Sunday, June 8, 2014

Deschutes Class of '88 Belgian Style Ale

This beer is brewed and bottled at Deschutes in Bend, Oregon. It is part of a celebration of 25 years of brewing by several breweries of the "Class of '88." Various breweries in the class would brew the same beer. There is also a Goose Island version of this beer. The beer says it is best AFTER December 6, 2014. I'll keep a bottle for after that date, but wanted to try it now. Hey, that way I can compare how it drinks before and after, right?

This beer combines Michigan Riesling grapes and Oregon Pinot Noir grapes with whole flower Mt. Hood hops and pilsner malts, all aged in Muscat casks. That is pretty unique as far as beers go (it's a beer made out of wine).

The beer pours apricot and amber in color. There is a short and relatively thin head of white to off-white foam. The aroma is vinous, white wine, tangy and sweet, melons, citrus, grapes, just a hint of wood. The taste follows the aromas, adding in apples and pears, quite sweet, but enough counterbalancing tangy and tart to prevent it from being too sweet. There are some light woody and earthy notes under all the white wine and fruit. This is definitely the white wine of beers. Can't wait to try it in several months. (Trying it again almost a year later, it has held up well, but not changed much; still the tasty white wine of beers!)

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