Big Beer Week: Deschutes Jubel 2010

Big Beer WeekThough every year Deschutes Brewery brews a draft-only version of their Super Jubel—a double-strength Jubelale—only twice have they bottled this beer: once in 2000, and now again in 2010. (Respectively known as Jubel 2000 and Jubel 2010.) This time around this Jubel 2010 “Once a Decade Ale” is bottled in 22-ounce bombers and wax-dipped as part of Deschutes’ Reserve Series of beers. And (you’ll recall) that the Brewery sent me a bottle.

It’s 10% alcohol by volume, and is aged in Oregon pinot oak barrels (or at least, part of it is). The Brewery calls it a “deeply dynamic presentation of the flavors found in… Jubelale” which is a bit marketing-ese but also gives license to say “like Jubelale, but different!”

Deschutes Jubel 2010Appearance: Very dark red-brown; you can just see ruby when held to the light. Finely-bubbled half-finger of tan foam.

Smell: Sweet and boozy, reminds me of a Barleywine with molasses and dark fruit. Brown sugar? Cloyingly roasty.

Taste: Sweet, almost syrupy on the tongue, and it hides the 10% well. What I’m getting are various layers of sugar—caramelized, beet sugar, molasses, licorice, burnt sugars, toffee, and more. I’m actually envisioning cooking white table-sugar in cast iron until it caramelizes. Something strikes me as “Belgian” in a way, too; perhaps hints of candi sugar or even star anise in the licorice?

Mouthfeel: Full and thick and sticky. Leaves a very pleasant sweet aftertaste.

Overall: A winner, fun to drink but one you shouldn’t take lightly. However, I think it’s a bit over-balanced towards the sweet and while “fun to drink,” this is the first Deschutes Reserve Series beer that I would rather have in a 12-ounce bottle—or split the 22-ounce among a friend or two; it’s almost too cloying for me to drink by myself. I’d really like to put this away for a year or more to see how it ages (which I plan to do).

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of A. On RateBeer, it scores 4.06 out of 5 and is in their 94th percentile.

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