January 20, 2017. The Inauguration Day of POTUS 45 (not to be confused with Colt 45). Depending upon your political leanings, you were either celebrating, crying into your beer, or knitting a hat. Either way, you were most definitely drinking (POTUS 45 probably had a Diet Coke)! And that’s exactly what we were doing on the evening of that unforgettable day: drinking. Though we prefer to call it “research”.
The research subject for our Inauguration Day drinking session was Victory Brewing Company’s Jubilee Biere Brut, a Belgian-style, high octane beer (it clocks in at 12% ABV) that they recently released in celebration of their 21st Anniversary. While 21 years may not seem like a very long time, in the fast moving and ever evolving Craft Beer world, it’s practically a lifetime. Take a look at the following chart from the Brewers Association website:
As you can see in the above graphic, the number of US microbreweries has grown from 192 in 1994 to 2,397 in 2015. For those that like math, that translates to 1,148.4375% growth in 21 years. Impressive numbers for sure, but Victory’s growth has outpaced that by quite a bit. Their brewery output has gone from 1,725 barrels in their first year of production to well over 125,713 barrels in 2014. That’s 7,187.71014% growth! Add in the fact that they now have two full sized breweries (one in Downingtown, PA, and one in Parkersburg, PA) plus a small brewery/brewpub in Kennett Square, PA, and I’d say that Victory has earned the right to do a bit of celebrating. Let’s find out if their Jubilee Biere Brut is a celebration worthy beer…
Before we get to our review, here’s what the good folks at Victory Brewing Company have to say about their Jubilee Biere Brut:
Join the Jubilee as we toast to 21 years of Victory! This lush and decadent Biére Brut has been fermented with sparkling wine yeast to marry lively effervescence with rich, fruit-forward flavors of Belgian-style ales. German Blanc hops impart aromas of pear, apple, and white grape while citrus and spice flavors culminate in a crisp, wine-like finish.
And now for our impressions of this beer…
- Appearance: Golden yellow color with a slight orange hue. Not a particularly frothy pour, but there is a thin layer of foam that clings to the surface as you drink it down.
- ABV: 12%
- Limpd: Malty and doughy with hints of clove and faint Champagne note.
- G-LO: The nose is making me crave a brunch buffet and Mimosas thanks to it’s very Champagne-like scent. As far as individual notes, I’m getting some lemon, powdered sugar, and sweet malt.
- Limpd: Not as fizzy as I was expecting. Crisp and dry with notes of apple and pear. Decidedly un-beer like, but in a good way. I’m not a big fan of Champagne as I find it to be too dry and too bitter, but for whatever reason, I’m really enjoying the Champagne-like qualities of this beer.
- G-LO: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a soft, bubbly carbonation. Quite dry and highly Champagne-like with a nice balance of mild sweetness and lightly lemony bite. The finish is quite dry with those lemony notes lingering in the aftertaste along with a bit of sweetness to keep things in check.
- Limpd: Overall, Victory’s Jubilee was crisp, refreshing, and oh so crafty. I’m not sure that this is an everyday beer, but it’s great as a change of pace or even as a night cap. I’m thinking this would be a great companion to a fruity dessert made with lots of strawberries or blackberries, i.e. the crisp, dry, and lightly sweet flavors of the beer would play really nicely with those sweet and lightly tart berries.
- G-LO: I really enjoyed Victory’s Jubilee. In addition to being highly drinkable, it’s also quite sneaky because you would never guess that it clocks in at 12%, i.e. it definitely doesn’t taste boozy! While I agree with Limpd that this would go great with a berry tart, I could also see this going really well with a fruit, cheese, and charcuterie plate. Nicely done, Victory!