Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Jubeale is a Winter Specialty or Winter Warmer by the Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon.

Winter Warmers, Christmas Beers, Holiday Beers, are usually darker ales, with a dominant malt taste and a mix of spices to balance the sweetness of the malts. Some do not use spices and are simply higher in alcohol, and are more along the lines of strong ales.

The tradition of spiced ales and alcoholic drinks can be traced back to the European wassailing tradition. Before hops became the popular ingredient to balance the flavor, spices were used. There are many variations and recipes from a wide range of breweries. This style lends itself to broad creativity, so the flavor profiles of winter beers can vary widely.

I bought this at the midtown Safeway in Sacramento for $7.99 for a six-pack. It has an ABV of 6.7%

The beer pours a dark, very cloudy reddish brown. It has a thick, tan head that leaves plenty of lacings. The aroma has a mix of sweet, caramel malts, slight dark fruit, and subtle herbal and earthy notes. The taste has a bitterness upfront that is paired with caramel and roasted malts followed by a chocolate finish. There are notes of dark fruits through out. The hops are subdued by the malt, but can be detected. The complex taste lingers. The mouthfeel is full, smooth, with a creamy middle and crisp end.

I really like this beer. It's a seasonal that's been around a long time, but for some reason I just discovered it. This is not a spicy winter ale, although the herbal and earthy notes add a interesting flavor. I believe this is the chicory. It's a smooth ale, with dark, complex flavors and very drinkable. The mouthfeell is very satisifying. Deschutes has made another great beer. This is a Must Have It.

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