Jester King – Mikkeller Beer Geek Rodeo

May 1, 2012

I tried the Beer Geek Rodeo at the Big Texas Beer Fest and and I am pretty sure I loved it. I am not positive because I sampled it at the end of the day, when I was drunk, tired, and overwhelmed by all of the beer I had consumed up to that point. Also, as anyone who is a regular reader of this blog has concluded, I am a Jester King fan boy, and taking into account my state of inebriation, I would have given Bud Light Lime high marks if it had been handed to me by the Jester King folks.

Needless to say, I was looking forward to trying this in a more or less sober state so I could give it a proper review. I was right to love it when I was good and pickled at the Beer fest.  The Beer Geek Rodeo is a collaboration with Mikkeller, their second such collaboration. It is an oatmeal stout brewed with Vietnamese coffee and chipotle peppers, so it combines several of my favorite things: breakfast, beer, coffee, and hot peppers. It pours a deep opaque brown with some ruby highlights, and as you can see from the photo, has a nice tan head. The oatmeal gives this beer a chewy and velvety mouthfeel. The coffee is subtle, more of a background note. Most coffee stouts punch you in the mouth with coffee flavor, but not this one. The chipotle peppers add a smokiness to the flavor. I did not pick up much heat from the peppers at first, but as the glass warmed, the spiciness picked up a bit. The smoke and heat from the chipotle peppers do a nice job of masking any burn from the 10.1 % ABV. This is definitely a beer for beer geeks, and while I prefer the term ‘beer dork’, I can roll with beer geek too, especially when the beer is this good, 9/10.


Jester King Le Petit Prince

April 26, 2012

Isn't that just the prettiest thing you have ever seen?

Le Petit Prince is another fine offering from the good folks at Jester King. It is light, crisp and refreshing, a perfect beer for the coming brutal days of the Texas summer. Although it is light, the beer is hoppy and fruity, with a rustic farmhouse flavor, and a flowery finish from the hops. At 2.9% ABV, Le Petit Prince would be the ideal session beer, except it is a bit too pricey to drink all day. Although not cost effective as a session beer, it is still a fine drink, 7.5/10.

Does anyone else remember this television adaptation of The Little Prince from the Seventies? I was completely creeped out by the kid who played the Prince, to the point where I was glad the little weirdo died at the end.

Gene Wilder is great in this, but he is always great. Think about the run he had in the sixties and seventies: Bonnie & Clyde, The Producers,  Willy Wonka, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silver Streak, and Stir Crazy. Even when the movies may not have been the best, he was always great in them.


Big Texas Beer Festival, Dallas, April 14

April 16, 2012

Beer Festival Rules:

1. Pace yourself so that you can enjoy all the beers that you will be sampling.

2. Drink plenty of water.

3. Take regular food breaks. Read the rest of this entry »


Southern Star Le Mort Vivant

February 26, 2012

As I have the most sophisticated readership of any beer blog on the net, I won’t bother explaining why Southern Star named their recent seasonal Le Mort Vivant. You have all already concluded that it is an obvious homage to the 1912 French film of the same name, and I do not want to get bogged down in the semiotic minutiae implied therein, and let’s not even get started on the hermeneutic inferences that any sentient being would draw.*

The Le Mort Vivant poured a deep orange with a sour apple and dried fruit aroma. There was a slight head on the initial pour, but it vanished quickly. It had that funky yeast taste that is the hallmark of Belgian style beers. There was some warmth from the alcohol and a toffee aftertaste. This is a change of pace from Southern Star’s other beers. I did not love it, but I did not hate it either, 6/10.

*I have no fucking idea what I am talking about.


DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK! Jester King Thrash Metal Strong Farmhouse Ale

February 23, 2012

This is one hell of a bounce back beer after my disappointment with the Jester King Commercial Suicide.  As you can see from the photo, the Thrash Metal Strong Farmhouse Ale pours a hazy golden yellow, and that ethereal glow emanating from the glasses? It is real and arises from the divine nature of this beer. It has some peach flavors, herbal aromas, a complex hops palate, and a tangy, musky, funky aftertaste. I would describe it as a boozy saison (over 9% ABV), but that fails to adequately describe how great this beer is, 9/10.


Best Beers of 2011

December 31, 2011

I had a good 2011 when it came to beer. I probably drank less beer by volume than any year in recent memory, but the quality of the beer I did  drink was much better than in years past. I decided this year to not drink beer just for the sake of drinking beer, but to drink only if the choices were genuinely appealing. No more knocking back a Shiner Bock just because that was the best beer available at the taqueria; I went with water (or sometimes soda) if that was the case.

Drinking only good beer meant less time spent like this

My 2011 Best Beer list is Texas-centric. There are two reasons for that: First, I live here now, and these beers are readily available to me. Second, Texas is home to some damn fine brewers, although most are relatively unknown outside the state. Texas is the best kept secret of the craft brewing world, but the better brewers are starting to get some attention elsewhere.

Here are the best beers I had in 2011:

8.5 Scores:

1. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

2. Deschuttes Black Butte XXIII

3. Super Des Fagnes Brune

4. Dogfish Head Burton Baton

9.0 Scores:

1. Real Ale 15th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout

2. Ithaca Excelsior Thirteen Anniversary Ale

3. Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 11

4. Mikeller Chipotle Porter

9.5 Scores:

1. Jester King Wytchmaker Rye IPA

2. Real Ale Barrel Aged Empire IPA

3. Real Ale Sisyphus 2009

If forced to choose one beer as the best of 2011, I’d go with Jester King’s Wytchmaker Rye IPA. That is one tasty beer. Jester King has a busy and creative 2012 planned, so much so that it would not shock me if one of their new beers knocked out the Wytchmaker to take the title in 2012. On the other hand, at the beginning of 2011, I had not even heard of Jester King, so there may be some as yet unknown brewer who will take the crown. We will have to see how 2012 plays out.

*Photo courtesy of Aaron Goldfarb, Author of How To Fail


The Seventh Day of Christmas: Santo from Saint Arnold

December 20, 2011

Clearly not a Christmas beer, just based on the Day of the Dead label design, but I am including it here because I have only recently tried it, and if you look closely at the photo, there is a small Christmas tree visible in the background. The Santo is Saint Arnold’s version of a German Kolsch, and hews quite close to that traditional style. Saint Arnold says it is darker than a traditional kolsch and I suppose that is true, but the profile (malty, light bodied, mild floral hops) is 100% Kolsch. While I liked it, I am not a huge fan of German style beers, but if you are, you will probably enjoy it more than I did, 6.5/10.

The First Day of Christmas

The Second Day of Christmas

The Third Day of Christmas

The Fourth Day of Christmas


%d bloggers like this: