Beer Review: Deschutes Jubelale

Kyle is back with another guest post while I figure out how to set him up with a permanent account. -Tom

It’s definitely Winter.  The first snowfall is still apparent out my window, clinging to yards and shrubs with the help of frigid temperatures.  Jubelale did little to warm me up.  The night before I tried this beer, I had a really high ABV barley wine from a certain brewery in Delaware, and THAT did an excellent job of warming me up from the inside out.

The artwork on the label is nifty, and has a cool back story.  This is the 27th year that Jubelale has been bottled by Deschutes; itDeschute's Jubelale was the first beer ever they bottled!  For the last 20 years, the artwork has changed each year, as Deschutes has selected a new artist local to the Bend, Oregon area to design the label.  This year is no exception.  Twin sisters Lori and Lisa Lubbesmeyer of Lubbesmeyer Studio worked together yet separately to let this year’s label art emerge spontaneously through the process of layering and overstitching different fabrics until the image you see on the label appeared. Here’s a look at the different label artwork for Jubelale dating back to 1988.

Jubelale

Brewery: Deschutes (Bend, OR)
Beer: Jubelale (2014)
Style: Winter Warmer
ABV: 6.7%
IBU: 60

Appearance:

Deep brown with a faint red tint near the glass
Minimal head that recedes quickly

Aroma:

Malted grain, pitted fruit, cherries, dates, red grapes

 Taste:

More dates and grapes
Hop bitterness bite on the finish

Mouthfeel:

Very clean, nothing lingers
Thin body

 Overall:

This is a nice beer to take a big gulp.  I can definitely see a six-pack of this being shared amongst long-separated friends.  The mental image comes to mind of sitting in a basement around a table reminiscing with friends over a beer and a deck of cards.  Jubelale is definitely more sessionable than many of the more “spicy” Winter seasonal releases from other breweries.  The 6.7% ABV may limit that a bit, but it goes down easily on its own, and I’m sure the salty and sweet and savory snacks – I can’t be the only person eagerly awaiting ginger bread cookies – prominent at many holiday parties would only enhance this.

IMG_2088Maybe I had misguided expectations, but I went into this with an anticipation that Jubelale would be more along the lines of an English barley wine.  There was a similarity, but it was very faint.  However, it definitely hits Beer Advocate’s description of an English-style winter warmer square on the head.  With that said, it’s a good overall beer, but I can’t see myself knocking down people in a store to get to a six-pack.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I reached out to Deschutes when I first heard rumor of them coming to Ohio. They sent a couple of bottles then and have continued to send  more, including this one which I passed on to Kyle. To our readers, and any breweries interested in sending me samples, giving us free beer does not guarantee you a favorable review, though I do promise we will review your product and publish a post on it.

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