Class of ’88 Imperial Smoked Porter – Deschutes/Great Lakes Collaboration (USA)


  • My Rating: B-

Class of ’88 Imperial Smoked Porter – Deschutes/Great Lakes Brewing Collaboration (Brewed by Deschutes), 9.1% ABV, 1 pint 6 fl.oz., (Bend, Oregon)

on the front label:

“From the brewers of the celebrated BLACK BUTTE PORTER and EDMUND FITZGERALD PORTER comes this limited-run collaboration, brewed with ROASTED and SMOKED MALT for a rich chocolate aroma and subtle smoky flavor.”

on the front-side of the label:

“Class of ’88. A quarter century ago a passion for craft brewing ignited across the country. Today, the founding breweries of 1988 have united to commemorate that seminal year with a special selection of  beers. Every bottle is a portal to the renaissance of craft brewing. Each steeped in heritage and expert craftsmanship. Enjoy this tribute to the class of 88′.”

  • Style: (Smoked) Imperial Porter
  • Taste Profile: sweet malts -> thick caramel malts/chocolate/cola -> alcohol/sour coffee/smoked applewood malty finish
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $11 (after 10% off), September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, if you already like porters

Visual: I was impressed by Deschutes’ Black Butte last year so I when I saw this bottle I knew I had to try it. Also, it’s a collab so it should be twice as good, right? Pours ultra dark brown with almost no head, very thin micro CO2 retention, slow stead streams along the perimeter.

Nose: Thick and thicker malts mixed with hints of roasted applewood

Attack: sweet(8/10) malts, fizzy, incoming dense malts

Mid-palate: thick mouthfeel, (MAIN) caramel malts, chocolate, (HINTS) cola

Finish: mild alcohol detection, sour bittersweet coffee, smoked applewood malty finish.

Summary: Fully bodied, medium-thick, and bold flavours though somewhat heavy on the palate. It needs to go with something sweet or cheesy to clean your palate, otherwise it gets heavy by itself.