Jasperilla Old Ale | Independence Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next → last
Ratings: 96 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

 1,496 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.32/5  rDev -4%
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.

 578 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 1,880 characters

Photo of Beer-Zombie
3.59/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

 578 characters

Photo of midaszero
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

 500 characters

Photo of drseamus
2.47/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

 448 characters

Photo of MEsquandoles
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 2,910 characters

Photo of nrbw23
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 481 characters

Photo of hiikeeba
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 428 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
3.74/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

 707 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle obtained as part of Secret Santa 07 package from RickSawyer. 2006 Vintage. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear dark amber brew. Head lasts well, with heavy coating lace. Aroma is strongly sweet, but also has some citrus and pine. Taste is lightly malty upfront, but strongly citrus and fruity in the middle, with a light hoppiness next, and then a warming close. The sharp citrus character is reminiscent of lemonade. Mouthfeel and drinkability are just alright as well, quashed by that citrus as well. This one fell apart a bit once I got past the eyes and nose.

 647 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.22/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This struck me as a decidedly below average old ale. It had a bit of wine-y, barley-wine like astringency (which I would say is within the rather broad confines of this style as I understand it), but it wasn't very rich, had a number of flavor notes I thought didn't belong, and was a bit watery for this style.

Color was an oddly clear pale brown, with very little head composed of large and inconsistently sized bubbles. Aroma was odd...some earthiness and (I'm not intending to be mean) manure notes. Flavor was somewhat cereal-y, only a bit astringent, and pretty weak compared to other old ales I've had. Mouthfeel was a bit thin.

I've come to expect old ales to be wine-y or to resemble a spirit (like bourbon or cognac). This one did not deliver on this expectation at all.

I bought this bottle at Central Market in Austin, Texas.

 840 characters

Photo of allengarvin
2.92/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2006 vintage, into a half-liter mug. This pours a very cloudy copper-orange color with only a thin layer of foam on top. A lot of fruit is to be found in the aroma, along with some sweet caramel and a hint of acidity. Flavor, unfortunately, is unpleasant. There's a moderate maltiness, and fruity character is still there, but there's a tannic metallic flavor the follows. Alcohol is apparent at the finish as well. Body is watery.

This beer is best forgotten. Hopefully Independence can do better in the future.

 513 characters

Photo of goochpunch
2.46/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

2006 bottle.

Pours out a copper amber with abundant carbonation and a nice small, but sturdy, head. Leaves some sheets of lacing. Aroma is mostly tart plum and granny smith. Lots of sherry and booze too. Is this already showing signs of heavy oxidation? Lots of plum up front in the flavor with a middle showing of sour apple. Toast starts to blossom towards the end, but is interrupted by sherry and an odd fungal/baker's yeast flavor and dryness in the finish. Carbonation is rather mellow and a touch creamy. The body isn't too thick, but holds strong. Not impressed with this at all. Not finishing this bomber.

 615 characters

Photo of franksnbeans
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear bronze with a thick creamy off white head that dies quick and leaves behind spotty lace. Smells very bready, caramel, sweet malt and almost a hint of banana chip. Taste is big on malt then big on booze. Finish is sherry like. Full in the mouth with minor carbonation. Had to choke the end of this down. Way too boozy.

 331 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
2.68/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Jasperilla Old Ale pours a clear copper body beneath a creamy head of off-white foam. The head retention is limited and it leaves little lacing behind. The nose is malty with a hint of caramel, and fruity with yeast character (apple, pear, red berries), but it has some higher alcohols and a touch of acetone as well. That carries over into the flavor and seems to dominate. It's like drinking a hot honey-mead. Perhaps the fermentation just got away on this batch - the cooling system failed or something - but it's not good. As it warms and the maltiness comes out a bit more it's a little easier to take, but at that point the alcohol becomes more prevalent. Flawed. Perhaps next years will be better.

 704 characters

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.

 558 characters

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.

 583 characters

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.

 330 characters

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.

 918 characters

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.

 432 characters

firstprev| 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next → last
Jasperilla Old Ale from Independence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 96 ratings