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Calabaza Blanca - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

856 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 856
Reviews: 436
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%
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:
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: 856 | Reviews: 436 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SacoDeToro
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.11/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of blitz134
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden yellow. Snow white head. Good o-ring surrounding the glass.

S: Lots of wild yeast on the nose. Wheaty goodness and citrusy lemon peel.

T: Light, refreshing. Wild yeast flavors with washes of butter. Grapefruit and lemon tones.

M: crisp, refreshing. Bit prickly

D: Excellent White.

Photo of tempest
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle while driving through Kalamazoo

This is what a great, but delicate beer tastes like. Highly carbonated, yellow body with a tall white head and great lacing. Smells of subtle sweet malts. Taste is mellow, but complex. Smooth malts give way to corriander and vanilla followed by citrus and hop bitterness. Light on the palate and very satisfying. A different, but amazing wit.

Photo of grynder33
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lemony Belgian Yeast aroma,lots of esters ,easy to see how the style came to be known as Wit ,looking at the body and color. Nice to see what a good brewery can do with a style that is normally soft and timid. All the spicey orange,lemon corriander and tang of the best Wits you've had ,only amped up .Thanks to Chris at Murray's for this beauty.

Photo of Dithyramb
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired a 12 oz. Brown via a wonderful trade with xgrigorix. No freshness or dating evident. Label states that it is barrel aged and bottle conditioned, something that I don’t believe I’ve seen with a wit before. I soon found out that this isn’t like any other wit I’ve enjoyed before. Pale yellow, sort of a muted gold, brew with a gigantic fluffy meringue top. Excellent retention and lacing with loads of carbonation and just a hint of cloudiness.
Funky aroma, punctuated with a good bit of coriander spice and a bunch of citrus.
The initial flavor is tart and sour, with some definite funky yeasties going on intermingling with citrus stuff.

Mouthfeel is extremely light, leaving nothing behind. Where this detracts somewhat from the mouthfeel portion, it makes this brew that much more drinkable. Not sour, not crazy funky, just a nice simple wit with some incredibly interesting complexity tossed in.

Photo of ZAP
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This one just isn't for me....not sure what the hell it is but it's not one for me.

Golden colored...fizzy...no head to speak of....aroma is big on the barnyard wild yeastiness...slight impression of lemons...

Body is fizzy...taste is tart...lemons....a little barnyard on the taste.

Glad I only bought a single rather than a sixer...an experiment gone bad in my opinion...not what I'm looking for in a whit...

Photo of KarlHungus
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew pours a cloudy pale yellow-white color. The head is massive, creamy, and white. The aroma of oranges with a bit of coriander in the background, and an overall tartness. The taste is of juicy oranges, and is very tart. I think I might even detect some bretta at work. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this may not be a great representation of a witbier, but it is a great representation of a very good beer. I think this just might become my beer for this coming summer.

Photo of ADR
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellow, partially orangish appearance, translucent with a slightly cloudy sense. Good head of over 1/4 of an inch and leaving nice complete laces on the glass. Aroma is interesting, quite yeasty with astringent notes and underlying spice. A little sourish overall for a Wit. Light and airy body, medium carbonation. Seems a little creamy and doughy, like a powdered-sugar doughnut, or those small round lemon cookies in a box. Backed up by the more sharp aroma. Decently dry in the finish, but then, a little different, seems a little fragmented without the more integrated spicey estery flow of many beers in this style.

Photo of Bighuge
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow beer with an orange tint to it. Fluffy snow white cap of froth. Carbonation looks to be healthy from the appearance. This shows great retention and substantial lacing ability. Fresh aroma of doughy yeast, poundcake, pepper, lemon zest and spices. Almost more of a "tripel" kind of aroma than witbier, but quite good nonetheless. This interpretation of witbier is quite dry and more tart than most. And the orange and corriander and sweetness are less prevalent. Leathery tart lemon qualities preside. As well as earthy and musty yeastiness. Herbal hops add a bit of character. Carbontion is uplifting. Body is close to medium. This is a good beer, even if it's a witbier that smells like a tripel and tastes like a biere de garde.

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

Hazy yellow color. Lofty foam. Light spice (orange peel, coriander), with hints of banana, wheat malt and butter toffee in the nose. Fairly pleasant tasting, with hints of vanilla and raw spicing. Yet another approachable witbier, but if this were a little stronger and more flavorful it could be so much better.

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

Pale yellow with light haze and a frothy, white head. Very nice aroma - mellow wheat, a little pepper and coriander, along with some orange zest. Mild sweetness with citrusy lemon and a light acidity that just borders on vinegar. Also a bit of mineral character. Light bodied with lively carbonation and a dry finish. Quite refreshing and very drinkable.

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

750 ml bottle. Calabaza Blanca pours out a slightly hazy yellow color topped with a very large white head. The neck of the bottle was coated in brown film which I suppose is yeast. Lots of lacing forms on the side of my glass as I drink this beer. The aroma is spicy and fruity, with coriander, pineapple, orange, and lemon. The flavor is similar to the aroma with the addition of ginger. Finishes with a tangy, acidic flavor. Carbonation is very high. Good drinkability. A bit odd for a witbier, but an enjoyable flavor nonetheless.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a hazy light warm orange body with a thick creamy white head that last and last. No sign of carbonation in the hazy body but some nice lacing on the glass.

S- The smell of fruit, mostly citrus, and some soft spices give this light beer some nice complex aroma. There is faint notes of lemon and young oak at the finish.

T- This beer has a soft smooth perfumed citrus flavor with a soft wheat note to it. There isn't any pale malt flavor and the flavor is well blended yet still complex. The finish has a tart and sour note that is soft with a note of lemon. It adds a nice balance to the perfumed flavors at the beginning. The carbonic acid bite at the finish has a faint oak note and a slight dry coriander note. Although I don't think I would have noticed the coriander if I wasn't looking for it.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel that appears more full with a fizz texture. No astringency or alcohol heat at the finish.

D- I liked this beer much more this time that last time. I think this beer is all about the nuances. The soft flavors give no room for flaws and when they all come together they have a nice smooth complexity to a session beer. But this is more than a session beer in that I have to focus on the mysterious flavors and try to describe what I am tasting. Very interesting and very delicious.

Photo of evanackerman
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

well, this is an odd beer to be sure.

pours a nice light yellow with a huge billowing head, nice for the style, raging carbonation. Huge floaties are also present which is not all that appealing. also, the head has rust colored patches in it which is something i've never seen before.

smell is spicy and citrusy, coriander and lemon.

taste is very dominated by sour lemon character, i would have prefered a more orangey character but this is very very lemony, if i didn't know better i would swear someone had squeezed a lemon into this beer. there is, however, a noticable coriander presence after the sourness wears off.

mouthfeel is appropriate for the style, light and highly carbonated.

overall, this beer is ok, but at 9.99 a six pack it is not nearly worth the price,

another michigan micro that is a bit more of a muddled mess than a success in my opinion, i long for the lagers of Wisconsin that i grew up with.

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

This poured with a light, white head that maintained decent retention. The beer was a beautifully clear, golden-yellow color and the nose had a sour apple smell to it, very reminiscent of the Firefly. It was hugely effervescent, almost like champagne, in the mouth. I noticed a lot of overlapping flavors on the palate, including apples, brett, a subtle oakiness, and a lemony tartness. The finish was very dry with a subtle mustiness lingering. More, please, sir!

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

I love that JP is putting their beer in 12 oz bottles!

A: Quickly rising, white manic foam of low density. Vigorously hissing at first, then settling into a calm, creamy permafoam. Straw yellow and slightly hazy. Small micro-bubble escalators rising to greet me.

S: Spicy, yeasty, iron, herbal, leather strap, citrus, Belgian cellar, oaken cask.

T: Wonderfully herbal, citrus, very light and crisply dry, incredibly refreshing. Perfect acidity and bitterness. Almost no malt to be found. Incredibly clean.

M: Very dry, thin, cleanly acidic, refreshing. Bubbles have a slight "bite".

D: Very nice. Incredibly refreshing! A great summer beer!

Photo of akorsak
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I am drinking a 750 mL capped bottle, poured into an Ommegang Three Philosophers goblet. The ale is chilled.

Appearance: The ale is golden in color and pours with a hazy finish that does not dissapate. There is little head that condenses at the top of the beer in a think white ring.

Smell: The beer's coriander and curacao peel aroma is evident on first whiff. The spices give the ale a wonder aroma that makes me want a sip.

Taste: My biggest problem with Jolly pumpkin (and I say this after having had only three different bottles) is the insistence on open fermentation. The spice character of the ale makes itself known briefly on first sip before giving way to the yeasty factor that the open fermentation gives it. The ale tastes quite dry (without consideration of said spontaneous fermentation), giving it a certain pucker factor that I've not found in other witbiers. Interesting take on the style, but it seems to fall a bit short.

Mouthfeel: The ale is VERY dry, stripping the taste buds and forcing one to take another sip.

Drinkability: The ale is relatively low in alcohol and would be perfect for a hot summer day. You may want something sweet to go with it though.

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

Pours a pretty clear, pale straw yellow, loose white head forms, some spots of lace on the glass. Smell is sweet, acidic, orange and spice, hay, and yeast. Taste is acidic tang, citrus, wheat, yeast, vanilla and spices. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation. Nice and refreshing. Fantastic beer, fantastic brewery. Thanks DrJay!

Photo of rrwiltse
4.95/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What an absolutely amazing beer! One of, if not THE, best example of this style I've ever had. This little brewery out of Dexter, MI, is simply outstanding. The aroma is outstanding--coriander, citrus, incredibly inviting. Amazingly drinkable, I'm so pleased with the relatively low alcohol content. This will be a great summer beer; also a great session beer.
Highly recommended to anyone who loves witbier.

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

Thank you to akeeper for buying this one to share.

Served from a 750ml bottle in a pint glass at just below cellar temperature.

A - Pours with vigorous action and an explosive head. The white head is micro bubbled and meringue-like in appearance, rising to at least two inches, and never falling far enough to reveal the beer beneath. The beer color is a hazy and dull light gold, with some small particles in suspension.

S - No doubt about the presence of coriander in this one. Also present are the obligatory notes of orange peel. Definitely some wisps of sour apple cider vinegar, but faintly so. Cool and lively.

T - Mega tartness right off the bat, but sweet as well... that's obviously what was giving off the sour notes in the smell. In the middle you'll find the spices coming around, but in measured doses. As you swallow, your taste buds squeeze to release whatever remaining saliva you have left. Not much in the hop department to speak of. The aftertaste is yeasty and sweet, but there is also a cloying that occurs as well from the tartness.

M - A bit too overcarbonated for my tastes, as the beer foams up substantially in the mouth. The swallow is thick and leaves you with some gas in the belly. *urp* Note: It's important to let this one warm up in order for the carbonation to have enough time to check itself.

D - This is a refreshingly tart drink that would be awesomely suited to accompany food. Alone, it's also pleasing, but not as easy a drinker as I would have hoped. Personally, I like my witbiers a bit more rounded and less upfront.

Photo of TheBungyo
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The head was out of control like a looney out of the bin upon my pour. Lots of sediment floating around. Color is pale gold. I can smell a mixture of spice, and lemon and orange peel. Tastes mostly of lemon and spice, and maybe a hint of apple juice. Very crisp and refreshing. I could see this quenching my thirst very well on a hot day. I would be happy to drink this again. Many thanks to Northertimber for this one!

Photo of xgrigorix
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Twelve ounce brown bottle, no dates.

Very pale yellow, dense cloudiness. Creamy white head leave a nice bit of lace on the glass.

Nose starts off with a big spicy whiff of coriander! Other less tangible aromas hide in the background, making for a very inviting inhale.

Rustic wheat, and hints of lemon. Heavy (but balanced) dose of coriander. Some funky oak & other less discernable barrel aged type flavours. Very subtle in what it does, and really quite refreshing. Light bodied, moderate carbonation. Quaffable.

Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
88 out of 100 based on 856 ratings.