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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

802 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 802
Reviews: 426
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 26
Gots: 52 | 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: 802 | Reviews: 426 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tgbljb
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%

Poured a hazy peach color with a massive white chunky head that threatened to (and did escape) from the top of the glass. Beautiful lacing. Smell is mmainly of bananas and lemon. Initial smell was extremely citrusy and tart, but slowly settled to be extremely pleasant. Taste is a delightful mixture of bananas, cloves, and tart lemon. Very well balanced between the three taste sensations, with each taking its turn to dominate. Great drinking beer. Good one to have on the deck on a hot summer afternoon. My first beer from this brewery, and hopefully not my last.

tgbljb, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of tonistruth
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

A- cloudy, very pale yellow color, big fluffy, frothy white head with good retent, settles to ring, lacing, floating yeast.

S- orange peel, coriander, wheat malts, lemon, spice scents

T- you can taste all you smell (orange peel, coriander, wheat, lemon). Very refreshing. Bold taste that is pretty tart, sweetness increases as warms.

M- dry, crisp, good body, great carbonation.

D- light and tasty. This is one witbier i could drink anytime. I couldn't pick up any flavors from the barrel aging, but i'm not complaining. Not overly sweet like some wit's. I'l be looking for this again.

tonistruth, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of andjusticeforale
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%

This was a big pale yellow beer with a choppy head of froth.

On the bottle is says enjoy the tartness of sweet orange peel and the dry finish. That sums it up.

Upon your first sip you are thinking Is this Italian Lemon soda? Bitter orange? There is salt and coriander as you try to drink it through the head. But man this is a tart witbeer. This is almost flanders sour red ale tart. But, as they promise, the finish stops on a dime! It halts with a bready malty dryness, Closing off the flavor and making yoyu think.. Did I ever taste that citrus fruit. Next sip lets you know- you sure did.

Surely a fantastic take on a witbeer; half lemon soda, half hefe-weizen.

andjusticeforale, Aug 15, 2006
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear pale golden with a white frothy and tall head which was moussy and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was light oak with a citrus presence. Spices were present as well, but were well melded and blended so as to add more complexity than any particular spice presence. The spices that could be discerned were more pepper with a side of coriander.

The flavor was crisp and light with a roundness of wheat in the flavor and a light tartness. The flavor blossomed on the palate with light citrus and a low pepper character. The wheat and citrus worked well together to create and interesting brew. Also present was a lightly woodsy nature.

The finish was dry with a lasting bit of citrus and wheat into the aftertaste and then fading into a light bit of spice. The body was medium light with a fairly high carbonation level which coupled with the wheat led to a nice mouthfeel. A very nice Belgian witbier!

750 ml bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of unklesyd
3.23/5  rDev -17%

I'd had the Oro from JP and loved it, and when I found this in a 12 oz. bottle I was stoked. When the beer poured, I was stoked. Beautiful white pour into a tall, Duvel sized head atop a hazy straw body. A nice whif of grains and earthy corriander as it poured quickly faded and was no more. Unfortunate, as it was a great smell and did not ever reassert itself.

Interesting taste, but overly tart and sour. Tastes like a very full Berliner Weiss and less like an actual wit. The barrel aging must have gone on a little long. Certainly very crisp, but too much so: it really took over much of the other discernable spicy flavors.

No thanks.

unklesyd, Aug 07, 2006
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%

A - Huge 3" rocky, dense white head with at least a 1/2" over the rim. Pale yellow with a slight haze. Very nice retention and some thick lacing.

S - Lemon peel, orange, pineapple -- lots of fruit - citrus and tropical. Herbal background.

T - Lemon. Light bitterness and peppery in the finish. Any barrel aging was not detected in trhe aroma or taste.

M - Light body. High carbonation. Clean, super dry finish.

D - Simple but with good drinkability. Thank you tp mlh1227 for the opportunity to try this cool beer!

Photo of gdogalishus
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%

Poured from the bottle into a Ommegang goblet style glass.Poured a hazy bright yellow color with a subdued "whiteness" to it that was noticable on inspection. The head was white and fluffy, quickly disipated to a reasonable and robust lasting head.
The smell was sweet with a belgian background.. best part of the beer.
The flavor had a distinct bite to it right after the swallow. An odd flavor that I can't quite place, but definately apparent. Not the smooth flavor that I expect from a Witbier.
Mouthfeel was soft and easy to drink.

gdogalishus, Jul 31, 2006
Photo of Estarrio
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%

Poured an opaque golden color with a small thin frothy white head. Not much retention.

Subtle aroma; citrus floral. Light bodied, lots of carbonation.

Dry, sour grapefruit flavor, lightly spiced.

Very drinkable. Decent example of a Belgian White...not one of my favorite styles.

Estarrio, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Dullish yellow gold body, loads of carbonation, topped by a towering column of snow white highly whipped dentable foam.

Very spicey nose, featuring a little light pepper, among others. Strong citrus notes also.

Taste has a light, almost airy start. Some wheat, light spice, pepper, oranges, and a tart finish. Refreshing.

Light mouthfeel, tingly.

Highly drinkable, like a good wit should be.

A fine example of the style.

RonfromJersey, Jul 15, 2006
Photo of Mitchster
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%

$1.79 for a 12oz bottle. I wonder how this compares to Oro de Calabaza. This pours out to a milky star golden, forming a creamy bone white head with amazing retention and lacing. This is a gorgeous looking beer. The aroma is of distant pale malts, dusty grain husk, lemon and a touch of cracker. Hops are barely discernable, but floral in nature. The mouthfeel is crisp and lightly tart with a clean finish and light body. The taste is very mild, starting with some lemon pith, followed by biscuity and grainy malt with some husken character, and followed by a moderate floral hop bitterness and sun dried hay grassiness. Coriander mixes in the middle. Had I not read it, I wouldn't have picked up that this is aged in oak casks or brewed with orange, as it has a distinctly different lemon character. The more I drink it, the tarter it becomes, taking on a "Corona with Lime" character.

This is the best beer I've had from Jolly Pumpkin which doesn't say much. As it stands on it's own, I'm still not compelled to buy this again with Hoegarrden, Celis White, and Holy Moses readily available. This is a much cleaner brew than those I've had before from J.P, which seem to suffer from being fermented much too warm.

Mitchster, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of Iguana
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

I am reviewing my second bottle of this, the first one I had I didnt care for much, but I loved this one.

Appearence - Poured a hazy pale golden color with a massive frothy head and sediment. Pour took a few minutes with all the carbonation.

Smell - Smell's of wheat, coriander, and I detect some citrusy lemon in there. Smells perfect for a Wit.

Taste - Taste some lemon, wheat, coriander, little bit of bitterness but really sweet tasting, Perfect for a hot day.

Mouthfeel - Amazingly smooth and creamy, I cant remember the last time I had a beer this smooth, but its been awhile.

Drinkability - I think with JP beers theres the chance for em to get a bit on the sour side but when the sourness is subdued a bit this beer is a great summer beer. Refreshing, light, and tasty, cant go wrong there.

Iguana, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Six pack of 12 oz bottles purchased at La Bodega in June, 2006 for $10.99.

Pours a lemon furniture polish yellow (meant to be descriptive, not insulting) with a massive head. At first pour into my Hoegaarden glass, 95% of the volume was rocky white merangue- and with lots of carbonation, it took a while to calm down. When it did, a top-up from the bottle broght it right back. Lots o' bubbles.

Aroma is fresh, refreshing lemons with a slightly organic funk (just a touch) that made it interesting. The coriander was representing itself as well, but as a secondary player.

Flavor follows through on the aroma, they match well. More lemony (were the orange peels still pretty green when they were used?) than anything, but not lemonade, that's for sure!

Mouth is fuller and richer than some of the more famous wits I've tried- makes for a good drinking experience!

I liked this a lot and was happy to have it around on a hot evening when the a/c had decided to take a vacation.

EDIT: I am now most of the way through the 6-pack, and I find that I am enjoying it less as time goes on. Still a good brew, but I just am not finding the drinkability to be that high. Scores adjusted accordingly.

Dukeofearl, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

Pale yellow haze, full creamy head with amazing retention, wonderful streaming carbonation. Lemony yeast in the nose with a hint of peppery spice, a bit weak though. Tart flavor of lemon with a dry bready finish. Low alcohol. Thin bodied yet strong carbonation yields a foamy mouthfeel with some depth. Good attempt at the style, as usual a brew that drinks easily and is great for warm weather...

bennetj17, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of ElGordo
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours from the 12oz bottle a hazy golden color, topped by a huge, sturdy white head that blooms over the rim of the glass but doesn't succomb to gravity. It eventually subsides to a good inch or so on its own. Excellent carbonation keeps coming from the bottom of the glass.
Aroma of coriander, allspice, and orange peel, backed by some light Euro hops and a touch of crisp wheat. Palate is dominated by lemon peel and spicy coriander, tempered by the delicate wheat base. Finish is dry and crisp, leaving a touch of lemon on the tongue.
Body is a bit overly-carbonated, leading to some foam in the mouth if not sipped carefully. Overall, an excellent, thirst-quenching beer that's great for summer, but probably delicious any day.

ElGordo, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.58/5  rDev -8%

Bottle courtesy of Thebeercellar2 : Pour a yellow ale with some white haze and a big foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of brettanomyces was overly dominant and left little space for the coriander and orange peel that were advertised on the label. Taste is also dominated by the brettanomyces with some hints of coriander and wheat. Body is definitely above average for the style and that made it pretty enjoyable. I’m not sure what to make of this beer since I’m not sure the brett was planned to be there but it didn’t stop my enjoyment of the beer.

Phyl21ca, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of sloejams
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%

Many American brewers fall so very short when it comes to the subtle simplicity of a Belgian white ale. So I was ready to be underwhelmed. WRONG!!!

This had a lovely golden straw color with a slight head. Carbonation bubbles erupted within. The aroma was subtle but inviting: lemon, orange zest, coriander and a nice tart, sour aroma. The flavor was much the same. I was pleasantly surprised by the tart kick. It was light and refreshing with the sour afterbite. The low 4.8% ABV makes this easy to sip on all summer long. Wish I had more.

This is easily the finest American white I've come upon.

sloejams, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of dgallina
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

12oz brown bottle without freshness dating.

Pours pale cloudy yellow with floating sediment, big thin soapy white head that quickly devolves to foam and medium lace. Smells of fresh hops, coarse grain, curacao orange, and creamy wheat. Well-spritzed lemon, lime, and powdery yeast at the front of the mouth Rounded coriander and orange at the center that persists through sweet and sour finish. Could use a bit more dryness in the finish. A bit too highly carbonated in the mouth, but pleasantly creamy from the wheat.

dgallina, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

06/18/06- Purchased at Hi-Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. Great label artwork. No freshness info though. Poured into my Ayinger weiss glass.

Appearance- Light yellow in color, huge thick and foamy 2 inch head. Leaves an inch until the finish. Chunks and patches of lace left behind. As expected, but better.

Smell- A bit of a sweeter aroma (powdered sugar) to go with some ginger, corriander, lemon and orange peel.

Taste- Hmmm, getting a bit more sour flavor and taste than I would like. Doesn't taste bad, but just seems a bit out of place here. Light and sugary with spritzy hits of lemon peel and corriander.

Mouthfeel- Very very carbonated with a nice spicy aftertaste.

Drinkability- Pretty good example of a wit. Bit of an odd flavor though...still very drinkable...especially on a hot day.

GClarkage, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of IceAce
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

750 ml bottle w / o any dating system

Pours a hazy, yet bright yellow with three fingers of merangue-like sticky white foam with incredible resilience thanks to copious amounts of wheat. Aroma is dry and acidic...very saison like except for a lingering metallic aroma hanging around in the background.

Entry is festive with an abundance of CO² srubbing the palate clean. Midtaste is full of citrus...lemon, orange, and a tinge of grapefruit. Mouthfeel is light and airy.

The finish is dry and only slightly acidic with another round of lemon and orange peel. All is well except for that slight tang of metal mixing with the lemon on the fade.

IceAce, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St Bernardus glass. Usually I've only seen this is larger bottles (750ml), but now Jolly Pumpkin offers this and Bam in 12oz (good move because I don't like to commit to 750ml when I want a beer).

The appearance is near perfect for a witbeer, pale yellow and hazy with a thick and sticky head. The aroma is a little sour (I think JP uses Brett bacteria in all of their beers?) but good. The flavor is really good, kind of like a less complex Orval.

If you like sour beers you should like this interpretation of the wirbier style.

TurdFurgison, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

well well well, Jolly pumpkin making its way to the west coast and a welcomed addition for sure. This pours an amazingly stuborn head that forms mountains and leaves tons of chunky lace. Carbonation is off the charts, aggressive and tons of it. Pale yellow.

Fairly tart and slightly sour but more towards the tart side of the house. Lots of light grain but its pretty much overshadowed by the belgian type lambic tartness. Witbier? eh whatever, maybe it is essentially a wheat beer but if the typical brew for the style is any measure this blows it away. Much more complex, sturdy and interesting. Brett? whether or not its in there it sure tastes like it. I don't get any barrel aged, oak type presence.

Notes: Easy drinker. May not be for everyone as it puckers ya up now and again. Please keep sending your beer our way Jolly Pumpkin.

DogFood11, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of SacoDeToro
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

I love supporting small independent businesses - especially when they're out to sell good beer, or in this case, "artisan ales." So when I saw 4 different types of Jolly Pumpkin beers at my favorite beer shop, I grabbed 'em all. The Calabaza Blanca was the first to be opened.

The beer poured a pale white straw color with a large foamy head that held pretty firm. The aroma was bursting with crisp Belgian yeast, corriander, light hops, and some peppery notes.

The flavor of the beer was refreshingly tart and tangy. It was backed up by a pronounced amount of bittersweet oranges and corriander spice. The malt, aside from some of the tang the wheat provided, was slightly biscuity. The hops seemed titrated at just the right level. High enough for good bittering, but they didn't battle with the orange peel and corriander. Everything seemed to meld well.

The mouthfeel was light and the carbonation was high. This beer was very drinkable and would make an excellent summertime quencher where full flavor was a requirement.

SacoDeToro, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%

A: White peach body, thick white head. Carbonation is small but mobile.

N: Coriander and oranges. Less cheese wiz aromas then many Wits. (If you don’t know this cheese wiz aroma of which I speak, pick up a Blue Moon, think cheese, and inhail. You’ll soon know what I’m talking about.) Some tangerine. Too much “perfume” like chemical attributes to fully enjoy.

T: Pretty much on. Plenty of spice and citrus. Quite fitting in the style.

MF: Medium to full body. Metallic powders distract. Chemical perfume quality (negatively) burns palate slightly.

D: Low. All the sweet fruit of a wit (that diminishes drinkability for me to a point, without the smooth, light qualities that increase it). Harsh.

The style is well captured here but with some strong detractors.

DaPeculierDane, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of blitz134
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

Huge head on the pour. Pure white dense foam that reduced itself to a thin cap. Slightly hazy yellowish straw colored body.

Tartness is evident in the aroma. Some tart apple, pear, and white grapes. A bit of corriander and pepper as well. Tart on the tongue, but doesn't make my jaws hurt. Taste is somewhat light, a bit of spice initially and then some muttled light fruit all over a light wheat base. Some farmhouse funk rounds it up with some subtle hints of the barrel aging when allowed to warm. Interesting flavor for a wit.

Mouthfeel is thin as expected. Coats the mouth well. Fair amount of carbonation, probably too much actually. I think it cuts down on the amount of perceived flavor. Drinkability is good. Unique flavor that I like on occassion.

Just expect a bit of funkiness with some tart. JP brews always seem to have a bit of a unique edge to the style which they attempt which draws me to their brews. I think they are easily approachable for one getting into beers fermented with some natural bacteria.

blitz134, May 31, 2006
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle sealed with a light blue crown cap. All the way from Michigan via the big hearted home of BigHuge. Listed at 4.8% on the bottle. No freshness date. Right hand side of the bottle states:

“Aged in large oak casks, and refermented in the bottle Calabaza Blanca is brewed in Belgian’s biere blanche tradition. Spiced with orange peel and coriander, you’ll find it refreshingly tart, with a wonderfully dry finish. A year round favorite for sure! 4.8% Alc./Vol”

Appearance: Pale golden body with a 2” deep thick white head that draws in the streamers from below. Intense carbonation with a finely dispersed conditioning is effervescent and a little over the top. Collapsing head leaves a rocky lacing and a cool looking surface.

Nose: Intense perfume with a lot of fruit and coriander in the nose on this one, sprightly orange and deep tangerine rip through the fruity portion. Solvent like, the ripe perfume texture in the nose overshadows the better fruits and herbs. A tad “volatile” to say the least.

Taste: Tasty start with a lot of involvement from the fruits. Big input from the LOL Orchard; Lime, Orange and Lemons. The perfume though is just too much – way too much for a Wit, it overshadows the delicate nature of what should be an enjoyable mélange of fruits and wheaty spiced hops; sadly the intense tart dryness is uncouth and seems at odds with the fruits. Finish is dry and metallic. It has what it needs but it is uncontrolled and mis-matched somehow.

Mouthfeel: Thin feel, the perfume seems to even overshadow this aspect of the beer too. Metallic tingle in the finish ruins the soft nature and imparts a tart crisp inorganic trait that should be better.

Drinkability: The 12 ounce bottle was enough. I still had half the bottle by the time I got to this part of my Review, not that I didn’t like this one, it is just that it is a harsh Wit.

Overall: Tasty stuff, no doubt, but a little light on the body and just way too perfumery to be sessionable - as a Wit should be. Not a bad effort all round but rather unbalanced. A Witty Thanks to my mate MinnesotaJoe for this one. Feisty stuff this JP, but this one is a little out of control and needs to calm down a bit.

TheLongBeachBum, May 28, 2006
Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 802 ratings.