Natural Union
Jester King Brewery

Natural UnionNatural Union
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Style:
Farmhouse Ale - Saison
ABV:
7.1%
Score:
87
Avg:
3.86 | pDev: 10.1%
Reviews:
9
Ratings:
74
From:
Jester King Brewery
 
Texas, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  4
Gots
  24
SCORE
87
Very Good
Natural UnionNatural Union
Notes: Collaboration with Prairie Artisan Ales

Natural Union was brewed with Hill Country well water, malted barely, Texas-grown raw wheat, raw sugar, hops, rosemary, and lemon bee-balm, and fermented in oak barrels with Jester King’s unique mixed culture of microorganisms consisting of brewer’s yeast and native yeast and bacteria cultured from the air and wildflowers around the brewery. It is 7.1% alcohol by volume, 42 IBU, and has a finishing gravity of 1.002 (0.5 degrees Plato). The label art for Natural Union, which pictures Garrett Crowell with a basket of lemon bee-balm and Chase Healey with a handful of rosemary, was a collaborative effort between Colin Healey of Prairie and Josh Cockrell of Jester King
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 74 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of bobv
bobv from Vermont

4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Moderate pour yields a one inch white head over a slightly hazy golden body with some sticky lacing. Nice nose of funk and citrus. Taste mirrors nose with a smooth, smooth feel and wonderful tart finish. This will go great paired with my Rauchbier poached salmon that's in the oven as I type. What a nice experience as I've had this cellarred for well over three years. Gotta go! Cheers!

Jun 23, 2018
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Beer4B from Florida

2.73/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a very drinkable beer to me and a few others. The funk was not a good funk and didn't mesh well with the bitterness at all. The nose had some floral notes but even that came off like perfume.

May 26, 2015
Photo of siege06nd
siege06nd from Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks, Eric!

A. Pours a gorgeous hazy marigold with a creamy two finger head.

S. Zesty nose with plenty of fruit, clove, esters, and yeast. Complex and inviting.

T. Doesn't quite live up to the nose, but it's still excellent. Banana, pear, grape, white pepper, and big high-dry yeast on the finish.

M. Finish is just a little too dry and crackery in my opinion.

O. An excellent beer, it's lively, effervescent, complex, and very enjoyable.

Mar 02, 2015
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Full review yet to be posted.

2nd impressions from a bottle below. Huge thanks to Dennis for the share.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Nice retention (~3 minutes).

Hazy orange colour.

Aroma: Fresh lemon citrus, twangy barnyard character, straw, hay, fruity and floral hop notes. Rosemary, sure. Great evocative aroma. Surprisingly strong intensity.

Taste/Texture: Nicely creamy and fairly soft. Pale malts. Has a pretty neutral malt backbone, and isn't funky or brettanomyces-dominant. Honey-like notes which I guess are the beebalm. Smooth, wet, slightly overcarbonated, medium-bodied. Not a gestalt build for a beer of this style, but it's balanced for the most part. I do like it for what it is, but it's uneven.

Overall: Drinkable, but far from world-class. Hoppy for a farmhouse ale. I'm glad I tried it again, but it's not one of Jester King's notable offerings.

C+

Feb 20, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

an extremely weird brew, not enough rosemary beers out there, so i appreciate this greatly, especially from a culinary standpoint. the herbs here are really forward, almost like a tincture as much as a beer, like concentrated like that. the lemon and the citrusy nature of the hops are really fun and complimentary too, and i think it just works really well on the whole, but the rosemary is definitely the most forward of the aromas and flavors. pale and hazy in color with a little blush to it, the head is lasting and the beer is really fizzy, refreshing and wholesome and nutritive, like tea in that way. sourness is less pronounced in this one than in others, only subtle lacto, but a lot more brett and saison type farmhouse character. dry, which i like, and more body than expected. really clever and delicious beer, a good dose of terroir in here, the label is also hilarious. i think its brand new, so keep an eye out for it, its really nice.

Feb 08, 2015
Photo of awv4803
awv4803 from Texas

4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Another solid JK offering. I agree with the reviewers who have mentioned the bitterness. It is definitely one of the most bitter beers from JK thus far. That taste is paired with the sour note, reminds me of the light citrus sour from Petit Prince and Noble King. Mint, lavender, and Rosemary also present. Maybe a hint of sweetness. Smells wonderfully floral. Nice carbonation level and light head. Overall, I enjoyed this a lot.

Jan 19, 2015
Photo of TX-Badger
TX-Badger from Texas

2.94/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy very light pale straw yellow with fizzy white head. Funk, and lots of it on the nose, a bit of oak, and some rosemary as well; follows onto the palate. Finishes dry. This is a decent beer, but did not meet the expectations I had, given the 2 breweries collaborating on it.

Jan 18, 2015
Photo of WTKeene
WTKeene from New Mexico

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

8oz poured on the day of release on draft into a Jester King wine glass.

Appearance: Pale hazy gold body with a small, loose head that leaves thick but loose and disorganized lacing. The tiny head recedes into a crown and stays there, forever.

Smell: The Nelson Sauvin hops and the herb combination makes for an intensely floral, perfumed nose. Smells like it's going to be bitter. The saison base leads to only a mild tartness, the funk is more prominent. The Nelson hops and what I'm assuming must be the lemon bee balm together add a hint of lemon pith. Very unique smell here, really quite enjoyable.

Taste: Definitely quite bitter, more bitter than most other Jester King beers I've had. But quite complex, or at least muddled. Lots going on here. The hops don't really come through here as much, except through that bitterness. The floral perfume of the nose rears its head here too. After letting the beer sit for a while and warm up, the rosemary really takes over, and light touches of honey pop up as well, along with the lemon pith. The funk of the beer is not in the least bit sour, but I could see it being awesome if it were. Mostly this is Jester King funk in a way that is most reminiscent of Petit Prince. The herbal notes and all that combine to create an experience that reminds me of something Fantome might do, although my experience with their beers is limited.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good level of carbonation here, and certainly dry. Very drinkable.

Overall: Very unique beer, which is quite common of Jester King, certainly with their saisons. I'm not entirely sure I love this beer but it might do well with some age. We'll see.

Jan 18, 2015
Photo of LittleDog
LittleDog from Texas

4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

On draft at jester king brewers. I'm a wide wine glass. A bit more yellow in color than an apple cider. Thin head, pure white. Lacing forms streaks and tiny circles. Funky wild aroma. Crisp bite. Slightly sour taste. Glad I made the drive.

Jan 17, 2015
Natural Union from Jester King Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 74 ratings