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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

21 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 21
Hads: 132
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 4.96%
Wants: 6
Gots: 31 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: Melman on 01-02-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 21 | Hads: 132
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
Photo of LambicPentameter
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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. (2,457 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of aquazr1
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Torey
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of deebo
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of Mantooth
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HoppySeb
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of ste5venla
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of DerekQXQX
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

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. (469 characters)

Photo of Shawner
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Fooditems
4.8/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer follows what I seek in beer. Flavor comes first and innovation second. When I pay $17 for a beer Its because I want something that is entirely different from what I can get for $2. This beer gave me a full complex flavor that hit every part of my palate and did not skimp on the nose either. Boo to critics, stick to your IPAs and Ris's. (347 characters)

Photo of beerbrains
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of whatname
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Such_a_b-tch
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of dougieboy
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of russpowell
4.71/5  rDev +23%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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
warmth

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! (801 characters)

Photo of Hardcore
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of mjc3151
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of DonDirkA
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of jason_nwx
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Photo of nick_asian
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of gabe89
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Class Of '88 Belgian Style Ale from Deschutes Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.