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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

38 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 38
Hads: 197
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 14
Gots: 12 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Porter | 9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MikeCactusGordon on 05-20-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 197
Photo of Bung
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Duckworths. Just a darkish brown pour, not as dark as one might expect, with a frothy layer of cream head. Laced quite well.

Aroma, some smoke and toasted malt. Light milk chocolate.

Taste, kind of sweeter malt up front, caramel, with some dark chocolate and honey roast peanut. Beechwood barbeque takes over from there, heavy smoke.

Creamy and not real heavy. Coats well enough though. A nice drinker if you are ready for it. This is the best part of this brew for sure. No alcohol.

If you're going to advertise smoke it better be there and it is with this one. The porter behind it is fairly average, which is Extreamely surprising considering the porters these two brewers put out.

Worth trying once for sure.

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Photo of dakotaben
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Does not appear very carbonated and a thick tan head shows on pour. A hazy, chocolaty brown look.

S - It has the nice aroma of a malty smoked chocolate. Smoke is evident in the scent.

F - A sweet, malty flavor for sure and once again the smoke is apparent, but not overbearing. There is a faint chocolate taste and low hops. Light alcohol burn finishes off my pull

M - Medium to medium heavy mouth feel. Low carbonation

O - This is a nice heavy beer and I really liked that I could taste the smoke, but it was not overpowering. The twinges of chocolaty sweetness marry the punch of alcohol and heavy malt quite nicely. I am somewhat new to porters and I really like this beer.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This porter poured a deep brown to one shade off black. The head was strangely off white an collared to a froth.

The scent was relatively mild with with roasted coffee notes, smoke or char and a toasted malt.

The taste was quite subtle at first but delving deeper in, the smoke appears at the forefront. I began to catch glimpses of chocolate malt, caramel and coffee roast. Nothing overwhelming but a nice smooth tasteful ride through a lightly carbonated drink.

Overall, this is good and worthy of another try but could use the Imperial treatment.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really excited about this as I rarely get Deschutes and don't get great lakes in the nyc area. Poured from tap at tap and mallet in Rochester ny into snifter. Dark black pour with thin tan head and large bubble carbonation. Smell is chocolatey smokeyness...very crisp though. Smells sweet but a bit of soy sauce. ..lots of leather.
Taste is roasted chocolate and smoke. Bacony...sweet...roasted...smokey...leathery....weird. its easy to drink. .you don't notice the abv at all.
Its good...not as good as I hoped. The leather aroma is just too powerful.
Warming helps...Maybe some age would also help..
A bit disappointed.

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Photo of lighthabit
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

deep garnet red. weak head quickly dies to very minimal layer. no lacing to speak of.
smoke smell evokes sense of old world, hints of peat, malt, leather. taste mirrors nose, a bit thin. smoke is strong, yet fleeting. smoked beers aren't my thing, but this one is at least interesting. for someone wanting to sample a smoked brew, i think this would be a nice one to try before leaping into the crazy strong types. i would've liked to have a bit more complexity, some other flavors to work with the smoke. i tried to grade it based on what i think they were going for.

recommended and appreciated, even if it isn't necessarily one of my preferred styles.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appears a dark black and opaque. Collar of head retains nicely. Smell strongly of campfire with chocolate and roasted barley. Smoke is front and center and nearly leans towards the overwhelming side. Taste feature heavy smoke with a slight astringency. Mouthfeel is thin and well carbonated. Overall, very heavy smoke almost bordering on artificial.

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Photo of MarkJBurch
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Purchased a growler yesterday which has remained unopened until the time of review. Aggressive pour into a nonic pint glass produced a modest head that quickly dissipated into a thin layer of tan bubbles, lacing present. Dark and rusty in color with hints of ruby where light strikes the glass.

Burnt molasses, caramelized sugars are prominent in the nose. The stale smell that a campfire leaves on your clothing. Leather? Mesquite-esque.

Bitter char is heavy on the palate, distracting. Bittersweet chocolate. Faint booze in the background. Dark fruit and tobacco.

Not as full bodied as I'd like, adequate carbonation. After two glasses my mouth feels fatigued.

This would be great in a marinade. I'm not crazy about it, perhaps I should shy away from smoked beers. If you can't find this in your area, eat some BBQ Lays, smoke a cigarette and wash it all down with an Edmund Fitzgerald.

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Photo of BrewUSA
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great Lakes Smoked Porter

Look 8/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 29/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 15/20

Overall 77/100

Wasn't a big fan of this... While it had a perfect amount of smoke taste, there's was an unusual 'band aid smell' type taste' like old rubber was used to brew it. Drinkable and all... However, I may keep a bottle unopened just cause I would almost rather have the keepsake than the sub par taste~

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Photo of MrBoz21
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Poured brown-amber with ribbons of amber showing through – not opaque. Tan head quickly settled and dissipated. Very bubbly with loads of sediment floating.
Aroma: Campfire and leather.
Taste: more smoke, more leather. Balanced and bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Slick and heavy.
Overall: While many brewers would appreciate nuance and complexity, I feel it would be the half full pitcher at the end of the pizza party.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.01/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: a deep brown/ black. opaque and a thin tan head that leaves a side lacing

Smell: smoked maple bacon. not much works its way around that

Taste: some notes of roasted malts and chocolate but i am mostly getting bacon in liquid form. not very drinkable to me

Mouthfeel: leaves a smoky taste behind. other wise of good body

Overall: loved black butte and edmund fitzgerald but this bordered on the wrong side of undrinkable for me. smoked beers just aren't me i guess

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Photo of WesMantooth
2.92/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

With all due respect, not good. Someone else mentioned something about being brewed with old rubber. That is spot on. Smells like a ball of rubber bands. I admit, my expectations were high given that these 2 breweries make some of the best porters in existence, but this is a big miss in my opinion. It does taste better than it smells (thank God) but nothing that would make me buy it again. In fact, I would probably turn it down for free. I am being objective when I say that it is a stretch to rate this as "OK", which is shocking. Looks like I am being harder on it than everyone else maybe? Just baffled. Maybe I had a bad bottle...

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Photo of maximum12
2.2/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

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.

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Great Lakes / Deschutes Class Of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.