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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.

248 Ratings

(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 Brenden


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
Photo of BeerKangaroo


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
Photo of bum732


3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 04:37:56 | More by bum732
Photo of archyquaffer


3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 02:09:14 | More by archyquaffer
Photo of notchucknorris


3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a burnt orange color with a one finger tan head. Recedes down pretty quickly.

S: Off the pour, I got apricot preserves, tangerine rind, caramel and honey. As it warms a bit, those fade into more generic barleywine aromas. Lots of malt, caramel and some herbal hop aromas.

T: For me, this one just never really goes anywhere. Tons of malt, some sticky citrus, caramel, herbal hop resin and some tobacco. Slightly burnt grain on the finish. It's ok.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 01:44:18 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of Florida9


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


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
Photo of Spikester


3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 05:27:08 | More by Spikester
Photo of Fcolle2


4.14/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 01:36:10 | More by Fcolle2
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 04:28:55 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of Shabedue


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 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 Goblinmunkey7


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 Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 02:00:53 | More by Derek
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

Serving type: bottle

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


3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle (best by 3/7/2014) into a tulip. Pours a murky copper color w/ a thin off-white head, minimal lacing. Lazy carbonation.

Aroma is a blend of fermented stone fruits (peaches and apricots mostly, maybe some mango), citrusy hops, and booze. Not your typical barley wine; reminds me more of a very old imperial IPA although the hop presence is still definitely there. Unique but not sure I like it. Maybe it will grow on me.

Taste follows nose. Strong pale fruity malt and citrusy hops. Copious alcohol warmth. I'm actually liking the balance here and I like the grapefruit, although I wasn't expecting it in a barleywine. Rating to style I would give this lower marks (kind of like The Stoic in that regard), but it's an interesting interpretation and I'm enjoying it at least as much as I expected.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied, coating and sticky, as it should be. Carbonation is about where it should be. Nice lingering aftertaste, just mildly bitter.

Overall, I actually like this beer. It doesn't hide the booze particularly well and it's not really a tradtional American barleywine. I see why other reviewers dinged it a little bit. But I'm enjoying it. Not outstanding and nowhere near Deschutes' best, but it's still a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 01:02:51 | More by draheim
Photo of ADZA


3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2013 07:48:58 | More by ADZA
Photo of metter98

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2013 00:40:05 | More by metter98
Photo of rlee1390


3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 19:08:25 | More by rlee1390
Photo of srandycarter


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 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 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 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.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 23:06:12 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of beergoot


3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2013 23:46:00 | More by beergoot
Photo of Stevedore


3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2013 04:33:13 | More by Stevedore
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Class Of '88 Barley Wine from Deschutes Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.