Jovial pours a slightly hazy mahogany with thick tan head that lasts a while and leaves behind only dots of lacing in the glass.
The aroma to me is primarily malty with some yeast to it. The label claims that a relatively hard pour like the one I did here will release the subtle aromas from the yeast, but I can't say I noticed them. Then again, it is winter and my sinuses may not be 100%.
Jovial's flavor is comparable to that aroma. It's malty, and a touch hoppier (or at least more bitter) than I typically associate with a dubbel. Since the beer is rated at 13 IBUs (International Bitterness Units) I'm at something of a loss to explain the bitterness. Perhaps it's from the chocolate malt used in brewing. In any case, as the beer warms up toward the recommended 50-55 degree serving temperature, this bitterness subsides a little. The malt and yeast flavors start to come through a bit more at that point. There is a hint of coffee like bitterness, the barest touch of dark fruit like date or fig, and a note of the magnum and crystal hops bitterness.
Troeg's has done a good job of keeping the beer true to the Dubbel style. Here's how Jovial matches up to the guidelines from the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP):
|Characteristic||BJCP Guideline for Dubbel||Troeg's Jovial|
|International Bitterness Units (IBUs)||15 to 25||13 (slightly low but close enough)|
|SRM (Color)||10 to 17||"Dark Brown"|
|Alcohol by Volume (ABV)||6 to 7.6%||7%|
|Aroma||Malty and sweet with chocolate, caramel, and/or toast. Moderate fruity esters (usually raisins, plums, or cherries). Hops are usually absent.||Malty and yeasty with some dark fruit coming through.|
|Appearance||Dark amber to copper. Clear. Large, dense, long lasting creamy off-white head.||Coppery mahogany color. Thick off-white head that lasts a while.|
|Flavor||Malty sweetness with dry finish. Complex malt, ester, and phenols (raisiny flavors are common, dried fruit flavors are welcome, cloves are optional). Balance is toward malt.||Minimal to no sweetness, but dry finish. Lots of malt, a hint of coffee, some dried fruit flavors. Balance is slightly toward malt.|
As you can see, Troeg's did a great job keeping this beer true to the style. This is a good beer, and if I were visiting your home and you offered me a bottle, I'd be very happy to enjoy it with you. But there are other Dubbels I like better, such as Anderson Valley Brother David's Double.
Beer Advocate rates Jovial 86 or "very good" which seems an apt description. Rate Beer gives it a 90 overall. I'm giving it an 8 out of 10 because it's a good example of the style, and is a tad less expensive than many of its true Belgian counterparts.
I purchased this particular bottle from Kenny Road Market. I haven't seen it at other local retailers, but I would not be surprised if Weiland's, Savor Market, or The Andersons carried it. Price for the bottle reviewed was $3.59 before tax.