Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Old #38 Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
86
very good
660 Reviews
Old #38 StoutOld #38 Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
northcoastbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
660
Ratings:
1,242
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
14.88%
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
84
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 660 | Ratings: 1,242
Photo of culver501
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours black with a 1 inch light tan head

S-I don't see oatmeal as a qualifier for this stout but the first smell i get is that sweet flaky oat smell, otherwise a faint nose of milk chocolate

T-the taste doesn't maintain the oaky flake form the nose but it's still well balanced between a roasted coffee flavor and a little bitter and then sweet flavor

M-pretty average for a basic stout

D-very drinkable, especially at this ABV

 433 characters

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!

 517 characters

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!

 540 characters

Photo of renolayton
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can be picky with my stouts...too heavy, no thank you (I prefer to drink, not eat my beer)...too smokey, not today. This brew had a pretty solid balance, with a fairly consistent smokey/heavy roast complexity.

It had good taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability.

It had exceptional appearance and smell.

The two gentlemen I shared this brew with were given a better impression than I (fyi), though I still feel it was a solid, solid choice for a stout.

 453 characters

Photo of kbub6f
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of little explosions in the big, doughy, tan head. Lacing is thin and a little runny. The color is black with ruby-brown highlights when held to the light.

The smell of coffee, roasted grains and slightly sweet grapes hints at an understated complexity. Coffee accents the roasty, sweet chocolate front. The middle is malty and chocolatey, full, with a little fruit and some milk. A very nice, dry, hoppy finish is complemented by bitter chocolate. This is a very nice dry stout: roasty, fruity, hoppy. Quite creamy with temperature.

 541 characters

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

 1,161 characters

Photo of Pukstopper
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My rating covers about 6 ounces as my wife took the other 6 as she likes it as well and there was only 1 bottle in our sampler 6 pack.
Poured a black color into a pint glass with nice head that fades leaving nice lacing. Good Carmel notes with nice malty overtones
A nice east stout to drink.

 295 characters

Photo of HuskerTornado
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into Chimay glass. Pours black with a mocha colored head. Tall head that eventually settles into a thin layer on top of the beer. A fair amount of lacing as it moves down the glass.

Smell is of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, some hops and bit of dark fruits.

Taste is dark roasted toffee malts up front, chocolate flavors as well as hop bitterness come through the middle, and the finish has a mocha bittersweet finish to it. Mouthfeel is full bodied thick and smooth.

Overall, a very good dry stout.

 537 characters

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

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours an obsidian black dense body with a tan head that fades to a thin film and a racing carbonation pops up the side of the glass.

S- The earthy dark malt aroma as full notes of black roasted malt and grain with some dark dried fruit hints and some molasses and graham notes coming through in the finish.

T- The dry roasted black malt is earthy with some chocolate malt flavor underneath. There is a chalky flavor to the grain with a slight tartness in the finish and a green hop hint that starts to come through in the finish with a touch of bitterness.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz in the finish that enhances the hop note in the finish.

O- This is a wonderful stout that has great full roasted malt but is not bitter or too sweet. Very sessionable.

 814 characters

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Most disappointing aspect of this beer - the rather weak head. It did manage to hang around until the end, though.
Good dark black colour, not Guinness dark, but still respectable.
The taste is very sweet. Good amounts of caramel and toffee, backed by the typical stout chocolate and coffee. Finishes with a fair dose of bitterness. Very good, smooth and tasty. I want more!

 377 characters

Photo of granger10
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a solid stout with a nice head. Smells of Maxwell House Hazelnut Coffee. The taste backs up that nutty coffee aroma but adds a strong roasted kick to it as well. Quite good. Hops are in the background and never come forth. Nothing overpowering here but definitely a high class stout from a high class brewery.

 320 characters

Photo of lastmango
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured black with a 3 finger creamy tan head. Lots of lacing. Mild aroma of roasted malt and cocoa. Smooth light roasted malt, chocolate and black licorice. Mild bitterness on the end. Moderate body and soft carbonation. Did I say smooth? This is a nice Stout that is very drinkable.

 290 characters

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

What a great country we live in. There are so many good beers available that even those that aren't greatest can be so drinkable. This falls there. This beer has weaknesses, such as after a nice full rocky tan head it thins very quickly and basically dissappears. Also it has a thinner than average mouthfeel. Yet this is a highly drinkable beer, and really enjoyable. In light it's clear and more garnet to brown/black. I like the varieties of flavors with bitter chocolate to the burnt malt and bitter flavor on the tip of the tongue that fades to a lingering bitterness on the back. Nice nose of roast malt as bring the glass up.
Why is this a specialty stout?

 672 characters

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

Smells precisely like a mint-chocolate chip milkshake.
Strong on eucalyptus, bitter chocolate and espresso, these images recombine on the palate to argue with the glossy, cream and milk texture. Dry, with every possible bitter nuance in the spectrum, there is a surprisingly high level of balance. Peppery, twiggy-flavored froth just cushions joints of carob, spice, palo cortado, hardened licorice and cola. This is very good beer.

 434 characters

Photo of bigdeuce
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Scents of plums and chocolate on the nose. Nice, outrageously, huge 3 finger head. Dark as a good stout should be. Many complex flavors, including chocolate, coffee, and hazelnuts. A classic American made stout. Goes down so smoothly, low bitterness, and it makes you want the next sip. Great session beer and I am probably a bit biased because this was one of my first micro-brewed stouts and I'm glad to be reunited with it!

 426 characters

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

The beer pours a transparent dark brown, pretty much black, with red highlights through light. A thick beige foam tops the liquid, settling into a well maintained dense mist. Plenty of sticky lace clings to the glass.
The aroma is mainly a rich roasty chocolate malt. A distinct graininess, like pure, freshly cracked chocolate malt. Some woody yeast, with heaps of dark roasted fresh coffee. Very light date and fig esters, with faint herbal hops, providing a perfect balance to the bittersweet malt.
The flavor starts with solid chocolate malt up front, slightly burnt, filling the mouth with burnt maltiness immediately. Slightly grainy, adding a bit of husky coarseness, with some dark-roast coffee and a touch of hazelnut. A faint figgy fruitiness eases through, traveling into a mild herbal hopping into the finish. A bit of earthy woodiness and powdery yeast, finishing the beer with impressive dryness. Medium bodied, with a robust, slightly powdery mouthfeel supported by mild, easy-going carbonation.
Probably my favorite beer so far from these folks. Very, very drinkable, with solid, robust flavor. Excellent malt flavor, with a very drinkable grainy chocolate malt unmistakability. One of my top stouts.

 1,219 characters

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

Very, very glad I tried this. It poured a nice dark reddish brown, not quite black, with a very pretty, slightly pitted, khaki coloured head that satyed around for several minutes. Definately looked better than average. Smell is dry roasted grain and fresh brewed coffee. Nice. Taste is very dry. Burnt malt up front with a subtle bitter finish; dry all the way through. Mouthfeel was excellent for the style, I thought. This would make a perfect session stout. I'm quite impressed with this one. Another winner from North Coast.

 529 characters

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!

 808 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Poured fairly thick and was near-black in color. Tan head was fluffy and not quick to dissipate. Initial aroma was a waft of sweet cocoa and roasted malts, pleasant to the nose. Mouth-feel was decent with an apparent dryness, which was acceptable for the style. Flavors were roasted malts and dark chocolate with a balanced hop character - the finish seemed to be more bitter chocolate rather than bitter hops, which again was very pleasant. Overall a great interpretation of a dry stout - obviously different than an average Guinness, but very enjoyable.

 561 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby poured into a nonic pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours pure black two inches of tan tightly packed bubbly rocky and creamy head the really looks inviting. None of that cascading you get from a Guiness but this wasn't a nitro so whatever. Good lacing down the glass

S: Smells like a Guiness but better, seems sweeter and toastier.

T/MF: Really toasty and roasty with a decent hop kick that does not overpower the toasted malt flavors, really nicely balanced, not too sweet and not too bitter. The hops keep the beer from tasting too watery and imparts a slight fruity taste on the beer then fades away and lets the malts take controll to the finish.

D: Like it better than Guiness, doesn't have that flat taste like the other does, really lets me know I'm drinking a beer.

 792 characters

Photo of hammer09
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown with a thick (>2") foamy head. Although the head dissipates fairly quickly, lacing is thick and clumpy. Smell is malty with hints of chocolate. Not much of a roasted aroma however. Taste is excellent. The roasted malt is balanced by a nice, smokey flavor and mild, lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is typical for this style; dry, smooth, and creamy. Overall, this is a highly drinkable brew that won't disappoint.

 434 characters

Photo of jminsc76
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a big creamy head that's a slightly light espresso brown atop an almost impenetrable dark, reddish body. Thick, creamy lacing spiraling down the side. Great visuals, and the carbonation of the head reforms quickly upon agitation.

Sweetly intense aromas of caramel and candy. A light smell but the bouquet definitely lifts the nose to high heaven. I could breathe this one all day.

The taste is not as intense as the aromas; a bit mellower. A lot of light, roasted malty flavors. A sip yields slightly bitter, coffee flavors with a little figs and spiciness to provide a nice refinement. Reminds me of a good, refreshing Baltic Porter. Again the flavors don't match the intensity of the overall aroma, which is stellar, but this is a highly session-able beer with a full mouthfeel and high drinkability that I enjoyed even more upon a second helping.

 859 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very solid offering from an amazing brewery, the old no. 38 is a classic sweet stout that I am fortunate to have access to. This beer pours a very dark ruby amber tone that looks black almost opaque with a mohogany colored billowing two finger width head. Looks amazing, but it's nothing compared to the smell of this well done stout, with the dark fragrant roasts and strong coffee esque aroma just wonderful. The taste is also a great part of this beer very refined with hints of espresso and notes of dark chocolate the dark roasted barley fills this beer with slight burnt finish that is pleasant when matched with the other flavors going on. Well made with medium to heavy body and a full creamy mouthfeel to each sip makes this one a winner. I could drink this stout any day any time any place. Muy bueno!!!

 815 characters

Photo of pbrian
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice tan head, good lacing. Roasted coffee, cocoa aromas. Slight nuttiness mixed in to a predominantly coffee flavored brew. Lasting dry, bitter finish. I really enjoyed this full-bodied, flavorful stout.

 208 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-cola brown colored beer, quite dark cola, with hues of red shining through. The head is a dark khaki color that is relatively tight and thick looking. The retention is pretty solid and the lace is very good

S-the nose is quite strong and very nice. Ample dark chocolate blesses the nose first. Hints of slightly burnt roasted coffee lie underneath. A touch of roasted barley come in towards the back with a faint sweet dark berry presence.

T-this is quite tasty. Dark chocolate and roasted coffee meet together up front. The roasted barley is slighty present in the middle just enough to let you know it is there. The dark fruits are again faint; but make a definite appearance in the back and actually linger throughout the finish.

D-this is medium bodied, very smooth and has just a hint of creaminess. Its actually a little wet thoughout and just has a hint of dryness at the finish. The carbonation is nice and low but enough to hold together throughout and finish with body.

M-this is a very tasty stout! Big bold flavors and enough of a body to let you know it's a stout. Nice array of flavors, nothing crazy but a very good irish stout.

 1,149 characters

Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,242 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe