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

BA SCORE
86
very good
386 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
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
Ratings:
386
Reviews:
74
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
73
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 386 |  Reviews: 74
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.

 1,384 characters

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

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.

 752 characters

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.

 735 characters

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.

 476 characters

Photo of EdwardAbbey
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jonbw
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of glass_house
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of pagriley
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of JakeBarnett
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of BsoberIM
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of vande
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 732 characters

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.

 887 characters

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

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.

 308 characters

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.

 446 characters

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.

 558 characters

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.

 1,579 characters

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.

 860 characters

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of DerekQXQX
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of AScrambledEgg
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Class Of '88 Barleywine Style Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 386 ratings.
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