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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 Rutager
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bit thanks to willandperry for this and all the other great brews.

Appearance. Pours a deep amber-brown with half a finger of off-white head that quickly fades to a collar.

Smell. Sour cherries and funky old red wine barrel, fairly sweet. There's a little caramel and orange flesh there as well.

Taste. Pretty much the same as the nose but more sour than sweet.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body with low carbonation.

Overall. Refreshing and tasty. Another fine brew from Jester King.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 6.5.13

A - Pours a super dark burgundy red-black with a two inch tan head with good retention.

S - Tart cherry, earthy, dirt.

T - A touch of tartness, dirty wood, some plum fruits.

D - Decent carbonation with a medium body.

O - A slight tartness and pretty earthy and dirty. Not much fruit presence.

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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 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 tectactoe
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This'll be only my second offering from Jester King. I enjoyed the other one (Das Wunderkind) quite a bit, so I'm looking forward to giving this one a go. RU-55 pours a murky, dark, stained-wood brown with some very, very tepid ruby hints. Completely opaque and capped with a soapy, gray-tinted head that quickly settles to a skin.

The aroma is nice, lively, and "pops" from the glass. Tart black cherries, sour apple skins, and plentiful grapes. Lots of vinous notes coming off with a big lean towards the oak barrel. Some vinegar surrounds the edges and keeps things interesting. Certainly the type of aroma that gets your saliva glands working right away. Funk is low, almost even nonexistent on the nose - the focus is certain on the tart, fruity elements.

One gulp and the vinous aspect of this beer leaps forward ahead of the pack - lots of wine-like grapes, wet oak, and puckering cherries. The tartness spikes quickly and settles on your taste buds, turning into a long-lasting sourness. The middle of the road introduces a very light tomato flavor, not exactly off-putting as it may sound, but rather pretty intriguing.

Vinegar notes are pretty profound and get even bigger with time. The finish contains a heavy dose of sour stone fruits, dry oak, and a very, very light, yeast-funk. Just a touch of corky mustiness, not quite in "barnyard" territory yet. It works, though, as the complexity of the sour profile are strong and interesting enough to stand up on their own. Thin-medium bodied, plenty of lively carbonation for a nice, crisp mouth feel that couples well with the dryness of the oak in the finish.

Again, I am more than pleasantly surprised by a Jester King offering. I don't know if I like this one as much as Das Wunderkind, but it might not be a fair comparison since they are slightly different styles. Either way, this beer was very enjoyable, and it has only reaffirmed by faith in this small-time Texas brewery. I pulled some similarities to RR Consecration out of RU-55. When you're getting compared to Russian River sours, you know you must be on the right track.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poure out as a reddish brown color, the head comes and goes quickly. The retention is very minimal along with a light lacing. The smell is a malty with an interesting sweetness, also caramel or cherry on the nose and lightly toasted. The taste of the beer has a really interesting flavor as well. More malty and dry than sour. There is an earthy grain flavor in the finish with the sourness up front. The mouthfeel of the beer is dry, lightly carbonated. Overall it's a pretty good brew.

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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 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 UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JustXBeer for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with some fruity, wood, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells much better than it tastes in my opinion.

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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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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 twiggamortis420
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

There has been some debate on the RU-55s with the old cap not being carbonated. This one does have the old (plain gold - no logo) cap, so let’s see what happens. 750 mL pours a mostly clear dark crimson color. A fairly aggressive pour yielded a fair amount of carbonation...looks lowly carbed, but not completely without CO2 and actually leaves some spotty lace behind....nice.

Nose has a very nice woody sourness to it. It smells similar to a Rodenbach, but with extra wood funk and more sour. I like it.

It is definitely low on the carbonation, but not completely devoid of some bubbles. The flavors are all there though...tart fruitiness, medium amount of sourness and a nice wood presence. It’s still a damn good Flanders style ale, especially once it gets to room temp and the sourness is more pronounced. If it was under $10 a bottle, I would buy some more, carbonation problems be damned. If they fix that issue, I would love to grab a few of these, even at the steep tag of $15.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, January '13 release
Kennett Winterfest plastic cup

A: Murky reddish amber. Thin color of light tan or off white head. Like more flanders style beers, not tons of carbonation initially. Some bits of lacing are building on the glass.

S: Oak. Vanilla. Vinegar. Sour cherry pie filling.

T: Really awesome stab at the Flanders Red Ale. Definitely getting that funk that you'd expect. Cherry flavors. Acidic quality, but not overly mouth puckering. Pulling some vinegar. Oak. Vanilla hints. The finish is tart and dry, but not bone dry.

M: Light leading to medium.

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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 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 drpimento
3.06/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad, but not a fav by these guys. Served with a nice tan head that subsides slow to the bottom. Aroma is malt and tart. Flavor's like nose and dry. Body is ok, carbonation good. Finish is like flavor, of relatively short length, and forgettable.

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