Jubelale (2009) – early

JubelaleWhat can I say? This year’s version of Jubelale that I received was staring at me from the fridge, and while I did contemplate letting it go untouched for at least a month, ultimately I had to try at least one bottle. You all knew I would.

Yes, it did feel a bit weird to be opening up a Jubel so early… ordinarily this is the type of beer you reach for when the weather’s getting chill, and there’s frost on the ground every morning. But I figure I’ll do this first tasting now, and then as the season marches on and the beer matures, it will be enlightening to see how it changes.

The beer is a Winter Warmer with an alcohol strength of 6.7% by volume. (Which is consistent from year to year.)

Appearance: Mahogany brown color with amber highlights [my photo came out darker than it looks]; cappuccino-tan head with a creamy rich appearance.

Smell: Biscuit, caramel, spicy—cinnamon, cloves, molasses, toasted malts. Rich and a bit of chocolate (Mexican spiced chocolate?), some woody alcohol notes (brandy-ish).

Taste: A bit hot and green, no getting around that—but spicy and dark like a pumpernickel bread. Solid bittering in the middle—peppery-spicy and a bit earthy and slightly resiny. Some sweet dark caramel and a hint of burnt sugar.

Mouthfeel: Thickly medium-bodied and filling in the mouth—bit of a sticky finish.

Overall: It’s Jubelale [which is a good thing]—albeit still green. I’ll be anxious to drink more as it ages.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores a hugely respectable grade of A-. On RateBeer, it’s a similar story with a score of 3.63 out of 5, and the 93rd percentile.

I’ll be reviewing this again (perhaps more than once) to revisit as it ages.