Jester King – Omniscience & Proselytism
Omniscience & Proselytism is an oak aged sour that is refermented with fresh strawberries from an orchard local to the Jester King brewery. Strawberry sours… normally not a phrase synonymous with good taste. More often than not any type of sour beer using strawberries falls under the dreaded category of either “band aid” or “medicinal”, so when Jester King released this beer, I was skeptical. The taste or smell most often referred to as “band aid” is actually a phenol and when it bonds with chlorine forms a chlorophenol. This can be caused from wild yeast or from improper sanitation methods. Since strawberries contain tons of wild yeast, well, you get the picture. Enough about off flavors – let’s talk about the beer!
O&P pours a hazy orange with an underlying reddish tone. The color is pretty akin to most strawberry beers, but they are always nice to look at. Head retention is rather poor, but with a beer as dry as this it’s to be expected. The aroma of this beer is very complex; dried strawberries, leather, and intense brett funk. I’m sure the funk is highlighted because of the natural funk emitted from the strawberries. No off aromas detected on the nose of this beer, so let’s hope it tastes as good as it smells.
Upon first sip you get a burst of acidity and leathery funk. It seems the fruit flavor is really subtle in this beer, the beer finishes dry with a bit of citrus at the end. I let my palate rest for a while before I took another sip, wondering if it would adjust to the acidic nature of the beer. My second sip was a completely different experience; light acidity with huge notes of strawberry, assorted berries, and barnyard funk. O&P tastes just like strawberry pie with subtle hints of lemon and brett funk.
I was a bit nervous after my first sip, but any tepidity quickly subsided after I took my second sip. Jester King offers up nothing but balanced sours that hit on all the right notes. O&P is definitely the best strawberry I’ve had to date and I have feeling it’s going to be very, very difficult to change that.