Calabaza Blanca - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca

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BA SCORE
87
very good

841 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 841
Reviews: 432
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 27
Gots: 55 | 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)
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Ratings: 841 | Reviews: 432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joe1510
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Received this bottle from my RB Secret Santa, thanks Melvin. Calabaza Blanca turned out to be yet another Jolly Pumpkin gusher. This wit pours an opaque, hazy straw golden. Streams of carbonation chase each other to the small crown of white head that formed on the pour and leaves a patch of lace here and there.

Smell has a little bit of that dusty funkiness to it. A solid dose of tangy wheat shows itself below the dustiness. Not much in the way of orange peel but there is a pinch of coriander. The aroma, unfortunately, doesn't stand out much.

Flavor follows the nose. Some wheat twang and a little of the funkiness but all characteristics seem really dumbed down. Not a lot of complexity or flavor. I'm usually not a big fan of wits the way it is but this one leaves things to be desired.

The mouthfeel is pretty average. The problem is there is too much carbonation which makes this beer move through entirely too fast. The carbonation is very prickly and the high carbonation makes the body seem almost nonexistent.

This beer goes down about like an ice cold macro. Non-offensive and easy to drink but not something I wouldn't waste my time drinking more than one.

I've always passed by this beer because I'm usually not in the mood for a wit. Now that I've had the opportunity to give it a try I'm glad I have passed it by. There are much better wits out there and for much better prices. Calabaza Blanca is a chink in Jolly Pumpkins armor.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With nothing better to do on a Saturday night, I turned towards my local liquor store for help. I hope Calabaza Blanca is the ticket. From a Belgian-sized bomber (750 ml), but capped instead of corked, on to the beer:

First off, careful when you open the cap, the beer exploded out and drenched my desk. After that adventure, it's a clear, light pale gold color. The head retention on this beer is something to brag about. The nose is orange dominated, with touches of apple. The taste is quite smooth, but nothing to rave about. It has a good tart taste to it, with a leafy hop flavor in the back. I personally prefer the witbiers where the ingredients are more "raw", if you know what I mean. But overall, it's good. It won't fill you up, and won't let you down. However, I'm not sure if it was worth the $8 I paid.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a light golden cider with clouded yeast particles suspended throughout the head is a bit spritzy but overcarbonation doesn't come through at all in the texture. Bright white head dwindles quick with minimal thin lacing. Aroma complex coriander and citrus notes with heavy tart acidity really piercing the senses. Tart oak barrel aging really brings about some cider notes, not the overly sweetened versions but those drier in nature. Flavor brings out perfume like layers of coriander with other possible spices, citrus tartness with bitter pith notes come through. Bready wild yeast notes play their role so nicely adding to the ever growing complexity of Jolly Pumpkin beers, artisan ales at their finest. Dry soothing finish with the spices really leaving a coating on the palate. Mouthfeel is light bodied spritzy carbonation with that slight oil like composition of the dryness blended with oak and spice great mix wonderful finish. Drinkability is so sessionable at 4.8% and in addition it's complex enough to keep one refreshed and intrigued throughout each bottle excellent and don't hold back on any of the yeast sediment. Oh and I get some creamy bubblegum chalky finish thing going on that I really dig. Like stale bubblegum with cardboard accents from a pack of baseball cards, nice.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
2/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

i really, really do not get the brett thing and am regretting like hell that i bought an entire sixer of this. i should have known that this is an acquired taste that happens to not be my cup of tea. if i wanted this sour brett stuff (my mistake, i guess), i should have just bought some wine. the sweet looking bottles finally lured me in, though. and despite knowing that they use brett (shouldn't this be a fucking flaw?), i figured they wouldn't use it in a wit, right? woops. this looks like a nice wit, and smells like one too. but in the mouth it's all sourness and astringency. like a beer gone horribly wrong. if anyone wants the rest of this sixer and lives in the naperville area please come and take it before i pour it down the drain. i'm dead serious, just email me and it's yours. it's taking up precious space in my beer fridge.

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the third Jolly Pumpkin brew I have sampled, and all of them have been phenomenal. Easily one of the best Witbiers I have ever had, right next to St. Bernardus. Tasty, tasty brew.

Poured part of a 750ml into a pilsener glass.

Appearance - Transparent with a slight haze. The color is a whitish/yellow/straw hue. A harder than average pour produced a huge 2+ finger cottony head that took several minutes to die down to a drinkable level. It left a bit of lacing on the way down.

Smell - Just like one would imagine a good witbier smells like. I get notes of orangey lemony citrus tartness. There is a good level of spice as well - coriander and clove. There are grain-like malts and a significant yeast scent too.

Taste - Man, this is really good. I primarily taste the lemon/orange citrus - very tart. The spice presence in the scent is even more pronounced in the flavor - lots of coriander and a little bit of clove. There are very floral hops at the end of the flavor, but they are hiding pretty deeply underneath the huge tartness the beer has.

Mouthfeel - This is perhaps my favorite part of this beer. The beer is light bodied and it is almost perfectly balanced with the carbonation level. There is a high level of carbonation but it helps to cut through the tartness and light body.

Drinkability - Man this beer is good. The mouthfeel, flavor and scent make me want to keep drinking. This beer would be in my regular rotation if they sold it in Texas.

If you like Witbiers, you should search this one out. Jolly Pumpkin hasn't let me down yet.

Photo of albern
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good witbeer all around. The only downside is that there is relatively no head on this beer. It pours a hazy, orange with lots of yeasty bits and residue floating around a settling right at the bottom of the glass. Head, lacing and retention are the lows. The smell is very good. It was clearly yeasty spritz, coriander, maybe some clove, citrus, and another smell I couldn't place until I read other reviews and came up with it ... definitely a ginger ale fizz ... spot on. The taste won't disappoint in that you will get a medium bodied, well carbonated, coriander, spicy ale with a yeasty tartness that is both refreshing and bracing. The mouthfeel is rather light and the aftertaste is tart, but good. You can't go wrong with this beer. L'Chaim.

Photo of wheelinshirt
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another unique beer from jolly pumpkin. Bottle sports a cool label with a matching blue cap. Poured a cloudy straw with not a lot of head (maybe my fault for not pouring aggresively enough) and left some lacing. Smell is a balance of the orange and coriander along with some clove and grainy malt. Taste is pretty standard for a witbier except with a bit of lactic sourness. I didn't much care for it in La Roja, but here it works wonderfully well. Swirled to get some more head that ended up dropping out pretty quickly but brought out a bunch of funk and tartness in the nose. The tartness makes the finish pretty dry but not quite as clean as i would have liked.

Overall a very unique witbier, stays in line more with other jolly pumpkin offerings than the style so if you like their other beers, you should definately try this one.

Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As the beer spills from the 12-ounce bottle, the color is foggy yellow with a perfect white hue, head is a huge pile of cotton to crown the body, as it slowly dematerializes, and the lacing forms a white curtain to drape the glass. Nose has a rich bread dough aroma, aromatic spices, coriander, cloves and a nice orange peel hint, to accompany the crispness. Start is sweet with grain and spices, a bit of tartness at the back, top is light to medium. Finish has a prickly acidity, sweet with a touchy of hop spiciness, quite dry aftertaste lingers long, a fine representative to the style.

Photo of Nipitato
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: A great looking beer. Light gold hue. Visibly effervescent. Visible yeast. Capped with a quarter inch creamy white head with good retention.

S: A citrus tart aroma predominates. Grainy malt. Very herbaceous – orange and coriander. Some subtle oak.

T: Tart and refreshing. Citrus/orange flavor with lactic sourness. Some grainy malt flavor. Also some spicy peppery notes. A clean non dry finish.

MF: Light and airy. Creamy. Very tart clean finish. Highly carbonated.

D,Notes: Great take on a witbier. Very drinkable.

Photo of SixpointJMH
2.93/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy golden colour with a thick frothy white head that quickly dissolves to a lace that leaves minimal residue on the glass. There is also some yeast that can be seen floating in and settling in the glass.

The aroma is a bit yeasty, but primarily tart and lemony, with some grape in the mix at times. There's a slight touch of spice here too, but the lemon notes overpower it for the most part.

The flavour is more fruit. Lemon still leads but grapes are very apparent here in the mix and this one become white wine like at times, with perhaps even a hint of apple juice like flavours. Coriander is slightly noticeable as well amongst the overall tart flavour. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

I wasn't crazy about this one. It's too much of what seems to be a white wine/beer blend. Not bad, just odd and not my cup of tea. I'd call this one average at best overall.

Photo of zdk9
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A decent beer which strongly reminded me of my homebrewed hard cider.

A- Comes to me yellow and as cloudy as pond water. About half an inch of white head which dissipates instantly.

S- White wine yeastiness, and the fruitiness of grapes, pears, and apples.

T- Cider definatly comes to mind. The overlying flavor here is fruit- again as in the nose there is grape, pear, apple, and then some peach, and perhaps a touch of bitter orange. Sweet but with some bittering balance on the sides of the mouth and more prominent in the aftertaste.

M- This one doesn't coat your mouth, and yet there's something richer in the mouthfeel- almost the texture of soymilk- I'd have to summerise that all the yeast floating in the beer is causing this.

D- A good beer, but somewhat one dimensional, however I would have this one again if I needed a sweet change.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale yellow with a big white head. Aromas of peach skin, corriander and fruity and tart. In the taste, a bit thin corriander, peach and tartness. A smooth small tart mouthfeel, with a dry sourness aftertaste. I really dig the peach flavor, smooth tartness with a light alcohol.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Calabaza is a variety of squash that grows to the size of a pumpkin. Any correlation? Pours light sunny straw color with a rough cloudiness that is common in wits. A good pour leaves a fluffy head with decent size bubbles. Although the retention is pour and quickly hides to the side of the glass but never completely disappears.

The nose has a lot of yeast notes. There is a muddled grainy aroma that has somewhat a husky presence. Some lighter spicy notes or citrus, mostly orangy, coriander and some faint pepper notes. Maybe some touches of DMS as well.

The taste is more balanced then the nose would indicate. A Belgian feel for sure with a sour feel and some esters coming out. The orange flavor is balanced and backed off with more malt touches coming out. Still have that grainy taste. Some orange but limited spice. Coriander is limited as well.

The body is light and crisp but some off flavors deter a bit. A light bit off style for me but overall everything is good.

Photo of BenZ
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Light honey colored, bright white head

S - Some acid and sweetness, maybe some floral aroma

T - Sweet, sour, barfy, bitter, cereal! Tastes like 2/3 Berliner weiss mixed with 1/3 Orval.

M - Somewhat watery, nothing objectionable

D - An easy drinker, feels like you could treat the 750ml bottle like a 12oz'er

Photo of jamie2dope
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw that this beer now comes in six packs, so I had to pick up a single to give it a go. Pours a cool, golden, somewhat murky color, with a nice head that accumulates rapidly, and holds up very well. Sediment can also be seen accumulating toward the bottom of the glass. Aroma has something so familiar in it, but I cannot quite put my finger on it... perhaps the slight funk of hard boiled eggs. It definitely has a certain stink to it, but in a very good way. Other aromas I smelled included vinegar, sour cherries, and lemon. Taste is full of tart lemon flavors, and a bit of green apple. It finishes somewhat on the dry side in a way that is similar to the way a gueze leaves you. Mouthfeel is light, with good dose of carbonation to liven things up a bit. Very easy to drink as well if you are in to other funky wild ales. What a beer! I will be getting this beer again for sure. Probably the most interesting example of this style I have tasted.

Photo of Dansting
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a slightly cloudy yellow color with a thin white head. Aroma of lemon and orange. Very wine-like. Nice mouthfeel. Flavor is sour, with a lemony touch to it. Not as flavorful as I would have thought. I expected more of a wine-like taste to it. A decent sour, but not my favorite.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright yellow with a thin white head. The nose is full, tart and the taste is sour goodness with a little fruitiness, God I wish I hadn’t burned my tongue on some soup earlier in the day. This is the best wit beer I have ever had and another winner from Jolly Pumpkin. Mouthfeel is bubbly and enjoyable. Jolly Pumpkin beers are not cheap but you definitely get what you pay for and I love the funkiness.

Photo of kaelingirl
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle pured into a standard pint glass
Very pale yellow in color. My bottle might be over carbonated, no matter how slowly I pour the head quicklyt fills the glass and foam up out of the bottle. Gian chunk of sediment in the bottle suspended in the beer. Head fades quickly but leaves big piles on the sides of the glass.
Strong yeasty wheat aroma.
Flavor also seems yeasty with a bit of a crisp spicy finish.
Feels a bit bubbly on my tongue but again i might have a carbonation issue with this bottle.
A nice beer for a hot day.

Photo of Grundle20
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance:
The beer is straw gold in color and surprisingly clear. There's tight white head to the beer but the retention and lacing are poor.

Smell:
Initially the scent was respectably strong but its potency wanes as the beer warms which seems weird but moving along. For the most part there's a rich banana tone with some abrasive spice notes of peppery coriander. There's a good sweet orange undertone throughout. Towards the back there is a just a touch of butterscotch.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
The beer goes down relatively crisp and dry and is overall a little light on the palate. Sweet orange, like an orange tootsie pop, comes through as the strongest flavor for me although it does develop a tart edge towards the finish. A smooth wheat undertone builds up the middle to the back and carries on in to the finish which is pretty clean and, again, dry. There's a slight touch of banana in the aftertaste but it's rather agreeable.

Drinkability:
It's a good beer that drinks light and refreshing so there really isn't a whole lot to dislike here. Perfectly drinkable if you're in to witbiers.

Bottom Line:
This is my first time having this brew from Jolly Pumpkin and I think I can honestly say it's giving La Roja a strong fight for my favorite of their brews. I'd recommend this beer to just about anybody, not just beer fans.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very light golden color. Slight head that disipates rather quickly. Smell is spicy, but somewhat reserved. Smell is carbonated, with some wine like flavors. I’m getting some lemon zest as well as some white grapes. Very crisp, refreshing and easy drinking. Not the funk bomb that is anticipated, but a good beer nonetheless.

Photo of IPAcraig
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my de garre snifter while watching another episode of Big Love.

A - Pours a nice cloudy bright yellow with a big two finger head.

S - A very citrusy-sour smell dominates the aroma. A lemony sourness from the yeast combined with a sweet orange smell from the spices. This sounds great in theory, but it actually seems kind of muddled.

T - The sourness dominates this brew, very lemony. Followed by a sweet, warming spiciness, with a hint of orange. Again, this sounds great, but this beer seems to suffer from multiple personality disprder. I enjoy this beer, and i thought I would have loved the combination of a sour wit. However, I think I would have them separate.

M - Hugely carbonated. This really accentuates the flavor, however it is a bit much.

D - Measuring drinkability by the standard of if I would have another this is a one. However, it is fairly drinkable, enjoyable beer. I liked it, but I wont be enjoying this one again.

Photo of ccrida
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle at cellar temp into my New Belgium goblet, the Calabaza Blanca is a clear gold with a creamy, medium-large sized white head that is slow to subside and leaves a foamy collar.

The aroma is beckoning with a soft sweetness, curacao and a mineral spritziness reminiscent of saisons, with some wheat funk as well. Very nice, but as I often find to be the case with brews that use curacao, there's just a bit to much orange.

The taste is very nice, grainy wheat with just a touch of citrus from the spices and the historically accurate bacteria sourness, which is very rare to find in wit's these day, and exactly why I like this one so much. I particularly like how the spices,are so much less obvious on the palate, in spite of the fairly orange heavy aroma. Highly attenuated with a very clean and dry, bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is light with a creamy yet sharp carbonation that gives it a pleasant crispness.

This is a very drinkable beer if you like the wild ales. I love them, and this is a great example of how they can be restrained and refreshing. The low alcohol also adds to the drink all day in the sun factor. If only it was more affordable, it would be by go to hot day beer. Pretty much the perfect wit for me, at least commercially available. If i tried to brew this myself, I'd probably add a little candi sugar to punch up the ABV about 1.5% while still keeping the body light. But the fact is I really love this one. In fact, as I worked my way through the bottle, I kept bumping up my scores to the point that it's probably one of my highest rated beers, and rightly so for my tastes!

Photo of Duster72
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a faint yellow with a two finger head. Aroma is very enticing orange peel and spices. Definitely has that signature Jolly Pumpkin taste, which I am not sure how to explain. Must be the yeast. Very pleasant blend of orangey citrus with the mild wheat. Very tasty. Too much carbonation and slightly thin mouthfeel. Would be interesting to try a slightly sweeter version, although I like the clean aftertaste.

Photo of katan
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice light yellow color - looks very appealing. A light 1/4" head. No lacing - clear pour.

S - The first smell that hits is the smell of citrus and spice. I think its a bitter orange peel that jumps out first.

T - Interesting taste. Somewhat separated form the smell. The first hit is a bitter citrus flavor. After taste doesn't linger very long. Not getting much coriander or spice in the taste.

M - A decent amount of carbonation. Its crisp. Good feel.

D - I think I could drink a few of these. Its a nice change of pace from some of the other more sweet/spicy wits.

I'm happy w/ the JP offerings so far. Although for the $$ I might hit something else first.

Photo of enfield249
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Cloudy golden-yellow. Very little head

S - This is going to sound odd, but I smell mustard. Not quite, but very similar. I guess it must be the coriander and orange peel. I must say, it's not a "bad" mustard smell, if you can believe that, it is the first thing my nose picked up however.

T - Coriander, some orange. Very sour almost astringent, which I have never tasted in a whit before. Very interesting. Makes my mouth water after drinking it.

M - About average for a whit, on the lighter side of things.

D - This is a very interesting beer, different then most other whits I have had, and worth a try. I wouldn't drink a lot of it, or often, but I would recommend it.

Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 841 ratings.