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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 96
Photo of omnigrits
4.13/5  rDev +21.1%
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 BeanBone
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
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 johnnnniee
3.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in trade from TexIndy and RickSawyer thanks for the opportunity to try this brew. I actually had one bottle of this break in a shelving incident so I'm glad I had multiple bottles.

This review is the 2007 Vintage and it has been in my cellar for about a year.

Pours a clear medium to dark copper color with a good sized bubbly off white head that sticks around for a while. Aromas of caramel and light citrus come to the forefront. Slight alcohol and a twinge of biscuit round things out. Smells decent, but smells malty sweet, very little hop on the nose. The taste is sweet caramel and a light fruitiness. Its really malty sweet almost to the point of cloying. Theres a strange twang in the background that I can't quite identify its almost metallic or phenolic luckily it doesn't stick around long enough to ruin this completely. Slight alcohol burn in the finish. Carbonation is medium, mouthfeel is sticky, body is medium to thick. This one has some issues. It could be my fault for sitting on this bottle for 2 years, but as is this isn't that good. Its heavy on the malt without enough hops to balance the sweetness. That strange taste doesn't help much either. I'd love to give a fresh bottle a try.

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Photo of northaustin
2.73/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

got a 2005 from grapevine.

i should mention that it smells a little stale,but the malt bomb was still slightly intact. poured into a schnifter suprisingly clear with a small amount of off white head.

taste is a bit stale and lacks that "aged" flavor and texture. but still drinkable and jasperilla in itself is a very solid ale.

overall i fell semi blessed to have gotten a hold of this vintage offering. look for a follow up review of the 2008 coming soon

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Photo of grub
2.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. 2008 vintage. sampled june 7/09.

pours ultra-hazy dark orange with a small dense tan head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves plenty of lace behind.

aroma is ok. light citrus - orange, tangerine - but mixed with a bit of musty rotted wood and cat pee. alcohol, stronger than i expected. bit of white bread and cracker. hint of caramel.

taste pretty much follows suit with the aroma. starts with some light caramel and citrus, then gives way to some musty/earthy character. medium bitterness level, too high for the style. warming alcohol, bit of white bread and cracker.

mouthfeel isn't great either. astringent. medium-large body is ok. carbonation is over medium strength and carries a bit of sting.

drinkability is ok. the balance isn't too bad for the style, but otherwise there's nothing bringing me back for more. don't really have much interest in finishing the glass, let alone considering another.

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Photo of Viggo
2.79/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle, 2008 vintage, thanks to GregMcQ for sending my way!

Pours an almost clear light amber/golden, some orange highlighting, very thick off white head forms, chunky and rocky, drops a ton of lace on the glass, very thick, real nice layer, looks good! Smell is interesting, quite sweet, lots of toffee, very heavy biscuity aroma, bread, some raisin and light fruitiness, grapes, touch of alcohol, lightly earthy, something about it that smells a bit weird I can't place, like a dirty bathroom floor. Taste is weird, apricots and rotten fruit, some caramel and brown sugar sweetness, grapes, raisin, biscuits, very sweet, some iron, alcohol, kind of a mess. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, almost syrupy, low carbonation, some warmth going down, a little tough of drink. The biscuit/toasty character is neat, but too sweet and some real strange flavours going on, but it does look nice. Thanks Greg!

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Photo of RedChrome
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage:

Cloudy bright orange colored beer under a half inch of light tan colored head. Foam halved quickly before becoming a slick on top. Only minimal carbonation bubbling.

A very sweet biscuit malt backbone. Fruit presence is unattributable to any one fruit aroma. A decent alcohol aroma in the back of the nose.

A big grain taste as expected from the aroma. Same generic fruit flavors noted in the scent. A very faint licorice taste at the back of the tongue.

Nice thickness and carbonation in balance. Tastes cling to the tongue and bring a warming aftertaste.

A good brew. Works well with a grilled Swiss cheese sandwich. Worth the taste, but not the best I have had in the style. A solid craft brew.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber courteous of ottovon in recent trade...poured into la chouffe tulip

a-bright copper color with slight tan head...that fell rapidly...slightly bubbly from the carbonation...

s-fruity and malty kind of strange for an old ale...boozy in the nose...

t-much like the smell...fruity up front...followed by malt and almost some grapefruit in there...strange

m-mouthfeel is good and thick like i imagine an old ale being...slightly over carbonated for this style to me and a bit weak feeling..

d-the fruity taste really brings this down...kinda reminds me of an old ipa??? strange...

overall im glad i got to try this its different i will give it that...

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Photo of charlesw
2.79/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Really cloudy pale orange/brown. Micro head of tiny bubbles. Needs to be clearer and darker.

Smells kinda of fruity, orangy. Something like Tang mixed with maple syrup. I know that's not entirely fair - it's not quite that artificial - and yet if you had one in front of you, you could see it. So... Light and faintly artificial fruits but with a good malt backbone.

Tastes like underattenuated prehopped extract brew. Too sweet for the amount of flavor present. Low bitterness. Hints, again, of, oh, orangeade, if you prefer.

A bit too thick in the mouth. Not a big hit, here. Maybe better super fresh - maybe there's more hop flavor to it. On tap I'd expect more carbonation, too - to help cut down on the body.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a healthy head that quickly dissipates into a thin layer and small ring of lace. Its color is light amber with a moderate-low amount of carbonation and slight haze. The aroma is faintly sweet with a hint of hops. Very sweet, with tones of honey and bourbon oakiness. The alcohol is well hidden. A bit of bitterness on the backend.

Overall, interesting, but a bit too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saw this at Whip In in Austin and couldn't resist. This is the only old ale being done by any TX brewers, so far as I know. This is the 2008 edition.

Poured into a snifter, the Jasperilla is a light golden brown color. Thin head with big, porous white bubbles that dissipate quickly but cling to the sides of the glass. Sort of looks like a slightly darker ginger ale. The nose is malty sweet, with a slight citrus twinge. Orange rind, cold apple pie, and pepper. An odd aroma all around, but not necessarily bad. The taste is stronger, again with a peppery sensation. Sweet malts and light fruits (apple and pear) persist, but there is also a darker, murkier flavor here that I am having trouble identifying. Over-spiced bread, maybe. Strange for sure. Mouthfeel is firm and smooth, but also very prickly with lots of carbonation.

This is a strange brew. I'm not sure I would call this an old ale, exactly, but it is interesting. Big and adventurous, but it seems to miss its target. A good one to try, if you're into new, off-center brews, but it's a stretch to say this is like any other old ale I've ever had. Cheers to Independence for being creative, though.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy dkachur. Thanks, Dan!

A: Murky golden hue. A sparkling, foamy head. Retention is quite good. It doesn't have a lot of lacing left behind on the glass walls, but the head does maintain itself all the way down.

S: Butterscotch and toffee. Quite sweet... both the scent and flavour are about the same in that sense. Some raisin and a bit of a cardboardy scent. Flavours feature some more fruity qualities, but it does seem to be a little off. Fortunately, it works out alright. I'm curious to know what it was like fresh.

M + D: Medium body, medium carbonation. Pretty straight forward, maybe even lacking a little something. This likely peaked a little while back, but it has managed to hold up alright. No real desire to hunt it down again, but not too bad. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of champ103
2.61/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a semi hazy copper color. A thin bubbly white head forms, and recedes in an instant. Light lace.
S: Not much is here. Some light fruitiness. Sweet doughy aromas. Though very metallic and a chemical aroma.
T: Fruit and sweet malt. A little too sweet. Dough and biscuit. A big copper flavor that I don't like.
M/D: Slick, oily, and syrupy. Low on the carbonation end. Overall, a medium body. The high alcoholic content does not show, but there is nothing here that really makes me want to take another sip. I had to force myself to finish the bomber.

I saw this for about $5 a bomber. I thought that was a good deal, and something I wanted to try. I have, and I don't care to try it again.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber (2008) into a Unibroue tulip.

Pours a strange color for an Old Ale, leaving a golden, copperish clear brew in my glass. A decently sized cap of off-white foam retains well, leaving behind a few splotches of lacing. Aroma is sweet and boozy, with notes of honey, apple, flowery hops, and a hint of caramel malt. Still not getting the Old Ale vibe...

The flavor is a step in the right direction, and tastes of syrupy booze, white pepper, tropical fruit esthers, and a kiss of piney hops along the finish. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, with a low carbonation level and a lingering finish of warming alcohol. Jasperilla isn't exactly what I look for in an Old Ale, but it's a decent brew that's worth the small asking price. Nevertheless, I don't think I'd buy it again.

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Photo of lonestar1836
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2008 Vintage

A: pours a deep cloudy golden brown with moderate ligh gloden head

S: fruity notes combine with carmal malty scents

T: very fruity sweet citrus and others i can't quite place, intence malt sweetness in the middle and lighter sweet fruit flavors at the end

M: a little oily, a little thick

D: this is a pretty intence beer and nice to try, but not easy to drink much of

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

2007 Vintage. Nose is malty-sweet with soft apple/grape-jelly fruit, softer caramel/toffee, and a butterscotch-like aroma that suggests age, diacetyl, or possibly oxidation. Yes, diacetyl it must be; I'm conjuring up the buttered popcorn JellyBelly.

Pours a copper color with yellow highlights. Mild suspended particulate in the first glass, a veritable snowstorm of particles in the last poor. I don't mind particulate; it's nature and adds character. Bravo Independence! Any monkey can filter. It takes a man to bottle something that would scare 99% of the drinking population. Very little head.

First sip displays an amazing viscosity with no carbonation. Soft application of heavy malt followed by tartness, bitterness, and an echo of alcohol heat. Noninvasive floral hops throughout; herbal and earthy notes. Good bit of sweetness saturated in the sticky caramel malt. Nebulous fruit sensation akin to the active natural fermentation of a ripe apple left in a backpack over Christmas break. Maybe a little vinous, not much diacetyl, if any. Alcohol heat grows in intensity, but manages to stay under the abusive cloak of malt. Finishes fairly sweet.

Reminds me of a flat whiskey Dr. Pepper or a mildly-sweet, slightly hopped tawny Port. Not as thick or sweet or alcoholic as North Coast Old Stock, but closer in all three than many Old Ales I've sampled. All-in-all I don't really like it. It's annoyingly cloyingly sweet and never amounted to my notion of tasty, engaging, or drinkable.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.32/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy grapefruit juice ruby/orange color.

Smell is of grapefruit. This stuff smells like grapefruit juice. What the hell?

Taste is of grapefruit juice. There is a tiny bit of a hop balance with the huge malt sweetness. There is a caramel malts swetness in here, but the grapefruit tones come out in a HUGE way. They are hugely dominant. As the beer warms, it just tastes like grapefruit juice.

Puckering mouthfeel. There is a fullness and crispness, but there is a slight puckering feel on the palate.

A bit too much grapefruit, but it comes together decently well.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage. Azure blue with lime green highlights and a lavender lid. Not really, but I get tired of trying to come up with yet another way to say 'orange beer, white head'. Actually, JOA looks good. It's coppery apricot in color and is topped by a beige crown that has a creamy texture. Abundant lace looks like paint daubed on with a sponge.

Strangely enough, the nose is reminiscent of a Belgian (semi-)dark ale. There's an earthy muskiness, a mild spiciness and a considerable amount of medium-dark fruit. In the end, there's just enough depth to grant the higher of the two considered scores.

Jasperilla loses something on taste bud contact. It would be better beer if it was bigger and richer (more malt-intensive). More than two years in the bottle probably did it no favors. Then again, it might not have been a behemoth when young. Think well-aged, lighter-than-usual English barleywine and you'll be pretty close to the mark.

The flavor profile is fairly typical of the style: dark caramel, leather, ripe figs and cherries soaked in port wine, raisins and black pepper. Sweet, sour and bitter are all at a fairly low ebb and are pretty equally balanced. The shortage of malt sugars means that the alcohol is slightly more prominent than it should be. Having said that, this is still incredibly tame beer for the ABV.

The mouthfeel is a definite lowlight. It's waaay too light and is underbubbled to boot. Again, more malt would do wonders in any number of ways. A hint of slickness on the finish helps, but it isn't enough to pull the score up to average.

Any reasonable beer lover would think that a 9.3% old ale is a prime candidate for aging. Well, apparently not *this* 9.3% old ale. I hope the boys at Independence Brewing Co. aren't satisfied with the status quo, because Jasperilla has a great deal of potential. Thanks to mhewes for an interesting extra.

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Photo of stumac
3.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

bottled in 2006. drank in 2008.

pours a dark reddish peach with a nice big frothy yellow tinted head. great lacing.

the nose is complex like the mind of a woman! sweet malts right off the bat, a little molasses, a lighter fruit like a ripe pear blended with lemons, doesn't smell like maple syrup but it has the same aromatic texture as hot maple syrup, subtle hints of cocoa powder.

although this bottle is starting to slightly turn, you still get notes of red apple, sweet malts, nice crisp hop balance.

very smoothe, low carbo, best beer by Independence Brewery by far.

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Photo of midaszero
3.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2007 vintage

A - Dark golden color with some suspended yeast little head and lace

S - Sweet smell almost caramel

T - Odd and light sweet taste with a little burn

M - a little chewy

D - Good every once in awhile.

This one is just hard to nail down. I find that it best when severed at a bar because several bottles have been misses that I picked up at stores. In the end I think it is worth trying but not something you are going to want all the time. You might want to avoid the 2006 vintage.

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Photo of drseamus
2.47/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Nice crystal clear amber/red body. Not much head, but old ales don't typically have that much.

S: Very powerful sweet raisin aroma. Too much for me really. It's overpowering.

T: BAM! This hits hard but not in a good way. It is very sweet and overpowering initially and then there is a bitterness but it is not a good one. I couldn't finish it.

M: Medium bodied and along with the appearance the only redeemable qualities.

D: Not good at all.

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Photo of MEsquandoles
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2007 just hit the shelves. It certainly doesn't taste fresh though. Definitely has aged at least few months.

Bomber poured into Dogfish Head chubby snifer.

Color of a pale ale or IPA. Bubbles get much smaller. Looked very unimpressive at first. Minimal Lacing.

Smells of English ingredients: toffee, fig, Christmas candied fruits. A little wood

In short: Green apples dipped in caramel. A let down from the smell, much sweeter.
Plum, dry pear rolled in brown sugar, custard, Turkish delight.

There is something artificial and unpleasant about it. A little too sweet for my tastes, esp. without some hop bitterness or roasty/smokiness. Tastes more like an Old Ale than anything else. Like a condensed English pale ale but with American yeast and without the hops of a bigger pale ale.

Strange drinkability. Thin and very drinkable in that the alcohol is not perceived; perhaps only in the sweetness. Finish and aftertaste aren't really for me. Becomes more pleasant as I drink it.

A good candidate as entry level big beer, given its lack of alchohol presence in nearly all aspects, lack of depth, and lack of hoppiness or bitterness. I don't think they were trying to go big.

Note on last year's (2006): Did NOT hold well with age at room temp. Green apple cardboard was undrinkable. I liked the 2005 by far the most of the 3 years.
Buy cold and keep cold!

Sure I'd try it again. Definitely worth a try if you like sweet, drinkable beers.
Feb 3 2009: The 2008 just hit the shelf. $6 for a 22oz bomber. Poured into a new New Belgium glass.

From their website:
Brilliantly golden, Jasperilla is a unique take on an old ale. Biscuity malt flavors meld with subtle plum and berry notes, produced by a special blend of English Old Ale and Chico yeasts. Brewed once a year, and aged for six months prior to release, the Jasperilla is smooth despite its 9% abv.
Style: Old Ale
Alcohol by volume: 9.3%
Beginning gravity: 19.0° Plato
Ending gravity: 3.0° Plato
Bitterness units: 29
Yeast: Ale yeast
Bittering hops: Horizon
Malts: Two-Row Pale

Reddish with some peach and burgundy. Not see-through. Very good head retention.

Dominate flavours would be caramel dipped fig. Toffee and plum as well. Toasted biscuit aftertaste. Unfortunately, sweet all the way through. Some English Ale flavors. Dr. Pepper with a slightly toasted wood aftertaste. Some yeasty flavors but no alcohol presence. Reminds me of Lagunitas Brown Shugga but without the hops. Mild bitterness but no distinct hop flavours. Hard to believe it's 9.3%

No serious off-flavors liked aged versions from past years. If only they could re-produce the 2005; although this seems like a more well-made beer than the previous year.

Drinkability: 3
Alcohol is not in the taste, but the thick sweetness makes it not so quaffable. I'll have a hard time finishing this bomber pleasurably.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.72/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off a big thanks to JonathanL7890 for this one. 2006 bottle

A- Nice copper color with a nice lacing and a small amount of head.

S- Fruits, a little bit of citurs and alcohol I can pick up here.

T- A little alcohol burn as this one goes down but not bad at all. A little bit of ceral taste as well and a little caramel also.

M- Maybe a little dry and chewy.

D- Alcohol is hidden well and it is very enjoyable. I think this one could sneak up on you if you're not careful.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.72/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours up ruby brown with a tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - Smells of caramel malt, with some vanilla and alcohol in the background. Reminds me of bourbon.

T - Subtle flavor of caramel malts, with some vanilla in the finish. Alcohol is well-disguised. This will sneak up on you. But it's very low key.

M - Feels a little thin.

D - If I didn't have to work the next day, I could drink a few of these. Very drinkable.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical deep, dark amber color with a smallish white head that melts quickly to a faint ring. No lacing to speak of.

Aromas are very heavy with caramels and sweet, sweet, dark sugars.

Taste is a real disappointment after the aromas.
Thin, synthetic tasting roasted malts with some brown sugar but really thin both in mouthfeel and taste. But.... this may be what they were looking for. This is an Old Ale...not an Imperial or double old ale...or any of the extra heavy ones we've seen lately. Perhaps it is how they want it to be. Still, I miss the 'kick' I am accustomed to in this style. I think my 'benchmark' is North Coast Old Stock"...sorry.

Aftertaste is also a disappointing synthetic experience.

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