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Old Jubilation - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old JubilationOld Jubilation

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

778 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 778
Hads: 1,580
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: 778 | Hads: 1,580
Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

No yeast at the bottom. $7.99 for a sixer. Served at fridge temp.

A: Dark, ashen ruby. Bright red when viewed through light, but when left to hide under its cap, the color is replaced by darkness. An aggressive pour forms a two-and-a-half-finger, eggshell foam head, with varying bubble sizes. This beer globs itself onto the sides. Hazy, doesn’t let you see through. Head falls to a cream, and it tries briefly to cling to the side, but doesn’t leave any lacing.

S: Very malty and hoppy. Biscuity breadiness….. Raisins and figs, all subdued. Grains, wheat, a sliver of banana. Just not much going on. Woody. Nutmeg.

T: really bitter, and hot, too. Fusels and phenols. Bandaid. Cherry, cinnamon, walnut. A bit rough.

M: Dry and astringent. High carbonation, medium body.

D: Low. I don’t want a second bottle. C-.

Interestingly, there are no hops, but only bullion hops, known for their distinctive black currant flavor.

I've never tasted bullion hops, but I get a hot, piney flavor, like that of an evil pineapple. In a way, it reminds me of Chinook, as it has some grapefruit and a distinctive note that I can only describe as cat piss.

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Photo of 99bottles
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark reddish brown color with a tiny tan head of lace that disappears after the first few quaffs. This beer smells of sweet malts and light choco with some fluttery hops in the end. The taste was somewhat thin. No real discernible spice addings, which I expected from the scenic winter label. Sweet bread like malts, medium somewhat chewy mouthfeel, sweet caramelized sugars, and light phenolic fruit. Tiniest hint at rum or brandy, but only behind the heavy sweetness. The hop blend seems to have wimped out in my bottle. I don't doubt the prescence, but there was no real oomph. Not quite what I think of when I hear American Strong / Ole Ale. Try a Stone AB, I think it holds more interest. Not bad, the 8% is cloaked well, but not one I'll be seeking out again.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery and style. 8.3% ABV confirmed.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger khaki/light tan colour head of nice cream, thickness, and retention. I'd estimate retention time to be about four minutes - pretty impressive at this high an ABV. Body colour is a transparent copper-amber. Not particularly vibrant, but nonetheless appealing. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Heavy toasted malt character, caramel, biscuit malt, some cream, hazelnut, toffee, and minimal hopping. A mild strength, subtle aroma. I'm excited to try it.

T: Heavy toasted malt dominates the climax, with some emergent caramel. It's definitely malt-centric, with minimal hopping coming through. Biscuit malt is certainly present. Well layered and balanced, but lacking multiple dimensions. It comes off simple - especially for the style. Some toffee and hazelnut help lend it needed character, but it still comes off lacking. An evocative and interesting brew that feels held back by its simplicity. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Nicely thick. Good carbonation. No problems here. Suits the flavours nicely. A bit chewy. Very smack-your-lips luscious.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the well-hidden ABV. It feels like more of an underspiced winter warmer than an old ale. I like it, but it's not great for the style. I'd have it on-draught. I could definitely drink this repeatedly over the course of a night. A solid offering from Avery, but it does need work.


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Photo of jpaltan
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a muddy brown with a thick tan head, that seems like it might be around for a bit. Smell is toffee some caramel notes, brown sugar, real heavy on the malt, not much in the way of hops. Taste is rather odd and a complete let down from the smell. first is a rather cloying sweetness of brown sugar and then comes a piney hops. Some winter spice is a bit abrasive on the tongue too. Mouthfeel is decent enough. Good carbonation to carry the alchohol and the stickiness of this beer seems to work. Drinkability is a bit lackluster for me. Not sure I would ever need to try this beer again.

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Photo of spoots
3.39/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I wanted so much to like this beer, especially at the (high) price I paid for a sixer. But ultimately, this is a one dimensional beer--malt, malt, malt--and I felt it did not meet the level of excellence its premium price implied.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass--a one-finger head which dissolved quickly to a vague foam. No lacing to speak of.

This is a good looking beer, full of promise. On the basis of appearance alone, a terrific beer...but...

There isn't a lot to stimulate the olfactory sense. I wanted this beer to explode with a malty fog, but it just sat there in the glass and stared back at me. Very disappointing.

The flavor was all malt, with malt notes moving up and down the scale. If you like malty beer, this is a fine example. But I desperately wanted some balance to make this a little more palatable. The malt is so predominant that I can't imagine having more than one of these in a sitting--which is usually my benchmark for a great beer.

Mouthfeel was average.

This is as much a niche beer as Hop Wallop, Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner, Duvel, or anu other category leader--with the caveat that it doesn't compel me to have another one.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This amber-to-light-brown colored seasonal is surprisingly light on the nose. In the flavor there is a roasted, espresso-like quality that is very pronounced, surprisingly so given the fairly light appearance of this beer. Following this there is an alcohol chaser (and why not, at 8%) and a bitter finish. In the mouthfeel we find mostly astringency from the roasted malt and bitter finish.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I just don't like Winter Warmers all that much. Old Jubilation is above-average but still not too thrilling.

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Photo of beagle75
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium reddish-brown color with less than one finger of diminishing off-white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Strong vinous fruit and mellow fermented grain combine to make a smell that is initially potent but fleeting. As intensity decreases, very faint vanilla and brown sugar are revealed. Alcohol fumes diminish in a similar manner, becoming undetectable after a few minutes.

T: Begins slightly sweet, with toffee, dark toast, and faint dark fruit. Grain turns husky in the middle, drying just slightly, with a phantom flavor of urea that comes and goes, but is a definite distraction when it is present. While dryness is never achieved, it is approached by an additional degree in the finish where bitterness is noticeable but not excessive, and rustic earthy malt lingers on the palate. Alcohol is mostly concealed, lending just occasional volatile fumes.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly syrupy showing restrained acidity, with low carbonation.

D/O: This beer is appealing in concept--strong and malty, but with the omission of those troublesome spices that are meant to invoke the spirit of wassail, only to trip up so many winter warmers. Unfortunately the transient urea notes take one completely out of the experience, limiting enjoyment. Still, it is not without its charms; considering it is an Avery product, it may be considered a qualified success.

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Photo of DCon
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 12 FL OZ bottle of this & added it to my Mix-A-Six Pack @ Naked Vine in Chesterfield, MO for $9.99. Poured from the "Old Winter Scened" bottle w/ a sleigh on the front & "LIMITED RELEASE" below Avery Brewing Company into a Clear 16oz Christmas Seidel Glass. Has also "HO, HO WHOA!" on the bottom & 11252B1 on the top of the bottle (any date or freshness hints of some sort?).

Aroma- Has a tons of malt and caramel aroma with a bit of alcohol in the background. Not much else... Wish there was more complexity and character here.

Appearance- Pours a .5 finger head that lasts for an average time. Has a dark brown colored body that is clear. Leaves only sudsy lacing behind.

Flavor- This brew starts with an extreme malty character and then has a bit of alcohol and booze behind it. Winter Warmer type of characteristics and then a light-medium hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Smooth, Light tasting and tad watered down and then has an alcohol hint at the finish.

Overall Impression- Enjoyable but would I drink this by the fire on a cold winter's night? Probably not. Not as much body and attribute as I wanted or was scoping out. This brew says its an "Old Ale" but more the most part, it was an Ellis' Brown Ale w/ a bit more ABV and malt and no caramel character. Not sure what to think. Still an above average brew but many other fantastic winter ale's I would go for before returning to this one.

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Photo of Vancer
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quite the winter warmer! Wow, a hot toddy for a cold evening by the fire, but……

Good start – deep caramel (root beer) pour with a sticky tan head. And those fall spice malts in the aroma were enticing. The quaff had a sugar cane sweet start, and finished with a proper hop kick. But……… the alcohol was very noticeable, and it came with a cherry medicine after burner. Just too tad too hot for a good drinker brew.

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Photo of confer
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown/red color with a small tan head, lots of lacing . Smokey malt aroma. The flavor is also smokey, and earthy and fairly bitter but not a hop bitterness. Thankfully no cinnamin or other seasonal spices that are used on plenty of 'Winter' beers. It has a nice thick feel. For me this beer is best as a night closer. The last beer of the night after a few lesser beers.

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Photo of Spider889
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Winking Lizard for their Christmas in July celebration.

The beer arrives a murky purplish brown color with no semblence of a head or carbonation.

Smells largely of anise and molasses. Sweet figgy maltiness suggests the base beer might be an old ale or the like.

A little boozy, the beer starts with a bitter hop bite, then leads into a sweet malt backbone. Caramel, plum, and oak are all reaching my tastebuds in succession.

Sweet and dry, with very low carbonation.

Overall not a bad winter warmer at all. But in a sea of similar beers, this one is fairly middle-of-the-pack.

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Photo of genog
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this at Z Cucina with Adam Avery. It was an amazing evening of pairing delicious food with two amazing beers at each course.

Pours a rich brownish, red color with a nice frothy off white head. Smell is sweet, with a bready, doughy type aroma too. Sweet caramel malt as well. Taste is dried, fruits, and some viney grape flavors. A little watery, with some light carbonation.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was probably the 2010 version. There is nothing on the bottle to indicate the year though. The label is a little different than the picture here; has the brewery logo at the bottom on the label.

A - Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Nice dark brown color, almost opaque. An inch head formed but quickly faded.

S - Overall a very light scent. Some malty smell...

T - There's a great balance between the malt and hops here. Neither really come out ahead, but they complement each other well. A short sweet finish. This is one of the few winter seasonals that I have had that does not have an array of the "Christmas spices" in its flavor. I like it.

M - Medium going toward heavy body. Almost no carbonation. A good weight for a winter warmer.

D - A good beer. I am enjoying sipping it on this (finally) cold night. I will probably have one more from the 6-pack and save the others for the next few years. Avery says that they can be cellared for a couple years so we will see if anything changes with time.

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Photo of nsabo
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oct. 2009 bottle opened in Dec. 2011.
Tastes like a creamier version of a scotch ale: very sweet, nutty in a brown ale kinda way. Caramel With winter warmers, I expect heavy malts and some variation of spice: the malts aren’t particularly heavy here and there are absolutely no spices. It’s not bad, but there aren’t any memorable qualities, either. Medium-thin mouthfeel.
I picked up a few packs of this 2 years ago and have been sampling it at different intervals since then. While still very drinkable and carbonated, at 2 years this feels past its prime. I remember thinking it was outstanding between 1-1 ½ years (sorry, didn’t take notes, all I remember was that the nose was wonderfully bready and the hops were still fairly present).

A final note: I've always known this as a winter warmer. BA labels it as an Old Ale, while Avery's website calls it an Old Strong Ale. Hmm

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Photo of NorCalYeti
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

taste- semi-sweet roasted malt

color- red copper

clarity- clear with suspended sediment

smell- roasted malt

body- medium-full, slight bitter finish

appearance- nice color, slight off-white head

overall impression- liked the body, sweet malt flavor, and bittering hops

notes- still not what i'm looking for in my christmas beer although it's the best example i've tasted thus far. this review is for a 2008 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: pint

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Photo of ElGordo
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, translucent red with a light creamy head. At first, the nose is full of robust malt aroma, progressing towards a sweeter, more herbal nose with noticeable alcohol as it warms. A number of flavors jump out of a thick, warming body: sweet malt, allspice, honey, and molasses. The bitter, malty finish lingers on the palate for quite a while. A good winter warmer, with emphasis on the warm. For >6% alcohol, it still packs a punch.

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Photo of TLove
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

While this beer is not weighed down by the brunt of spices that would normally accompany a winter warmer, this beer seems to me to be more like a DIPA in its hop structure. Frankly, the hoppiness of this beer really surprised me and perhaps rendered the beer a bit unbalanced on the back end. That being said, this is a good beer, but stylistically incomplete.

A decent, fluid red-brown color with a woody, bready smell and some strong, sweet malt on the mouth. There is not an overpowering presence of alcohol, which is surprising, especially due to the lack of heavy winter spices in this beer such as clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. There is a tint of spruce in this, but nothing like the Anchor Christmas ale.

After all I've heard about this beer, a bit disappointing.

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Photo of ncstateplaya
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I want to say that I enjoyed last year's run a little more than this last experience. But either way, my review is for the 2008.

Appearance: It poured an extremely clear walnut brown with cherry fringes. A very fluffy and creamy 2 fingered tan head that quickly receeded to form a 1/8" sheet across the surface of this dark beauty. Very little lacing, actually next to none...which is reflected in my score (probably dropped a half point).

Smell: The nose of this beer is nice...subtle complexities invite the taster. I picked out a spicy aroma with pine and possibly molasses. The hops are present, but by no means are they dominant.

Taste: I thought this beer to have a nice malty taste with yeasty flavors that I wasn't expecting, nor remembering from last year. There was a slight bitter finish, but nothing about this beer really stood out declaring it great.

Mouthfeel: A nice bodied beer that left my mouth feeling coated, I guess I am trying to say that it was a viscous brew with medium body. It was smooth and almost creamy with a biscuity characteristic.

Drinkability: This beer is just above run of the mill for me. Nothing clearly stands out (hope that's not due to the IPA beforehand). I rated this beer a little low in drinkability based on the fact that there are so many great winter seasonals that I would go after rather than this beer. I intend on having it again and will change my rating if so be the case.

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Photo of FLima
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Brown amber color with a thick head with eternal retention and leaving laces.
Aroma of caramel, licorice and rum.
Strong flavor of licorice, earthy hops, booze, caramels, raisins, cherries, a hint of pine with a strong malt sweetness. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium to full body with low carbonation.
This beer lacked some balance or the parts quite didn't match. I believe Avery tried to turbinate this Old Ale, but it did not work out well, it came out too sweet.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown/dark amber with a 1 finger head and good lace. Heavy malt aroma - chocolate, coffee and nutty. Good roasted malt taste mixed with coffee, chocolate and a hop as well as roasted bitterness. Slightly alcoholic and warming. Raisin and plum flavors noted. Higher than normal carbonation. A good complex brew but a bit harsh still. I think I will let the other 5 sit for a bit and try one again when it gets closer to Christmas - it should smooth out some.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brownish red in color, good head and lacing. Smells of some piney hops and weak malts. Sweet malts hit the tongue first, some caramel and toffee as well as hop strength in the back. Like it. Warming and pretty thick for a sixer beer. Simple, does the trick. I'd have two.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shipped back from my Denver trip. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info on the bottle. It was a mahogany color with lots of carb streams. It had a large beige head that slowly settled into a constant foam cap fed by the card. Great slow sliding lace with good stickage.

The aroma was very weak even with swirling. Malty with dark fruits. The taste was much better than the aroma. Again, sweet malt with dark fruits but the end has a moderate bitter finish. Mouthfeel was medium with good carb levels. After-taste was lingering bitter.

Overall, a good winter warmer that does well for the style. For me, I'm not in a rush to have another but that's more a style thing. If I want a warmer though this is on the short list. Rotation - might be available here in TX but I shipped one back just in case and also cause I could get a single of it. It's good for a warmer but one is enough for me [1-style]

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Photo of philbertk
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Old Jubilation Ale

1998--12 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV. Winter Ale. (3.0 / 5.0)

2005--12 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV--30 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Winter Ale. Arctic Liquor Beer of the Month Club Selection December 2005. Thin lacy head. Clear dark bronze color. Mild roasted floral hop cinnamon malt spice front. Dry sweet burnt crisp toffee caramel spice thin rich body. Crisp Winter spice roasted hoppy end. Sampled 4/18/2006.

2006--12 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV--30 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Winter Ale. Mild lacy head. No sediment. Clear dark bronze color. Mild hop big malt front. Crisp tangy tart sweet toasted toffee clove nutmeg malty body. Hot malt spice mild EtOH hop clean dry sweet end. Big & balanced. Sampled 6/12/2007.

2007--12 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV--30 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Winter Ale. 6-Pack $8.99. Perfect Label. No sediment. Rich lacy off white head. Clear thin dark bronze color. Toasted malt spice smoky mince meat mild hop front. Crusty roasted burnt nutmeg toffee caramel body. Cloying sweet smooth mild hop lingering malt spice roasted nutty end. Sampled 10/13/2008.

2008 12 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV--30 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Winter Ale. Big foamy lacy head. Clear thin dark bronze red color. Mild hop toasted malt spice front. Mild coffee toffee rich malty no added spice nutty hint body. Mild hop hot EtOH tangy malt spice boisterious malt end. Sampled 12/10/2008. 6-Pack $9.99.

Avery Brewing Company--Old Jubilation Ale--Limited Release 2010 12 oz. Bottle. 8.30% ABV. 30 IBU's? (3.75 / 5.0) Winter Old Ale? Lacy dense tan 1/2" head. Clear dark ruby walnut color. Mild hop malty toasted dark fruit front. Creamy smooth rich doughy malty toffee raison dark mellow fruit mildly crusty sweet body. Clean mild hop hot EtOH hint dark fruit malty end. Too rich. Sampled 2/21/2011. Purchased 6-Pack for $9.99 at The Greenwood Market, Seattle on 10/27/2010.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a deep amber color with a small dierty white head.

S: Nose has roasted malt, spice

T: Taste is like the aroma with more bitterness than I was expecting. Chocolate, old molasses

M: Thin, light booze

D: Not the best Winter Warmer. I was expecting more from Avery.

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Photo of djbreezy
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance - transparent ruby/brown, frothy head that dissipates quickly with not much retention but good lacing

smell - malts and maybe some chocolate and fig notes

taste - huge malt body, roasty malts, chocolate malts

mouthfeel - oily, a bit on the thin side for 8.3 abv, medium carbonation, some bite

overall - flavor leaves a bit to be desired coupled with a weak mouthfeel, strength is probably the unique flavor profile if you're into trying new brews

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Old Jubilation from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 778 ratings.