It turns out that Jester King Brewery will not be releasing one of its most anticipated beers this year.
The Austin-based brewery has decided to not release its 2017 Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite due to the fact that it is “a little too acetic (vinegary)!” The 5.8 percent ABV sour ale was refermented on raspberries sourced from Washington before being aged in sherry barrels and incorporates Jester King’s Atrial Rubicite as its base.
Jester King explained the decision in a post on its website:
One thing we really pride ourselves on is making drinkable beer. We see sourness as a component part in an overall flavor profile, which creates balance and drinkability in the beer. We brew, ferment, blend, and condition our beer with an eye towards soft, mellow acidity. Despite our best effort to create soft acidity, sometimes it doesn’t work out. We keep our barrel room at cellar temperature, keep our barrels full, purge our barrels with CO2, and discard harshly sour barrels, all in an effort to make drinkable beer with soft acids. But mixed fermentation can still be fickle, and sadly, 2017 Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite is a victim of being a little to acetic. We try to keep it at bay with the aforementioned techniques, but like we wrote, it doesn’t always work out.
According to Jester King, the brewery went all the way through the process of blending and packaging the beer, but decided it tasted too acetic to release. In addition, although the brewery is going to continue attempting to produce Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite for future releases, this version is now going to be made into malt vinegar.
This would have been the second release of Sherry Barrel Atrial Rubicite after it debuted in September 2015. That version was aged in a single 500 liter Spanish sherry barrel for 15 months and came in at a slightly higher 7 percent ABV.