Tuesday, December 11, 2007

25 Beers of Christmas, Day 11: Avery Old Jubilation 2007

I was knocked over by a two-year old version of Old Jubilation early in this little project which astonished me given that I wasn't that crazy about it when I had it fresh. Was this due to changing perceptions or was it really a beer that improves greatly with age? I decided to find out with a fresh sample.
Most of the initial impressions are the same. "Pours a nearly opaque reddish brown with a wispy thin tan head. No real lacing to speak of. Smells very malty. Sweet with some sweet spiciness some alcohol in the nose." These are all still valid observations.

The taste is another matter. While the hops are still present, the fruity malt with all it's blackcurrant and raisin has the upper hand on those hops. The earthy hops are still quite present but they do not shine like they did in the aged version. This seems counter intuitive as hops usually are one of the first things to fade when you age beer. There is a bit more alcohol evident in the flavor so maybe the hops come out when that fades. Or maybe the oxidation cancels out some other malt flavors and the hops win out again. Whatever the reason, this beer does improve with the age on the bottles. It's still quite good but the two-year old sample was better. Good to know...

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