Packaging: 12 oz. can
BJCP Style: Winter Seasonal
Hops Variety: Bullion
Malts Variety: Chocolate, Black, 2 Row, Bonlander Munich, Gambrinus Honey
Brewery: Avery Brewing Co. – Boulder, CO
Beer Connoisseur Rating: None
- Bitterness Level: None
- Would I purchase again? Yes
- Would I stock it? No
- Comments/Characteristics: Malt forward and not bitter. Just straight forward complex malt flavors. Excellent after dinner beer.
Christmas beers, or winter seasonal beers, are as much about fun memories and nostalgia as they are about good beers. Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale, which was first produced in 1975, is probably the longest running, most prominent example of the Christmas/Holiday beers. Just as you remember the smells of mulling spices and ginger bread cookies during the Holidays; the unique aromas and flavors of Christmas beers can add to your contextual memories of Holiday celebrations. The trend in these seasonal beers has been mostly malt forward, spicy and resinous brews. Avery Brewing Co. kicks this trend a bit and produces Old Jubilation Ale; a malt forward, flavorful dark Ale minus the spicy, resinous additions. Lacking those additions does not make this beer boring in the least. In fact, it makes it an attractive alternative to pair with a beer that does have those characteristics.
Old Jubilation Ale pours a clear, dark brown producing a thick tan head with excellent retention. Hops aromas are lightly floral and herbal. Malts aromas are bready and chocolatey. If you like malt forward beers, you’ll love Old Jubilation. Avery uses a blend of five different malts to produce this complex malt forward brew. Cocoa, toffee, bread and nutty flavors all come through. No bitterness, just creamy and smooth, start to finish, on a sweet malt backbone. Finishes soft and sweet.
So where does this beer fit into your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day festivities? I would peg it an after dinner, almost dessert beer. It is very much on the full bodied, heavy side, so I would pair something lighter with appetizers and a main course. It is a nice change of pace from the majority of Christmas beers that have spicy, resinous notes to them. I place Old Jubilation Ale high on the list of Christmas beers well worth the purchase. Quite enjoyable and widely available.
Cheers and Merry Christmas!