TGIF: Deschutes & Goose Island – Class of ’88 Belgian Style Ale

May 1, 2014 - Class of '88 (2) - croppedAhh, yes, Friday is here again. Time for our weekly celebration – today’s guest of honor is a beer co-developed by Deschutes and Goose Island: Class of ’88 Belgian Style Ale. Both breweries were founded in 1988, hence this celebratory collaboration.

This is a Belgian strong golden ale, but with the twist of having been brewed with Michigan Riesling and Oregon Pinot Noir juice and aged in former muscat wine barrels.

So does the grape/wine influence work? Well, it depends on who you talk to. Some of us liked this brew more than others. It’s quite malty and sweet, although it’s got enough alcohol (10.9%) and tart wine-like acidity to cut through it. In fact, the acidity hits pretty aggressively right at the front of the mouth – a characteristic some of us liked and some of us didn’t. But, in any case, the malt profile is satisfyingly robust, and it’s got that unmistakable Belgian yeast character. Fruity esters are abundant and fun, offering some touches of apricot, apple, and citrus, and there’s a nice, softly floral flourish here too.

All in all, it was a nice way to finish the week.