Vail Daily Red, White and Brew: Jubelale warms the heart |

Vail Daily Red, White and Brew: Jubelale warms the heart

Daily staff reportsnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

Seeing seasonal winter beers start popping up on liquor-store shelves is a thing that warms the very cockles of my heart. As with football season, shorter days and color-changing leaves, the arrival of beers like Deschutes’ Jubelale gets me dreaming of powder-strewn mountainsides and Gary Coleman-sized tins of popcorn. That being said, I’m not that wild about actually drinking most “winter” beers, with Jubelale being one notable and unique exception.Deschutes has a weird and wonderful way of making dark, often heavy-tasting beer styles extremely drinkable – for proof, check out the brewery’s flagship beverage, Black Butte Porter, which is startlingly bright-tasting and by far the easiest-to-guzzle porter I’ve ever guzzled. Jubelale, which features new, festive label art each year from hand-picked Oregon artists (this year’s is the best yet), is another mystical balancing act from Bend, Oregon’s libation factory. This “strong ale,” which Deschutes has been pumping out in increasing quantities since 1988, is rich mahogany in color but relatively light-bodied and effervescent. Its flavor is roasty, nutty and dessert-like, but it has a nice acidity and a bit of a sour bite. In other words, it is pretty malty and pretty hoppy simultaneously, without being too much of either. As with many good beers, the flavor and aroma of Jubelale improve as it warms up a bit, but if you can’t wait to try it (understandable), I’d recommend cracking and pouring two at the same time, letting one open up while you drink the other. I’ve never had anything quite like Jubelale – it’s like that Danger Mouse mash-up album of the Beatles and Jay-Z , combining traits from two different, seemingly irreconcilable worlds (in this case, those of dark, malty beers and hoppy session beers). Jubelale is a graceful but commanding brew, and while its 6.7 percent alcohol content will keep you warm if your wife’s hot flashes are keeping the thermostat turned down low, it seems better suited for a Christmas-sweater party than for pretending to read Dickens by the fire.This beer is available at Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail, Avon Liquors, Beaver Liquors in Avon and Village Warehouse Wines in Avon.Aaron Butzen, Daily Correspondent

Australian Adam Richardson is the man behind the wine at Cupcake Vineyards, located in Monterey County, Calif. The vineyards’ website boasts of his wine-industry credentials, his lanching of the vineyard in 2008, his travels to find the best grapes throughout the world, blah, blah, blah. Here’s the part that I found most important: “When he’s not making wine, he is in the mountains, skiing, climbing or barreling down singletracks on his mountain bike.” Finally, a winemaker who understands our lifestyle instead of the typical stodgy, stuffed-shirt, pompous viticulturist I usually picture, waddling from barrel to barrel with his tasting glass and a perpetual frown on his face.I like the guy already, and I definitely like his wines. I was introduced to the Cupcake Blanc de Blancs earlier this spring and tore into a bottle of the sauvignon blanc on a recent evening after a leisurely hike up to Booth Falls. The grapes for this wine come from Marlborough, New Zealand, and it’s 100 percent sauvignon blanc.In the glass, this wine was an incredibly pale, almost colorless yellow-green.I paired it with a soy sauce, brown sugar and orange peel brushed salmon filet and garlic mashed potatoes. The sweet, flavorful sauce brought out the zesty citrus notes of the wine. With a medium acidity and a bright, crisp finish, it made my mouth water and was refreshing after a long hike and a long day at work.This wine is available at Avon Liquors, Beaver Liquors in Avon and West Vail Liquor Mart. Krista Driscoll, Daily Staff Writer

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