Jasperilla Old Ale | Independence Brewing Co.

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Jasperilla Old AleJasperilla Old Ale
96 Ratings
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 96 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of phishbone23
5/5  rDev +44.5%

Photo of Xadoor
4.92/5  rDev +42.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 Vintage

A dark rich amber colour in the glass. No head, but a thin layer of bubbles around the edge. Fairly strong aromas (particularly as it warmed) of bread and dried fruit, similar to a Christmas fruit cake. The higher alcohol, often typical of the style, is detectable, but light. Full, rich flavours of caramel and dark fruits; raisins, figs, apricots, vanilla. Finish is slightly dry and a bit acidic with a mild warming affect. This is a wonderful beer that can be enjoyed with a desert as well as savoured as an evening ender. Very drinkable.

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Photo of DamYankee
4.88/5  rDev +41%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had a sample of this on tap at the brewery, and then again at The Draughthouse.

My first impression upon tasting this was to simply, quietly, stand there and stare down into my glass. After a long silence, I told someone, "There simply are no words"

Amazingly light bodied despite it's high alcohol content. Dangerously good, too easy to drink pint after pint of this wonderful elixir.

It redefines the Old Ale category.

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Photo of BGsWo22
4.75/5  rDev +37.3%

Photo of ElCommodoro
4.69/5  rDev +35.5%
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 JJJ22
4.4/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Copper/Apricot
Aroma: Bread, Malt, Caramel
Taste: Light alcohol burn, raisins, caramel, black cherry, with a caramel coffee finish. Faint metallic tinge to the finish. No detectable hop flavor with little hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Nice and chewy. Leaves a slight, yet pleasant coating on the palate.
Drinkability: Almost TOO drinkable for a 9.3% ABV beer. Easy to get tanked on this one.

A pleasure to drink, this beer is what I'd call a stealth beer. Very easy to drink quickly for such a high gravity. It'll be interesting to see how this one matures over time.

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Photo of JayStewart
4.35/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this 2005 vintage at Grapevine Market, Austin, Texas, in April 2007. First, do not drink it too cold! Let it warm to 50-55 degrees or warmer. Clear golden color with malty nose. Caramel, dirty, apricot pits, vanilla, licorice, and warming. Complex sweetness. Chewy. 22 ozs of joy. Don't plan another brew on the same day.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark golden in color, with a touch of haze, a moderate white head, thick glass-coating lace, and slight carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet, spicy aroma, like Christmas cookies, pleasant, and rather evocative of the memories of Christmas past. There are notes of cookie dough, and dark fruits, as well.

Taste: Caramel and dark fruit dominate the opening. There is also some strawberry, not unlike St. Arnold's Christmas . As the taste progresses, there are candied tangerines, dark fruit, cherries, and spicy alcohol. The finish is moderately hoppy with mild citrus hops, which balance quite well against the complex sweetness. The high alcohol notes are quite subtle.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, and very full, quite soft.

Drinkability/notes: A very pleasant example, which expresses great complexity for its style. Needless to say, recommended.

Sampled at Independence Brewing on Saturday, October 14th, 2006.

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Photo of Intrik
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
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 Danielbt
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%

Photo of ckeegan04
4.17/5  rDev +20.5%
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 omnigrits
4.13/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage.

This brew is being enjoyed at room temperature. I've had this bottle cellared in my pantry for about six months. I wanted to give it longer but at this time of the year in Texas I really can't afford to keep the a/c going full blast in order to maintain a good cellaring temperature in the apartment so I'm going to drink this one.

Pours a hazy copper colour, with huge white head, which I'm sure is mostly because it's not refrigerated. The aroma is malty and musty and full of promise. There's a hint of Gorgonzola in there too, which makes me wish I had some good ripe cheese to wash this down with. That would be a good pairing. I'm also getting that wonderful smell you get upon walking off the street and into a British baker's shop.

Sweetly malty on the tongue, not much in the way of hops at first, but a slightly bitter finish to it. I'm getting some hints of port wine in here. This about the point where the ABV makes itself know to you. I wonder if I'm going to regret opening this one at 7pm instead of 30 minutes before I go to bed?

Mouthfeel's a bit on the thin side. Not much evidence of carbonation.

I have to mark this one down on drinkability because it's a sipping beer, not a session drink. But that's the nature of the beast with most old ales and they shouldn't be denigrated for it. Once you get a taste for them you're hooked.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
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 charlzm
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
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 valkyre65
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of JMad
4/5  rDev +15.6%
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 bentwookie
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +15.6%
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 harpus
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of Toul47
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of dehjosh
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of BeanBone
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A slightly hazy, and pumpkin-colored body with plenty of sediment in solution. On top, a finger and a half of creamy, off-white head that endures well and leaves decent lacing.

Aroma: A mix of various fruits (mostly apples and citrus) over sweet toffee-like malt with some whiffs of alcohol around the edges.

Taste: Golden fruit and citrus notes riding on top of a bold toffee-and-molasses malt backbone. Towards the end some woody flavors manifest themselves. The alcohol is much more present in the mouth than in the nose and compliments everything well. As for the aftertaste, it's nicely boozy and peppery.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with smooth carbonation and a dry finish. There's some slickness from the alcohol left in the mouth and just a hint of burn.

Drinkability: Definitely approaching sipper territory.

Verdict: I'm happy to report that this is quite a tasty and complex beer, and would be a great brew to enjoy with a cigar in the evening. I'll be cellaring a bottle for a year or so to see how it ages.

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Photo of JohnBender
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
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 mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
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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Jasperilla Old Ale from Independence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 96 ratings