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Calabaza Blanca - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

803 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 803
Reviews: 426
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 26
Gots: 53 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-25-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 803 | Reviews: 426 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nsmartell
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the Batch 416 bomber bottle poured into a tulip glass. A good Christmas present from my brother.

Appearance: Pours orange in color with a huge fluffy white head that stays around for some time. Lots of bubbles floating to the top.

Smell: Spices, orange and banana cloves and a hint of tartness.

Taste: The tartness really takes over now. Too tart for my tastes for what I was expecting in this beer. The spiciness comes through now as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, very tart and crisp. This beer is well carbonated and finishes nice and dry. However, the tartness is overwhelming.

Drinkability: Due to the tartness, I would be OK with just the 2 glasses this bomber allows. Definitely the most unique witbier I've ever tasted.

nsmartell, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of SpdKilz
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Taken from Notes at Christmas (yeah, I've been meaning to add these for quite some time)

Appearance - I pour two glasses, one for my brother in law (cheers!) and one for myself. Two fingers of beautiful fluffy white head are garnered through a moderate pour, and as we sit and chat, the head slowly dissipates leaving some great looking lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Tart, spicy, green apples, the great barnyard funk JP is so famous for is highly prevalent as well. I keep inhaling deeply just enjoying the aroma of this brew. Amazing.

Taste - Witbier's have been growing on me as of late, and what a better way to make me like them better than have one made with JP's twist on the style. Unbelievable. An immediate sour/tart flavor reaches your mouth with slight musty barnyard funk (not as prevalent as in JP's saison's). The flavors of green apples, wheat, white grape, etc. Extremely refreshing as we are drinking this by a roaring fire (and will be drinking some heavy stouts later on out in the cold for the hell of it!). The sip finishes with another tart flavor, leaving your lips slightly pursed for the next drink.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied yet almost watery, very carbonated, and finishes a bit dry.

Drinkability - I would drink this by the gallon. This review is from Christmas and now that I am typing it up I am so annoyed I cannot obtain this readily out here in California (I was home in Illinois at the time I purchased the Calabaza Blanca). Extremely drinkable, but honestly pretty expensive for such a low alcohol content beer. Alas, I guess I have expensive taste, heh. I would buy this again in a heartbeat if I saw it.

SpdKilz, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of ATPete
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle

Pours a golden yellow color with a very sticky snow white head. Lots of funky lemon skin, light yeast esters in the nose. Clean and refreshing, medium carbonation. Tart is a good enough word to use in describing the bite because this beer is not quite 'sour', a brief bitterness late on the finish balances and rounds everything out nicely. My ideal summer beer to be honest with you, just enough going on to keep things interesting but still light enough to drink in the heat.

ATPete, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 received as a great extra in a fantastic trade with Kbeals.. Very Nice Kevin!! Shared this one with Brenda because she says she likes witbiers, but I think this one is going to make her think.

Foamy white head.. nice lacing that melts pretty quickly.. the brew is a slightly hazed straw golden.

Nose has the JP lactic sour that I know... funky and tart.. phenolic.. green apples.. grape skin.. with warmth shows some dank and dark cellar...

bretty funk .. mild horse blanket .. lemon zest ... tart apple skins .... some spice that may be identifiable as coriander.. dry underripe peach essence..

Lite/medium and abundant sparkly carbonation..

This no where on the same planet as most wits.. but I love the JP take.. and I love the JP funk that permeates this bottle.. strikes me as a bretty American take on a Berliner Weisse.

Thanks again Kevin!! Too much.


JohnGalt1, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of cdizinno
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: At first, a gentle pour of the first half of the bottle resulted in a crystal clear golden yellow with a nice white head and champagne-like carbonation. After a few swirls and a vigorous pour, the color turned to a straw/apple cider brownish yellow with a nice creamy white head, heavy cloudiness, and moderate lacing.

S: Very light citrus and mild spiciness.

T&M: Lighter bodied with a very sour, twangy bite. A bit like sweet tarts, but not too sweet. Citrus seems to be more lemony than orange as stated on the label. Very clean and crisp. Tastes a bit like cider. No hops at all, but very nice taste and feel due to its uniqueness.

I like Witbier. Not a huge fan. But if it's good, like this, I can drink more. I recieved this in a beer of the month pack and I hear it is quite costly though. That would be the only thing holding me back from trying more!
Great brew.

cdizinno, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of Chrisco88
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very pale gold color, almost yellow. A bit of yeast cloudiness which fits the style. Large creamy head that lasts a while.

Aroma: Very light and citrus-y, a bit of a sour twang that I really enjoy but seems to dominate the senses.

Taste: A little sour but perfectly balanced with a clean, tart aftertaste. Tastes a bit like cider but has a great brett taste that I loved. No hop character at all.

Palate: Pretty thin but very intensely carbonated, finishes clean with a nice tart pucker.

Overall: Hands down my favorite wit (my favorite style mind you!) and definitely in my top 5. It's a fantastic tasting beer and stands out among every other wit I've tried, but like most wits it doesn't hold your interest for more than a glass or so.

Chrisco88, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of BeerMandS
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a great Beer!
It has very interesting spicy notes to it with I think a very citrus appeal. Unfortunately, I also believe that this appeal is also its demise. I had it in 750ml format and I must admit that in the end it was getting a bit repetitive; I wasn't going back for more.
It looked great! Smelled awesome and was very exciting, then I had my second glass... The palate was somewhat creamy but not as heavy as I expected for a wheat beer.
I think it drinks very well but keep it as an appetizer with a friend. I also think this beer should be drunk during the summer month.

Although I like this beer it's not my favorite from Jolly.

BeerMandS, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of icetraxx
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours the same color as apple juice, with some haze from the yeast. A slightly creamy head is formed, and it sticks around for quite awhile, even lacing the glass. This is an interesting looking wit, definitely a bit more yellow than others.

S: Wild yeast, vinegar, and a tinge of malt, the key components of many Jolly Pumpkin brews. The aroma isn't as powerful as I would like, and the citrus and coriander seem lost in the smell.

T: I have to be honest upfront, I was expecting some funkiness here, but what I got was a decent wit that was (slighly) overwhelmed by a sourness from wild yeast. Hops are completely missing, which is ok for the style, but I would like to see a presence as the coriander is too far in the background to replace them. There is a quite a bit of citrus which tastes like lemon to me, but the bottle says orange peel.

The finish is crisp, tart, and clean. No aftertaste. No funkiness. Unusually refined. Dominate flavors include the twang from the yeast, a bit of barely malt, citrus, and a hint of coriander in the background. This beer is disappointing on the complexity front, on top of this, the other flavors don't pop out at me like the tartness initially does. Wheat is disappointingly lost.

Even with these complaints, this beer is more than the sum of its complaints. To be honest, this beer tastes good, actually, it tastes really good in its own way. It just is not the best example of the style, and needs a bit more complexity and flavor pop. This beer tastes surprisingly like a Sauvignon Blanc, and yes, I know that is a wine.

M: Just barely over-carbonated for the style, but otherwise perfect. Exceptionally creamy for a wit, yet a bit watery at the same time while I swirl it around the glass.

D: Just finished the 750ML bottle to myself. I could drink even more. The tart and crisp finish really quench my thirst, and even make me beg for more. I wasn't genuinely upset when I finished the bottle (as I was when I had the Hitachino), I think I need to see a bit more complexity and funkiness to keep me interested in this one.

O: A fine Sauvignon Blanc of Wits, but not the funky over-the-top brew that I hoped it would be. Hitachino White Ale has the funkiness that I desire and is the exact same price (or cheaper) than Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca.

icetraxx, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of Ek0nomik
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter Glass

Appearance: The pour is a crystal clear canary yellow color with a finger of fluffy white head sitting on top. A few swirls with the snifter give some nice, medium thickness sheets of lace scattered around the glass. The beer also looks quite effervescent. In fact, the stream of bubbles isn't even coming from the center of the glass. They are streaming up between the center and far left side of the glass. Ron, what have you done?!

Smell: The nose isn't as strong as I was hoping. There are some nice notes to be found, but it's all rather subdued. Granny smith apples, wheat, some spice from the yeast, orange, and a little coriander.

Taste: The palate is, unfortunately, following suite with the nose as being rather subdued. In fact, even more so. There just isn't a lot of flavor coming through on this one. You can find all the same notes listed above, but it's being held back from a little too much water being put in.

The tasting starts out with some wheat and pale malt up front. Very little sweetness to be found throughout the tasting. Some coriander shows up along with some tart white grapes and green apples. The finish is dry, with just a little bit of orange peel to finish the tasting.

Mouthfeel: The beer is a bit harsh on the palate at first from the aggressive carbonation. It makes it hard to pick out many notes. I let it sit for an hour while I made a sweet potato pie, a twist on spanakopita. Once I came back, it was much more pleasant to sip on. The body of the beer was just fine; medium to thin bodied.

Drinkability: With such a low ABV, it's an easy beer to drink on just about any night. The nose and palate are both enjoyable, but it isn't my favorite offering from Jolly Pumpkin.

However, keeping style in mind, this is a great wheat beer and Belgian ale; one of my favorites of the style in fact.

Ek0nomik, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of wedgie9
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted from a 12 ounce bottle.

Aroma - Yeasty, green apple, under ripe white grape, moist aged leather and citrus.

Appearance - The beer has a pale golden color, and it is slightly cloudy. The large fluffy head dissipated quickly.

Taste - The predominant flavor is sour apple. The sour white grape flavor comes through as well. Just a small amount of bitterness.

Palate - The body is very light with an oily texture. The carbonation is lively and the finish is short, but sour and acidic.

Overall - This is a great example of what this style should represent. It is fairly simple but very enjoyable.

wedgie9, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of np0x
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The combination of a witbier with souring character was a great combination, making a refreshing beer even more refreshing. The sour character was faint, but added a refreshing palate cleansing acid bite. Sourness was understated, but nicely balanced with the understated witbier flavors.

np0x, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of pwoods
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from a couple old 12oz. and an oval label. Notes.

A: Pours a dull banana color, very cloudy. Towering pearl head with great retention and a few wisps of lacing.

S: Plenty of spicy, fruity yeast. Tart green apples and gree grapes. Plenty of funky, musky, damp cellar, wet hay.

T/M: Like wheaty grains, tart. Plenty of the tart fruits as well. More of the spicy yeast. A bit of orange peel. Some soft but nice funk has developed with some wet hay and maybe even a bit of vinegar. Light crisp body with a little too much carbonation.

D: Low ABV and very drinkable. Oval labels should probably be drunk now before they turn into gushers but I'd say the 12 ouncers have at least another year or so in them.

pwoods, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of ricke
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy orange with a medium-sized head. Good lacings.

S: Wheat, oranges, spices, hints of tobacco and brett. Good, rather mellow. Good balance.

T: The taste is somewhat sweet with dry wheaty flavors and dry orange notes. Spices (mostly coriander) and mild bretty notes. Very tasty juicy fruit flavors, mostly tart citric notes. Hints of yeast. The finish is dry with note of wheat, fruits and minerals.

M: Moderate body, rather dry texture. Nicely refreshing carbonation.

D: A good beer. Very easy to drink. I'm not usually a big fan of witbiers, but this one was rather pleasant.

ricke, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of shadow1961
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca pours a slightly cloudy gold brew over a finger of foam. Carbonation is very active and spritzy, the nose, pleasantly funky and cidery. The flavor is wheat malt and citrus, but unlike a lot of wheat beers, this has a clean tartness to it. Mouthfeel is crisp, dry, and very drinkable. You always think of wood aging as something usually done with heavier, darker beers, but it really did something special with this light wheat ale. It goes a way towards being something like a Brut sparkling wine- in fact this brew would not be at all out of place in a champagne flute.

shadow1961, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - this wit pours a pale yellow with about half a finger of foamy white head, moderate amounts of swift carbonation keeps it alive

S - citrus and mild spice hit the nose first, secondary sniffs discern the citrus as orange peel and the spice seems to be a coriander/clove combination, there is a definitely a yeasty/bready base to this

T - the taste is very similar to the aroma, perhaps a bit more intense than expects, but all the elements are propotionally so, the orange becomes vivid and the spice becomes highly palatable, with that bready/yeasty base providing support and balance

M&D - this beer is effevescent with a light to medium body, a craft newbie would definitely enjoy this, a low ABV and inoffensive flavor create a high drinkability,

sinstaineddemon, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of BWH3
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy gold with massive white bright foamy head. Retention superb. Carbonation brisk and beautiful. Gorgeous beer.

S: Light scent aerosolized by the brisk bubbles rising to the top. Metallic mineral scent with the lightest of lemon zests.

T: Again, very light flavor almost to a fault of being bland. The lemon is delicate. The hop earth and spice in the beer combine to give a slight ginger flavor. Tart wheat flavor on the palate at the end with ultimately a dry aftertaste.

M: Light, effervescent with great head retention.

D: Enjoyable but not rich in flavor. Just okay at quenching my thirst. I have had better wits and better Jolly Pumpkin beers.

BWH3, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of mhatters
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle

Pours a light yellow with a slightly hazy cloudiness. A small white head crowns.

Slightly funky nose (good) with citrus notes.

Lemony-citrus dominates the flavor with a slightly funky Brett note. Crisp wheat base.

Very light and refreshing, crisp, dry, and well carbonated.

Really good summer beer, easy to drink, well balanced and enjoyable

mhatters, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of mrkrispy
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Large form bottle says Batch 382/383

We just started getting JP distro back in San Diego summer of 2009, so I am hoping to try more of their beers. This is one I haven't had before.

Pours a very clear golden, more vibrant and yellow than a pils.
Quite bubbly, but no head. No sediment or haze, doesn't look anything like a wit but does look good.

Trademark Jolly Pumpkin funky nose, not sure what bugs are in here. Doesn't smell like brett though. A mild funk, bit of spice, wood, and vanilla? Very mild.

Wow, almost no flavor here. Tastes like a funkified version of a BMC lager. Thin, extremely dry. Tiny amount of lemon and spice far, far, away. Almost no tartness even though it is mentioned to be tart on the label. Double checked with the girl - same opinion... just no flavor. Clean and drinkable, but not in a refreshing way. This is a very poor representation of a witbier (almost no spice, no wheaty mouthfeel, filtered, etc) so it should get lower marks but it at least has some of the JP uniqueness.

This might be the first total disappointment I have had from Jolly Pumpkin. I was concerned about the shipping out here but I had a La Roja that arrived at the same time and it was fine and as I remember it.

mrkrispy, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of bunnyhustle
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First JP beer, found it for a steal at $4.99, how could I resist the big bottle. Normally not a fan of the style so I was a little hesitant but had to try after hearing so much. Poured into tulip, hazy and light orange, almost yellowish in color. Creamy white head, good retention and a little lacing. Smell is citrusy, tart, and a littly yeasty. Taste is sour, somewhat fruity, little lemony and other citrus. Some bread and yeast, a relatively dry and bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel was light. Overall a good beer but could have been a sour for all I knew.

bunnyhustle, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of cjgator3
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle
Batch 313

A- I've had this beer a few times before, don't know why I've never reviewed it. Anyways, here it goes. Poured into a snifter. Pours a golden yellow color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is sour and fruity with some citrus and a touch of spices and hints of oak as well.

T- The taste is very light and intricate with a very dry finish. Almost a little champagne-like. The taste is light fruit and spices with some sourness and hints of oak.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Like just about every beer they brew, this one puts an interesting twist on the style. Not the best Wit out there, but definitely something different that is worth trying.

cjgator3, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of allengarvin
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, poured into my favorite beer glass, the St Bernardus chalice. This beer features a hazy peach color and a small head, with little lacing. The nose is sweet, with notes of wheat and coriander, and is moderately fruity. Ah, another sour beer from JP--it wasn't apparent from the aroma. It's quite tart, and quite dry, and the flavors I expect from a good wit do not stand out in such a beer. The coriander is the only part I can really taste. Very dry at the finish.

Not a very good witbier, style-wise. However, I like the beer. It's tart and very refreshing. I bet it'd stand up well in meal with lots of pickled items.

allengarvin, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Has a sticker for the batch number: 279. Very cool label, one of JP's best. Pours a light gold color and the first couple pours are surprisingly clear. Head is huge, fluffy and white with great retention and lacing.

Has the rather distinctive JP nose on it...Smartees and SweeTarts candy, rotting wood from the brett. Once past that, the orange and coriander come out to play and are plenty distinctive.

A bit of the crisp wheat flavor comes through upon tasting, as well as some orange and coriander spices on the finish. But the main flavors here are provided by the wild yeasts and bacteria, a touch sour and earthy wood. Mouthfeel is light and highly carbonated, finishes dry for a witbier. Adding the yeast accentuates the wit characteristics, but I think I actually prefer this one without it. I dont think this is Jolly Pumpkin's best beer, but still is very delicious and drinkable. I would buy this again without hesitation.

twiggamortis420, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of DaggerEyes
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 304/305

pours a hazy yellow gold with a thin white head.

Tart nose. Green apple, a bit of lemon. Yeasty. Sweet tarts.

Fine bubbled carbonation, medium bodied. Slightly dry finish.

Taste is not as complex as nose insinuates. Tart green apple.

DaggerEyes, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of beachbum1975
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch # 313 shared with newtonty, soundbarrier and DrewOSU on this fine, overcast July 5th...

Pours like light urine (sorry, that's what came to mind first). The head is initially about 3/4 of an inch, but quickly fades to a nice, white halo in my snifter...

The nose is a mild sour pang, followed by some sweaty gym socks.

Very light bodied and mildly sour with high carbonation. This is very nice, crisp and refreshing. I barely taste the light wheat aspects of this beer, as the dryness and mild sour comes first.

The pedio and lacto sourness plays the dominant role in this beer, so I find it hard to be considered a witbier.

Nonetheless, this is a very nice beer.

beachbum1975, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 750ml capped bottle poured into my nonic pint glass. Appears a cloudy muted straw yellow color with an inch of fluffy white foam to top things off. Nose and flavor are of light tart/sour funk, green apples, spicy yeast, citrus such as lemon and orange, coriander, woody oak. About a notch better than medium bodied with adequate carbonation for a witbier. Tart and quite quenching overall.

ClockworkOrange, Jun 23, 2009
Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 803 ratings.