Friday, May 29, 2009

One joker too many

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 10:00 AM

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For the past week, I have searched and called liquor stores citywide trying to find one that had Boulevard's newest beer, Two Jokers, in stock. I heard a lot of "nope" and "never heard of it" and "we're supposed to get it sometime soon." Yesterday, three stores suddenly had it. There's plenty for the taking now all over the city.

That week of effort just makes the next sentence all the more disappointing. I do not care for Two Jokers.

The eighth Smokestack series release, Two Jokers is a double-wit beer.

Witbiers have been around for hundreds of years but essentially died

out in the 1950s before being revived by an electric Belgium brewer

named Pierre Celis.

Technically a "wheat ale," they contain lots of herbs, spices and most

distinctively, lactic acid which gives them a sourness other wheat

varieties lack.

As the name implies, a double-wit takes all

the qualities of a wit and amps them up even more, something Two Jokers

easily accomplishes. The spices -- which the back label says come

from cardamon, coriander, orange peel, lavender and grains of paradise

-- punch the tongue. The lactic sourness is almost strong enough to induce a grimace. It goes down crisp, leaving a parched feeling.

Two

Jokers accomplishes its job too well.

One of my qualms with Boulevard's

other witbier, Zon (like Two Jokers, it's a summer seasonal) is that it

leaves the mouth feeling too dry. With Two Jokers that dryness is

magnified. While Zon's spiciness is more subtle, it helps make

beer go down easier -- very drinkable.

Two Jokers' overwhelming spices make it not

nearly as drinkable and left me, a casual witbier fan, feeling

cold. Just as I wouldn't recommend an imperial

stout to a person who only "sort of liked" stouts, I wouldn't recommend

Two Jokers to readers who only "sort of like" witbier.

Die-hard witbier drinkers who found Zon too timid will most likely love Two Jokers.

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