Almanac Cherry picker v. montmorency v. Balaton v. cuvée Rene kriek, getting pitted 

In the pursuit of palate science I opened these three for yukyuks. The results were totally not what I was expecting.

Whenever someone brings up krieks or any cherry beer the standard refrain is “yah but cuvée  Rene so accessible and so good” and it turns into this obligatory stroke job. Sure this is far easier to find than a brewery only Jester King but that alone doesn’t make it incredible. This beer in its vibrating intense cherry pit is just too fucking sour for my baby palate. Its intensity doesn’t have a depth to the body level out the acidity nor does it give you some conciliatory sweetness to offset the face inverting tartness. Despite what the dudes at lambic.biz tell you, merely being Belgian isn’t enough to get a free pass riding on a geographic pedigree. This beer seemed wildly unrefined and ironically the most American in execution by contrast.


This is my favorite JK genie bottle and this release does not disappoint. The edges are rounded off and this falls in the less acidic spectrum of Jester King beers and is praiseworthy as a result. The nose isn’t traditional cherry and it comes across more of an earthy orchard vibe, Brett is peeping silently through the cherry tannins. The taste has a silky body that isn’t during or cloying, grenadine and sucrets meets Smuckers and cherry Italian soda. I always enjoy this one and ironically this felt more poised than the Pajotten pedigree, I feel the heresy as I type this, trust me. So imagine my fucking surprise when I opened this:


God damn. I was not expecting an upset of this proportion. Sometimes I will leave a brewery alone for a bit and circle back around to find that things are absolutely different than I recall. Alamanac never fell off, they just silently kept improving and flooding the streets with dank wares and we all guffawed at the Costco wales and kept trading for Midwest turds like complete fedex dipshits. This beer is excellent and takes a hard right where most sour purveyors drop the ball: exceptional restraint. If the old rag was that Almanac was lacto or too tart, this is widely divergent and pushes soft cherry skins, orange wine, farmers market wafts, a faint almost Malbec sort of dryness. It does everything so well and the small format is frustrating. I just want more.

Alamanac slayed with this release and I hope this is indicative of things to come, Cherry popping daddies, throw back a bottle of beer.

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