Saturday, 28 May 2016

Bellwoods' Jelly King and I Have an Announcement to Make: We're in Love

Sometimes lately beer bores me. I mean, not exactly, but my consumption has changed.  You see, when I first started this blog, I didn't really know a good brewery from a bad, a good American Wild from a Berliner, and I was just trying things. And there were often seeming masterpieces which shone alongside massive failures. But they'd no longer shine.

See, now I basically only drink good beer. What I mean by noting this is not some snobby claim of superiority (just experience), but rather that when most things one tastes are of a comparable standard, the differences between them actually get subtler. I often think, "This is good," and it seems I am much less frequently saying "WOW!"

But Jelly King... WOW! Thanks for exciting me again! This is easily - EASILY - the best new beer of 2016 I have had and with Motley Cru and Double Barrel Peche Mortel, that is a bold claim!

Take two

Let me start this again, in the other way I'd pondered. I really enjoy Bellwoods beers: their regular offerings are all solid and exemplary of their styles, while their barrel-aged and experimental products are world-class.

But, as much as they are all great, if Bellwoods announced they were discontinuing all production of their regular products except Jelly King (and Lost River), I wouldn't mind. I mean I know they would. I am not proposing that they do this! I am just saying... imagine, Oct 1 through Mar 31: all you can handle Lost River, April 1 through Sept 30, drowning in Jelly! My personal nirvana.

And I hear this very well priced (at $6.50 per 500ml) beer is set to be a semi-regular product. That makes me happy, well... giddy or ecstatic even!

For those who don't know Jelly King is a dry-hopped sour, massively dry-hopped with Citra for bold fruit aromatics, with a lower ABV (at 5.6%) than the earlier untitled "Dry-Hopped Sour" experiments. It is sold out at the moment, but remains on draught on site I believe.

At the pub, they told me some find it too sour and others not sour enough. I have heard some lament that it's too thin. Others simply assume sour and hops can't/shouldn't mix. What can I say... haters. They're entitled to hate and all, and I'm entitled to drink their shares.

Appearance: It pours a fairly clear yellowish to light amber with a much longer lasting, substantial, small-bubbled white foamy head than is typical for the style.

Smell: This smells so overwhelmingly fruity that it reminds me of (what I imagine it would be like to be) stuffing your face into a mixed pile of powdered tangerine and lemon-lime gatorade pre-mix. In fact, it smells almost like Gator-GUM from the 1980s. They say aroma is strongly linked to memory in the brain, and this reminds me of this delightful, long discontinued gum (that smelled great and tasted equally good, until losing it's flavour rapidly). That might not sound great to you, but it is, OH IT IS! I have heard it said, several times, that Four Winds' Nectarous is the fruitiest sour beer that isn't fruited. Nope. This is twice as fruity as Nectarous (which is also awesome, btw!) I could smell this and nothing else, eternally. It's luxurious. It is dominated, for me, by a tangerine and lemon-lime gatorade quality, but there are also some fuzzy peaches lurking in there somewhere. This beer smells like fruity candy! AMAZING!

Taste: Heavenly. It begins with a tangy tangerine quality, before drying and souring up to a quenching peach dominance. It is quite dry, and fairly sour, but for those who find this too sour: don't drink sour beer. For those who find this not sour enough: sure, it won't strip the enamel from your teeth and require either 36 Tums or a trip to the ER if you drink seven of them, but dammit... YOU CAN DRINK SEVEN OF THEM! This is totally crushable, entirely juicy, perfect for the hot summer day!

Mouthfeel: Sure, it's a touch thin, but that's one of its nice perks. It also may seem that way thanks to the spritzy effervescence that dries the palate and spreads the fruity notes. And it isn't that thin. Again, with an overused cliche: it's crushable. Ideally, perfectly, as if from some beertopia: crushable.

Overall: I don't think you'd like this beer. The eight I had have disappeared far too quickly. So if you're carrying... I'm buying. Let's talk. I'll save you from this "thin" beer that's "too sour" or "not sour enough."


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