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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

325 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 325
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 14
Gots: 58 | FT: 2
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SanFranJake on 04-21-2013)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 325 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter this beer was a cherry amber color with a small tan head. There was a smidgeon of lace.

Aroma of caramel and honey. Some dark fruit as well as a bit of citrus.

Caramel and toffee taste. Figs. Some grassy hops. Couldn't really appreciate the citrus noticed in the aroma.

Very smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol was not at all noticeable.

Photo of kaelingirl
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of neckbracesub
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Evan
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a cork and cage bottle into a snifter, the beer is a bright, ruby-tinged copper coloring with a clingy, filmy, light, white head that coats the surface and the glass. Aromas of ginger, bubble gum, subtle roast and smoke, and fruit sweetness, including peach, pear, and apple. The nose is much more light and effervescent than most barleywines. Flavors of roast and sweet caramel, tangy pear and apple sweetness, cinnamon, nutmeg, hints of booze, and a touch of woody profiles. Smooth bodied, and the beer remains light throughout. Aftertaste of roast and rich sweetness, with an effervescent feel on the tongue. Roasted, darkly sweet finish that is slightly cloying, but also slightly drying. Decent brew...with the light body, I am curious how it would age.

Photo of bump8628
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light amber with a thin yet dense and creamy head of foam. Honeyed malt, light caramel, doughy toasted biscuit backbone. Hops are straightforward with a black pepper spiciness and raw leafiness. Just a flash of ethanol at the finish hints of the strength. Nice all around flavor profile. Certainly more in line with the English style. Perhaps I was expecting something more given the pedigree and the occasion, but enjoyable and worth a try.

Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear ruby orange, not much carbonation, one finger head with some lacing.

S-Good deal of caramel, malt, grass, coconut and citrus.

T-Much better balanced than the Deschutes version. Caramel, grass, pine with some bitterness.

M-Medium bodied and thankfully no alcohol heat.

O-The main difference between the two was the alcohol heat. NC didn't have any.

Photo of Nobcefus
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of kojevergas
2.56/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml brown glass bottle with straightforward stylish label art and hood-and-wire cap over a cork acquired at a local bottle shop and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery, but I wasn't a huge fan of Deschutes' version. 10% ABV confirmed. 75 IBUs.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Cork is difficult to get out. I resorted to pliers.

A: Pours a two finger wide head of greyish khaki colour head (that's 'ecru', for the pretentious). Nice smooth soft complexion. Okay frothiness. Light creaminess. Even consistent lacing as the head recedes. Retention is pretty good, about 4-5 minutes. Supple.

Body colour is a glowing vibrant copper. Translucent, transparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's not looking great for the style, but there are no overt flaws. Not unique or special.

Sm: Some tropical hop ester notes: peach, mango, grapefruit. Getting some resins and pine as well. Clean malt build, with biscuit and light caramalt. Somewhat grainy. Honey. Lightly herbal. An even pairing of hops and malts, but it really isn't to style. Not finding any of the rich notes I look for in great barleywines. No toffee, oak, dark malts, etc. I also don't detect any yeast. Maybe some warm alcohol. A strange build for a barleywine, but I'm optimistic. Mild in strength.

T: Weird, with misplaced tropical hop notes meeting some warm booze - all over a middling clean malt body comprised of biscuit malt, caramalt, and generic malted barley. Grainy. Maybe some pils malts? Definitely not English in character. I get mango, pineapple, peach...what are these notes doing in a barleywine? No rich dark malts, refined toffee, or oak here. Pretty tepid. Sappy. Vague apricot. Green grape with a pleasant grapeskin note. Flavour depth is below average for style. Flavour intensity and duration are about average, I guess. Low complexity and subtlety. Imbalanced as well, with evident booziness. Honey. Salt. Nowhere near as toasty as I'd like. Way too much hop bitterness for the style; direly overhopped. Meh.

Mf: Smooth, wet, salty. Overcarbonated, almost biting. Boozy and tepid. Not a great texture for a beer of this style. Poor presence on the palate. Overbearing and unnecessarily heavy. Burdening. Body is too full for the lack of flavour depth and diversity. Not big on this one.

Dr: Pretty mundane; a disappointment especially for the brewery (and price for that matter). Wouldn't touch this stuff again. Not sure what they were thinking bringing this one to market. Doesn't hide its ABV well at all, and there's not much to enjoy flavour-wise. Quite difficult to quaff as a result. Really misses the mark. Definitely below average for the style. But hey, it'll get you drunk. I appreciate their reverence for history, but reviewers please note that just because you're taking their word that this is what a barleywine tasted like way back when doesn't mean you have to instantly defend it for being mediocre. Last I checked no one needed to defend Rochefort for putting out beer that's bad now but that was considered good in 1600 AD; the beer speaks for itself regardless of the times. I love Deschutes and North Coast as much as the next guy, but let's get a little reality check, people. Let's not hop on the apologist bandwagon, eh?

Low C-

It'll definitely get better with age, but I can't see it getting good with age.

Photo of Nutwood
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of rderedin
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of jewellrunner
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Zbeetleman
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of ajtorres311
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of vkv822
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
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 djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of HamGlade10
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of rorymcg
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of kaufmaal
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper, honey orange with a 1/4" head that disappeared into a thin, white layer. It looked beautiful. There's not much of a smell at all: a tiny bit of maple syrup sweetness, but that's all, which is odd. The taste is full of intense flavors: an initial heavy sweetness of cane sugar, dark rum, ginger, orange marmalade. Then, a second wave of bitters, orange and grapefruit zest, hoppy. The mouth-feel doesn't remind me of a barleywine - too full-bodied, creamy, lactose feel. Some decent lacing, and the alcohol is not in-your-face.

Photo of PatGreer
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of pmarlowe
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of Bonis
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of aflies
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of DSkilling
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Class Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.