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RATINGS: 1263   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.78   EST. CALORIES: 216   ABV: 7.2%
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La Roja, an artisan amber ale brewed in the Flanders tradition. Deep amber with earthy caramel, spice and sour fruit notes developed through natural barrel aging. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and blended from barrels ranging in age between two and ten months. Truly an ale of distinction.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAR 30, 2005
750 mL, capped bottle: rich, garnet, violet hued body below a thick, tight bubbled off-tan head, that leaves behind a dense Styrofoam-esk lace. Sweet & light aroma with caramel coated plums, dark red grapes, vanilla beans, oak bark and a soft, creamy icing. Yeasty esters linger just above the glass and mix with a slightly more than subtle banana alcohol presence. Liquid hop pellets slide across the tongue while rich, bitter leather tannins round out the palate offering an interesting twist and combine with a dry, spicy earthiness to really sooth and relax the body and mind after a long day…truly a special brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
bubslang (438) - Kentwood, Michigan, USA - MAR 24, 2005
garnet with a small off white head. Inviting aroma of spices and malt. nice mouthfeel with a complex taste of spices, caramel malt, and earthiness. A well done beer by this new michigan brewer, I look forward to trying more of their offerings.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
Dogfish120 (143) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAR 22, 2005
Tap: Thick head with decent lacing, rich aroma, some yeast notes sugar and other sweetness throughout, very well balanced, an excellent microbrew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAR 20, 2005
Pours a clear mahogany brown with a thick light tan head with nice lacing. Aroma is rich, bready, and full of caramel malt with some nice Belgian yeasty notes. Body starts full and semi-sweet with some chocolate chip cookie dough leading to a candy sugar finish with a touch of creamed corn and diacetyl. Nice balance throughout, but the finish is the thing that really detracts for me. Otherwise, good authenticity.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BBB63 (6155) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - MAR 19, 2005
Bottle: Rich brown hue topped by a long-lasting frothy beige head and oustanding lace. The aroma has notes of caramelized malting, floral and grassy hops, coriander and white pepper, plum and orange peel, and earthy yeast esters. Outstanding and inviting! The taste starts moderately malty sweet before a nice dose of spice and bitters add a cleaning effect to the palate. A touch of oak and yeasty character makes it a wonderful tasting pleasure. The feel is fizzy but that helps more that hinders the experiance as I find myself drinking this way too quickly. Yet another well crafted brew for this upstart artisan brewery. A piece of French farmhouse ale in my backyard, Bravo Jolly Pumpkin! (A must try for anyone who thinks American microbrewing is NOT all about hops and alcohol !!!)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
5000 (6299) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - MAR 14, 2005
Bottle pours a cloudy reddish caramel, large fizzy off-white head, spotty lacing, and loads of sediment.   Initial sharp nose of dill and assorated herbs.   Slightly floral.   Flavor starts out as a young oaken herbal flavor, that develops into a light dark pitted fruit as it warms.   Quite the change.   Becomes even heavier as time goes on.   Seems quite different from the Biere de Gardes I have had in the past.   Great body, with a full mouthfeel.   The herbish/dill seems to have fully dissipated, leaving only an enjoyable sweetish dark pitted fruit on the finish.   The transformation of this beer was quite unique, and enjoyable.   Not like any Biere de Garde I have had, but quite nice otherwise.   Thanks goes out to CaptainCougar for the trade!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
gearbike (512) - West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA - MAR 13, 2005
Does not taste like a beer from Dexter Michigan. Very Belgium dark ale texture. Malty flavor with a bit to much alchol present.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 11, 2005
Brilliant ruby body with a moderate, off-white head. The aroma is elegant and malty. Whole grains, creamy caramel, a bit of iron, cinnamon, sweet oranges, vanilla, fragrant flowers, light, fruity esters and a touch of coriander. The body is creamy and smooth with just the right amount of heft to make it fullly enjoyable from all sides. The flavor is delectable. The flavors are well crafted and enjoyable. The malt character is multi-layered and quite pleasing. An excellent focus on delicate malts without being sweet and cloying. The light spice character and subtle, earthy hops keep it interesting. The finish is long and enjoyable, making the beer entirely refreshing from beginning through the very end. Another excellent beer from a brewery quickly becoming one of my favorites. I can’t wait to try their other beers.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
kane (111) - USA - MAR 5, 2005
This is a MI beer? In a blind tasting I never would of guessed this was brewed in the US until someone showed me the bottle and even then I would be sceptical. Pours a medium dark ruby color with a large slowly diminishing off-white head. Aroma is very old world: barnyard, spices, chocolate. Taste is complementary of the aroma matching the spices and chocolate very well. The yeast is omnipresent, taking you to a Belgian farmhouse. This brewery is a great discovery for me. I will have to try there other offerings.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DocLock (8054) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 1, 2005
Huge thanks to BBB63 for this. Mike is an awesome trader, and he knew I’d like this one. Pours turbid ruby/orange, with big, creamy off-white head. Definite 4-5 for appearance, which I gave a 5. Aroma of caramel malt, dark fruit, some chocolate, spices, Brett. Tastes malty, Bretty, dark fruity, with finishing chocolate and hops, also big oak, bourbon, cognac, and spice. Very complex taste and aroma, very smooth, with a well carbonated palate. Just delicious. Went well with a Fuente cigar. As with the JP Bianca, more complex as it warms. In a blind taste test, you’d never know the JP beers were brewed in Michigan rather than Belgium. Never in a million years. Bravo!!!! Here’s to wild yeasts, bottle conditioning, and good old American ingenuity! Rock on, Jolly Pumpkin!!

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