Class Of '88 Barley Wine - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 240 | Reviews: 60 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by lacqueredmouse:
3.5/5 rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25
22oz bomber purchased from Whole Foods SoMa in San Francisco. As far as I can tell, this is not a collaboration, but part of a series of Barleywines from Deschutes, Rogue and North Coast, celebrating 25 years in the craft beer industry.
Pours a lovely clear, bright orange colour, with a bright white, slightly creamy head. The forms exquisite lacing, and sticks around even as a film for quite some time. The body is silky and smooth, and holds carbonation so densely when tilted. It's a really lovely looking beer.
Nose is, in some senses, rather subdued. There's a sharp green hop presence, a definite suggestion of booziness and some sugary malt that comes through like golden syrup. But all up, it's faintly generic, and not at all particularly strong. Some cinnamon arrives slightly as it warms up, but it's not enough to add a great deal of interest.
Taste is certainly stronger, but the booze seems to pick up most of the slack, giving a heat and a bite that mingles with the hop bitterness to make it quite oppressive, especially towards the back. There's a shell of malt to it, but again it has a fragile sugar character to it: not a true sweet, wholesome richness. There are subtleties there, perhaps again like the cinnamon spice on the nose, but the booze and the intensity tend not to let them through.
No matter what I think of the flavours and their intensity, though, the feel is exquisite. Beautifully light, silky and smooth, but with a creamy richness accentuated by fine carbonation. Really, it's excellent, and only needs a better flavour profile to make it perfect.
Overall, though, this is not a beer that won me over, despite its good points. It's heavy, intransigent and somewhat frustrating. I found it needlessly big, without the payoff that a really heavy beer can bring. There are obviously things to love in this beer, but I was too conflicted to completely embrace it.
Serving type: bottle
05-15-2013 05:00:16 | More by lacqueredmouse
More User Reviews:
3.58/5 rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
This Barleywine is a thick but bright orange with moderate hazing leading to translucency. Its lightly tinted head achieves half a finger of head with consistent retention and a modicum of patchy and spotty lacing.
Lots of citrus is the main focus in the nose over some malty backbone, semi-sweet overall. Orange pith, peel and flesh blend with caramel and dark fruits. Alcohol, though strong, is integrated fairly well but the fusel notes ultimately end up coming off a little strong.
Where the fusel notes are strong in the aroma, they seem to build up to a somewhat medicinal quality in the flavor that has the overall effect of marring it in the whole. It's more doughy and sweet up front, with the caramel, citrus and dark fruits still coming on strong but after a dose of thick breads and molasses that continue through. Some leaf comes out and ends up with a woody sort of pith.
The body is nice and full, almost "chunky" and certainly what could be called chewy. It's got some heat but doesn't thin too much at the end. Crispness adds a tingly nip all the way through. It strives for smoothness, but something keeps it from reaching it fully.
Serving type: bottle
03-10-2014 20:02:52 | More by Brenden
3.86/5 rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
"Best by date: 03/07/14" noted on the mid to bottom left side of the bottle.
Into a chalice.
A: somewhat hazy golden colored body with a thin less than a half fingered white foamy head that barely leaves any lacing
S: juicy grapefruit hoppiness up front with a decent caramel malt bill backing that up fairly nice with some nice woody edges to balance it out just a tad, there's even a nice "honey" aroma coming nearing the end of the beer
T: mainly sweet through the combination of the sweet grapefruit hoppiness to the caramel malts, gee weez (boy she drinks like a DIPA), nice juicy grapefruit aftertaste and quick dry finish
M: she sits about a medium on the body, sessionable - hmmm... perhaps - weird for an American Barleywine that comes across as an DIPA to me, carbonation even has a decent harshness like a DIPA
O: hmmm....ok, I like it, I would have it again, I'm just trying to figure out how this thing really is an American Barleywine as it just seems more like a DIPA. Maybe I just need to try a fresher bottle. Oh well, until then....
Serving type: bottle
02-23-2014 10:15:01 | More by BeerKangaroo
Class Of '88 Barley Wine from Deschutes Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 240 ratings.