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RU-55 | Jester King Brewery

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43 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Red ale aged in oak barrels with wild yeast and souring bacteria. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, and bottle-conditioned. This beer is a tribute to our good friend Russ Beattie. Thanks, Russ. Thuss.

Added by MasterSki on 12-01-2012

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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 649
Photo of elNopalero
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has at least a year and a half age on it
Puts a dark cherry brown with a creamy circle of foam. There's an incredible nose on this, evident from the moment I opened the bottle down to the final sip. It's a big warming aroma of sour cherry and dark chocolate, hints of oak and an whisper of tobacco, with a pleasing tartness to it. Tastes great, with some more dark cherry and oak, chocolate and a faint orange peel, tapering into a mouth-puckering flat, drying bitter/tartness.

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Photo of enrique_m
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

look: brown with white head and no lacing.
smell: banyard funk and vinegar.
taste: delicious, taste like sour patch with sherry and limes.
feel: pucker your lips sour tart.
overall: one gotta try brew.

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Photo of NeilFlaiz
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish-brown, smell is funky and farm-like. Taste is wonderfully tart and sour, complex funk. Feel is light and dry but doesn't take away from the taste. Overall, one of the best JK beers, complex without the need for obscure ingredients. Makes sense this is used as the base for many of their fruited blends.

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Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Ruby red with a brown hue from afar. A nice ring of head that stays with the beer until finish.
S: Absolutely remarkable. Oak with sweet vanilla and funky notes
T: The sherry barrel makes this Flemish Style Red the most outstanding beer of it's style I have had. It is truly a work of art. Going from a wine-like taste to a pure Flemish red. With a nice sour pucker reminiscent of sour apple and lacto.
F: The general feel is light, but the aftertaste is the perfect balance of a wine barrel and a Flemish Red Sour
O: Very impressive, I would seek this out whenever it is available.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blend No. 3 - September 12, 2013
Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: (4.25)
Pours a murky reddish brown with a thick and creamy 2.5 fingers tall tan head. For being a sour, barrel aged beer, the head lasts for a very long time and even leaves a nice patch of lacing behind as it slowly recedes. Very striking red ale.

Aroma: (4.5)
As soon as the glass is raised to your nose, you're struck by a timid, but very fruit forward acidity; predominately tart cherries, lemon juice and rich raspberries. Encasing these acidic fruity aromas is a lovely blanket of fully matured Brettanomyces. The Brett offers not only its musty aromatics of damp earth, wet hay and horse blankets, but also greets your olfactory senses with freshly sliced pineapple. Tucked nicely beneath these fruity layers is a solid malt backbone; notes of caramel and sweet breads. As the warms, some vinous red wine barrel characteristics come out of to play; mostly currants and vanilla

Taste: (4.5)
Right out of the gate, your palate is greeted by waves and waves of soft, nuanced acidity from the wild yeasts and souring bacteria. This acidity is extraordinarily clean and really bursts with loads of fruity character; huge notes of bright raspberries, cherries, currants and splash of zesty lemon juice. While these juicy berry tones coat your tongue, a subtle but pleasantly contrasting musty pineapple character from the Brettanomyces builds in the background. The Brett sustains all the way up to and through the soft kiss of caramel malt as the beer comes to a close. The beer finishes off dry with long lingering notes of tart raspberries, peach juice, lemons, pineapples, funky brettanomyces, sweet breads and a subtle vanilla character from the oak barrels.

Mouthfeel: (4.5)
Full and slightly creamy bodied with medium, but lively carbonation. The off dry finish leaves a very pleasant coating of balancing malt on your tongue.

Overall: (4.5)
By far the most clean, fruit forward take on a Flanders Red that I have tasted. Jester King have really took their time allowing these bacteria to grow at their own pace, avoiding the unpleasant vinegar-esque acetobactor characteristics that a lot of imported sour reds have. This beer is near perfect for its style. I'm highly impressed.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle into a Jester King 1st Anniversary tulip.

I've had the good fortune of meeting Russ, the brewer after whom RU-55 is named. He even complimented my homebrew; we later hot-boxed the grain mill room. Good times.

RU-55 opens with a soft hiss and slowly foams up from below. Not a gusher, but the carbonation is active. Pours as it should, with a rustic deep amber body and a thin cap of khaki bubbles that cling to the edge of the glass. Aromas range from slightly sweet browned apple flesh to balsamic vinegar to chocolate-covered cherries. Equal parts sweet and funky, with a hint of barrel sugars for good measure.

The flavor is aggressively sour, but balanced with enough amber malt presence that it doesn't strip away the enamel. Think Russian River's Consecration without the currants. The finish is dry and fruity with vinegar, black cherry, leather, and woodiness from the barrel-aging. Mouthfeel is juicy where it should be, up until the drying finish, and light in carbonation and thickness. All in all, an excellent sour ale that holds up with some of the nation's greats. Very glad to have this beer at my disposal for the foreseeable future!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is dark amber with some crimson highlights. the aroma brings a bouquet of funk, oak, sour cherries, yeast. Beautiful flavor. Simply delicious. Lots of funk and cherry flavor with a lovely sour, puckering finish. Medium bodied and highly drinkable. Flanders red characteristics. I definitely recommend this one.

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Photo of Tommo
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After not really enjoying the previous versions of this beer, i was blown away by how good batch 6 was. Acidic, but incredibly balanced, darker for a sour, but not malty by any sense. The sherry is much lighter than sin frontera and this suits my palate very well. Absurdly drinkable for a ph3.3 beer. Absolute embodiment of jester king brewery, one of the best non fruited sours ive ever had

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Photo of rudzud
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JLindros for sharing. Poured into a Kate the great tulip.

A - Poured a slightly hazy red hue with a thin white head that fades to a thin wisp and halo.

S - Aromas of strawberries and sour cherries and vinegar notes just smells outstanding!

T - Taste is similar to the noise with lovely strawberry notes add well as rhubarb notes add well. Very nice sour vinegar notes and lactose quite creamy.

M - Very drinkable here with nice light carbonation. Super refreshing and crisp.

O - Overall this was a very nice beer with awesome fruit notes. Just delicious.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Jester King stemmed glass. Acquired in a trade with Camille.. thanks!

Appearance - Pours a dark amber body with a big frothy off-white head that reduces slowly to leave spotty lacing.

Smell - Very inviting. Off the bat I get lots of funk, mustyness, wet wood, barnyard, some white grapes and champagne.

Taste - First off is a fruity, dry tartness with notes of sour grapes, sour apple, lactic. The follow through has slight notes of oak, mustyness, funky yeast. The finish has a light malty character with slight caramel and pale malt flavors. The aftertaste is very dry and leaves an acidic astringency on the tongue.

M- For the ABV it's quite drinkable. Medium-light body, high carbonation.

RU-55 is underrated in my opinion. Very complex flavor profile brought on from the oak barrels and bacteria/yeast.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sucker for a good sour red, and while this may not possess the musty funk and unique malt profile of something like Rodenbach GC, nor quite the oak-forwardness and diversity of something like Firestone Walker Agrestic, it's still really damn pleasing. Dark, ruddy pour, a touch of haze, fizzy carb. Nose is tart, maybe a few echoes of those sherry barrels, evolving over time with grape notes, a sort of light earthiness, and some lightly sweet malt coming through too. Not heavy at all on the palate, tart and "buggy". I think that tartness dominates a little bit, which is why it doesn't quite reach Grand Cru/Agrestic levels, but there's still some nice stuff going on beneath, that light caramel malt, a bit of sherry wine. Stuff like this would be a total daily drinker for me if price/availability made it so (and, separately, this is available thanks to GC 4-packs!). Overall, JK does this really nicely, and I think anyone would be glad to have a bottle or two of this.

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Photo of afluentturtle
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Poured a deep red/burgundy with two fingers of light khaki head, that dissipated slowly.

Smell: Sour apples, farm house funk, maybe some cherries and raspberry.

Taste: Sour cherry and tartness up front, malty earthy funk in the middle, and ends with oak and wood.

Mouthfeel: tart dryness, very crisp, light and surprisingly refreshing.

Overall: A very solid brew that can stand up to any other beer, not overly sour, would be a good introduction to the style. Would probably get again.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature. Like many Flanders reds before it, this one gushed upon opening.

L – Murky deep amber color with a 1.5-finger bubbly, frothy, tan head. Really nice retention, especially for a sour ale, with some patches of lacing on the side of the glass.

S – Again like many Flanders reds before it, this has a lot going on in the aroma. I’m getting caramel, figs, sour cherries, apples, and grapes, some funky Brett, and the slightest touch of oak. As time goes on, the funk and the oak seem to fade and the sweet caramel and figs seem to become more apparent. Of course, this could all be in my imagination, too.

T – Again, lots going on. The primary flavor that I get is a blast of sour grapes, cherries, and apples. As the mouth-puckering tartness begins to fade, caramel sweetness, cranberry dryness, Brett funk, and oak mustiness all become apparent toward the finish. This is really tasty.

F – Medium-bodied with nice carbonation, a mouth-puckering and mouth-coating feel, and a sour, musty, and dry finish. The whole conglomerate of funk, acidity, and mustiness lingers for a nice bit.

O – I think this beer is awesome. I first had it at Brewvivial 2013 in Charleston and I was hooked. I needed to have some more. I finally found a bottle and got a chance to fully savor the experience. Of course it may not be as complex or layered or mouth-puckering as some world-class Belgian examples, but it comes pretty close. It’s very tasty and very drinkable given the acidity and ABV. Great beer from Jester King.

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Photo of Sethzilla
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 750ml bottle, poured in to a tulip glass... didn't gush :).

Very thin, quickly dissipating head. Beer is an opaque red-mahogany hue, a color that almost certainly compliments the barrels that the beer was aged in. The aroma gives faint funk, but lots of tart apple and undertones of cherry and strawberry. Another smell reveals more of that intriguing farmhouse funk, and some oak and another strong dose of sour/tart apple. Taste is tart and acidic sourness. There is a sweet toasted flavor that really balances well with the funk and tartness. More apple and cherry in the taste, and funk on the end. The beer is relatively full in the mouth, somewhat sticky but still leaves the mouth dry.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It is a great blend of sour/wild/red ale. It's complex and still refreshing, For me, this one was worth the higher price tag. Will seek more.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gusher after a few days in the wine fridge. Pours a hazy red-orange with a small off-white head that leaves some lacing.
The nose on this beer presents a nice fleshed out array of oak barrel, big fruit notes of strawberry, cranberry, and cherry, chocolate, slight mustiness, and vinegar.
Get a little of that vinegar. It is very fruity with big cherries some strawberry and cranberry. Finishes with some of that tart apple flavor. There is some sweetness to it. Has a nice oakiness to it. The light chocolate from the nose is present in the taste. The flavor is really nice and has everything I’m looking for in a Flemish style sour beer.
Medium bodied with a light tingly carbonation. Nice tart bite that allows for great drinkability and quenching that sour itch. Dries out the mouth.
A wonderful beer. I’m glad JK stepped into the Flemish styled sour game and did well with this one.

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Photo of brewtus
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours brown with a bone white single finger head, laces really well. Smell and taste are pretty similar, nose especially has a lots of oak, some vegetable notes, lots of funk, some dark fruit. Taste is drinkably sour and extremely enjoyable. It's just sweet enough to balance out the tartness. Over all this is the best sour I've ever had, being fairly new to the style. Leaves you mouth watering and waiting for the next sip. Glad I got to try this.

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Photo of cultclassic89
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Never wrote a review, but update for Blend 6:

Really fantastic. The added whatever percentage of Sherry barrel aging really makes a difference. For Blend 6, it's a 4.5. I'll leave the original score as is for the previous blends.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Damn this is hands down one of the best JK 750ml bottles. This one is very sour like their special 500ml releases, and there is a really nice balance of flavors.

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Photo of riored4v
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured in to a tulip. Thin, white head. Hazy, ruby red colored body.

Aroma was awesome as soon as the bottle was opened. Loads of tart cherry, lactic acid and barrel aromas. A bit of caramel and roasted barley. Some malty aroma peaks through.

Taste was great. Malty and caramely upfront followed with an earthy backbone. Good amount of oak/barrel flavor with lots of tart cherries, prune and dark fruits. Acidic and sour. Mild lingering tartness.

Mouthfeel was medium/light, medium/high carb and dry finish.

Excellent beer overall. Lots of flavor complexity, aroma is nice and strong, and an overall great balance. Really enjoyable.

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Photo of jlindros
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Calvin (ApostleBrewing) for this goody, shared with rudzud.

Very light fizzy head, murky cranberry apple juice reddish brown color.

Nose has a nice sour aroma, lacto and wild yeast aromas, light reddish malt candy like but soured, light sour cherry and touch of strawberry, a nice sour fruity aroma.

Taste starts fairly sour, strawberries right out, little rhubarb bitterness abs nice tart fruity flavor. Nice sour malt, light sweet candy red malt, fairly light though. Nice light wild yeast and lacto. Acidity is decent too, not too flemmy. Finish is drier and slightly flemmy, long tart fruit and light acidity, nice long strawberry rhubarb flavor lingering.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, lighter carb.

Overall quite nice, very tasty.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a sour red that is decidedly not a flemish style, way less lactic acidity here, far more delicate all around really, but still a nice copper malt driven sour with more funk than tartness to it. bronze in color, rather clear looking from the tap, with a short half inch or so of tan bubbles. the nose is a lot like some other jester king beers, with their mix of bacteria. it has some mouth watering sourness, but also an almost saison style yeast element, with the caramel malt and crystal malt providing the base, which is medium bodied and still a little sweet despite all the activity. i get a ton of oak on the flavor, woody and almost tea-like, a very mature beer based on these flavors. the funkiness increases in the finish, and the swallow is dry, but it all comes rushing back. great mouthfeel results, especially with the carbonation as robust as it is. a very well made beer, less interesting than some of the other jester king stuff, but appreciably different from the flanders type reds out there.

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Photo of claspada
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours murky, hazy ruby red color with a small white head and some solid spotty lacing.

Aromas begin quite fruit and oak forward with stone fruits, dark cherry, plum skins and then the oak enduced aromas of earth, vanilla and wood. The lighter stone fruits, apricot and peach emerge more as it warms.

The tastes follow the nose with sour tart cherries, plum, vinious red wine oakiness with light vanilla and oak following soon after. There is a solid sour fruit component but overall at this stage the sour flavors aren't as potent as I expected.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is tart, fruity with mild oak to add a drying effect.

Overall this is unlike most Oud Bruin/Flanders Red Ales on the market. It lacks the huge vinegar (The Bruery) and lactic (Cascade) flavors which makes this a much more balanced drinkable sour/wild red ale that I could drink more than one of without wrecking my palate. I would personally prefer a little more so I will be waiting on the remainder of my bottle for several months to see where it goes.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Blend 3. Cherry, raspberries, amber malts, lacto, some funk and oak. Tannic and malty, yet sour, tart and extremely clean tasting. Really drinkable. Good dryness in the finish. Delicious.

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Photo of tmzl
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours with thick, large, off-white (light brownish hue) head. Relatively fast retention but leaves a nice thick layer on top, coupled with very nice lacing. Very deep amber, cloudy. Was surprised at how dark it is. A bit dull but still good tho.

Smell: Clean fruity sour, cherry, some wine character, light vanilla and counterbalance with musty, earthy funk. Some tartaric, acetic acid. Light caramel, amber malt sweetness underneath. Everything that was expected, well executed, balance between sour and sweetness plays out nice. When the temperature rises the funk gets stronger, but not annoying.

Taste: Relatively fast but smooth start with medium sour (cherry dominant note with lemon and raspberry notes behind) rises towards the end. Sour isn't annoying, but still relatively in your face. Sour part stomps over the light caramelish middle, the balance is a bit off. Yoghurt lactic acid to detect. Very light tart, acetic also present - gives that wine feeling, doesn't go into vinegar mode. Funk goes down compared to the smell. Full on clean fruity sour holds to the end, no hop bitterness to detect and at the far end some oak comes into play.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, lively carbonation, makes it fresh and easy to drink. Some coating with light dryness. Alcohol well hidden.

Overall: Clean, fresh, fruity sour with some light funk to play along but still meaty enough to stay relevant. Good representative.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark red with a finger of frothy tannish head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet caramel and bready malts, sour and funky yeasts, Brett, lactic acid, Belgian yeast, dark and berry fruits, vanilla, oak.

T - Sweet caramel and bready malts, sour cherries and other dark and berry fruits, Brett, lactic acid, other funky and sour yeasts, oak, vanilla, Belgian yeast, tart green fruits.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sour, funky, and warming finish.

D - Good wild ale. Nice overall balance with good complexity.

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RU-55 from Jester King Brewery
4.16 out of 5 based on 649 ratings.
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