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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.
very good

303 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 303
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 12
Gots: 52 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SanFranJake on 04-21-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 303 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its with a tremendous amount of refinement and class that the epic brewers of North Coast, Rogue and Deschutes put their heads together for a collaborative Barleywine that swirls 25 years of quality brewing into a singular bottle.

The godfather-type ale pours with a deep amber, copper color and deliberately releases its froth from the rich ale below. Capped with a sturdy column of off-white foam, its head structure is tight, creamy and looking somewhat of whipped topping. This appearance is even more impressive as it laces the glass evenly with intermittent rings with each sip taken from the glass.

Strong yet balanced- the aromas are chocked full of caramelized barley scents and in the intensity needed to push the beer to ten percent alcohol. Not to be outdone, the hop complements meet that intensity with grapefruit, orange peels, and a mild resinous pine note. Transitioning to taste, the malty-sweet upstart is straight up caramel with hints of honey and sweet toasted grains. The middle palate shows a formidable hop retribution of citrus, pine, and herbal grasses to balance the bulk of taste. Finishing bitter with those pine resin qualities, the beer retains a starchy malt taste and texture that keeps the beer from any hop command.

Full bodied, the ale is remarkably drinkable because of its smooth and balanced sensibilities. Somewhat salty to taste, this also adds to a rounded feel to the beer that accompanies an minerally finish. A late rise of alcohol warmth signals closure even as the hops and malt seem to linger deep on the after palate.

This is an absolutely classy Barleywine that pays respect to many of those early and more balanced versions of the style. Where many of today's Barleywines intend to overwhelm the palate, this one prefers a more gentlemanly approach- leading to its refinement, drinkability and class. It kinda reminds me of prom.

BEERchitect, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Gotti311
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Gotti311, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of dylans
4/5  rDev +5.3%

dylans, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

UWBadgerFan4Life, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of OregonGrown7
4/5  rDev +5.3%

OregonGrown7, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of mkennedy119
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

mkennedy119, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of ObiWanKushnobi
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

ObiWanKushnobi, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +5.3%

johnnnniee, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of MtOrion
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

MtOrion, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4/5  rDev +5.3%

TheBeerAlmanac, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of HattedClassic
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

HattedClassic, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of beerhan
4/5  rDev +5.3%

beerhan, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of meghmmm
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

meghmmm, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of ryanpj
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

ryanpj, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of Impfan
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

So said a gent on that OTHER beer rating site.

To which I reply, BIGFOOT...it was extant in '84, and had major (syrupy) body, major fruitiness, and major hoppiness, even back then...so did Rogue's Old Crustacean, and that monster barleywine was introduced in...you guessed it, 1988.

Although this is a tasty brew, I maintain that it was NEVER the ideal palate for a barleywine.

Impfan, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of Wamba
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Wamba, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of JohnnyMc
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

JohnnyMc, May 31, 2013
Photo of jklecko2
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

jklecko2, May 28, 2013
Photo of diehl07
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

diehl07, May 28, 2013
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +5.3%

PEIhop, May 27, 2013
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +5.3%

zeff80, May 27, 2013
Photo of brotherloco
4/5  rDev +5.3%

brotherloco, May 26, 2013
Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

BarryMFBurton, May 23, 2013
Photo of Abrengle
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Abrengle, May 23, 2013
Photo of assman79
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

assman79, May 22, 2013
Class Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.