Oddly enough the next beer up on my list is another collaboration brew, this time between Jack’s Abby in Framingham, MA and Otter Creek in Middlebury, VT. I happened upon these cans after another day of hiking, and they seemed like a safe bet.
Beer Name: Joint Custody
Brewery: Collaboration between Jack’s Abby and Otter Creek.
Style: “Nouveau” Pilsner
Description: Described as a “nouveau” pilsner because it is a blend of a traditional German pilsner base coupled with two of Germany’s newest fruity hop varieties, Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon.
Pour Info: All cans were consumed cold. Some straight out of the can, some poured into a pint glass. At the time of this writing, two were drunk out of the can and two from a pint glass.
Price: It was around $11 or $12 for the 6 pack of 12 oz. cans. It was mixed in with other purchases, so I don’t recall exactly.
Appearance: Pours a cloudy, darker straw yellow/gold color. Just less than a finger’s worth of foamy white head to start things off.
Smell: Fruits up front, mostly tangerine from the Mandarina Bavaria hops and a slight hint of bitterness at the end.
Taste: Here is where things get really interesting. First from the pint glass, the beer has a juicy melon/tangerine opening backed up by a slightly grassy and piney hop finish. There is also a distinct crisp maltiness that picks up in the late middle of the beer. All things considered, I get more of a Pale Ale (rather Pale Lager since this is a Jack’s Abby creation) feel out of this than a Pilsner. Drunk out of the can, the beer has largely the same tastes with one key difference: a strong smoky taste that picks up right about where I noticed the malts in the poured version. It is not entirely off putting, but very unexpected. Only once out of the glass did I get any hint of this and that was from a final sip I had left sitting around close to room temperature. Guesses/explanations I have seen range from a trick of the tastes buds to phenolic flavors imparted by some part of the yeast or malt bill. I won’t hazard a guess, but it did taste much better from the glass because of this.
Mouth Feel: Lighter side of medium body and moderate carbonation. Very easy drinking.
Hype Factor: Moderate. I was excited to see it in the store and Jack’s Abby is a favorite of mine, but I had no special hopes for it.
Overall: When consumed from a glass, I really like this beer. It was very flavorful and easy drinking– perfect for drinking outside at the end of a tiring summer day. Out of the can it was not quite as good but not bad. This being said, I think the one six pack was enough. I’ve had better from each of these breweries.