Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked PorterClass Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

393 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 393
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.57%
Wants: 6
Gots: 37 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John_M on 04-27-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A quarter century ago a passion for craft brewing ignited across the country. Today, the founding breweries of 1988 have united to commemorate that seminal year with a special selection of beers. Every bottle is a portal to the renaissance of craft brewing. Each steeped in heritage and expert craftmanship. Enjoy this tribute to the class of '88.

From the brewers of the celebrated 'Black Butte Porter' and 'Edmund Fitzgerald Porter' comes this limited-run collaboration. Brewed with roasted and smoked malt for a rich chocolate aroma and subtle smoky flavor.
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Ratings: 393 | Reviews: 88
Reviews by azdback:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle best by 4/29/14. Pours dark brown with a medium creamy tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet roasted chocolate malts and some leathery smoke and a little dark fruit.

The flavor is sweet chocolate malt with some roast and peaty liquid smoke. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a little sweet but nice roast and peaty liquid smoke.

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very dark brown with light tan head that settles gently around the top.

Smell: Quite chocolaty, with light molasses and smoke.

Taste: Surprisingly subtle, with chocolate, smoke, molasses and dark fruit. The smoke is also noticeable on the finish, but nothing really lingers on the aftertaste.

Feel: Medium bodied, which is much lighter than expected. Low carbonation, somewhat creamy body, with a semi-dry finish.

Overall: Nice Smoked Porter, but definitely expected more from these brewers. This is a time where a 4 is a disappointment.

Photo of MattyG85
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. Label says best by 04/30/14.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown with hints of amber. Moderate amount of bubbles and about two fingers of beige head that slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A very roasty and smokey dark malt driven aroma. Dark roasted malts with a big scent of smoke. Hints of burnt caramel, biscuit, grains, burnt toast, dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, nuts, and yeast. Sweet scent of molasses and burnt sugars. Also a little hint of anise spice. Subtle earthy hops in the background with hints of grass. Very out front with the smoked malt. A pretty good smokey aroma.

Taste: Like the smell previews, a very smoke forward big dark porter taste with lots of burnt and roasty notes. Dark roasted malts with a big taste of smoke and notes of biscuit, grains, burnt caramel, toffee, dark chocolate, coffee, nut, and yeast. Sweet taste of molasses and other burnt sugars. A little taste of licorice anise spice. Earthy hops come in towards the finish with some notes of grass. A very smoke driven taste, but it isn't overwhelming. Taste is pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, creamy, and fairly slick. Finishes dry. Alcohol heat is masked very well.

Overall: A very good smoked up imperial version of a porter. Both of the breweries involved make their own world class porters and as expected this turned out good.

Photo of 05Harley
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best by 04/29/14
Estimated calories - 270/12oz

Purchased through Lets Pour
Price - $12.00/bomber

Pours a very dark amber color with a creamy lite tan head. Foam bergs decorate my Firestone Walker snifter glass and leave me with a milk mustache, wow. After several minutes just a soapy covering is all that remains from the head experience, yessaahh ;)

The aroma for me is the low point. I'm not getting a big nose of smoke like some reviewers have pointed out which is a shame. Certainly not Rauchbier status but pleasent never the less. Peat, roasted malt and vanilla dominate.

The flavor is dark chocolate, dried fruit and a boat load of roasted malt. The smokiness comes in late and is surprisingly light which again, is dissapointing. The beer finishes with a sweet vanila aftertaste.

The mouthfeel rocks and is the highlight for me at 9.1%, really?? Pretty damn smooth for the octane. Has a slight bitter start draped over a medium body and finishes moderately warm and dry as I tip the bottle upside down.

Overall pretty good but didn't blow my socks off. I anticipated much more of a smokey flavor and for this, I was a bit dissapointed. The beer did make up for it in mouthfeel which put a smile on my face.

Photo of Brenden
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's quite dark brown, though with a surprisingly opaque quality in the edges. Considering that both of these brewers know porters so well, and can brew huge beers, this looks lighter than I'd expect given the status. A tan head is bubbly, about one finger high, with good retention and lacing.
Smoke! This beer's got it, and in such a way that it's strong enough wiothout subverting the maltier base, the roast, or the light sweetness. It's almost meaty but not too much, with a woody sort of campfire essence to it. There's a nice char that doesn't go astringent, which I've found key to this sort of beer.
It's got the body of a porter, about medium, but it's just shy of the depth and richness I'd expect from a porter brewed by either of these two.

Photo of TheSixthRing
2.72/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pours a deep, near black ruby with an off-white finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a broken layer of microbubbles across the surface. No lacing.

Smell - Smoky, with slightly sweet, slightly sour notes. Smoked green olives, anyone? Roasted malts come through sparse and faint.

Taste - Follows the nose. Predominant smoke flavor, with light sweetness, sourness and acidity. Honestly reminds me almost exclusively of smoked green olives, especially near the finish. Any roasted malt flavor is pretty well hidden behind the vast smokiness, and has very little impact on the overall flavor profile. Subtle anise and fragmented notes of chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Smooth. Easy drinking at a hefty 9.1%

Overall - A rare miss from Deschutes, in my opinion. That it comes in collaboration from a brewery that's also renowned for it's great porter makes this one a head scratcher. I dug deeply for the chocolate, but couldn't get the impression of smoked olives out of my mind and off my tongue. Subtle hints did pop in as the beer reached room temperature, but it was far too little to have any real impact on my overall perception. This wasn't undrinkable, but I didn't find it enjoyable. Based on the reputation of the two breweries here, I'd be willing to give this one another go, but I fear the result will be the same.

Photo of alphagnome
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance:
Pours a red-tinted, incredibly brown body with a very disappointing brown head. Retention is poor, fading to nothing in minutes. No lacing (how could there be when no head is present?) but light streams of carbonation can be seen.

Aroma:
Makes me long for the campfires of summer. Smoked wood and cocoa are dominant, reminding me of s'mores. Vague notes of leather.

Taste:
Right away, you can't miss the smokiness of this one; it's in your face and powerful. Smoked oak character plays host to heavy, bitter chocolates and light toffee. Sweet malts provide a bit of backbone and a hint of licorice and plenty of booze can be found on the tail end. Aftertaste is sweet with crystallized brown sugar.

Mouthfeel:
Medium bodied but somewhat watery. Light carbonation. Clean, semi-sweet finish.

Overall:
This is a very tasty smoked porter, but truth be told, I'd probably take a run-of-the-mill Black Butte over it. That's not to say I didn't enjoy this, I certainly did... HOWEVER, for the steep price of admission, I could have had 2 sixers of Black Butte and I would enjoyed it just the same.

Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent scarlet/brown with a pinky of tan head. Viscious look to this, faint lacing & even less head retention

S: Beechwood, juicy fruit/taffy

T: Follows the nose, big time smokeyness, some charred grain & little bit of figs up front. Figs & smokeyness along with some carob & jammyness as this warms, dryness too. Finishes woody, smokey, with some charcoal, figgyness, slight dryness & a bit of banana taffy

MF: Medium bodied, dry, subtle carbonation, somewhat warming. Thins out as this warms

This is a sipper, not a bad Smoked Porter, but a bit too over stated for my liking; give me Alaskan Smoked Porter any day, but well worth a try. Maybe just a little too complex for me, maybe a Winter release would've worked better for me? Was hoping for a little more maltyness

Photo of morimech
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown color with just over one finger of head that had excellent retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy sheets of lace is left down the glass.

More than subtle smoke aroma. Smoke actually dominates. Has the smoke character of the German smoked beers, just not as strong. Very subtle chocolate notes.

More balanced flavor but still pretty strong with the smoke. Some smoke beers remind the drinker of ham or bacon, this does not. More woody and not savory. Nice base of chocolate and slightly sweet malt. Does sort of taste like a blend of Black Butte and Edmund Fitz with smoke even though it is not actually a blend.

As usual for a Deschutes beer, awesome carbonation, body, and texture. Soft, even, and creamy.

Has smoke, but did not really marry well with the chocolate malt. Still a very good beer and this collab did not disappoint.

Photo of Treyliff
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 4/30/14, poured into a snifter

A- pours a dark brown color with some ruby hue creeping through when held to the light, small foamy and sudsy light-tan head has good retention and leaves a bit of lace behind upon settling

S- big smoky aromas up front with notes of peat, cured meat, campfire and roasted chocolate malt. Smells similar to Edmund Fitz, but more smoke

T- lots of smoke up front with notes of peat, smoked wood, and roasted chocolate malt. The finish gives more peat, on a dry chocolaty smoked finish

M- medium-light body with low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a smooth finish. Only downside is the mouthfeel is a bit watery for a 9% abv beer, it does have high drinkability though

O- a good smoked porter, I think many people had higher expectations, given that is was a collar from the makers of two of the best porters out there. I enjoyed it, but I didn't like it as much as Edmund Fitz or Black Butte.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle, best by 4/29/14, 9.1% ABV. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch light tan head that sticked around a little while. There's also a lot of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like smoked malt, chocolate, roasted malt, butterscotch and some peat. It tastes like smoked malt, peat, coffee, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of dark fruit (plums). Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a little creamy and has low/moderate carbonation. I think it's a tasty brew, and would buy it again. Definitely worth trying at $6.99 a bottle.

Photo of n2185
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep brown with faint highlights and two fingers of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with sweet chocolate up front before the smokiness hits with notes of campfire and smoked meats.

T: Roasted malts here as well with dark chocolate flavors and a much more present smokey flavor. Char, smoked meats, and campfire flavors come through before a lightly bitter and slightly alcoholic finish.

M: Medium-thick body with mid-low carbonation, this beer avoids being watery and too thick and heavy.

O: An enjoyable beer overall. I'd like a little more depth, but the smokey flavors and aromas are nice without being overwhelming.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cola color with a small, off-white head that leaves little to no lacing.

Smells of moderate smoky notes with some roasted malts underneath.

Tastes of the roasted malts with some slight smoke underneath. Roasted malt notes lead off with chocolate and toffee. This leads to a dark fruit note with figs mostly and a little molasses. Smoke is present throughout, but does not come through as much as the nose. Finishes with a little woody note.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice smoked porter that uses the smoke in a complimentary role.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown, very minimal head, dissipates to nothing. Second pour from the bottle, straight down the middle produced a good finger, still dissipating quickly. Tip: don't be gently. Aroma is a bit of smokiness, roast and chocolate, with a touch of fruitiness. Nice smoke and chocolate taste with roast and plums. Hides alcohol well, full bodied, creamy. Drinks easy.

It's a bit disjointed, even bland at times and never really impressed me. Just seemed messy...

Photo of jegross2
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter from Deschutes Brewery out of Bend, Oregon.

Score: 90

2013 vintage bottle served in a Doom glass and enjoyed on 06/12/13.

Appearance: Pours a dark soda color with nice ruby tones and a thin layer of off-white/tan head. Good lacing and retention. 4/5

Smell: Sweet chocolate, hint of smoke, caramel and brown sugar. A little roast. Real nice mix, not intense. The chocolate stands out most. Touch of "fizzy cola" in nose too as it hits room temp. 4/5

Taste: More roast and smoke in nose, which hits you up front, but it is not "smoke intense" (especially not side by side with La Muerta). Then comes the chocolate, fizzy caramel and brown sugar flavors. A little hoppiness mixed in well in the finish. Nothing overly complex or earth shattering, but really appealing and nice. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-minus bodied, medium-light bodied. Dry finish. Par for the course for a porter. 3.75/5

Overall: A really nice roasty porter with a light smokiness and lots of chocolate. Definitely one I would order again if I saw it. Thanks for the chance to tick Mike.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Photo of yamar68
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark coffee brown with a creamy khaki head. Thick lace.

I'm not typically a big fan of smoked beers but this one is mellow enough to endure with a smile. Mild smoke with giant roasty chocolate malt.

Great porter base... unsurprisingly. Two of the great porter brewers coming together, I would expect nothing less. The smoke addition is tasteful, even for someone like me. Milk chocolate, toasted grain... not much of an alcohol presence.

Glad I got to try this one on for size.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass with a one finger light brown head that dissipates slowly to a thin film and thick ring around the glass. Light aroma of toasted malt and milk chocolate, only a faint hint of smoke. Initial flavor follows, light toasted malt and chocolate with a pleasant smokiness, finishing with more assertive charred malt, chocolate and campfire smoke. Light to medium bodied. Somewhat subdued in flavor for a smoked porter, and a bit light initially, but I liked the finish and lingering bacon smokiness. A decent, enjoyable smoked porter.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Consumed 8/29/13

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

Appearance: Dark brown, with some medium brown around the edges, some clarity - creamy off-white head, fades to a wispy cap, leaves some nice spots of lacing

Smell: Dark malts with some really noticeable smoke - cooked and chocolate malts - roasty and notably smoky - roasty coffee and some nuts - more smoke and charcoal - some dark chocolate and baker's chocolate - some malty sweetness

Taste: Chocolate and smoke - nice malt profile, with some caramel malts, caramelized malts, chocolate malts, and roasted malts - nicely roasty, very smoky - some sweetness akin to semisweet chocolate - touch of coffee, some nuts - some herbal malts - lingering smoke in the finish, which works well

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth, nice carbonation

Overall: Not particularly imperial, but definitely smoked

I was two years old in '88. I'm not sure if I could have appreciated this beer then. But definitely do now. The smoke is is very well done here, not too much, but not too subtle, either. Definitely try this if you can.

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. (1 pint 6 fl oz.) bottle, with best by date of 04/29/2014. My fourth review of a collaboration beer on BeerAdvocate. Excited to try this out, commemorating the year of my birth. Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a nice dark black looking color, but bright ruby when held to the light. Two fingers of frothy tan head on top.

S - Smell is of nice smokiness, bacon bits, roasted malts, & some chocolate. The campfire smoke aroma steals the show here, but it is not overdone.

T - Taste follows the nose: roasted smoked malt, chocolate, cream, & some alcohol. There's something here that doesn't quite do it for me, though. Some fruitiness present, almost banana-like, with some latex glove like aftertaste.

M - Feel is creamy and smooth, with somewhat of a dry finish. Heavy & full-bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, this isn't a beer I would have again, but I'm glad to have gotten to try it. Smoked beers aren't really my thing, and even though this one takes the light and subtle route, it still doesn't sit well with me. The high 9.10% abv is hidden well, and the beer drinks smoothly, but this beer is really not doing it for me. I'll stick to the Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, which was excellent, and I'm looking forward to trying out the Deschutes Black Butte Porter, which I anticipate liking more than this.

Deschutes / Great Lakes Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter ---3.5/5

Photo of rlee1390
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Clear amber/brown when pouring, deep ruby in the glass, one finger off white head.

S-Rather smoky, beef jerky, roasted malt, very slight chocolate.

T-Smoke is present, maybe too much, roasted malt and some chocolate, tad bit of vanilla and mild bitterness.

M-Medium bodied and creamy.

O-Both the regular Black Butte and Edmund Fitzgerald are better on their own. This combo-smoked version was a nice idea but nothing special.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber courtesy of Dana pours a medium brown color with a fine-bubbled tan head. Moderate retention and lace.

Nose is more porter than smoke, but it does have a few licks of heavenly campfire smoke. Sweeter than I thought it would be and has a faint black licorice aroma.

Has a fair amount of smoke, but its not a salty smoke...if that makes any sense. Not like a BBQ type of smokiness...to my chagrin actually. The black licorice flavors are still there and not really all that welcome to be honest. Its refined, and pretty good to boot...I just wish it was a little more robust. The closest comparison I can think of is Alaskan Smoked Porter and this is not on the same plane as that, unfortunately. Good beer, but could be better.

Photo of atigerlife
2.94/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a dark brown with light brown highlights. Small head that dissipates rather quickly.

Aroma of smoke and wood. That's about all I could get out of it.

Taste is smokey, wood, somewhat acrid. Like drinking burnt wood. Not pleasant.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and cleansing.

Overall, taste is rather disappointing. One is plenty. Great brewery, sub-par beer.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. One finger of frothy/creamy tan head. Retention is lacing and just a few wisps of lacing are left.

3.5 S: Hmmm. This is interesting, but I can't decide if I like it or not. Sweet caramel is at odds with the smoke forming a "sweet smokiness" like smoked pork with sweet sauce. Chocolate, roasted malts, licorice, and a light nondescript fruitiness.

3.5 T: The taste is like the nose and again I'm not sure what to make of it. Sweet smokiness, chocolate, roasted malt, licorice.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation and reasonably creamy. Good enough here.

3.25 D: This seems to have more Deschutes influence than Great Lakes and I think I'd like it more if it was the other way around. It's no bad, it's just not for me.

Photo of GeezLynn
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Body is a dark shade of brown with a light white head. Not much retention.
S: Rauch-like wood smoke, black malt. Pretty straightforward.
T: Again, smoked malt dominates along with some underlying sweet chocolate maltiness. A little roasted, a little ashy. Smokeyness subdues the rest of the beer. Alcoholis pretty well hidden. Finishes roasted with a mild bitterness.
M: Medium-bodied, maybe a bit on the thin side, with moderate carbonation.

I have no idea which malts they used, but this seems to have a lot of rauch influence. I’ve been enjoying Black Butte for a long time and Edmond for a few years and this doesn’t remind me of either. Alaskan Smoked Porter would rank a little higher for me, but this is good enough to sit on another bottle or two and get a better idea of what lies under all that smoke.

Photo of hopsputin
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

drank 11/23/13

a: dark mirky brown with some ruby red notes. 2 finger fizzy white head that fades pretty quick

s: notice the smoke right away - a little hint of meaty bacon. chocolate, toasted malts. there are some figs, and plums. ends with smoke and toasted malt

t: not as much smoke as i would have thought. toasted malts and milk chocolate are the dominant flavors here, the smoke is more of an afterthought. picking up some plums and raisins as well

m: medium

o: honestly, not as good as i was hoping for. i would have like the smoke to be featured more. other than that its a tad thin in the toasted malts department. its smooth though, and theres nothing offensive in here

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Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter from Deschutes Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.