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Jjjulius, King Julius, or King Jjjulius? Blind tasting one of craft beer’s most popular lineages.

Posted by Northeast Beer Community on

With Tree House releasing fresh batches of King Jjjulius and Jjjulius, I thought it would be a good idea to blind taste them against the one last King Julius that I had left in the in the fridge. All the beers were canned within the past three weeks – making it the perfect opportunity to have them all fresh. Sadly, I could not get my hands on a regular Julius – but that will make for a great part 2. The fourth glass in the flight was a cuvée of all three beers.

For some context on how I do blind tastings – I do not try to figure out which beer is which. I rather try to just determine which one I enjoy the most and try to understand why that is so. Granted – there may be subconscious bias of prior preferences, however I try my best to keep them at bay.

            I will be calling each beer by these names – KJjj, KJ, and Jjj. For starters, these beers are definitely similar – however they vary based on hops and abv. I will run through my thoughts on each and then reveal which I preferred and why.

These thoughts were what I wrote down during my blind tasting. Jjj: upfront heavy aroma, obviously citrus note – specifically just a basic orange peel. Imagine orange rind – bitter and fresh. One thing that always sticks out to me with Julius - is a little piney smell and flavor. I always associate it with simcoe. It almost has Green vibes if you will. Enjoyed the first sip – felt like I didn’t need to try anymore.

Next in line was KJjj. All of sudden I felt like a fool for not needing to try anymore after the Jjj. All I knew was this beer was even more hop forward, but sweeter. First sip impressions were much different then Jjj – refreshing in a different way. Jjj was refreshing in a lighter, more orange juice way – as KJjj was refreshing because the extra hops mixed with the candied orange palate meshed together, leading you back in for more.

The cuvée was next in line – and this beer actually confused me a bit. It wasn’t as sweet or bitter, but it carried over more characteristics from (2) which was KJjj. Specifically, the extra hops on the palate. Both KJjj and the cuvée presented a little baby hop burn as they got warmer.

The fourth and final beer in the flight was KJ. Coming into this – I thought that this beer had a high chance of landing on top. For me – balance is one the highest qualities a beer can have, and in the past I always associated KJ with that perfect Tree House balance. In a disappointing fashion, KJ fell in my last slot. It lacked aroma compared to the others and was much more pulled back on the palate compared to Jjj.

My final order in preference went like this: KJjj, Jjj, cuvée, KJ. To me, KJjj shined with that extra bitterness and heavy hop profile that lingered on the tongue. The Jjj was a close second because of how uber refreshing it was. It brought me back to the beer “Use It Up” by Fidens Brewing Co. That beer was almost impossible to put down – and that combo of citra and simcoe make for a dangerously drinkable beer. The cuvée was really good – however it definitely lacked a true identity and as you can imagine it blended in with all of them.

            King Jjjulius is a big beer, no doubt – but it is well balanced and almost tastes like the pinnacle or climax of New England style IPAs. I am glad it is not 10% - because it doesn’t need to be. The Jjjulius should be more sought after – it truly is up there with every Tree House whale. At its abv – the aroma and flavor are out of this world. Granted, I have always been a big fan of all of Tree House’s DDH versions of their basics – Jjjulius, Gggreen, Aaalter Ego, etc. You get a (lower) calorie beer… that it beyond flavorful and extra hoppy – if you’re into that, and is super crushable. What else could you ask for?

            This was a special flight for sure – I am beyond lucky to have access to all of these beers and to have the entire community to share my thoughts with. Thank you all for your support – it has been really awesome to see so many people connect and share their love for beer. Until next time. Cheers!