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

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86
very good
72 Reviews
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Class Of '88 Barleywine Style AleClass Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
375
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
26.49%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
77
For Trade:
5
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 375
Photo of elNopalero
4.54/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This pours an amber tan color with light foaming. There’s a pleasing aroma with a piney, almost herbaceous character comingled with a touch of toasted coconut. I found flavors of orange peel, caramel and orange pith, toasted coconut and a hint of vanilla. Full flavored but light bodied for a barleywine. Fun to share.

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Photo of roblowther
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 corked and caged. A perfect evening plan. The cork pops, which says there is more carbonation than I would expect for a barleywine. And I like it! It is a hazy gold with a frothy offwhite head that leaves a bit of nice lace. The smell is like a candy shop, with oranges, sugar, mint and a nice bready base. It has a nice slightly hoppy aftertaste that balances the sweetness really well. Mouthfeel is slick but with nice carbonation, really fantastic. Overall I really, really like this. Really really, really really. For real.

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Photo of pat61
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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Photo of Derek
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bronze with a white head, light retention, shows a little leg.

S: Sponge toffee, mango, candied pineapple and marmalade, quite lovely & enticing.

T: A bunch of sweetness up front (candied pineapple, mango, sponge toffee), which is nicely balanced by a slightly resiny bitterness through the middle. As it warms, you really notice the alcohol in the finish.

M: Moderate body is well carbonated with a slightly prickly acidity and the light residual sweetness fades to a lightly drying alcohol finish.

O: This does not seem like a 10% ale, and I've probably put more hops in a 5% ale, but this an exquisitely balanced, seriously drinkable, warming brew! It's surprising how every mouthful stimulates from start to finish. Well crafted.

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Photo of smerrell
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Midnight Sun Brewing Stem glass.
A: lighter in color that I anticipate from a Barleywine. Head dissipates quickly, but the lacing along the glass lingers.

S: Sweet-smelling, hints of honey and flowers, and perhaps a touch of butterscotch.

T: hints of dried apricot and dried peach, and perhaps a bit of raisin.

M: lots of carbonation on this one. A dry finish.
O: I expected to like this a lot, but it isn't as robust as other barleywines I've enjoyed before. I would have liked a fuller flavor profile, and less dryness from the high carbonation.

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Photo of NWer
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

A: Deep caramel orange color with sticky lacing and heavy head

S: Aroma of sweet citrus, fresh oranges, roasted sugars, and caramel.

T: Wow is this sweet and citrusy. Grapefruit, fresh naval orange and caramel mixing with some bitterness but overshadowed by the tangerine and fresh floral hop characters. There is a nice cotton candy like sugary flavor as well, mashing with a very dry finish.

M: Mild bodied, thinner than Bigfoot but with very similar carbonation levels.

O: Overall this is a solid barleywine. It would be great to find this in smaller bottles so you do not have to plan your timing on opening it quite as much but well done nonetheless.

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Photo of SanFranJake
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up at Stateline, enjoyed chilled form the corked and caged 750ml with Drew and JC, sampled from a teku.

The color of autum, tinges of gold and amber with light haze and a thick cream capping iwth average bead and good retention. The smell is very enjoyable, fruity yeast with a mix of floral and dank herbal hops with some caramel complimenting and a light alcohol ester. The feel is very good mostly dry with semi-bitter and mild caramel texture which verges on sweet with a medium level of carbonation and well balanced presence in the general sense with low alcohol influence.

The taste brings a light pine hop element up front with cherry and other stone fruit from the malt and yeast with some light citrus interplay and a generally toasted grain flavor which also carries a mild sweetness in the malt. The light vanilla and gentle yeast flavor is enjoyable with a light alcohol warmth in the finish which also provides some bitter herbal qualities.
Overall it was a pleasure to sip and share this, I consider this a beer that shows the talents of all the brewer's involved it is better than the sum of the parts as it works in the style, yet has a complexity that makes it stand out from most I have had recently. No heavy handed alcohol or hops, just a great collaboration-Cheers!

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought September 5, 2014. Best before June 2019.

Hazy deep orange beer with a two finger high, beige head that leaves lacing on the glass.

Nose: Orange, butter, marmelade, honey, caramel malt, dried fruit and fruity hops.
Taste: Sweet malt, a lot of hops, citrus, pine, brown sugar and grapefruit.
Body: Medium to full body. Oily texture. Creamy and thick with a great balance of sweetness and bitterness. Soft carbonation.

Soo good!

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Photo of chinchill
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%

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

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 10/31/2013 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish amber color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, brown sugar, citrus and some hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and fruit. Then a good hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a nice stronger beer to drink for as long as you can handle it.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from the release a few years ago.

A: Pours a fairly clear woody amber color with a finger of soft tan foam. A nice fuzzy lace a collar persisted and left a few spots of soapy lace down the glass.
S: Nose is full of rich scents of toasted malts, caramel, and hoppy spice, along with peppey scents and a touch of musty oxidization. Raisins, figs, and candied dates poke through, as well as a touch of warming alcohol.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of caramel malts and spicy and peppery hops up front, with nuances of raisin, toffee, leather, red grape skins, cocoa, and toasted bread crust near the finish. The finish itself is full of a leafy bitterness mixed with a touch of alcohol, and the aftertaste has notes of bread crust, toast, and a peppery herbal spiciness (maybe even rye?) that lingers long after the swallow. Oxidization is actually fairly unobtrusive, and there are some pleasant hints of sherry and musty cardboard.
M: Fuller, chewy body, very soft and easy carbonation, with a rounded and polished mouthfeel from the age. There is still quite a bit of hop bitterness, and this mixed with the spice give a clean spicy texture to the mouthfeel.
O: Flavors were very smoothed out and well-rounded in this bottle. A very easy to drink and pleasant sipper. The alcohol is hidden well, and the oxidization was at a pleasant level. This is drinking well.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Ancora New Orleans. Served in a New Belgium goblet.

A- Pours a orangeish medium amber with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Resilient lacing trickles slowly down the glass leaving a jagged ring behind.

S- Abundant notes of sugary cereal grain malt plus some mild hop fume.

T- The sweetness continues in the flavor as it sets the stage for the pithy, slightly citrusy hop presence. Notes of black pepper and orange. Insanely drinkable for the ABV.

M- A bit sharp from the hops. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Nothing amazing but damn is it a smooth barleywine. Could knock em back all day.

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Photo of colforbin73
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i agree with the previous reviewer (seand)... this drinks a little more like a DIPA or maybe an IESB?

the pour is excellent with a nice off-white head, a copper colored ale, very clear looking.

the smell is a little boozy with bourbon and maple overtones.... the drink is outstanding.. for 10% abv this is an amazingly refined ale. not aggressive at all... the malts are sweet and welcoming... with a good bite of piney hops. the alcohol is warm on the palate but not hot.

a great beer to pair with food. DRINK at just below Room Temp. this ale is no good if too cold... at room temp (65-68) it really opens up and is delicious.

off style but it's great - hence barleywine style. a good value at $10 for the quality of the brew.

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Photo of JiminKY
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I think highly of North Coast, and enjoy their regular offerings. That, combined with the fact that I love Barleywine and was a member of the "Class of '88," had me hoping this would be one of the better Barleywines I'd ever had. Unfortunately, other than it's easy drinkability for a 10% brew, it registered rather mediocre in it's appeal to my other senses. Glad I got the opportunity to taste a reasonably-priced draft, rather than shelling out the big money for a bomber.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of ThatFatBeerGuy
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend brought a bottle over and was kind enough to pour me a tumbler glass as a sampler.

A: Cloudy with a medium head. Almost reminds me of a hefe with a bit more amber color.

S: Very fruity with some earthy wood smell I couldn't quite make out. The fruit is the main attraction here anyway.

T: The fruity aroma supported by an almost tropical mix of fruit flavor. Lots of citrus flavors chased perfectly by a wave of hops.

M: Smooth with low carbonation and a near-perfect amount of lingering hop flavor. There is a touch of alcohol burn, but not nearly what I expected from a 10%. This one could be dangerous.

O: "Barleywine Style Ale" represents this one perfectly. It's not what I expected from the "Barleywine" label, but it's a very worthwhile detour if you're looking for a bit of a curveball. If I encountered a bottle on the shelf, I'd grab it without a second thought.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a five finger, off-white head that fades slowly and leaving a good lace. Hazy amber color. Good carbonation, medium bodied. Tart fruit nose and flavor is sweet, spicy/tart fruit, high ABV is hidden, smooth finish. Pricey at $14.00 for a caged & corked 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of Tone
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hops, slight pale malt, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of yeast, and strong hops. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, body, and blend.

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Photo of Pencible
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque light copper with thick white head.
S: It smelled like sweet candied oranges with wild honey and golden raisins.
T: It tasted like sweet candied oranges and copper hops, with some wild honey and vanilla. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was oily with smooth natural carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a solid barleywine with enjoyable scent and taste and body. Nothing really unique about it, but still nice to drink. The finish was a little hot, so it will likely improve with age.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Part of horizontal tasting of all three versions (North Coast, Deschutes and Rogue) of this interesting project to revisit a classic 1980s recipe. Pours a clear coppery golden amber with a fine half finger white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, light fruit, pineapple, mild piney hops, light ethanol. Flavor is sweet caramel, well melded stone and light fruit juice, mild citrus, slightly floral. Finishes with sweet caramel and a hint of grassy hops and citurs. Alcohol is well covered. Medium bodied with light creaminess. Like the others in this series, seems to take the basic form of an English barleywine, but with less of the dark fruit elements and adding an almost Belgian fruit component, without the Belgian yeast and also slightly more intense hopping of the American style. Nicely balanced and interesting to drink, but lacking the intensity of most English or American barleywines. This came the closest to the English barleywine style (and I would personally list it under that style), it has the mildest hopping of the three '88s. This one was my favorite of this series, well balanced and enjoyable. Like the others, I think the lighter flavors do not promise a long, successful aging, although this is the best candidate for aging and if I see another bottle, I would consider it; possibly interesting in a few years. North Coast's experience with Old Stock Ale served them well in brewing this English influenced barleywine, in my opinion. Glad to have participated in this walk down memory lane.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked & caged 750ml, a gift from my wife when I found out we were having our second child, split into tulips with my brother.

A: Crystal clear gold with white head that leaves good lace.

S: Wasn't ready for this one to be so hop-forward; impressive citrus notes and some pine as well, big orange/orange peel character with plenty of sugary tones and a sweeter bready malt base...caramel maybe too?

T: Big sweet sugary malt and clean grain, mixed with citrusy hops and some earthy notes. Big bready body with decent bitterness. Finishes nicely.

MF: Remarkably creamy, moderately bitter medium/full body.

O: Impressed, wasn't expecting such a pleasant barleywine with the way the reviews seemed to downplay this collaboration. This was enjoyable; big, sweet malt presence and a good dose of juicy American hops - just what an American Barleywine should be.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear and vibrant golden orange with a finger and a half of eggshell colored dense head with good staying power that leaves a good amount of lacing
S: smells of caramel interwoven with some piney and citrusy hops
T: intense caramel sweetness on the front end with some piney, earthy and citrusy hop flavor. a bit of toffee on the back end and the swallow brings a good dose of oily piney hop flavor with some residual sweetness
M: silky and smooth with a decent amount of carbonation. neutral finish that coats the mouth well
O: I can't believe how well this beer drinks for being less than a year old. I'm not a fan of really abrasive hop profiles so this one works very well to me.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear ruby orange, not much carbonation, one finger head with some lacing.

S-Good deal of caramel, malt, grass, coconut and citrus.

T-Much better balanced than the Deschutes version. Caramel, grass, pine with some bitterness.

M-Medium bodied and thankfully no alcohol heat.

O-The main difference between the two was the alcohol heat. NC didn't have any.

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Class Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.
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