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
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.
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.