Salt Lick - Jester King Brewery
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Ratings: 228 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
3.51/5 rDev -4.9%
Just when you think you've tasted it all... A smokey sourish Saison? Clever in its recipe formulation and grounded in rustic history, this ale is as curious to the palate as it is drinkable.
The pour delivers a rusty-straw color that's just a shade deeper than your average farmhouse ale. The hazy beer releases an exuberent level of carbonation to fuel a fluffy ivory-white head. Firm withstanding and intricate lacing all indicates a well made beer.
Incredibly tart aromas strike the nose with white wine and cider-type acidity. A wrap of fragrant smoke wafts about the sour fruit for a tale of two beers living in the same glass. Musty grain, straw and wet hay give an earthen component that brings the tartness and mesquite together.
Then to taste, the early palate is all sour saison. Sour white grapes, crab apples, orange peel and grapefruit align on the tongue- all in a supple under-ripened way. The middle delivers a brine and earth melange that's common to sea salt, grain and hay. Cork-like wood is just the hint of something unexpected to come. The late palate sheds all that fruit and introduces a taste of campfire, scotch, and mesquite. The unique balance is void of meaningful sweetness as the smoke is unsupported, much like more fragrant nutty cigars. Just as soon as the taste subsides... Bam! ...a late aftertaste of heavy peat echoes in surprising form.
Light on the palate, the carbonation pushes the grain from the tongue and ushers in a racy finish of sparkling white wine, acidity, peppery warmth and a powder-dry ash that's oddly compelling.
The unique combinations of taste seem to swirl around each other and never come together. It's unusual that I prefer it that way. The beer continues to deliver flavors and textures to different parts of the mouth even as the mouth acclimates to it deep in the session. Quite a mysterious ale!
07-25-2013 17:11:42 | More by BEERchitect
3.79/5 rDev +2.7%
definitely one of the strangest beers ive had in a while. smoked over pecan wood, the malt profile of this beer is sweeter than an oak smoke, lighter than the peated smoked beers, and overall just very unique. it pours a sort of drab ugly brown tinted wheat beer color, hazy and pale with an inch or so of white head. the nose is way out there. some in our group thought it smelled and tasted like bandaids, but I did not agree. I smelled a really earthy sweet smoke, almost like a fruit wood, from the pecan, and still quite a bit of sour yeast from the blend. wheat malt, bittering hops, and a complexity that is unrivaled. the beer is quite light and easy to drink, although it is not for the traditional lager drinker, or even the traditional saison drinker, this is entirely unlike anything else around. the funk is intense, the smoke is different, and the hops do their best to bring the thing together, but its an oddity for sure. fantastic carbonation, lighter body, and a lot of attitude. I would expect nothing less from jester king, who is doing some very clever stuff right now. not sure I will seek this out again, but a huge thanks to drlovemd87 for sharing this with us. a beer for the adventurous palate.
06-03-2013 19:26:53 | More by StonedTrippin
3.55/5 rDev -3.8%
Jester King "Censored." (Formerly "Salt Lick"). "Bottle conditioned ale partially aged in oak barrels with wild yeast." Batch #[Unintelligible]. January 2013. 6.7% ABV confirmed per the label. FG 1.002. IBU 22. Reviewed as a saison, since the label describes it as a "Pecan Wood Smoked Saison." 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with interesting label art and a fantastic branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Whole Foods HQ here in Austin and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas.
Served cold, straight from me fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
HOLY SHIT! GUSHER! I had refrigerated this per the label's instructions and it absolutely volcanoed on me. Beware!
A: No bubble show forms as I pour.
Pours no head whatsoever (in spite of its seeming overcarbonation). All we get a white floater ring of below average thickness and creaminess. It lasts maybe 40 seconds. No lacing.
Body colour is a hazy cloudy yellow of above average vibrance. Translucent. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible.
Overall, it looks about right for a saison.
Sm: The first thing I pick up is an obvious brettanomyces-induced funkiness, with soft welcoming notes of tart lemon zest and wheat. The tartness takes a turn, though, as soon as the smokiness introduces itself, yielding a strange aroma I'm not entirely on board with. Cidery and apple-y. Notes of wet straw, pilsner malts, and grains. Light crackery malts. I do pick up pecan in the smokey character. I'm not sure the smokiness mixes well with the saison aspect of the beer, but to be honest it seems to work a lot better than I anticipated; there's none of the pork, bacon, or smog notes you'd get from a rauchbier, for example. White grape. Generic floral hop character. No alcohol is detectable. A kiss of lactose.
A really intriguing aroma, but the jury is out on whether the two diametric profiles clash or come together. I wouldn't call the aroma pleasant per se. Mild in strength.
T: A brief hint of the white peppery notes I look for in a good saison. No milky notes. Wheat, pilsner malt, crackery malts, straw. Brettanomyces-induced funkiness throughout; it does lack depth though. The smokiness is nicely subdued by the lactose, but it still feels out of place. I do get some gose-esque saltiness. Clove. Lemon citrus zest and accompanying esters. Lemon peel. Has a light tartness. I don't get any wild yeast per se. And the purported pecan? Nowhere to be found. A bit cidery and apple-y. Complementary timid floral hops. It's pretty good, actually. I can't in good faith call it balanced, but I will say that it navigates its merging of two distinct flavour profiles pretty well. Good complexity. Some limited subtlety.
Depth of flavour is below average - but only when reviewing to style; the saison may be the deepest style out there. Average flavour intensity and duration.
No alcohol comes through.
Mf: Crisp. Smooth and wet. Strangely refreshing, actually. Excellent carbonation; this really benefited from bottle conditioning. Smacky. Fairly acidic. Complements the flavour profile quite nicely. Good presence on the palate and good body. A well executed texture for this approach to a saison.
Dr: I love the experimentation. It took me awhile to warm up to this one, but now that I have I'm really liking it. It's an extremely interesting beer, and while I can't say it's a great saison, it's a pretty good hybrid style - dareisay a unique beer. I haven't really understood the Jester King obsession since I moved here to Austin, but if they have more beers like this I'll happily purchase them. Would I get this again? Maybe for trades. The price point is a bit unreasonable given the availability of far better (even imported saisons) for near the same amount. The light lactobacillus kiss is a highlight for me. Far from forgettable, Salt Lick is well worth a try.
I recommend a snifter or tulip over the pilsner glass I had to use.
I doubt it'd age well.
09-14-2013 01:46:19 | More by kojevergas
4.1/5 rDev +11.1%
Got in a trade with Cyde. 750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass; Batch 1, bottled in January 2013. Slow gusher upon opening. Pours extremely hazy golden amber color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart lemon, green apple, pear, clove, pepper, wheat, smoke, wood, hay, grass, funk, light vinegar, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester notes, with prominent smoked wood presence; and good strength. Taste of tart lemon, green apple, pear, clove, pepper, hay, grass, wheat, wood, smoke, funk, light vinegar, leather, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of tart earthy spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart fruit, clove, pepper, wheat, wood, smoke, hay, grass, funk, light vinegar, leather, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with a fair amount of smoke presence and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a light creamy and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent smoked wild saison style. All around great balance and complexity of malt, smoke, and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. I thought the wood smoke note complimented the spicy yeast nicely. A very enjoyable offering.
09-07-2013 05:10:10 | More by superspak
Salt Lick from Jester King Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.