StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 20, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 27, 2006 Batch 001, consumed July 2005.
A beauty from the first pour. Bright hazy blonde in color with a sudsy, foamy, 3/4" off-white head. Aroma continues the beautification project, sending harmonious wafts of lemon wedges, orange peels, cloves, pure vanilla extract, bananas and coriander. All my favorite aromas in one glass. Damn right. Hits the palate, and oh dear God, this is good. Creamy and smooth - yet spritsy - citric sweetening readily greets the palate. Cloves and bananas compliment a complexity refined in the oak barrel aging practice. Other flavor elements unfold symbiotically, at times with orange rinds and sour, pale and sugar-sprinkled lemons. Smooth yet tingly. An absolute seducer. The epitome of balance. Takes on a waxy, buttery overlay as the liquid recedes.
Hard water and farmhouse elements are all in agreement. Hits the nail right on the head with how Ron at Jolly Pumpkin described it: an abbey tripel brewed in the biere de garde tradition. Effervescent and a tad tingly at times, but pouring and waiting several minutes seemed to solve it. Lemon cream and woodsy eloquence plateau in the finish. Yet again, I am astonished by the many complexities Jolly Pumpkin achieves in one single bottle of beer. Simply put, Jolly Pumpkin sits on a precipice where few can match, let alone challenge it, generating the quality product we can expect time and again from this farmhouse-style brewer.
<h6>(Note: original rating was a 5. Current rating, as it stands, is a reflection of the beer youíll find today.)</h6>Batch 003 (best guess) consumed February 2006.
The smooth oak is no longer quite the leading lady. The brett has taken over the barrel and producing much more winey and bright qualities compared to the chewy, oily, sweet and smooth semblence that was reflected by the earlier batch. Still laden with an array of fruitiness, this one is brighter, looking to lemons and tropical, ripe bananas. Spiciness is equivocal to the earlier batch. Head retention was also reduced in this batch as well.
Oakes (12612) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 17, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2008 Cloudy yellow-beige colour with a thick but loose head. The aroma is orvallish, very herbal and dusty with assertive hopping and a subtle lemony note. Palate is spicy, tart, with juicy lemon and a whack of peppery, coriandery notes. The fnish is tart and refreshing, with an austere hop dryness. Spice reigns. Complex barrel goodness. Impressive.
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUL 13, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pour was golden yellow with a thin off white head...smell is light fruity citrus (apricots and oranges) along with some spicy notes of clove and corriander...a little thin in the mouth, but some nicely balanced sweet and spicy with fruit being backed up by clove and pepper...some warm alcohol in the finish...
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 12, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very hazy golden orange coloration, big, puffy white head, well-retained.
Sweet, spicy, fruity aroma...orange, tangerine, a hint of ginger and coriander...
Taste: bold, yet smooth, ...nice, bright hops dance on the tongue...rich, delicious malt...a great golden ale. Huge yeast, bright malty-ness, vibrant hops...a wonderful thing. Ever-so tasty.
Not a whit away from the standards of the style...absolutely scrumptious!
Give it up for the happy squash, one and all...this is a top-notch tripel/golden ale...Iíd have it again in a heartbeat...wait, what did you say? Itís a "biere de garde"?...I guess itís a good one of those, too...
this is quite a tasty thing, and have another reason to toast the fine town of Dexter...theyíre brewing good things here...oh,yeah...
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JUL 10, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Milky medium gold. Medium puffy whitish cap. Keeps a firm skim and collar once fading is complete. Lacing is mediochre in thin sheeting and some stringy globs.
Aroma is biggly yeastified with dried floral spice, corrianderis placed in with a solid portion. Bright fruityness underneath with tangerine, pineapple, and lemon, plus thereís a slight musty mushroom earthyness present as well.
Nice well rounded flavors of deep melony fruit thats entertained in a mild but substantial strength and tonality. The flavors are a little hard to nail down. Mostly melon-like of a duller sweetness of melon juices, even milder/dulled orange pith, a bite of banana, and tame pineapple. Solid little spicy kick in the finish of yeast, corriander, and white pepper. Drys off with a fine layered spicy heat enveloped in a back washing of fruit skin sweets.
Rich and mildly tangy with a medium to light tangyness. Body is close to full, very well rounded, and seemingly simple. The smoothness here is really unique. I find it a bit leathery and slightly oily underneath the mainstay of fruits and dryness. Nice little pep of heat and spice to make ends meet as it finishes.
Quite a treat and drinkable to boot. Liked its overall dulled down quality while it still boisterously fulfills and charms its way across the palate with nice fruit juices and the fun kick of dry spice and heat in the finish.
Cletus (6354) - Connecticut, USA - JUN 28, 2005
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours copper with a white bubbly head. Smells of candy apples, coriander and freshly cut grass. Tastes woody with caramel, pepper, and brown sugar. Warming alcohol finish.
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - JUN 28, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2006 Combo rating. 12oz bottle courtesy of Mike Mac and a 750ml from I donít know which batch? (old label though) That has been in the basement for quite some time. Hazy dark golden. Poured carefully into a Duvel glass, huge white head, full of tiny carbonation bubbles. Great lacing. Aroma is all over the place. Yeasty fruit, brett, candy sugar, floral hops, faint horseblanket and some pepper. Initial flavor is soft pils like malts, tart fruit shows through the middle. Pineapple and other carribean fruit and plenty of orange/lemon zest. Some peppery notes along with a residuel sweetness in the finish. Perfect mouthfeel. Original rating was a 3.9, then a 4.2 now here we stand. Brett character is near perfect in this right now.
Jonathan3584 (323) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 27, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Orange/copper body. Both the aroma and the body are one dimensional sweet candy and caramel flavors with spices in the background. Medium bodied. Easy to drink and hides the 8% well, but not that interesting.
21iceman40 (1731) - vienna, West Virginia, USA - JUN 24, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
light amberish color maybe more like a yellowish color with orange glowing through it. spicey and peppery with some lemon drops in it. Noog fest victim.
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 23, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours with an orange-gold body topped by a thin head with some lacing. Itís sweet with candy sugar notes and a nice spiciness, as well as, a touch of caramel. Smooth, medium bodied and slightly dry.