Saturday, October 29, 2011

Two excellent seasonal beers from Deschutes

You just cannot go wrong when you purchase something brewed by Deschutes.  The two latest ones I tried were Hop Trip (5.4% ABV & 38 IBU) and Jubelale (6.7% ABV & 60 IBU).  Hop Trip has limited availability from Oct. – Dec. and you want to drink this soon after purchase to capture the freshness of the hops used in brewing this pale ale.  The hops are raised locally to Deschutes and they go from vine to brew kettle in 4 hours.  Hop Trip pours copper gold with a nice two-finger head.  There is a very solid hop aroma and I really expected a hoppy tasting beer.  I should have known that Deschutes would balance Hop Trip perfectly and it a wonderful blend of sweet malt and bitter hops.  This is a fantastic beer.

Website description – “Each year around Labor Day, Deschutes brewers high-tail it over the pass to Doug Weather’s hop fields near Salem for the harvest. After bagging these aromatic jewels, we hustle back and toss them into the brew kettles within four hours of picking. Our reward: a pale ale with a uniquely bright citrus punch and fall spice. It’s something only Deschutes would take past the idle-talk stage.”

Jubelale is a winter seasonal offered between Oct. – Dec. and is a Stong Ale.  I knew when I poured this garnet tan colored beauty that it would be a malty beer.  I has an excellent sweet malt start with spicy notes then a nicely bitter finish from the hops.  Jubelale may be my new favorite holiday beer and I will pick up some more.  If Deschutes distributes in your area, I suggest you picked these up and they will be gone all too quickly.

Website description – “A dark, malty celebration ale with layered flavors and beautifully balanced hopping. Jubelale pours deep garnet in color, medium bodied, with notes of chicory, earth, spice and fruit. To beer lovers, it’s like Yule fire and family.  The collaborative art of Central Oregon artists Cara Thayer and Louie Van Patten adorns this year's label.”

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