“Named for a retired California Western Railroad steam engine on the Fort Bragg to Willits run through the Redwoods, Old No. 38 Stout is a smooth, firm-bodied stout with the toasted character and coffee notes of dark malts and roasted barley.” 5.4% ABV Dry Irish Stout.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my stout glass. Old No. 38 is solid black in color, with a light brown, frothy head. Trace carbonation is visible, and light lacing is left on the glass throughout.
The aromas consists of dark chocolate, dark roasted malts, and a very faint undertone of dark fruit and molasses.
Medium bodied, not too thick or watery, with some noticeable light carbonation. The flavor is dark chocolate mixed with roasted (close to burnt) malts. I get a small amount of a metallic/mineral flavor as well. It finishes delicately dry, while the aftertaste offers more roasted-malt graininess, as well as some hop bitterness in the palate.
North Coast Old No. 38 is a pretty decent stout. I don’t seem to drink to many “regular” stouts these days, so it is a bit refreshing to have one that offers a solid flavor profile. Its lightly sweet and roasted initial flavor is balanced well by a surprise hop bitterness in the aftertaste. It has a relatively low ABV at 5.4%, so more than one bottle could easily be had. This is served on nitro when it is on tap, and I’m guessing the creaminess that would be offered from a nitro pour would really accentuate this beer’s quality characteristics. Overall, I’m pleased by this North Coast brew, even if it isn’t knock my socks off amazing. 7.75/10
North Coast Brewing Company – Fort Bragg, California