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Class Of '88 Barley Wine - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Class Of '88 Barley WineClass Of '88 Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

287 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 287
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 5
Gots: 42 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: duceswild on 04-07-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (156) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 287 | Reviews: 64
Reviews by lighthabit:
Photo of lighthabit
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

good head, dies down to thin layer, then to none. color of honey. banana, clove on the nose, with banana, clove, leather and honey for taste. finishes sweet, almost a bit sticky, but i think it'll be one to set aside for a while. this is my second bomber, and i believe it's better that the first.

More User Reviews:
Photo of MattyG85
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. Label says best by 03/07/14.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of off white head that settle into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: A juicy hop forward aroma with lots of caramel malt hints. Hoppy upfront with earthy hints of grass and hints of citrus grapefruit, orange, pineapple, tangerine, apricot, and lemon. Big balancing malt presence with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grain, and yeast. Some Belgian like yeast hints along with fruit esters of banana and apple. Some sugar sweetness as well. A decent aroma.

Taste: A balanced combination of hops and bready malts with subtle fruit esters. Hops upfront with earthy, grassy, and floral notes. Citrus fruit notes of grapefruit, orange, pineapple, apricot, tangerine, and lemon. Also some fruit notes of dried banana and apple. Big bready toasted malt presence with notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, grains, and yeast. Some sweet burnt candy sugar is in the mix as well. A pretty decent taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, juicy, and somewhat chewy. Alcohol heat is pretty tame for the style.

Overall: A pretty decent take on a Barley wine. Its a kind of laid back brew considering the style and breweries involved, but it is a nice balanced taste.

Photo of Brenden
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of samtrillo
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best By 3/07/14! I bought it two weeks ago. I'm not even mad the shop left it on the shelf. It is a Barleywine after all, right?

The nose is a sweet malt citrus-orange blast. Makes me want to chomp into some dried mango and apricot chunks.

Big sweet malt taste that blends nicely with citrusy hops. I will say this beer is a bit flat. Very smooth and easy drinking for the 10 ABV but it could use some carbonation and hop kick. I have a feeling that this was one Barleywine the brewers wanted to be had fresh given the emphasis placed on the hops on the label. The flavors from the hops are still somewhat present, but something about this beer definitely feels dead. I still like it because fruity hoppy American Barleywines are my jam, but I think I would have liked it more with fresher hops... I'll never know. It was still a great drink.

Photo of TheSixthRing
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear, bright golden orange with an off-white, finger width head. Fair retention, leaving spotty botches of microbubbles on the surface and a ring around the edge. Strong lacing with good stick.

Smell - Sweet, sugared caramel, banana, orange and slight grainy notes round out the aroma.

Taste - Follows the nose. Sugary caramel and modest banana character upfront, while moderate citrus notes come through mid-taste, leading to a mild to moderate bitter orange pith finish with a touch of grain. Subtle hints of heat, but at an even 10%, it's does well to conceal.

Mouthfeel - Full in body with a touch of syrupy character. Moderate carbonation. Goes down smooth, especially considering the ABV.

Overall - A really odd, but unique and delicious barleywine. Taste wise, basically comes across as what I'd describe as an 'Imperial Hefeweizen' without the wheat. Sorry, it's just the best way I can describe it. Excellent balance. Don't get your head wrapped around the fact that this isn't a dark, put 'hair on your chest' type of BW. It's a solid, enjoyable beer.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Minimal head on a dark straw colored body.
The aroma is nice. Some fruit: oranges and mandarins. A good dose of grain and hay too.
The taste is great. The fruits follow here too. The mildest bitterness to balance it out.
The texture is crisp with a heaviness and moderate carbonation.
Very enjoyable.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Light amber body. White head. Unbalanced collar and a few wisps.

Smell - Caramel malt. A touch of oxidation, strangely. Some hoppiness. It's strangely appealing despite its simplicity.

Taste - Much hoppier. Some grapefruit. Caramel. No oxidation here. Creamy finish.

Mouthfeel - Creamy mouthfeel that defies explanation. Medium carbonation. Medium heavy body.

Overall - This had the potential to be terrible, but I rather enjoy it. Simple beer, but enjoyable.

Photo of russpowell
3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Brown derby in Springfield MO. Hope this is better than the North Coast version; BBD of 03/7/14

Pours an effervescent orange/amber with a pinky of pearl colored head. Pretty decent lacing & average head retention

S: Leafy hops, figs, fusel alcohol

T: Follows the nose,, plus raisins & a touch treacle up front, a touch of bubble gum too. Orange marmalade & doughyness as this warms, a touch of banana taffy as well. Finishes with woody hops, dryness, more treacle & bit more banana taffy & some grapefruit finally shows up way too late

MF: Chewy, light carbonation, fairly warming. Carbonation turns a tad prickly as it warms

This is another letdown in this series. Almost drinks like a Quad; would've rated higher in fact... Not horrid, just not to style, American Hops are MIA. Would love to see how this ages, but this is never turning into an American BW

Photo of bum732
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

S: Rich, grainy, maltiness, clean grapefruit hoppiness, medium low. Very caramel. Woody notes.

L: Slightly hazy, golden amber. Creamy white head that dissipates to a ring of foam. Solid lacing.

T: Sweet caramel maltiness up front with a slightly citrus, woody hop backbone, faint. Medium woody hop bitterness into a bold, grainy maltiness. Finishes slightly hoppy, semi-dry.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Not bad, like a blond barleywine.

Photo of n2185
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a clear orange with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: citrusy hop notes along with apricots and oranges followed by caramel, vanilla, and pine.

T: piney and grapefruit hop flavors with caramel and vanilla following. Light bitterness toward the finish.

M: medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is not too thick and sticky.

O: a solid barleywine overall. Not terribly complex, but enjoyable.

Photo of Spikester
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear red amber with a modest white head. Some spots of lacing.
Smell is big caramel malts.
Taste is similar to smell. Candy sweet malts with very minor hops.
Mouthfeel is chewy and thick with decent carbonation.
Overall a tasty malt bomb. Would have liked some hop push back. This is what Deschutes malt liquor would taste like if they made one. Too much sweetness for me.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up at the COOP for $7.... Seen it as much as $9 at a couple other stores. Pours with a 2 finger sorta yellow tinged head... nice retention and spotty lacing... the brew is a lightly hazed orange.

Nose is sweet and with a light citrus hoppiness... pretty floral and fruity with warmth... something there reminds me of apricot esters.

Flavor is a bit odd... almost like a Belgian yeast was used... sorta spicy and something floral that makes me think of dandelions. Perfumy... heavier residual malty sweetness is unfortunately not balanced by enough hop bitterness.

Really reminds me of HotD Fred which is a compliment.

Many people are going to bash this because it doesn't fall in line with what modern American Barleywines taste/smell like... But I honestly think it is okay as long as you don't compare it to the hopped monsters that weren't even imagined 25 years ago.

3.75/3.75/3.5/4/3.75

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Part of horizontal tasting of all three versions (North Coast, Deschutes and Rogue) of this interesting project to revisit a classic 1980s recipe. Pours a clear orange tinted golden amber with a thin white head and thick ring around the glass with good retention condsidering its depth and slippery lacing. Aroma of tropical and stone fruit, light plums, caramel malt, light piney hops, moderate, almost medicinal ethanol. Flavor is sweet caramel malt, toffee, light apple and pear juice, mildly floral, light piney, grassy hops. Finishes with a pleasant grassy hop bitterness. Alcohol, obvious in the aroma, is fairly well covered in the flavor. Medium bodied with light creaminess. An interesting take on a barleywine. Like the others in this series, seems to take the basic form of an English barleywine, but without the dark fruit elements and adding an almost Belgian fruit component, without the Belgian yeast and also the more intense hopping of the American style. Nicely balanced and interesting to drink, but lacking the intensity of most English or American barleywines. This one was in the middle of the pack of '88s, and enjoyable. Like the others, I think the lighter flavors do not promise a long, successful aging, although I might try it for laughs if I find another bottle. Glad to have participated in this walk down memory lane.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 8/30/13

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear golden orange - starts with a medium-sized off-white head, fades to a wispy cap, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Rich, cooked, caramelized malts - loads o f caramel malt, caramel, toffee, and malt extract - nice depth to the malts - grainy and earthy, with some light fruity esters as well, like pears and apples - some citrusy hops are well

Taste: Rich, big malts - not a remarkable amount of complexity for a barleywine, but some nice depth to the malts - big caramel malts and straight-up caramel - syrupy at times, very dense - grainy, earthy, kind of dirty - some light fruits and some honey - some citrus as well - alcohol is pretty obvious, overall seems like this could use some time to age

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, sticky and syrupy, finishes with some heat and sugar

Overall: Might be better if this were actually brewed in 88

This is a good barleywine, but it's not spectacular. Big malts here, but a lot of the flavors don't quite meld together. This tastes young, like it could use some time to age and develop more depth. It's not bad now, and it seems like it could get better.

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear light amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of caramel malts are present in the nose along with of some notes of toffee.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of caramel and toffee malts along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied and slightly sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This barleywine is lighter compared to some of the other beers in the style so it is a little more drinkable.

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pourd into a snifter to a deep orange with a half finger of off white head that quickly fades to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: smells of caramel, pine and citrus
T: tastes of caramel malts, resinous pine, sweet citrus and citrus rind with a slight earthyness and herbal medicinalness. swallow brings more caramel and resinous hop goodness with a bit more citrus. maybe a slight estery banana flavor as well
M: thick and slightly syrupy with soft and slightly prickly carbonation and an oily hop finish
O: Drinks better than expected for a young American barleywine. Normally beers of this style are pretty abrasive due to a solid load of hops but this one is a bit more reasonable and quite drinkable when fresh. Good assertive hop profile without being over the top. It strikes a solid balance and the flavors are good so for me this beer is a winner.

Photo of rlee1390
3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear/cloudy orange, one finger head with some lacing.

S-Lots of caramel, toffee and malt, grass, wood, alcohol, citrus.

T-Caramel, grass, pine, balance isn't there due to alcohol head, good bit of bitterness. Some citrus.

M-Medium bodied, alcohol heat is the main culprit.

O-Had side by side with the NC version, this was noticeably worse, alcohol was not masked at all.

Photo of imperialbeerdude
1.7/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

I had some hope that this beer would be decent, Deschuttes makes good stuff, but it was plain nasty. I poured this sucker out and thought it looked pretty interesting in the glass, orange hues, good carbonation and a decent looking head. The nose followed and once again not too bad, citrus, caramel. Then I tasted this atrocity, cough medicine, faint hops and a gross alcohol taste. One of the nastiest beers I've had in a while and a huge waste of money. It's nasty I'm really hoping the rest of these colabs aren't this vile. Drain pour for me.

Photo of GeezLynn
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy golden blond with a weak white head/collar that is easily revived.
S: Aroma is sweet with very prominent fruity esters. Orange and pineapple - odd (to me) for the style but nice just the same.
T: Opens with loads of sweet caramel malt, balanced by citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit a little pine and eventually orange showing. Finishes with a mild bitterness, slightly dry and resinous. Alcohol is not overly apparent. Almost a touch too sweet.
M: Mouthfeel is smooth, with full carbonation. Body is on the lighter side for the style.

This is a lighter version of the style, and much more fruit forward. I enjoyed it much more than I expected to, though I am not a fan of many of the massive, rough, overly bitter and hot American barleywines out there. For $8/22oz, I’d happily buy this again.

Photo of Zorro
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Chill hazed orange colored beer with a small off-white head that just doesn't last. 10% beer so the weak head is sort of expected.

Smells strongly of malt melon and strong tea.

Starts out toffee and tea with a slight savory taste. Medium Bitterness. Slight butter taste. And that is it, not very complex.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall kind of disappointing.

Photo of Duomatic
1.96/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.5

Whoa! With this pedigree, I expected something "phenomenal." Instead, I got something "phenol."

Sure, the flavors were relatively smooth at first, and hid the alcohol somewhat, but an odd butterscotch and banana flavor was there from the start. The aftertaste was immediately and overwhelmingly "banana taffy." I'm no master brewer, but perhaps it was fermented at too high a temperature, or maybe the yeast was under-aerated? Whatever the problem, such high levels of banana-flavored phenols and/or esters (Isoalmyl Acetate?) make this brew hard to swallow, and I drink more Barley Wine than any other style of beer (and this habit goes back to 1983).

I can't imagine that a group of brewers with these chops intended to create an over-the-top "barrel full of monkeys" banana-flavored Barley Wine, so I can only assume it is a quality control issue.

I am a big fan of all breweries involved, particularly Deschutes. Very disappointing, and my hopes were really high. This was the first beer in a long time that I actually poured down the drain after consuming less than half the bottle.

Photo of CHickman
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy dark orange/amber color with a 1 finger foamy off white head that had a ton of microscopic bubbles in it, fading on the quicker side, leaving good rings of lace and a layer on top around the edge of the glass.

Smells of malt, sweet dark fruit like a red apple or cherry, caramel, light toffee, herbal hop notes and booze; it’s sweet overall with no major aroma dominating except the alcohol.

Tastes like it smells, with sweet malt, caramel, dark fruit like pear, red apple and/or cherry, light toffee, tea leaf, herbs, floral hops, spices like cinnamon, sharp citrus hop notes and bitterness and then the booze; the booze hits hard and each swallow brought heat, seemingly getting stronger as the beer warmed up. The aftertaste has some yeast funk, flowers and brown sugar, but it all goes back to the booze eventually. The ABV is not that high, but the balance is off; Yoda would proclaim a disturbance in The Force after sipping this one.

Mouthfeel is slick, thick and watery at the same time, with a medium to thick body, very mild carbonation and a sweet and slightly bitter aftertaste that trails off with an alcohol burn. The bottle states “Finished Pleasantly Warm Without Overpowering”…I would debate that claim as the 10.2% ABV is very present in every aspect of this brew.

Happy 25th Anniversary to all 3 breweries in this collaboration, I am a fan of all 3 outfits and their beers. However, my conclusion is that as much as I wanted to like this beer more than I did, I just couldn’t as it was just too one sided and hot. Perhaps I should have aged it longer, but at this stage I was pretty disappointed with this beer.

Photo of vkv822
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz : Teku

Pours and amber orange with a foamy, slightly off white head.

Hop notes consist of herbal, spicy, resiny with citric kick in the finish, blended into light toffee, biscuit malts.

Herbal, spicy pine hops upfront blend into bready, light caramel malts with a pleasant citric finish.

Medium+ body, with foamy carbonation.

A well done collaboration on an American Barleywine. I was surprised at first with the prominent herbal, piney hops, but quickly came to enjoy them. And there is just enough citrus in the end to keep them from becoming overwhelming.

Photo of charlzm
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed April 27th, 2013 at 38 Degrees, Alhambra, CA.

Beer is a deceptively light yellow with a fine white foamy head that provides some lacing,

Aroma is more or less apple cider.

Flavor is white grapes and apple cider. Some cinnamon. Alcohol and warmth. Significantly bitter on the finish.

Effervescent and spritzy on the finish.

Unexpected flavors and an appealing lightness of flavor make this one an interesting beer. Not sure if aging would help this one, though. I say drink it fresh.

Photo of flexabull
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Great looking beer, pours a bright and clear dark orange/gold color with a nice sturdy white head.

Aromas of cereal grains, hard candies, and apricots.

Taste starts out creamy, soft and sweet. Cereal grains, malts, and some general fruitiness through the middle of the sip. Finish is slightly warm, slightly bitter and dry with some pine. Taste is a bit odd for a barleywine, not bad, but almost more like a wheatwine or something else.

Mouthfeel is full, pretty smooth, with nice carbonation.

Overall, an interesting and tasty enough beer. Not sure it fits the style really well, as I mentioned, it's tasted more along the lines of a wheatwine. But I still kinda like it.

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Class Of '88 Barley Wine from Deschutes Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.