Deschutes Jubel 2015

Reviewed by on December 31, 2015 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Deschutes Brewery

  • Origin: Bend, OR, US

  • Rated On: December 31, 2015

  • Best Before: Best After January 23, 2016

  • ABV: 10.4%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Strong Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Jubel is an amped-up, Oregon wine barrel-aged, and Imperialized, if you will, version of Deschutes’ winter seasonal, Jubelale.  Apparently this was supposed to be an every ten years sort of deal, but they couldn’t wait that long this time around. Yeah, we understand – it’s just less than a month until the specified ‘best after’ date on the label, and still technically the holidays, so all is forgiven.

This 22oz, dull gold wax-capped bottle pours a murky, dark orange-brick brown colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves a bit of broad cannonball splash lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of musty dark orchard fruit (cherries, overripe pineapple, and plums, predominately), gritty caramel and toffee malt, further middle eastern fig and date notes, a softly vanilla-tinted and oaken woodiness, a twinge of bittersweet chocolate, and an indistinct earthy and weedy dryness. The taste is rather fruity once again, the cherry, raisin, rotten pineapple, and Cradle of Civilization figs and dates coming off strong, over top of a now second-class (but still first-rate, overall) bready caramel malt, grainy toffee, some chalky dry cocoa, a low-key yeastiness, subtle red wine barrel astringencies, weak herbal and dusty hop bitters, and a very sublime sense of the hovering alcohol, doing its best dangling Sword of Damocles impression. The carbonation is quite light and ineffectual in its seemingly played-out frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and mostly smooth, a certain thinning consequence coming from those Pinot (Noir, I’m guessing) casks. It finishes off-dry, the increasingly tart and pithy varied fruitiness starting a run of the table, as it were.

A rather engaging and enjoyable barrel-aged strong ale, one derived from the brewer’s home state’s strengths, at that. Lots going on, and it’s hard to tell at times where it’s all coming from, but after a short spell, you begin to care a whole lot less. Just sit back, watch the snow-encrusted vistas outside, and sip away at this whilst ‘anticipating’ the New Year. Cheers, all, it’s been a slice!

Brady White

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