Well, Brewmeister Monday’s are no more, but I have still pledged to blog beer reviews occasionally. Here is one that I wrote up a few months ago (eek!) that I never posted and forgot even existed until I was browsing through my drafts recently. Oops. No promises on when I will get another review published, but I have recently had an imperial stout that is seriously threatening the throne of my favorite beer in the world–Steelhead Extra Stout, by the Mad River Brewing Company. I am contemplating doing a double blind test and blogging about my results. Steelhead Extra Stout has been my number one beer for some time now, and it will be painful to have to dethrone it. I won’t reveal the challenger at this time. I’ll save that for the head-to-head match. Enough about that, here’s the review!
While visiting my parents in Granite Bay, CA, I decided to swing by Lakeside Beverages to check out their selection; I haven’t stopped in there for a while, and figured they would have a few oddities to try.
As I walked in the store I was warmly greeted by the friendly owner, who hasn’t seen me in a while. I told him that I was looking for a new stout, porter, or anything that would wake up my taste buds. He immediately got up, walked over to the collection of large single bottles, and pulled Jubel Once a Decade Ale 2010 off the shelf. This ale is from Deschutes Brewery, Oregon, and, as its name would lead one to believe, it is only available “once a decade”. It has a high alcohol content of 10%, and a steep price to go with it: $14.00 per bottle! His description was thus: “It is like bottles crude-oil. It even has an oily finish, and you’ll need to brush your teeth after you drink it!” That was enough to sell me on it! I figured that it would make a good candidate for a brew post, since I may not get another chance to rate it until 2020.
Opacity: 3.8. This is not really a fair rating for this ale because it is just that, an ale. Because of that, I won’t count opacity toward the overall rating. For an ale, though, this is still a rather dark beer.
Head: 4.4. Mmmm, very good indeed. Since this beer is not extremely dark, I expected the head to be white. Instead, it was a lovely amber color that consisted of very small bubbles with great staying power. After quite some time, the head remained.
Color: A nice dark amber color, leaning more toward brown than red. A truly beautiful color.
Aroma: 4.5. Very complex and fruity. This brew was a pleasant surprise. It has the aroma of akin to Lagunitas Brown Shugga, but a bit more complex and strong. I approve!
Flavor: 4.2. I really enjoyed this beer. It tastes much like it smells. I am sure that I would have rated it higher if it had been a stout, since I am partial to the complex chocolates, coffee, and wet wood flavor. I am sure that others with more broad tastes than mine would have given this beer a much higher flavor rating.
Mouthfeel: 4.0. Small bubbles make for a pleasant, silky mouthfeel. There is an initial bitterness as it first hits your tongue, but it is not unpleasant. This beer is an exception in that regard.
Finish: 4.0. The finish is, again, much like Lagunitas Brown Shugga–slightly bitter, fruity, and full. It is definitely enjoyable, and pleasant.
Overall: 4.2. I enjoyed this beer a lot. It is very strong, and it’s definitely not the type of beer you can drink quickly, or have multiple in a row. It is a beer to be sipped and savored. I am glad I came across it, but the $14.00 price tag is a bit steep to make this a staple beer. Plus, I am too fond of my stouts and porters to buy any ale too often.