I love a beer with a story behind it. Jubel 2010 — as explained to me personally by Deschutes brewmaster Larry Sidor — has a doozy.
The story begins 20 years ago, when a burglar attempted to run off with a keg of Deschutes’ annual Jubelale in the dead of winter, failing to realize just how heavy the thing was. He didn’t get far, and later the keg was discovered buried in the snow, half frozen, half highly concentrated “Jubelale on steroids.” The brewery then thought to try to recreate this beer without involving a night in the frost, and a “Super Jubel” was ultimately born.
Aged in old Oregon pinot noir wine barrels, Jubel 2010 is only the second recreation of the “Super Jubel” legend, the last being in 2000, thus the “once a decade ale” moniker. Intended to be cellared in bottle for at least a year, I tried one this weekend — and have one more bottle hanging tight til 2011 hits.
At 10 percent alcohol, it is indeed a weighty experience, a “big” beer that is nonetheless easy and pleasant to drink. Not as bitter as you’d think, it’s got a rich cocoa-shell character, lots of wood, and a wine-like finish. I liked it pretty cold; others drinking with me felt it stood up better with a little more warmth. All around: A massive hit that vanished all too quickly. How will we manage another year before we try it again?
Grab your bottle while you can!
A / $13 per 22-oz. bottle / deschutesbrewery.com