overall
97
97
style
RATINGS: 832   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74/5   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Belgian Christmas ale aged in oak barrels.

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3.7
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - NOV 24, 2007
Pours hazy deep mahogany/ruby with woodsy tones and a thin beige head with perfect retention. So Belgian is the nose; Jolly Pumpkin’s house character is ever-growing, getting funked-out and phenomenal. Heavy vinous notes, black cherry and other berry esters penetrate. Brett is showing already, this is well bottle conditioned. Oak induced funk, minor winter spice such as cardamom is swirling about. Yeastiness is full and pleasant. Alcohol is only a minor backnote, mostly well concealed. Cinnamon, not evident in the nose, bursts through with the first sip, followed by syrupy sugars. Oak and mild tartness rule in the flavor, sweetness is only a moderate partner in the composition unfolding. Acidity is sharp. Nutmeg and lactic acid grow and combine with each sip, the resulting overall flavor is unique and moderately refreshing; it’s also another fine example of JP’s uncompromising approach to crafting Belgian influenced ales with Autumnal overtones. The body is medium and airy despite thick, ridged edges. Medium-intensity carbonation is silky. The finish is loaded with caramel, spice and oak and smooth while still retaining hints of prickly confusion. Very good - will likely dry out, fizz up and be even more enjoyable with time and the inevitable progression of tartness and funk. Definitely not going to win too many new fans with this wild, experimental tangential exercise.

3
jrob21 (3878) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 22, 2007
Pre t-day dinner beer. Poured a nice dark brown color and was expecting a bit more body and flavor. I may have drunk this a little too cold. Got some big yeast flavors. The oak mellows out the yeast a little and makes this a smoother drink. I did not get a lot of depth or character out of this one. Getting the same old experience out of these guys, big yeast and not a lot of complexity.

4
BDR (2535) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - NOV 22, 2007
A murky brown pour with off white head. The aroma is an appealing combination of sour barnyard funk, oak, and light spiciness. I think I might detect some dark pitted fruits and cinnamon in there as well. Oak and sour dominate the body which maintains some faint Christmas spice. Smooth finish. Belgian yeast makes an appearance as the bottle approaches room temperature. Best served slightly chilled, but not cold.

2.7
SSSteve (4006) - - NOV 21, 2007
dark brown with a large beige head. typical oak, bret, green olive aroma. every beer is beginning to taste the same from this brewery. i don’t notice anything different from one to the next. they all taste like olives. overpowered with oak. no more man. anyway, for what it’s worth, this was another decent (11th)example of their flagship beer style. .....with a little cinnamon.

2.5
Schroppfy (2362) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - NOV 20, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2007 Blend 2. Wow. Painful as it is to say this after so long loving this brewery, but the lactic flavors have totally overtaken all the darker beers. Some soft spices are here, for sure, but the brewery trademark moderate carbonation on top of intense lactic sourness is about all. There’s no body depth to speak of, there’s barely discernable malt sweetness or hop flavor - just sour milkiness, thin roastiness and coffee, nutmeg and clove. Watery. Finally gets a bit more tolerable in the yeast pour. Between this and the latest incarnation of Fuego del Otono, I am unfortunately extremely disappointed in the one dimensionality. Lactic bombs. Heinous bummer.

4
hopscotch (11439) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 20, 2007
Bottle… This beer rocks!… Hazy, ruby-colored ale with orange highlights and a mid-sized, fluffy, white head. Good retention. Acidic aroma with tons of wood and farm funk wrapped around moderate caramel and mild chocolate notes. Terrific sourness balanced by sweet malt with mild hop and alcohol bitterness. Still, it leans just a hair toward the sweet side. A touch grainy. Medium to full-bodied with a buttery mouthfeel and tingly carbonation. Finishes lightly coarse, tangy and gently sweet. Dickinsonbeer came through with this sample!

3.7
AllAboutStout (605) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 19, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2007 Re-rate:Dec 7, 2007 Had a different batch, this time I had blend #2. This is much better than the original bottle . Doesn’t have the funky smell/taste with it. Much more of the typical JP funk and sourness. Glad to see it was a bad bottle and not the beer itself.

Blend #1. Pours a murky brown in color. Smell is off. Smells a bit skunky, not funky. The typical JP sourness/funk is there, but a bit subdued. The typcial Christmas spices are present. Mouthfeel is nice and no sign of the ABV in the taste. Still can’t get over this "dirty sock" kind of skunky smell. Will let the other bottles sit for awhile and see where this one goes.

3.7
DeweyDell (159) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - NOV 18, 2007
750 mL. Pours brown with a reddish glow when held up to light. Aroma is mildly sour with a kind of sweet nutty brown ale smell underneath. Taste is sweet but sour... unlike most JP’s, I think it matches the aroma. Nothing too crazy... but pretty good.

3.4
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 18, 2007
750ml, blend 2, 2007. Pours dark, muddy brown with some faint red highlights buried below. Off white head, not as big as normal Jolly Pumpkin. Aroma is similar to Fuego del Otono with a deep, honey roasted nuts smell. Subdued funk is in there too but the nuttiness is in the front. Taste is nutty with a tiny bit of molasses and sweetness. Fairly one dimensional taste for a JP. Not much funk or tartness in the taste. A little bit of raisins and traditional Belgian qualities, dark fruits, etc. Not as drinkable as some of their other brews. This was okay but probably my least favorite beer from this brewery.

3.7
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - NOV 18, 2007
Courtesy Dickinsonbeer. Thanks Paul!! Pours a lightly cloudy maroon amber, with a medium off white head. Smells of big typical Jolly Pumpkin funk. Hints of dark fruits and sweet sugars add some balance, but it is pretty funky and sour smelling. The flavor is lightly acidic, with a good dosage of funk and alot of tannic fruits. It has a light bitter aftertaste, with a very sweet sugary residue left on the palate. Made the finish pretty unique. This tastes young and might need a little more time, but still a solid offering.


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