Friday, July 8, 2016

A Whale A Week: Jester King Nocturn Chrysalis

Now in my second year, A Whale A Week is my challenge to try (with an array of beer loving friends) a rare beer for every week of the year.  Last year I had a great time with this and have continued it for 2016.  Not every beer will be a truly "white whale" beer, but all are hard to find and a treat to try!  I've been kind of bad about keeping up on this the past few months--maybe I should rename this to A Whale Every Other Week...

Jester King Nocturn Chrysalis Blend 2

Jester King Brewery is a wonderful brewery out of Austin, Texas specializing in sour beers.  Their beers eschew classic Belgian styles and really chart their own course, but still have the quality and complexity that good sours should have.  I've reviewed their Atrial Rubicite HERE for a previous Whale A Week.  

Nocturn Chrysalis starts as a sour red ale, and is then barrel aged with a large amount of fresh blackberries.  For this second batch (April 2014) they used Marionberries from Oregon.  ABV is 5.9%, Final Gravity 1.000, pH 3.3. The beer has a score of 93 on Beer Advocate and 99 on Rate Beer. 

Cast of characters: Me (homebrewer for over 25 years, lover and brewer of sour beers); Sarajo (my wife and fan of sours); and fellow Jack Of All Brews member and award winning brewer Josh Welch. 

Nocturn Chrysalis 


Eric: Mellow blackberry aroma.  Light tartness.  Hint of sweet berry.  Light sulfur notes.  Brett--funky leather as it warms up.
Josh: Strong smells of wet hay, slight solvent, light jammy fruit.  


Eric: Deep red to nearly magenta.  Persistent wispy off-pink froth.  Excellent clarity and ruby sparkles.
Josh: Slight white head.  Good clarity.  Nice purple color from the fruit.  No legs, rolls easily in the glass.


Eric: Ooh!  Up front very dry and tannic--almost leathery.  Middle of taste coats the tongue with dry berry and cherry pit flavors.  Finish lingers with distinct blackberry, funk, and oak tannins.  Spritzy and has a very light mouthfeel.  Dry but not astringent.  Fruit still shows through nicely despite age and dryness.  Not overly acidic.
Josh: Less aggressive than the aroma.  Dry, light acidity, effervescent.  Modest apparent sweetness.


Eric: Wow!  I really love this use of blackberry!  Dry but mellow and the fruit is really present.  compared to last week's Beatification which was all acid and little brett, this one is mostly brett and mild acid.  Refreshing, palate cleansing--makes me want to keep drinking it.  4.75
Josh: 4.5
Sarajo: Tart and refreshing.  4.5

Overall Score: 4.67

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