11/29/19: Braxton Brewing Company's Jubilee

5:21 PM

Michelle and I were excellent consumers today. We were out from 9ish until 4- or 5ish. Now that we're home (I'm the proud owner of a PS4, since the PS5 is supposedly on the horizon), we've since busied ourselves with decorating for Christmas. We set up our tree (Chrissy Treegan, a Colorado Spruce and sister to last year's Chris Pine), and Michelle swapped out our fall decorations for Christmas ones while I hung our lights outside.

After that, we trimmed Chrissy to Nat King Cole's gentle crooning (I have a 1967 pressing of The Christmas Song on vinyl and, boy, is it a treat). Now that I've showered the sap off me for the second time, it's officially the Christmas season here on the blog. So, let's christen it with tonight's beer: Braxton's Jubilee.

Braxton, for those unaware, is a Covington, KY brewery that was started by a guy named Evan Rouse. When Evan was a sixteen-year-old kid in Union, KY, he built a homebrew setup in his garage. He's been brewing and innovating since. Be sure to hit up Braxton's "Our Story" page for the brewery's full history.

Jubilee is Braxton's holiday IPA that made its debut last year (well after my Christmas lineup was cemented, or else you would've seen it then). Ringing in at 8% ABV, this IPA, according to its Untappd profile, features tropical fruit and citrus aromatics, and is coupled with flavors of tangerine, pineapple, mango, and orange. It also has notes of fresh pine with a finish that's both soft and clean.

I'm drinking Jubilee first this season because my can is dated 10/09/19 and I want to the beer to be fresh as possible.

I get a big smack of pine from the ale's bouquet. A return visit nets me the pineapple and, finally, the orange. The aroma's crisp, big, and juicy. Maybe that's why, although I'm found of it, Purrl's not a fan. She gave my can a paltry four whiffs.

The IPA's flavor profile is very mild and incredibly welcoming. This has the makings of an IPA that'll net people who typically don't enjoy the style, while being subtle enough for people who can't get enough of the stuff. Here, I'll explain: The mango? The tangerine? The pineapple? Yeah, they're all here in spades. This is a fabulously fruity IPA. It's light, the hops don't kick your butt, smooth and juicy. The tangerine hangs around forever in the finish and there's not a hint of booziness that could authenticate that 8% ABV.

One of the words Braxton used to describe Jubilee is "soft" and, I have to say, that's pretty spot on. A soft mouthfeel pairs finely with the IPAs big-yet-subtle inviting flavors. Carbonated, sure, but just enough to let you know that it is.

I've talked previously about the first Christmas tree Michelle and I had (it was Target-bought and we used it for just about seven years) and the kinds of way we'd decorate it (we didn't have a ton of ornaments at first, so I adorned it with Christmas beer sixers--this is a no-judge zone so check that blame at the door). But, I haven't talked much about the tree itself or, rather, its circumstance, yet.

So, we bought it in early November and took it home to set it up immediately. "Home," at that time, was a dinky, gross, college apartment with worn-out, stained carpeting and horrid faux-wood paneling everywhere. We threw it up as soon as possible to bring some life into our place (the lights that wound round our tree that year are the same ones wrapped about Chrissy Treegan now) and our friends didn't care we'd put it up, even though it was only mid-November. They came over and accepted that we'd moved into the Christmas season before most everyone else. Their acceptance, and the way our tree spruced up our apartment, is on my mind, now, as I'm taking another swig of my Jubilee can.

While Braxton's Jubilee is a Christmas IPA, it doesn't scream Christmas to me. Sure, it's a good IPA. I'll rate it now: 9.0/10. There, easy. A mighty fine IPA, and, easily, one you could drink during the holiday season. But let's see if, over the course of the next few weeks, we can find a more Christmasy Christmas beer. I hope you'll tag along!

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