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Class Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Class Of '88 Barleywine Style AleClass Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

338 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 338
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 16
Gots: 66 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SanFranJake on 04-21-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 338 | Reviews: 65
Photo of JohnnyMc
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, golden/orange with about 2 fingers of an off-white head.

The aroma has some citrus hop notes along with mango, peach and a bit of caramel and bready malt. There is also somewhat of a wheat type of note.

The taste is very hop forward and it has huge amounts of sweet orange followed by peach and mango too. There is some wheat/grain type of taste on the middle of the tongue and there are some caramel malt notes in the background.

The body is on the lighter side of medium and the mouthfeel is decently creamy. The ABV is evident in the taste and as it goes down, but it's not overly unpleasant.

This really doesn't look, smell or even taste like a Barleywine. It's more like a hopped up wheat ale at this point. The body is too thin, the malt backbone is too weak and the color is too bright. Not a bad beer, but definitely not along the lines of an English or American Barleywine. Above average, but not great.

Photo of diehl07
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of sharpski
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of BradMacMullin
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of joshwalt
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of TonyTalon
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of eulerthegrape
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of blmar311
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of roblund
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of ONUMello
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Burnt orange color with a one-finger head
S: Sweet, fruity, spicy. No distinct notes coming through
T: Again a bit sweet with some tropical fruit notes, a bit boozy, some herbs & malt
M: Full but boozy/sweet
O: Not a barleywine style in my opinion but also not a DIPA as others have suggested. Just a sweet, alcoholic brew... not bad but nothing special

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the aromas and flavors are subdued in my opinion.

Photo of CTbrew32
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Very light in color for a barelywine with a golden orange amber color. Pours barely a finger worth of head.

Aroma- Sweet malts and a surprising amount of fruity hop notes.

Taste- Once again those hops are very prevalent in taste as they are in the aroma. Hop flavors lean on the fruitier side with citrus,pineapple, and oranges. A lighter malt balance than I would expect for the style with more a paler dry malt than caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Medium, carbonation, full bodied, and a clean dry finish.

Overall- Add a little more hops to this and I could have confused for a malt DIPA. Its a good beer with solid flavors, but I want more richness and sweetness from by barleywines. Solid pickup, but not worth repurchasing.

Photo of Dactrius
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of thelargeone
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of Ajmorriso1
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Think about your review... This one has history.. Tastes change... 25 years ago is a looong time ago.

750 picked up at Bier Thirty over the weekend for about $12... poured into my slim tulip with a nice 1" white head.. the brew is fairly clear orange. good lacing drapes the glass.

Aromas show citrus hops and some lesser fruity esters... light apricot and green grape... The nose is honestly pretty light given the big ABV... maltiness is light and only delivers the hops and yeasty notes.

Flavor is pale maltiness with an EtOH bite then a hoppiness comes out swinging... light citrus with a clean malt bill.. no real esters are there.. hops and malts fight very well and nobody wins.

Body is light for the BW style ... carbonation is high for a BW...

Overall, I beg folks to "THINK" about what 'barleywines' were 25 years ago. This is NOT a modern BW... North Coast pulled out a decent pale malt centric DIPA.. but a couple decades ago, this would be a game-changer.

3.75/3.75/3.5/3.5/3.5

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A- This beer pours a beautiful amber color and leaves a considerable head and beautiful lacing on the glass's sides. In the glass, it looks like a dark amber beer.

S- A very fruity profile, something like earthy fruits like prunes and pears. A mild hop and malt profile is present as well.

T- Very similar to the smell, prominent citrus notes give way to piney, earthy hop resins and hints of spice. The booze emerges on the finish, but is not overbearing.

M- A bit more carbonated than would be expected. A bit of burn from the booze at the backend.

O- A good barleywine, but one with some noticeable flaws. Certainly could mellow out a bit and I'm sure aging would do this, so I'd revisit a few years down the line.

Photo of seand
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light amber with a fair amount of off-white head. A solid film retains, along with a ring around the surface of the glass, leaving good lacing.

S: Highly malty and hoppy sweetness. This is not subtle; lots of hops, lots of malt, and the booze isn't exactly absent either.

T: Medium high sweetness leading into medium hoppiness. It's hoppy, but balanced by the strong malt flavors. This is almost closer to a double IPA.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, decent, but not exactly representative of the barleywine style; it's more a double IPA with mild barleywine influences.

Photo of trippnwo
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml caged and corked bottle picked up from Whole Foods in SoMa, San Francisco. Shared with @tobeerornottobe in Sydney.

Pours a relatively clear golden-bronze colour, with a filmy, but very fine head of pure white, like snow on the top of a cake. Lacing forms in spritzy strips across the glass. Body actually looks fairly fluid and light, but the carbonation is quite fine and very languid, indicating that it's thicker than I think it is. Looks good.

Smell is barley-heavy, giving a light, sugary malt character above all else. Slight twinges of booze extend it slightly, but also add an eye-watering strength to the brew as a whole. Hops are definitely muted, but there's still something relatively pleasant about it as a whole, even though the complexity isn't really there.

Taste is similar. Smooth, barley-heavy sweetness gives a cleanness to the palate on the front, while the back is peppered by a faint astringency and a slinging heat of booze. Enlivened perks of hops do come forward on the finish, resulting in a slight bitterness to attempt to dry out the beer and add some complexity. It's not bad.

Feel is fairly rich and broad, and with a slickness that is very pleasant. The booze heat harms it a little, but it's surprisingly balanced.

Probably remarkably drinkable for the ABV. It's certainly well-made and with a balance that puts other similar beers to shame. But it perhaps doesn't justify its strength. It's remarkably mild in many ways: that's almost certainly a good thing—a testament to the quality and balance of the brew—but it didn't make me jump up in excitement, and that's what I really want beers to make me do.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Three badass brothers-in-brewing in one big bottle of barleywine – bitchin’. Bottoms up.

A: Phenomenally bubbly. As I pour, the copper-colored body is overtaken by a bold white head of fizzy foam. It pops and falls with speed, but an incredible rush of bubbles from the nucleation site keeps it up indefinitely – seriously, it looks like someone turned on constant stream of air at the bottom of my glass. It’s quite a show.

S: A nose with a surprising amount of fruit, melding bright hop scents of lemon and cherry candy with a thicker, residual sugar aroma of grape jam and stone fruit. Herbal zest, with scents of toasted grain, fresh-cut grass, and pepper show to a lesser extent. Get close enough and you can sense the well-hidden booze note, merely peeking through the cracks of an otherwise sweet nose with a drying woodiness.

T: Beer to clear the sinuses! Opens with a fiery hop note of crackling pepper, pine, and chili powder, lead to a bitter high point in a flash. At the same time, a sticky syrup quality builds, adding cola, artificial vanilla, and a little bit of butterscotch to the thickening hop profile; the sweet syrups help contain the bitters, but never come close to matching their instant intensity. A taste of actual grain – odd for an American barleywine, though not unwelcome – and a touch of maple-aged booze bring this beer to a well-balanced finish.

M: Feels as frothy and foamy as the head implied, though not a crisp bubble in sight. Goes down like a 7% beer, maybe less, with only a moderately thick body.

O: A one-dimensional barleywine, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t well-crafted; there’s a lot of balance in that one dimension, that peppery hop character on a bed of (plain) sugar. This isn’t mixing the best from all the breweries, but it’s as palatable as the Rogue/Deschutes/North Coast flagships – which still makes a pretty good beer.

Photo of vkv822
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml C&C : tulip

Clear copper color with a foamy, slightly off white head.

Herbal, resinous hops upfront. Some citrus notes in the backing. Pale, bready malt backing.

Medium body, with fairly standard, foamy carbonation.

A well done barleywine. The herbal, resinous hops are a pleasant, if slight, deviation from the typical American barleywine profile.

Photo of chanokokoro
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a formerly corked and caged bottle into an unbranded snifter

Pours a light amber accented by significant golden highlights. Off-white, one and a half finger head. Average retention, reduces to a thin foam ring. Lacing is present here and there, however it doesn't stick around long. Citrus, pine sap, caramel, clean alcohol, and hints of maple syrup on the nose. Opens with spruce and pine sap with underlying pineapple and mixed citrus notes joining in. Slight hints of brown sugar combined with toffee-tinged malt midpalate. Finishes with caramel covered grapefruit rind both bitter and sweet and pleasant alcohol warmth. Smooth and syrupy while soapy on the finish. Moderate carbonation, on the heaviest end of medium bodied. This is very definitely an American barleywine. A bit lighter bodied than some others, however still a fairly solid representation of the style. Except for the very generous amount of hops used in the brewing, there are little to no aspects of this brew that are more consistent with a DIPA than an American barleywine.

Photo of arizcards
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a 750 ml caged and corked at BevMo back in late June for $11.99.

Beer poured an amber orange with a beautiful white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is bready with a light floral and citrus hop.

Taste is pretty clean, bready malts are big up front, floral and piney malts linger in the after taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, decently carbonated, not overly smooth.

Overall this is a pretty good beer but nothing special especially at the price point. I have sampled offerings from the three breweries, They are decent beers but nothing great.

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Class Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 338 ratings.