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Oro De Calabaza - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Oro De CalabazaOro De Calabaza

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,352 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,352
Reviews: 662
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 118
Gots: 143 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: marburg on 07-28-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,352 | Reviews: 662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Color: Cloudy light copper/blond color with a one finger head.

Aroma: Sour with a bit of toastiness to it. Apple stands out from the sourness. Light maltiness.

Taste: Sour upfront that dominates the palate. Toasted malt underneath with a decent smoothness. Apple and faint raisin flavors as well.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat dry with lingering sourness.

Verdict: A decent biere de garde with JP's trademark sourness. Very drinkable if you like sour ales. Close enough to the style as well.

Brad007, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of dreadnatty08
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%

Always enjoy their beers, second time around for this one.
Gushing from the bottle, this beer pours a very cloudy, medium straw color with a massive puffy, luxurious white head. Carbonation can be seen racing to surface, very intimidating. The aroma is really amazing: spices are very predominant (not sure if added, or ferm. byproduct), with a solid cinnamon and nutmeg character along with some clove. In addition there is a tart, sour cherry note with some bright citrus overtaking the bulk of the boquet. On the palate, a wheaty, lightly toasted malt fills the mouth. Some other slightly medicinal and astringent flavors come through providing the requisite "funk". Hops are very muted. Mouthfeel is where this beer both shines and fails. It is perhaps one of the most carbonated beers I've had in recent memory, to its dissadvantage. But, it was incredibly smooth and creamy helping the drinkability. I look forward to getting to the rest of their line.

dreadnatty08, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%

750 ml bottle into a Duvel chalice.

Torrents of bubbles stream upward through a clear, goldenrod/gamboge body to fuel a cream-colored head. Retention is exceptional, lacing is above average, and the carbonation is relentless (the open bottle foamed for at least 5 minutes before I could pour it). Aroma, much like Jolly Pumpkin's La Roja, is dominated by patches of lemongrass, hay, citrus peel, funky oak, and vanilla.

The taste is softer than expected. Unripened hops and astringent, sour citrus pair with a big, oaken backbone. Massive booze notes coat the back of the palate. The mouthfeel is light and bubbly, with a warming, alcohol-infued finish that quickly works its way into the stomach. This beer is most likely a one-time deal for me. Although I enjoy the complexity and admire the craftsmanship that goes into Jolly Pumpkin's oak aged ales, they're just not that drinkable.

wagenvolks, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%

Batch #217

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, sunshine yellow body with a large, meringue-like white head.

Smell: Orange 'n' creme aroma along with sour lemons, spice, funk, and a fair amount of oak (and displaying the lactic sourness that awaits me).

Taste: Sour lemon juice, a squeeze of orange, and a dash of peach schnapps. Never too much sweetness sneaks by. Oh, but it is oaky. Hint of pecorino in the back of the throat. It's sour, tart, and even citric - then it's over.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: As always, it's another weird, wild ride from Jolly Pumpkin.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%

2005 vintage

full disclosure: i dislike most JP beers. this one, i've always liked. had one bottle left upon initial purchasing back in 05, decided to cellar it until yesterday. mad gusher.

clear copper color with a fiery, viscous foam. sediment rocked by the foaming floats wildly in the glass. smells vibrantly tart, like a lemon-infused orange julius. tripel-maltiness is present as well as some sour grape and port-like character. much creamier than i remember, with a definite bite of red-wine soaked leather. finishes very dry, little to no oxidation present. sweetness exists as more of an undertone, it still maintains its candy corn integrity hinting at woody butterscotch in the finish. very drinkable and definitely at its prime. like hennepin, this beer would go very well with, ahem, food. open now, enjoy.

goodbyeohio, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of albern
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%

If anything, this is a very, very complex beer with quite a bit going on. The beer pours a cloudy, hazy, orange-gold color, with a thick, frothy head and lots of lacing and retention. The smell. Wow, the smell is vinous, yeasty, lemon zest, and clove. There is a very obvious oakiness to the beer and you can smell the wood age in the yeast and malt. There is a slight medicinal quality and perhaps a little mustiness in the smell as well. The aroma is certainly an indication of even more complexity on the way. This is a light to medium bodied, fairly well carbonated beer with enough haze to indicate bottle conditioning. There is not the typical sediment or yeasty bits floating about. The taste when the beer is chilled is strongly tilted towards the floral bouquet, spices, lemon zest, mustiness, and wild yeast all over the palate. The oaky vinous qualities are more pronounced when the beer is chilled. When the beer gets a chance to settle, you will get more apple, spiced fruits, perhaps some hints of coriander, clove, rind, and some pepperish bite. There is an undefined taste that others may be referring to as funk. I guess I'll use that one as well. The "funk" remains pretty constant from the first pour to the last. The beer is overwhelmingly yeasty, and the yeast does dance all over the rainbow of other tastes and flavors of this beer. There is just so much going on with this beer it truly is an experience. Trying to pin down specific tastes is difficult, things blend, dissipate, reappear, and re-blend. This is an exceptionally complex beer well worth seeking out. This is the type of beer that serious oenologists will appreciate. L'Chaim.

albern, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of steelcutoats
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%

I purchased this wonderful strong golden ale from the Headkeeper in Greensburg, PA. I had recently tried the Jolly Pumpkin La Roja and also the Noel de Calabaza and enjoyed both of them, so I figured it would be worth the time to try this one.

When opened the contents foamed up like a bottle of champagne. There was a thick foamy head that left a nice lacing on the inside of my favorite snifter.

The smell was strong with citrus aromas and yeast. It had an apple-like taste mixed with a light hop bitterness. Oro De Calabaza had a golden opaque color.

This beer is definitely a keeper. The next time I go out for a drink with friends I will definitely be recommending this strong golden beauty!

steelcutoats, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of Deuane
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

A-Hazy dark golden yellow. Crazy thick big white frothy head.

S-Sour apples and funk...very interesting. A touch of spice as an afterthought.

T-Crisp, tart, sour apples with a touch of lemon zest and spice.

M-Lots of carbonation, very Champagne like. Very lively and quite exciting to drink.

D-Very nice BdG. Like beer "cider". This one is a winner in the JP line. I love the sourness and the funk.

Deuane, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of pweis909
3.43/5  rDev -16.9%

Yowza! That was a lot of carb! Shot out of the bottle like a really bad homebrew, but wait, I know they did it on purpose, infecting beer with crazy bugs. Hazy, persistently foamy.

There is a strong, STRONG medicinal character to the aroma, with a little bit of malt trying to seep through.

Tart and peppery flavor, with light maltiness. Hops take a backseat on this baby, with yeast derived medicinal phenolics, tartness, and alcohol dominating my impressions.

The finish is dry, w/ slightly earthy/chalky mouth feel.

If you like big funk, this might be for you. IMO, in this beer the funk overpowers most subtly complex characteristics that might be there.

pweis909, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of Scoobydank
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%

L:The beer itself is insanely cloudy goldish yellow. I can't see through it. The head is outrageously thick. A big white frothy.
S: The nose immediately screams out citrus, with just a slight touch of spice.
T:The slight touch of spice on the nose come up right at you on first taste. The rest is a big lemon zest.
M:Very Champagne like. Like a champagne the efforvesense very apparent.
D: A very good example of the style. Very approachable. Although you have to wait to long for the head to go down.

Scoobydank, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of watchnerd
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

750 ml bottle. Cloudy golden color, modest head with little lacing. Tart, yeasty, musty, and alcohol ester aroma with little hops smell. Mouthfeel is the right balance between thick and thin, with only moderate carbonation present. Taste has definite sour notes, and that Belgian yeasty tang, almost like a more mild version of what you get in the finish of a Flemish red or a lambic. Refreshing like a saison, but the quaffability could fool you with its well-masked 8% ABV. Very drinkable.

watchnerd, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%

Sampled this several nights ago with chadspivey.

Poured part of a 750ml into an oversized wineglass.

Appearance - It produced a 3 finger rocky head with ridiculously great head retention, and left copious amounts of lacing behind. It is golden yellow with a hint of orange, and it is completely transparent. This beer looks awesome. The head never completely died down, leaving a thick 1/2 finger crown as opposed to a halo around the glass.

Smell - The nose on this brew is awesome. It has a huge tart scent, sour and very musty - most likely from the Brettanomyces that I assume is in here. Some type of wild yeast, nonetheless. Beneath that scent is light fruit scents, pear and green apple. I love wild smelling beers, and this is definitely wild smelling.

Taste - The flavor is very similar to the scent, but the tartness in the scent is FAR more pronounced than it is in the actual flavor of the beer. The flavor does have a tartness, but it seems to be relegated to the front end of the flavor. The fruit character becomes more pronounced in the flavor, though. The pear and green apple really shine through. It is pretty musty as well. There is a spicy note too, but I can't put my finger on exactly what that taste is.

Mouthfeel - I love the mouthfeel of Jolly Pumpkin beers, they are always lively and effervescent, which suits the style well, IMO. The liveliness of the beer helps to cut the tartness. It is light/medium bodied.

Drinkability - This beer is great. Jolly Pumpkin is definitely in my top 5 favorite breweries. I could've drunk the entire bottle to myself, but I am glad that I could share it with others who really appreciate good beer.

I will be searching this one out again.

MiguelMandingo, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of ballenc
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%

This is the second time I've tried this beer. Both times, upon opening the bottle, several minutes of constant foam poured out of the bottle. This time I was prepared so none was lost down the drain or on the floor.

This beer pours a dark, straw-like yellow with a hint of orange color. A nice white head of tight bubbles lingers and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

I love the smell of this beer! Definitely strong yeast-driven aroma. Spicy and peppery with a hint of breadiness.

This beer has a tart sourness that lingers from beginning to end. Think a bit of sour apple. The hops and malts come out as the beer warms but neither is the foundation of the taste of this beer - this is a yeasty effort.

Despite the abundance of yeasty qualities, this beer is nicely balanced (if only a bit on the fizzy side) on the tongue.

While this is a high quality beer, it's not one that you'd drink for an extended period in one sitting. One large bottle is enough in one sitting. That said, I think any beer enthusiast and particularly those who favor Belgian styles should try this beer.

This is a beer that I can see not appealing to a lot of folks but for the adventurous or inquisitive, I highly recommend trying this beer. I know it has me primed to try other beers from Jolly Pumpkin.

ballenc, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of joe1510
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Binnys Orland

As soon as I popped the top on Oro de Calabaza the gushing began. Not just a little gushing either I probably lost a quarter of the bottle. The pour yields a three finger fluffy micro-bubbled head that leaves sticky lacing on its way down. The head sits above a hazy golden body that's bursting with carbonation. The gushing stirred up some of the yeast which creates a lot of the haziness.

Smell is bursting with orchard fruits; juicy pear, under ripe apple, and a handful of apricot. The pear is most prominent and very enjoyable. The oak aging is certainly visible but in the background letting the fruitiness shine. As this beer warms there's a hint of blonde tobacco which I'm thinking may be from the barrel aging.

Flavor picks up where the smell left off. The pear leads the way with apple and apricot in tow. A quick bright flash of sourness washes over the tongue mid-palate before disappearing like it was never there. This might be my favorite from Jolly Pumpkin. This is their offering I usually find myself picking up.

The mouthfeel is one of the areas Jolly Pumpkin just does right. Light bodied with high carbonation turns the body airy as it travels through the mouth.

This beer is far too easy to drink when taking the abv into consideration. Light bodied with prickly carbonation and bright flavors make this a refreshing brew.

Jolly Pumpkin makes some great beers. You never know what you'll get with each bottle you pick up. Some batches are good, some great, and some ok. That's my only complaint about Jolly Pumpkin is the consistency, of course I'm sure it's practically impossible to be consistent using bacteria to ferment every batch and that's what makes Jolly Pumpkin special.

joe1510, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%

This beer pours a cloudy, golden yellow color, with a thin white head. The head fades quickly, leaving almost no lacing.

This beer has a rather subtle aroma all around. It smells slightly tart. It has a mild spicy aroma with some citrus hop scents present.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Subtle. Slightly sour, with some citrusy flavors. Also a spicy flavor is present. The ABV is well hidden in both the nose and the taste.

This beer leaves a slightly tart aftertaste. It is carbonated good.

This beer may make a good session beer, but at 8% ABV, it may be hard to drink too many.

Overall: This beer was good. I would drink it again. It was not spectacular, but a decent offering.

OStrungT, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%

Pours a cloudy golden/ yellow, with a white head. Aromas of sour pineapple, and well, like a pina colada. In the taste, pineapple, coconut, and some what musty. A tart mouthfeel, and a sour dry fruitiness in the aftertaste. Interesting beer, mostly like a sour pina colada.

OWSLEY069, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of roblowther
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Pours cloudy pale gold with a thin head that leaves little lacing. Smells of caramel, honey, and floral hops. Nice but a bit cloying. Taste follows suit with a crisp finish and a citrus note that lingers. Mouthfeel is creamy and sticky. Drinkability isn't bad. I managed the 750 bottle but won't manage more. Definitely an interesting beer and one to try when its available

roblowther, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a peachy fruit-juice color, slightly hazed, with a bountiful head sporting valleys and peaks like rounded-off meringue. It levels to a third-inch creamlike skim after several minutes. Gobs and gobs of lace.

Like all Jolly Pumpkin stuff I've had so far, this has the aroma of saddle blanket, well-worn tennis shoe, and/or Band-aid (or Curad, doesn't matter). In the lexicon of lovers of funked-up yeast, that means "awesome". Fruits try and work their way in, but the ancient musty-cellar atmosphere pretty much rules. I'd like to give it a 4.5 or even a 5, but since most of their beers smell like this, I can only give a 4...lack of differentiation being my only hangup. Still a wonderful thing to sniff and savor.

Peach and pear manage to mingle with the yeast funk, though I'm still getting Band-aid. Hops are light and springy, certainly present but not center-stage. Malts are sweet and pastry-like, also not center-stage. This is more about the yeast than anything else. Light white pepper and some other sharper spices, again not overbearing, just part of the mix, as are grapefruit pulp and other succulent citrus character. A nutty yeastiness emerges in the finish.

Mouthfeel is cool and buttery and glides right over the tongue with a zingy carbonation.

Ya like yer Brett? Find it here...or in just about any other Jolly Pumpkin ale, for that matter. Because this is a beer focusing on the untamed quality of the yeast strain, it's not gonna be for everybody. And even those who love this sort of thing might save it only for special occasions, or "the mood". So maybe the drinkability isn't great, but it is a highly recommended beer to fans of the style, Fantome and Flemish Primitive enthusiasts, and anyone into the more daring, unusual Franco-Belgian brewers.

Metalmonk, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of callmemickey
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%

A: Pale yellow with a cloudy/slushy/glazed look.. really neat. The huge, ever lasting white head is perfect.

S: A sour, almost cider like aroma of apple, banana, and berry like notes are strong. The wild yeast used also bring a nice balancing scent to offset the fruitiness.

T: The fruits certainly come through.. citrus, and fresh apple are most noted while the oak barrel leaves it mark with a soft oakiness, and the coriander and vanilla make the malt base notable.

M: Soft on the palate with a refeshing and delicate taste left after each sip

O: Simply lovely, 8% of goodness...

callmemickey, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -3.1%

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a cloudy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy white head, lots of sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, yeasty, floral, and spicy. The taste is tangy/yeasty, nice touch of spice's. The alcohol content is hidden very well. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, recommended.

Wasatch, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%

This beer poured a yellow/orange color with a very thick head – nice lacing. The aroma is spicy and quite inviting. The taste is spicy and cereal with the yeast evident. The mouthfeel is light – medium and quite carbonated. Overall, the flavor and depth make this an interesting drinking beer.

barefootbrewer, Oct 26, 2007
Photo of BeerTruth
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a cloudy corn silk hue with a pillowy cloudy white two finger head. Super sticky on the sides with a head that sticks around forever. Smell is slightly sour scent of cloves, lemongrass, pepper, sour apples, and a hint of yeast. A tiny hint of vanilla goodness from the oak aging in the nose as well. Taste starts off with a bit honey sweetness with a blend of mandarine oranges. Towards the end a bready yeast flavor emerges and continues into the aftertaste with a hint of spicey pepper. Other than those flavors, it seems a bit empty and watered down in terms of taste. Mouthfeel is light and fluffy with a bit overpowering carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good for 8%, I don't detect much alcohol. Decent beer and interesting style, glad I gave this one a shot.

BeerTruth, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%

The appearance in the glass was of a dense slushy applesauce with one or two finger white head, well retained. Lacing was quite good with foam streaks and imprints on the glass throughout. The nose was floral, spicy, cinnamon; a hint of green apple but then more spice and nutmeg in particular. The taste is all top of the mouth to begin with - spicy, hoppy, citrus rind, sour fruit ... all nicely balanced with a refreshing effervescence that is never too overpowering. Gentle sour fruit lingering aftertaste, The 8 per cent alcohol is hardly apparent. Overall a full, rich, complex and satisfying beer that gets close to top marks in my book. I can't wait to visit Detroit soon so I can return the favour to biegaman.

ThatWineGuy, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of biegaman
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%

750ml bottle, wonderful presentation as usual for Jolly Pumpkin. Bottle saved to share with loved ones on an incredibly humid (30+ degree) Thanksgiving afternoon in October. What a well suited beer to compliment such great weather and beautiful time of year.

The appearance is what I'd consider somewhat of a marvel for a beer. The colour is a light, pale lemon yellow with iced over complexion. It is glossed like the surface of ice. The colour is very pale but so dense there is no clarity. Not to say the beer is hazy - it most certainly is not clouded nor hazy - the colour is so dense, so stuck to the body of the beer, that no clarity is permitted.

The head refuses to cease, constantly maintaining a minimum half-finger or so level. It adorns the top like a big, snowy skating rink and clings tightly to the sides. If you squint hard enough you can make out the countless herds of bubbles that reach towards the top of the beer. Just wonderful.

The smell too is pleasant (which is putting it modestly). A lightly sour, faintly pungent vinegar like aroma that carries with it notes of banana, apple, cherries, berries, and dates. In many ways like a lactic character - no doubt the influence of wild yeast and oak aging; the result of which is harmonious. So subtle yet assertive. It entertains the nostrils to no end without ever being imposing. Amazing how such grace is cultivated from an uninhibited yeast.

The body is seamlessly balanced with the 8% alcohol curiously missing. The beer is as quenching (more so actually) than any fresh pils, packing far more flavour that so gracefully coats the palate. It is so far from bloating and the oak has mellowed both the body and flavours. It drinks with an acidic spritzyness. Therapeutic on some weird level.

The oak has created a very mellowed cast of flavours. Citrus fruit, spices (coriander), caramel malts, vanilla and the oak itself are all present. An interesting play between citrus, malt and vanilla. A union of flavour that is arguably as soothing as it is tasteful.

Once again I ask myself if Jolly Pumpkin could very well be my favourite brewery. Their products are so unique and so special. This paired wonderfully with a mix of cheeses and a hungry stomach. Like every other JP product I'd endeavour to have this one on hand in the cellar at all times. This was greatly enjoyed!

biegaman, Oct 08, 2007
Photo of zealot
3.45/5  rDev -16.5%

This is my second Jolly Pumpkin brew and I have been not as impressed with their stuff as I would like to be.

The appearance was nice. It had a golden hue that was just the slightest bit hazy. The head poured pretty heavy, but this is to be expected with a Golden Ale.

The most apparent aroma is apples. And this would be okay, except that La Roja was much the same. I also tasted a hint of wild yeast, almost like a lambic.

The bubbly head made for a pretty nice mouthfeel. It was as refreshing as an 8% beer could be, but there wasn't a lot on the back end to round it out. However, this made it easy to take another swig, looking for the finish, so that supported the drinkability portion.

Overall, I'd say this is at least worth a try.

zealot, Sep 22, 2007
Oro De Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
92 out of 100 based on 1,352 ratings.