Jubilant for Jubelale

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Continuing our coverage of winter beers this week, it’s time to touch briefly on the Deschutes Jubelale on Nitro. While many of you have already knocked this beer back in the bottle or on draft at other bars, there’s just something extra special about it off the Nitro tap.

But before we get into that, I think it’s best to make something abundantly clear: Jubelale is not a particularly complex or nuanced beer. I had a couple of them on both draft and Nitro over the past week, but when I was sitting down yesterday, hoping to include a description of it for you folks, I couldn’t remember what it tasted like. I had pleasurable memories of consuming it (twice!), but I couldn’t tell you the first thing about it. So, after work last night, I sat down with it again and tried to pick up what I was tasting. There wasn’t much. It’s all caramel sweet and cream. I looked for hops, bitterness, coffee, or roast, but there are really no rough edges to this beer smoothie. Finally, I discovered the roast at the end of the sip, but the odd thing is that it doesn’t accompany the caramel as a primary or secondary flavor; instead, it makes its presence known through the beer’s aftertaste and moutfeel. In other words, instead of actually tasting the roast, your mouth just sort of picks up its echo while the beer’s already on its way down your throat.

Without those sharp edges you’d normally expect in a beer–whether it’s from hops or bitter coffee–your first instinct is to drink a little faster, to try to pick up what you feel you’re missing, and also because your taste buds, which are used to a good pummeling, are feeling pretty safe. The result is a ridiculously easy and drinkable pint. Just be careful, because at 6.7% ABV, all that chugging could lead to some bewildered drunkneness sooner than you’d think.

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