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Jester King DUAL WINO Shootout: Both them Grapes About to Get they First Crush, JUICY -BAL MACERATION.

Well with Jester King’s completely odd “profit-based” decision to sell the majority of their product at the brewery itself, the demand for those Texan farmhouse oil salesmen has increased markedly. How can I appreciate these beers if they aren’t just sitting in Whole Foods anymore? JEEZ.

Their fruited wild ales, not unlike my milkshake, serve to bring all the mouth breathing boys to the yard. It is such sweet irony that their equally compelling 750ml offerings are often overlooked by consumers not worthy of their embraces. In between the hyped and marginalized lies the Jester King middle class: the grapey wino offerings. A typical sweaty Austin dipshit with bbq sauce slathered in his goatee and Underarmor t shirt eschews wines. In their eyes, wine is a free beverage at weddings or a natural fuel for petulant divorcees. Wine-structured beers always create this tenor of wariness.

For this reason Cerveza de Tempranillo was criminally passed over and only now are these husky Lands End wearing outdoor enthusiasts discovering the majesty of the grape.

I identify my fruits by their corresponding otter pop color.  That's the only way I know.

I identify my fruits by their corresponding otter pop color. That’s the only way I know.

Today we have two top tier winey grappa syrahesquey tannic adventures. I might even get to use the word deflocculated while running the grid. STR8 SOMMED BRUH.

Biere De Syrah, Jester King

7.2% abv, a saison cum de wild ale, essentially

“A barrel-aged sour beer refermented with Syrah grapes. Bière de Syrah consists of a blend of beer fermented in oak barrels for nine to twelve months with our mixed culture of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the air and wildflowers around our brewery. The blend was then refermented with Syrah grapes for about two weeks, transferred off of the fruit, then aged for an additional nine months in oak barrels. After packaging, the beer naturally conditioned for an additional two months prior to release. Altogether, Bière de Syrah is roughly two years old.

Biere de syrah comes right out of the gates with a radiant juicy magenta hue to it like a winter sunset. The pink foam whips like a broken cotton candy machine and the carb sits proudly like housing insulation, except less cancer. For some reason, this particular shade makes grown men ovulate like they are picking out nursery color schemes. They can see tastes, I guess.

oh shit so deflocculated

oh shit so deflocculated

The nose has a distinctly vinous character but travels all over the realm of skins and farmers markets. Beyond the syrah you get a dash of pinot noir, dryness of currant, this acidity tartness of ripe plum and even a nectarine closer from the acidity. It is far better than expected and uses an unlikely platform to deliver a first crush from its pulpit.

The acidity on the nose gave me pause but thankfully the mineral character at the outset offset the sheer ph of the entire experience. In the way that the composite profile of an ipa can offset a sky high ibu, the oak and lingering dryness of the grape tannins underlines a well rounded entirely crushable experience. I enjoyed this more than many of the “more touted” fruited JK wilds if only due to the way it grips the oak bannister at the fruit debutante ball with a violet gown draping the floor with elegance.  Shit is mad classy, open this at Olive Garden and watch the dental hygienists swoon.

Binder drawing tier 10/10

Binder drawing tier 10/10

Absolutely lock this one down as soon as possible

Jester King Biere de Blanc Du Bois

6.7% abv, wild ale, no saisons on this one, no way.

Bière De Blanc du Bois was brewed with Hill Country well water, barley, wheat, and hops. It was fermented with our unique mixed culture of microorganisms, which includes farmhouse yeasts, naturally occurring wild yeasts harvested from our air and land in the Texas Hill Country, and native souring bacteria. After extended fermentation and maturation in oak barrels, it was refermented with Texas-grown Blanc du Bois grapes. Bière De Blanc du Bois is 6.7% alcohol by volume, 3.2 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.004 (1.0 degree Plato). It is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned. The artwork for Bière De Blanc du Bois was created by our in-house artist Josh Cockrell.”

putting that Jack LaLanne juicer to work

putting that Jack LaLanne juicer to work

The biere du blanc du bois aka that bdbdbdbdbdbbdbdb leaves more to be desired in its simplistic, highly acidic aplomb. It is admittedly beautiful and radiant in the glass with wispy frothy carb that not only defeats the tartness below but continually sheets and shines like a glowstick at Hard or EDC, the beats perpetually drop.

This exhibits very little wine character and even the grape aspects are shy and hardly peek out from the oak curtains. Cyber sex protip: “oak curtains” is the least sexy vaginal euphemism possible. The nose is a blast of tangerine, lemon, muddled grapefruit, honeydew and a touch of Riesling sweetness.  It is relentlessly bright but also a touch offputting in the unbalanced Noel Coward dryness of the performance. Go ahead and Google “NOEL COWARD” I will wait.  People complain about the lack of depth in DDB references and think this shit is all Worldstar and Squaresoft, you ungrateful fucks, about to David Foster Wallace these tickin ass ratchets.

Let me loosen up them buttons baby, show me what them grapes can do to me

Let me loosen up them buttons baby, show me what them grapes can do to me

For a truly great comedic or wild ale performance there must be grounding upon which to predicate the extreme aspects, otherwise the whole thing goes to Crazy Town faster than you can say “butterfly.” That is where the bdbdbdbd suffers most. In seeking to provide a radiant light diaphanous performance of Chardonnay refreshment, the acidity and bone dry oak dominate. Instead of being a magnificent grapey adventure, we are left with something closer to beatification albeit lacking the yeasty complexity.  If you Monistat the Beatification, all you are left with is acidic discharge: NO ONE WANTS THAT.

It is an instance where Jester King lamentably must live up to their own catalog and arent given any easy passes as a result. If someone like Half Acre made this without any fanfare, it would be the greatest sour the midwest had seen this side of VSB; but their own pedigree infects expectations like a sour mash. So in sum, it is a tasty serviceable sour that would be the pinnacle of anyone else’s catalog, but them Extract boys with their fancy barrel fermenting and puncheons and actual farmhouse have painted expectations into a corner and now must lie in the same doghouse that them Hill boys suffer through: every release must be a revelation. If cd12 and Ambree aren’t an outright grand slam, pepperoni nips get chafed.  If your consumers predicate their self value on bottles of fermented grain, be sure that they base their feelings of intellectual superiority on pointing out shortcomings,  Working at Cici’s Pizza doesn’t exactly give them the earthly Muse to validate their pursuits.

WELP NOW I KNOW WHAT MY FIRST JAILHOUSE TATTOO IS GONNA LOOK LIKE

WELP NOW I KNOW WHAT MY FIRST JAILHOUSE TATTOO IS GONNA LOOK LIKE

Seek out biere de syrah, but obligingly accept a pour of bdbdbdbdb, then continue to act like an expert in all things monoculture despite the fact that you got a B- in high school biology because the Krebs citric acid cycle was just too hard and what the fuck is ATP anyway, amirite. Strap on those husky cargo shorts and call Ddb a sellout while driving your stepdad to the latest adjunct stout release. You’re a master of the internet and your palate is infallible.

Business as usual.

UR FUKN WELCOME, DDB: JUMPING SHARKS SINCE 2010

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Midnight Sun 3000, Consecration+Abacus = Snow Mexican Barleywine

I think it is pretty well-established that Arctic Devil is an amazing beer. Berserker continues to impress, and Barfly is a distant reminder to some of the beta n00bs, but even the 2012ers know about it. On the face of things, Midnight Sun shouldn’t be dropping balls, barleywine or otherwise, on limited releases. This beer is a clear exception. This beer dropped more balls than an evangelical 8th grade choir. So what went wrong? This beer was essentially the last 10 minutes of Into the Wild in beer form, someone tried to do something adventurous in Alaska and ended up dying from poison.

Just how I like my barleywines, with a 3 finger head, wait wut-

Just how I like my barleywines, with a 3 finger head, wait wut-

Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine | 13.20% ABV

Before I pound this O-ring like a dried persimmon, let’s hear the company description so the lulz can resound throughout your shitty studio apartment:

“In this ridiculously wonderful world we’ve created, we make beer- one batch at a time. As the scientist in us demands, we number said batches. And while every batch of our beer is special for us – providing a fresh start on a new day, establishing an experimental opportunity, bringing together our minds and spirits, projecting our company forward – each batch also scores time.

To celebrate our 3000th batch, we present a Belgian-style Barley Wine, simply called 3,000. Luscious layers of flavor begin with barley, wheat and rye malts followed by triple-hoppping with a single varietal. Fermentation, using three distinct yeast strains, achieves complexity in character and, of course, alcohol. This special batch was transferred into red wine oak barrels for eight months to age gregariously yet gracefully. After bottle-conditioning, this exclusive beer is ready for immediate enjoyment although it can be lovingly cellared for future festivities.”

A: Ok first order of business, look at this barleywine and tell me if you think that attenuation is appropriate for the style. Does it look like a barleywine? Does it look good? The look of this beer reminds me of an all extract shitty brown ale homebrew that your buddy makes you try. The head is excessive and almost makes me scratch my chin and accuse infection but we will allay those concerns for the time being. Does this beer look like other world class barleywines?

Oh wait, it is a BELGIAN barleywine, so my critique gets to dodge a bullet. I remember when some people were calling this the second coming of M, just like BA Hifi batch 2 is the second coming of Wooden Hell, except BA Hifi is still pretty awesome and this is Merlot and taint esters.

Mixing a barleywine with shitty cabernet ISN'T NORMAL.  Not even one more hybrid like this. Not one.

Mixing a barleywine with shitty cabernet ISN’T NORMAL. Not even one more hybrid like this. Not one.

S: Speaking of taint, the smell of this thing is offputting not only for the style, but in general. No one makes roe ice cream for a reason, some tastes don’t merge well. I am going to list some smells descriptors and you check yes if you want them in a barrel aged barleywine: merlot, cranberry, lemon rind, tangelo, blackberry, wet leather, post-menopausal tears, toddler laundry (non-soiled), pennies. If you said yes to any of those, you must be Cicerone level 5: contrarian belt. There is very little barleywine going on here and its like someone took a perfectly good bike and retrograded it to be a really inefficient baby carriage. I don’t want a bouquet of out of place fruits atop my pile of belgian esters, get that shit out of here, you don’t see successful breweries alike Stone taking malty beers and putting them in shitty red wine bar-…oh. OH.

T: This takes all of that tannic afterbirth and adds this coinstar machine maltiness whose jankiness can only be represented in scientific notation. There is a copper, burnt malt, scorched boil water (if you have done this, you know the hell and sticky disgust it creates) baked beans, Kendall Jackson Merlot, some interloping fucking leather tastes, and finally closes with a shitty Bartells and James red grape sort of taste. Now go dig through those used needles and find me the barleywine in this trainwreck. Just drink a cup of grape juice, lick a Jansport and save yourself some time.

I don't know what kinda crazy shit goes on up in Alaska, but this beer might be a glimpse into the world north of the wall.

I don’t know what kinda crazy shit goes on up in Alaska, but this beer might be a glimpse into the world north of the wall.

M: This is the gassiest barleywine ever and is needlessly bubbly on the palate. Then it imparts those horrible tannins and its like a mister spraying Yellow Tail weak ass wine all over your gums. You end up dry but violated with this fucked up stickiness all over you like fountain water from a two star casino.

D: Not very, the biggest impetus pushing me along was the fact that this was a bitch to trade for. Even still I drainpoured most of this. You know you have a quality barleywine when you start contemplating the calories and wondering if eating glass would somehow be better for your body. I love Arctic Devil, Moscow was solid, but this is some Gitmo experiment barleywine water boarding. Ruined a malty treat for all of us with bruised red grapes no one asked for. However, in Alaska the men to woman ratio is extremely skewed, so maybe this is the female Pinot Noir up there, when they get off from their logging duties or shift at the beef jerky company they sit down and laugh in a glottal fashion while sipping this and watching Cougartown or some shit.

You CAN make a hybrid of some mishmash shit, but that doesn't mean that it will turn out good.

You CAN make a hybrid of some mishmash shit, but that doesn’t mean that it will turn out good.

Narrative: Rampage Jackson clutched the fountain pen with uncertainty and listened to the lawyers go through the terms of the negotiation. “Ok, so clauses 2 and 7 stipulate that Rampage is still “Bad Ass” and “universally feared” but Viacom New Media will acquire him as a cooking host for a variety of tasks and spots.” Rampage wiped the sweat from his massive ebony brow, reading the various clauses on oso bucco and balsamic reductions. “Wait tho, so I am not fightin nobody? I just be like cooking?” he asked puzzled and a man with Tom Ford glasses and offensively large bicuspids laughed to the floor to ceiling glass windows of the conference room. “HA! Yes Mr. Jackson, you will be an incidental novelty talent to a series of unscripted life shows, and doing semi-fictionalizations of “Kitchen Disasters” all the while still remaining Rampage Jackson, I hope that is clear?” the slick talent agent rattled off. “But wait, I am good at fighting, and combat, why I gotta be making pastries and shit? Why try and make me into something completely different?” There was a certain lucidity to his voice and the men leaned forward with curious expectancy. “I mean like, why take something huge and awesome and emasculate that down to something totally irrelevant and worse? I mean you are just ruining what I am all about, turning it into something else simply for the sake of being irrelevant. Shouldn’t the point be to be entertaining and not just shocking, seems to Rampage that if you ain’t pleasing the public then-” the men gathered up the signed forms and there was much glad handing. Bravo was about to turn out another hybrid reality show that was intellectually debasing and horrible to all involved. Just another day’s work for those cultured gents at Bravo.