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Class Of '88 Belgian-style Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Class Of '88 Belgian-style AleClass Of '88 Belgian-style Ale

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

58 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 8
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 14.66%
Wants: 1
Gots: 11 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: artoolemomo on 01-25-2014)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 8 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by 22Blue:
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3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

06-02-2014 13:13:05 | More by 22Blue
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3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

03-24-2014 22:47:00 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
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3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

03-05-2014 17:01:11 | More by Chip_K
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5/5  rDev +30.9%

04-10-2014 20:12:08 | More by Snow81
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3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

05-23-2014 21:23:28 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of Vonerichs


3.76/5  rDev -1.6%

Clear golden-straw. The head is alka-seltzer fizzy and completely dissolves just as fast as it was raised.

Smells vinous. Sweet and white grapes. Light hop bitterness. A little bit of phenols.

The white grapes/muscat is very present, giving it a sparkling sweet white wine feel but also some over-ripe banana.

Crisp mouthfeel, medium bodied.

I liked it very much and it tastes exactly as I though it would.

03-31-2014 15:14:54 | More by Vonerichs
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3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

03-13-2014 05:37:06 | More by oso
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4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

07-08-2014 22:59:53 | More by pat_usher
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4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

03-06-2014 10:40:55 | More by gtermi
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3/5  rDev -21.5%

04-24-2014 12:43:52 | More by user785335
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3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

02-19-2014 03:25:13 | More by largadeer
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.63/5  rDev -5%

765 ml bottle, with bottled on date of January 13, 2014 printed on the back label. Acquired this bottle at the local Binny's. Another big beer in this big bottle from Goose Island; these guys have really been cranking them out lately. Vintage 2014, my bottle lists an 11.20% abv. "Michigan Riesling and Oregon Pinot Noir grapes aged with whole flower Mt. Hood hops and pilsner malt in muscat casks". Expectations are pretty good, based on the brewery.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a very pale white wine-like color, but appears more of a hazed golden orange in the glass. About a half a finger of fizzy white bubbles for a head that audibly sizzles down to a ring instantly. A few lonely strands of lacing. Has a slightly thick / viscous appearance.

S - Smell is of musty yeast funk, oak wood, wine-like alcohol fumes, vinous white grapes, strawberries, some buttery diacetyl, mildly leathery. It smells okay, but I was hoping for more.

T - Taste is mostly all vinous wine-beer hybrid, and no Belgian anything. White grape, strawberry, apple, pear, maybe a hint of banana towards the end. Very tart, but not sour at all, which is slightly disappointing. Lightly grainy at times which offsets from the wine-like tartness nicely.

M - Feel is lightly tart and citric. Sticky and dry finish. Slight alcohol warmth. Good drinkability for the high abv.

Overall, very wine like and cider like a lot of the time, but never is it very Belgian at all. I have to say, I am disappointed with this outing, but I had high expectations based on the success of Goose Island Halia and Goose Island Gillian. I definitely appreciate what they were trying to do, and the quality is obviously there, but something about this doesn't do it for me. Maybe I will try the Deschutes version for comparison's sake.

Goose Island Class Of '88 Belgian Style Ale ---3.5/5

02-16-2014 04:22:04 | More by mfnmbvp
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4/5  rDev +4.7%

05-04-2014 13:31:01 | More by ShanePB
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4/5  rDev +4.7%

08-01-2014 12:56:17 | More by Biff_Tannen
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4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

04-19-2014 06:17:00 | More by IronTom
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4/5  rDev +4.7%

06-16-2014 15:27:38 | More by AndyEdgar
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3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

07-18-2014 05:10:59 | More by Photchkiss
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4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

03-17-2014 01:02:38 | More by krome
Photo of Tone


3.46/5  rDev -9.4%

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of an white color. slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of apple, citrus, hint of hop, sweet malt, tartness, and alcohol. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of pale malt, alcohol, apple, slight grape, citrus, and tartness. Overall, weak appearance, decent aroma, body, and blend.

03-24-2014 15:26:27 | More by Tone
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.21/5  rDev +10.2%

Goose Island : Class of '88

Pours a cloudy peach color with a short lived head. Aroma is sour and musty, white grapes, Belgian yeast, funk.

In the taste, sour grape, must, white wine tartness, oak, vinegar, and light earthy hops from whole flower, Mt.Hood hops. Nice winesque flavor going with barrel and funk. Whether its a sour barrel aged Belgian pale or American wild ale brewed with grapes, this is great.

Medium bodied, well carbonated ale. Has a sour wine barrel lingering with tannins drawing the palate to a semi dry finish.

Overall, a quality barrel aged brew from Goose Island. Very, very good stuff.

08-03-2014 16:54:42 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of kojevergas


3.35/5  rDev -12.3%

765ml brown glass bottle with classy label and black foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local Central Market grocery for around $20.00 USD and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery and style. 2014 vintage. Bottled "14JAN14." Reviewed as a Belgian Style Ale for obvious reasons. 11.2% ABV.

Served cold - at fridge temp. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Not as thick or creamy as would be ideal. Poor frothiness. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is below average - about one minute. Fizzy.

Body colour is a translucent transparent pale copper with orange hues. Above average vibrance. Clean looking; there are no visible yeast particles nor is there any visible hop sediment. Appears well-carbonated.

Bottle-conditioning seems to have done this beer well in spite of the subpar head retention. Overall, it's an appealing appearance for a Belgian ale. Not unique, but luscious and attractive. I'm looking forward to the first sip. There are no obvious flaws here aside from the lackluster head retention.

Sm: Has some really nice funkiness and yeast character. The dryness of the wine is a perfect complement to the seeming spritziness of the pilsner malt and clean barley base. Wine must is obvious. White, red, and rose grape notes come through. Floral hop character. Pleasantly dry oak wood/barrel notes. Some faint apple and cidery notes. The delicate wine character is intoxicating; I can't wait for the first sip.

Overall, it's an enchanting aroma of moderate strength. No alcohol is detectable. There are no off-notes.

T: The pilsner malt and clean barley foundation easily bends to the will of the dominant white riesling grape character. There are touches of pleasant oak throughout. I'm not picking up on much in terms of red grape or pinot noir character; sweet white wine definitely dominates. I'd prefer more of a dry white wine character; this is too sweet for my tastes, and even flirts with sparkling character. There're also touches of apple and low-attenuation cidre. Hop character is entirely floral; there's no piney, citrusy, nectary, etc. hop character. Light pear. I could definitely go for more tartness (or even some sourness, which wouldn't be too outlandish a request given this beer's price point).

As it warms, I'm getting a kiss of strawberry (especially on the finish). I search for the banana mentioned by some other reviewers, but I never find it. (There's also no clove, if we're focusing on yeast-derived notes). A bit musty, sure. One might even call it damp, if you'll excuse the pretension implicit in that phrasing.

Overall, I'm glad it delivers on its premise - this beer has immediately evident wine character. It's always annoying when you can't find any traces of wine character whatsoever in a wine/beer hybrid, but this one commits. I dig that boldness.

That said, it's far from complex or intricate. There's plenty of wine-derived nuance, and it integrates the wine character into the beer well. There's also some subtlety there. Good amplitude.

It's pretty flat both structurally and in terms of layering; the flavour is consistent throughout the entire flavour duration. If not for the mouthfeel, it'd be a one-act beer; the open/set and finish taste the same as the body.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

No alcohol or off-notes come through.

Pleasant and enjoyable to drink. I like it, and the yeast character does lend it a Belgian feel. Very cohesive stuff.

Mf: Crisp. Slightly coarse. Wet. Kind of refreshing. The alcohol is noticeable, but it's not a hot or boozy beer by any means. Slightly overcarbonated. Not as acidic as I'd like. Some acetic touches would suit it well too.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, or harsh.

Medium-bodied, with moderate weight on the palate. Overall presence is pretty decent, but not ideal. Could be softer. A biteen smacky there on the finish, which I adore.

This texture complements the taste well, but doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to it.

Dr: Absolutely a drinkable brew, especially for its high ABV. This beer succeeds at combining wine notes with a beer base, but never feels quite as Belgian as it should - mainly due to a strange commitment to a pilsner base rather than a Belgian pale malt base, as well as a restrained approach to the integration of the yeast. This beer will please the discerning drinker, but probably isn't worth buying more than once at its unreasonable price point. I know I won't be buying it again. But it's a strong offering from Goose Island for what it is. I do wish it had more of a red wine emphasis, but I notice that the red wine grapes become a bit more expressive as the beer comes to temperature.


04-16-2014 07:31:57 | More by kojevergas
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4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

02-18-2014 01:09:44 | More by pepe_silvia
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4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

03-17-2014 00:33:06 | More by jgunther71
Photo of draheim


3.76/5  rDev -1.6%

765mL into a tulip. Opens with a pathetic pft and pours a clear golden copper color, but the head barely builds to anything and within a minute of the pour it lies still as glass. There's carbonation, but this is a disappointing looking beer.

Aroma is both floral and vinous, sweet and vaguely tart.

Taste is brightly sweet and sour; crisp. Green apples, white wine, pear juice, lemons, pale malt. Just a touch of boozy warmth hits the throat. Despite its inauspicious beginnings, I actually like this beer quite a lot. And the high ABV is extremely well disguised.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and round. The lack of carbonation doesn't detract too much; in fact it's just a touch prickly.

Overall this beer got off to a rocky start but I'm enjoying it. Not sure I'd drop $20 for another bottle, but it was good for what it was.

05-27-2014 01:51:28 | More by draheim
Photo of Captnlhook


1/5  rDev -73.8%

07-19-2014 02:54:13 | More by Captnlhook
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Class Of '88 Belgian-style Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
86 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.