Class Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Class Of '88 Barleywine Style AleClass Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale
BA SCORE
3.83/5
Very Good
393 Ratings
Class Of '88 Barleywine Style AleClass Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
northcoastbrewing.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SanFranJake on 04-21-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
393
pDev:
11.49%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
76
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 393 |  Reviews: 76
Reviews by kojevergas:
Photo of kojevergas
2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml brown glass bottle with straightforward stylish label art and hood-and-wire cap over a cork acquired at a local bottle shop and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery, but I wasn't a huge fan of Deschutes' version. 10% ABV confirmed. 75 IBUs.

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.

Cork is difficult to get out. I resorted to pliers.

A: Pours a two finger wide head of greyish khaki colour head (that's 'ecru', for the pretentious). Nice smooth soft complexion. Okay frothiness. Light creaminess. Even consistent lacing as the head recedes. Retention is pretty good, about 4-5 minutes. Supple.

Body colour is a glowing vibrant copper. Translucent, transparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's not looking great for the style, but there are no overt flaws. Not unique or special.

Sm: Some tropical hop ester notes: peach, mango, grapefruit. Getting some resins and pine as well. Clean malt build, with biscuit and light caramalt. Somewhat grainy. Honey. Lightly herbal. An even pairing of hops and malts, but it really isn't to style. Not finding any of the rich notes I look for in great barleywines. No toffee, oak, dark malts, etc. I also don't detect any yeast. Maybe some warm alcohol. A strange build for a barleywine, but I'm optimistic. Mild in strength.

T: Weird, with misplaced tropical hop notes meeting some warm booze - all over a middling clean malt body comprised of biscuit malt, caramalt, and generic malted barley. Grainy. Maybe some pils malts? Definitely not English in character. I get mango, pineapple, peach...what are these notes doing in a barleywine? No rich dark malts, refined toffee, or oak here. Pretty tepid. Sappy. Vague apricot. Green grape with a pleasant grapeskin note. Flavour depth is below average for style. Flavour intensity and duration are about average, I guess. Low complexity and subtlety. Imbalanced as well, with evident booziness. Honey. Salt. Nowhere near as toasty as I'd like. Way too much hop bitterness for the style; direly overhopped. Meh.

Mf: Smooth, wet, salty. Overcarbonated, almost biting. Boozy and tepid. Not a great texture for a beer of this style. Poor presence on the palate. Overbearing and unnecessarily heavy. Burdening. Body is too full for the lack of flavour depth and diversity. Not big on this one.

Dr: Pretty mundane; a disappointment especially for the brewery (and price for that matter). Wouldn't touch this stuff again. Not sure what they were thinking bringing this one to market. Doesn't hide its ABV well at all, and there's not much to enjoy flavour-wise. Quite difficult to quaff as a result. Really misses the mark. Definitely below average for the style. But hey, it'll get you drunk. I appreciate their reverence for history, but reviewers please note that just because you're taking their word that this is what a barleywine tasted like way back when doesn't mean you have to instantly defend it for being mediocre. Last I checked no one needed to defend Rochefort for putting out beer that's bad now but that was considered good in 1600 AD; the beer speaks for itself regardless of the times. I love Deschutes and North Coast as much as the next guy, but let's get a little reality check, people. Let's not hop on the apologist bandwagon, eh?

Low C-

It'll definitely get better with age, but I can't see it getting good with age.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of t2grogan
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Found this caged and corked 750 at a local shop after some searching.
This is the North Coast version of the collab with Deschutes and Rogue.
Sales guy tells me it's "not really a barleywine for aging because its more of a double IPA."
Got it home and sure enough, it's nothing like a BW IMHO.
Pours a darkish golden brown, akin to a DIPA, pretty good amount of head that sticks around, again, like a good fresh DIPA should.
Flavor however isn't like a DIPA, nor is the nose. Not really sure what's going on here...but it's good.
The more I sip it the more it tastes like a BW, but only after its been swallowed, not in the mouth.
Looking forward to trying the Deschutes and Rogue versions, both of which I have, so see how they each out their spin on this interesting, yet unique, barleywine.

 800 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter this beer was a cherry amber color with a small tan head. There was a smidgeon of lace.

Aroma of caramel and honey. Some dark fruit as well as a bit of citrus.

Caramel and toffee taste. Figs. Some grassy hops. Couldn't really appreciate the citrus noticed in the aroma.

Very smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol was not at all noticeable.

 364 characters

Photo of NWer
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at local watering hole.
Nice bronze clear appearance.
Abundant two finger head holds up well. Good lace.
Not your typical barleywine.
Obviously not the intent of brewer to produce a knock your socks off numb the senses with tastes.
Very subtle. Flowery & very smooth up front with a nice surprising hint of hop flavor and alcohol sneaking up on you in the finish.
Too easy to treat this beer as a drinker not a sipper. Had to remind myself to slow down.
Very enjoyable. They pulled off something very different. A nice change.

 542 characters

Photo of lostandwandering
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of pat61
4.44/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. L: Pours brilliant golden amber under a 1”clingy white foam collar.
S: Grain, fresh barley, light fruit, faint compost.
T: Rich malt flavors, caramel, a suggestion of bourbon, alcohol, with bitter hop accent.
F: Extraordinarily creamy and smooth with a rich, full body, slight alcohol burn.
O: Marvelously balanced between big malt, alcohol and hops. Almost like a mixed drink.

 396 characters

Photo of Jsonta
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Seattle_Suds
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of whoneeds8
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of kwkdmk
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of chinchill
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%

Shared 750 l bottle.
Slightly hazy deep amber with a good head.
Modestly strong aroma followed by a much richer and more complex flavor. Great balance, as barrel aging effects meld with a generous load of mostly medium roast malts and a precise level of hopping.
O: highly recommended.
3.8 3.3 4.1 3.7 4.1

 313 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a clear bright copper body with strands of big bubbles gently pushing to the surface. There is a sticky creamy off-white head that has a touch of lacing with each sip.

S- The sweet pale malt aroma has some light caramel notes and a hint of butter in the finish.

T- The nice rich pale malt is sweet with a dry green woody hop finish and some cream flavor in the finish with a touch of sweetness.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle crisp fizz and a nice soft alcohol warmth.

O- This classic barleywine has more of a "blonde barleywine" character to it. It is rich and sweet but not the luscious malt depth that I would expect from a barleywine. It is still a very nice sipping beer.

 732 characters

Photo of Schlafly33
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of JMS1512
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Appearance: Lush opaque amber with an off-white head. Tiny, tiny bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Head recedes to a moderately thin rim, leaving behind sine-wave like lacing.

Smell: Bright citrus, perhaps oranges. Most likely from the hop choice. 75 IBUs? Check.

Taste: Lots of hops, plus citrusy, floral wave. 75 IBUs? Double Check. A touch of sweetness. I don’t taste any roasted notes, or caramel, nor did I smell them at the outset. I do get a sugary finish as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat coating, medium bodied. Not sure where people are getting “sticky” as a descriptor. I can however, feel the bubbles.

Overall: Enjoyable for an American, though I still prefer English. A tasty collaboration.

 737 characters

Photo of PopGun
1.25/5  rDev -67.4%

Photo of DerekQXQX
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of AScrambledEgg
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A- This beer pours a beautiful amber color and leaves a considerable head and beautiful lacing on the glass's sides. In the glass, it looks like a dark amber beer.

S- A very fruity profile, something like earthy fruits like prunes and pears. A mild hop and malt profile is present as well.

T- Very similar to the smell, prominent citrus notes give way to piney, earthy hop resins and hints of spice. The booze emerges on the finish, but is not overbearing.

M- A bit more carbonated than would be expected. A bit of burn from the booze at the backend.

O- A good barleywine, but one with some noticeable flaws. Certainly could mellow out a bit and I'm sure aging would do this, so I'd revisit a few years down the line.

 764 characters

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Class Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 393 ratings