Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the
NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.
Tonight’s featured beer is North Coast Brewing Company Class
of ’88 Barleywine Style Ale. I was happy
with seeing this collaboration beer on the shelves and knew I needed to source
all three (North Coast Brewing Company, Deschutes Brewing and Rogue Brewery). So far I have two of them (missing Rogue at
the moment) and plan to get them all posted once I’ve consumed them, but
thought I wanted to get this review posted since North Coast Brewing Company is
one of my favorite breweries around.
From the North Coast Brewing Company website
“1988 was a seminal year for the budding craft brewing industry on the West
Coast. It marked the founding of some of America’s most influential breweries,
North Coast Brewing among them. It was also the year Fred Eckhardt published
The Essentials of Beer Style—a book that quickly became an essential 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 Brewery and Deschutes Brewing—are collaborating on a trio
of commemorative beers evolving from Fred’s book.
Each of the breweries will create its own interpretation of
a barleywine based on Fred’s style guidelines, after which crews from the
partner breweries will travel to each other’s facilities to brew all
three ales. Their common heritage and joint brewing effort will result in
a cohesive set that will allow beer aficionados to enjoy three examples of the
“It’s amazing to look back over the beer landscape and see
what’s happened over the past 25 years,” said Mark Ruedrich, North Coast
Brewing’s Co-Founder, Brewmaster, and President. “America’s craft beers are
setting new international standards for quality and innovation. They’re the
most exciting facet of the world beer scene today.”
These exceptional barleywines will be released in March of
2013 and will be available around the country for a limited time, distinctively
packaged in either 22 oz. or 750 ml bottles.
North Coast Brewing will also produce a 25th Anniversary
Brew of its own, a worthy successor to its Twentieth Anniversary Ale, in
keeping with the northern California brewery’s reputation for exceptional,
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with a large, dense
cream colored head and sticky lacing.
Aroma: Sweet and
pale malts, bready, citrus and fruit (apricot and/or peach).
Taste: Pale malt
sweetness, bready, grassy and citrus hop notes, dried stone fruit with a dry
and crisp finish.
and enjoyable, the North Coast Brewing Company version of the Class of ’88
Barleywine Style Ale is well crafted.
This isn’t the usual Barleywine I’m accustomed to – not as chewy. At 10%
ABV this drinks more like a Double IPA.
I plan to pick another bottle for further evaluation.
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