Jester King Brewery

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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #154
Ranked #3,159
4.15 | pDev: 10.12%
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States
Notes: Encendia is a dry, well attenuated, farmhouse ale aged in Mezcal casks from Oaxaca, Mexico for eleven months. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and 100% bottle condition. Brewed in collaboration with our dear friend Kristina Bozic of West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL

Ingredients: Hill Country Well Water, Malted Barley, Roasted Barley, Agave Nectar, Hops, Ancho Chile, Epazote, Farmhouse Yeast, Wild Yeast from the Texas Hill Country, Brettanomyces, Souring Bacteria
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 271 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I drank Encendia batch #2. It is brewed with roasted barley, wheat, Agave nectar, epazote, ancho chili, brettamycines, and it was barrel aged in Mezcal barrels for 10 months, ABV 11.90%. It is great with spicy food.

Look: dark brown like coca cola with thick off-white, almost mocca colored head

Aroma: margaritas

Taste: The flavor is complex. It is tart and sweet with brett funk but there are other flavors. I taste lemon/lime, pepper, agave, a slight mezc liqueur flavor. The alcohol is barely noticeable despite the 12%, but what is there only compliments the flavors. It is really delicious.

Body/Overall: medium body, relatively easy drinking

Jul 14, 2020
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snaotheus from Washington

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle served in a SIP Fest snulip. Blend #2, January 2020. Label says it's 11.9% abv. Bought it on Craftshack.com.

Pours a dark brown, translucent when thin enough, medium to large head that seems to be fading pretty slowly. Smell is lime, tart, something that makes me think of margaritas, sweet tarts. I thought for a second a got a hint of crushed red pepper.

Taste is tart, oaky, lime is still there but not as bright. Maybe a tiny bit of fig. Booze is noticeable but not dominant. Something slightly smokey really late in the taste. Not really tasting any pepper but I think there's a slight burning sensation building on the back of my tongue.

Mouthfeel is light, dry, refreshing (dangerous at 11.9%). Overall, nice tasty beer, with a lot of different things going on. Looking forward to experiencing it change as it warms up.

Jul 06, 2020
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BeanBump from California

4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I was expecting something with a kick of spice and strong, smoky mezcal flavor but what I got was much more subdued...in a great way. Sure, the beer has tones of smoke and chili but, to me, it bears a striking resemblance to a Flanders' Red. It's tart, slightly vinegary, rich and deceptively smooth considering its high ABV. Great beer.

Jun 29, 2020
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark yet clear cola brown with a tall khaki head that settles slowly to a bubbly, lumpy film and fuzzy but tall collar leaving some spongy lace on the glass.

Delicately smoky, it actually does have that uniquely, botanically smoky mezcal note that's floral and herbal, all pleasantly so. I'm a lover of mezcal so take that for what you will, but I feel it's in very moderate measure, pairing with tart crabapple.

The smooth medium round body has a fine yet soft carbonation lifting a cask note that almost brings a darker char element, without the unnecessary decadence, coming to a semi-dry finish.

This combination of ingredients and barrel really works, much more so here than some of their other dark sours, where the smokiness they achieve becomes too savory. 14.5%, and not even a hint of booze?! In fact, if true, it's super smooth, not even relatively speaking. Shockingly so.

May 24, 2020
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devilfluff from New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was one of the better tequila/agave related beers that I've gotten to try. This is a big saison, and has enough backbone to withstand the treatment. I enjoyed this tremendously.

Jan 23, 2016
Photo of James_Michaud91
James_Michaud91 from California

4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Orange/rust color, faintest trace of a head left in the glass. Smell is fascinating, reminds me of a mix of rose water, something exotic like super ripe papaya and a slightly funky/putrid(in a good way?) apple cider vinegar.

This beer feels like it has its route in being an Oude bruin/red but has taken an exotic turn from the additions. The taste adds some spiced tea like flavors to the ripe fruit.

The acid and big malt base balance each other nicely and neither is distracting. This is really easy drinking for its abv and ph (3.4). I've read other reviews saying they smelled a lot of burnt plastic or strong mescal flavors but I can just barely detect the mezcal outside of some oak presence in the beer.

Nov 13, 2015
Photo of IMFletcher
IMFletcher from Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Rating based on bottle pour of 2014 bottle in July 2015; not a lot of spicy heat, but it's there. Color seems off, but that might be from the barrel aging. A great beer nonetheless.

Jul 05, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

you have to admire a beer like this, or at least the individuals that thought it up and made it, but its just not all that appealing to me. the bottle explodes upon opening, losing some third of its contents to the floor, counter top, sink, and the side of my head. its brown beer, see through but really hazy, and not holding much head, it blew its stack when it got opened and now looks flat in the glass. the aroma of tequila, or in this case mezcal is overpowering. its intense and delicious, but the beer aspect is lost just a little bit to that. the chili pepper to me is distracting in the taste, the other cool ingredients are crowded out, and that sharp sting of agave spirit is strong all the way through. i think its a cool idea, and i appreciate these guys tremendously for taking it on, but it just doesnt taste all that good to me. weird to have wild ale yeast qualities up against hot smoky pepper and smoky booze. just seems odd to me, and it sits a little funny in the stomach because of it. still, this is a very cool bottle of beer, wholly unique, and i owe a thank you to drlovemd87 for sharing it with me. that dude has so much cool beer!

Nov 15, 2014
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy from Florida

3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from trade. Batch #1 - Mar 10, 2014. Poured Oct 15, 2014. Massive gusher pouring out of the bottle when opened, losing more than half the beer. Once it settles it pours to my glass murky orange amber with nearly no head at all. Nice tart cherry aroma, some booze, brown sugar, lactic, some heat coming off the top. Flavor is extremely tart up front with lots of sour cherries, sweet and sour maltiness, a kick in the finish of spice, with more sour punching as well. Dry finish with a long agave (or maybe mezcal?) note left on the palate that I'm not thrilled about. Bigger body for the style, very low carbonation. Reminiscent of a big Flanders red with a little something extra. Actually turned out pretty nice despite the gushing, though I'm not so keen on the long funky finish. Definitely different.

Oct 16, 2014
Photo of kevanb
kevanb from Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -7.2%

750ml bottle poured into a Jester King wine glass. Opened on 8.30.14, reviewed from tasting journal.

The beer pours a dark copper color, very hazy with a thick finger of white/off-white head with good retention with spotted lace. The aroma is very unusual, funk, fruit, spicy heat, sweet malt, mezcal barrel, grains, it's all over the place, but intriguing and inviting. The flavors mirror well, up front heat and spice, mezcal barrel and tequila flavors, cherries, plum, citrus, sweet grain, sticky caramel with light tartness and mild funk. Again, super complicated and complex, muddled at times, there is just so much going on here. The mouthfeel is very lively, nice carbonation which coats the mouth very well and finishes easily with a touch of light pucker.

Verdict: A very bizarre and odd beer, quite unusual and very intriguing. With so much going on it's hard to comment on whether or not it's balanced, but I appreciate how the heat was moderately low and that the alcohol was hidden very well. Kudos to WLV and Jester King for making all these ingredients work into a decent brew.

Sep 02, 2014
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Billquirk from New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

A beer unlike any other I have tried. The color is deep orange, almost copper, with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. The nose is tequila, funk, and citrus. I get a little oak, and a bit of heat in the background. The taste is unreal. It is the best of beer, and the best of a margarita, all in one. Waves of tequila and agave mix with the sour funk, and it finishes extremely dry, making you want to have another taste. The mouthfeel is full, not watery at all. Overall, a phenomenal beer that had me wanting to take another taste. If you enjoy tequila, you will love this. I do not love tequila, but I believe the product is phenomenal.

Aug 25, 2014
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390 from Indiana

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy amber orange, one finger head that leaves some lacing.

S-Mild tequila, a little bit of funk, some grass and slight pepper.

T-Starts with too much tequila and a little funk. Slight peppers but tequila is the main flavor.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation and a tad dry in the finish.

O-Too much on the tequila side for my liking but still good.

Aug 12, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy burnt orange. Nice off white head. Laces nicely, too. Good retention.

Smell - Some light fruits. A bit citrusy. Stone fruit. Some caramel malt. Light acidity.

Taste - Weird oaky flavor, which I guess is the mezcal. Grapefruit. Stone fruits. That mezcal barrel flavor peaks in the back end with some mild sourness. I don't get any peppers except a light flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel - The mezcal barrel makes it a little difficult. Medium body. Well carbonated.

Overall - Intense flavors. Left my taste buds reeling, for better or for worse.

Jul 29, 2014
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7 from Massachusetts

3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to yeti1979 for the bottle. Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Hazed golden orange. Head is creamy amdnoff-white. Decent retention with some minor sticky lacing. A bit of a gusher with a moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: A small dose of mezcal running through the back. Sweet with some bready caramelized malts. A bit of peppery spice and a slightly earthy smoked element from the anchor. A nice backing clean sweetness. Damp and musty yeast with the distinct earthiness of Jester King. Mezcal builds as it warms.

Taste: Mild lactic funk overlays the mezcal. Slight warming on the back of the sip. Mildly funky with some damp and musty yeast. A bit of lemon peel and citric acid. Funky and sweet, but it's all clean. Funk and mezcal blend in a really fun and unique way. A bit of alcohol heat running through. Fruity like apples and mangos with some agave. Lingering push from the barrel.

Mouthfeel: Mediumish body. Moderate to light carbonation. Clean.

Overall: Set fire to my brain.

I hate tequila. I really enjoy this beer. Mezcal blends with the JK funk in a great way.

Jul 04, 2014
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this on a rainy, dreary 4th of July

Consumed 7/4/14

Appearance: Medium amber, with with some nice golden tones and copper - pours with a gigantic amount of carbonation (bottle probably didn't sit long enough), fades to a medium cap, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Chili peppers, wood, and some sour notes - a slight aroma of tequila, but it's really not that potent (at least for me) - some damp, lactic sourness - musty with some light fruits, like green apples and pears - some oak and funk

Taste: Lightly musty funk, light chili heat, tequila, and a nice array of fruits - a lot of potentially big flavors, but nothing dominates - lactic sourness and some wet, musty, dirty, earthy cellar funk - some oak and some genuinely nice tequila flavor, more obvious than in the aroma - some chili flavor, but it's very subtle - some light, pale malt sweetness, some light sweetness from some fruity esters - green apple and pear, with a touch of smoke - decidedly interesting overall, absolutely no indication that this is 11%

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, finishes with an interesting dryness that (appropriately) reminds me of tequilla

Overall: Just add sweet and sour mix

This is maybe even more interesting than I expected. There are a lot of big, potent flavors here, but everything is nicely mild and nothing really dominates. The alcohol is oddly not apparent here, although I can quite literally feel myself getting buzzed as I review this beer. At the very least, Jester King should get some serious props for excellent use of tequila barrels.

Jul 04, 2014
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a FFF/DMC snifter 6/21/2014.

A- Slightly cloudy, orange-yellow body, one finger fluffy white head. A fair bit of retention, more than expected.

S- Chili peppers, lactic acid, pale malts. And that distinct sweetness that you typically smell in agave, similar to tequila. Smells crisp but sweet. A solid touch of oaky funk.

F- Unique. Slight chili heat, pale malt sweetness, agave, lactic acid and some stone fruits. Complex and different; the sourness tightens everything up and keeps any single component from going haywire.

M- Thicker bodied for a sour; does not drink like a 11.1% sour though it certainly feels like it. A bit syrupy, presumaby from the high gravity nature of the brew. Dry but very sweet, not sure what to make of it.

O- Unique, interesting, flavourful and complex. Not my cup of tea- never really was a fan of agave/tequila but this is pretty darn good.

Jun 22, 2014
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MattSweatshirt from Texas

4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A thick fluffy white topping develops atop a hazy orange body. Leaves lacing all over. Good retention for a big sour beer.

Oh wow, very interesting. Vanilla woody barrel, herbal, chile skin, smoky and sour. Fairly heavy on the Mezcal.

Plenty of pepper/alcohol? heat. Light tartness to it. Smoky with plenty of Mezcal. Light lingering pepper heat in the aftertaste.

Body is medium and the carbonation is somewhat light. Dry as usual from JK.

Very unique and maybe that's why I'm rating it so high. It is very well put together regardless. Getcha some!

Jun 17, 2014
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ckocay from Texas

4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really awesome stuff. If you are into Boxer's Revenge and have any sort of pepper or agave love then this thing is for you. It was really hard to find anything I did not like about the beer. It is a bit boozey but I think the hint of agave and the peppery finish make this accepted. Don't pass it up.

Jun 11, 2014
Photo of MarcWP
MarcWP from Arizona

4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into Jester King stem.

Pours a radiant orange with opaque copper highlights. Bountiful beige head made up of tiny bubbles. As it settles it leaves patches of lacing sporadically on the sides of glass. Hazy as most farmhouse ales should be. Gorgeous beer.

Aroma is so intriguing! Farmhouse funk, lactic acidity mix with a sweet corn and agave syrup character, oak, and dry tequila. Then you get a huge floral and fruity note. Almost peachy and definitely some big sweet apple.

Then comes the taste where the chilies come through big as well as the mescal barrels. Lemony sweet and sour. Can taste that malt base. It's really not sour, mostly just tart. Some tangerine reveals itself alongside green apple offering a nice contrast to the more syrupy sweetness, oak, and slightly boozy mescal essence. It's actually a tough brew to break down as there's many components yet they blend well and offer a pretty straightforward flavor profile. The flavors don't morph, they stay constant.

Mouthfeel is slightly heavier than light. Good carbonation on this which is a big plus as it cleans the palate a bit from the sweetness and barrel. A lingering sweetness and oaky astringency are left on the tongue after the finish.

Another unique offering by jester king. A few tweaks and this could go world class. A bit less sweetness and even more pucker would do this nice. As it warms the mescal and chile come through even more. It's actually pretty dry but somehow a residual sweetness lingers. Not sure if that can ferment out or not. I guess for the abv on this they have done a great job drying it out. This seems to be a problem with many high abv wilds/sours I've had. Always some lingering sweetness/malt character that brings the beer down a notch for me. Ale Apothecary has done some really nice 9ish percent wilds that hid the malt extremely well. Overall all a very pleasant and enjoyable beer.

Jun 06, 2014
Photo of Mikeypnh
Mikeypnh from New Hampshire

4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orange, visible bubbles, small head that fizzles to a film with small bubbles. Looks nice. Smell is sour and smokey. Can detect some barrel characteristics, too. It's smells like it may be a pretty unique taste, if that makes any sense. Yup, something strange alright, especially at the end. Peppers make themselves known at the end. I'm not even gonna guess what the after taste is. Mezcal, I'm guessing. Never had it so I'm not a good point of reference. Starts out with a nice tart burst, not too sour. Mouthfeel is very fizzy. As soon as the fizz is over there a pop of hot pepper. Not a fan of peppers, but this isn't too hot and is pretty interesting. Funky beer! I think it's pretty cool. Also, can't believe it's a 11 percent beer.

Jun 06, 2014
Photo of Halfbrother83
Halfbrother83 from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a wine glass at West Lakeview Liquors Jester King tasting on 5/30/15.

A: Hazy caramel in color with a finger of fizzy, off-white head.

S: Definitely getting the tequila, as well as some prevalent funk, agave notes, some chili as well.

T: Tart dry fruit with a subtle smoky flavor from the mezcal. I definitely taste the chili, but am not picking up any heat.

M: Light, dry, moderate carbonation.

O: A very unique and complex sour, very fun to dissect. A great job by Kristina and the Jester King crew.

May 31, 2014
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WTKeene from New Mexico

4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured on draught on release day into a Jester King wine glass on 5/23. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance: A dark, hazy caramel amber with a loose beige head that leaves substantive lacing.

Smell: Wow. Some subtle smoke, tequila and agave sweetness, a hint of the ancho chiles, and some Jester King funk tells me this is going to be sour.

Taste: Easily among the most unique tastes I've ever had. I haven't ever had Mezcal though, so maybe it would feel less unique if I had. Still, the beer is lightly tart, and dominated by a load of smoky, malty caramel that lingers forever and only gets better as it does. Ever so slightly herbal, and the ancho is just light enough to matter without taking over. It provides a roasted, barely spicy quality that meshes well with the rest of the caramel and smoke and sour that makes up the beer.

Mouthfeel: Relatively dry considering the agave nectar and caramel qualities of the taste. Carbonation is pretty perfect, pretty moderate.

Overall: Jester King reminds us they're one of the most unique breweries in the country. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the only Mezcal aged sour out there. It reminds me of Viking Metal in its complexity and herbal, smoky sourness, which of course also had an interesting barrel to age in. Great job.

May 27, 2014
Encendía from Jester King Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 271 ratings