The 25th Anniversary Jubelale Festive Winter Ale from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon pours out a dark ruby in color with good clarity and is topped with a large, mocha colored head that slowly reduces down to a thin film with a good sized collar. On the nose, rich, malty and earthy. Aromas of earth, pear, toffee, a touch of warm spice and a waft of alcohol. In the mouth, quite malty like the nose but there is a lot of hoppy bitterness too. Flavors of toffee, earth, dark fruit, pear, some citrus and a little warm spice. Medium bodied. Well carbonated. Thick sheets of lacing on the glass. Light stickiness in the mouthfeel. The finish is long and, while somewhat sweet, there is a good amount of bitterness riding along almost all the way to the end where a pear skin like flavor finishes things off.
A wonderful winter ale. Enough malt and sweetness, to be in character with other winter brews, that is elevated by a heavy hand of hop bitterness that really works with the malt, rather than pushing it aside. Good balance and complexity make this craft beer from Deschutes a go to for the winter months. Highly recommended.
12 ounce bottle, 6.7% ABV, Best by 05/06/13
Beer 337 of 366 for 2012