Jester King Brewery

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Farmhouse Ale - Bière de Garde
Ranked #2
Ranked #1,965
4.23 | pDev: 7.09%
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States
Notes: The inspiration for Reposé came from dusty, hay-filled barns like the one near Jester King where we store our aged hops. We attempted to capture some of our sensory experience of the barn by adding ingredients found in the attic to the beer. We added bales of hay to the mash and old hops that had spent many months in burlap bags to the boil. Further providing inspiration for Reposé was Bière de Garde, a traditional French farmhouse beer that likely originated out of the stone-walled barns that dot the landscape of northern France. Bière de Garde was historically brewed in fall and winter to take advantage of cooler fermentation temperatures, and aged for months before drinking. Similarly, Reposé was brewed during February of 2014 and slowly fermented for months prior to being blended and packaged in January of 2015.

The wort for Reposé was brewed with Texas Hill Country water from our well, malted barley, hay, aged hops, and fresh hops. It was then pitched with Jester King’s unique mixed culture of brewer’s yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the air and wildflowers around our brewery. After an initial fermentation in stainless steel, Reposé was then slowly fermented for months in Brandy barrels we received from France. It is 8.3% alcohol by volume, 12 IBU, has a finishing gravity of 1.004, and was 3.25 pH at the time of bottling. The label art is by Jester King’s Josh Cockrell.
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 258 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 2015

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep brown topped by a dense and rocky finger and a half of light tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of slight sour cherries, musty barnyard, a little leather, and some slight brandy
T: Taste is sour cherries mixed with brandy notes, funky barnyard, must, a little bright acidity, and some light spicy notes. On the swallow this one is more sour cherries, brandy, oak, spices, and lingering musty barnyard.
M: This beer has a moderate amount of body with a slightly pillowy feel on the palate. Carbonation is effervescent but well hidden while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this is a really nice beer. It has some great flavors and killer complexity that make it a really nice beer to sip and savor. It sounds a little odd to brew a beer with hay but overall the execution was excellent. This one is well worth picking up if you can get your hands on it.

Apr 02, 2019
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Teku glass. Darker reddish brown body, slightly murky, one finger white head. Good retention. Not much lacing. Smell is slightly smoked malt, light toffee, moderate vinegar/acetic acidity, light oak, trace chocolate, a bit of lemon and leather. Flavour is an interesting combination of acetic acidity, light toffee with a dab of chocolate, touch of vanillin and oak, without much of that slight smokiness that came on the nose. Nice complexity, tasty and refreshing. Mouthfeel is lighter medium bodied, not particularly heavy, good carbonation. Was hoping for more brandy on the finish or even a bigger mouthfeel from the brandy but that didn't come through. Still, a very nice Biere de Garde that drinks lower than the 8.3% listed here.

Sep 07, 2018
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CollinaTiger from South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a pint bottle...
Look: Hazy amber brown color with little head.
Smell: carmel and malt; hints of lemon, spice, oak.
Taste: Tart with hints of red wine, vinegar, lemon, brandy; malty sour with dry finish.
Feel: Light to medium body; Lightly carbonated.
Overall: Drinkable. Not my favorite style but a pretty good farmhouse ale.

Aug 25, 2018
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

i love the idea of this, a biere de garde brewed with hay, but the execution is a little weird, and as much as i like some of the nuance here like the faint brandy barrel character and the aged hops giving it a lambic base type of character, im not sure i am in love with the execution of this one as much as i hoped i would be, i thought this would be different somehow, more earthy and less malty, perhaps a more delicate saison rather than such a sturdy malt forward beer would have been a better foundation for the special ingredients, but nevertheless this is a jester king beer and its awesome, funky and tart at the same time, balanced well by sweet bready baked malts with chestnut, maple, and honey characteristics, and with a cool grassy straw element from the hay that makes this even more wild and funky. it pours dark rust colored and kind of flat looking, and the mouthfeel is heavier with the oak and brandy and relative lack of carbonation, not nearly as lively as so many of theirs are. cool red winey character at the end from the brandy, sturdy oak highlights the hay, and the base beer stands up on its own too. overall this is complex and interesting, but a radical departure from my expectations and one i am curious to try after some time maturing in the cellar. this is weird.

Jul 18, 2018
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle, blend #2, July 2017:
Fills the glass with a smoky topaz liquid, with some specks of rust thrown in. Pours more murky (especially later in the bottle-conditioned) then it ends up looking in the glass. A ruddy tan head disappears in first pour, but sticks around in later ones.

Nose is an acetic vinegar and lemon juice sourness that foretells the flavor. There’s a little apple orchard in there, and just a whisper of caramel sweetness that comes through with deeper inhalations - the most I really get of the barrels supposedly used in this one.

Taste is sour, vinegar, tart blackberry, crabapple squeezings. My tongue does pucker upon itself slightly, but gets a relief of a drop of caramel salve. This might be the barrel and its former contents, but is so light, it’s hard to say. The sour takes the place of carbonation, which is light and soft, if I am dissecting it properly.

More sour than I’ve had from JK, and the barrel is perhaps just a little too subtle. I wouldn’t want it strong-arming the sour, but I’d like a little more of it.

May 04, 2018
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superspak from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass; blend #2, bottled in 7/2017. Labeled at 6.5%. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart lemon, lime, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, golden raisin, cherry, plum, raspberry, melon, red/green apple, red/white wine, hay, straw, herbal, grass, oak, honey, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of caramel, pepper, oaken vanilla, leathery/musty funk, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, brandy barrels, and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart lemon, lime, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, golden raisin, cherry, plum, raspberry, melon, red/green apple, red/white wine, hay, straw, herbal, grass, oak, honey, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of caramel, pepper, oaken vanilla, leathery/musty funk, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate lactic tart/sourness and light yeast/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart/sour lemon, lime, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, golden raisin, cherry, plum, raspberry, melon, red/green apple, red/white wine, hay, straw, herbal, grass, oak, honey, toasted bread, pepper, leathery/musty funk, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, brandy barrels, and moderate bready malt flavors; with a nice malt/tart/sourness balance; and zero puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from tart/sourness. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, bready/grainy/acidic, and lightly tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 6.5%. Overall this is an excellent wind Biere de Garde style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, brandy barrels, and moderate bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on with the moderately acidic/tannic/drying finish, not overly lactic. Great unique take on the style. Classic JK house Brett/Lacto funk complexity, with balanced malts and Brandy barrel notes. Not overly malty or sour either way. A very enjoyable offering.

Mar 17, 2018
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very tasty beer, with more sour finish instead of the usual spicy character of a Biere de Garde. Loved the subtle notes from the brandy barrel, just fit perfectly with the overall vision for the beer. Just a well thought out and executed beer. All flavors very complimentary to each other. Well done!

Mar 06, 2018
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mothman from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown color. Bottle.

More malty with some caramel notes to go with the farmhouse flavors. There is a smoked malt flavor but maybe the brandy is showing a little. Can’t taste the hay. Interesting but nice beer.

Dec 02, 2017
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Phil-Fresh from California

4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Earthy with a light sourness and lots of brandy barrel aromas.

A: Amber color, opaque, with no head at all.

T: Lots of vinous flavors, followed by a light earthiness, moderately light sourness that finishes lightly acidic.

M: Medium-full bodied with light carbonation and acidity.

O: Tasty; the beer has a great complexity and balance of components. Definitely an interesting take on a biere de garde!

Nov 10, 2017
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Gus_13 from Mississippi

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful brown and ruby color with off white head that sticks around a bit but fades away to an island of bubbles eventually. Aroma is sweet and tart fruity with hints of cherry or raspberry. Hints of earthiness and a bit of spice are underlying. Flavor is lemon or fruit tartness right up front but then gives way to a bit of malt and earthy flavors. Super easy to drink.

Mar 07, 2016
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL served into a tulip glass.

Settles in the glass a brown color with fruit hues akin to plum skin. Carbonation seeps upward endlessly and feeds a persistent, fluffy, frothy oatmeal-colored head. The thing just lingers forever and I am in no hurry to drink the beer, as I'm enjoying the appearance. 5

The aroma is kriek-like with fresh but tart cherry, earthiness and funk. Lemony acidity gives the nose some sharpness. It's clean and straightforward. 4

Much more dimension to the flavor, as lemony acidity, earthy red wine, faint dark chocolate and bready malt, and brown sugar. The more I get into it the more it takes on a fruitier wine quality, offering berries and stone fruit. There's really quite a lot to enjoy. 4.25

There's a lot of vinous quality to how this drinks, from the dryness, to the woodiness, tannins, and the way the beer shows creaminess yet is still light and drinkable. Of course it also has a pronounced tartness and acidity but it is in perfect concert with the wine aspects. 4.25

I enjoyed this on tap last visit to Jester King and I knew I had to pick up some bottles... It's nice to try months later and discover that I was right back then. This beer is excellent.

Nov 05, 2015
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do_ob from Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle into a snifter. Heavy, deep amber/rustic orange in color. Nice appearance. Not a ton of sediment, but some. Barnyard funkiness and vinegary earthiness on the nose. Good medium weight with some carbonation. More sour than I would've guessed, but not to warhead level. I don't get any brandy, but a tad bit of oakiness is evident. More earthy/grassy/(hay-y?) as it warms up a little. Not overpowering in any aspect - quite tame, really. Enjoyable, just not really what I was expecting.

Oct 04, 2015
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nathanmiller from New York

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This reminds me a ton of where Jester King began, except on the high end of that spectrum (i.e. this is really good and not a crazy gusher). I don't get any hay flavor, but I also hope that I wasn't expected to. Most of the flavors are very subdued, but still there is a complexity that the lack of 'in-your-face' tartness present in many other JK beers these days allows to come through. Light barrel notes, clean finish, and a really pretty pour.

Aug 18, 2015
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tbryan5 from Louisiana

4.81/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pleasantly surprised by this one. Let me start by saint that the color of this beer is beautiful. Like liquid Amber. Taste is farmhouse earthly, funk. Well, I guess hay is a good description since Reposé is brewed with hay. The brandy just comes through ever so slightly on the back end. Great beer from an exceptional brewery.

Aug 14, 2015
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JuglashB from New Jersey

4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A big surprise for me... HUGE barnyard funk all over the nose and taste, all culminating to an absolutely wonderful dusty farmhouse biere de garde. Sour funk never overwhelming to your palate. Pours much darker in color than I expected.

French Brandy barrels did this beer good, adds just the right amount of sweet, liquory spice when tasting. Big bottle to share between two people, but I couldn't stop sipping throughout. Would love to land another one with some age.

Jun 12, 2015
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champ103 from Texas

3.24/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On cask at Hay Merchant in Houston.

A: Pours a garnet red color. At first a white head forms to about two fingers, and recedes in a second with no lace.
S: Tart cherries, and light wood. That is it, pretty neutral overall. No distinct yeast character, no barrel. Just kind of tart.
T: Like the nose, this is a bit underwhelming. Tart and acidic cherries up front, and that is about all I get. The barrel is really subtle, which is fine, but nothing else comes through. After this warms, it is just really one noted. Just light fruits that are acidic and tart.
M/D: A light to medium body. Subtle carbonation, which is to be expected on cask. I do like tart flavors, so fairly enjoyable to drink once. Though not really something I am coming back to again and again.

Wow, a lot went into making a fairly mediocre American Wild Ale. I don't know what the point of adding Hay was, and the barrel is all but nonexistent. I would like much more yeast character, more barrel character, more actual Biere de Garde like malts, and well anything other than tart and acidic. Blah.

Jun 07, 2015
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Duff27 from Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

White head sticks around for a couple minutes then recedes to a collar. Body is a dull red.

Nose is tart, acidic, vinegar.

Oakiness comes out, wouldn't guess brandy barrels but do get some hints as it warms. This gets a 6 out of 10 on the Duff27 sour scale.

Heavy but spritzy on the tongue. Enjoy.

Really enjoyed this one. All flavors and additives are well integrated. Thanks kojevergas!

May 25, 2015
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atone315 from Wisconsin

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a beautiful dark reddish brown with a caramel head. Tasted a bit like a sour brown/flanders with a touch of metallic flavor. Pretty acidic, surprised I didn't need a Tums after downing a whole bottle....although I did drink a bottle of water alongside it. Overall, a damn good beer that I would love to try (and share) again.

May 07, 2015
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep amber/red body. Medium white head. Thin collar.

Smell - Smells a bit like a Flanders. Cherry fruitiness. Oak. Dark malts. Just a hint of roasted malt, too.

Taste - Sour right up front. Toasted malts. Even a little roasted. Light coffee flavor. Oaky throughout.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Moderate sourness.

Overall - So I wouldn't know I was drinking hay. I don't get anything that would indicate this isn't a standard Biere de Garde. Maybe a little too sour to be really great, though.

Apr 28, 2015
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Jugs_McGhee from Oklahoma

3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Brief initial impressions from a bottle served into a tulip below. Expectations are above average.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half finger wide. Off-white colour. Fair creaminess. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Sort of a brown-auburn. Murky and nontransparent.

Looks decent. Doesn't stand out as unique or special.

AROMA: Soft and fragrant, with notes of wheat, pale malt, herbs, caramalt, doughy yeast, and some brown bread. It's an appealing aroma with more depth and complexity than I've described here; I'm looking forward to giving this a proper review.

Aromatic intensity is mild.

TASTE: Tart, with a faint sourness (~2/10 in terms of intensity), some bready malt. I'm not finding the brandy, really, but then I don't drink brandy on any regular basis. Balanced, with some nice doughy yeast. Faint farmhouse characteristics. Brown bread notes.

TEXTURE: Has a great comforting softness. Smooth and wet, with apt carbonation. Medium-bodied. Good overall presence on the palate. Not boozy or anything.

OVERALL: Real drinkable and enjoyable. I'm not finding the brandy, but it's a nice beer for what it is and has nice subtlety of flavour and balance. I look forward to giving it a full review.

High B-

05.13.15: further impressions from a second bottle below. 8.3% ABV. FG 1.004. IBU 12. Blend #1 - 01.07.15. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass format, with a branded pry-off cap. Served into a pilsner glass.

Appearance is nice, but not impressive. Head is middling, with a nice soft appearance overall but only decent fullness & thickness. Could have a better complexion and a more even consistency. The body colour is an odd murky dark amber/auburn with orange and brown hues. Nontransparent.

Aroma brings the farmhouse character, with pleasant notes of hay, wild yeasts and flora, mild (~3/10) sourness intensity, wood must, and nuanced bacterial character. The brandy is muted and reticent at best, lending little - though refined wine notes do emerge as it comes to temperature.

Aromatic intensity is average to above average.

No alcohol or off-character is detectable.

The smacky mouthfeel complements the lactic bacterial character nicely, though the sourness is disappointingly mild (~2-3/10 in terms of intensity). The wild yeasts and flora are nice, lending ample complexity and nuance, as well as much subtlety; there's a lot going on here. Its medium body is apt, and doesn't overemphasize its amber and Belgian pale malt backbone - which disappears behind the farmhouse yeast veneer. Brandy is hardly indicated, but there are some faint wine-like notes, sure. I find no tannins or off-notes. There's no overt booze here.

It's aptly smooth and wet, with a refreshing presence on the palate that never betrays its high-ish ABV. Hay is nicely showcased, and there's enough intricacy here to please any fan of the farmhouse ale style. Nicely acidic.

With some age, the doughiness of the yeast recedes, leaving the better farmhouse-y and wild characteristics, but ill enough funkiness. Still, it's nicely balanced and has plenty of interesting elements. One could consider it gestalt, but there's room for improvement. Nicely built for what it is, even if the barrel character is shallow - or even practically non-existent.

Its acidity and bacterial notes are the highlights, but it's not a world-class or unique beer. Just a nicely put together farmhouse ale with hints of sourness that elevate it beyond the usual American-brewed schlock attempts at the style. Well-worth trying, but still far from Jester King's strongest work. That said, this might be their best farmhouse ale - or at least their best in recent memory. Nice work from one of Texas' best breweries.

High B- (3.48)

Apr 03, 2015
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MattSweatshirt from Texas

4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep red with some orange and a small but lacy off white head.

There is some residual brandy hanging out with wood and vanilla. Musty, earthy, lightly sour and raisiny. Light bodied and presents some slight warming.

Apr 01, 2015
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TX-Badger from Texas

4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brownish orange color with off-white head. Funk, tartness, earth tones, and maple notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. I also get some maple/brown sugar sweetness in the middle, with a distinct bready note, undoubtedly from the hay. Finishes tart and dry with Jester King funk.

Mar 22, 2015
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Tommo from Massachusetts

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

Draft at JK. Tart, not much hay, nice finish with notes of brandy. Very well balanced sour. Easily one of my favorite sours from the 2015 spring releases

Mar 08, 2015
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Theortiz01 from Texas

4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

8 oz pour on draft at Jester King this past weekend.

Dark amber with a creamy white head that dissipated almost instantly.
Carbonation was a 4 on a 1-10 scale with 1 being non-existent and 10 being of Saison-Brett proportions after a few years.

Smell was slight funky, with light barn-yard hints. Sweetness from the brandy barrels was apparent but not overwhelming. Also, that one and only smell of acidity from Jester King beers made its appearance. Pleasant but not mind-blowing.

First sip was a complete shock of deliciousness. I've never really been a biere de garde fanboy, but this is unlike any other that I've had. I'm not getting much in flavors of the hay. A slight amount of earthen funk was noticeable, which I think would change with some age. The sweetness of the brandy barrels paired incredibly well with the malt flavors, and balanced the acidity perfectly. In terms of taste, I getting flavors that resemble a hybrid of Boxer's Revenge and RU55 and Encendia, if that makes sense.

Just like other JK beers. The beer has a medium to light body with a great dry finish, which makes this 8%er easily drinkable. My 8oz pour only survived a couple minutes before going back for seconds, like I was some kind of alcohol-induced Oliver Twist. After my careful plea to the server of "I want some more!", the lap time on the second glass followed par with the first.

This is a really outstanding beer. I think that the hay and the term "Biere de Garde" to some might be considered more off-putting than a Beiber concert. But don't let that fool you friends. This angel in-disquise is that new-new that is on-par with some of JK's finer offerings. Like a newlywed admiring his beautiful spouse, I'm interested to see how time will change this masterpiece. Get some.

Mar 04, 2015
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MLDucky from Texas

4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a tough one to characterize. Unlike some reviews, I get the "hay" upfront, in a very earthy dry sort of way. Dried grass, shocker. It doesn't linger, and it's not overpowering. The barrel comes through in the form of sweetness, cranberry/raspberry. This beer surprised me, I really enjoyed it. .

Mar 02, 2015
Reposé from Jester King Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 258 ratings