Wednesday, August 15, 2012

JESTER KING's "WYCHMAKER" RYE-P-A

All these JESTER KING BREWING bottles are spilling off the shelves in my area these days, and it's hard to know which ones to drink, you know what I mean? A year or so ago I was hunting these Texas beers down and trading for them with real live Texans, such was the power of the word going on about them. Now there's like eight of 'em for me to choose from, at Whole Foods no less! I liked the looks of this one, the WYCHMAKER rye-based IPA, and remembered a blog post of someone's that just went off the hizzle about it. Rye IPAs always have a home in my home, albeit with a very short stay if you know from whence I'm coming.

WYCHMAKER is super earthy and even a little tart (!) on the first sip. That said, it's most definitely an IPA. The rye malts are both strong and lingering, and they impart a chewy character to the beer. It's 7% alcohol - quite approachable in these days of ABV "grade inflation". As I drank it I kept going back to its "farmhouse" characteristics - it really is musty and yeasty, while remaining within the style profile of an India Pale Ale. Isn't that something? One of the more interesting IPAs I've had in a while, and something special like that DOBBEL DRAM we keep telling you about. 8/10.

7 comments:

Sean said...

If "off the hizzle" means shouting IN EXCELCIS BEERUS! from every rooftop and street corner I could find, I am the likely culprit. I love this beer, and they have a Wild Wytchmaker (made with wild yeast) which is equally great. If you see them, grab the Noble King which is excellent, and the Boxer's Revenge, which I only had once at a beer fest. I was fairly well lubricated by the time I had the Boxer's Revenge, so my critical faculties were not at their best, but that one nearly reduced me to tears

Jay H said...

Yep, yep that was you. Thanks for turning me onto it. Your photo of the strange nun lady on the bottle also helped sear her into my mind, making it easy to remember this beer when I saw it on the shelves.

Sean said...

Not a nun, but a witch from Salem (hence the headgear). There is a theory that those accused of being witches in Salem were hallucinating (and therefore acting strangely) from some funky bacteria that grew in the rye bread they were eating. Rye Bread to Rye Beer to Salem Witches = Label

My favorite theory is that there was a property dispute and the easiest way to quiet title was to have your opponents convicted of witchcraft and executed.

Mark said...

I smuggled a bottle of this back to PA (no distribution back then, though I think they've just started showing up these days) last year and greatly enjoyed it, but I believe it was before they started calling all their beers "Farmhouse". Not sure if that "Farmhouse" moniker indicates that they changed something, or if they just changed their names or what. I certainly don't remember any tartness in this one, though it was still quite good.

Definitely looking forward to trying more from these guys now that they distribute up here though!

Sean said...

Yeah, the Farmhouse beers are different in that they use wild yeast. It is a bit confusing because the labels look almost the same unless you put them side by side and even then the differences are not that great. the color is a little different, and there is a tiny "farmhouse" written in script.

http://tiltingsuds.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/dscn6089.jpg

Vince said...

Had a chance to try Drake's Aroma Coma? I think it's your style of IPA and it's available for a limited time at places like Blackwell's and probably City Beer.

Jay Hinman said...

Hey Vince, yeah I have had it - for whatever reason I didn't quite get as into it as you did - I found its lack of balance a little annoying: http://www.beersamizdat.net/2011/10/still-standing-after-drakes-aroma-coma.html