FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 29, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled lightly chilled, December 2004
Pours a hazy amber color, and is topped by a frothy full tan head. As I pour I get hints of apricot, orange, dust, and musty wood. Interesting enough to go in for a deeper contemplative smell. Hmm, this one smells wild and musty, almost has the aroma of a beer that has been in a corked bottle for a while, though this hasn’t. I get fleeting spicy notes that are perhaps reminiscent of grains of paradise, ginger, clove, which then moves into malty notes mixed with musty wood notes. Quite an interesting mix of aromas, I am not quite to sure if the taste is going to be good or bad, it depends on which notes come through the most.
Ok, the taste, it is soft and lightly sweet up front, and then moves to a tangy, orange-like middle, then finishes with some astringency. Definitely an interesting beer. This beer is rich with a healthy dose of malt notes that are full of caramel, biscuits, and crusty French bread. The malt mixes with spicy notes of pepper, ginger, clove, and orange peel. There is a musty tartness to this beer that, though not overwhelming, certainly contributes to this beer. This beer finishes with a slightly hot, astringent finish that I am not quite able to pinpoint.
Ultimately, I think that this beer is a little out of wack, it is sort of in the gray zone between conventionally fermented single yeast strain fermented beers, infected beers, and beers that are fermented purposefully with wild, yet house derived character. This beer needs to decide which way it wants to go, and I would certainly be in favor of it going fully funky, if it can be kept in balance. Right now it is certainly interesting, certainly drinkable, and even enjoyable, but it seems a bit muddled by various competing fermentation by products. I could see a bottle of this beer being laid down for a year or two and becoming quite stellar, if not intriguingly different. While I am being quite critical here, this is a beer that I am quite enjoying, and I will look forward to procuring some more bottles of this beer. Cheers to Jolly Pumpkin for pushing the boundaries in the middle of America, and cheers to my personal Santa who delivered this treat to my doorstep.
Zach Diesel (906) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 10, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
distinctive buttercream and nectarine aroma, cloudy dark orange with a seamless head, noticeably strong, butterscotchy with spicy hops
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - NOV 30, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
First Jolly Pumpkin has some kicking labels and this one is my favorite of the four. Clear red body with orange highlights. Big pillowy light tan head that collapses leaving behind thick sheets of lace. Looks ever so appealing in the glass. Interesting aroma.: oak, vanilla, cobwebs, lightly fruity hops, earthy yeast, light alcohol, and bready malt. The flavor is equally as interesting, the barel-aging is really evident inthe flavor. Vinous tanin-esque oak flavor is dominate, but there is a nice mild sweetness balancing things out. Light alcohol notes throughout. Medium mouth-coating body. lighltly spritzy carbonation. A very interesting beer, truly unique. Props to the brewer on this gem.
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - NOV 24, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Murky brownish red brew with a big oaky nose.Medium bodied. Malty with a pretty good alcohol presence. I think with some age this could really be something.
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - NOV 21, 2004
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2004 Dark Red. Aroma is very medicinal, and shows caramel, pit fruit, malt and subtle hopping. This has a distinctive house character that I also noticed with Oro De Calabaza. It’s unique, or weird, either one. Notes of wine stained oak, caramel, medicines, cherries, toasted malts and noble hop (algae, herbs). Just like others, I see a lot of potential with Jolly Pumpkin but nothing I have had so far has been exceptional.
Ernest (6018) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 21, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 31, 2009 Bottle (2008, blend 7). Head is initially huge, frothy, off-white to light brown, mostly diminishing. Body is hazy medium to dark amber, bottle conditioned. Aroma is moderately malty (toasted grain/bread), lightly hoppy (herbs), moderately yeasty (cobwebs, barnyard), with notes of bark, autumn leaves, clove, light note of cherry. Flavor is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Medium body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, lighlty alcoholic. Another solid rustic ale from JP...but then, they’re pretty much all this caliber. Go Ron!
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - NOV 8, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Beautiful cross between garnet and amber. Slight bourbon and strong vinous flavor. Molasses, brown sugar, honey tempered by acidic notes. Sticky, tart plum. Disliked the strong sherry note in the finish, just seemed a little over the top and didn’t jive with the rest of the beer.
hotstuff (3737) - Indiana, USA - OCT 31, 2004
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml barrel aged and bottle conditioned. Poured a medium sized fizzy ivory head with fair lacing, cloudy, carbonated, and a copper hue. Malty, caramel, spicy and alcohol aroma. Flavor was malty, caramel, spicy and vinuous. Delicious! Mouthfeel started out smooth and then a burning sensation. Highly recommended.
qdog (201) - Cleveland, Mississippi, USA - OCT 28, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle, brown in color, decent tan head, with decent lacing, as soon as i raised it to drink i could smell the rich aroma of bourbon, definitely also has an alcohol flavor mixed with fruit. different but i like it
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - OCT 27, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Hazy brown color. Nice tannish head that fades moderately fast, minimal lacing. Bourbon notes are in the aroma. Fruit, malt and yeast can also be picked up. Very pleasant mouthfeel. Smooth. The bourbon flavors make this feel bigger than 7%. Pretty well done.