DESCHUTES’ NEW RELEASES IDEAL FOR THE CHANGING SEASONS

Deschutes Brewery (www.DeschutesBrewery.com), the nearly 25 year-old brewery named after the adjacent Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon has done it again. They’ve released two new seasonal beers just in time for us to enjoy as the weather cools and the holidays approach.

Black Butte Porter debuted 24 years ago as Deschutes’ first and flagship brand. This new release, actually a Reserve double porter (the fifth such vintage of this anniversary beer lives up to its reputation as a bold brew. It opens with heavy coffee aromas, then follows with citrus and hints of spice. In the mouth, that coffee is evident but given intrigue with cocoa and a touch of sweetness in the finish. A slight hop bitterness emerges and lingers in the finish. I was captivated by its creamy, lush and substantial texture. After tasting it, I wasn’t surprised to find these intense, complex flavors and mouthfeel resulting from the use of Theo cocoa nibs, Mission figs, and Deglet dates in the mix.

The Stats (12 oz serving):
Alc. 5.2% | IBUs 30 | 192 Calories,
Malt: Pale, Carapils, Chocolate,
Crystal, Wheat

Hops: Cascade, Bravo, Tettnang

And for the 25th year, Deschutes has produced “Jubelale,” a spicy, malty, hoppy winter seasonal. Jubelale was the very first beer to ever be bottled by Deschutes. This version evokes the season with strong aromas of chocolate and warming chocolate notes. Touches of citrus are joined by heady scents of spice. Pouring the beer through its creamy head, those chocolate and coffee elements are evident. A touch of bitterness lifts the profile, while it finishes with creamy smoothness. And I like the citrusy hops that linger in the aftertaste.

The Stats (12 oz serving):
Alc. 6.7% | IBUs 60 | 192 Calories,
Malt: Pale, Carapils, Chocolate,
Crystal, Wheat

Hops: Cascade, Bravo, Tettnang

Also of note is the 2012 label displaying artwork created by Bend, Oregon artist Kaycee Anseth Townsend. Through a complex collage process comprised entirely from pieces of Jubelale labels from years past, she has created a fitting tribute to the season.

About Rich

I first became interested in wine while I worked in numerous liquor stores during college in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In the years following college, I researched, tasted, traveled to vineyards in California and Europe, participated in countless tastings. I began writing about wine in 1995 with a column in Out Front Colorado. For me, wine is more than a drink. It is food. It is a connection to the earth. It is culture. There is just something amazing, even magical, about the transformation of grapes into wine. It is also remarkable how drinking wine with food enhances the taste and enjoyment of both. Appreciation of wine has become an integral part of my approach to life, which emphasizes balance, respect for nature, physical and emotional health, and an appreciation of our nature as social beings. In 2006, I was awarded a fellowship to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers.