high roasted coffee bean and bitter chocolate flavor. An ample bitter finish leads me to believe this one is not lacking in hops. Bit flavor, different than the Irish nitro cans I pick up when I am feeling in the mood for an Irish Stout. Good malty, flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, chewy. Seems naturally carbonated (not too much). A touch prickly on the tongue with a dry finish.

Drinkability: Along the lines of Boulevarde's Dry Stout, but fuller in body. I typically look for an ABV around 5 or less for this style cause I like having many at a time. This is a tad high, but still it is a great beer. I would recommend giving this a try.

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Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 1,274 ratings