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Old Jubilation - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old JubilationOld Jubilation

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

779 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 779
Hads: 1,587
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 60
Gots: 123 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-05-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 779 | Hads: 1,587
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Boo's in Columbus, Ga.
I had this last Christmas and loved it. Put a few bottles in the 'cellar' and I'll try to wait.
appearance - tawny and clear, like an aged port.
smell - something I can't pin down....maybe the hazelnuts mentioned by Avery? Maybe the combo of 5 malts.
taste - delicious.
This is exactly what I want on a cold winter day. We don't have many of those in Ga. but it's pretty chilly and my bones are still thawing from a trip to a snow laden UK.
This is a nice brew from one of my fave breweries.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a vintage 2009 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep ochre, with ruby highlights when held up to the light. A thick, pillowy ivory head settles at 1/4" high and remains.

Boozy, yeasty and malty, with caramel and burnt sugar aromas. There are also hints of figs in this beer.

Taste starts sweet, with definite alcohol and yeast, grapes, currants and other dark fruit, and raisins. Ends with a stripe of bitter down the middle of my tongue.

Buttery mouthfeel, this is a medium to full bodied brew.

Cellaring this beer for a year didn't hurt it one bit. My only disappointment was that I was not able to find a 2010 vintage (which was why I saved this from last year) to contemporaneously compare this to. Highly drinkable, this is an excellent winter warmer.

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Photo of bcray
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I started keeping notes several years ago this was the first beer I reviewed. It was also the first Winter Warmer I had ever tried. As an introduction to the style I'm sure I made the wrong choice. I graded this an F and found it "horribly undrinkable". Oh how the palate has changed! This example is a bit more hoppy than many of the winter warmers I've had since and is a very big beer. With that being said I'm a fan. You definitely taste every bit of the 8.0% alcohol but its balanced out by some beautiful toffee and caramel notes with just the right amount of spice present in the background. Still a "once in awhile" beer but a darn nice occasional sipper.

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Photo of hobbes2112
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Pours a cola brown with large (three finger) head that has really long retention (6 minutes to reduce by 50%! ) Smell is very heavy on the malts which is understandable considering they used 5 different types to make it. Also noted are roast nuts and coffee. Taste is wonderful and a perfect way to start the cool season. For lack of a better term it started "woody" reminding me of raking leaves and stacking firewood. Malt is strong as suggested by the head, but surprisingly there is quite a hop presence that I didn't note at all in the smell. Nutty and dry finish.

Fantastic winter warmer, one more reason I love this time of year.

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Photo of John1985
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ale pours a deep brown with a three quarters inch snow-cap head that laces down the mug. Aroma is of molasses and brown sugar- it reminds me of my Mom's Christmas cookies. Sweet malt flavor dominates with some plum like flavors. A light sting of hops balances with some warming alcohol on the finish. It has a substantial body which is appropriate for the style.

The ale despite its size slides down very easily and could result in an unintended nap. I really had to pace myself to make it through the playoff game.

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Photo of beerogre
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first encountered Old Jubilation last year, when I purchased it along with some Hibernation Ale, and I was immediately impressed by it as a very drinkable Winter Warmer, and as good as the Hibernation Ale was, I always slightly preferred this beer over it.

Towards the end of the Holiday Season last year, I decided to keep a bottle back, to see how it compared with the 2006 release, and I have to say that for those planning to get into cellaring, it really is worthwhile when you finally get to sample the goods.

This year's batch is every bit as good as I was expecting, but you really can taste the benefit the extra year has had on the 2005 version. It is just so much better in every way, the taste is richer, definitely sweeter and has acquired some sherry like aspects, and the mouthfeel is much smoother.

It makes me wonder how far you can go with this ageing process: If this is the result of my minor experiment with a good beer for one year, what about some of those great beers that are put down for several years or more?, They must be truely fantastic.

Interesting, very interesting.

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Photo of mnapier
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Service Temperature, 40 degrees. Glassware, 8 ounce globe.

Appearance, is a nice deep reddish hue with some clarity. The head is a nice white foam, that recedes to reveal a tattered curtain of lace down the glass. Swirling this under the nose I detect sweetness, mild fruit, some nuttiness, and a some hop pineyness. Swallowing this roasted, with some raisins, provides a nice sweetness, with some honey and earthiness. On the mouth a weight that is medium almost mild to the swallow.

Overall a nice winter ale. Cheers

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Photo of beerluvr
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh baby! A clingy and lacy ivory head, ultra deep rubine redness in the Sierra Nevada balloon glass. Intense heavy maltiness you can smell even before the glass is under your nose, with some dark fruitiness thrown in too. Deep fruity and malty flavors wash over the palate, unleashing bready/doughy notes as well. All balanced by a perfect hoppy bitterness. Wonderfully balanced between the malt and hop. The long delicious finish is teasingly bittersweet, just begs for another sip. Kick-ass!
Thanks, CRJM for this one!

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, dark amber in color -- almost red, actually. Head is a spotty, dirty white. Nice aroma -- molassess with a slight fruitiness and a floral hop bouquet. Rich in flavor -- brown sugar with a somewhat burnt malt taste. Unsweetened chocolate, raisins and other dark fruit. Finish is pleasantly bitter with a light smokiness to the aftertaste. Full bodied but well carbonated and balanced-seeming in terms of flavor. Good stuff, no less than what I'd expect from Avery!

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Photo of tkail
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark carmel color with thick foam. Nice lacing that hung on. Scents of chocolate, caramel, and some slight grassy citrus aroma. Taste hits you right away. Extremely smooth, medium chocolate flavors with toasted barleys. Really smooth - could knock back several of these. High alcohol content makes 3-4 just perfect.

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Photo of hyuga
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep mahogany brew rests in my glass, topped with a creamy, sticky head of cream-color. The nose suggests Christmastime spices, but the website suggests that they used no spices whatsoever in the brewing of this ale, apart from, of course, our friends the hops. A woody and nutty aroma with hop crispness is present moreso than the aforementioned, however. It's very crisp on the tongue as well, but also deep and malty in a warming way. A well-placed hop bite at the beginning, balanced in the middle by thick grain and caramel malt with a nutty and woody character. Leafy at the back, leading to a crisp finish. Subtly creamy mouthfeel. A fine beer, perfect for a winter night with a book or other form of quiet enjoyment.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a one-finger cream head that fades slowly leaving traces of lace. Clear amber color. Medium bodied. Nose is malty. Medium carbonation. Starts with a mix of malt and hops but as it warms more maltiness comes through. Different from other winter wamers - no spices, very warm finish. $1.75 for a 12oz bottle from Liquor Barn Lexington, KY.

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Photo of BassAssassin
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

--2006 Vintage--

A: Amber in color, similar to maple syrup. Thick, almost tan head that stays until the last sip.

S: Sweet with strong aromas of plum, cherry, and raisin. The yeast adds a certain musty character that is very pleasant. It's hard to tell, but some diacetyl might be present, also.

T: Sweet, spicy, and fruity, much like the smell. Immediate alcohol warmth. Hints of diacetyl add character, rather than detract from this brew. Malt is definitely dominant. Finishes with a smoky hop bite that just barely keeps the malt in check.

M: Medium to full bodied. Smooth and round, but not cloying.

D: This could be my favorite winter warmer. Perfect sipping brew for a cold, snowy day. A definite "must buy" each winter season.

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this on tap at crosscut pizza in nederland co in a pint glass
pours a deep amber brown and somewhat opaque with a thin off white head that stuck around the whole beer and left some minor lacing on the glass
smell is complex notes of fruit, caramel nutmeg and sweetness
taste is similar sweet fruity with caramel notes and a tangy aftertaste
feel is chewy viscous and very warming
overall solid except for the tangy aftertaste
would have again

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A- Dark muddy brown/amber color. Creamy off white tan head. This head was really wavy and hilly with lots of nooks and crannies. Lacing, yeah it was there, but not a ton. Nice looking beer.

S- Smell was of chocolate and spice. This beer was surprisngly sweet smelling, but in a really good way. It wasn't cloying, it wasn't artificial, it was just pleasant. You could tell that this one was going to be malty as hell.

T- Just as I suspected, this is a malt bomb. Absolutely terrific taste. Lots of chocolate, vanilla, cream, spice, and toffee. Really balanced. Nothing too sweet or over the top.

M- Rich, thick, creamy, sticky.

D- Well, this one is really filling. I could drink one or two but thats it. The flavors and ABV will kick your ass.

I loved this one...

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Photo of Zorro
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled due to the kindness of gbontrag.

This is a clear dark brown colored beer with a good light brown head. The appearance is a lot like coke in the glass.

Smell is sweet malt and spicy. Lots of cinnamon and ginger in the aroma and a nice woody base aroma. Vanilla and chocolate are nice and strong here and there is a slight scent of menthol or mint.

Taste is medium sweet and very malty at the start along with a strong hit of dark roasted malt that comes through as chocolate. This ale stings the tongue a little bit from what I interpret to be ginger; I am mildly allergic to ginger so your sensation might differ some. Good warming sensation from this ale which is sort of the point of a beer called a "Winter Warmer." Spicy and woody with a decent amount of bitterness the hop level is about perfect here. Spices are vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and a little orange peel. Good amount of chocolate flavor here and just a trace of scorched sugar.

Mouthfeel is good.

A mighty and tasty beer here that is among the best of the winter warmers. The main feature of this beer is it is perfectly in balance with all its parts. A tasty beer that isn't overly sweet, bitter, spiced or dumbed down to suit the Budweiser fans. One of the better beers that Avery makes probably the best one in fact.

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Photo of cdizinno
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mahogany, almost walnut colored.

S: Malty sweet, slightly caramel scent. Full bouquet of complex aromas.

T&M: Mildly sweet with a semi-dry aftertaste. Not bad. Simple but flavorful. No spiciness, but full bodied.

Notes: Never have I been disappointed by an Avery brew. This one is very good.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt amber red just a hint of light shows thru on the color. The head is so impressive. Thick rootbeer like head two inches thick.
good lacing on the glass. The nose had a herbal almost a grey earl tea aroma. The rich flavor of roasted malts and a hint of toffy. The finish taste like a good french roast coffee. with a slight hint of clove. The reason I like this winter warmer is the brewer say's he adds no spices. The hint of clove I talked about was very faint.
The alcohol level is just right. They say this brew really shines at about two years in the cellar.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. 2007 vintage, so somewhere in the 5-6 year old range.

3.5 A: Deep brown borderline black color. Just a short frothy head formed and fell quickly. No lacing. In any case, I'm happy about the carbonation level at this point.

4.5 S: Seems that this has aged quite nicely. Still quite potent, but also with smooth, well integrated aromas. Big toastiness, dry caramel, light tobacco, and a pleasant spiciness. Dry overall, but balanced. Not a ton of complexity, but that tends to happen when a beer is aged so long. Despite this, it smells amazing.

4.5 T: Like the nose, it's hard to find any problem in the taste. Lots of toastiness, caramel, and dry graininess. No hints of booze at all. Fairly dry, but again, balanced.

4.25 M: Medium body. A little undercarbonated compared to what I'd expect fresh, but easily enough for a beer this age. Goes down super easy, but a bit more body and creaminess would be nice.

4.5 D: This drinks like a session beer. So easy to drink. I'm furious that I don't have another. Tons of flavor, great balance, and no problems.

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've enjoyed every Avery product so far, and was in the mood for a seasonal, so I picked up a 6 of this. Pours a deep nutty brown color with a hint of red. The head bubbled to two fingers, decent for a slow pour, a foamy tan that laced well. Smell was nutty and malty-sweet, with some cocoa and plum. Taste was excellent, deep and rich, with hazlenut, cocoa, dark fruit and black tea, with a just-right hoppy finish. Not so thick as to be too filling, extremely drinkable.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark mahogany, translucent, with a half inch of khaki foam that recedes slowly leaving copious lacing. Smell is thoroughly caramel sweet malt and dark dried fruits with pervasive chocolate. Taste is caramel and dark chocolate malt, mildly sweet throughout but reigned in, finishing dry, subtle hop bitterness. Is there some coffee in here too?  Chocolate on the finish too. Mouthfeel is silly and well crafted. Perfect carbonation.  Very, very good. I added this bottle at random to a make your own six pack.  I'll definitely revisit it in the future. Jubilation indeed. 

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Photo of TXHops
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Jubilation is Avery’s winter seasonal, available October-December. My bottle (thanks to Marc77) poured a deep, brilliant, reddish brown with a thick head that lasted pretty well for about 90 seconds, before fading into uneven clumps of foam here and there on the top of the glass, streaming lace. The nose was vinous, spicy and brown sugary—like many west coast winter ales (MacTarnahan’s Bobbydazzler, Full Sail Wassail, and Pyramid Snowcap come to mind), though Old Jubilation smelled a bit more malty and a bit less spicy than those PNW offerings…

Old Jubilation has a medium-full body (about as expected from an 8% offering) with a nice, tight, non-prickly carbonation falling somewhere between soft and crisp. The flavor is malt driven, but not Crystal malts—I taste mostly dry chocolate malts. In fact, it’s the dryish aspect of the darker malts that give this beer a good chunk of its earthy, dry, pipe-tobacco-like character. The finish is the same—lingering, dry, roasted maltiness with a solid bitterness that doesn’t taste particularly hoppy. I understand that this beer is single-hopped with Bullions, but I wouldn’t know what a Bullion tasted like after having this beer alone, as the hops seem to mainly impart malt-balancing bitterness in the case of Old Jubilation. The sweetness is very appetizing, even as it’s juxtaposed against the dryness of the high-kilned malts and the hops, leaving a beautiful combination of brown sugar and roasted, sweetened nuts in my mouth. What a beautifully balanced, complex ale. I wish I had more of this one…

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Photo of grittybrews
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle, opened 10/2011. Poured cola brown with a ruby tinge and a half finger of khaki head. Sweet, malt-dominated aroma with dark fruit, caramel, and spice.

Moderate carbonation and a full, creamy mouthfeel. Biscuity toffee malt up front with molasses, traces of dark cocoa, fig, dark fruit, and lingering cinnamon/spice. Just a touch of boozy warmth on the finish as the beer warms, with a gentle roasty bitterness that gradually emerges too.

Malty but not overly sweet. Really nice beer; I bought this bottle last year and stuck it in the cellar, and now I'm curious to try some fresh as well. Up there with Jubelale as a favorite winter warmer.

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Photo of omnigrits
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber colour with a moderate head that fades quickly to leave a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

The smell is immediately malt but with so many other elements in there. Toffee, caramel, even cognac.

The taste follows up with even more to enjoy. The hops in this one have faded a bit but there's still plenty of bitterness and hop flavour and a superbly bitter finish. An incredibly complex beer but not overdone.

Mouthfeel is good but not exceptional. Smooth but maybe lacking body a little for the style.

Really nice. I could drink a few of these.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up in Florida, but I am surprised that I didn't see it in New Jersey.

I poured this beer into a tulip. There was minimal foam. The color was very clean reddish.

THis beer had a sweet, fruity smell. It is almost like apple. It is a very proper smell for the style.

This has good old ale flavor, lots of toffee, nutty, and lots of malt. They brag on "no spices" and this beer really doesn't need any. This has great balance.

I would have aged a couple bottles of this for aging if I had seen this in New Jersey.

I am a big fan of Avery, and this beer is another reason why. They do a great job.

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Old Jubilation from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 779 ratings.