Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jester King RU-55 - Gus #43

Every now and then you hear about a brew coming out that really sparks your attention.  Something different than what you have had or maybe just an example of your favorite styles.  Jester King's RU-55 was that for me.  I've really been into sour beers here lately, as a lot of other people have been.  This one is a Barrel-Aged Sour Red or Wild Ale.  So this combines my new love of Sour Ales and my other love, Barrel-Aged beers.  Jester King brews their beers farmhouse style, using farmhouse yeast and wild yeast from the Texas Hill Country (from their descriptions.)  They also use some "bugs" or bacteria in the fermentation of their brews.  I've always been impressed with their very low Final Gravity and how dry they get their beers to ferment to.  So, needless to say, I was excited to try this brew.  I wish I had gotten some more pictures of it but I had this during my brew day this weekend.  I had a lot going on.  But, that didn't stop me from jotting down notes about this brew.  Here is the review for Jester King's RU-55 Sour Red Ale.

How it rates with others:

ratebeer review:

Information from the website:
About the Beer:
Style:  Sour Ale/Wild Ale
Alcohol by Volume:  7.30%
IBUs:  N/A

"Red ale aged in oak barrels with wild yeast and souring bacteria.  Unfiltered, unpasteurized  and bottle-conditioned.  This beer is a tribute to our good friend Russ Beadie.  Thanks, Russ.  Thuss."

I poured this brew into my Jester King glass.

Appearance:  Brew poured in with a finger to a finger and a half of head.  It didn't last long as it gave way to a light ring around the glass.  Extended barrel aging usually cuts down on head retention.  Little bit of carbonation but not too high.  Slightly cloudy but deep red almost mahogany in color.  Swirling the glass gives you some remnants of alcohol legs as the brew leaves the side.  Really almost wine-like in appearance.  Definitely inviting to take a sip.

Aroma:  Right in the front there is a hint of red apple and maybe even some strawberry. Hints of cherry come in after that. Then comes the bitter, sour funk.  Really has a tart fruit aroma.  Little bit of white wine vinegar.  Some malt backbone is there as well.  No hop aroma really other than some fruity notes that hint citrus.  That could be from the bugs in there during fermentation.  I love way the tart aromas give you that sour feeling right in the back of your jaw.  No hint of alcohol in the aroma at all.

Taste:  Very fruity and apple forward.  Hints of apple skin and lemony tartness there.  Sweetness of strawberry and cherry.  More of a red wine vinegar instead of the white wine aromas.  Tart with hints of sour and just enough funk to be nice.  I like the fruity sourness that it has over some others with that lemony tartness that can be too much after a while.  This one is a very easy drinker and would definitely sneak up on you.  Mouthfeel is thin and light.  I'm sure the Final Gravity is way down there so that is to be expected.  Finish is super dry and makes you want to go back for another drink.  

Verdict:  Super good stuff.  I had heard this was one to grab so I'm glad I got a couple bottles of it.  The sweetness of the fruits are blended perfect with the tartness.  Then the easy drinking mouthfeel and finish being so dry just work so well.  I'm interested to try some other things from Jester King.  This one is going to score an A.  Really impressive stuff.  I can't wait to try some more.  This would be a great pair with a nice grilled steak salad.  I think that would be super refreshing.  I'm going to keep a bottle in the cellar for a while since it is bottle conditioned to see what it will do over time.  I'm excited for a young brewery like Jester King putting out stuff this good.  I hope they expand to our market soon (HINT if you guys are reading!) since they are in Alabama already.  I'd like to keep some of there stuff around at all times!

If you haven't tried any sour beers you really should.  Sometimes they can take getting used to but when you do you will fall in love with them.  I know I did.  Thanks for reading and remember to check us out on Facebook at Mason-Dixon Brew Crew Facebook.  Comment, subscribe and follow to let us know how we are doing!