Wednesday, May 23, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Boxer's Revenge Barrel Aged Wild Ale | Jester King Brewing | Austin, TX

Should I just go ahead and make this Wild Ale Week, because, hell, everyone loves a good theme to rally around.

I think I would if I could scrounge up a collection of more than just-a-few that are available in The Great State.  There is a depressing dearth of suitable sours in Texas and remarkably, Jester King makes the only three brewed within its borders (at least going by my very scientific tool of measurement: my damaged memory).  By comparison, California has eleventy billion.

And even though that's not true, we have such a long way to go as a beer state to, not only catch up to current brewing trends, but to compete with the quality of product. 

Fortunately for we fans of the style, Jester King has the competency of a brewhouse like New Belgium or Terrapin, despite its relative infancy.  I talked a bit about their first sour release in an earlier entry, and I liked it very much.  What I don't like is the irregularity in which it appears in my fridge or cellar.  They just simply don't make enough of the fuckin' stuff in order to make me an endeared fan of their sours.  If I can't drink it, and I can't propose to you to walk to your nearest pub to drown yourself in it, then by what value can it be measured?

Jester King beer-drinking experiences are like personal relics;  a library of archived memories that have a very short shelf-life, as do 99% of craft beers out there.  Even the truly great, rare, and mostly-unavailable beers are propagated mainly by memories of the experience, and not really the beer itself.  Okay, sure, I can remember the details and flavor minutia of great beers, like Pliny the Elder, Hopslam, and The Abyss -- but the lingual artifacts of their flavor profiles are documented more similarly to art, communicating cohesively with all five senses, and seeking refuge in a more special part of the brain.

Most beers, by the basic science of natural impulses cannot take you to that place, therefore, much of the "love" we might experience for a particular beer is based on the company we share, our immediate environments, our moods, and other ancillary effects we may be encountering at the moment of consumption.  Jester King is my best example of this, and the reason being, is that their sour beers are both highly coveted and largely unavailable.  Two dangerous ingredients for human brains to cook with.

Eye cray and a face only Mathew Broderick could love.
Boxer's Rebellion is wonderful, no doubt.  Its farmhouse wheat ale base is aged in both whiskey AND wine barrels, reducing the amount of fucks-given to the requisite zero when making a wild ale.  Jester King's got that down.  The beer dances The Charleston a with tart, tropical fruit nose, then composes itself with a waltz of yeast funk across the nape of your hard and soft palates, before finishing up curtly with a hobo's kiss of booze and chewed hay.  Its a great beer, and I really enjoyed its ambition.

But is Boxer's Revenge a love that can be sustained? Nurtured?  Consummated? Probably not.  Its limited access makes this beer a fling, and not a marriage -- and that's something difficult for a nerd to accept.

ABV: 9.4%
Acquired: Sunrise

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