Calabaza Blanca | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-25-2004

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Reviews: 452 | Ratings: 959
Photo of Sabtos
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy neon yellow with a massive symmetrical white head that mellows out to a nice blanket on the surface.

Bright lemon on the nose, and the funk is present, but for a Jolly Pumpkin beer, subdued.

In addition to these elements, there is something smoothing and savory on the palate that is a bit less pronounced of a monterrey jack cheese element that a well-made gose showcases. Same goes for the yeast spiciness, which is also nicely balanced in the background and not overboard like an overzealous American Belgian-style beer might be.

Crisp, dry, drinkable and refreshing, not a combination I usually find myself proclaiming for a JP beer, which are usually very extreme, love them or hate them.

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Photo of bnes09
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Transparent lemon color. Ominous, soapy head builds as you pour, never letting up and coating the glass in sudsy lace. Wonderful floral bouquet with mild yeast and white pepper on the nose. Flavor follows close. Light wheat character with a subtle yeast funk. Piney, lemony, spicy, floral, peppery. Soft tartness. Light yet complex and well balanced. Crisp, clean finish with lingering spice. High carbonation. Really good stuff.

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Photo of Keithernandez
4.73/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a 3 year old 750 ml bottle into a snifter glass.

Look: nice golden color. Good amount of haziness.

Smell: the smell of Brett funk comes through immediately, a nice dose of citrusy zest follows, there are noticeable hints of coriander definitely coming through as well.

Taste: very similar to the smell. The Brett really shines in this beer, a nice citrus profile follows with a slight peppery/dry finish.

Feel: nice and bubbly, fairly light, super drinkable.

Overall: jolly pumpkin has knocked it out of the park with this one, age has done this beer well. I would consider this more of a wild ale rather than a witbier, but it is absolutely amazing. Would highly recommend to try at least once.

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Photo of alwaysTomorrow
1.24/5  rDev -68.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

This is not a Witbier, it's a fucking Gose. There is no "balance" between sweetness/tartness as one reviewer put it, there is *zero* sweetness to this beer. nor did I find it particularly "tasty" -- sours admittedly aren't my thing, but I really couldn't pick up *any* subtlety or nuance. Nothing but extreme, funky sourness and vinegary acidity. Like Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus contaminated a vat of lemon juice.

I wouldn't presume to critique an example of a style I don't personally enjoy, but this is very clearly labeled as a Wit and it is categorically not a Wit.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a dull golden color. a half finger of a white head. fades fairly quickly and leaves a small lacing behind. hazy and just about opaque. some brightness to the color.

Smell: lemon juice, slight vinegar, some light graininess. green apple skin.

Taste: opens with green apple skin. lemon juice filters comes in. some orange peel and graininess.

Mouthfeel: light and refreshing. lacking some carbonation.

Overall: nice and light and super drinkable. good flavor. I wish it was a bit more recognizable as a witbier and a bit more carbonation. overall quite nice but could be a bit better.

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Photo of DannyV
3.11/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pasty yellow look, some bubbly action but not too much. Definitely tart and a bit sour which I'm not too fond of unfortunately. Not bad, but I wouldn't probably try it again.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy pale straw yellow. Has a tart Brett fermented aroma. Flavor is tart, a little salty and there's a definite Brett backbone to this beer. Finished a little light. Overall a nice little beer but nothing special.

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Photo of Hop_God
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:. hazy white with thick foam, small bubbles, opaque in color.

S: subtle funk, some orange peel, light fluffy whole hops.

T: subtle sourness, some spices, orange pith.

F: light like a cloud. clean and crisp.

O: Bottled: 12/31/13 Drank: 10/23/15

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Photo of sjdevel
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium carbonation with a 1 finger head out of a 355ml bottle. Very hazy straw color. There is some residual lacing after the head depletes (which was a bit quicker than expected).

Smells of sour apple and, oddly enough, vegetable soup. It tastes like someone dumped a jug of V8 into the boil kettle. There is a very nice herb and spice aroma. There is a slight vinegar smell as well.

Instant blast of sour fruit and bitterness (hard to tell if it originates from hops or from bacteria). A small amount of sweet maltiness makes its way through, but quickly fades. Lemon and citrus flavors swirl around the palate. Spices and peppery flavors strengthen towards the end as the sour fades slightly, but never disappears.

Medium mouth-feel. Not very bubbly overall so it feels pretty flat in the mouth. The sourness and dryness has quite a pull on the tongue.

This is definitely a sour ale and not just a Witbier (label says Artisan White Ale). Not my style as I do not like sour beers. If you are a sour fan, you will like this one. I do like that there were many flavors throughout to make it interesting and not just sour.

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Photo of mastergintoki
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: clear yellow, about a finger of a head

S: tart; orange peel

T: follows the nose and is sweet. felt tarty to me. very citrusy an ok taste not anything special..
F:good feel for this sort of beer, decent weight with plenty of crispness from the carbonation; finishes with a nice ale softness

O:pretty good beer and the label is definitely beautiful

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Photo of Premo88
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12.7 oz. bottle poured into pilsener
(Batch 612/614; bottled 4/10/15 printed on label)

L: clear yellow with gold highlights, about 3/4-inch white/offwhite head of foam, minimal sticking

S: sour grapes, super dry white wine ... closing in on vinegar -- it's pretty tart; Italian dressing ... olive oil in there, almost salty

T: follows the nose but has much more sweetness, a perfectly balanced tart/sweet flavor with lots of citrus lemon, grapefruit peel, sour grapes ... boy is it tasty, just enough farmhouse musty barn flavor joining the sweeter fruit flavors; the witbier spice flavors are very subdued ... only the slightest pinch of coriander in there with no clove or all-spice; it's a little like a farmhouse gose ... lots of grain flavor is joining in as it warms up, not too much saltiness but it still calls to mind a good gose; the sweetness is fantastic, now tasting a bit like raspberries or even cranberries

F: fantastic for the flavor profile, decent weight with plenty of crispness from the carbonation; finishes with a nice ale softness

O: Jolly Pumpkin continues to amaze ... this one has their signature farmhouse flavor with a nice bit of sweetness, including just a bit of oak-wood flavor. I'll drink this again and again.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a hazy, light golden amber with a healthy two finger white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of wheat, wild yeast, light citrus, mildly tart. Flavor is tart citrus; orange and lemon, mild acetic acid, brett, light coriander, finishing with grapefruit rind, lemon citrus, brett and acetic acid. Medium bodied with good carbonation. I've been wanting to review an ale from Jolly Pumpkin, but remember most as being very tart. This appeared to be a less wild style, but it was not what I was looking for. Plenty of good citrus fruit flavors and a nice wheat base, but finishes too sour for me. It is probably exactly what Jolly Pumpkin fans want and expect from a light wheat beer, so I'm going to rate it against what I should have expected. Nicely made, but not my style.

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Photo of chinchill
2.97/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

Shared bottle in Atlanta.
A very funky witbier, although I'd classify this as a sour white ale.
Moderately tart and rather lemony.
Some vinegar in the somewhat medicinal aroma.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge, poofy head but no real retention. Some scattered lace. Hazy, the color of white grapefruit juice.
Smell is full of funk with a tick of malt and lemon.
Taste is tart, funky, malt, citrus (mostly lemon) with a bit of spices, mainly pepper. Great balance.
Light bodied, tangy effervescence, like drinking Squirt (look it up).

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Photo of Ri0
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

pored 375ml into Duvel tulip. Bottled 1/9/15.

A - Hazy golden yellow with a fluffy 2 finger bright white head. Thick cap and lacing with jetting bubbles shooting from teh bottom.

S - Aromas of orange peel and coriander with tart lemon zest. The oak aging process brings about a nice funky wood aroma along with some spice.

T - Starts out as a nice ale with a dose of yeast that quickly transforms into a citrus and woody masterpiece. The orange peel and coriander along with lemon zest dance with a light funk on the palate. A nice tart finish with hints of spice.

M - Light, and refreshing with prickly carbonation. It is wonderfully dry on the finish.

O - Another wonderful beer from JP that I will buy from time to time given it's $6 price.

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Photo of FLima
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy yellow color with a thick bright white head with great retention.
Mild funky aroma with notes of sulphur, horse mantle, fresh oranges and peaches.
Nice flavor with notes of coriander, lemon, just a bit of acid lactic, cereals, white pepper, natural pineapple juice and a hints of herbal. Oak is just a supporting actor. Dry aftertaste, and acid, but not radically so.
Light body with an effervescent carbonation.
Interesting take on Witbier by Jolly. Not extreme, just refreshing, easy to drink, and not boring given it mix a Witbier with a sour. Though I would like to see a less elegant and bolder version.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy gold under a 1” cream colored foam cap that grips the side of the glass.
S: Citrus, barnyard funk, spice aromas.
T: The palate showcases wild yeast with lemony citrus, barnyard, tart, and spice flavors.
F: Has a very fine, soft carbonation and a dry, medium light body.
O: Excellent wild wit.

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Photo of babaracas
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy gold with small fluffy white head, good sized cap remains, rings of lace halfway down the glass. Smell: lemony, mildly grainy - sweet, lightly floral. Taste: lemon-lime, cereal grains, bitter orange, lightly tart; mildly acetic and herbal finish. Light bodied, somewhat effervescent but appropriate level of carbonation, drying finish. Pretty straightforward for JP, but really nice wit. 08/14 bottling.

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Photo of Mikus
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pale, cloudy straw color with zero head. Bit of tart citrus, lemon candy on the nose. Grapefruit tartness on mid palate. Pucker. Pineapple emerged as the tasting went on. Bit high on carbonation, but probably right for the style. Crisp flavors, dry finish. Left me wanting another sip. Anxious to try more of their offerings.

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Photo of Norvelljeff
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Look is a hazy gold/orange/yellow. Head went away quickly and was colored white.
Smell is fruity. I get peaches. No idea if thats what it is brewed with.
Taste is crisp and light. Citrus notes hit the back of the throat and the carbonation is perfect. Last like it looks, light and refreshing.
Feel is nothing.
Overall is that this is avery good beer that I would purchase again if given the money...;)

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Photo of samshaw
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light golden, mostly opaque. Moderate thickness. Large white head dissipates slowly.

S: Moderate orange flavor, lightly tart.

T: Spicy, moderately sweet, medium orange taste. Moderate sour and tart tastes linger on the tongue.

M: Thin with moderate carbonation.

O: Sparkly, spicy orange beverage. Like a more deliberate mimosa.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $10.00 for a 750ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a huge head that stays forever. The clumpy head is there forever on an unfiltered medium gold base.

S- Lots here. Sour base shines through. Grapefruit.

T- Sour and good. Tart and crisp. Well blended beer. This one has a lot going for it. Nice overall beer

M- Dry and crisp. Super tart. Just a nice sour style beer

O- Excellent little brew overall. Looking forward to every sip

Food Pairing

This wonderful little beer went well with...... General Tso's Chicken. This beer ate right through the heat.


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Photo of ssmack
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden straw colour. Quite hazy. Huge head. I could not keep it down. The head filled at least half of the glass. Tons of very active carbo streams. Not much lacing considering the head.

A very brett aroma. Smellslike a barnyard in a very good way. The brett is over the wheat aroma. Lots of coriander too.

A very tart taste that comes in 2 waves. First upfront is a tart lime taste. Then at the end in the back of the palette is a stronger sharper tartness. Herby taste of coriander along with oakiness from the barrel aging. A medincial brett taste as it warms. This is not the sweet spiciness of a typical witbier.

Very dry feel with lively carbonation in the mouth.

This is hard to rate because it is so atypical of a witbier. I appreciate how well it is made. I enjoy the tartness. It took 2 sittings for me to sip through the 750 ml.

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Photo of mchegash
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Date: 8/9/2014

Appearance - 4.75/5
Perhaps it's just my particular lighting conditions, but this beer absolutely glows when held up to the light. It has a perfect orange beer color. The carbonation bubbles flow quickly upward, making this beer look alive, almost as if it was beckoning me to come drink it. Again, the carbonation might just be due to my particular bottle (the carbonation almost overflowed the bottle when I opened). Once the initial head settles, there is little to no head, but the carbonation bubbles still flow rapidly upward. Even after sitting for probably 5-10 minutes, the carbonation flowing quickly upward is still evident.

Smell - 3.5/5
The initial whiff is a mixture of tasty tart smell and cheap beer smell (which I don't really mind). I didn't seem to really be able to smell much after the initial whiff (perhaps the beer is too cold, or my nose is off today), but what I did smell was essentially the same tart + standard beer smell.

Taste - 4.25/5
My first deep sip reveals a tart, juicy ambiguous fruit flavor--maybe some tastes of apple and lemon as well as other fruits. I have had several other Jolly Pumpkin beers, and I love the sour taste they all have. If you have had the Oro de Calabaza or Calabaza Boreal, the sour taste is basically very similar to those beers. I personally love the sour style of JP beer, and I think JP does a great job at making delicious tart beers. I came into the drinking of this beer with an expectation for the classic JP tartness, and I was not disappointed. Perhaps one minor complaint I have which slightly lowers the rating I give is that the high carbonation level somewhat masks the taste of the beer, however I love the carbonation, so the trade-off is of minor consequence.

Mouthfeel - 4.75/5
The beer is very alive and I can feel the carbonation bubbling on my tongue the moment it makes contact. As a swish the beer around my mouth, more carbonation is created, giving a bubbly mouthfeel. It's a great experience for the mouth. The beer is light, not heavy, it moves easily around the mouth and down the throat.

Overall - 4.5/5
Overall, a great drinking experience. I may be biased due to my love for the tartness of the beer, but since that is part of the intended experience for this beer, I think it is fair to give the beer a high rating for pulling it off well. Definitely a beer I would drink again.

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Photo of TerryW
3.09/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tough pour when its just opened. Really aggressive carbonation. Hazy orange. Nose is sharp and tart, full of apple cider vinegar, some yeast at the tail end.

Just too overwhelmingly sour to me. Decent wheat finish, but the tartness abrades your taste buds and scrubs away most of anything else in the brew. The spices and all the rest are lost in the sour.

Simply too one dimensional to be enjoyed. I've had better wits that have more on offer.

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Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
88 out of 100 based on 452 ratings.