Beer Review: JOLLY PUMPKIN / ANCHORAGE NO KA ‘OÏ

Beer Review: JOLLY PUMPKIN / ANCHORAGE NO KA ‘OÏ

The Jolly Pumpkin / Anchorage No Ka ‘Oï presents itself as a slightly steep investment at $19 for a 750mL bottle, but what lies within certainly justifies the cost. Pouring into wine stemware, the beer reveals a hazy, white peach juice hue with a surprisingly persistent white foam, reminiscent of Belgian geuze rather than a typical American sour. Delicate streaks of brown yeast sediment add an artistic touch, resembling cocoa powder delicately dusted on a cappuccino.

Aroma

The olfactory experience of No Ka ‘Oï is nothing short of phenomenal. Drawing parallels to renowned lambic producers Girardin and Drie Fonteinen, the nose is a captivating blend of powerful Brett, cedar, wet wood, satsuma orange, and grapefruit zest. The Brett contributes a captivating damp wine cellar and cobwebby character, creating a mesmerizing aromatic profile.

Taste

The flavor profile aligns itself with Girardin and Drie Fonteinen geuze, featuring lower acidity and a pronounced focus on leathery grapefruit peel. Despite the label’s modest sourness rating of 3 out of 10, the actual acidity feels even lower, bordering more on a Brett beer. Impressively, the beer avoids the common pitfall of becoming excessively dry and astringent, presenting delicate flavors of satsuma orange, perfumed oils, and grapefruit juice. While the label mentions fruit additions (raspberry and lime peel), their presence remains elusive, with the beer showcasing an intricate interplay of flavors.

Mouthfeel

No Ka ‘Oï boasts one of the most exceptional mouthfeels encountered in the beer world, rivaling the best from Girardin and Drie Fonteinen. Impossibly soft, it harmoniously blends the qualities of grapefruit juice – zesty, leathery, and bright acids. The tightly-bubbled, tingly carbonation enhances the drinking experience, creating a sensation akin to Gatorade refreshment after a workout. Notably, a subtle saltiness contributes buoyancy to the overall mouthfeel, preventing any acetic sharpness.

Overall

In summary, Jolly Pumpkin / Anchorage No Ka ‘Oï stands as top-tier craftsmanship, approaching the excellence of geuze found within the confines of Belgium. The name “No Ka ‘Oi,” translating to “the best” in Hawaiian, accurately captures the essence of this beer. Despite the hefty price tag, the sensory journey offered by this bottle is an investment well worth making for those seeking an extraordinary sour ale experience.