Figlet | Jester King Brewery

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Average: 3.85 | pDev: 10.13%

Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 219

Belgian Saison | 6.20% ABV

Wants   Gots 

Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States

Notes: Rotating availibility. Figlet was brewed in early July of 2014 with Hill Country well water, barley, oats, and hops. It then underwent a long-term fermentation over the course of four months, first in stainless steel and then in bottles, kegs, and casks. As is the case with all our beer, the aromas and flavors are largely created by giving a diverse array of microorganisms, many of which are native to our land in the Texas Hill Country, the ample time they need to work with each other (or against each other!) to create unique characteristics inexorably tied to our land. During the last few weeks of the stainless steel portion of the fermentation, the smoked figs were added to the beer and allowed to referment. During this process, the sugars in the figs were broken down by yeast and bacteria. Through refermentation, the aromas and flavors of the smoked figs were transformed, integrated, and elevated in a way that we believe is greater than the sum of their parts. Figlet is 6.2% alcohol by volume, 1.006 specific gravity, and had a pH of 3.7 at the time of bottling in early September.
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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 219
Photo of mothmanscott
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one provided by my good friend Tim Flanders, thanks brother! Pours a slightly hazy deep amber producing a huge, to the point of being difficult to pour, clumpy, finely bubbled, foamy, lasting, eggshell head that diminishes to a thick surface cap and collar ring, leaving chunky blotches & rings of lace. Loads of carbonation! Aroma is vegetal, dark fruit (figs?), wet hay, earthy and Brett-like phenolic yeast funk, acidic, citrus (lemon /lime?), faint hints of tropical fruit with pear and peppery spice. Not sure I can pick out the smoke. Taste is acidic, sour fruit, Brett-like mustiness, vegetal, earth and citrus adding peach, a little green apple and higher octane citrus in the finish. The aftertaste is earthy, phenolic & fruity with a lingering, thin, faintly astringent bitterness. I still can't pick out the smoke. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with an acetic/carbonation heavy peppery bite, creamy, lively in the mouth, peppery, prickly, astringent in the finish and dry aftertaste. The oats are a nice touch giving an acidic, carbonation prickly beer a smooth, creamy feel. Nicely done and unique.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap:
Brown/copper with a fair head that ends in a tight soapy ring, light lacing.

Tangy, tart, earthy nose and taste, with a bit of the smoked fig noticeable in the smell. The taste goes a little more earthy with a quite dry feel, the smoke isn’t really coming to me.

I like the farmhouse dry earthiness, with a bit of funky tartness to boot.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Stacey, thanks for the opportunity!
Earthy light funk and smoke. Lightly fruity spicy yeasty, Not horrible smokey not bad. Notes on this not too great.

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Photo of bobv
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch #1.
Sept. 11th, 2014.
Thanks to JSR for yet another JK.
Gentle to moderate pour yields a one inch off white (very light pink) head over a amber/light mahogany head with some lacing. Head dissipates down to a ring in a few minutes and comes back with a swirl or two. Nose of fig, slight smoke, and some sort of tart raspberry (hey, it's my nose, not yours!) Taste is mostly tart with fig and I like it. Nice feel and overall, I guess this needs to cellar for a couple three years cuz I'm really diggin' this.

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Photo of larryi86
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle, batch 4, poured into a teku

A- A hazy reddish orange with a three finger off white head

S- Figs, a little smokey, tart, funky, some band aid, a little earthy.

T- Tart, figs, pretty damn smokey, funky, some darker malts.

M- Smooth, light to medium body.

O- A very interesting beer, definitely not for everyone. It is growing me as a drinking it, but probably won’t pick it up again.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber and slightly hazy, moderate carbonation and a finger of yellowish head.

Smells very vegetal, acidic, of figs, lemons and funk. Slightly dusty fruit cellar.

Very acidic with hints of dry fig jam, lemon juice, funk, cellar, and a woody, bitter finish.

Medium, acidic body with moderate carbonation and tannic finish.

Got in Rochester, NY, drinking in New Hamburg, ON, March 24th, 2018. Well done sour ale.

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Photo of BergBeer
1.98/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Look: Translucent orange brown with a medium eggshell head.

Smell: Dried figs, subtle funk, Brett notes, French bread malt, and a light tartness.

Taste: Notes of ash, wood, and burnt rubber on the attack. This lingers on the attack while a subtle fig note lazily moves forward. The finish has a light tart noes with a strange chalky feel.

Feel: Just fine overall. Natural carbonation. Gross chalky finish. No alcohol. Very mild tart.

Overall: A unique idea that did not pan out. I can get over that brutal burnt rubber/band aid note on the attack. It sunk this beer for me.

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Photo of cbutova
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Chico!

A- Very muddy cloudy apple cider body pours into my chalice. A big foamy white head rises up to a few inches high with decent retention. Wide sheets of lace cascade around the glass after each sip.

S- Tart lactic and slight vinegar acidity in the nose. Musty old apples and wine joined by lemons. Underripe stone fruits and obvious fig notes. Hint of smoke here like a BBQ or campfire.

T- Again massive on the tart underripe stone fruit which must be from the bacteria fig combo. Lactic mostly and a hint of acetic. A bit more BBQ present here than in the aroma and it pairs with the figs well. Funky musty Brett sock with some warming.

MF- Light and slick body. Medium carbonation level with some foamy texture. Tart but not really sour.

Smoky BBQ and figs combine well and are accentuated by a bit of lactic acid tartness and funk. All in all it sounds like a strange combo but it works.

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Photo of puck1225
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had it on draft into a tulip glass. Cloudy reddish golden brown color with a beautiful light brown head with nice thick lacing. Sour apple smell and taste. Some sweet bitterness, a bit peppery. Surprisingly refreshing and light. Shared a taste with my son and his friend, I guess it is an acquired taste!

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Photo of rorjets
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on Tap at Franklin BBQ. Perfect compliment to the excellent smoked meats served there. A hint of smoke, a bit of fig, a nice tartness that helped cleanse the palate between bites of brisket.

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Photo of Sheppard
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich brown hue. Some rubbery aroma, not something that is uncommon with other Jester King beers I've had. Some lacto sour with light smoke on the finish. Fruit presence isn't big with me. This was an older bottle so I wonder if the age took away some of the smoke. Not sure how I'd feel about a fresh version of this, to be honest.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A modestly beautiful red copper, Figlet has a moderate, beige foamy head that dissipates to a thin film attached to a small collar.

Smell is strawberry, raspberry, light yeast spice, almost like ginger, and salted caramel taffy. The fig must have been very fresh, vibrant, bright and citrusy because this does not impart the dark, pruney, raisiny attributes that are seen in certain beers that are described as figgy.

The up front taste is pretty sour, because I didn't expect that at all--not just from the delicately aromatic nose that didn't have even a hint of sting to it, but also because no one told me this was a sour beer--but what an awesome surprise!

I also get the raspberry and strawberry in taste supporting the aroma. Man, what kind of figs are these?! I want some. After a while I actually get some plum, but continue to wonder what kind of magic the souring bacteria did to these figs. Then, on second pour, with more of the settled sediment getting stirred up, (which is not a bad thing for great beers), the fig becomes supremely prominent. Even the empty bottle itself, with that slimy residue inside, smells like a very enticing fruity bouquet. The delicate yet delicious element of fig that comes out towards the bottom of the bottle actually makes me wish I had shaken the bottle up to a certain extent from the start, although, that is probably not advisable for a well carbonated beer.

Figlet displays a very faint touch of smoke in taste. This is not the overpowering barbecue you might expect when a renowned bbq restaurateur gets involved in helping flavor a beer.

Feel is tangy and tingly, mildly acetic, not to sour at all, very dry and exceedingly drinkable.

Batch #2 January 2016 vintage

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Why people degrade or insult this beer ... boggles my mind. It's unique, yes. Nothing I can think of like it. And people fear the unknown. But if you break this down from a culinary perspective - and, yes, I think you need to take a culinary approach ... not a beer geek everything to the max approax - it's a pretty flexible and impressive beer. Darker in hue than expected. A brassy, tilting to reddish, tone. Smell has a hint of smoke, leather, something like aromatic trees (eucalyptus, cedar), dessicated dark fruit. But light. Substantial, but light. That's a HARD combination to achieve. Imagine you want to pair a beer with an aggresively seasoned short rib dish. This is exactly what you'd want. Something substantial and interesting but not so robust it would get in the way.

Long story short, a phenomenal food beer. Pairs with a wide variety of things that wine wouldn't be so good at.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one is pretty interesting, but not my fave. There is a good amount of tartness from the figs upfront, and a subtle smoke on the finish. Overall this is solid, but not great.

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Photo of Myotus
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured gently at 48F from a 750ml bottle (batch #2 - 29Oct15) into a tulip. Consumed on 10Apr16.
LOOK: Pours with a finger and half worth of khaki foam that recedes into a quarter fingers worth within 1 minute and 15 seconds. Dark amber in color with an extreme amount of cloudiness. Rising bubbles are high in quantity and both small and medium in size. Lacing is moderate and thick.
SMELL: Mild aromas of smoked goodness, figs, hay, and sour green apple entangle with subtle aromas of peaches, plums, and earthy yeast.
TASTE: Love at first sip. Strong fig and sour green apple along with mild flavors of smoked goodness orchestrate the initial taste creating a truly unique and impressive flavor that I have not yet encountered with beer. Mild flavors of hay and subtle peach and plum flavors immediately converge with the initial flavors. Mild earthy yeast and subtle oak (which weren't detected in the smell) flavors finish off this taste symphony as all previous flavors persist, except for sour green apple, which fade to mild.
FEEL: The thickness of the beer lies somewhere between full and medium-bodied. Carbonation levels are moderate. Goes down somewhat smooth. Finishes with a mild and pleasant dryness.
NOTE: This just made its way to my favorite beer from Jester King that is available in the 750ml bottles. The figs finely presented themselves and kept the tartness in check. The mild smokiness was a fantastic addition that didn't overwhelm, but rather supported the other flavors. I look forward to see what time will do to this batch.

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Photo of Premo88
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. poured into tulip at the brewery
(March 27, 2016)

L: turbid murk ... orange-brown, completely opaque; 1/2-inch head of beige/tan foam, no major sticking or lacing

S: barn must and fig ... very dusty but has some sweetness ... dates, sweet grapes

T: very earthy, dust, barn must, fig ... more raw fig in the flavor than those sweet dates in the nose; the dusty flavor is intense, almost a rusty flavor

F: solid all round, plenty of carbonation

O: good earthy brew with some definite fig in both the nose and flavor; nose is sweeter than the taste, but nothing is too much ... the earthy flavor isn't overly bitter

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.29/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz glass $ 6.00 ($ 0.50/oz) at brewery
Aroma – rotten apples, strong, lasting
Head small, white
Lacing – none
Body medium orange, cloudy
Flavor – definitely sour, rotten apples because of the overpowering aroma, no hint of figs, smoke, malt, or hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, carbonation lively approaching fizzy
Possibly the worst beer I’ve ever had from Jester King.
Appearance 3.5, Aroma 2, Flavor 2, Palate 3, Overall 2.5

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Photo of enrique_m
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: amber with 3 inches of head and nice white lacing.
Smell: diety gym socks.
Taste: delicious, tart, metallic, and sweet tarts.
Feel: medium body and very tart
Overall: refreshing and tart.

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Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Gold/Copper with a small amount of head that dissapates quickly.
S: Farmhouse/Saison all the way. The funk is the epitome of Jester King
T: Very sour but a bit underwhelming. The beer is definitely wild but not much in the way of a true farmhouse.
F: The feel is reminiscent of an Oude Gueuze, but not quite as sour nor nearly as dry.
O: I liked the beer but wished it would have had the more traditional JK Farmhouse to it.

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Photo of thatche2
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance is a nice amber/copper color with medium/low head.

Smell is farmhouse yeast (not much funk) some sweetness, floral hops and a little fruit (fig and grapefruit pith). A faint barbecue smokiness is present as well that is quite pleasing.

Taste is fairly sweet for a farmhouse ale but there is some nice sourness to add balance. A lot of fruit comes through on the mid palate (I get more orange than fig) with a touch of funk.

Mouthfeel is medium balanced, smooth/clean, and slightly effervescent.

Overall this is another solid offering from Jester King that fits nicely among their other offerings. I prefer their dryer farmhouse ales, but I will not hesitate to order this beer again.

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Photo of gman1602
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch #2 bottled 10/28/15
Pours a nice rich amber color, cloudy with very little head or lacing.
Smell has JK's farmhouse yeast in there, with some barnyard and hay, but a slightly more stonefruit/raisiny quailty granted from the figs. I'm not picking up much smoke if any from this batch.
Taste starts with a mild puckering of sourness up front that fades into fig/stonefruit fruity dryness, and then finishes with a dry and slightly spicy more Belgian character.
Mouthfeel is good for the style, with a dry finish. Aftertaste has a mineral quality to it.
Overall it's hard to categorize and rate JK beers since they are so unique. This one is basically a really good and well done dark saison. Nothing is overpowering and it's all in balance for me. Worth trying.

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Photo of The_Epopt
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The nose brings fig and date, the color is deep and rich. By all means, a beer to tuck in to. But the sour overpowers all flavor until a few minutes later when you get a nice figgy aftertaste. Like you ate some newtons a while ago. Maybe I'm over sours, maybe they let it run away with this one. Either way, this is my first JK I haven't loved.

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Photo of ElJacobian
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Holy hell that's tart. It's like a candy. Extremely unique- I've never had anything like this before. Too sweet for me but I'm glad I tried it. Remember the Alamo.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I love Jester King Saison's and I tried this one for the first time today. Quite unusual in both look and taste. It had a dark amber hue, not very cloudy, with a medium thick off white head. The taste was smokey, figs, tart, a bit sweet, like caramel, and perhaps cloudberry. It was different fr most Saison's I've had but I still liked it.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: Batch #1 Sept 11, 2014. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz. Brown glass. Fun albeit creepy label art. Branded pry-off crown cap.

6.2% ABV. FG 1.002. ph 3.7.

Served cold into stemware and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption. Expectations are above average given the brewery, though their saisons tend to be far less impressive than their sours. Reviewed live as a farmhouse ale per the label.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: About 3cm wide. Off-white colour. Foamy and frothy. Nice thickness. No coating sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is above average - about 4-5 minutes.

BODY: Deep orange-amber of average vibrance. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

It doesn't look anything like a traditional farmhouse ale - lacking the signature haziness of the style as well as any visible yeast - but it's a nice looking beer generally speaking. I'm looking forward to trying it.

AROMA: Figs are definitely present, but I don't pick up on any smokiness in the aroma. Belgian amber malts. Wine-like acetic character and hints of apple cidre vinegar. Mild malt sweetness is detectable. Somewhat jammy. I find no overt hop notes (which is to style), no brettanomyces funkiness, and no traditional farmhouse notes (no straw/hay, oak, rustic leather, etc.).

There's a hint of tartness, but no sourness. Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE: Jammy figs set off the amber malt sweetness, with subsidiary notes of acetic character and wine-like acidity mixed in with fruitskin. There's no brettanomyces funkiness, but there are minor notes of slightly sour wild flora. No smokiness whatsoever.

What's great here is the depth of flavour of the figs, which is fantastic - but would be a better fit in a quadrupel or dubbel build. The farmhouse element of this beer is lacking, and fans of the style may find themselves scratching their heads. Don't expect Fantome-level intricate spicing, Dupont level yeast presence or milkiness, or Prairie Artisan Ales-esque crackery dryness.

Balanced albeit simple, with a somewhat plain flavour profile considering the style.

TEXTURE: Jammy, sticky, smooth, and wet, without being syrupy or overly viscous. It is quite thick for a saison, though, lacking the fragile delicate feel of the best beers in the style. Dries and coarsens on the backend, encouraging the next sip. Overcarbonated. Full-bodied. Somewhat acetic, with above average acidity for a farmhouse ale.

This mouthfeel accentuates the fig with its sticky jammy vibe, but it ultimatey fails to elevate the beer as a whole.

OVERALL: As interesting as the fig is, it seems thrown into the wrong beer style; a farmhouse ale doesn't lend itself too well to dark fruit notes - though this ostensible farmhouse ale isn't all that farmhouse-y to begin with. I'd like to see this kind of deep fig character integrated into a more apt build, like that of a heavier Belgian dark ale. Not gestat, but enjoyable to drink. I'm glad I tried it and will finish the 750ml bottle with ease, but it's not a brew I'd buy again at Jester King's high price point. With extended drinking, the high sweetness becomes more and more probematic, severely restricting drinkability. I applaud the experimentation, but this didn't quite shake out.

High C (2.98)

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Figlet from Jester King Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 219 ratings