Great Lakes / Deschutes Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter - Great Lakes Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
3.64/5 rDev -6.9%
Class of '88 has become a tremendous way to re-introduce new flavors, new friendships and new flavors from these world-class brewers- in case you have forgotten about them. Its also a tremendous opportunity to crash the new-wave brewing scene with an old school approach and tenancy. But how much is too much.
Upon the pour, the Porter delivers a lighter-than-expected brown hue. Soft coffee in its appearance, there's a lot of gold, chestnut, and amber colors that suggest something lighter. Its murky haze also seems elevated and causes the beer to look a tad unappealing. But when it comes to its head character, the ale is solid! Ivory in color, the ale retains with a creamy mid-statured head and laces with classic Belgian rings.
Strong smoke aromas set the stage and never lets go. Pure smoke takes the mind directly to campfires, mesquite, and barbecue joints. Its dry and toasted character reveals the scents of kona coffees, dry cocoa, burnt wood and pecans.
When tasting smoke beers, the element of "smoke" usually takes a back seat to the aromas. Not so much here. The early sweetness of burnt caramel and toast is quickly layered upon by the taste of burnt embers, mesquite-smoked meat, and ash. With all those coffee, nutty and savory tastes setting in, that dry smoke character is equally as distracting as it is rewarding.
Medium in body, the beer should feel fuller, but its dry sense delivers a lighter tone. After early toasted sweetness fades, the beer nose dives into a feel of powdery ash, roast-derived roughness and coffee ground astringency. Mild warmth greets the finish and then fades with echoes of ash and more ash.
While celebrating the "smoke" character of their Imperial Smoke Porter, I was hoping for a better recipe for introducing our Kentucky market to the Deschutes brand. Where I applaud their experimental nature, I was hoping for better recipe formulations.
07-17-2013 06:40:19 | More by BEERchitect
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.
12-25-2013 04:01:30 | More by feloniousmonk
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.
07-20-2013 17:18:31 | More by Stinkypuss
District of Columbia
3.76/5 rDev -3.8%
On draft at Whole Foods in Alexandria a while back. Review from notes.
The beer is black and opaque with a small head. The aroma brings chocolates, smoke, campfire essences. Some caramel malts in the flavor with a touch of vanilla. Fairly sweet, though this is countered to some degree by the smokiness. I enjoyed this beer, but not nearly as much as Black Butte or Edmund Fitzgerald. Collaborations are an interesting thing. It often seems as though the magic of two breweries doesn't immediately translate into great beer, like two All-Stars being put on the same team. looks great on paper, but doesn't always work out. Anyway...this was pretty good.
06-13-2013 19:56:48 | More by Huhzubendah
2.15/5 rDev -45%
Thanks to fiver29 for this bottle, which has been hanging around in my cellar for quite some time in a (I've not found) vain attempt to calm the smoke taste enough for my campfire hating wife. 22 oz. bottle that I (tried to) split with my wife.
Poured expertly by my youngest daughter, the pour is black like butte; I'm waiting for someone to make a clear porter (anyone remember Pepsi Clear?). Nose is heavy on the chocolate & smoke with an eau de toilette of sweet malts. Hershey Campfire.
Class of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter is indeed a 'bacon beer', as my wife would say. Smoke remains overwhelming even after a year in the bottle, like sticking your face into a smoker that's smoking smoke. Chocolate that's prominent in the nose retreats to virtual irrelevance, sitting right next to the malts. Light cream & an echo of bitterness barely show. Thick. Half of a bomber is going to be too much.
All smoke, all the time, there no subtlety, no complexity, nothing but a faceful of musty smoke. On the positive side, you could wave this beer around & frighten away mosquitoes for a good ten feet around. Too great breweries: one drain pour. Not good.
06-21-2014 03:11:16 | More by maximum12
Great Lakes / Deschutes Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.