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!”
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).