Review of North Coast Old No. 38 Stout

12 Jun
Time for another craft beer review.  Tonight, I’m going to sample another brew from the North Coast Brewing Company located in Fort Bragg, California called the Old No. 38 Stout. 

I’ve only had this beer one other time and I remember liking it, so I suspect that I will find it enjoyable again. 

The website,, had this to say about the Old No. 38 Stout. 

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. 

I’m ready to try it again.  Are you guys ready?

This brew has an ABV of 5.6% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle. 

Old No. 38 poured a dark brownish/black color with a minute ruby ring around the bottom of the glass.  A tight, tan, creamy, smooth head was formed with an easy pour.  A decent retention time was had as well and it had some above average lacing clinging to the glass.

The aroma brought forth a pleasant, bittersweet, dark chocolate malt with tones of dark fruit swirling around.  Dark cherries and plums. Yum!!!  A creamy oatmeal note set off some toasty, roasty grains and malts.  I found an interesting hint of buttermilk combined with the anticipated chocolate milk tones.  Not a whole lot of coffee was found in the smell, which made this Stout lean a touch toward the Oatmeal Stout category.

The taste was rich and sweet with bitter chocolate and nicely roasted malts.  It brought about those creamy characteristics again, which I liked, and the coffee seemed to be a bit more forthcoming after the brew settled in.  The dark fruit was more subdued in the taste, however it was still accounted for.  One interesting find was that of a mint, chocolate chip ice cream.  I love mint, chocolate chip ice cream!!!  It wasn’t prominent or dominant, but rather just a teasing to conjure a delightful little twist.  This beer was fairly complex and nicely balanced I thought.  The taste was really good and even.

The mouthfeel was a sturdy medium.  It was creamy, chewy, smooth, dry and delectable.  Plenty of flavor was left behind for me to enjoy.  This beer goes down WAY to easy. 

Old No. 38 is a very, very, very, nice beer.  Really solid and good.  Completely sessionable in my opinion.  It’s not too filling or heavy, yet retains that proper Stout analysis.  This brew would be ideal for cool evenings, even in the Summer.  Without a doubt, give this beer a try.  Is this the best Stout on the market?  No, but it shouldn’t be ignored nor taken lightly.  I would never turn this down if it was offered. 

Have any of you guys ever tried it?

I appreciate all the support that has been given to this blog.  As I’ve said before, I really enjoy writing these reviews.  As long as I have a few readers, I will keep posting.

Let me know in comments if you like the blog and are enjoying the reviews.  Thanks!!!!

Score:  4.25 out of 5
Grade:  A-

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Posted by on June 12, 2011 in Country: USA, North Coast


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