Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Your Thoughts on Holiday Beers

Deschutes Jubelale has been a special obsession of mine these nine winters I've spent in Portland, and this year's version is really good, seems better to me than the last couple years, not that they were bad.  (Jeff at Beervana has the inside scoop from Deschutes on why it's a little different this year -- and he disapproves of the change.)  The 2011 Sierra Nevada Celebration was tasty when I tried it a couple weeks ago.  Bridgeport's Raven Mad is a treat -- an imperial porter with part of it barrel-aged, only a hint of bourbon, which is a nice respite from the usual vanilla onslaught of similar beers.

But my favorite right now is Full Sail Wreck the Halls.  I've had it a few times on tap and on cask, and I'm really loving it right now.  Haven't had a bottle yet; maybe I'll just keep getting it fresh.

Everyone is talking/blogging about winter beers right now -- here's a local thread on Beer Advocate -- so it leads me to echo Sanjay's question:  what's your favorite holiday beer right now?

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Hey Bill!

    I'm enjoying the shit out of Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga' Replacement. It's a terrific California-style IPA that breaks up the monotony of malty winter beers, but still has an adequate bit of warmth from the ~8%

  2. I find winter beers that are hoppy to be off putting and or misleading, for me winter means malt.

    Snow Cap is especially good this year.

    I concur -the new(old? see beervana's blog on it) Jubelale is smoother than past years - I like it - the pub only Super Jubel is even better.

  3. @GoodbyeOhio: I've been meaning to try that. I'll move it higher on the list.

    @Wallace: Super Jubel seemed a little harsh to me when I tried it a couple weeks ago. I liked it last year. Thanks for reminding me about the Beervana post, I'll have to put a link.

  4. My favorite from last year was Golden Valley's Tannen Bomb. I'll have to taste it again this year and see if it lives up to my lofty expectations.

  5. I found the 2011 Jubel to be harsh and tannin heavy. I think it will age well, like a good red wine, so I plan to cellar a few bottles. I'm looking forward to tasting Super Jubel at the Holiday Ale Fest.

    Wreck the Halls is always good. I need to pick up a few bombers of that. I think this year's Wassail is a solid vintage. Snow Cap has a nice malty character...pretty good and priced right at $2.50/bomber.

  6. Pete Dunlop said...

    "I found the 2011 Jubel to be harsh and tannin heavy. I think it will age well, like a good red wine."


    tastes like a Burton Ale to me, really tannic and astringent, possibly from lots of low alpha hops. I'm thinking that I will be loving the 2011 vintage about this time next year.