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

286 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 286
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 12.88%
Wants: 5
Gots: 42 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: duceswild on 04-07-2013)
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Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
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?

Photo of Swervine44
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of jason_nwx
4.75/5  rDev +30.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at 38 Degrees in Alhambra, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly medicinal flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the slight medicinal flavor is odd.

Photo of leedorham
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of TonyTalon
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of JRod1969
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of charlzm
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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 leftoverburrito
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of BostonHops
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of ralphw56
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of zestd
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of ArrogantB
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

Photo of MASPuros
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Amerikon
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of blindpiggie
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of CEDAMA
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of roblund
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of n2185
3.81/5  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 Birdlegs
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of eawolff99
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of Rizalini
3.43/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of joefc
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Class Of '88 Barley Wine from Deschutes Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.