12/11/15: Deschutes Brewery's Jubelale

5:06 PM

I have never had this beer before. In fact, I've never had any beer from this brewery before. Have I heard of Deschutes? Yes. I have. I can't remember where, though. And I can't, for the life of me, remember the context in which I heard it.

Nevertheless, I'm excited to break into this bottle of Jubelale. There's something about the logo. My photo doesn't do it justice. It exudes a sense that is half warmth and half anticipation. And there's a dog in the illustration. That's always a good sign, right?

Deschutes Brewery was started in Oregon in 1988. It's "Discover Deschutes" webpage states that they're a brewery that's family- and employee-owned and believes in community and sustainability. It's all well and good, and Deschutes strikes me as a genuinely good brewery. Maybe it was a good context in which I heard of them (I honestly cannot remember).

The Jubelale page details that the winter ale has an ABV of 6.7%, contains hints of dried fruit, toffee, and chicory, and finishes with a kick of hoppiness.

What about its aroma? There's a woodiness there, which I attribute to the chicory. I'm also picking up some fruitiness. At the tail end of my whiff, I get some of that traditional, plain ale smell. It's layered in there, which fits with the layers Deschutes describes in the brew's description. Purrl thinks it's a pretty good smelling beer, giving Jubelale a hearty six sniffs.

After the first swig I can honestly say that Deschutes assessment of the brew's kick of hops is spot on. There's a full bite of them in the ale's finish. I'm not really picking up on the chicory in the flavor, but the fruitiness is there. I can suss out some sweet, citrusy flavor. I don't have a guess as to what fruit it is, but it suits the beer perfectly (maybe there's some blackberry in present?). Putting down the bottle after that initial swig, I find some carameliness lingering around on my lips.

Jubelale is full, but not bubbly. I've already used the adjective "hearty" in this post, but, if you'll allow me, I'm using it again here. The mouthfeel is hearty, just like a good winter ale's mouthfeel should be. It gives weight to a beer of this quality.

This brew makes me think of winter break during my freshman year. If you didn't know, back then, when it was on a quarter system, Ohio University had notoriously long winter breaks. I'm talking about month-and-a-half long behemoths. I passed away my days doing whatever--playing video games, reading, listening to music, lazing in front of daytime television, sleeping, eating, etc.

My evenings, however, were spent with my family. We'd eat every dinner together before converging in the family room for Christmas movies/specials, board games, or just hanging out together. Sometimes there'd even be a fire in my parents' fireplace. That quality family time is conjured in my mind tonight, thanks to Jubelale.

I may not remember why I know Deschutes Brewery. The important thing is that I know them. And, now, I know they make good beer. Jubelale gets an 8.5/10. It's great stuff. Let the name Deschutes stick in your mind and compel you to pick up some of it when you see it.

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