Jester King’s Viking Metal offers a modern take on an ancient Swedish farmhouse ale, Gotlandsdricka. This rendition is aged in Old Tom gin barrels for several months with wild yeast and souring bacteria. Brewed with birchwood smoked malt, juniper, and Myrica gale, the beer undergoes primary fermentation with farmhouse yeast before being racked to oak barrels previously containing Old Tom gin and inoculated with mature barrel-aged beer containing wild yeast and souring bacteria. After seven months of oak fermentation and maturation, the barrels are blended, and the beer is naturally conditioned for an additional six weeks before release.

Tasting Notes

  • Appearance: The beer pours a dull, cloudy gold.
  • Aroma: Notes of vinyl, juniper, liquid medicine, and banana are discernible.
  • Taste: Flavors of smoke, juniper, cactus cooler, and euro hops dominate, complemented by the presence of Brett. The mild oak and well-hidden alcohol contribute to the complexity. While not strictly sour, it presents a tart finish.
  • Mouthfeel: Chalky and full-bodied with modest carbonation.


Despite its novelty and complexity, Jester King’s Viking Metal ultimately falls short in several aspects. While the blend of flavors is intriguing, the execution lacks finesse. The aroma, reminiscent of vinyl and liquid medicine, may deter some drinkers, and the taste, though multifaceted, struggles to achieve coherence. The mouthfeel, while appropriately full-bodied, veers into chalkiness, detracting from the overall drinking experience.


In conclusion, Jester King’s Viking Metal is an ambitious experiment that, while admirable in its attempt to revive an ancient style, ultimately fails to deliver a truly satisfying drinking experience. While it may appeal to adventurous beer enthusiasts seeking something out of the ordinary, its flaws prevent it from achieving widespread acclaim. Overall, it remains a beer best approached with tempered expectations and a willingness to appreciate its eccentricities.