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Class Of '88 Barley Wine - Deschutes Brewery

Class Of '88 Barley WineClass Of '88 Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

248 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 248
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%


Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: duceswild on 04-07-2013)
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Ratings: 248 | Reviews: 61 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of imperialbeerdude
imperialbeerdude

Colorado

1.59/5  rDev -56.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 10:32:15 | More by imperialbeerdude
Photo of Duomatic
Duomatic

Arizona

1.9/5  rDev -48.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 02:33:32 | More by Duomatic
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

2.2/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Holy foamy head...overflow for sure. Brew is nicely clear with lots of orange and some light yellow and red. lacing is sloppy and sparse.

Smells like rusty bottle caps and dead hops... sweaty gym shoes.

Flavor is very bland and sweaty. Rather unremarkable. Sweet and sugary. Dry, bland, unfinished... Low carbonation.

I had very high hopes since Deschutes and Rogue brew nice B-wine, North Coast brews great beer, so naturally I figured it would be dynamite. Wrong. Very unremarkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 00:54:07 | More by chugalug06
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

2.56/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Best by March 7, 2014. An unusual stance to take with a Barley Wine Ale.

A- A very very clear copper colour, 1" head of foam, nice lacing.

S- Served at room temp and it's still tough for me to get the aromas. Lightly hoppy, lightly malty, some fruitiness? Man, I swear, I don't have a cold.

T- Whoah, horsy. This is a Barleywine? Some decent notes of wet like hops followed by a lot caramel malt sweetness, followed by a burnt flavour of what? If that burnt note was supposed to be hop bitterness, imho, it failed. Oodles of alcohol coming through now with a note or 3 of bubblegum. Good grief, will I be able to finish the bottle?

M- Adequate carbonation with a sticky, kind of sickly mouthfeel overall.

O- Not for me. 'nuff said. Or actually, I'll say more. It's cool for breweries to collaborate but not when the end product turns out this way.

PS: And I did get some aromas from the brew after I started drinking it. Almost as disappointing as the taste. Medicinal, big time.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 00:38:19 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I grabbed a bottle of this without thinking since it was Deschutes. Bad idea. This really felt like a class of '88 in that it might have been something they would have brewed in '88. Orange color, decent head. Smells grainy. Flavor is very bitter but just not good at all. This seemed like a failed attempt at a barleywine you might find at your newest local brewery. Too bad.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 02:38:13 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

2.74/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a lightly hazy orange with a small white head, fair head retention, some lace.

S: Medicinal notes with booze and some pear, banana and orange.

T: Sweet bready malt with a heavy ethanol phenol play. Estery at times, some nice notes of sugar cane, but in the end not really doing it for me.

M: Full-bodied, boozy, oily slick feel. Soft carbonation.

O: While this beer isn't horrendous, it's incredibly boring and not really fun to drink. Too expensive as well. Pass.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 20:26:09 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

2.84/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Clear amber in the snifter. Average head and carbonation. Fairly hoppy aroma but not distinctive. Very sweet and perfumey. Spicy and hot with alcohol. Leafy and a little dank, and tastes like some bitter French liqueur. So sweet, it's like sugar cane or a Mexican candy.

At the same time, it's really bitter for a Barley Wine. The aftertaste veers toward the medicinal even while the sugar lingers on the tongue. This is just not very drinkable. Maybe the brewers all had to get their favorite malt and hop in this mess. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Barons Marketplace in San Diego.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 04:27:05 | More by mactrail
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by 07MAR14

Warm copper colored with a thin sheet of light cream foam atop. Excellent clarity. Smells like artificial cherry, alcohol, sweet malt, some bits of vanilla and maybe a touch of metal. Flavor is sweet and grainy. Some malt, some floral character, some booze, a little bit of oatmeal (like cream of banana maybe) and a bit of bitterness. Much sweeter than I had anticipated. Medium bodied on simple syrup with a bit of tight carb and a wet finish. Meh, it's sweet, and something I would expect from Rogue quality wise, it reminds me of a more approachable fresh Old Stock. Less boozy, more sweet and drinkable. Not a particularly bad beer per se, but doesn't follow the standards of an American BW, more like and Old Ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 07:45:47 | More by harrymel
Photo of Shabedue
Shabedue

Minnesota

3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

First critical tasting of a barley wine so keep that in mind.

A- I really like the color, orange-gold with some depth. Not much head but lacing persists quite a while.

S- crystal malts, citrus, heat, and notable yeast smell.

T- Bland. The malt tastes muted to me. Present are caramel, toffee, and maybe a little roast at the end. One can taste alcohol from start to finish. Tastes syrup-y but maybe that belongs in mouth feel.

MF- I would call this thick but I have pretty limited experience with barley wine.

Overall- It's ok... I thought it was a little boring on the tasting front and a little harder to drink than I'd like.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 01:37:29 | More by Shabedue
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer was a little disappointing. Nice honey, apricot, a little murky, some off white lace and head. Then it goes down hill. Smell is overripe fruit, sweet, a little cloying. Hops try to contend but fail. Taste is definately on the sweet cloying side, thick and overripe fruity. Hops again try to balance. and fail. Good carb, balance is off and I won't be having this one again.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 02:37:04 | More by srandycarter
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is a bright orange with moderate clarity. Thin layer of lace present upon pour, recedes to just a thin collar. The aroma features candied apricot, spicy hops, sweet malt character, and boozy heat. The taste is somewhat sloppy, very sweet up front with plenty of candied fruit. This gives way to herbal hop character that lends a bit of bitterness to the palate. This is finished with a stinging boozy burn on the finish. The flavors are all appropriate for the style, they just don't seem to meld that well. This honestly reminds me a bit of Bolt Cutter in terms of its sweetness and booziness. Too many other good barleywines out there to mess around with this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 07:03:30 | More by homebrew311
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7

Massachusetts

3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Glowing clear orange. Small white collar. Moderate carbonation. Standard affair.

Smell: Citrus and earthy hops. Malts are sweet and bready, if a bit mellow. Some hop spice and alcohol on the back. Peppery. Caramelized malt sweetness. Heavy citrus with orange flesh and some grapefruit. Doughy.

Taste: Mega bready malt base. Sweet caramel malt with caramelized sugars. Some toffee and raw sugar. Alcohol and hop spice work well together. Solid punch of citrus from the hops. Some light pithy bitterness and an herbal element. Biscuit dough and a slight peppery finish. Building sweetness as it warms, but it doesn't really meld with the hop profile. Drinks like 2 beers layered.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and a moderate carbonation. Surprisingly clean.

Overall: A balanced barley wine...because that makes sense.

Intro barleywine. Has the malt profile, but lacks real depth. We'll see what it does in a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 20:10:27 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 5.7.13

A - Pours a hazy medium orange with a reddish hue. A light tan foamy head with good retention.

S - Hoppy dark orange, carmel, bready-toast malt.

T - Bitter orange and sweet bready malt.

D - Thin body with medium carbonation.

O - Sweet, bitter and hoppy. Thin, odd, but I guess true to original form?

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 04:49:39 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 01:44:49 | More by Zorro
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08

Minnesota

3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by 03/07/14
ABV is a little different than above however, my bottle reads 10.2% vs a flat 10%

A= Pours a hazy dark golden color Almost like dirty blonde hair. The head is almost none existant. It rises to a little tiny cap then falls to nothing.

S= Smells pretty hoppy. A nice citrus character with a little malt. Not too much in the nose because the lack of active carbonation.

T= The taste is much sweeter than the nose. There is a certain sort of cloying sweetness that comes through for just a moment. After than the booze and a hop bite come in and wipe the sweetness away making it a relativly balanced barleywine.

M= Actually well carbonated despite the look.

O= This is far from the best barleywine I've ever had but it's not bad either. I would drink it again for sure but I wouldn't seek it out or try to get more to satisfy a craving.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 20:53:39 | More by jjanega08
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the Deschutes version - with the pry-off cap, not the hood-and-wire cap over a cork like the North Coast version. Label is classy and straightforward; I dig it. Pressure cap is branded and black in colour. Collaboration between Deschutes, North Coast, and Rogue. 10.2% ABV confirmed per my bottle's label. Best by: 03/07/14. Expectations are high; I really love both Deschutes and North Coast.

Served chilled, straight from the freezer; I don't like my barleywines too cold, so I'm letting this warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of healthy white-khaki colour. Fair creaminess. Nice thickness. Pretty good (~5+ minute) retention for the ABV. No bubble show. No notable lacing as the head recedes.

Body colour is a vibrant clear translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible.

A bit bright for the style, but overall above average for the ABV. I'm looking forward to trying it.

I was a bit weary given the current reviews - which are lower than you'd expect - but so far I don't see what could be wrong with it.

Sm: Pleasant. Pale malts, light floral hops, caramalt, some light toffee, citrus fruit, and even wheat (?). Actually comes off more as a wheatwine than a barleywine. Pear. Yeast-derived banana. There's not a great deal happening here, but it's appealing for what it is. A pleasant aroma of moderate strength.

No alcohol comes through.

T: Pale malts, floral hops, some caramalt, and wheat. Light stale citrusy notes. Light pear. Much more phenol-forward than anticipated. Clove honey. Some sugarcane. Melon fruit. A biteen syrupy. Light cinnamon spice. Backgrounded alcohol; I wouldn't call it boozy or hot. It's certainly not balanced, but it's not offensive or horridly put together. I wouldn't say it's a mess, but it does need work. Definitely on the sweeter end, but not cloying. Apricot esters. Clean barley. Flowery. Caramel intensifies as it warms, but never to an exceeding degree. I can see where some may get bubblegum notes. Light peach.

It's definitely more estery than any barleywine I've had, and certainly has less of a pronounced malt focus. There's no toffee or butterscotch or apt-for-oxidation malts here.

Maybe honey or pollen. Cereals. Lightly grassy, lightly grainy.

Overall, it's got a lot going on, but to call it complex might be giving it too much credit. There is some subtlety here. In terms of style criticism, it has a lot more going for it as a wheatwine than it does as a barleywine; the character is out of wack but I do like it. I think some reviewers are being harsh on it purely because it doesn't meet their expectations about a barleywine; sometimes we get carried away with style conventions.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Nicely thin for the style; it's not overbearing or offensive, and errs on the side of drinkability. Good body for the style. Nice presence on the palate; it facilitates full flavour delivery but doesn't feel heavy or obnoxious. Not oily, harsh, or biitng. Good carbonation. Unrefreshing, though one might call it refreshing for the style. Slides down easily enough. Suits the flavour profile well, though it won't match style expectations. Well-executed for what they're going for. Certainly lighter than most barleywines. Acidic.

Dr: Hides its ABV quite well for the style. I do like this brew, but I can see why it's divisive. It's certainly far from a traditional barleywine, but it brings some interesting notes to the table. Drinkable and enjoyable. Unrefreshing. Really comes off more as a wheatwine than a barleywine. I might get a smaller portion on-draught for the right price. These brewer(ie)s have created something interesting, and I applaud them for that. I do expect better from Deschutes and North Coast, however. Intriguing stuff that some have written off unfairly, but either way it's far from among the best beers I've had in the style (and cousin styles). Perhaps a failure as a barleywine if we're being strict, but it's not unworthy of a chance. I think many are being hard on it purely because it doesn't meet their expectations.

B-

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 04:57:05 | More by kojevergas
Photo of dakotaben
dakotaben

North Dakota

3.39/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A 17-18 on the color scale Dark golden- 1 finger of head and appears visibly carbonated.

S Fruitty, nutty smell with some sweetness

T - Definite nut taste with caramel sweetness hints. I can taste the alcohol, but it is not overbearing.

M - Medium, chewy body with moderate carbonation.

O - It has been a while since I have had a barleywine and I love the style, but something seems off about this as a Barleywine. It has many of the characteristics I think of as a barleywine, but maybe the malt is not as intense as I usually expect in this style. That being said, it is still a great beer and I would drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 02:04:46 | More by dakotaben
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120

Minnesota

3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into tulip. had this big boy at a party where a friend surprised us. review is from notes.

look is a deep ruby amber with little head. smell is sweet apples and alcohol. taste is big an chewy, as expected, with some herbal/earthy hop bitterness and loads of dark fruity malts. then there is the overriding presence of alcohol and oak. little carbonation, good amount of alcohol heat.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2013 00:23:20 | More by jimmah120
Photo of Rizalini
Rizalini

Nevada

3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber, dated "best by 03/07/14", and appropriately poured into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours a crystal clear golden honey color, with a fluffy finger of off-white color head.

S - Smells of a strong caramel malt backbone, with some nice citrus hops. Has a little faint nose of banana and fig.

T/M - The flavor isn't terribly complex. Just like the nose, the flavor is very caramel/honey forward with some citrus hops trying to make their presence known. A little alcohol warmth as it goes down. Medium slick mouthfeel, maybe just a touch under carbonated.

O - This is a slightly above average barley wine. Nothing fancy, no bells or whistles. Having tried it once tho, I would probably avoid buying another.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 02:36:12 | More by Rizalini
Photo of CHickman
CHickman

New York

3.44/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 05:01:37 | More by CHickman
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

3.44/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 20:19:02 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 05:41:05 | More by russpowell
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

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
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Red tinted orange in color. Clear. Forms a modest light yellowy-white colored head that fades fairly rapidly, leaving just a faint surface coating and a thin ring around the edge. Very light lacing.

S: Aroma is somewhat oxidized. Citrus, citrus peel, and orange with a light cardboard or paper note.

T: Taste is okay. Nothing too exciting here. Dry grainy malts, apple skin, and burnt caramel. Herbal, almost medicinal hops. There is a bit of citrus in the mix, primarily orange.

M: Medium bodied. A bit light for the style. Crisp, dry, and slightly chalky. Mild-to-moderate bitterness.

O: Got to admit, I was expecting a lot more out of this beer. It's a decent BW, but there's a lot better out there. Paired it with some pate and Carr Valley Bessie and the food helped round it out nicely, but it falls flat on its own.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 00:05:09 | More by Florida9
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Sea Smoke oversized wine glass
From: BevMo in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $7.99
Purchased: Sept. 26, 2013
Consumed: Sept. 29, 2013
Misc.: Best by March 7, 2014

Poured a caramel orange murcky color with about one finger of white bubbly head. Some sporadic spots of grayish white lacing on the sides. Average retention.

Smelled a surprisingly amount of hops right away. That gives way to more of the barleywine feel. Got dates, raisins, plums, figs, orange, tangerine, dark red wine, tobacco and some type of strong liquor.

Tasted pretty close to the smell. The 10.2 percent ABV was not hiding for sure. The mix came with dates, raisins, figs, plums, spices and honey. Not as dark a red wine as the smell, maybe a cab? (I don’t really know wines that well).

Light body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming finish. Best part of this beer.

Pretty disappointed overall. Not nearly as good as I hoped it would be.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 03:40:37 | More by BucannonXC5
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Class Of '88 Barley Wine from Deschutes Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.