Class Of '88 Belgian Style Ale - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
3.81/5 rDev -1.3%
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.
01-23-2014 06:12:59 | More by LambicPentameter
More User Reviews:
3.75/5 rDev -2.8%
I am drinking this beer with tostadas that are coveted in Chipotle Cholua. I would give the tostadas a 3.75, they're something I wouldn't break out on a special occasion, but for an everyday, sessionable mexican dish, they'll do. This beer has a serious wine taste. The Pinot grapes are hyper present, like the feeling of loss or an overbearing mother. My day was pretty good so I don't feel guilty drinking this. There is light foam and little carbonation on this one.
01-02-2014 23:59:48 | More by DerekQXQX
4.71/5 rDev +22%
Best after 12/16/14; couldn't wait
Pours an effervescent amber with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Stays effervescent, perfect lacing & head retention
S: Pineapple, tartness, sourness. pears & jammyness, plus sourness
T: Slight sourness, pears, red grapes, a touch of Chardonay & then pineapple & pink grapefruit up front. I catch some of that Muscat sweetness as this warms, pears, dryness & pleasing tartness & leafy hops. Finishes super dry, a touch of concord grape & finally a little booze
MF: Medium body & crisp carbonation, terrific balance, warming at a point or two, never hot
I need to go buy a bottle or 2 & age this; terrific now, would love to see where this goes. So damn drinkable for the ABV. Didn't expect to love it so much & if I had known I would have bought way more!
02-26-2014 06:12:07 | More by russpowell
3.5/5 rDev -9.3%
Forget where I picked this one up, but it is at all the usual haunts now. Pours with a short lasting white head... only spotty lacing.. the brew is fairly clear .. looks like apple juice.
Nose is pretty much overwhelmingly sweet phenolic/estery/oaky wine barrels.. No other way to describe it. Tons of barrel essence with plenty of pale maltiness that is punctuated by a light clove presence and huge overripe apples and pears.
I thought this was going to be waaay sweeter judging by the aroma, glad it isn't. Flavor has a pretty pronounced oaky presence.. the wine barrel essence leans toward a tartness that helps round out the maltiness and fruity yeasty esters. This is pretty interesting.. Not sure I will drink too many of them because I am not a big wine guy, but this is well done.
Light/medium body with a big mildly abrasive carbonation.... Sorta tannic/wine burps.
I am not a big fan of wine barrel aged beers in general, but I see the pieces of something special here... I am interested in trying the Goose Island take on it.
3.5's across the board.
01-15-2014 07:12:02 | More by JohnGalt1
2.93/5 rDev -24.1%
the bottle says best AFTER 12/16/14.... so, maybe i should have waited. but tbh, just release it closer to the optimum date, why sell something that is definitely not good for a year?
the pour is not very exciting, bronze color with seemingly no carbonation. clear liquid, well filtered, but not enticing.
the smell is alcoholic and very fruity pointing to the grape varieties added to the beer and the aging in Muscat casks... the muscat is pronounced, but if you did not tell me, i probably would not have guessed that is what it was.
the taste follows suit, it is underwhelming to be honest. there is very little bitterness, the drink is really thin, flat tasting with more aromatics and estery notes penetrating the roof of the mouth than there is anything to appreciate on the tongue. chalky.
it's boozey, and it doesn't leave a bad aftertaste, that is the best i can say of this brew.
02-04-2014 04:44:51 | More by colforbin73
Class Of '88 Belgian Style Ale from Deschutes Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.