Backyard Rye: Bourbon County’s Most Berry Variant!


“Always on the lookout for the next thing they can throw in a barrel, our brewers actually looked no further than their own backyard for this release – literally. Inspired by the berries they remember first eating from the trees in their yards; this Bourbon County release is full of the dark, spicy, and pleasantly sweet flavors of mulberries, marionberries, and boysenberries. This trio of fruit nicely rounds out the spice and heat of the rye whiskey barrels in which they were aged, resulting in a smooth, jammy stout perfect for sipping on your back porch.”

Final Rating: 4.44/5

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Goose Island snifter. Bottled 20Nov13, purchased in Smithfield, RI last year.

Pours a deep Bourbon County Stout characteristic black body with a 2 finger suprisingly fizzy milk chocolate colored head that reduces very quickly to a slight ring of foam. Leaves no lacing.

On the nose is lots of milk chocolate, bourbony caramel and vanilla, some boozyness and a hint of berries.

Upfront is bittersweet chocolate, sweet vanilla and butterscotch, followed by a bourbon, caramel, and a delicious compliment of berries (reminiscent of raspberries, which I’m sure are similar to the 3 berries used to brew this beer). The finish is roasty, leaving a toasted malt taste on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, not quite as heavy and sticky as other bourbon county beers.

Overall a delicious, complex beer, the berries definitely added a level of complexity to it. A must try for Bourbon County fans.


Jester King’s Dichotomous: Watermelon Juice, Mint, Rosemary, Lavender!


Returning to the practice of bière de coupage or beer that is “cut”, Hibernal Dichotomous is a blend of young farmhouse ale (63%) brewed this past November, mature barrel aged beer brewed with lavender, rosemary and spearmint in November of 2012 (25%), and fresh pressed watermelon juice (12%). The watermelons we juiced for Hibernal Dichotomous came from this winter’s harvest.

Hibernal Dichotomous is 5.8% alcohol by volume, 12 IBU, 3.3 pH, 4 SRM, and has a finishing gravity of 1.000. Both the young and old beer in the blend were brewed with barley, wheat, hops and Hill Country well water and fermented with a blend of brewer’s yeast and microorganisms native to the ranch land where our brewery is located.

Final Rating: 4.58/5

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

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Jester King Stemmed Glass. Acquired in a trade

Pours a light golden, hazy body with a 2 finger white head that reduces fairly quickly but leaves a nice amount of lacing and some retention.

Interesting and very inviting – I actually get subtle cherries and watermelon upfront, minty herbs and spices, some farmhouse funk, lactic tart, and a barnyard fruityness.

Upfront are delicious tart citrus, watermelon, and sour fruity notes, followed by a nice herbal and spicy flavor that lead into a slight musty, funky barnhouse character. Aftertaste leaves a nice tart astringent flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is outstanding – light, refreshing, extremely easy to drink, medium high carbonation. I could drink this all day.

Overall this is an excellent beer – extremely balanced, flavorful, drinkable, and complex. One of the best I’ve had from Jester King. Well done.

Hill Farmstead Sue: A Farmhouse Pale Ale


This is a carefully considered blend of ales aged in a variety of barrels for nearly a year, developing and evolving into its current manifestation: a complex, lightly tart and delicately hopped farmstead ale.

Final Rating: 4.64/5

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

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Purchased at the brewery.

Pours a hazy bright orange body with a big frothy white head that reduces slowly to leave behind chunky foam and thick lacing. Beautiful!

On the nose is a very inviting and unique combination of a sour and an IPA – some aromas that stick out are sour lactic, tart apples, tropical fruits, fresh citrus, some farmhouse funk, and oak.

Wow, lots going on on the tongue. Fruity, citrusy, tropical notes combined with tart citrus and apple, followed by funky, barnyard notes and a light oakyness on the finish. Aftertaste shows some hop presence with resin and pine.

Light, easy to drink, medium-high carbonation. Very enjoyable.

Overall I really enjoyed this one. Combines the fruity characteristics of a world class IPA with subtle farmhouse funk and tart lactic character. Seek it out.