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Great Lakes / Deschutes Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes / Deschutes Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked PorterGreat Lakes / Deschutes Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter

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very good

189 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 189
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 11
Gots: 14 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MikeCactusGordon on 05-20-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OB1
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

OB1, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of SDG1070
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

SDG1070, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of SaxmanRick
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

SaxmanRick, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of szmnnl99
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

szmnnl99, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of wedge
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%

@ Tasty Beverage

Served in a small snifter, appears a dark brown color - nearly black in fact, until about half way through, when a deep chestnut comes through. A slim, creamy covering settles on top. Mellow, pleasant smoky aromas greet the nose along with roasty grain, chocolate, and fruity wood notes...clean overall. Meaty, smoky malt flavor, though not as nearly intense as some smoked beers. Lightly sweet raisin bread, roasted malts, with a little finishing bite. Comes across simple, but quite tasty and satisfying. Medium bodied, solid carbonation and some dryness. There's a little heat, but otherwise this is super easy to drink for 9%. A great job, coming from two of America's most respected porter brewers.

wedge, May 31, 2013
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%

Great Lakes/Deschutes Class of '88: Imperial Smoked Porter, 9% ABV.

Nearly solid black, peeking out crimson edges, under a lush, creamy coco-toned head.

Smoked malt pops out into the nose first. Someone's frying up the bacon. Hearty malt aromatics hold on to the bottom. Cocoa, caramel, toffee delights at the tip of this cornucopia.

Taste: rich and roasty malt flavor holds court, a big blend of dark malt flavors, with the smoked malt as cream on top. Full bodied. Low hop bitterness. Long, luxurious finish. Creamy and smooth, despite would could be perceived as an extreme flavor. Alcohol isn't felt until…whoop, there it is.

This was one of the porters among the line-up for the StoutFest 2013 event we held back in early November, and once again, I'm grabbing a glass before it's gone. This is one style that divides people. A lot of folks loved, others found it way too smokey for them. If that's the case, probably any smoke is too much. I think it's just right. I like this one big time.

Go ahead and get yourself a bomber. You deserve it.

feloniousmonk, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of buschbeer
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%

1 PINT, 6 FLUID OUNCE bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It pours like used motor oil. It is thick and black. I got less than an inch of mocha head.

S - The aroma consists of chocolate and smoke.

T - The initial taste was loaded with smoke, but it gave way to the chocolate flavor. Subsequent tastes where more on the chocolate side. The smoke was still there but more subtle than that initial blast.

M - Velvety smooth

O - I had this fresh on tap at the brewery when I bought it. After a few months the bottle has less smoke than the fresh draft had. I like this more subtle bottled version better. This is a delicious porter from some guys who know how to make porters.

buschbeer, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of Scrapss
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%

Another growler, clean Turbinator style glass.

A: This is quite dark and almost non-see-thru. Has very slight legs. Head drops into thin disk. slight wispy lacing.

S: As expected, smoke, meat, salty. Kinda reminds me of Seltzer's Lebanon Bologna. Similar to rauchbier. Smoke notes include smoked sardines, smoked high-oil fish. Roasted nuts, maybe pecans? Campfire, creosote, the malt must be very strong malt...it tries and fails to overcome the smoke notes. No hop to speak of. Slight bacon/smoked pig fat notes.

T: It brings the smoked notes of how it smells. The campfire is there. The fishy nose notes are muted the taste, chocolate notes start to come out.

M: slightly over medium in body, carbonation tries to help but there's just not much there. slick finish. The smoke makes the finish feel like a faux hop dryness. Interesting. Slight acrid ashy note on ultimate finish as it warms. There's a little booze heat on ultimate out-breath.

O: I think it should be reclassified as a rauchbier. I like it. Not something I would seek out regularly, but it is good for an occasional quaff.

Scrapss, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of mikeg67
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%

Growler from Joe Canal. Pours dark brown with a long lasting, foamy, beige head. Aroma is of smoked malt with hints of chocolate and dark fruit. Body is full and smooth. Taste is of smoked malt, chocolate, vanilla, wood and some dry fruit. Finish is long, bitter-sweet. Delicious brew.

mikeg67, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of TheBrewo
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%

This brew was served from the tap at MacGregor’s Grill and Tap Room in Canandaigua, NY. It arrived in a generic goblet glowing a deep brown coloring, letting up cherry wood hues around the edges. It held a one finger head of creamy café au lait colored bubbles, showing nice retention. A thin sheet of lacing was left around the glass, but it fully covering. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be moderate. The aroma gave chocolate malt roast, bread pudding sweetness, tobacco leafiness, and huge ashtray smokiness right from the start. Mixing in were notes of coppery metallics, soured yeast bite, chlorine chemicals, bacon meatiness, and big Band Aid phenols. With warmth came clovey spice, wax, and booze. Our first impression was that the flavoring showed huge, huge smoke and pork meatiness, both floating across a silky smooth and dark malt base. As we sipped, syrupy caramel and chocolate porter malts, white sugar, light maple woodiness, charred barley, massive campfire smokiness, and green grass bite started things off. Pushing to the peak were almond oils, coffee and chocolate malt roast, mossy bark, vanilla frosting, pumpernickel breadiness, chalked chocolates, and drying cocoa powder bitterness. The end came washing through with continued grit of smoke, maple sugars, sesame and fennel seed, black pepper, booze, ham meatiness, and light spruce freshness. The aftertaste breathed of continued onslaught of sweating hickory woodiness and smoke, bitterly charred chocolate malts, oily leathers, surprisingly raw barley, graphite, chalk, and rumbles of licorice. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip showed silky smooth slurp, smack, cream, and froth, with nice finishing pop. The mouth was left coated and slicked, with eventually very light crisp dryness to the tip of the tongue. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its overt smoky flavoring, of course. This rode high over a nice base porter, helping to mix things up a bit, but to also help keep things drinking interestingly. The sweetness was there, and so was the roast, with syrupy smack to the lips to round out the feel and balance. Otherwise the smoke was a bit of a novelty in its bigness, but it certainly gives the beer credibility and earns it the prefix of “imperial”. We are very glad to have finally been able to track this one down, and for those who are on the fence, it tastes pretty much like you would expect from the description, but just expect a big, bold beer.

TheBrewo, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

LOOK: Dark brown with a white head and plenty of lace. Perfect clarity, and has amber hues in the right shade of light.

SMELL: Roast, dirty smoke, meat, coal.

TASTE: Roasted malt, good bit of smoke, then some malty sugars and coffee notes emerge from the smoke making for a fine, smooth drinking stout. Fire roasted marshmallow notes. Like drinking a campfire for sure, this has a little of everything roasted.

FEEL: Full bodied, well carbonated, thick feel.

OVERALL: A great beer. Smokey and delicious, worth getting a chance to try. Great collaboration.

Stinkypuss, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured into Bell's snifter from growler filled at Weiland's Gourmet Market in Columbus, OH. This was the last growler-fill of the keg.

A - Pours a lighter brown in color, small, .5 finger, off white head.

S - Certainly a good amount of smoke up front. Note of coffee, bready malt, a faint hint of chocolate.

T - Very good blend present of that burnt, smoke taste, coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, and even some vanilla. A little sweet in the beginning before fading to that smokiness. Good blend here.

M - Very smooth, a little light, but still a full taste. Amazing this is 9%

Overall - A solid brew here. I can't say it's better than either of their standout porters on their own, but they did a good job here with blend and adding a rich smokiness. Glad I got to try it.

BeerBuckeye, Jun 01, 2013
Photo of beergoot
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%

Deep mahogany red, almost brownish body color coupled with a thick, foamy off-white head. Good smokey aroma infused with hints of cocoa and vanilla. Powerful smoke taste, very barbeque-like, swirling about with strong touches of alcohol and dark, dry-roasted malt grains. Relatively light body, clean and semi-sweet finish.

A well-done smoked beer collaboration from two of my favorite breweries. This should delight fans of both rauchbiers/smoked beers and porters though the smoked beer lovers will probably get the best satisfaction out of this offering. I will be hunting for some more bottles of this one...!!!

beergoot, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of CloudStrife
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%

11 oz pour into a goblet. From last nights notes.

A: Pours a clear dark brown appearing almost black in the glass. White head on top that is somewhat quick to dissipate. Leaves spots of lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Smokiness comes through well dominating the aroma. Bit of dark fruits and roastiness from the malt.

T: As with the aroma, there is a strong smokiness to this beer. Roasted malts really compliment the smoke. Chocolate malts are in there too and come out nicely as it warms.

M: Medium body with a bit more creaminess than your average porter. Finish is smooth and alcohol well hidden.

Overall I'm glad I've been able to have this porter a couple times now. Two of the best porter brewers collaborated on an excellent beer here. With the added complexity of the smoke flavor, this is a great blend.

CloudStrife, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of thecheapies
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%

Red-black beer in color. Quarter-inch of bubbles. Looks unlike many porters.

Chewy smoke, chocolate-covered bacon, smoked salt, hefty roast, toffee, barley, and a sweeter earthiness. Nice aroma.

Smokiness has the booty, but there's a nice chocolate and toffee flavor going on here, too. Burnt sugars, some coffee, and more unmistakable saltiness and minerality. Alcohol is a little imperialistic. Not as sweet as I expected. Pretty delicious stuff, especially for the smoke lover in me.

Carbonation has a little peck as it goes down. Opening mouth is smooth enough for an imperial porter. Alcohol has nice bite; almost a positive. Body is a little sluggish.

Nice porter. Taste really repped for the style. Smoky, but not hugely so. Has great umami.

thecheapies, Jul 05, 2013
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

OhioBobcat, Aug 16, 2013
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

JMS1512, Aug 07, 2013
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

dailyminefield, Jun 05, 2013
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

ninner00, May 21, 2013
Photo of beersdmf17
4/5  rDev +2.3%

beersdmf17, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of theminutemen
4/5  rDev +2.3%

theminutemen, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of anyother
4/5  rDev +2.3%

anyother, May 24, 2013
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

EgadBananas, Oct 16, 2013
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

jaydoc, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev +2.3%

mendvicdog, Jun 25, 2013
Great Lakes / Deschutes Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.