Old #38 Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

very good
661 Reviews
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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Reviews: 661 | Ratings: 1,248
Photo of BurnsTau
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black, nice tan head.

Smells of roasted malts, and chocolates. Taste is up front malty, slight chocolaty taste, coffee, usual stout stuff. I would like a bit more flavor in my stouts. Mouthfeel was slightly thinner than I would like and the beer was a bit watery.

This beer is just about average, nothing really great but at least solid and drinkable.

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Photo of BierReise
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Didn't really pack the punch I like in a stout but not that bad overall. Thick head with good retention. Aroma not real powerful but had a significant roasted malt presence and perhaps subtle notes of coffee. Dry and bitter but not as full as I'd like. Was satisfying none the less with good roasty malt flavor. I enjoyed their Imperial much more.

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Photo of jackndan
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

North Coast No. 38 Stout: A thin stout. Pours without a lot of head, despite a vigorous pour. What little head it had was deep tan, but dissipated very quickly. The aroma was the best part of this beer, rich and smooth, very roasted malt aroma. As is typical, the aroma leads into the taste, very nice roasted malt taste with a bare hint of chocolate/toffee and coffee. The problem with this beer is the mouthfeel is very weak, this is a relatively thin stout, not much to hang the nice flavors off. Needs a backbone.

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Photo of doubleipa
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 inch head, frothy, light-brown. Weak aroma, toasted, burnt, mild coffee. Nothing much else. Not very impressed. Would have expected more from the brewery that produces Rasputin. Coffee was th eonly distinctive aroma or taste. I'm not sure how old this bottle is since I picked it up at KClingers in Hanover, PA.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Is 38 really old? The pour was a black color but strong red hues when held to the light. A lighter tan head that lasts throughout but does hide mostly to the side of the glass. Good lacing throughout.

The nose is rather limited for a stout. Some malty undertones, with basic malt and light astringency in the back. Some chocolate and a light earthy hop presence if you really look for it.

The taste is more noticeable then the aroma would have indicated. The maltiness comes out more with a sweet chocolate flavor upfront. This is amplified by a light maple presence and a lighter bitterness. Some bready qualities as well. As the beer warms, more astringent flavors come out more with roasted and java flavors. A dry finish is heighten by a chalky hop finish.

The body is good for a stout but the dry finish is a bit of a deterrent in mouthfeel. Carbonation is a low but ok for style. A easy beer to drink but maybe they should use less aged materials (38?).

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Photo of tone77
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some roasted malts. Taste is also mild, kind of bland for this style. Some roasted malts, a hint of coffee, a touch of hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.12/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not by any measure an outstanding Stout, this was certainly a drinkable brew...

The pour was a bit disappointing - the beer felt 'flat' as it came out of the bottle... While there was some head it was rather unexciting and quickly disappeared. (Yes, I know stouts in general are generally less carbonated - this was flat for a stout)

The smell was typical - malty and roasted, no real hint of hops in the mix. The taste was a bit better, this is a nice dry stout with little hint of sweetness. The usual notes of caramel and coffee were there along with a nice smoky note. Mouthfeel was a bit disappointing - it was heavy on the tongue and left a coating that didn't really invite another sip.

All in all an "ehhh" stout. It was fine, I'd drink it again if it's all that was available but I could name a half dozen other stouts that are much more worth my time.

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Photo of tigg924
3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/3 inch head, murky, high carbonation, decent lacing

Smell: charred malt and a rather unpleasant lactose smell

Taste: bitter root followed by charred malt,with a sweetish dark chocolate at the end--smoke is in the background throughout.

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, bitter at first but it gets sweeter and smoky, medium-light bodied

Overall: A nice smoky stout with a pleasant aftertaste. Way better tasting than the smell which was a bit off-putting. I would consider getting this again, but there are others in the style I would reach for first.

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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 TheEclecticGent
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

My girlfriend bought a six-pack of this since we both like North Coast Pranqster so much. It appears black in the tall mug that I poured it into, held against the light it is a very rich dark brown. This beer pours thick with a very thin mocha colored head that fades quickly leaving a fairy ring with some lacing as I drink it. The aroma is of dark chocolate and malty with a hint of coffee lurking in the shadows. It tastes full of roasted chocolate and caramel. The complexity of the flavor is really good but it comes off lacking something. I can’t put my finger on it really. It seems a bit thin in the mouthfeel and that may be it. It has the potential flavor but the body just doesn’t back it up. I can definitely drink more of this but it always makes me want to tweak with the recipe in my head, trying to make it better.

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

#38 hits my Nonic with a pitch black hue and a billowing cream cap. The head slowly falls to a patchwork film and leaves bits of lace.

This is pretty standard Irish Stout fare. Roasted grains and a black coffee bitterness dominate. The beer gets too acidic for my tastes towards the end. The overly fizzy body accentuates the acidity for some reason. Outside of the fizz, it's appreciably light and rather dry. Overall, #38's acidity and harsh carbonation turned me off. I wanted to like it, but I didn't.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: black; 1 finger head that lingers; nice lacing.

Smell: Malt and coffee

Taste: Barley, coffee; very light taste, goes down easy. Unfortunately, not much flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light, kinda watery.

Overall: The lightest tasting stout I've tried. More drinkable than most stouts. A good intro for the initiate. Just not very impressive.

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

This brew is dark but not dark enough. When put to the light test is apppears to be a deep red color. An aggressive pour produced a small, frothy head that faded nearly as fast as was made. All that was left was a small group of bubbles. The scent is a bit sweet with chocolate tones. The taste is a lot like its smell. The flavor is sweet with chocolate and malt tones. Mouthfeel comes up a little too thin for me. A small aftertaste finishes a bit dry. I was looking for a bit more from this beer.

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Photo of bisonbrewing
3.16/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

pours dark brown/black with a small creamy head dissipating quickly. sediment suspended throughout the glass. dry malted barley predominates the nose while a subtle hint of coffee/bitter chocolate harkens back to the murphys and Guinness I had in Ireland. underwhelming malt flavor up front, followed by a dry roasted character, light hops, and bitter chocolate. thin/weak body is its most salient feature, although for the style its quite on point.

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Photo of Enola
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is dark. It had a small head at first but that went away rather quickly. It has a very bitter taste and that certainly affects mouthfeel and drinkability. I think there are better stout choices out there but this one would work if needed. Too bitter af an aftertaste to suit me.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Thin tan head on a dark clear body. Thin lacing that covers most of the top.
S-Light coffee malt aromas. Some kind of hop either grassy or floral. Kind of weak smell.
T- Coffee malt flavor up front. Bigger coffee flavor in the aftertaste. Kind of weak flavors. Bit of a roasted malt flavor also. Pretty watery. Kind of grassy aftertaste
M- Medium body and medium carbonation
D- It's an average beer. Kind of weak. Not to bad though.

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Photo of gandres
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Tap to glass @ North Coast Brewing tap room@ Fort Bragg,CA
Appearance: Black, big foam-last long
Aroma: licorice, fragrant, aromatic
Taste: no bold taste, lightly bitter, light sweetness
Palate: light body, soft carbonation, abrupt finish
Overall: good beer, but not the top stout
Drank: April 13, 2016

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Photo of KajII
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Suggesteed Glassware: Nonic Pint]

The pour was a muddy jet black with a large (2-3 finger) light brown frothy head that slowly receded, down to a medium film with a large collar and had good streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a roasted dark bread malt and a leathery yeast with notes of molasses, baker’s chocolate and dark roasted coffee.

The taste was very similar to the aroma starting off a bitter malty with a slight molasses sweetness and a strong bitter chocolate note, and finishing with a large dose of roasted coffee and a smooth bitter ending. The flavor lasted a decently long time following the swallow with a bitter coffee taste that was left to linger.

Mouthfeel was a few shade above medium in body with a thin oily texture and a carbonation that was just past mild.

Overall this brew was a prime example of a bitter Dry Stout, possessing a decent body and taste along with a nice easy drinkability...


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Photo of BobThomas
3.19/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Plan B, West Hartford, CT.

Served in a pint glass. Black with a very thick and creamy head that's sticking a quarter inch out of the top of the glass and isn't going anywhere.

Smells of bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Nothing too intersting.

Taste is more of the same, not too intersting.

I'd dink it again if it were given to me, but I regret not getting North Coast's Old Rasputin from the bottle (which was also on the menu) instead of this one which was of course on tap. Oh well.

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Photo of riversider76
3.19/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice rich brown with a tan head. Smell was roasted,but sour. I was not crazy about the smell. Mouth feel is watery,with little carbionation, Taste was fairly light and roasted,with a slight hop kick. This beer looks much better than it tastes. It tastes better than it smells.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear light black color stout with a bigger then average creamy off-white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of coffee was pretty intense with some roasted malt. Coffee taste was not as dominant as I would have expected because of the aroma. Body is quite light with low carbonation. Hops level is definitely too low for my own taste. Not bad overall but a bit boring I guess.

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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.

 459 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear deep brown beer that can pass light with a good tan head.

Smell is sharp and a little metallic and soapy to the nose. Lots of dark roasted malt aromas with a bit of chocolate and black coffee aromas. There is a mild herbal aroma to this but it isn't that strong.

Taste roasted and smoky from the very start with a bit more sweetness than I would have expected. Not a lot of extra flavor levels here just coffee and chocolate with roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is OK.

An OK stout but I doubt that I would buy this again. This just doesn't stand out from the crowd of other stouts on the market.

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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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Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,248 ratings.
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