Avery – Old Jubilation

foo_0_fd13beer9_229291_1213.jpgIn the spirit of the season I decided to try another Winter Warmer style ale, this time from Avery. Their Old Jubilation is an English Strong Ale, but serves as the brewer’s seasonal offering, even though it’s not your typical spice-fest like other seasonal beers. Actually, the thing I like most about this beer is that it’s relatively simple. The pour is a deep mahogany color with an off-white, two-finger head. On the nose the malt dominates, with hints at toffee, brown sugar, some mocha and ripe fruit. The mouthfeel is bold and malty with medium-high carbonation. It’s sweet, but not overbearing, and the fruity textures keep the slightly strong finish in balance. Overall, it’s very drinkable and a really nice beer. Low marks go to the label art – honestly, it’s depressing. Never use mauve, people, never. Especially to frame some Norman Rockwell-looking winter scene that looks like it came from a starving artist sale at the flea market. Back to the drawing board on this one, thanks. Aside from my almost-gag every time I looked at the bottle, I really enjoyed this beer and suggest that you try one if you get a chance. Blindfolded, of course. Cheers~G

4.png – score 4

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Flying Dog – K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale

beer-k9-bottle.jpgThe first brew I tried in the “It’s really cool when breweries send you beer” session was the K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale. We all know winter warmers can run the gamut of great to terrible, so I had no pre-conceived ideas about what this beer would taste like. I guess I was expecting something malty with that special ‘extra’ spice profile that, honestly, rarely works for me. So here goes… The pour was a nice caramel color and predictable head of a couple of fingers. On the nose there is a sweetness of malt and some fruit, with a touch of hop citrus. The taste was great. None of those “hey, check out that coriander” or “whoa, someone spilled some ginger in here” moments, just a nice smooth beer. Not to say that there’s no spice, because there’s a hint. A nice hint, though, of something like cinnamon or another Christmas-like spice, which makes this a pleasant seasonal brew. I could definitely have several of these in an evening and not get overwhelmed, and probably will now that I think about it. Overall, a really solid and drinkable beer that I’ll definitely have around the house for the next month or so. Cheers ~G

3_5.png score 3.5