Featured guest writer for Hopped Up Eugene October 2-8, Todd Gebow, writes about a newly released winter ale from Deschutes Brewery: Jubel Ale

Bend, Oregon, as mentioned in a previous Hopped Up Eugene, is a beer crazy town.  So, I wouldn’t be crazy to reside there.  Fortunately, Deschutes Brewery delivers to the Eugene and the west coast of Oregon, and being a Eugene resident, I have no problem finding Deschutes at my local watering hole.

Even if fall has just begun, finding a festive winter ale is no problem.  Stores already have Halloween, Thanksgiving decorations are in the aisles, and I’ve even seen Christmas stuff on the shelves.  So, maybe an early release for a Winter Ale is not premature; however, I do believe it is a bit early.  Let us adjust to the rain first, please.

Regardless, winter is coming and good dark beers are available!

2013 Jubel Ale label

Yearly, Deschutes Brewery releases their Jubel Ale, a dark Festive Winter Ale, and I am a fan of dark beers.  This years Jubel does not disappoint.  It pours smooth and dark, with only a slight head.  It settles nice to a dark Amber color, sending me into a meditative state similar to when I watch a pint of Guinness settle after a good pour.  Although it’s not the ‘meal’ that Guinness is, Jubel definitely succeeds at falling into the craft brew category.  Slightly hoppy with a smooth finish – unmistakably Deschutes!  The aroma of good hops and a rich porter flavor makes me smile as I critique this years Jubel Ale – sending me into beer bliss.

It starts very smooth with a satisfying familiar Bend flavor and nip.  When Jubel settles onto the palate, with the usual Deschutes flavor that tends to tingle your taste buds and epiglottis, it ends with a satisfying, slightly chocolate effervescence.  With a touch of hops that aren’t overpowering, it left me feeling uplifted and with a smile, as a good dark beer should.

I’m sampling this years Jubel at my local watering hole, Jiffy Market in south Eugene on Hilyard – a great place to critique a beverage.  Jiffy has a lot of select beers at very good prices; however, I really like to keep this place a secret so there’s more good beers for those of us that frequent it.

Critiquing the 2013 Jubel Ale at my local watering hole, Jiffy Market

I’ve heard that Deschutes changes the recipe each year, but I’ve also heard that they do not.  This remains a bit of a conundrum for me because based on my taste buds, I believe that Deschutes most likely does change it yearly.  Last years Jubel Ale wasn’t my style, but this year it’s crisp and festive, just as the label proclaims!

Good job Deschutes, you have asserted yourselves as one the Northwest’s premier breweries that is enjoyed by most of the country, and you are still one of my favorite beer makers!  I believe beer drinkers will be happily pleased with this festive winter ale.

Visit Jiffy Market at 3443 Hilyard Street in Eugene, 97405.

Next up? Pumpkin beers, and 16 Tons is having their Pumpkin Ale Fest this Friday, October 4, from 5-10 pm at their cafe location on Willamette in south Eugene.  20+ ales and ciders, $1-$2 dollar tasters, free entry, cash only.

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