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RATINGS: 809   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74/5   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
Belgian Christmas ale aged in oak barrels.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
drfabulous (6323) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - JAN 16, 2008
Once upon a time, I lived in Michigan. Michigan has good beer. One day, I went to the store and saw a new beer. Jolly Pumpkin. Only in bombers. I bought a few. They were amazing. Rich and full of flavor. At the Michigan Beer Fest, weíd sample stuff not out in bottle. Sour beers. Amazing. Then one day, Jolly Pumpkin made everything lambic. Everything. That funky sour taste started to make many of their beers taste similar. Noel is a fine example. It is good, yes. And I like sour and funky. But it doesnít add too much that other Jolly Pumpkins donít already offer. Not every beer has to be funky in flavor. New yeast strains, please. Brett has limits.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 15, 2008
itís 11 degrees out with a fierce windchill....i just got home from biking back from work...need something dark, warm, deep, rich and mystical...maybe this will do...only one way to know... noel de calabaza, off goes your cap, and into my Big Ass tripel karmeliet glass you go... dark brown color, mahogany mixed with prunes, or plums...somewhere around there, with a full creamy tan head...gorgeous! bewitching aroma! dark fruits find the funk! raisins, plums, dates, as well, meet grapes, and berries, and port wine...a wicked mix! with fragrances of myriad spices, as well, an ethereal delight! A tickle as it trickles into the mouth, and spills all over the palate. Malty, sour, slick, supple, slightly sweet, and terribly complex...a lot of stuff happening here. Dark fruits at play, a rich blend of grain and fruit, velvety smooth, with a sleek, sensual mouthfeel. full bodied, long finish, dark and delicious...this is one, despite being, as we say in minnesota, "spendy", that I may have to return to again and again...best jp beer iíve yet had...damned good! the 9% abv seems to stick to my ribs a bit, but doesnít ring in the brain, yet...oh, wait...there it goes! i didnít notice the oak-aged effect, but now that i re-read the label, hey, yeah, there it is! great stuff!

   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. Iím actually wanting a bit more of the cherry flavor, as Iím 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 wasnít cohesive and tight enough to be stellar.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
JPDIPSO (5519) - 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 wouldnít get tired of. Light and refreshing, flavors the keep you awake, not heavy and oppressive; too strong - but not detected, that is by far itís 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 (7487) - 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 doesnít 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 (2073) - 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 Iím 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 wasnít quite carbonated yet, but Iíve 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.

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