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Jester King and Fantôme Del Rey

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The label sez: "We continue on, forward, like phantom people, towards subtle dawn." I don't know what that means, and the ghost infamously never shares its secrets, so we'll just have to let that be, I guess.

The beer itself was originally brewed in Belgium at Fantôme, with Dany and Jester King brewer Garrett Crowell collaborating on the recipe. Speaking of which, unlike most Tômes, we know a little more about the recipe here. It's made with dark candi syrup, truffle honey, coriander, and black peppercorns. After the initial batch in Belgium, Jester King made a batch back at their own brewery and subjected it to extended fermentation and partial barrel aging (and using their distinctive well water and a melange of native, mixed-culture yeast and bacterial beasties.) The name Fantôme Del Rey roughly translates to Ghost of the King, which is actually pretty evocative. But how's the beer?

Jester King and Fantôme Del Rey

Jester King and Fantôme Del Rey (Texas Version) - Pours a striking clear golden orange color with a solid finger of dense white head that has great retention and leaves some lacing as I drink. Smells very funky, lots of dusty, musty Belgian funk going on, a little earthy, some unidentifiable spices, and an underlying fruitiness peeking through. Taste is candy sweet up front, a little sticky fruit, hints of spice and earthy funk, finishing with a whisper of tartness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little low on the carbonation (but there's plenty there), some stickiness, and only a hint of acidity. A little more carbonation would have done this well. Overall, this is a very nice beer, atypical for Fantôme, which I guess makes sense since this is the Texas version. Well worth checking out. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 8.8% ABV bottled (750 ml capped and corked). Drank out of a tulip glass on 4/8/18. Blend #1 - 03.22.16.

Always down for another Tôme, and Jester King is certainly a brewery I should seek out more often. Many thanks to fellow BeerNERD Gary for procuring this bottle for me in his many travels.

Jester King Wytchmaker Rye IPA

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During my recent trip to Austin, I actually stopped at a grocery store to pick up a couple of beers to smuggle back home. I've never done this before, so I was a little worried about confiscation or broken bottles. So I put the bottles in ziploc bags, wrapped them in clothing and made sure they were in the middle of my bag. Fortunately, it all worked out in the end, and I got me some Texas beer:

Jester King Wytchmaker Rye IPA

Jester King Wytchmaker Rye IPA - Jester King is a pretty small brewery based in Austin, TX, but they've been making a name for themselves with their big imperial stout and some barrel-aged offerings (and bitchin' label designs). They've also been in the news lately for trying to fight Texas' asinine beer laws (ever see a sentence on a lager that says "ale in TX"? That's because Texas law requires brewers to call lagers above 4% ABV an ale - i.e. Texas law requires brewers to lie about their beer. And that's just one example.) This beer is a relatively straightforward beer, except for the inclusion of Rye in the recipe. I've had a few beers with Rye, but I can't say as though I have a really good palate for picking it out. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this beer muchly...

Pours a very pretty dark amberish orange color with tons of slowly disappearing head (seriously, took forever for it to go away) that leaves copious lacing as I drink. Smell is filled with sugary sweet hoppy aromas. Typical citrus and pine here, but also something else, perhaps that rye? Taste starts sweet, with a nice, well balanced bitterness coming in towards the finish. Not quite refreshing, but it's not extreme either. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth and compulsively drinkable. Overall, a really nice IPA with well matched flavors. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 6.8% ABV bottled (750 ml capped). Drank out of a tulip glass on 10/22/11. Hops: Warrior, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe. O.G.: 1.062.

Certainly a good first impression and a favorable rating amongst the various Texas breweries I became acquainted with during my vacation. Here's to hoping they get distribution up here in PA someday. Hey, Jester King? We have horrible beer laws too! You should send beer up here so that we can commiserate together...

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Hi, my name is Mark, and I like beer.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Jester King category.

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