I am a Jester King fanboy, but I have my limits, and Gotlandsdricka is well beyond those. Allegedly the beer of the Vikings, you’d have to be a Viking to enjoy this stuff. This was astringent and bitter and overly fizzy with an assortment of odd burnt wood flavors that were completely unpleasant. I choked it down, but I did not enjoy it in the least, and while I understand what Jester King is trying to do with all of these styles, this one is a huge swing and a miss, 3/10.
I have never seen a naked nun, nor have I ever seen a nun that I would like to see naked. I am sure there are some who find the idea of a nun in the raw appealing, arousing even, which is why I am terrified of googling ‘naked nun’ to see what others think of this fine beer from Adelbert’s Brewery, one of Texas’ newest breweries*.
This wit poured a golden yellow, hazy from the yeast, with great lacing in the glass. It had a mild lemon peel aroma and taste, with some soft herbal notes as well (which tasted more like sage to me rather than the coriander noted on the label, but what do I know), and just a touch of funkiness from the yeast. This is not a ground breaking wit, but it is quite nice, 6.5/10, and based on the strength of this beer, I am looking forward to drinking Adelbert’s other brews.
*I keep saying this, but it bears repeating: Texas may not have the depth and breadth of craft brewers that the Pacific Northwest or Northern California has, but it is gaining ground and doing so quickly. It seems as if a new brewery opens in Texas every other week, and most are quite good. At this pace, Texas will soon be in the top tier of beer states.
Yet another outstanding beer from Jester King, The Noble King Hoppy Farmhouse Ale tastes of green apples, clear spring days, freshly cut grass and Magnolia trees in bloom. Actually, a day like that would be awful for me, as I’d be laid up sneezing and coughing and my eyes would be red, itchy and alternating between dried out and watery, but I imagine that a day like that would be great if I did not get hay fever, and this beer is as great as a day like that should be. What the hell, let’s add some unicorns and wood nymphs to the mix while we are at it, because this beer is that good.
It is a hazy orange amber color, with a fluffy head, and some aggressive lacing running up the side of the glass. The Noble King is very hop forward, with the farmhouse yeast bringing a wild earthiness to the aroma and the taste. This finishes dry and crisp, with a tart fruity aftertaste and a velvety mouthfeel. Excellent beer, 8.5/10. I know Texas is rarely mentioned as a hot spot of the American Craft Beer Culture, but I consider myself lucky to be able to drink the beers of the mighty Jester King.
I am a fan of Real Ale Brewing Co., and I am particularly a fan of their Sisyphus Barleywines. The 2011 vintage is hot off the bottling line, and is a tasty little treat. At over 11% ABV, it is a warming drink for a cold night, with plenty of toffee, dried fruit, and floral hops in the flavor profile. If anything, it may be a tad too hot, and will probably age nicely. It is not as good as the 2009 Vintage (one of my top beers of the past year), but it is still an excellent barley wine, 8/10.
A rare misstep by Jester King, the bottled Commercial Suicide just did not live up the lofty heights reached by some of it’s brothers and sisters from the Jester King family. I have had this Brown Ale on tap several times and have always enjoyed it, and had a special sour version of this made with wild yeast and drawn from a gravity keg when I visited the brewery this past summer, which was fantastic, but this was an over carbonated, overly yeasty, slightly woody, mess of a beer, 5/10.
Jester King has a bunch of beers hitting the market soon, and I will try each and every one of them. I am also hoping to make the trek back to Austin one of these days to get back to the brewery and try whatever they have tapped for the day, but this is the last bottle of Commercial Suicide I am going to pick up.
Special Post-Boxing Day Edition of the Twelve Days of Christmas: Jester King Black Metal Stout Aged in an Oak Whiskey BarrelDecember 27, 2011
Mr. JK is quite the generous soul. Mr. JK was being his usual generous and jolly self during Christmas 2010 when he gave Tilting Suds an oak whiskey barrel and some ‘raw’ spirits to age in the barrel. I barreled the whiskey just before Christmas, 2010. The liquor was clear when I poured it in the barrel; It was also as smooth as jet fuel. On New Year’s Eve, 2010, I poured off a bit to sample it. It had taken on some color but was still harsh firewater, nearly undrinkable. I sampled it again on Saint Patrick’s Day and Independence Day. Each successive sample took on more color and flavor, but the firewater aspect hardly mellowed at all. I decided that I would leave the whiskey in the barrel until after Thanksgiving to give it time to cool off, so to speak. This was a tactical error on my part. While my plan to mellow the whiskey was a sound one, what I did not count on was the Angels being so parched that their share would drain nearly the entire barrel. After just under a year in the barrel, between evaporation and the oak absorbing the liquid, what started as 1500 ml of whiskey* was reduced to this: Read the rest of this entry »
If you are reading this, chances are that you are a beer dork. If by some weird twist of fate you have stumbled upon this blog and are not a beer dork, but are thinking, “hey, getting into a craft beer is a hobby I might enjoy” I implore you to back away from the computer screen, and go grab yourself a Miller Genuine Draft. Being a beer dork is a lonely existence, as it is rare to find anyone who shares not only your love for good beer, but also your precise flavor profile. How often have I met someone who knew their way around a beer menu only to discover that their love of beer is focussed on lambics and brown ales, and they dislike the hoppier English-American hybrids that I favor? Actually, that has never happened, but it could. And if you are a guy, forget about meeting a woman who shares your love of good beer. If you do, she will be one of the following: a) married; b) seeing someone c) not into guys in general; d) not into you specifically; e) under the impression that Blue Moon is a Belgian beer; f) some combination of the above. Read the rest of this entry »
Late Summer 1987, and I am backpacking around Europe with Pete S. We had Eurail passes and we were not going to let them burn holes in our pockets, so we were rolling arond Western Europe like Patton racing towards Germany.
Our trip took us to Copenhagen. I pulled out my dog eared copy of “Let’s Go:Europe” and start reading about Copenhagen. Per the advice of Let’s Go, we saw the statue if the Little Mermaid. I dutifully took a picture of it, but that was a total waste of time. We decided to go to the Tuborg Brewery for a tour of the works, and then the free beer samples at the end.
On the way to the brewery, we passed a small sandwich shop. Let’s Go had advised trying these open faced fish sandwiches that Denmark was famous for, and the window of this shop was filled with them. Pete and I popped in and each grabbed a sandwich. As we sat down, I noticed that the mayonnaise on my sandwich looked just a touch off, just a wee bit nasty, just a tiny bit rancid, but as you all know, I am an idiot, so I just wolfed the thing down. Pete, to his credit, looked at the sandwich, and asked, “Are you sure about this?” Having already finished my sandwich, I said “it’s fine.” Pete took a few bites, thought better of it, and dumped the sandwich.
Santa Fe Brewing Co. Happy Camper IPA: Creamier than the usual IPA, Santa Fe Brewing Co.‘s Happy Camper IPA is malty and piney, with a nice cloudy orange color and fluffy white head. Probably not worth seeking out if it is not readily available to you, as it is nothing spectacular, but it is a decent beer, 6/10.
Maui Brewing Big Swell IPA: This has a crisper mouthfeel than the Happy Camper IPA, which I attribute to the higher carbonation level, and is not nearly as malty. The hops are on the tropical fruit and grapefruit end of the spectrum, with a hint of lemon as well. Another IPA that is good and drinkable, but is well short of spectacular, 6/10.
Thirsty Planet Buckethead IPA: I tried this at the Katy Road Icehouse (“KRI“) in Dallas. Pluses for KRI: It is located on a popular bike path that I ride on occasion; It is an open space with a huge outdoor seating area, and has those giant misting fans to combat the Texas heat; It has an enormous selection of Texas beers; And it is usually packed with tons of attractive women. Read the rest of this entry »