Jester King Brewery

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Wild Ale
Ranked #1,467
Ranked #13,910
3.91 | pDev: 10.49%
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States
Very Good
Notes: Ambrée was inspired by the rustic farmhouse ales of French Flanders, particularly those brewed by Brasserie Thiriez in Esquelbecq — one of our favorite breweries in the world. Ambrée is a dry, tart, naturally conditioned amber ale fermented and matured with dozens of different strains of brewers’ yeast, native wild yeast, Brettanomyces yeast, and souring bacteria. It’s 6.4% alcohol by volume, has a finishing gravity of 1.005, and is 3.5 pH.
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 323 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes. Purchased bottle on 5/11/16 at a local bottle shop. Consumed shortly thereafter, though I did not make note of the date. Poured from the 750 mL bottle into a Cigar City Brewing goblet.

A: Hazy darkish gold, with a half-finger of foamy white head with good retention atop average amount of visible carbonation. Of note: despite the short storage period, and keeping it upright during that time, there is a gnarly ring of brown dried gooey sediment (yeast trub?) just under the cap. It didn’t seem to come off during the pour, but it’s not pretty.

S: Biscuit malts, some saison yeast, and a light spiciness. Hints of lemon citric acid.

T: A blush of lemons and lactic tart, biscuit malts, and saison yeastiness – doughy, and with minimal if any black pepper character. A light citric tartness comes back. Only a mild farmhouse funk, and hints of a woody dryness near the end. It finishes with lingering yeast and a light dry tartness.

M: Medium body for style, low alcohol presence, and average carbonation sensation.

O: A good lightly tart and lightly funky saison, but ultimately I think it blends into the pack and becomes forgettable.

Mar 26, 2020
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a hazy dark red color with a slight cloudy light amber color close to the edges of the beer. The head was about two fingers worth of soft white foaminess. There wasn’t much lacing following the beer down. The smell had a dried out tart raspberry aroma cherishing a light woodiness as the beer warmed. The taste was a dry and tart raspberry that ended up letting out a slight acidic lemon flavoring as it warmed which lead to a naturally dry raspberry to slight lemon aftertaste and finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium in body with not much of a sessionable aspect as there’s not enough balance in this one. Overall, I'm grateful to be able to partake of this offering that I may never see again.

Jun 09, 2017
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper color with a touch of amber in color. Excellent clarity. There's a fingernail of off white around most of the rim and half of the top that dissipates entirely after about 5 minutes. The aroma is of peppery to earthy yeast and light malt. It's odd that I don't smell the Brett, but I do taste it. I'm tasting a gentle dose of sour Brettanomyces, but it is well integrated with the earthy saison yeast and gentle light malt. The mouth is moderately carbonated and dry. This one is all about subtlety and nuances. Well played.

Mar 12, 2017
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kojevergas from Louisiana

3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed from notes taken at Ambree's launch:

On-draught @ Jester King. 6.40% ABV. 8oz pour cost $4.50 USD.

APPEARANCE: ~4-5 cm head boasts a nice luscious khaki colour and an excellent creamy consistency. Complexion is nice. Appears soft and even. Consistent lacing coats the sides of the glass when tilted, but fails to adhere. Retention is pretty good - about 6 minutes.

Body is a rich translucent but nontransparent amber. Clean, lacking any visible yeast/lees.

Appears adequately carbonated.

AROMA: Has a strange sweetness to it which is kind of close to what I'd expect aromatically from Belgian candi sugar. Amber malts. Bready malts/bread crust. Vague fruit - cherry, maybe? Some caramel.

This aroma is fantastic for an amber, but I don't pick up on much in terms of farmhouse character. Pleasant, though. Moderate in terms of intensity.

TASTE: Not as bready as I anticipated based on the aroma, but still bready for an amber ale. Caramel, amber malts, light toasty character. No overt hoppy or yeasty notes.

I find no overt alcohol.

I also pick up on expected traces of oak and wine. Some hints of candi sugar-like sweetness. I don't get any farmhouse character at all. It's pretty balanced overall, and boasts cohesion in its build. Not a gestalt harmonious whole of a beer, but an enjoyable brew.

Flavour duration, intensity, and depth are all average.

I like it; it's nice to see a brewery put out a Belgian-influenced amber.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, medium-bodied. Moderately thick, which is apt. A bit overcarbonated, which is surprising coming from Jester King. Texture complements the taste well.

Not oily, hot, boozy, or gushed.

OVERALL: A pretty drinkable amber, though it lacks the farmhouse character Jester King seems to be going for based on their release notes. Tasty stuff and an interesting take on an amber. If not for the horrid pricing, I'd definitely get it again.

B- (3.35) / WORTHY

Aug 08, 2016
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Myotus from Texas

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured gently at 47°F from a 750ml bottle (batch #3) into a tulip. Consumed on 15Jun16.
LOOK: A fingers worth of white foam shrivels to a quarter fingers worth within twenty seconds. Amber in color with a mild amount of cloudiness. Large quantity of tiny rising bubbles. Lacing is thick and moderate.
SMELL: Mild aromas of chocolate, caramel, toast, sour green apple, tobacco, salty minerals, and earthy yeast are balanced by subtle hay, peach, banana, pear, white grape aromas, and hints of bitter hops.
TASTE: The malt profile immediately boasts as mild toast, chocolate, and subtle caramel flavors cover the palate. Mild salty minerals and subtle sour green apple bring some of the Jester King funk that we all love as caramel flavors grows to mild and chocolate flavors grow slightly stronger. Mild earthy yeast and subtle tobacco and hay flavors enter next and present more of that JK funk as flavors of sour green apple grows slightly stronger. Subtle peach, pear, banana, white grape, and bitter hop flavors trail lastly to offer a bittersweet balance as hay grows slightly stronger while all other previous flavors maintain.
FEEL: Somewhere between full-bodied and medium-bodied. Carbonation is mild. Goes down somewhat smooth. Finishes with a mild and somewhat pleasant dryness.
NOTE: Another great from Jester King that emphasizes the malt presence while the yeast profile engages in a background performance. I recall having this batch fresh on tap last summer. If my memory serves correctly, the main difference was that the tartness of the beer has faded. I look forward to trying their next batch fresh and aging it to acquire a proper comparison.

Jun 16, 2016
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Sak3 from Connecticut

3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Look: After a quick little pour it gives a hint of it not being very rich and deep but once you fill the glass the look quickly mans up.
Smell: I got a sense of oak and some fruity smell that I couldn't quite put a name to it.
Taste: The taste was very similar to a lemon.
Feeling: A fairly smooth drink with a kick from the taste. The kick might also be from the liquor but according to my senses I feel more of a shock in my taste buds.

Overall: I would personally get more excited for some some other drinks down in Texas then this.

Apr 29, 2016
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stephens101 from Oklahoma

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 offering.

Dark brown with crimson hues and a quickly growing tan froth. Big yeast notes up front with faint spice and ripe apricot underneath and a good dose of pungent murk enveloping it all. Tastes of dark fruits (plum, cherry, prune) with notes of Brett coming into play quickly. An underlying graininess for support and a faint and lingering funk for good measure. Definitely vinous in nature and quite dry all the way down.

Not overly tart like some Wild Ales but could also use some more punch. That being said, like it goes with women, I can usually find something sexy about each and every JK brew I've tried.

Mar 31, 2016
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a bunch of bottles when I visited the Jester King brewery six days ago, and I recently opened and drank this bottle, and it was a delight.

(L) It had an amber dark golden somewhat hazy color like apple juice. I got three finger thick white head.

(A) Pleasant aroma of lemon and oak.

(T) Roasted malts, citrus, some apple, and some dankness, a nice blend of taste.

(F) Light body and nice carbonation.

Feb 06, 2016
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cvm4 from Mississippi

3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch #3 - Bottled July 6, 2015

A - Pours an amber body with a fizzy one finger eggshell head.

S - Subtle nose. Oak aroma, lemon & orange peel. Malty body.

T - Malty body at first that has oak & apple in the middle. Lemon tartness at the ending.

F - Light bodied & medium carbonation. Somewhat wet/dry finish.

O - Enjoyable farmhouse that is oh so subtle. Not in your face at all.

Jan 03, 2016
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enrique_m from Texas

4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

the bottle i says 4.5 alc/vol... and i poured this brew into a chimay glass and it is a rich amber color and it gave very little head. the smell is of lemon peel and it has a light sour taste that is nice unlike other sours that are like vinegar sour. you get hints of sweet tarts and orange peel in the taste and it the sourness feels good on the tongue similar to having salt and lemon.. overall this is a refreshing brew that is tart and tasty.

Dec 21, 2015
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle marked Batch #3 07.07.2015 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried snifter
$ 12/25.4 oz bottle at brewery
Aroma slightly fruity, lasts
Head small (Two cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, diminishing to three mm ring and partial layer
Lacing poor – few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body medium orange, chill haze, effervescent
Flavor lightly fruity, slightly tart; no malt, no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light, dry, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

Nov 09, 2015
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Ri0 from Wisconsin

3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 12oz bottle into teku.

A - Dark like prune juice with a rusty color. The head is about 2.5 fingers, foamy, and very dirty in appearance. Retention is incredible and a head remains for the entire duration along with plenty of lacing.

S - You definitely catch the tartness on the nose, but it is quite malty. A roasted and sweet character of toffee and oak notes are detectable. No particular tart fruit scents, like apple or cherry, but there is some lemony or vinegar aromas.

T - Flavors of sweet roasted malts, toffee, oak, give way to a tartness that is reminiscent of tart cherry/apple. Some lemony tartness and a touch of vinegar to make this a real treat. Finishes with some oak and funk.

M - Lighter body, very delicate, not overly tart and well carbonated.

O - A very mashup of a farmhouse and flanders style beer. Quite enjoyable.

Sep 06, 2015
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is decent. Lacing is good. Has a sour citrus aroma. Has a Belgian farmhouse aroma. Citrus flavor. Wild Belgian flavor. Smooth beer. Light to medium bodied. A little watered but good.

Aug 30, 2015
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ClavisAurea from New York

3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottling #3 served in a wine glass.

Appearance: Pale brown with a nice bead that sank to a rim of foam

Nose: tart, citrusy, peaches, grapes and a bit of hops, slightly sour.

Taste: when cold the lactic sour character is muted and not very forward. When the beer warms the sour character really comes forward. Classic peaches and citrus present in a bubbly form that is delightful and complex. A very refreshing beer that I'd buy again.

Aug 26, 2015
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Premo88 from Texas

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. served in tulip on tap at Jester King
(August 8, 2015 -- batch 3, 4.5% ABV version)

L: copper/burnt orange, 50/50 clear/cloudy, 1/2-inch head of white to offwhite foam

S: tart yet malty sweet, almost a sour Vienna lager smell ... a bit toasted

T: follows the nose, it's a bit like a sour Vienna lager with a lot of nice malt sweetness offering some balance to the tartness ... lemons, grain ... sour grain

F: perfect ... very crisp from the carbonation but not overly so ... lightweight but still full, not watery

O: an interesting spin on the farmhouse ale and one that allows the characteristics of the non-sour style to show through. Sometimes they don't (Jester King's English mild tastes nothing like a mild, for instance), but the maltiness of an amber ale is present here and doing a solid job of fighting through the sourness to offer balance. great brew and one I'd definitely pay to drink again.

Aug 09, 2015
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SaisonRichBiere from Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had at a tasting of several beers. Maybe something off on my palate, but this descended into an isopropyl alcohol mess at the finish. This was Blend 2, I would love to try another blend, or even another bottle of the same vintage to give it another try.

Jul 06, 2015
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color which verges on mahogany; the rocky beige head leaves squiggles of lace here and there

Smell: Red wine vinegar, brown bread, green apple and funky barnyard tones

Taste: Acetic red wine vinegar, up front, with brown bread and funky barnyard elements developing; green apple and caramel tones pick up the rear with the vinegar aspect ongoing

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; somewhat puckery

Overall: A different tasting beer but quite interesting and a real accomplishment

May 09, 2015
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Matt141 from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rerating for new recipe. Now it's just a watery, flat saison taste. Very little maltiness. Had blend 2 and 3 side by side and the old recipe is vastly superior.

Mar 09, 2015
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Immortale25 from North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The best Jester King beer I've had thus far. The perfect amount of sour flavor that makes you want to keep sipping and sipping. Plus, with the low-ish ABV, it becomes perfectly feasible to do so.

Feb 21, 2015
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HipCzech from Texas

4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving: 1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle poured into a stemmed pilsner (beer tulip) glass (bottle marked "batch #2 - 10.09.2014).

Appearance: Dark, murky reddish Amber brown. A Frothy, bubbly, khaki head builds and leaves good lacing.

Smell: Tart, yeasty aroma with some honey sweetness, wood and earthy minerality.

Taste: Red wine vinegar, toasted malt, earthiness, yeasty sourdough bread. Finishes dry with a lingering herbal bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body and moderate, bubbly carbonation.

Overall: Light, refreshing and tart but with some nice maltiness and overall complexity.

Feb 07, 2015
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Kurmaraja from California

4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

November 13 bottling, batch 1 I believe. Beautiful head, body a bit murky with some glinting ruby tones. Quite a bit of fruitiness in the aroma - green apple, cherry, something woody. Fairly sour but balanced by a substantial malt backbone. Touch of red wine vinegar but a dark bread, almost chocolate, note comes on strong. Makes me think in a way of Flanders meets Biere de Garde.

Unexpected and without stylistic constraint; quite phenomenal.

Feb 01, 2015
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champ103 from Texas

3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark, murky, nearly opaque red/brown color. A beige head forms, and recedes after a minute. Light lace.
S: Vinegary, tart cherry and apple skin up front. A baked bread and musky yeast aroma as well. Pretty simple, but everything works well together.
T: A substantial, but not overwhelming acidic/tart bite. That is also vinegary. Cherry and apple skins. The tartness fades after a minute. Then baked bread, with a bit of dry oak character take over (even though this is not barrel aged as far as I know). Maybe a hint of buttery malt peeking its head through after this warms?
M/D: A medium body and moderate carbonation. Just a bit on the thin side. Easy to drink, and I am enjoying the bottle this afternoon.

A good example of a Flanders stye sour. Not in your face at all, but a substantial tartness upfront. Overall, just enjoyable if not exceptional, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Jan 18, 2015
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy deep orange. Almost copper. Big khaki head. Thick collar.

Smell - Musty. Brett. Light fruitiness. Lightly toasty malt.

Taste - Tart up front. Bretty. Again, it's got a bit of a cherry flavor, but not much. Bread. Tart finish.

Mouthfeel - Pleasantly tart, but all over the place with its tartness. Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Muddled flavors, but they're all pretty good.

Jul 29, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

one of the more interesting jester king offerings, although i suppose they all have my interest. this, like so many other beers out there, falls somewhere between a flanders red and an oud bruin in style and flavor, although instead of blending the two, teasing one with the other, or just tossing around style terminology, this one does something different with that gray area between them. it smells like a flanders red, lactic almost vinegar character, oaky too, but the flavor is all darker roast grain, more akin to the oud bruin. its not just lacto though, there is really appreciable brett character in this brew, from start to finish. its a sensory transition from one to the other, a pleasant and patient journey, and one i look forward to taking again some day. the appearance was unconventional too, brown suds flowed out of the bottle slowly when it was opened, but the head on the dusty brick red brew was cream colored, a strange byproduct of this crazy yeast they have down there in austin. full bodied and quite sour as it warms up, i liked this a lot, for being familiar and different at the same time. nice with grilled pork. thanks to drlovemd87 for bringing this one over.

Jul 18, 2014
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HuskyinPDX from Washington

3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 3.29.14
Batch #1 Nov. 12, 2013

A - Pours a dirty-murky medium brown with a huge light than head that fades slowly.

S - Spices, yeasty, burnt sugar, wheat.

T - Mild tartness, subtle spices, woody.

D - Tons of carbonation with a lighter body.

O - Subtle, but dark spices and woody. Nice light tartness.

May 22, 2014
Ambrée from Jester King Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 323 ratings