Jasperilla Old Ale | Independence Brewing Co.

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Jasperilla Old AleJasperilla Old Ale

Brewed by:
Independence Brewing Co.
Texas, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 02-02-2006

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 96
Photo of kojevergas
2.31/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

2011 vintage. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with unbranded pry-off pressure cap and basic label art acquired at me local HEB grocery and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery. No ABV is listed on the label. Reviewed as an Old Ale because it identifies clearly as such on the label.

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

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a three finger wide head of beige colour. Okay thickness. Subpar creaminess. Complexion should be softer. Head retention is good for the ABV - about 7 minutes. Pretty impressive. Uneven lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear copper of above average vibrance. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Ugh. Over-fermented tropical fruit: mango, distinct lychee, pineapple. Taffy. Sticky melted fruits. Bubblegum. Boy, I'm not having this at all; it's quite off-putting. Luckily, it's fairly mild in terms of strength. Alcohol is evident but not overbearing.

No yeast character, malt character, or hop character is detectable. I'm dreading trying this based on the aroma. Really awful; it's certainly off. There's something very wrong here.

T: Luckily, the taste is better than the smell. Lychee, white grape, heavy tropical fruits - overfermented mango, passionfruit, and pineapple. Boozy. I get some vague fig. White port. Raisin. Rum. Vague coconut. White plum. The flavour profile is a mess; it's all over the place. A bit too sweet. Zero cohesion. Not at all a gestalt flavour profile. Muted; very shallow depth of flavour. Average duration of flavour. Below average intensity of flavour for the style. It really needs more of a malty presence. Horrid lack of balance. No real complexity or subtlety either. I'm not a big fan of this beer.

No yeast or hop character comes through.

Mf: Unnatural. Smooth and wet. Strangely thin and weak for the style. Not full-bodied. Poor presence on the palate. Doesn't complement the flavour profile all that well. Good carbonation.

Not oily, harsh, gushed, astringent, biting, or sticky.

Dr: All things considered, it's a pretty poor old ale and drinks more like a bad barleywine (so not only is it bad, but it's not even bad to style). I definitely wouldn't touch this stuff again. A subpar effort from Independence Brewing. Hides its ABV okay, I guess. I've certainly had worse, but I'd caution others against picking this one up. Clearly, there's a reason a 2011 bottle was available in late 2013 at a grocery store.


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Photo of JohnBender
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage.
A- Pours light brown, very white head. Head is very slight.

S- Candy and booze.

T- More of the same. Certainly boozey throughout. Sweet with a slightly dry finish.

M- Medium bodied. Carb feels right on for a two year old old ale. Very solid.

O- A good beer. I haven't seen any of this since 2011. With a few tweaks, it could be great. I think the age definitely did this beer well.

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Photo of GMB
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Independence's Jasperilla 2011 pours a tawny body with an off-white head that doesn't stick around or leave a trace.

The nose is of alcohol and sweet malt. Notes of unsulphured apricots, figs, and roasted dark raisins are palpable.

The taste is nice. Sweet apricot sustains the grainy and floral tastes that one expects from an aged beer. The beer is soft on the palate.

Overall, this is a fine Old Ale that probably won't drink again. Well done. Let's move on.

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Photo of charlzm
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed May 13th, 2012 at Whip In, Austin, Texas. 2011 vintage.

Clear dark golden beer, verging on caramel colored. Minimal head.

Aroma is butterscotch.

Flavor is sweet and esthery; lots of dark fruity flavors. Butterscotch and toffee/caramel notes up front on the palate. Significantly bitter on the finish. Alcohol is lurking but is well masked by the flavor.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick but has good carbonation to offset it. Slightly parching.

This is one well assembled beer! I would gladly have this again anytime, anywhere.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottling

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a decent enough head that leaves a nice trail of lace behind

Smell: Caramel forward, with undertones of dark fruit (fig and date) and oak

Taste: Caramel and fruit, up front, with strawberry, fig and date flavors; by mid-palate, there is a bit of an oaky, earthy/pithy tone that reduces the sweetness that was building from the outset; the fruitiness returns, after the swallow, leaving a lasting impression

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: While I would like to see more complexity and depth, this is a rather tasty old ale

Thanks, mhenson42, for the opportunity

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

aramel smell coming off of this, literally took me by surprise. Nice aroma of oak and alcohol mixing and swirling around with it now, really starting to pick up steam the warmer it got. So complex, with rich earthy tones running rampant through it. Warm oak infused notes of brandy like alcohol running over the tongue, so sweet and sugary. As you roll it around you start to notice there is a little bit of a bitter bite to this one. Way down deep under all of the malt, there was a subtle bitter hoppiness, very grainy and earthy, but it was there, and really pushed through on the finish. Long drawn out finish it was, soo complex, with every sip letting you discover more and more flavors. Deep dark fruit now coming through for me, really started to actually dominate the scene all together. Huge raisin and plum notes giving it that sweet but yet tart dark fruit flavor we all come to love

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Photo of Intrik
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage found on my way home from Austin after Austin City Limits music festival Great find to replace the lack of Austin Beerworks sadly.

A - Burnt amber that gradients into a brown/copper at the top. Lacing stays on the outer edges of the beer about 1 mm up and there's a few island-y spots of lacing left along the snifter.

S - Malts, dark fruits, and alcohol hit my nose. The smell reminds me of syrup; specifically brings back the viscosity of syrup as well in my mind.

T - Alcohol hot right off the bat, but smooths out with sweet fruits immediately. Happy to not have a hop bomb; instead it eases into them near the finish to give you a hint of bitterness.

M - Same as the smell: very viscous in its own memory-jogging kind of way. The taste of the sweet, sweet dark fruits also adds to the thick syrupy mouthfeel.

O - First I've had of this style, but after reading Independence's description is feels like they were very close to the mark on this beer. I'd love to try some with another year or two on it.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.17/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007

A - Clear, orange and very active carbonation. Brownish hues and the thickest part of the glass. Thick, foamy off-white head that is a solid 4 fingers despite a gentle pour. Chunky foam left behind on the glass.

S - Sweet bready aromas with dark fruits, especially fig and raisin. A bit of booze comes through as well. The raisin aroma lingers throughout. Hints of vanilla come through as the beer warms.

T - Sweet and fruity with a hint of yeasty bread dough. Lots of fig and raisin. Still get hints of vanilla as well. A bit of booze in the finish, especially after the beer has warmed a touch.

M - Medium bodied and rather sticky. This one has held up quite well and has come together very nicely.

O - Very impressed with this one, first beer from Independence that I have found to be truly noteworthy. Going to have to pick up a few of these to lay down again.

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Photo of Fenris244
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured into my duvel tulip

pours a deep amber with a 1 finger rocky off white head, the amber is beautiful with good clarity, head retention is so so but leaves a good bit of lacing

A little boozey for some reason, sweetness is apparent, like apricots, some green apple and raisins as well as what was to me like cherry

flavors seem a little muted, bits of cider like apple, hop profile is nice gives a good bit of floral bitterness, a little sweet on the finish, sigh nothing pops at all.

Medium in body, light carbonation, smooth

Overall, a slightly boozey tasting, very reserved attempt at the style, not bad by any means but falls short of being good

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Photo of ElCommodoro
4.69/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a mason jar. I could say to give it a rustic effect since it’s “old ale,” but it was just the only thing I had around. It poured a translucent red-orange brown colour. It looked like it wasn’t going to get a head of any kind, so I started pouring a little more sloppily ,which achieved a small off-white head that dwindled and left some lacing.
Smell is very very sweet. It smells strongly of dried fruit and molasses. And maybe leather.
Taste is so freakin excellent. Delicious was the first thing to come to mind. Taste is kind of like the smell, but definitely improved. The dried fruit flavour is more subdued, but the molasses flavour comes through strong. The leather is still there a little bit. However, unlike the nose, hops are present. Taking a backseat, though. And I like that. I like that a lot! Hops should always take a backseat to the malt and the grain in my opinion. Speaking of grain, I can definitely taste some, but it’s hard to distinguish much about it. This is a very sweet beer and the sweetness is overpowering, almost cloying. That would be the worst thing about it, I’d say. If you like molasses flavored beer, this is for you for sure. The carbonation is not as low as I feared from the lack of a head, but it’s low. The mouthfeel is thick and sticky, no question. However, sweetness aside, this is a man’s beer and that’s what I like about it. Grain and molasses make up the profile and it is bringing much needed perfection to an otherwise crappy night. It’s that manly leather-like flavour that really fills out this profile. Otherwise it’d just be sugar in a can. I’m a little bit disappointed that I can’t taste more alcohol. For 9% alcohol, it’s awfully hard to detect. I do get some alcohol heat off of it, which helps with the overall enjoyment, but I wouldn’t notice it if I didn’t already know it was a high alcohol beer.

Overall, good stuff, maybe a bit too sticky. Very happy to see hops that are present, but taking a backseat to the other flavours.

Update: I just opened another 2011 edition of this beer, now 2 years old and I had to come and change my numbers on this. This beer is truly incredible. I don't know if I have weird taste or if this is just a very hidden gem because 2011 editions of this beer seem to be all over the place, never flying off the shelves and the reviews aren't exactly fantastic on here. I was pretty new to craft beer when I first had this, but coming back, it's even better than I remember it. Not sure why I thought alcohol heat was not very discernible, though. It's VERY present, which is awesome, and that roasted leather-molasses flavour is just spot on. It's like being able to drink a barbecue, which should be every Texans dream, I would imagine. The stickiness on the mouthfeel is a little much, I'll admit, but this is one of my favourite beers and I encourage other lovers of roasted malts and sweet beers to partake...as soon as possible.

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Photo of stakem
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 bomber poured into a snifter. The cap pries off with barley a hiss. This brew appears a lightly hazed copper orange color with less than a finger of white head that quickly recedes down to a thin film across the top with some islands of fluff floating around on top. Faint spotty lacing sticks to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is a big orange-like with pulp and zest. Fairly sweet smelling from a combination of the previously described orange character and a mixture of caramelized sugars with minor vanilla notes. A swirl releases a bit of a sulfur indication which isn't that enjoyable but the finer aspect of this brews nose outweigh the negative. As it comes up to temperature some aromas of toasted malt come forward with a touch of grassy to herbal hops.

The taste of this brew is quite toasted with malty flavors that eventually get a bit sweet with minor fruited quality like orange pulp and zesty bitterness like the aroma hints towards. A herbal hoppiness blends well with the orange character but clashes a bit with the toasted grain quality. The alcohol is readily evident in the flavor despite it being very well masked in the aroma. The taste is a bit solvent-like and also does not blend that well into the taste of this brew. There are times when the toasty malt flavor gives way to minor notes of caramel but that quickly dissolves into the bold alcohol and lasting herbal bitterness.

This is a medium to full bodied brew. Light to moderate carbonation but leaning more towards light. This is a fairly decent take on the style but there are others that are better. It is a decent sipper and more enjoyable while it is chilled. Once it warms up, it gets to be a bit of a disjointed mess that doesn't meld well due to its lack of big residual malt flavoring I expect in the style.

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Photo of JMad
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this 2010 bottle from an English pub glass...

The beer was an orange copper color with a tan colored, thick head that did leave some nice lacing. I could smell apples, pears, a hint of white wine and a caramel background. The taste is similar, I got some alcohol, white grape, apple peel and lemon. It's medium bodied, very smooth, warming and dry. This is an enjoyable brew, I wouldn't mind seeing what a little more aging would do to it.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2010 vintage. I always like drinking Independence beers when I am in Austin, and this is one of theirs that I haven't tried yet that is available in bottles too! Awesome! Let's give this beer a try:

Appearance: Pours a pretty cloudy burnt orange color with a small ~1/8" head of tannish bubbles after an aggressive pour, but the head was disappearing as fast as I could pour it, so by the time I got done, the head was just a small ring where the beer meets the glass. There is no lacing left after the beer is drank.

Aroma: My first impression was that it was a bit boozy, but I am not sure that I am getting that strong of an alcoholic presence in the cold beer. Otherwise the aroma is pretty reserved with only some sweet malts coming out and what seems like a reserved floral and maybe a bit of an earthy hop presence. Some citrus is coming out as the beer warms, but it is coming across more as the meat of an orange rather than the rind. As the beer warms further, the hops are coming out even more, yet the alcohol is still noticeable.

Taste: The flavor has a bit of a boozy edge to it as well. The alcohol is noticeable from the beginning and sticks with the beer the whole way through to the warming in the finish. Overall, the cold beer is reserved with some caramel notes and some reserved hops to notice about the flavor. Overall the body is medium with low carbonation even for this style. The beer is remarkably light on the palate for being a beer this big and this low in carbonation. The finish is pretty balanced overall, all things considered. The alcohol is a big player in the after-sip part of the finish, but the beer comes across in the finish as a bit watery, but it doesn't end sweet, so I would say that the hops edge out the malt by a hair.

Opinion: I don't know what to say except that this is a pretty good beer, and that this is a hard category to score well in because the competition is so high. That said, this beer is very thin for the style by any stretch. The hops are pretty aggressive for the style as well, so maybe it would be better appreciated once it has been cellared for 4-5 years. Either way, it is decent and worth a shot to see if you like this end of the Old Ale spectrum.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a mug

2008 Vintage

Shared with friends thanks to injuredreserve for the hook up

This beer pours a slight copper color leaning more to the jaundiced side on that color scale with an offwhite head that's minuscule at best. The aromatics are rather fruity. I detected hints of butterscotch and green apple, which I have to admit I didn't truly expect. The flavors were a bit on the side of apple juice mixed in with some buttery notes and sweet malt to carry along with it. The mouthfeel was smooth and nice. It was carbonated rather nicely, but did have an acidic quality to it. The overall on this beer was that it was fine, it didn't wow me but I didn't hate it either.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage.

Pours a hazy auburn/copper color, with an off-white less-than-a finger of head. Lacing is spongy and spotty.

The aroma is chock full of dark fruits, light sweetness, malty sweetness, caramel,

Taste is mild dark fruits, sweet malts, a hint of nuttiness, some light heat, and a tinge of citrus.

The fell is a tad creamy, more medium in body at best. Carbonation is minimal.

The ABV is nicely hidden in this and is overall very smooth, and drinkable...very drinkable for an old ale and with the age, is a very tasty one at that.

I'm not sure where the carbonation issues, clarity issues and other stale issues, that I see complaints of, are coming from. Maybe storage is an issue, but the age has done well for my bottles and I don't seem to have those issues at all...

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.02/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle tried 16 Oct 2007.

Medium light brown head. Well carbonated. Clear brownish orange color. Aroma is yeasty, vanilla and cakey-sweet. Tastes of burnt caramel and not a whole lot else. Overly sweet. Minimal bitterness. Finishes warming, toasty, bready. Medium body. Becomes somewhat tart as it warms.

Think this was the first beer from Independence we had.

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Photo of glid02
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Common Market (?) in San Antonio, TX.

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of caramel malts that have a somewhat watered-down aroma. Hints of toastiness come in and out along with leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Muted and mildly spicy caramel malt flavors kick things off. Midway through the sip somewhat earthy and leafy hops come into play and carry through to an ending that's equally sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this tasted more like a hybrid of DIPA and American barleywine that was aged long enough to let the hops fade. Strange for an old ale but not terrible.

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Photo of jwillcourt
3.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap into a pint glass.

A - Hazy, with the color and appearance of apple cider. Fine, white, finger-sized head. Average head retention and little lacing.

S - I couldn't smell anything, for two reasons that are no fault of the beer. First, it was served way too cold. I find this is a consistent problem at this bar. I don't always have the time or patience to warm the drink with my hands. Second, I am still recovering from the flu -- although I certainly thought I was well enough to venture out and order this drink.

T - Sweet up front, with sweet malt, caramel, plum, and apple cider flavors. Hops kick in with a pretty bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium body and low carbonation. There is a residual alcohol warmth.

D - This is pretty boozy.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.54/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 11/26/2009 (2008 bottle):

Pours a clear golden red color body with a small white head, quickly diminishing. Somewhat musty aroma, strong dark fruits. Alcoholy taste. Somewhat old, musty taste. The fruit taste mellows in the aftertaste. Hotter as it warms up. Would taste better aged another year, maybe two.

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Photo of pwsoldier
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

'08 Vintage

A - Pours slightly hazy copper/amber with a weak white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S - Smells like apple cider. Some faint notes of dark fruit and alcohol come through as well, backed up by caramel malts.

T - Cider-like qualities carry over onto the palate, with sweet notes of red apple and raisin being the most dominant. Malt sweetness is assertive and fairly one-dimensional. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overbearing. Some subtle notes of cinnamon come through in the finish.

M - Medium-bodied and drastically under-carbonated. It's almost like drinking apple juice.

D - Easy enough to drink, but the lack of carbonation combined with a lack of flavor complexity make it difficult to enjoy. I probably won't be having this again.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.32/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 vintage, I think this may be the only bomber from a Texas brewery...useless beer trivia. Pours a clear, light copper color with very little foam, just a few large bubbles bobbing about on the surface.

Nose is pleasant, with oxidized malts and dark fruits leading the way. Sweet caramel malt makes an appearance as well. Pretty decent smelling Old Ale.

Taste is heavily leaning towards the sweet malts...burnt caramel, toffee and crystal malt. There is some muscadine grape fruitiness in there as well as a few hints of raisins and figs. Jasperilla is a bit watery and there is not much character to the ale, never will be called overly complex. I enjoyed drinking my half of the bomber though and would consider purchasing again.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage consumed Dec. 15, 2009.

Pours orangish-brown with not much head. The aroma is very sweet with lots of caramel malt. The flavor has a lot of malty sweetness with some a caramel flavor. There is also some fruit, specifically apple. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. I have had this beer before but never reviewed it. I think it was better fresh.

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Photo of armock
2.73/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2008 Vintage

A - Poured a light copper color with an off white head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Is of fruits upfront then some malt and alcohol

T - I don't know its not good but its still drinkable has a fermented fruit taste with a touch of malt getting by the fruit and alcohol

M - This beer has fuller body with medium carbonation to it

D - I think this would be easier to drink if I was in the mood for it rather than seeing it in the fridge and saying why the hell not this beer isn't anything to go out of your way to get

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smuggled back from Austin.

A: Fairly clear light golden color. Poured with a finger of white head with some very nice lacing.

S: Sweetness then chestnuts. Has a nice oak quality as well. No malt though which is weird for an old ale.

T: Very sweet up front then it just sort of dies. It lacks the complexity of an old ale. A touch of raisins and then more sweetness. Not what I look for in the style.

M: Light bodied. I want this style a little thicker. Carbonation was spot on though.

D: I had high hopes for this beer but it fell short. It brings back great memories of spending time in Texas though. It needs more of a malt taste and for the body to be thickened up.

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Photo of Riccymon
2.71/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours from the bomber a transparent orange-red with a good couple fingers of head filling up the tulip. Smell is floral hops at first with some yeasty, almost barnyard notes when I swirl the glass. First sip was hops, some cherry/grape fruit juice, and a soft fusel alcohol note. Pretty light in body, almost wine-lilke, with a sour finish. While not the hottest beer I've had, I did sip a little slowly, given the alcohol.

It was nice to try this local, but I don't know if I'd buy another bomber of Jasperilla. I enjoyed the flavor at first, but after a while, it just became a chore to keep sipping.

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Jasperilla Old Ale from Independence Brewing Co.
3.41 out of 5 based on 96 ratings.
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