Class Of '88 Barley Wine - Deschutes Brewery

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

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BA SCORE
83
good

289 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 6
Gots: 41 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 66
Photo of Jeffreysan
4.6/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, hazy, almost opaque, but not quite, golden, amber color, speckled with orange and reddish highlights, and a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with strong aromas of toasted malt, candied sugar, stone fruit, such as apricots, nectarines and plums. Finally, I get some aromas of floral, grassy, hops. Very fruity, very nice.

Taste: Very nice flavors of toasted malt candied sugar, stone fruit, such as apricots, nectarines and plums. I also get notes of honey, black pepper, and orange zest. There’s some very nice, beautifully balanced, floral, grassy hops at the finish

Mouthfeel: Slightly-chewy and very smooth as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 10.2%, there is a very nice, slight alcohol warmth on the palate, but overall, the alcohol is pretty well masked.

Overall: This is a very nice barleywine, with good, fruity, flavors and a very pleasant mouthfeel. Its hop/malt ratio is really well balanced, which, considering that this is an Oregon beer, is a little surprising, pleasantly so, as beers from Oregon have a reputation of being quite hoppy. I look forward to trying the Class of ’88 Barleywine from North Coast that I have to compare, as well as my bottle of Mirror, Mirror.

Photo of scottfrie
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into imperial pint.

A: Pours a lightly opaque honey amber color with a thick, greasy, and dense light tan head that faded into a lasting thick and dense film that lasted the whole beer through. Wispy lace was left down the glass.
S: Spice, citrus, and bread crust dough, slight booze, orange zest, and something sugary sweet, maybe honey.
T: Follows the nose, sweet citrus juice, honey, bread crust, sugary malt, slight dried fruit, biscuit dough, and earthy finish. Sweet aftertaste toffee, woody, touch of apple juice. Toast.
M: Thick body, chewy mouthfeel, thick and greasy, slick, soft, and fluffy carb. Drinks very creamy and smooth. Very good. Hint of warming booze. Smooth overall.
O: Better than expected. Super smooth. Very easy to sip.

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a snifter

A- Poured a very clear and bright orange color with soapy white head that left splashy lace

S- Big juicy candied madarin oranges, citrus, and tropical hops. Rich caramel and bready notes

T- Very juicy and bright citrus notes, candy sweetness, some tropical hops, rich caramel and toffee, bready notes

M- Medium body, probably a little light for the style which I liked. Very smooth with nice warming on the finish

O- A really nice hopped up barleywine, that may not be traditional for the style but I really liked it.

Photo of Derek
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper-bronze with a white head, slight ring of retention shows some leg.

S: Candied pineapple, marmalade, sponge toffee, gooseberry and mango.

T: Resiny pine, sponge toffee, gooseberry, candied pineapple, marmalade, hint of biscuity malt, quite bitter.

M: Moderate to full body has some resiny hop oils and a bit of hop acidity.

O: An interesting BIG brew. It's boardering on briny and harsh, but doesn't cross that line.

Photo of Fcolle2
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber in color with a slight red hue. Thin half finger offwhite head that had good retention

Lots of malt in the nose. Caramel malt and some nice lightly toasted malt. Some very light spicy phenols bond nicely with some spicy hop notes. Very faint hints of toffee are also present.

Malt is forward in this and is very rich. There is a very light sweetness from the malt along with bold grainy husk characteristics and some nice hints of caramel. There is a nice floral hop presence in the finish that balances out the rich malty flavors.

Mouthfeel on this is moderately thick and has a sticky feel from malt. There is a mild hop bitterness that balances it all out.

Photo of ricke49
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's not hard to understand why some have knocked this creation.

High expectations, barleywine-mindset, etc. But, taken simply as a malt - hop - water - yeast product I think it provides a fascinating look (and taste) of what is possible, outside of the mainstream of brewed creations. It has a subtle sweetness, an interesting bitter finish and - overall, a very enjoyable quaffing experience. I was a bit surprised (to say the least when I was in an American Barleywine frame of mind....but thoroughly delighted when I sipped it simple as an alcohol-based creation. I'd buy it again, esp. at the $7.75 price tag.

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 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 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 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 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 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 snaotheus
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a large snifter

Pours cloudy orange in color with little (almost no) head. Tiny amount of carbonation, very slow. Smell is mild (probably too cold), but floral with a little bit of spiciness. Alcohol is definitely noticeable in the aroma.

Taste is interesting. There's some mustiness, a slight amount of funk, more floral character, alcohol but mixed with some woodiness. Hoppy bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and smooth. Overall, pretty good.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I think probably not what people expected, certainly not what I had in mind, but I ended up really enjoying this one. it pours a way light color, almost like a lighter pale ale or something, definitely not like a big bad barleywine. it does have a honey glow to it, and a nice luxurious sudsy white head. the nose on it is pleasantly sweet, like honey or simple syrup. there is a floral hop profile, but this isn't a hoppy beast like averys hog heaven. it has some orchard fruits to it, maybe peaches or pears, very summer as barleywines go. the alcohol is also invisible, which is a challenge and an impressive feat for the genre. I was told this was made to 1988 barleywine specs. not sure what that means, I guess just that the style has evolved into what we know it as today (bolt cutter etc). this is a much more basic beer, bursting with flavors but absolutely not a kitchen sink operation. I think the lighter malt profile allows some subtleties to come through that might otherwise be lost in big beers of this genre. this is also one of the few beers where the residual sugar is actually right on, contributing something useful, even necessary to the process. I try to be an optimist (as much as I can) when reviewing beers. for that reason, I see only the good in this, more drinkable, more nuanced, more approachable, impressively different, unconventional beer that I really admire. I also however understand those that want the usual. I should grab another bottle and see how this ages, but I have a feeling fresh might be the ticket on this. a ton of nice floral and fruity pollen summer flavors that may not hold up perfectly. get it while you can, anything Deschutes touches is worth my money in my experience.

Photo of ESPNman
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Delirium tremens snifter.

A - Pours a crystal clear amber. Really a nice looking beer. Lightly carbonated, slight head, little retention with surprisingly good lacing.

S - Some citrusy hops, a bit of floral up front. Sweet perfume-like malts with some caramel backbone to really bring a nice balanced nose to this beer. Also an odd bit of grassy smell in there that's a bit off to me. Otherwise good.

T - Lots of that hop bill up front. Citrus bite with a bit more of that grass. Finishes cleanly with a more classic barley wine maltiness. A bit of apricot and juicy pear in there as well.

M - Creamy and well carbonated. A bit more alcohol bite that dries the palate than I would normally like, although not out of character for the style. Decent.

O - This is a good beer that could use a little refining, and perhaps a little bit of time in the cellar. Not a must-try, but if you see it sitting on the shelves, it's not a bad bang-for-the-buck barley wine.

Photo of beergoot
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Crystal clear, copper body sporting a very thick, chunky head; lots of softly rising carbonation bubbles. Toasted grains and caramel grain notes in the nose; bready with a ripe fruit hint (pear). Smooth alcohol warmth riding atop a gentle maltiness; excellent hop bitterness tying everything together. Medium bodied, crisp and dry.

A big beer delivered in a relatively light package of color, flavor, and feel. Excellent complexity and depth, all nicely balanced throughout the tasting experience.

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 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 Stevedore
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from Deschutes poured today 11 July 2013 into Russian River stemmed glasses with Benish.

Aroma: Faint grapefruit hues with a dominating toffee background. It smells sweet and dry. The hops are surprisingly complementary rather than dominant.

Colour: Clear hazy caramel body that pours with a 1cm white head. It is a very clean looking beer. A little bit of lacing but not much. The head is gone after a short time. Nothing special.

Flavour: The best part of this beer. It's surprisingly malty, but the hop contribution is just enough to balance it out and make it interesting. I think it is a little too one-dimensional, but it was definitely enjoyable to drink this one- a grapefruit mixed in with toffee, basically. Follows the nose.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin bodied for a barleywine. It's not dry though; and the aftertaste is mostly the toffee sweetness. The carbonation isn't anything special. There is no booziness in this beer.

Overall: Tasty example of an American barleywine that doesn't have the hops covering everything. It's not bad, not especially complex as it is fairly one dimensional, but it is a pleasantly surprising drinking experience.

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 ADZA
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazed orange amber hue with a one finger wispy head and a swirl of lacing around the sides,the smell is piney hops,caramel,toffee,candy and booze,the mouthfeel is full bodied with above moderate carbonation and has tastes of caramel candy,burnt toffee,boozy raisins and finished with a hoppy piney bitterness and overall this is a hoppy as hell barleywine and I for one will be buying it again as will age well cheers.

Photo of archyquaffer
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a half-pint sampler. A moderate pour produces about 1/2 inch of a wispy head that recedes quickly. The beer is definitely cloudy, and of a pale amber color with moderate carbonation.

I get some citrusy hops in the aroma, along with some caramel, and a slight fruity apple. The taste is pretty darn malty, as one might expect, with just enough bitterness to balance nicely. I also get undertones of caramel, butterscotch, and citrus rind. The alcohol is masked without any overbearing hop flavors, and the beer is surprisingly light in body and easy drinking. Warming alcohol as the beer progresses, yet it's hard to believe the ABV.

This is mellow for a barley wine, which I like. The flavors meld well, without any overbearing flavor-aromas. I think I paid over 9 bucks for the bomber, which is a little pricey but worth it, as there are not many barley wines to choose from in these parts. This beer was available in only one store in a community of about 35,000. Send more beer!

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 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 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.

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Class Of '88 Barley Wine from Deschutes Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.