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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.
very good

87 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 3
Gots: 26 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Scotchboy
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black-waxed bomber split into white wine glasses with the wife.

A: Gold, mostly clear, with two fingers of head that fade pretty quickly. Minimal lace.

S: White grapes and apple, a fruity nose boasting lots of sweetness. Muscat is prominent and brings suggestions of orange/orange peel. Faint oaky presence reminiscent of vanilla and brown sugar. Very vinous and white wine-like, with some booze thrown in for good measure.

T: More muscat grapes and white wine characteristics. Sweetness is cut significantly by some surprising dryness, though its not extreme. Woody wine barrel characteristics meld with some fruity tartness and Belgian yeast funk that finally makes an appearance. Light sweet alcohol, reminiscent of a dessert wine or Riesling. Moderate (sweet) malt body as well.

MF: Starts sweet but definitely turn more dry, which is a good thing. There is some malt presence, some booze as well, but not enough to cut the body down from full. Dry finish for sure.

O: I'm impressed. Sure, its not an A+ for my palate, but its pleasant and very well executed. Fruity and vinous, I see something unique here, and I like it. 6-8oz or so is perfect for me.

Scotchboy, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of Taperwookie
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Taperwookie, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of midnitesun11
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

midnitesun11, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4/5  rDev +3.6%

ONovoMexicano, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of ryanpj
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

ryanpj, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of russpowell
4.71/5  rDev +22%
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

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!

russpowell, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of dannycohen62
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

dannycohen62, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of dgherm
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

dgherm, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of kerry4porters
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

kerry4porters, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of DonDirkA
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

DonDirkA, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

the newest of a great series in both spirit and output. another beer/wine hybrid, this one with three grapes in the mix, pinot, muscat, and riesling. they claim a dry finish, and while this isn't dry, it isn't sweet either, and for muscat casks, I'm satisfied. blonde in color, maybe a faint pink hue, not a ton of head but some airy sparse white bubbles. grape and apple combine on the nose, very fruity, how can this be dry i am wondering, but sure enough it comes out that way. brilliant execution of a far out idea. belgian yeast just adds to the fruitiness in the taste, and aside from the awesome finish, i am most impressed by the relative lack of alcohol presence for being so close up against 11% abv. its a great success really. the grapes add a lot, and i think they nailed both the grain bill and the yeast, its clean and bright, and light for what it is. unique for sure. renews my faith in beer/wine crossover brews. still somehow hoppy too, which stokes me up. well done.

StonedTrippin, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Swervine44
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Swervine44, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of brotherloco
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

brotherloco, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Whiskeydeez
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Whiskeydeez, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of wolf_switzer
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

wolf_switzer, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of srgj88
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

srgj88, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of colforbin73
2.93/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

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.

generous grader

colforbin73, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of bierdeflanders
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

S: fruity, grapes, hints of spice in the background with some champagne notes.

A: copper, very clear with bright carbonation.

T: fruity, with some oak notes, dry finish

O: very easy to drink for a 10.5% bier. body is light to medium with a bright carbonation.

bierdeflanders, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of BeerRangerBrooks
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: wow, so clear. The clarity in the apple juice color is amazing. I feel like I am about to drink martinellis sparkling cider around the holidays. nice white head that disappears fairly quickly. Not as fast as champagne, but no sticky, staying around characteristics of many beers.

S: Very winy. Sweetness on the nose with some underlying alcohol. The Muscat is so present. A much different nose than I anticipated. Lots of barrel notes, but no Belgian yeast esters to really speak of.

T: Very delicious. Quick and prickly on the tongue with a acidic, Riesling finish that represents the tart characteristics mentioned on the bottle. Barrel notes are quite nice. Coming from a stout filled winter season with bourbon barrels, this is a refreshing, woody wine barrel that is lighter and more earthy. The actual flavor of the grapes is astounding.

M: Very inviting, soft with some wine like characteristics. Spritzy and refreshing, especially for being 11%. so very drinkable.

O: This beer pushes some of my comfort levels of wine essence in beer and multiple barrel aging. A little sweet for me, but I tend to be a hop head and the grape/muscat barrel in this replace that general idea. The high abv is very nice, since the price is on the higher end. I look forward to cellaring this beer, one bottle for a year and depending on development longer for the next bottle. MUST try from two powerhouse breweries in a great collaboration.

BeerRangerBrooks, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of bigbeers84
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

bigbeers84, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of Shawner
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Shawner, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of gueuzegossage
4/5  rDev +3.6%

gueuzegossage, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of artoolemomo
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

artoolemomo, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of 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.

LambicPentameter, Jan 23, 2014
Class Of '88 Belgian Style Ale from Deschutes Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.