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RATINGS: 787   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
Belgian Christmas ale aged in oak barrels.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
garmonbozia (429) - Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA - JAN 12, 2008
Big thanks to Styles. Drank at room temp and what an awsome beer. Smell of cherries. Very balanced beer. Taste was of cherrries almost like a Flemish with a vinegary aftertaste. Nice malt and spiciness to it also. I thought this beer was almost perfect. WORD

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 10, 2008
From a 750mL Bottle, Blend #3. Purchased at BevMo in Orange, 12/13/07. Pours a somewhat hazy, pomegranite skin colored body with a finger of uneven, sudsy ivory head. Gentle agitation brings a stream of tight bubbles to the surface, but overall, this seems uncharacteristically under carbonated by JP standards. Tart, cuvee-like cherry skin tannins and bretty oak leap from the glass immediately. There are some vanilla contributions from the oak as well, interplaying nicely with a backing caramel and toffee malt body. Some spicy, dusty brett notes add further complexities, but sour cherries are the main tart component of the nose. Medium bodied, softly carbonated mouthfeel. The flavors are more intense than the aroma, but also much more biased toward the funky and oaky characters of the beer rather than the fruity cherry notes. I’m actually wanting a bit more of the cherry flavor, as I’m finding the sheer amount of brett and oak to overwhem the more vinous qualities. Cobwebby and cheesy. It also could use a bit more carbonation to sharpen up the palate a bit. A bit more lactic acidity would help some too. Earthy, sweaty grape skins and subtle cherry fruit lingers in the final smack. This beer shows tremendous promise, but this bottle wasn’t cohesive and tight enough to be stellar.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
JPDIPSO (5124) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 9, 2008
Blend 1, 2007. Chestnut and garnet colors gleam when held to the light. Tall canvas colored head with a few isles of lace. I get a bit giddy as I smell the brett and herbal hops emanating from the pour. Hints of maple, roses and orange blossom honey as well. Reserved in flavor. Starts with a light almond sweetness. Middle is lightly tart with some dark cherries and touch of oak. Fairly dry finish with again some oak and a touch of toasted malt. LIght bodied. Floats by very quickly. The alcohol is not to be found and the lightness makes this seem light a quick summer quaff, rather than a winter brew. This is an all seasons type brew. I could see this slaking my thirst on a hot summers day or by the fire on a cold winters night. Linger is oaky and light toasted malt also comes out. A light acidity keeps this lively and fresh. Mild spices come out as it warms with cloves and mace. This is a brew that I wouldn’t get tired of. Light and refreshing, flavors the keep you awake, not heavy and oppressive; too strong - but not detected, that is by far it’s most dangerous quality. Easily one of the more enjoyable brews in a while, at least from a balance and drink-ability stance.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
after4ever (6725) - Brier, Washington, USA - JAN 9, 2008
750, capped. Blend 4, 2007. Thanks, Skoisirius! Dark mahogany brown with slim rim of fizzy gray foam. Huge tart vinegar and cherry nose. Medium fizzy body. Slightly metallic, hugely tart mid-palate. Light herbal hop floating around in there somewhere. Clean, lightly tart finish. Uncomplicated, very bold nose. The quaff doesn’t have much new to say but the depth and power of the nose is quite striking.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
zebracakes (1339) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 9, 2008
750ml bottle., vintage 2, 2007 My first impression is one of surprise since the head is on the modest side. Usually Jolly Pumpkin beers are crawling all over the counter and table. Pours hazy dark caramel, off white head. Aroma is sweet and sour, bread, dried fruit, slightly funky & musty. Flavor is the same and more on the bleu cheese funky side (not too pungent though) with fruit tartness and slight pine. The alcohol is well blended.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
shadey (1996) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 8, 2008
750ml bottle of Blend 2 (2007) courtesy of styles. The pour is a dark dark brown with a huge pillowy head of tight creamy bubbles and lace. The aroma indicates a nice bret presence. Some fruit aromas, like cherry. The initial flavor is the bret funkiness and it is funky. The cherry sourness is there, but so is the barnyard flavors. Really nice. The flavor transitions to some ginger spiciness and then to a very soft caramel finish. This is a very nice Belgian Christmas ale. Not nearly as boring as I’m used to. The bret keeps this interesting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - JAN 8, 2008
Blend #3, provided by Stine. Cloudy brown body with a tiny off-white head. The nose is lightly tart with tons of sour pie cherries, light horseblanket, cobwebs and light toffee. The flavor is lightly sweet, moderately tart and vinous with cherry, cola, vanilla and nuts. Medium body is very soft with very light carbonation (this bottle wasn’t quite carbonated yet, but I’ve opened a few of these since and the carbonation is now moderate). Terrific beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 7, 2008
2007 bottle. Pours a very dark, ruby, almost burgandy color with an off-white, creamy, rocky, full head which is mostly lasting and leaves lots of nice, sporatic lace. Nose is certainly JP with plenty of tart notes; crab apples, plum skins, light overripe cherries, light wet oak, and rich caramels make up the bulk with some spicy alcohol notes and faint doughy yeast notes. Flavor is similar but with more oak and malt to balance the tartness; rich caramels and toffee, a light almond note, plenty of wet oak and other earthy notes, crab apple, faint overripe chery notes, and some funky yeast notes. Palate is quite nice with a medium to full body, lively carbonation, and a refreshing, almost silky mouthfeel with only a mild warmth noted. Finishes quickly and lightly dry with some nutty bitterness, light lingering toffee notes, and the tart notes dissapating. A nice JP winter offering with nice tart notes and some nice malty tones in the mix. Some aging could really make this one nice and alleviate the simplicity. Another solid JP brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
puzzl (3257) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 6, 2008
Bottle from South Bay Drugs & Liquor, blend 3. I’m seeking out the other blends, cause god damn is this good. I look forward to trying them side by side.

This blend pours a deep, slightly purple brown with almost no head, though it is certainly not flat. Deep and complex oaky aroma greet the nose, huge red wine qualities with a fair amount of cooking herbs, banana, and toffee. Deliciously oaky with that slight touch of sourness that JP does oh so well. Similar to La Roja or a good fantome. The body on this is perfect, easy going down despite its high alcohol content and thick in the mouth. I could see this as a perfect beer for appealing to wine lovers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ogglethorp (917) - Ohio, USA - JAN 6, 2008
Bottle at Cbus 10. Pours a dark hazy amber/brown color with a deent sized tan colored head. Aroma of oak, caramel, funk, spices. FLavor is oak, apple, alcohol, spice, earthy. Palate is medium bodied, lively carbonation finishes tart. Very good!

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