As impressive as I found Commercial Suicide, from Austin's Jester King Brewery, I didn't have a chance to sample any of Jester King's other offerings until last week, when The Common Table featured Black Metal Imperial Stout on BrewsDay Tuesday. And while I wasn't completely blown away, it really was good, too.
Black Metal is intensely dark with a tan head that leaves behind a thick layer of lacing, with the expected chocolate and espresso bean notes and a bracing bitter finish with a surprising amount of hop presence. It could have been a bit thicker, but was still very good. Tried side by side with a sample of the other featured draft, Oskar Blue's Ten FIDY stout, it held its own. Ten FIDY is almost a chocolate malt in comparison, with a creamier, richer velvet body and slightly sweeter milk chocolate taste to Black Metal's roasty dark-chocolate taste. But considering Ten FIDY's insanely high price tag -- $9 for a 10-ounce pour, and four-packs in stores going for $16 or more -- I'll take the Texas beer.
It may have only been the second beer from the brewery that I've tried, but so far I'm very impressed -- wish I could make it to Austin this weekend for their Grand Opening Saturday. But there are a couple of events in the coming weeks that feature the new brewery and don't require a drive through Waco.
But first up is The Common Table's "Beautiful and Basic BrewsDay Tuesday" tomorrow, with two from Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary series: Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock, an imperial helles bock, and Jack and Ken's Ale, an American barleywine. (Speaking of barleywines, don't forget about the week-long celebration of the rich ales at Flying Saucer on the Lake, beginning tonight.) That's followed by next week's focus on Stone Brewing Co., "Two Bars One Stone," with tappings of Lukcy Basartd (yes, that's how they spell it) and Aged Stone Imperial Stout on February 3 and flights of Stone beers all week.
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Keep reading for more upcoming beer events of note...
From 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 5, The Holy Grail Pub will show Super Bowl guests (or anyone who stops in) that Texas knows a thing or two about brewing and distilling. Jester King, along with (512), Real Ale and Franconia, will represent Lone Star beer while Tito's, Dripping Springs and Deep Eddy show that vodka isn't just for the Euros any more. That's followed by the Valentine's Beer Dinner at 7 p.m. February 14, featuring Fullers ESB, Pinkus Organic Hefeweisen, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Maredsous 8 and Left Hand Milk Stout for $65 a person. Oh yeah, that also includes food -- rack of lamb with rose petal mango sauce, Oyster Rockefeller soup and more.
And The Common Table's February beer dinner on February 22 will feature Jester King. Details on that will be forthcoming, I'm sure.