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Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter - Deschutes Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

371 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 371
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.87%
Wants: 4
Gots: 38 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: John_M on 04-27-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 371 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeffrey2310
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Jeffrey2310, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

zeff80, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of bigbeers84
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

bigbeers84, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of jdhowe
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

FInally this bear has arrived in NorCal! Best by 4/29/14.

A: Pours a translucent brown, manifesting as an almost opaque deep brown in the body. Minimal light shows through the body against a strong light source -- this is about as close to opaque as you can get without being opaque. 1/2 finger of flimsy khaki head that quickly dissipates.

S: Clean, sweet, maltiness. Less smoky than I had expected, but it's there. Hint's of dry baker's chocolate give the nose a sweet chalky chocolatey character that dominates the profile. A little fruitiness shows.

T/M: Ok, there's the smokiness. A strong wave of smoke hits at the front of the sip and lingers through the finish. The rest of the body is malt sweetness with a little acidity and some fruity character... it's possibly a little diacetyl, but I'm honestly not sure and it fades with more sips. Mouthfeel is light to medium (much lighter than I had expected) and is lightly carbonated. Carbonation feels a little light, but is still enough.

O: Now that I read the bottle more closely... "a rich chocolate aroma and a subtle smoky flavor." Minus "subtle" I'd say they nailed it. Not a bad beer, but not what I had hoped to get from the makers of Black Butte Porter and its imperial reimaginations, Black Butte [#]. Can I really hold a brewery's fantastic beer against its lesser beers? It may not be fair, but I think that's what I'm doing here. I'd drink it again, but I'd probably not buy it again.

jdhowe, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of stpjames
4/5  rDev +7.2%

stpjames, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +7.2%

MarkyMOD, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of thinwhiteduke
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

thinwhiteduke, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

TheBeerAlmanac, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of Hardcore
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Hardcore, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
2.46/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Oh boy. The two best brewers of American Porters come together for a collaboration; I'm definitely excited to try this one. 9.1% ABV confirmed. Best by: 04/29/14. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with straightforward label art and branded pry-off cap acquired at a local bottle shop for $7.99 and served into a Samuel Smith nonic glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given the style and the two breweries involved.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of khaki colour. Decent creaminess. Low frothiness. Retention is fairly bad; maybe two minutes? Hrm. No lacing as the head recedes. Okay thickness. Not a great head by any means - especially in an ideal glass for the style.

Body colour is a dull dark cola amber-black. Opaque. Hm. This really isn't looking good. Looks like a crappy schwarzbier, to be honest.

No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Sweet caramalts and middling smoke; execution seems poor indeed. Dark malts. No hop profile is noticeable. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. It's just a thin weak aroma with no balls. I'm shocked at how underwhelming this beer is so far. Not getting any roasty or toasty character. The label describes a "rich chocolate aroma"; that's just nowhere to be found here. A light pathetic aroma for a porter. Hopefully it picks up in the flavour profile?

T: It does pick up a bit, but it's still fairly embarrassing. Weak smoke and some light bacon notes. What happened? No roast. Cola. Almond. Sasparilla. A light vague hint of chocolate malt, but no actual evocative chocolate. Some char. The finish is pretty garbage. The body is pathetic, comprised entirely of weak middling dark malts. I do get some sort of fruit or berry, which is unexpected - and out of place. Flavour duration and intensity are below average. Depth of flavour is poor. Not complex or subtle by any means. Wow, is this a disappointment. On the sweeter side.

Mf: Thin and weak. Doesn't support the flavour profile all that well. Lacks legs to stand on. I'd almost call it lightly watery. Undercarbonated. Not oily, harsh, or gushing, but not approachable either. Smooth and wet. Doesn't suit the style well at all. Really poor execution. Sticky.

Dr: Hugely disappointed given the breweries involved. Definitely not worth the price. I wouldn't buy this again if it were half the price. Quite a poor brew from Deschutes/Great Lakes. I never would have expected that. Some reviewers have compared this unfavorably to Alaskan Smoked Porter; I think drawing a comparison at all is an insult to Alaskan Smoked Porter. It's downable; there's just nothing going on here. And the execution of the smoke feels amateur. It seems like a homebrew smoked schwarzbier.

Swing and a miss from Deschutes.

High D+

kojevergas, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of JSchock7
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

JSchock7, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of APBTMarcel
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

APBTMarcel, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of RichH55
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

RichH55, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of Bassomatic
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Bassomatic, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of strongaf
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

strongaf, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of Oboogie
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Oboogie, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of mothman
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Color is a dark black. Tan head. Decent retention.

I am going to keep my review short to highlight on the important stuff. This beef is pure smoke. Sure it has your typical porter flavors, but the smoke dominates this beer. I could not drink a lot of it because of this.

Mouthfeel: Smokey and roasty. Ends very dry.

Overall, I didn't want more than a few ounces. Just not drinkable. Tone back the smoke a tad and this would be a great beer.

mothman, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of azdback
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

azdback, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of Swedgin
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Swedgin, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of goblin7704
4/5  rDev +7.2%

goblin7704, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of Skyjmpr
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Skyjmpr, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of popery
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark brown, just light enough to see the color. Medium beige head. Very little lacing. Moderate retention. The aroma is pretty well dominated by a meaty smoke flavor. Underneath that, there is a dark malt cola note. There's a little bit of roast and some soy sauce. Maybe, a touch of chocolate. The taste is rather sweet. It's a big cola sweetness. There's also some chocolate and more of that meaty smoke. The finish is all cola and smoke with some light bitterness. Carbonation is pretty average. A touch slick. Kinda light for the abv. This was fairly disappointing. It's just too simple and sweet. Good level of smoke, but there's just not much dark malt depth. It's almost all cola sweetness.

popery, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of IrishColonial
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

IrishColonial, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Rhettroactive, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +7.2%

billab914, Jul 14, 2013
Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter from Deschutes Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 371 ratings.