Ernest (5627) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 2, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 15, 2007 Bottle. Head is initially large, frothy, rocky, off-white, fully lasting. Body is hazy medium amber, bottle conditioned. Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted grain), lightly to moderately yeasty (cobwebs, barnyard), with notes of autumn leaves, wood, clove, lemon/orange zest, nutmeg. Flavor is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Medium body, velvety/creamy texture, lively carbonation. Hate to say it, but "just another" sourish, dry Jolly Pumpkin brew. Theyíre becoming kind of samey (the added spices donít stick out much, so this is similar to Roja, etc.), although almost always very tasty.
HumuloneRed (751) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 6, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
750ml bottle. Sour and spicy aroma. It pours a cloudy golden with great head and lacing. It has a nice bitterness up front with interesting vanilla and herbal flavors. I thought it was a little thin for the amount of bitterness but overall a good beer that would age well. Thanks Dewbrewer!
Inveigler (371) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - FEB 4, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Just about as good a saison as I have ever tasted. A soft marshmallowy maltiness in the aroma. A thick white head with lots of lacing. A peachy color and a little cloudy. Some nice alcohol warmth if you hold it on your tongue. I am all about balance -- thatís what I look for in a beer and this one has it plenty. Some solid malt character but enough hops to make it a great mix. It whafts to the back of the throat long after the swallow. Some sweet toffee. Absolute brilliant.
muzzlehatch (4425) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JAN 24, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle joyously downed with MartinT, tiggmtl and Rastacouere. Dull brassy/coppery complected, lightly hazy with a thick lasting dollop of foam...huge spicy-sweet nose, vanilla thyme and oak present amidst the thick malt...mouthfeel absolutely gorgeous, creamy-soft and pillowy, you want to lie down in it...flavors rough and farmy, alcohol slightly present with sour fruits and pepper...a magnificent treat.
MartinT (6934) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 24, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 19, 2007 The Lure:
A towering foam outgrowth leaves islands of lacing all over. Whispering wooden barrels delicately suggest engaging conversation to the flowery hops and grains of paradise. Wild yeast is perfectly integrated for tantalizing results.br>
Dry oranges, peaches and apricots are fabulously linked by the wooden dryness component of the barrel aging. Coriander milkiness seduces, and is frothy carbonation is lively and authentic, this is as drinkable as it can get, while remaining rustic. The remarkable brett wilderness is never aggressive, only a competent companion amongst others to render more complexity. Stunning.
On the French countryside, the soup of the day is always straight out of the garden. And boy is it lovely.
tiggmtl (4516) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 24, 2005
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: MAR 7, 2006 Oak, vanilla, nutty marzipan and market-fresh vegetables in the aroma along with a beautiful brett character. Hazy, burnished golden-copper coloured body with decent off-white head that recedes to generous and lasting fine-bubbled cover with some nice lacing. Earthy, musty, light barnyard, but clean tasting with a nice peppery spiciness and some minty notes and some flowery hops. Brett character is also very apparent in the flavour and lingering in the aftertaste. Fair bitterness in the finish. Beautiful soft texture and mouthfeel with fine-bubbled carbonation that stimulates the tongue and opens the tastebuds. I just want to bathe in this one. Bottle enjoyed with MartinT, muzzlehatch and Rastacouere. Original rating (8-3-8-5-16=4.0), resampled Mar-06 and bumped the score up dramatically.
Rastacouere (6044) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 24, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Slightly hazy orange. White, soft, sticky head boasts more than honest lacing. Never heard of aroma, cedar juice. What are those hops? They feel german in a way.. theyíre a pure pleasure, a treasure. Very woody, subtle, elegant. Sprucey orange juice uncovers a spicy medley and a shot of vanilla. Minty, musty, earthy. Enjoyable belgian yeast, dry (pencil shavings) and bready. Original leafiness lasts and lasts in a straw-like bitterness, sandy and earthy. Yum. Incredibly mellow palate, superb carbonation, soft medium body. Unique and tasty, Jolly Pumpkin has become in no time a serious rival to any farmhouse beers producer and trying those beers is mandatory for any amateur of the genre, a complement to beer culture.
DewBrewer (295) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 23, 2005
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
75cL bottle. Pours a cloudy, golden. The aroma has some mineral smell, big yeast, flowery and fresh. Very nice when swirled. The flavor has some unexpected bitterness and tannins but it is a tasty brew with some spicy notes but nothing dominating. It has a slightly bitter finish that would probably smooth with aging. It might be a bit thin for the flavors. Tasty beer. Thanks for the bottle, Bob!!!!!
P-tor44 (886) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - JAN 3, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
yeasty aroma of fruit, spices, very light oak. soft orange with a little light brown in color, small head with good lace. taste is spicey, light fruit, soft everywhere. late peppery yeast. light hops, yeasty, very very nice. so velvety
FlacoAlto (3450) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 29, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled lightly chilled, December 2004
Pours a hazy light amber to copper color, the haze is entirely a chill haze as this beer was quite clear before I chilled it. It is topped by a tan head that is quite thick, frothy and creamy at the same time. As I was pouring it, I thought that I got some aromatic notes of oak, but more the woody component, which I was not really expecting. As I go in for a more extended sniff, I get a complex mix of wood, orange peel, cobwebs, and a bit of herbal character. There is a definite dominant note here that I cannot quite place, it is sort of spicy, yet combines all of the above descriptors as well.
My first taste; this beer stats out soft and smooth, and then moves to a certain mouth coating fullness, it then finishes with a slightly sharp astringency, yet throughout it remains refreshing. The interesting aroma from the nose is in the taste as well, and there is a certain tannic backbone here as well, perhaps the contribution from the barrel fermentation. This beer is quite interesting, and certainly not at all what I expected. The taste is subtly spicy with soft, smooth notes of orange, grass/ hay, ginger, and coriander. Ah that is what it is, the coriander is what I was sensing in the nose. And I also see that grains of paradise was used too, which also makes sense as I always felt that this contributes a sort of dusty dried ginger type thing to a beer.
As it begins to warm up I start to get and enticing note of green beans that have just been spritzed with lemon in the nose. And despite it sounding weird, this beer really does evoke thoughts of chewing on old dusty cobwebs. I really like the fact that this beer has a certain fullness and body to it, even though it is relatively low in alcohol, it gives this beer a certain richness that is quite appropriate for a December evening. There is a certain soft creaminess to this beer that I am really digging, it just envelopes my mouth in an extravagant celebration of taste.
Despite all I have said, this is currently lacking that certain... something, that would put this over the top, but given Jolly Pumpkins stated goals and practices, I have a feeling that this will become more complex and challenging (this is definitely a good thing) over time. And please donít let my statement make you think that this beer is not superb, this is a beer that demands to be contemplated, quite the tasting brew, and I am enjoying the complexity that is inherent in this tasty brew. To finish, I have got to say "damn I wish I lived in Michigan."