Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jubelale Fail

I had Deschutes Brewery’s Jubelale at Pearl Street Grill a few weekends ago. It was their featured beer, running $2 during happy hour [3-6 p.m., 10 p.m.-midnight, daily: $1 off well, wine, & draught]. That was pretty much why I got it. And because of the wildly colorful label, with the bright primary hues you’d find at a children’s museum. Or on a Bill Cosby sweater. Or a circus tent. I really like the label; colorful things are to me like shiny objects are to . . . I don’t know, ferrets? Anyway, it was as cheap as getting a pop or a lemonade, so I went with it.

Unfortunately, as exciting as the label appeared, the beer behind it was just as dull and uninteresting. Maybe I got caught up in the anticipation and my expectations were too high. Maybe Deschutes’s were too low. The beer didn’t taste bad, mind you. It was just unremarkable. Completely unremarkable. It was like . . . well, we all know someone who endeavored to make his own beer at one time or another, right? He bought the kit, followed the directions, and, when it was all finished, you cracked one open and, low and behold, it worked! The stuff tasted like beer. Probably not like particularly good beer, or interesting beer, but genuine, honest-to-goodness beer. Pretty amazing.

That’s what Jubelale reminds me of: the result of a carefully-followed standard recipe from a prepackaged beer kit, using all the enclosed extracts and hops, and arriving at something that tastes like beer. This is not all bad. Jubelale is very drinkable and unoffending. Very mild, especially for such a dark beer. It’s a winter ale, so it’s a little darker in color than your average ale—maybe like hot chocolate at the deeper end, root beer-like in the shallower parts. But, in the end, it was like drinking plain beer.

And who likes plain? Would you eat a plain Jolly Rancher? Or a plain sandwich? Not any more than you would smoke plain cigarettes or hire a plain stripper. You want things in life that have a little something to them. Jubelale just doesn’t have that something. My fix? Less Cosby, more flavor.

Half a thumb up, 2 stars

1 comment:

Chuck said...

Plain strippers are the cornerstone of the Colorado Springs economy - feel free to hit Deja Vu for confirmation.