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Class Of '88 Belgian Style Ale - Deschutes Brewery

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

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

73 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 1
Gots: 22 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Michigan Riesling and Oregon Pinot Noir grapes age with whole flower Mt. Hood hops and pilsner malt in Muscat casks. The fruit aroma unites with Belgian yeast esters and oak for a crisp, dry, and slightly tart flavor.

(Beer added by: Melman on 01-02-2014)
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
Photo of LambicPentameter
LambicPentameter

Kansas

3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station as part of a Deschutes promo event. First I've seen it on tap around Kansas City after recently began seeing bottles of it on store shelves. Served in a small Belgian tulip glass.

Appearance - Pour yields a sudsy white head with a decent number of larger bubbles, about a finger thick. The foam begins to dissipate pretty quickly, leaving me with just a rim of light suds around the edge of the glass and zero film on top of the body. The color is a beautiful deep amber orange with firey reddish highlights where the light refracts. Zero cloudiness whatsoever, giving it a jewel-like quality. Lacing is visible, but spotty and sparse on the side of the glass.

Smell - A nicely complex aroma, with notes of pinot grape must, oak tannins, and some lighter but pronounced hints of vinegar and apple cider that suggest a nicely tart taste awaiting me when I dive in. As it warms, the barrel element becomes a bit more pronounced, leaving the fruitier phenols behind. Overall, very bright and actually rather clean for something where the barrel is so detectible.

Taste - Up front, there is a twinge of tartness, like fresh orange juice, but without the orange flavor, but that fades away pretty quickly in favor of notes of pear, dry apple cider and Chardonnay. The notes of vinegar that I got from the aroma are less present now, but there is a hint of a spicy element, like nutmeg or cinnamon lying underneath the predominantly fruity characteristics. I wish this was a bit more tart/sour, but it's amazingly easy to drink for a 10% abv beer. There are really no esters to speak of, and I'm surprised it's not sweeter, given that the barrels used are from muscat, traditionally a dessert wine.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and low carbonation with a mostly dry finish and no lingering aftertaste.

Overall, I'm a big fan of this beer. While I'd like a bit more acidity and sourness, it's overall very well balanced and with just enough complexity to make it interesting. I bought a bottle before running across it on tap, and now that I've had it fresh, I think I may sit on the wax-dipped bottle for a bit to try and see how the flavors develop. With some luck, the time will coax out some of that extra tartness I'm looking for, of course it doesn't sound like this one has any wild yeast/bacteria intentionally added, so any of that tartness would have to come from innoculation from the muscat barrels in which it was aged.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2014 06:12:59 | More by LambicPentameter
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Class Of '88 Belgian Style Ale from Deschutes Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.