Gotlandsdricka | Jester King Brewery

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303 Ratings

Brewed by:
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States

Style: Smoke Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Gotlandsdricka, meaning “Drink of the Good Land”, is believed to have been the beer of the Vikings. Our rendition of this ancient style is inspired by the traditional farmhouse ales once brewed on the island of Gotland, off the coast of Sweden. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, and naturally-conditioned.

Added by StaveHooks on 10-19-2012

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 303 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of Jslove
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An artfully crafted beer that carries itself where many ‘novelty’ type offerings often falter. It’s important to recognize that this is not supposed to be atrial rubicite. I suspect that its relatively low rating (by JK standards) is due to too many people buying a Jester King instead of Gotlandsdricka.

This batch was brewed November 2017 I believe. It was a proper gusher. Lots of pretty pure white head that hung out for quite some time. Hint of haze. Smells a bit of funk and forward but not aggressively smoky... Like a cold junipery smoke. Taste starts with subdued smokiness, just the right amount for me, who likes bacon but not in beer. There’s a definite eucalyptus-like character to the taste that brings a menthol like sensation to mind. This is likely from the sweet gale. Mouthfeel is light, but just luxurious enough to carry the abundance of flavor.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I was immediately transported into a wood fired sauna with eucalyptus steam somewhere in the northwoods. I guess I’ll have to keep waiting for Jester King to let me down. Until then, I’ll stay here in the Good Land.

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Photo of g00ey
3.37/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of denver10
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Photo of TheGent
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NilocRellim
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellow/gold colour, very vribrant. Smells light, clean and smokey, with a hint of hay and sweet grains. Tastes slightly sweet, lemon peel, smokey hay, and refreshing.

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Photo of zotzot
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of gilgar
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brew-Ed
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Body: Bright light yellow, a bit hazy, carbonation
Head: White foam an inch thick but goes pretty fast, no lacing

Smell: Heave smoke with a hint of sweetness, malt

Taste: BBQ brisket, sour lemons, sweetness towards the end

Feel: Light body, smooth, carbonated

Overall: Pretty unique sour. Mixture of smoke, sour and sweetness.

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Photo of mamaraza
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Ristaccia
4.37/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: 750ml format. Brown glass. Branded pry-off crown cap. Batch #2 - 12.08.2014.

IBU 18. FG 1.003. ABV 6.90%. Unfiltered. Unpasteurized. 100% bottle-conditioned. "Farmhouse ale." "Gotslandsricka."

Ingredients: Water, Beechwood smoked malted barley, Birchwood smoked malted barley, rye, oak smoked wheat, hops, juniper berries, sweet gale, farmhouse yeast, wild yeast, souring bacteria.

Served chilled into a tulip and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption.

HEAD: Frothy, soft, and white in my tulip. One of the more vibrant bright white hues I've seen, and when coupled with the vibrance of the body it's a gorgeous looking brew. Light lacing adheres to the sides of the tulip as the head slowly recedes. Head retention is quite good - ~8+ minutes.

BODY: Vibrant clear (i.e. translucent & transparent) yellow of excellent vibrance. Appears filtered in spite of being unfiltered, with superb clarity. No yeast/lees/berry muck is visible within. I'm pretty surprised this was unfiltered...I guess they employed secondary fermentation to excellent use.

Looks fantastic. Well-carbonated judging by the appearance, and lively across the board. I'm eager to sample it.

AROMA: Boasts a superb subtle smokiness that entices the drinker, hitting on nuanced woody subtleties and showcasing the various woods used excellently: beechwood and oak unite to great effect. I don't pretend to know what birchwood smells like, but there's more smokey complexity here than you'd find in your typical rauchbier aroma. Not too harsh or aggressive with the smoke; it's more mellow than a proper Bamberger rauchbier but more prominent than a liechtenhainer or grodziskie.

Wheat and fresh 2-row keep the malt backbone soft and sweet, lending some balance to the brew and taking the edge off all that smokiness. Some floral hop character lends additional complexity...or maybe that's the sweet gale lending actual floral aromatics?

I don't get any spiciness from the rye or any of that dry berry character from the juniper.

Any farmhouse aromatics are reticent if not non-existent, as are any bacterial aromatics. Just not finding them.

Aromatic intensity is average, but the subtlety evoked here is wonderful and this aroma suggests a balanced and drinkable smoked ale. Quite lively and inviting.

TASTE & TEXTURE: The softness of the mouthfeel bolsters this ale's easy drinking, but there's plenty of smoked malt character and woodsy flavour bouncing around, hitting on subtle white oak and beechwood without any concomitant harshness or smoked aggression.

Floral hops (and, I suppose, actual floral/subtle fruity character from the sweet gale) adorns this already intricate brew with flowery fruity nuances. There's a lot going on here, and the smoke is dominant, but it's shockingly well balanced for a smoked ale (regardless of style) and the pleasantness of the fresh malts (rye not included; it just isn't there) is surprising.

There are traces of farmhouse yeast funk and some bacterial tartness on the finish, but otherwise they're not noticeable against the backdrop of the prominent smoke.

Mouthfeel is...well, almost perfect. Strikes a perfect balance between smoothness and coarseness. Tends towards the wet side of the dry/wet spectrum, but the smoke does drag a bit on the palate (especially in the early second act), which has the effect of lengthening flavour duration and giving one more time to appreciate the beer's astounding complexity and balance. Well-carbonated (Bottle conditioning was, as usual, the right call) and even many smoked beers can you say that about? Light to medium-bodied. Mild thickness/heft on the palate. Stellar execution across the board.

There's impressive harmony of flavour here. Depth of flavour is moderate and could be improved. Flavour intensity is moderate (a nice change from the many overbearing smoked beers out there). As it warms, I clock some mild (~2/10 in terms of intensity) sourness.

OVERALL: I approached this fearing it would be merely a "dollar store Sahti" given the (ostensible) use of juniper berry, but it's anything but. Closer to a well-made grodziskie but with more intricacy and better balance, Gotlandsdricka is anything but a gimmick beer. Many breweries seem to be brewing obscure beer style resurrections as a marketing ploy (here's looking at you, Dogfish Head), but Jester King delivers with this subtle and teasing brew, showing restraint with respect to the smokey flavour and dipping into some lesser used ingredients to good effect.

I can't speak to what effect the ~2.5 years of aging I gave this had, but it's a remarkable brew I'd recommend to any discerning drinker and I count it amongst Jester King's best. I'll enjoy greedily polishing off this 750 solo.

A- (4.08) / EXCELLENT

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Photo of Nichols33
2.5/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of mothman
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 5.

White head. Golden sunset orange.

Very sour. Lemon acidity. Some fruits and tannins. Peated and smoked malts. Oaky.

This is a very odd beer. The first sip is rough, but then it gets better. I'd like it if it wasn't so sour.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Sabtos
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear pale gold filling to hazy orange with a large cream-colored foamy head leaving some clingy sheets. The bottom half of the bottle clouds up substantially, with a large amount of sediment if you are one of those that tries to avoid it.

Smell is smoked ham cut by a little baked pineapple and roasted lemon, with grass and smoked hay. However, this is not a smokeout like some others I've had, i.e. Ashtray Heart.

Taste starts tangy and bright, with slightly tart and dry orange, lemon and grapefruit with some light barnyard saison funk. It then subtly becomes melded with and then slightly overtaken by some campfire ash and backyard bbq, with a little bacon and pork roast, but it brightens back up to a tangy, slight sting that cleans the palate on the finish. This might turn some folks into smoked beer fans that are on the fence regarding the style, but if the style is already something you absolutely despise, then this is not for you.

There is a nice, thin froth in this medium-bodied brew, with a semi-dry finish.

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Photo of BirdsandHops
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rossracing
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Myotus
4.29/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch #5

Poured gently at 47°F from a 750ml bottle (bottled 21Apr16) into a tulip. Consumed on 06Sep16.
SMELL: Strong aromas of hickory smoked bacon are uniquely and suitably complemented by mild aromas of spicy juniper, sweet peach, pear, and white grape along with subtle aromas of salty minerals, sour green apple, spicy rye, toast, and sweet and earthy gale.
4.5 out of 5
TASTE: A flood of strong hickory smoked bacon and mild sour green apple flavors smother the palate. A mild shower of fruit is joined by a subtle spiciness as flavors of pear, white grape, peach and rye caress the palate. Mild flavors of salty minerals and subtle flavors of spicy juniper build up the uniqueness of the beer as the bacon flavors fade to mild. The complexity of the brew is deepened as subtle balsamic vinegar and earthy, sweet gale flavors make their debut while the juniper and salty mineral flavors grow somewhat stronger. As all the flavors now maintain and merge to form the final taste, the gale flavors manage to become slightly more dominate.
4.25 out of 5
NOTE: I have had almost every beer from Jester King, including their collaborations. This one managed to earn the title of most unique. Not only was this the most unique JK beer that I have had, but this was one of the most unique beers that I have experienced in all my years of craft. Every aspect of the brew fell together wonderfully. I only wish the smokey bacon flavors could have maintained in the taste.

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Photo of dasotelo50
4.11/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MarshallBirdhouse
4.16/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Premo88
4.64/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

25.4 oz. bomber poured into tulip

L: a pinch or three darker than yellow, light gold, 50/50 opaque/clear with light easily passing through, solid 1-inch head of offwhite foam that doesn't stick; no lacing but the activity in the glass is profuse and producing a beautiful collar of white foam with a 60-70% skin

S: smoke! meaty, salty smoked malt has a slight peat twinge to it, some burning green wood, oak or pecan; as it warms, it's like a cherry pie sitting inside a well-tuned barbecue pit ... lots of wood and smoke with something sweet; smokey grain sacks; sweetness reminds me of lemon cheesecake or tart-but-sweet cherries

T: smoked lemons ... smoked lemon peel ... smoked aftertaste ... smoked herbs ... you can't miss the smoke; something super sweet jabs at the tongue for a second during the swallow, then is gone ... the rest is tart and smokey, summer sausage and mustard come to mind, and the aftertaste is both smoked wood and earthy -- dirt, dusty dried grain sacks, bitter hay; the flavors are mixing very well with a slight smokey burn in the back of the throat, like an alcohol burn only with a pinch of peaty smoked malt; that sweetness might be from the "fingernail polish" family of notes often found in the world of "sours", but here it's much less medicinal and sharp and much more sugary sweet

F: classic Jester King ... as good as it gets, light but well filled out by the carbonation

O: it's exactly what a smoked Jester King beer sounds like, tart, smokey and earthy with just that little hint of sweetness to make it all go down that much easier; it's unique and packed with a ton of flavor; for a smoked-beer fix, this is very, very nice

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Photo of kvgomps
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Beer_lover89
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought this smoked beer from Jester King a couple of weeks ago and recently drank it. It is a somewhat odd beer inspired by a drink from my home country Sweden, but I liked it.

L: It had a orange cloudy hue with a two inch thick white head.

A: The aroma was smoky/ashy and sour.

T: It had an interesting mix of flavors, smoke, lemon, grapefruit, and smoked meat. It does not sound good but it was.

F: It was dry and fairly light.

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Gotlandsdricka from Jester King Brewery
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 303 ratings