For my first beer review I’ve selected a winter seasonal ale, Jubelale. Jubelale is a winter warmer style beer that is available from October to December from Deschutes Brewery out of Bend, Oregon. It comes in artistically styled packaging, which, according to Deschutes, is different every year. Even though I shouldn’t chose a beer by the label, the packaging helped influence me to try it out.
Regarding the artwork for Jubelale from the Deschutes webpage about Jubelale:
Every year Deschutes Brewery selects a Northwest artist to create an image evocative of the season’s festive atmosphere.
According to the brewery this beer is brewed with “dark crystal malt” and “bountiful hops.” Although that description is not enough to recreate the recipe for home brewing, it does give you a glimpse of what to expect. During my first session trying this beer, I thought it was interesting and fairly decent. In successive sessions, this beer grew to be one of my favorite winter warmers of this season.
Where I Found It. I picked up a 12oz bottle 6-pack at a Beverages and More in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Serving Type. When I sampled this brew, it it was served from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance. Pouring the beer directly into a glass produced a very healthy 1.5 inch head that had a very nice eggnog and cappuccino hue to it. The beer itself had a slightly translucent and clear brown oak color with a slightly orange hue.
Smell. The aroma was malty and roasty, probably from those dark crystal malts. The hop bouquet was nice and floral with a hint of pine. The combination of the floral notes and pine gave it a very slight hint of Christmas potpourri.
Taste. The flavor was wonderful with a strong roasted flavor and a slight caramel taste. It also had hints of a strong cup of cappuccino. The balance was slightly more bitter than malty but it is not overpowering and if it was any less bitter it might have been too sweet.
Mouthfeel. The beer felt like a medium to full bodied beer with just the right level of carbonation. It went down fairly smooth but it is not the smoothest beer I’ve had but it is also not harsh at all. Aside from the hops, there was no discernible aftertaste and even the hop aftertaste did not linger.
Drinkability. I think this was a very drinkable beer especially for cold weather. It might be a bit heavy for the summer time but this is a characteristic common to winter warmers. It was easy to drink more than one. Jubelale has a high alcohol content producing a nice buzz after one beer but the alcohol does not adversely affect the flavor.
Rating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score. The overall rating is an average of each of the ratings.
- Appearance: 4.0
- Smell: 4.0
- Taste: 4.5
- Mouthfeel: 3.5
- Drinkability: 4.0
- Overall: 4.0
What Others Thought
It’s always more enjoyable to share a beer with friends and family. As part of this blog I plan on not only reviewing the beer myself but also gathering feedback from others. Below is what Liz and Doug thought about the beer.
- Appearance. Amber color with a cola fizz colored head.
- Smell. A hoppy floral smell and a light roasty malt aroma.
- Taste. A coffee taste that is almost espresso-like. Bitter and piney.
- Mouthfeel. Palette cleansing. Medium to full bodied.
- Drinkability. Although does not prefer amber thought this beer is drinkable. 3.0 rating.
- Appearance. Maple brown color with a stouty head.
- Smell. Bright and floral.
- Taste. Floral. Brownish with a touch of black coffee. Like a stout.
- Mouthfeel. Cleans palette.
- Drinkability. Drinkable. 3.0 rating.
Caption from the Bottle
The following appears on the side of each bottle:
Every year, fall’s crisp, cool air signals the imminent arrival of winter. Thoughts of snow, friends and family, the holidays, and — Jubelale. Brewed with dark crystal malt creating a luscious holiday note with bountiful hops to excite your taste buds— it’s easy to see why Jubelale is the perfect complement to the season.
- Alcohol content: 6.7% abv
- Bitterness: 60 IBU
- Style: winter warmer
- Brewery: Deschutes Brewery [more info]
- Beer Advocate rating: 4.01 (as of Jan. 2, 2009)
- Beer Advocate — Jubelale
- The Full Pint — Review – Deschutes Jubelale 2007
- The Brew Site — Deschutes Brewery Week: Jubelale 2008
- randys.org — Holiday Beer Report: Deschutes Jubelale 2008
- BetterBeerBlog — Beers in Review: Deschutes Jubelale 2008 and Scaldis Noel