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North Coast Class of ’88 Barley Wine

Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 191   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 75   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
1988 was a pivotal year for the emerging craft brewing industry on the west coast, marking the founding of some of America’s most influential breweries, North Coast Brewing Co. among them. It was also the year Fred Eckhardt published The Essentials of Beer Style—a book that quickly became an indispensable reference for aspiring brewers and critics. In recognition of the 25th anniversary of this milestone year, North Coast Brewing and two other west coast members of the pioneering “Class of ’88,”—Rogue Ales and Deschutes Brewery—have collaborated on a trio of commemorative beers evolving from Fred’s style guidelines. Each of the breweries has created its own distinctive interpretation of a barleywine. Brewers traveled to each other’s locations and teamed up to brew all three ales. Their common heritage, joint efforts and inherent camaraderie resulted in a cohesive set that allows beer aficionados to enjoy three examples of the style. These exceptional barleywines are being released in late March of 2013 and are available around the country for a limited time, distinctively packaged in either 22 oz. or 750 ml bottles, or on draft. The breweries are planning Class of ’88 celebrations in Bend and Portland, Oregon and San Francisco and Fort Bragg, California.

UDBeernut's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
UDBeernut (2555) - Between JAX and SGJ, Florida, USA - MAY 19, 2014
Pours translucent burnt sienna. Yeah, whipping out my box of crayolla crayons on this one, minimal head. Toffee and nutty nose. Taste is sweet malt, more caramel, toffee. Big full chewy body. Mild booze burn on finish. This is an old school barley wine. Like pre TI-82 calculator old school.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
djd07 (8762) - Houston, Texas, USA - JUN 8, 2016
Bottle thanks to Chow. Pours a cloudy brown with small beige head that diminishes to nothing. The aroma is candy sugar, toffee, booze. Medium mouth, similar flavors to nose, nice dark fruit, boozy finish, very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Douberd (4528) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - MAY 30, 2016
(North Coast Class of ’88 Barley Wine) Bottle 750 ml at home, corked and caged. Gotten from a trade wth a swedish guy it seems, but can’t remember whom. Thanks anyway! Served into a snifter, ABV 10% Deep orange to red colour on the body, mostly clear, with a good sized and thick enough off-white head on top, with average retention. Aroma has still strong hops, caramel, alcohol,tropical fruits, apricot. Taste is sweet, nice caramel notes, notable alcohol, hops, red fruits, apricot, peach, light orange peel, some pine even. Medium thick body, biting carbonation, quite dry on the palate. Very good and not your usual barleywine, this still tastes like a fresh DIPA with Hopslam coming to mind. 10% but so easy to drink, great beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
oldrtybastrd (4911) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 3, 2016
Pours a hazy reddish brown. Aromas of hops, caramel malts, kind of medicinal. Flavor is to strong for me, big alcohol taste, malty with a dark fruit taste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
fiulijn (18390) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 19, 2016
Bottle from Brewery Creek, Vancouver, corked
if it was released in March 2013, it’s 2 years old

Hazy amber color with creamy and persistent head. The aroma is very nice, more fruity than the usual American Barley Wine, adding a dimension; there is also a delicate Bourbon vanilla touch. Good body strength, moderate sweetness, but expect less thickness and sugars than usual; instead this Barley Wine has a remarkable spicy character, like rye; good bitterness level, the hop participates with some fruity resins, more was expected.
Even if it’s a Barley Wine, I suspect it was better when fresher; good brew, a bit different, but not mind blowing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
jtclockwork (13483) - , New Jersey, USA - APR 13, 2016
Bottle - pours orange gold white head - nose/taste of old hops, orange peel, toffee, metallic notes and resin - medium body.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
vtafro (6237) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - APR 13, 2016
Bottle. Golden pour with tan head. Fruit, boozy and hoppy aromas. Herbal, fruity, boozy, hoppy grassy Flavors.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Lowe1983 (1480) - Dayton, Ohio, USA - APR 3, 2016
Pours a cloudy, dark amber color with an off-white head. Aroma is dark fruits, caramel malts, and some alcohol. Flavor is similar but not as thick on the mouth feel as I usually like with barley wines. Some warming on the finish but not a whole lot.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
AirForceHops (5859) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - MAR 17, 2016
750 bottle, thanks Adrien! Amber color, mild traces of sediment floating around, no head. Aroma is toffee, pine needles, dough malts, and booze.

The flavor still has plenty of bitterness, more bitterness then should be here for a three year old bottle. Plenty of pine, floral hop hints. Tobacco leaves, earthy notes. Body is damn near syrupy. Carbonation is still here. No oxidation can be found.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
koleminer20 (2103) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - FEB 27, 2016
From notes. Enjoyed at the 3rd Annual Barleywine Tasting at Travis’s house on February 20. 750 mL bottle. The pour on this one is interesting. It’s a brighter orangey color with a small cap of light tan head and a light lace as it falls down. This one is definitely an American. There is a nice light caramel and toffee up front, and it then just rolls through a huge hoppy bitterness. There is a lot of pine resin, and not really any more sweetness once the pine sets in. The flavors are very similar. It’s got a strong hoppiness up front, backed up with a strong resin on the back end. There is a little sweetness in the middle. A touch of citrus and the toffee come back through, but are definitely overshadowed throughout. The mouth feel is a little thin and light, with a touch too much bubbly carbonation. The aftertaste is lingeringly bitter and carries a touch of fruitiness. This one is definitely interesting. The booze that exists is really well hidden. It’s a nicely done American.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bytemesis (6289) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - FEB 4, 2016
Bottle. Pours hazy orange, small beige head, decent residual and lacing. Aroma is caramel, toffee, pine. Flavor is medium sweet, light plus bitter, hints of orange zest, caramel and toffee with piney hops adding bitterness on the finish. Medium body, creamy mouthfeel. Pretty much right down the middle of the American barleywine fairway on this one.

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