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Deschutes Jubelale 2013

So here we are again. It's September, the thermometer is hovering around ninety, and... Wait, we really have been here before, haven't we? The whole release of a winter warmer at a time when getting a sunburn is still a real possibility.

Is this really an issue, though? Sure, sunburns are, but a good beer is still a good beer, right?

That's somewhat true, but I don't know... A spicy winter seasonal like the Jubelale just feels out of place right now, and this year's edition is somewhat inferior to what we've seen over the past few years.

So what do we have? The face of it is a cloudy, vaguely dirty brown color -- pretty typical of a winter warmer. The one finger of head looks nice and crisp.

Sniff, and it smells like Christmas. I mean, really. Cloves and spices, hops and caramel. It's like Santa's cologne which is all well and good, if not a little creepy.

Sip, and the flavors follow pretty well, but they seem a bit weaker than what we've seen before. Sure, the spiciness is there, hiding behind a mild hopiness, and the expected sweetness is kind of there. It's just not as powerful as I had expected. The mouthfeel is equally light, making this a fairly dull beer.

Will this improve when winter actually comes around? Maybe. Thing is the beer is here now, and it's really not one intended for storage. The Jubelale is a six-pack beer.

With all said and done, it's not a horrible beer. I'll have it again. I just had expected something more, and I feel somewhat let down. In the end this is just the kick-off of the winter warmer season. It'll be a tough undertaking, finding the next big thing, but it's one I'm gladly willing to face.