Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Calabaza Blanca - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

440 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 440
Hads: 912
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 25
Gots: 72 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-25-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (42) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 440 | Hads: 912
Photo of MarcWP
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Lost Abbey tumbler.

Pours a transparent straw yellow with huge white head that lingers moderately long.

Aroma is lemon peel, coriander, grains of paradise, parsley, faint earthy brett notes, and subtle clove. Maybe a touch of oak present as well.

The taste brings more of the same along with bay leaves, lemon verbena, and some lime zest. Easy drinking, flavorful, and hint of tartness that rounds it out. Without that touch of tartness the beer would suffer.

Mouthfeel is spritzy, lively, with a body in the light side. Refreshing.

Overall a very nice wit beer by JP. Super drinkable, refreshing tartness without crossing over into sour or Berliner like wheat beer territory. Summer drinker to the core. (725 characters)

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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle that has been aging for quite some time. Poured into tulip. Batch 777 from April of 2011

A- Deep, hazy yellow. Fluffy, thick two-finger head that faded rather quickly. Nice looking wheat beer.
N- Earthy must, some grassiness, sour green apple, lemon zest.
T- Wheat, breadiness, slight rice-wine vinegar but not too tart. A little spiciness with some citrus as well. Slight wood flavor from the oak comes through but not as much as I would have thought.
M- Light crispness fairly high carbonation. Really dry finish.
O- Nice characteristics without being overly tart. Interesting meld of barrel-aging on a witbier. (646 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip.
Batch 277 Bottled 12/31/13

A - Strong carbonation rises through the hazy golden beer, fueling it's fluffy cloud-like white head, which leaves oddly sporadic globs of lacing on the glass.

S - Just an ever-so-slight hint of wild yeast funk caresses the delicate pale malt and supple wheat aroma. It's restrained yet sharp tartness and small squirt of lemon juice add a refreshing citrus note to the earthy wet rock and damp clay yeast esters. With virgin oak, the earthiness blankets the beer's soft white pepper and coriander spice subtleties.

T - Behind the initial carbonation attack on the tongue lies grainy pale malt and husky wheat - a base that's just the opposite of the nose. The soft wild yeast remains in tact and just like the aroma foreshadows, it's refreshing and citrusy in conjunction with the little splash of lemon, though spiciness is strangely absent.

M - Sparkling carbonation shocks the tongue with prickliness the first sip but the dry crispness it adds to the beer is quite welcoming; Calabaza Blanca is light bodied and refreshing.

O - At it's core, Jolly Pumpkin's Calabaza Blanca is a complex and thought-provoking brew but, when one doesn't have time to kick back and ponder the depths of subtle wild yeast characteristics in a unique take on a witbier, it remains a crisp and refreshing wheat beer with a little twist! (1,386 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a hazy light yellow with a foamy white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with malt, grain, fruit, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, fruit, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink. (573 characters)

Photo of fancypantsster
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle.
A: Golden with a little bit of haze from the wheat, very little lacing.
S: You can smell the acidity off the nose from the oak with the coriander seeping in at the end.
T: Tart but with great herbal character, oaky, and citrusy, reminiscent of grapefruit.
M: Medium to light medium body, very smooth.
O: Great oak aged wit beer. I love the acidity with the coriander, very citrusy but balanced with the oak. (435 characters)

Photo of JulioH
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle itself looks so nice. I opened this one at a friend's party and this was a hit. The beer is not a uniform taste, but you taste some acidity, and then the classic wheat beer taste. I also tasted the pumpkin, but more like a syrup that was following a somewhat sour beer. If I can use a cupcake as an analogy, the cake was a bit sour, the frosting tasted like pumpkin. I don't know if this was done in an effort to make it "artisanal", but it worked. I liked it. There was also a good amount of carbonation, and it was not a heady beer, just a good witbier. (566 characters)

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

a great friend described this beer as the most similar to what everyone else is doing of the jolly pumpkin repertoire. and while this came before many of them, i generally agree with him. this beer is fabulous, no questioning that, but its not as unique and distinct as their others. this is their take on a belgian wild wit, with coriander and orange peel over a pale wheat malt base with lots of classic dexter michigan funk and brightness. blonde beer with great white head, a nose of herbs, almost like a gin, and funky brett. the flavor is wine-like and fruity, with the orange adding quite a bit. complex and tasty, but indeed similar to other wits out there. some others of theirs, fuego and the special brown come to mind, are so entirely their own, while this one sort of flirts with other beers in the same style. its delicious and refreshing, but less separate. could use a touch more carbonation and maybe the same amount more body, this comes through on the thin side, even for a light style. but its yeasty finish makes it awesome. not critiquing this too hard, but their other beers impress me a bit more. (1,120 characters)

Photo of dwagner003
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is the perfect summer beer.. Unfortunately, I am drinking it in February. But that doesn't take away from the fact that it's really friggin' good. It smells slightly tart with wonderfully subtle oak. Taste is light, refreshing and effervescent. It's citrusy with a good amount of oak in the background. Really surprised me.

Great beer. Would definitely buy again and save for a nice, warm day. (400 characters)

Photo of BierGiek
2.72/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Feelings as to this beer noted above. Great appearance, all right aroma, mouth feel light and fitting for the style. As to taste: far too acidic, and the funk overwhelms the delicate witbiet characteristics. What's left is simply too much: no subtlety, too acidic, too funky, too many cooks in the kitchen. Pick a style and run with it; I've had enough of these everything but the kitchen sink beers (399 characters)

Photo of jbaker67
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow pour with big, fluffy, lasting white head, aroma brought notes of nice earth, biscuit, cracker sweetness, nice coriander, clove, hints of orange peel, lemon, touch of wild yeast with some bretty barnyard like notes. Taste is a mix of nice white fruits, some orange, going into biscuit, bread, slight yeast, touch of coriander, finishing with some slight funk, slight acidity. (387 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a hazy and light straw yellow with two fingers of rich off-white head. Wet sheets of lacing left behind.

Tart aroma of lemon zest, green apple, coriander, white pepper, and light funk.

Much like the aroma, the taste was tart with lemon zest, green apple, coriander, white pepper, yeast, and barnyard funk. Finished clean.

Light-to-medium bodied and dry with a sharp carbonation.

A very tasty and easy-drinking Witbier from Jolly Pumpkin. Recommended. (477 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear golden color with a massive white head that is very well retained. Great retention and damn fine looking wit.

S: A light apple note with a light spice character to it as well as some musty oak and a little bit of grass and pear.

T: Initially the taste buds receive apple and pear with a light lemon zest tartness. Its a little musty and Earthy with a hint of pepper and spice. The finish is pretty clean and refreshing.

M: Light to medium in body with a rather high level of carbonation and a dry finish.

O: Outstanding witbier! (550 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/17/2013. Moderate gusher upon opening, took a while to pour this. Pours very hazy golden straw color with a 3 finger foamy and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big tart lemon, green apple, pear, grape, orange peel, coriander, clove, pepper, wheat, wet hay, grass, floral, funk, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of yeast, spice, and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of tart lemon, pear, green apple, orange peel, clove, pepper, coriander, wheat, hay, grass, floral, funk, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of crisp tartness/spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, light fruits, clove, pepper, coriander, hay, grass, wheat, floral, funk, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Very nice balance and complexity of yeast, spice, and light malt flavors; with a great fruity/spicy balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very high carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very crisp, prickly, and slightly acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent oak aged witbier style. All around great balance and complexity of spice and yeast flavors; and extremely crisp and smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,487 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch 1173 bottled on 8/27/12
A: cloudy golden with small bubble inch of white head leaving spotty white lacing
S: tart citrus like grapefruit and orange peel, slight funk to it but would have expected more given the barrel and bottle conditioning
T: grapefruit, orange peel and spice with a very dry finish - no overly pronounced flavors but mildly tart and sweet but not much impact from the barrels
M: medium/high carbonation with a nice body and smooth finish

Overall good beer, a bit weak on the smell and would have liked this beer to have a bit more punch from the aging and conditioning process. Could easily drink this on a warm summer day. I would probably go with a Oro or La Roja from JP over this one (715 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from an "artsy" 750ml bottle into a balloon glass.
Cloudy, orange/apricot color, huge head of whipped egg-white foam.
Aroma-Spicy yeast notes
Taste-Orange zest, spicy yeast, coriander, "dusty" hop note. Wonderfully dry and tart. Very refreshing and drinkable, with a light-bodied saison quality. Very nice on a warm day and with lighter fare. (349 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer is cloudy light yellow with a moderately-sized white head. Good retention, looks solid with good lacing.

Nose contains wheat, lemon and oak. Some brett is there as well.

A bit of oak in the flavour, a bunch of wheat and a slight tart flavour. Lemon, light soft fruit. A touch of clove. The brett gets more pronounced as I drink, imparting an earthy funk that does most of the heavy lifting for this beer.

Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. Nice, but a bit heavy for the style.

Overall, a decent wit that benefits well from the barrel aging, making it a bit unique. (576 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: into a tulip, measured pour; hazy yellow beer with a head big-as-you-want-it of fizzy white foam

S: yeasty lemon and peppery spice, some funky farmy aromas and a waft of wet fields

T: citric and musky, coriander and orange pith, slightly sweet and mildly tart; bright yeasts and floral hops; earthy undertones - malts are delicate and crisp

M: light, fuzzy, soft, clean and dry finish

O: although I've only had a few, this was a delightful witbier - very bright and refreshing, easy-drinking and light (508 characters)

Photo of chanokokoro
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales branded short stemmed tulip

Pours a hazy, very pale yellow capped by a two finger sea foam-like head. Above average retention; significant wispy lacing. The unmistakable aroma of brettanomyces-induced light funk and musty earthiness, coriander, hints of citrus, and light accents of oak on the nose. Opens with general light fruitness, coriander, yeasty earthy notes, and grain and wheaty malt. Hints of white pepper give way to the bone-dry finish that ties together musty oakiness and very light tart accents of citrus rind. Abundant carbonation, slick and smooth mouthfeel. A very tasty twist on the traditional witbier. Solid brew. (698 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From: Anderson's, Columbus, OH
Date: Bottled 2012-11-07 (batch 2150)
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Jolly Pumpkin's Calabaza Blanca is definitely a different take on the witbier style, perhaps close to what an earlier, pre-brewing science version might be like, with its "wild" influences. Like most JP beers, this has a light barrel-aged with Brettanomyces character, resulting in a little sourness and funk. While interesting, and certainly enjoyable, I'm not sure the $10 price for a 750 bottle is appropriate for the ale, when others in the style are relatively similar and much more affordable.

Pours a huge (>4cm) head that actually increases in size after the pour (threatens to spill over the edges of the glass), ultimately yielding a mass of foam that is very dense, fluffy, and meringue-like mass in its mixture of small to large-sized bubbles. The foam eventually subsides after many minutes to a 1.2cm cap atop the body; as one might expect from retention of this duration, the lacing is excellent, a mass of foam clinging to all sides of the glass. Body is a cloudy goldenrod-yellow color, with light bringing pale, yellow-orange hues to the hazy beverage. Carbonation is visible along the sides of the glass, quite numerous and numerous.

Aroma is of coriander with somewhat strong Brettanomyces-related composting hay/straw scent, slightly tart, lending a somewhat "harsh" edge to this at times. There's also mellower orange rind and a bit of wheat malt sweetness that's vaguely perceptible behind this.

The overall flavor of the beer is of coriander, bitter orange rind, and wheat malt, with moderate Brettanomyces influences. Front of palate is of mellow, somewhat sweet, wheat malt, a touch of Brettanomyces-related composting hay/straw, and ground coriander. Mid-palate finds mellow coriander with bitter orange rind, stronger Brettanomyces-related composting hay/straw flavor, mild tartness, and modest white pepper. The wheat malt sweetness is still present, but decidedly in the background. Back of palate finds a return of strong coriander flavor, with chamomile tea, wheat malt sweetness, and tartness. Aftertaste is of mildly bitter orange rind, coriander, and wheat malt, with very modest Brettanomyces character.

Beer is medium bodied with medium-high levels of carbonation, which results in a slightly fizzy mouthfeel at first, which calms, after a few seconds, to a pleasantly foamy, soft feel. Closes fairly dry, with moderate stickiness clinging to the palate. (2,499 characters)

Photo of Cresant
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served this 25.4 oz brown bottle in a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Batch 835, bottled 7-7-2011. The body was a pale golden/white/yellow. There was a hearty, bright white head that left a film throughout.

The smell was Sweet-Tarts and lemongrass (?).

The taste was tangy and tart. Fruity. Citrus and white pepper. Drying finish. Not my favorite style but a pleasant surprise.

The mouthfeel was filling/expanding with fine carbonation. Overall better than expected. (463 characters)

Photo of rand
4.64/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 250 mL bottle into a Mikasa pilsner glass

A: Looks like a creamsicle...orange and opaque with white hues, and forms a frothy 2 inch head on a gentle pour that never fully recedes.

S: The nose is lemon pepper and yeasty pastries and a touch of grassy funk. A little barnyard-y, kind of reminds me of something Fantome would brew and call a Saison.

T: The flavors follow, with a tart, honey sweet aspect quickly dried by lemon pepper and orange zest. Maybe a touch of coriander. The yeast yields a touch of funk that carries throughout the sip and accents the drying aspects. Finishes short and dry and refreshing.

M: Light and crisp on the tongue, plenty a carbonation that adds to the levity.

Another ace from JP. This has got to be one of the tastiest, most original takes on the style. I love the session-able approach as well, pretty much nailed this one on all aspects. (892 characters)

Photo of bum732
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

S: Oak up front with some orange, slight funk. Spicing somewhat hidden.

L: Hazy, golden yellow, not much head.

T: Slightly tart, fruity malt with orange and lemon. Low bitterness with additional tartness. Finishes fairly dry with residual tartness. Traditional orange and coriander pretty well hidden, more as it warms.

M: Medium think bodied, medium carbonation. Quite crisp and refreshing.

The Brett has definitely taken a hold in this botle (2011). Pretty good overall. (476 characters)

Photo of Petcha
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy golden orange

S - Lemons and subtle witbier style spices, bit of standard JP funk as well.

T - Nice dry, non-puckering tartness, lemons and green apple, dominate without being overpowering at all. The traditional witbier spices are present but in a subtle, balanced way.

M - Crisp, dry, nice carbonation

O - Love how the tartness adds a different dimension to a traditional wit. Not incredibly memorable, but a solid JP offering. Would seek this out again. (472 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: nice silvery-gold hue with a light haze and a strong effervescence. Head is two thick fingers of frothy white foam. An attractive witbier indeed.

Smell: lightly sweet, lightly wheaty aroma with a pretty pronounced citrus tang. Quite lemony, something you don't see too often in the style. A little bizarre, but mostly I like it.

Taste: same lemony, wheaty flavor as in the aroma. Light and refreshing, as the style should be, but just a bit on the weird side for me. It's well-crafted; just a bit unusual.

Mouthfeel: light body with a big carbonation and a refreshing, rocky creaminess. I like it.

Overall: a tasty and drinkable beer, although a little weird for the style. I'll give it points for originality, though. This is a beer I'd have again. (805 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A barrel aged witbier? Why? I'm skeptical but optimistic. Especially since it's Jolly Pumpkin. Batch 1043. Bottled 03/07/12. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an Odell 90 Shilling pilsner glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger white colour head - quite thin - of no real cream but above average retention. Body colour is a cloudy pale yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks typical of the style.

Sm: Lemon, orange, clove, pale malts, fresh citrus zest, and cilantro (but I wouldn't say coriander, if we're being technical. I don't detect any oak or barrel notes. A fresh aroma of moderate strength.

T: Orange and lemon citrus fruit, with some grassy hops throughout. Lemongrass in the body. Cilantro. Citrus zest. Orange peel. Pale malts are well integrated in the body. It's nicely built for a witbier but lacks the subtlety a better offering would feature.

Mf: Too heavy on the palate for a witbier, which is supposed to be fleeting, light, and refreshing. Still, it's nicely smooth and wet but with enough coarseness to coax out the flavour, and sound dryness on the finish to encourage the next sip. Thickness is troublesome but well executed.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but stops short of refreshing. It's pleasant, but lacks the feel of a solid witbier. I think the barrel aging meated it up too much; it's lost its subtlety. I don't know that the slight aging did it any favours.

Low B- (1,669 characters)

Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
88 out of 100 based on 440 ratings.