Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter - Deschutes Brewery

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

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BA SCORE
84
good

393 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
Photo of Bighuge
4.69/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Deep dark hue of crimson. Clarity is good. Thin wispy cap of beige froth. Lacing is full and intricate. Aroma fills the nostrils with smoky, meaty goodness. Flavor follows suit. This is really, really good. Great jerky like smoked malt flavor, big and meaty, with a nice roasted malt compliment and chocolate as well. Cocoa dust coats the tongue long after.... Could drink a lot of this, no alcohol is perceptible. Body just a titch light...checks in around medium-light to medium. Lightly and appropriately carbonated. Highly flavorful and drinkable. Gives Alaskan Smoked Porter a run for its money. Would be a great side by side blind.

Photo of Impfan
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Off-white head, deep ruby brown hue, strong smoky aroma (almost reminiscent of Lapsang Souchong tea) with nice chocolate underpinnings. Taste is similar, and the body is silky, and almost creamy, particularly for a porter. The finish is lengthy and the smoke clings to the palate much like the lovely lacing clings to the sides of the glass. Despite the definite smoky leanings, this never crosses over into campfire or ashtray territory, but reminds me more of Schlenkerla Rauchbier. Highly recommended.

Photo of doom_deluise
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

it was delicious almost a year past its "best by" date. i can only imagine how good it would have been last year.

Photo of John_M
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A left over keg from the Holiday Ale Festival, this was on offer along with lots of other tasty goodies for the Belmont Station "badass black" fest.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The beer looks attactive enough, but then I stuck my beak in the glass. This beer smells just great, as I pick up considerable smoked meats and smoke salmon, but with condsierable black cherry, vanilla, light coffee and chocolate as well. The beer smells as if it will be a bit on the sweet side (which it is), but the smoke aroma counters and blends in so well with everything else I'm picking up. The flavor profile replicates the nose, and I love how the black cherry flavor seems to dominate the flavor profile. There's still plenty of smoke, coffee and light licorice as well, but it all comes togethere to make one exceptionally fine porter. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, the beer has a wonderful soft, almost creamy consistency. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile; the beer is not the least bit heavy, tiring or hot on the palate.

Just an all around excellent beer from Deschutes, and one I hope they make again at some point. My only criticism is that it's just a bit on the sweet side, but that's a minor quibble in this excellent beer.

Photo of chanokokoro
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Deschutes Brewery Public House branded short stemmed tulip/snifter

Pours a very dark cola brown capped by a one and half finger beige fluffy head. Average retention as the head slowly dissipates and forms a thin foam ring. Threads of sticky lacing cling to the glass here and there. The nose is a mixture of smoky, charred roasted malt and bakers chocolate. Dark chocolate notes, charred malt, robust roastiness, with big molasses notes midpalate. Finishes with unsweetened cocoa powder, some warming alcohol, and a pleasant smoky finish. Smooth, silky medium body that seems slightly heavier at times, moderate carbonation. This is an absolutely fantastic brew. All of the flavors are distinct, but are well-integrated and expertly balanced. This brew exceeded my expectations, and they were very high from the start. Paired perfectly with a grilled beef burger and beef kabobs.

Photo of bnes09
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wonderfully smokey aroma and flavor. Not overpowering but well blended with the complex roasted malt character. Dark fruits and molasses coupled with medium roast coffee and dark chocolate. A perfect marriage of sweet, roasted and smoked.

Photo of flexabull
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark and clear cola brown color with a nice off white head, looks very good.

Aromas are quite nice. A great mixture of chocolate and campfire, some brown sugar notes, almost reminds me of s'mores.

Taste is quite complex. Bacon, smoke, light peat, and a charred wood character up front. Background is creamy, with a brown sugar sweetness and cocoa notes. Finish is crisp, with some warmth from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is smooth, feels a tad light for my liking, but the subtle smooth quality is nice.

Overall, a top notch smoked porter. The first class of 88 beer (barleywine) was a bit of a let down, this one on the other hand is excellent. I am not really all that surprised since this was made by two of the best American porter brewers collaborating.

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 Bitterbill
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by April 29, 2014 on this bottle of Deschutes Class of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter, collaboration brew with Great Lakes.

A- a very dark brown pour, fluffy 1" head of foam that shrinks fairly quickly but leaves nice lacing behind.

S- very malty nose, roasted malt and sweet malt, big dose of smoke. More whiffs give me a fruity character...like semi tart fruitiness. Some alcohol as well.

T- very big smoke taste, roasted malt, a bit of fruit tartness, big sweet notes in the finish, almost like cough syrup but it didn't quite cross the fence to go there. There's lots of warming after the swallow.

M- a pretty big body on this fella with lightish carbonation.

O- I'm really digging this brew. All sorts of flavours going on and to me, they are working fine. A much better collab effort than the Class of '88 Barleywine that I had a while ago. Highly recommended.

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 TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

I had a bottle; VDubb had a bottle; we were at his place, so we went with his bottle. Whatevs. This stuff pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, smoke (strong, but still mild), and a dash or two of dark chocolate powder. Simple and effective. The taste brings in more of the same, with a slightly stronger vein of smoke, more chocolate, and a small addition of mild molasses. The smoke weaves effortlessly with the roast, neither one overpowering the other. Balance is the name of the game here, people. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a damn fine smoked porter. 'Nuff said.

Photo of vkv822
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz : Teku

Pours black, with just a hint of deep, espresso brown edges when held to light. Thin, sudsy, foamy off white head.

Smoked meats and oak upfront with a cocoa, roast backing. Really nice.

More smokey goodness. Great blend of sweet, smokey notes with a faint cocoa and roasted malt backing.

Medium+ body, with mild, foamy carbonation.

A great smoked porter. Big smokey flavor followed by just enough of the base porter to keep it from becoming overwhelming.

Photo of KBomb
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black body, with just a little transparency around the edges to let some light illuminate a dark cranberry color. Quiet little tan head that disappears and leaves no lacing.

Smell of smoke is pronounced, but not at all overpowering--its perfectly balanced with roasted sugary malt.

Again, a lovely act of balance is achieved with a little chocolate, some molasses sweetness, and a little bit of smokiness.

A little chewy for a porter, a little wet for a stout. It finds the middle ground it wants.

Good beer. It might crowd out my current favorite smoked porter...

Photo of AmishLightning
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was my first smoked beer that I am reviewing. Quite an interesting flavor profile with a common porter disguise.

Appearance: The pour was thick, but didn't leave much of any lacing on the sides of the glass. Little carbonation gave this beer almost nothing of a foam topping. Head surface was smooth and flat due to the small height. Black coloring , but you could see some brownish light through the edges if head up to the light.

Smell: Roasted Malts and a bit of hops. Very typical porter smell. Very plain.

Taste: The brew starts with a bit of strong roasted malts to follow the nose. Than SMOKE!!! wow, I don't know if it hit me harder because this was the first of its kind that I had tried, but I sure as hell noticed the intensity of the smoke. The smoke also added a strange sensation. After that taste you feel that you should be thirsty, but you are not because you are drinking a beer. It was very odd getting used to this beer for that reason. Also, there was a bit of chocolate taste on the finish if you let the beer hit the back of your mouth. Overall, a very dynamic beverage.

Mouthfeel: Thicker than a swamp after a hurricane. Pretty smooth, partially resembling a oatmeal stout with the way it sits on your tongue: low carbonation, smooth, and thick.

Overall: Definitely, a beer that you should try out. I don;t know if this will be a class of beers that I will go into. I see this as a beer that is good for the masses to experience and for the few to continuously enjoy.

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 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

Photo of RhyminBelmont
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smoky, meaty, coffee, chocolate, looks and drinks beautifully. A bit strong on the smoke, which could alienate the less adventurous. Not the best imperial porter I have ever had, but a very strong showing. Great effort in this collaboration. Booze is barely noticeable for such high abv, which plays to the strengths of the brew. A little extreme, but very pleasant to drink.

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 TempeBeerMan
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours brown with ruby highlights on the edges. Foamy two-finger beige head. Sticky ringlets of lacing.

S - Moderate strength aroma of chocolate, anise, smoke, and clean alcohol.

T - Wow. Much smokier than I was expecting. Damn near a Rauchbier. Meaty, campfire smoke and ash dominates the flavor profile, with hints of bakers chocolate, black licorice, burnt toast, and caramelized sugar. Rich and flavorful. Alcohol well hidden. Lingering finish.

M - Medium bodied, with a velvety feel. Low carbonation.

O - Very good, but I was wishing for a little more "porter" and a little less smoke. But overall, a robust porter with some really nice elements.

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

Deschutes Brewery & Great Lakes Brewing collaboration brew 'Class of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter' @ 9.1% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $11

A-pour is a dark brown from the bottle to glass with a medium size tan head leaving a streaky lace along the pint glass

S-hint of smoke and Black Butte Porter

T-smooth mellow and creamy , easy drinkin , not too much smoke

MF-medium carbonation , full bodied , carefull easy drinking/sipping beer

Ov-good beer , yes I'd buy again and I did , looking forward to try Great Lakes half of this fine collaboration brew

prost LampertLand

Photo of CHADMC3
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque deep brown to black with dark ruby hues beneath the generous mocha head which slowly dissolves to leave a thin ring of lacing.

Lets tackle nth the aroma and flavor at once as they seem to mirror each other for the most part and it is the tale of two beers. As advertised this brew is both imperial and offers traditional smoked malts at the same time. Wen first poured the beer is much more smoke forward similar to that of a rauch bier. As it warms the chocolate notes really step forward. The smokiness remains throughout the beer on the palate.

A fairly robust brew with subtle carbonation, a full body and a pleasant smoky finish.

A great beer in my. Opinion and underrated to boot. Tons of character both style Ppropriate and innovative.

Photo of TCMike
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color, and produced a finger, and a half of beige head.

The aroma is of , smoke, kalmata olives, and an earthy note.

The taste is similar, but with a light coffee, and alcohol. No real hop bitterness. Heavy body, and lowish carbonation.

Good sipping beer.

Photo of Gavage
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1/2" head.

Smell: light roasted malt aroma with a hint of smoke and chocolate.

Taste: roasted malt, chocolate, raisins, mild smokiness, moderate bitterness, and a hint of alcohol warming are the main flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste as the mild smokiness lingers on the tongue.

Overall: an easy drinking porter that goes well with BBQ. Very enjoyable as the smoked flavor is complimentary, not overwhelming.

Photo of arizcards
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber today from BevMo for $7.49. Best before 4/29/14.

Beer poured a cola brown with a nice head upon the initial pour.

Nose is wonderfully smoked malts with some hints of chocolate.

Taste is smoked malts forward, some chocolate, and hints of dark fruit. Hopping is light but the smokiness keeps the sweetness at bay. Finish is dry.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and decently carbonated.

Overall this is a pretty smackable beer. I was surprised at the degree of smokiness...it could almost be classified as ale version of a rauchbier. Definitely give it a shot if you like porters and or rauchbiers.

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