Friday, December 9, 2011

The 11th beer of Christmas, Southie Liquors recommended to me: Avery Brewing Company, Old Jubilation Ale

I walked into my local liquor store like a kid waking up on Christmas - excited for all of the possibilities. I've picked up some great choices for this countdown to Christmas series, and I am looking forward to unwrapping each bottle like a present. I have to say, it’s nice to make the switch over to winter.

I bring to you Avery’s Old Jubilation Ale.

Avery Brewing hails from Boulder, Colorado and they have been churning out delicious suds since 1993. They offer about 20 different ales, two of my favorites being Ellie’s Brown Ale and the White Rascal. I find Avery’s beers to be reliable, balanced and flavorful.

As their website states: “We brew what we like to drink--with utter disregard for what the market demands-- and search out fans with equally eccentric palates. We learned long ago that expressing your true self is much more fulfilling than giving in to outside pressures. Don't you agree?” – Yes, whole heartily.

The beer itself is beautiful. It’s dark brown with a little cherry hue peeking through. It poured a small white head which dissipated quickly, leaving a pretty lacing like snow on my glass (awe).

The smell reminded me of campfire smoke and hot chocolate. I also picked up mahogany and coffee. My friend and fellow taste-tester, Page, said it reminded her of the time she burnt fudge, (For all of you holiday bakers out there).

The taste is aggressive and bitter with roasted malts, especially the finish. It’s nutty with toffee and mocha and has some barley wine qualities to it. It takes a couple sips before it really opens up and starts to come together. It’s delicious and smokey.

The label reads: No spices, just a perfect blend of five specialty malts. Cellarable for 2+ years. This is one of the nice changes about winter seasonals. The fall can be so overrun with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove that you need a break.

The mouth feel is dry, medium bodied and definitely has staying power on your tongue. This is not a beer that you forget about. It packs some power. I was shocked that the alcohol wasn’t more present in the taste. This beer goes down easy and it clocks in at an 8.3% ABV. (Careful bringing this one to your work holiday party)

This beer is a perfect for the winter. It makes me want to curl up with my snuggie by the fire and relax. It warms you up, without filling you up and makes you feel cozy; everything a cold weather ale should accomplish. I would definitely pick up a six pack again for a quite night in with friends.

This strong tasting brew needs strong tasting food. I would say a Texas style chilli or a dish with dark chocolate mole would pair nicely. A holiday roast would also make a nice companion. However, I just snacked on some mixed nuts and was as happy as the Cold Miser in the North Pole. This beer gets an A- from me.

Beer Style: English Old Ale
Hop Variety: Bullion
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, special roast, black, chocolate, victory
OG: 1.074 ABV: 8.3% IBUs: 30
Color: Mahogany

Drink on! It's winter in New England, what else is there to do?

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