Brewery: Jester King Brewery
Beer: Black Metal (2011)
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Character: Original version of Black Metal, a Russian Imperial Stout, before the Farmhouse version. Aged 4 years.
Ratings at the time of Review: BA: 92 | RB: 99
Metal Connection: Venom – Black Metal
BeerMetalDude Rating: 5/5
INTO THE CELLAR! (Please sing this in the tune of Dokken’s Into the Fire)
I remember going to the Grand Opening of Jester King back in 2011, when they were a brewery just making intense regular styled beers, before they went all farmhouse sour. In 2011-2012, bottles of the Russian Imperial Stout, Black Metal were distributed to stores and bars all around San Antonio. I remember playing, or booking shows at Zombies here in San Antonio, and they would have bottles of Black Metal for like $10, and they would sell them to patrons just like that. I would see people chugging away on the actual 750ml bottle until they finished the whole thing themselves. I had my own bottles at home, and I remember having this beer on draft at Jester King when I used to visit them within their first year.
After their 1 year anniversary, Jester King became a Farmhouse only brewery, making all their beer releases a sour variant. I was so thrilled and grateful to my good friend, Scotty Kretchman, GM of Big Hops Huebner for trading me a couple of bottles of OG Black Metal. This bottle here that I reviewed was the last one I had in my possession, and unless I can get another in trade, it may be the last time I will ever have this delicious brew. How sad!
The label is, of course, something I fell in love with right away. The Metal heads over at Jester King really hit the nail on the head with this label. The one thing associated with Black Metal that is known throughout the world is the used of Corpse Paint. The caricature of the Black Metal warrior is spot on. He is drawn wearing spiked shoulder pads connected with black chains. His corpse paint makes me think that the famed Black Metal band, Immortal was the inspiration behind the design. Our character sits within a metallic blade-like circle art, complete with sharp edges, and a saw blade border.
I used my favorite snifter glass for this session, my Satan Beer glass. Black Metal poured a thick, opaque black colored beer that was topped with a large 1.5 dark brown foamy head. There was great head retention as a thin layer atop the beer through this session, leaving lines of sticky lacing down the glass.
The aroma was strong dark fruits, a mix of raisins, dates, and prunes. There is also a strong aroma of coffee with some mild star anise, some wood, nutshells, sweet milk chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, heavy cream, and some earthiness. The lingering aroma in the nose was a lot of wood, earthiness, and chocolate.
In the taste, for me, there is tons of coffee mixed with sweet milk chocolate, and cocoa powder right up front. The bulk is dark fruits, some wood characteristics, nutshells, vanilla, and heavy cream. Some faint earthiness peaks through at the end. The lingering aftertaste is the faint earthiness, chocolate, wood, and coffee.
The body was heavy and thick, with a very slick and oily mouthfeel. The finish had a mouth coating slickness to it.
Overall, I was, and still am very much in love with this beer. I know everybody and their mother is all over the farmhouse/sour beer releases by Jester King, but I am also a big fan of their older beers, especially this one. I believe, Black Metal was the first Metal related beer I ever saw from a Texas brewery. It holds a special place in my black heart. But let’s not get this twisted. Yes, the label played a big part in my originally loving this beer, but the product inside the bottle is what really won me over. This beer had so many flavors shining through in the aroma and taste. This bottle fresh was just as phenomenal as it was aged for 4 years. I really wish I could get my hands on another bottle of this beer, but I have heard that collaboration beer between Jester King and Amager Bryghus called Danish Metal is the closest thing, if not exact replica to our beloved OG Black Metal. Guess who just got a bottle of this? THIS GUY! Once I drink it, I will compare and review it. I can not wait!
Metal Connection: Since 1982, when England’s NWOBHM/Black/Speed Metal band, Venom released the cult classic song Black Metal, there was a whole genre of Metal spawned from that exact name. There have been countless of cover versions of this song, and some of those are my personal favorite, but nothing beats the original, of course. Venom first released the song, “Black Metal” as part of their independently released To Hell and Back demo, before creating their 2nd full length album by the same name. The beginning of the song starts off with loud noise, leading into the buzzsaw riff that gets mostly every Metal head in an instant frenzy. Right away, some of the most memorable lyrics some rocking in, and the song then possesses you to pretty much rip apart anything in your path. Get consumed by the Devil, himself, my friends, and blast at full volume some “Black Metal!”
Lay Down your Soul to the God’s Rock ‘n’ Roll!