Jester King’s Das Wunderkind!

das wunderkind

 

Made using the once commonplace, Old Word technique of bière de coupage, freshly hopped, young beer is blended with old, sour beer aged in oak barrels. Das Wunderkind is dry, highly attenuated, unspiced, tart, floral, and funky. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned.

 

Final Rating: 4.00/5
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bomber into a Jester King stemmed glass. Thanks nedvalton for this one!

Appearance – Pours a mellow, slightly hazy, orange body with a small white somewhat fizzy head that reduces pretty slowly to leave leggy lacing. Love the label (+.25)

Smell – The saison qualities are immediately apparent.. belgian spices, citrus, fruityness, bananas and tart apples. Funky yeast, barnyard, oak and some sour lactic.

Taste – The first thing to touch the tongue is tart citrus & apple, slightly sour lactic bacteria, on the follow through is a belgian spiciness, some funk, resinous hoppy notes, slight oakyness and caramel. The aftertaste is slightly bland.

Mouthfeel – Thin with medium-high carbonation.

I always love trying Jester King beers.. you never know what you’ll get. This one was definitely enjoyable, but I wish there was a little more flavor and/or body there. Given today’s sour market, I expect a little more funkyness/sourness in an American Wild Ale. Glad I got to try it though.

Prairie BOMB!

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Bomb! is an imperial stout aged on espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers. All the flavors meld to create a truly unique beer. The peppers add just the right amount of heat to compliment the intense coffee and chocolate flavors.

 

Final Rating: 4.51/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Acquired in a trade from PA-Michigander.. thanks man!

Appearance – Pours a deep brown, nearly opaque body with a light coffee colored head that rises to an inch or so, and reduces slowly to leave some lacing and a thin layer of foam. Very nice.

Smell – Heavy coffee, marshmallow, dark chocolate, dark fruit, some vanilla and caramel. Coffee and roasty malt dominate the nose.

Taste – Yum yum.. first up is some very delicious vanilla beans, butterscotch, french vanilla, caramel. It’s unusual for a stout of this magnitude to be vanilla-forward but it’s been done, and in a very balanced, complex manner! On the follow through is coffee, milk chocolate, roasty malt, marshmallows, and some chilies. The aftertaste is charred and toasted.

Mouthfeel – Rich, velvety, heavy bodied, low carbonation. Very smooth for the ABV.

I’ve been looking forward to trying Bomb! and it did not disappoint. What we have here is a complex, balanced, sip demanding stout that rises above the rest. Seek it out!

The Ever Elusive Beatification

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This beer is very unique and inspired by breweries in the Lambic region of Belgium and, especially, our friends at Cantillon. It is 100% spontaneously fermented, meaning yeast is not added. Once the beer is brewed, it is transferred to a cool-ship or “horny” tank located in our barrel room at the pub. There it sits overnight and collects whatever funky wild yeast and bacteria may be living in the room. The next day it is transferred to oak wine barrels where it ferments wildly and ages for a few months. The end result is a wild, spontaneously fermented, sour, and tasty hand-crafted beer!

Final Rating: 4.51/5

look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Utopias sample glass. Acquired in a trade from hwy395.. thank you sir!

Appearance- Pours a slighthly hazy, super carbonated, pineapple coloorred body with a fizzy white 2 finger head that reduces to a white ring. Leaves no lacing.

Smell- The first thing I notice upon popping the cork is a strong champagne-like aroma, grapes and white wine. After pouring it and letting it sit, strong lactic tartness, leather, lemon juice, citrus zest, and a distinct earthiness.

Taste- BOOM! The mouth puckering sourness that kept me seeking this beer out hits you the second it touches your tongue. Straight lemon juice, vinegar, sour apple hit you in face, followed by a earthy, leathery notes complimented by oak and subtle Belgian spice.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, refreshing, highly carbonated. Dry finish.

I’ve been waiting to try this beer for almost 2 years now. What differentiates it from other Wild Ales I’ve tried is the mouth puckering sourness that it delivers. As with other RR sours, it was very well balanced and complex. This one’s a winner.

The Award Winning Dissident

dissident

 

I was pretty psyched to finally crack the wax off of this 2010 vintage of Deschute’s “The Dissident”. Brewed in 2008, 2010, and 2012, this Oregon brew is brewed with cherries and wild yeast. From the Deschutes website:

“The Dissident is an Oud Bruin, a distinctive Flanders-style sour brown ale, with a heavenly aroma and flavor. Our first and only wild yeast beer, we use Brettanomyces to give The Dissident its characteristic sour taste. Our stiffest brewing challenge, it must be fermented in isolation from our other beers for a full 18 months, partly in pinot and cabernet barrels. The words coddled and “worth it” come to mind.”

Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.41/5

look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 vintage. Batch 2. Best after 11/01/11. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Deschutes snifter glass. Acquired in a trade from nedvalton, thank you sir!

Appearance- Pours a hazy, muddy brownish- maroon body with a two finger white head that reduces slowly to a white ring of foam.

Smell- Smells of funky brett, tart lactic acid, sharp sour lemons, grass, caramel/toffee, dark cherries, white wine, grapes. So complex, aromatic, and inviting. I can’t wait to sip this.

Taste- Wow.. this is amazing. The first thing you notice is the tart cherries/citrus notes. I wouldn’t call this acidic.. I’d call it on the higher end of tart. The tartness combines with some funkyness coupled with a slight astringent hoppiness. The finish is sweet with some very nice vanilla, caramel, toffee, burnt toast, charred bready notes. Very complex.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, good drinkability, medium carbonation.

I’ve really been looking forward to trying this beer and it didn’t disappoint! Super complex and balanced. Very well done, Deschutes. 4 years has done wonders.

Blind Pig – A Classic Russian River IPA

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Final Rating: 3.98/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a DFH IPA glass. Acquired in a trade from kflah41.. thank you so much man!

Appearance – Pours a every-so-slightly fulvous orange colored body with a thick, frothy, cloudy white head that reduces very slowly and leaves thick lacing. Very nice.

Smell – Sweet and resinous, lots of pine and caramel with hints of tropical fruits and citrus. Caramel, biscuity.

Taste – Upfront, subtle pine and caramel malt, followed by citrus peel and a watery sweet malt flavor. The finish has a resinous hop bite that lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel – Medium-light body, a little light for an IPA.

Overall, a so-so IPA in my opinion. This may have been the pinnacle of IPAs in it’s day, but there are far better offerings that outshine it in a heartbeat.

Cigar City’s Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout

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Final Rating: 4.54/5

look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25 oz bomber into a cigar city snifter. Thank you FLBrew for this guy!

Appearance – Pours a thick, oily, opaque black body with a nice 2 finger milk chocolate colored head that reduces very slowly to release those delicious aromas at a slow pace.

Smell – Strong, potent aromas of dark fruits, dark chocolate, molasses, toasted marshmallows, and coffee beans fill the air. Really inviting.

Taste – Let this one warm up for the flavors to come out. The first flavors to touch the tongue are bold coffee with cream, milk chocolate, vanilla, molasses.. these flavors develop into deep roasty notes, including cocoa, really dark chocolate, roasted malt. The aftertaste is charred and delicious.

Mouthfeel – Thick, rich, and savory. I enjoyed this over a 2 hour period and the flavors and thickness got better as it warmed.

This is what an imperial stout should taste like.. perfectly balanced, rich, complex, flavorful. Doesn’t need a barrel or a boat load of crazy ingredients to make it world class.

Kern River Citra DIPA!

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Tonight I got to experience one of my biggest wants ever – a big Double IPA brewed with tons of Citra hops, Citra DIPA.

Final Rating: 4.16/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Thanks kflah41 for this whale!

Appearance – Pours a slightly hazy, somewhat dull orange body with a decent sized, 2 finger head that reduces very slowly and leaves thick, foamy lacing.

Smell – Nothing hugely pronounced or overwhelming.. I really like a blast of tropical aromas from a west coast IPA of this caliber, instead I have to strain to get slight notes of pine, citrus, some tropical mango and pineapple.

Taste – Upfront I get subtle piney flavors and semisweet malt, followed by a tropical kick of lemon-citrus, mango, and a resinous bitterness that sticks on the tongue for a while.

M – Easy going down, medium carbonation and body.

Did I enjoy Citra DIPA? Absolutely. Does it hold up to some of the other world-class DIPAs I’ve tried? Not really. I was going to do a side-by-side of this and Heady Topper, but it wasn’t necessary because I knew which one would win. My advice is: if you’re looking to try some of the best west coast style DIPAs on the planet, try some of the easier to acquire ones (Pliny, Heady, enjoy by, etc). Once you’ve tried those, seek this out.

Sour in the Rye!

sourintherye

“We brewed this ale with around 40% rye as a base malt and let our sour yeast and bacteria eat away at it in oak barrels for over a year creating a sour ale with a complex character of rye spice, oak and a subtle funk.”

Final Rating: 4.5/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Thanks tbryan5 for hooking me up with this gem!

Appearance- Pours a very hazy pumpkin orange body with a generous, gushing 3 finger off white head that reduces at a medium rate.. leaves spotty lacing.

Smell- Potent aromas of fermented apples, ripe fruit, and a distinct strong funkyness are present as soon as I cracked it open.. upon further evaluation I get sour apple, lemon juice, some vanilla, and leather.

Taste- The first sip packs a pretty potent punch of sourness – citric acid, sour apple, distilled vinegar, tart fruit. I get some rye on the follow through, mixed with a slight caramel-vanilla note presumably from the oak. The finish is sweet and sour, like unripe berries.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, medium-low carbonation. An easy drinker.

The Bruery never disappoints my cravings for a mouth-puckeringly sour beer. This isn’t tart, this is downright sour but in a very good way – very complex and balanced. Highly recommendable.

Anchorage Bitter Monk

IMG_1665Final Rating: 4.11/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a goblet. Thank you Keith for this one, appreciate it man.

Appearance- Pours a very, very hazy dull yellow body with a decent sized white head that reduces slowly and leaves blotchy lacing. Opaque.

Smell- Very nice on the nose.. barnyard funk, belgian yeast, citrus rind, lemongrass primarily, some malt and fruit in the background, bananas and spices.

Taste- Upfront I get an even combination of the Brett yeast, citrus peel, and belgian spices. Funky, yeasty, and spicy notes all show up on the follow through. The IPA character of this beer eventually shows its head on the finish, in which a slightly bitter resinous note sticks on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation. Easy drinker.

I did enjoy this beer – I really wish the taste followed the enticing aromas a little more, I was expecting more funkyness on the tongue. Overall very good and recommendable, though.

Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th

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Final Rating: 4.66/5 

look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Utopia glass. Thanks Keith for this baby!

Appearance- Pours an oily black, opaque body with a modest mocha colored head that reduces slowly and leaves blotchy lacing.

Smell- Very inviting and upfront on the nose.. creamy vanilla and milk chocolate, soft bourbon, caramel, burnt marshmallows.

Taste- Wow.. this is amazing.. sweet vanilla and molasses, whiskey and milk chocolate upfront. The follow through is burnt coffee and dark chocolate. The finish leaves a delectable charred, nearly burn malt taste on the tongue. Very complex, very balanced.

M-outhfeel Creamy and easy to drink. Rich, full of flavor. Low carbonation.

One of the best bourbon barrel aged stouts I’ve ever had, this one has the upper hand most others due to it’s smooth, creamy, balanced character and rich, bold flavor.

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