Class Of '88 Belgian Style Ale - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
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
More User Reviews:
3.95/5 rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
a: Clear, golden apple juice color; pours with a short lived fizzy head.
s: Musty grape skins, apple cider, huge oaky tannins, funky yeast.
t: Kind of sweet up front, light sugar and grape juice. This is quickly overrun by a nice combination of bitter grape skin, oaky tannins, and funky yeast. Pretty dry overall.
m: Light bodied with short lived, aggressive carbonation.
o: Dry and tasty, I like it a lot.
Serving type: bottle
05-11-2014 01:14:14 | More by DIM
Class Of '88 Belgian Style Ale from Deschutes Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.