Jubelale 2009 – Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I’ve been drinking Deschutes Jubelale, a festive winter beer from Bend, OR, for quite a number of years now.  Well, surprise, surprise what my trip to the grocery turned up tonight!  A fresh off the line six-pack of Jubelale 2009!!!  Yea!  That “time of year” is finally here!  I wrote about it on a whim last season and have decided to continue in that tradition.

This year’s batch is just in time, too!  This is normally the type of beer that is oh-so satisfying during the winter months.  Well, here in Missoula…we apparently skipped fall and moved head on into winter.  At the moment, we’ve got snow on the ground and single digit temperatures at night…perfect weather to be thinking about a soul warming winter brew!

Perhaps it’s the amount of time between batches, as it’s a seasonal and only seen during late fall and winter months, but it seems to me that the beer takes on different dynamics with each successive year.  Some years, I’ve literally fallen in love with it, and yet others, it doesn’t quite draw me in that far, but it’s still good.  My impression of my first bottle of the year?  Fantastic!!!!  Reaching for my second as I write this post.

It seems with this year’s batch, the hops profile is more revealing and forward than it has been in years past.  I’ve always appreciated the dark malted goodness this beer offers, but as a big-time fan of IPA’s (India Pale Ale), I like a beer that isn’t afraid to use hops to liven things up a bit.  With this hop-forward lunge, it could possibly turn out to be my favorite of all the batches I’ve tasted.  I remember the 2004/2005 years, and oh were they good like that…but it seemed that 2006/2007/2008 batches were much more muted with the hops, allowing the dark malt to largely dominate the taste buds.

Then again, the season is still early.  This is a beer that ages with time and it’s dynamics change from month to month.  It does seem a bit early for the Jubelale…but I’ll be interested to see how it develops with this coming winter season.

Cheers to you!

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