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Calabaza Blanca - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca

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very good

871 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 871
Reviews: 440
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.05%
Wants: 29
Gots: 58 | FT: 4
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 871 | Reviews: 440
Photo of 0110x011
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy straw yellow into a snifter. Bubbly, one-finger head quickly disappears leaving virtually no lacing. Nose is lemon, spice, an bright fruits. Not all that pungent. I really had to stick my nose deep in the glass. Flavor is pretty much the same, with a sour pucker and some barnyard funk. Like the nose, the flavor is very light, bordering on watery. Big bubbly carbonation and high acidity for a dry, crisp mouthfeel. Almost like a light RR Temptation moreso than a Wit. A fine summer sipper, but I lean towards more flavorful brews.

Photo of brewdogmrb
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jolly Pumpkin is one of my favorite American Breweries and they have all the characters that a classic, high quality micro-brewery should posess, including a healthy dose of outsider/weird sensibility and a diminished sense of risk avoidance. Calabaza Blanca is a Belgian by way of Dexter, Michigan style Witbier, which is spiced in the traditional sense with orange peel and corriander, and is also oak aged and bottle conditioned. Jolly pumpkin pretty dependably offers a weird and infected take on a classic style, and this is no exception -- the usual spice and funk of a Witbier, which is found in the background and almost entirely caused by yeast and lack of filtration, is all the way up front on this beer, a massive nose full of sour and puckering farm stink procedes any sips you take. Which of course is a good thing.

So yeah, this is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a sour Witbier, but one that is very nicely balanced, very dry, and very Champagne like. This is not an easy thing to pull off and once again Jolly Pumpking doesn't disappoint. They manage to create a drinkable, even sessionable beer here with a less than 5% ABV and a truly refreshing finish. Another Infected Session beer that you would be super stoked to have a six pack of at a barbecue or for a hang out day in the yard. Glad to have grabbed a six pack of this at State Line Liquors on the way back from a trip down to Maryalnd, which by the way, lives up to its reputation for having great craft beers in what is quickly becoming an exciting part of the world for beer in general.

Photo of morimech
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a large white head that had great retention. Bits of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

I smell lemons, oranges, coriander, and yeast. Very big smells for a Witbier.

The taste starts off with citrus and spiciness often associated with Witbiers but then it turns sour with some Brett funkiness. Leaves a sourness in the mouth on finish. An interesting mix of flavors that somehow works.

Has a light body and just a bit overcarbonated. It is not harsh but does not go well with the sour flavors.

An interesting Witbier and it certainly seperates itself from the boring wheat ales that saturates the market in Summer. Low ABV helps consumption.

Photo of dsa7783
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single, 12-ounce bottle purchased from State Line Liquors in Maryland... Nice blue logo sticker, very artsy... "Barrel aged and bottle conditioned" on the front... Supposedly aged in large oak casks and refermented in the bottle...
Pours a very cloudy, murky, hazy, straw-colored hue with an impressive foamy and frothy head that left a minimal amount of lacing along with some carbonation visible...
Earthy, spicy aroma replete with tremendous spices, coriander, wheat, lemons, and citrus nuances...
Very different from your average Witbier, with the oak-aged factor definitely playing a part in the peculiar, orange flavor...
Creamy, rich mouthfeel, but certainly not as rich or thick as other representation of the style, along with a good level of drinkability due to the modest 4.8% ABV... Overall, very tart and heavy on the citrus factor... The first Witbier I've ever tried that has been aged in oak casks...
Interesting stuff...
Worth a try...

Photo of Murchmac
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this one as my ever expanding trek into sours.

Pours a brilliant beautiful clear urine yellow with a great head.

Smells like feet, oxidized bottlecaps, some yeast, and some citrus notes.

Tastes peppery, some citrus. some pleasant (cant believe i wrote that) sourness.

Good carbonation, pleasant sweet and sour aftertaste. Like a fermented chinese dinner.

I like Jolly pumpkin beers. I wish they made a beer from pumpkins, called the Angry pumpkin

Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large capped bottle.

Nice looking, light golden, hazy brew capped by a voluminous white head.
Aroma could be more noticeable, but what is there is quite pleasant. Coriander, orange, yeatiness.
Light bodied and quite refreshing, taste is exactly as suggested by the aroma, with a predominance of the orange.
Solid witbier, nicely crafted.

Photo of bort11
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into an oversized mug. Huge billowing white head that is slow to recede. Specks of foam stick to the glass. Color is a bright and hazy golden yellow. Specks of sediment swirl around.

Smell has a light citrus notes with green herbal spices. Coriander and parsley are mixed together. Taste is a light and refreshing lemon zest and white pepper. More coriander and spices. This wit needs no extra fruit added to it.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp, and very refreshing. A great summer beer to sip on while sitting out on the front porch with friends.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden-rod color with some light peppery floaties and a thin white head.

S: Theres a citric sourness on the nose with a musky farmhouse yeast aroma.

T: some sweet citrusy hopping, with limited complexity. Beer is clean , yet lacks the complexity or spicing of others per style. A decent American interpretation with light spiciness and orange peels making a brief appearance in the finish, Flavor fades rather to quickly to appreciate much.

M: Mouthful is very light and silky on the tongue.

D: drinkable though thought it lacked the complexity and spiciness of others per style.

Photo of number1bum
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of NEPA BC split #14.

Pours a very pale yellow color, good clarity and lots of bubbles rising steadily to the top. Two inches of creamy white head form on top, and retention is quite good. Keeps a nice thick lace and leaves a lot of stick.

First thing I notice in the smell is that it's sweeter than a typical wit nose, which I like. Sweet malt, some coriander and orange essence.

Taste isn't as sweet as the nose suggested, which disappointed me a bit because I like wit's that are slightly sweet. It's actually quite dry and even a bit on the tart side. Orange flavor is more tart than it is bitter, and there's not much depth of flavor in the malt department. It's almost a little watery. There is some coriander in there but it's light.

Mouthfeel is dry and crisp, on the light side of a medium body and a little thin overall.

When I smelled this beer I thought perhaps I had found a wit that I was going to love. But the taste didn't match the nose, and overall this is a pretty good wit but nothing spectacular. An easy drinker as it's light and crisp, and I did find it to be refreshing. For the price, though, I think there are better options out there.

Photo of taez555
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

07/04/06 first review. 750ml

This beer poured a dulled muted off-white/yellow straw colored body with a white head.

Nose has a fresh citrus lemon/lime/orange juice smell with touches of yeast and wheat. Slight tartness with even some grapefruit smells. A cornucopia of subtle citrus smells. Mild sour, almost lambic tones, but never strays to far.

Light to medium bodied with a nice citric undertone. An undercurrent of citrus zest and acidity. Very tart and very sour, it almost tastes like a mild wit body but it with a splash of lemonade. A nice fresh herbal tea mix of spices flavors. Earthy flower hop taste with a mild but present bitterness. Ends smooth and mild with a mild lingering sourness.

A light beer base (very reminiscent of a berlinerweis) with a splash of lemonade and big touch of celestial seasonings tea and bam... you get this beer. It's totally a white ale, and very drinkable, but just has this big sour punch. Very light and refreshing, and till not sure it's worth the price, but good none the less.

12oz rereview. 5/9/08 (didn't realize I'd already reviewed it)

This beer poured an extremely pale and clear light yellow, straw colored body with a small foamy head. There's an intense amount of carbonation in this beer as the bubbles are cascading straight up.

Nose is distinctly Jolly Pumpkin with that classic wild ale funk. Sour fruits, crab apple, natural cider, pears and some soft malt.

Taste is medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation that by the looks of it would be overpowering, but is surprisingly subtle. Taste is subdued a bit due to it's low ABV, almost giving it a berlinerweis taste at times, but the taste itself is dominated by a wild sourness and even tartness. Sour apple peels, mild lime peel, lots of natural root and even some dirt notes. A dry woodiness really dominates the mouthfeel and adds to the taste.

I like wild ales, but have never been a huge fan of Jolly Pumpkins big beers, this however is surprisingly good. It's the first "lawmower" wild I've ever had. Very light, very easy drinking, with tons of epervesence. It's funky and light, I like it.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy yellow color with fluffy white head. Nice and thick with good retention. Minimal lacing.

S - Yeast, sourness, and some funk. There are some nice aromas from this beer but they dont quite add up to a great aroma.

T - Very dry with a sweet yet tart fruitiness. Lemon zest and some spice present.

M/D - Very well carbonated which gives a good feel. Very drinkable wit.

Photo of Overlord
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A tad underrated, IMHO. Thanks, MHewes.

Pours a bright yellow with a big white foam head. No lacing, lots of carbonation, somewhat thin mouthfeel.

Smell and taste are redolent with sour funk, tart green apples, and zesty citrus. A very flavorful beer, and delightfully acidic. I do love those quasi-vinegarish brews.

Very nice, and something I would pick up by the six pack if it were available 'round here.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazed peach nectar color with a fluffy, bone white head. Citric, tart aromas, unripened peach skin and a mild barnyard funk. The body is rather thin but the flavor is great with sour, tart notes. Nuances of fuzzy-skinned fruits. Spritzy carbonation. Not real big on the coriander or curaçao, but a solid, tart witbier, nonetheless.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle

A: Pours the perfect hazy wit color. Too many wits are now filtered to death. This one is raw in the best way. Minimal white head around the edges of the glass.

S: In my limited experience with jolly pumpkin I can tell you their yeast be strong. Sour cherries. Funk. Very faint earthy smell in the back.

T: Wheat is up front. Then it goes into a nice subtle sourness. Finishes without really leaving any lingering taste in your mouth.

M: Med body. Nothing really great but it does not take away from the beer either.

D: This is the best wit I have ever had. What is generally a boring style has been turned on its head. Really different and it actually has a ton of flavor. If you put a lemon in this you should probably be beaten. Good beer.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hey, Jolly Pumpkin available in Alaska! WooHoo!

Pours a hazy yellow with good white head on it. Nose is uniquely tart for the style, some wheat and a bit of coriander. Taste follows, wheat and belgian yeast come out with some crisp coriander flavors. The finish does in fact have a tartness to it that I find to increase the crispness of this brew. Not quite as tart as a lambic, but a geuezeish flavor with a nice crisp tart bite. A very faint apple lick on the finish as well. Some wood is detectable with a barnyard type of brettano dry lambic tart funk. As I drink more I realize this flavor is actually quite evident in this brew. Maybe even disguises some of the white ale characterisitics. Very interesting. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but I do like the crispness of it. Drinkaibility is good, but for the style the tartness does detract from it a bit. Overall this is a very unique brew and makes me excited to try the rest of the jolly pumpkin brews in the fridge, glad to finally see them up here, now if we could only get the rest of the michigan breweries to send it on up!!!

Photo of guthrie
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Based on notes from the bar...
I actually swooned when I first tasted this. It's like a perfect blend of a nice crisp white (like Hitochino White or Blanch de Bruixielles - light, not sluggishly wheaty, with subtle spicing) and a plain lambic or gueze.
Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Slightly hazy, straw yellow slight head (I was being careful not to disturb the sediment), minimal lacing.
Slight brett-funk smell. Some citrusy or slight floral notes in there.
Oh my freakin god. It's really good. A light pineapple taste followed by a nice tart-funky sensation after swallow. The brett is pretty mild in here ( as compared to their Roja) but it's still really nice - subtle.
I would definitely say this is a must try. It may be a nice intro to "real" beers for friends who are uninitiated. Absolutely a nice refreshing summer beer.

Photo of mountdew1
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Sediment was left in bottom of bottle. Color was a golden amber with a completely white head. Head was frothy, 2 fingers at first, but left a 1/8 in layer the whole time that clung to the sides. Bubbles were constantly rising from the bottom of the glass. Smell was slightly fruity, and reminded me vaguely of champagne. Taste was mostly clean, had tinges of vinegar and wheat and reminded me of hard cider. Felt good in the mouth. Not overly carbonated, and not to watery. Very pleasant to drink, could probably be substituted for champagne without missing much.

Photo of Ehouse
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A good, refreshing summer beer. This beer quickly soaks your tongue in citrus, lemon rind, and spices before fading away into an earthy almost straw like dryness. The slightly astringent taste of wood and lemon hang on the very back of your tongue. Flavors could be stronger.

Photo of oakbluff
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. Very pale straw colour- similar to your std macro lager, but with a three finger head. Smell- citrus, woody brett. Taste- loads of citrus fruit, grainy and medium spice. Finishes really clean with snappy tartnes. The oak and brett are there, but not in your face. Medium carbonation, combined with the light body makes a thirst quenching beer. The least complex JP beer I've tried to date, but a nice drinker.

Photo of Slynger
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light, bright, pale, hazy lemon color with a big fluffy white lid.

The smell has a light sugar-and-spiced lemony sweetness, with big tart citrus. Yeasty as well with a touch of oak.

Awesomely light with tons of finely creamy carbonation. Tart lemony orange flavor with light wheat and yeast. Throw in a pinch of coriander spice.

Not quite straight down the standard wit lines, but I likes it. Nice, fresh, refreshing, and light. Not overly complex, but very enjoyable.

Photo of Mudpuppet
4.83/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a gold-rimmed Brooklyn flute. Pours a gorgeous hazy straw yellow with a .5 inch head. Constant bubbles flying up to the surface similar to champagne.

S- Sour, funk, lemon, apple, and an odd notes of popcorn is all present in this nose. In my world a nose like this lets me know I am in for a treat.

T- Starts with sour and light wheat notes followed by a bit of funk with citrus notes. This is not a over powering beer but better yet a delicate and delicious beer.

M- Very sharp carbonation which cuts through the sour and funk. Almost creamy on the tongue from the natural carbonation. This is not bottle refermented but I don't think it was force carbonated. I maybe wrong on this but it is a very fine carbonation.

D- Absolutely drinkable. I really like this beer. If it wasn't so hard to find this would be my summer drinking beer of choice. I cannot say enough how much I enjoy this brew!

Photo of MMAJYK
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quick review from the bar into my Blackberry.

A- Bright yellow, clear and bubbles constantly rising from the bottom of my glass. Head is 1/2" and sticks around for a while.

S- Candi sugar, corriander, orange peel.

T- Same spices and light on the palate. Very citrusy of lemons and oranges.

M- Thin and high carbonation.

D- Very light on the taste buds and stomach. Very sessionable.

Overall- Clean, light, and enjoyable. Very nice beer and great session beer.

Photo of SaucyA
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber.

A - Nice, foamy white head. Looks like a ton of carbonation. Golden, cloudy. Great looking beer and I'm excited to taste my first Jolly Pumpkin. Head lasts entire glass.

S - Typical wit goodness. Orange and coriander. Yeasty.

T - Holy cow. This is interesting. I need another sip. It's a lot more tart than I expected, but it's a good take on the style. The foamy head is a wonderful addition. Orange and lemony goodness with a crazy tart/dry finish. My mouth is a bit puckered.

M - Way too sparkly and light for my tastes. I prefer a wit with a little more body. It works well with the tartness, but not so much with me personally.

D - Probably wonderful for a summer evening or with a good food pairing. Definitely not a session/standby.

All around an interesting take on a witbier.

Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: Pale yellow with one-finger head and plenty of carbonation.

Aroma: Funky and fruity. Can make out faint hints of orange and apple in the nose. Reminds me of an Unibroue release.

Taste: Sour and tart upfront. Faint hints of orange peel and coriander abound. Some apple as well. Sourness is prominent in this one, which as I'm told, is not a defect.

Mouthfeel: Dry with lingering tartness. Smooth.

Verdict: A different take on a witbier. Most witbiers I have had do not ramp it up on the sourness. This one does. It's different enough. Smooth and still has the characteristics typical of the style. I like it.

Photo of jtm3
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A:This witbier pours a somewhat cloudy golden-yellowish color with bit of residue meandering about and decent head retention.

S: Aroma is contains a powerful tart fruit presence and some typical spices associated with this style (e.g., corriander).

T & M: First sip goes down and you are hit with the sour fruitiness (orange, lemon, peach even?). The mouthfeel is very champagne-like in it fizzy, carbonated presence. As the beer finishes, the tart taste remains with the spices kicking in ending in a slightly bitter, dry finish.

D: Being prepared for the sourness, I found this beer highly drinkable, with the dry finish a nice lead-in to the next sip.

All in all, a nice witbier that, like all Jolly Pumpkin beers, adds its own twist with their classic sour punch that masks some of the expected spiciness of the style.

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Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
88 out of 100 based on 871 ratings.