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Calabaza Blanca - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

864 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 864
Reviews: 437
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: 864 | Reviews: 437 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ElGordo
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of sloejams
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of GClarkage
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of IceAce
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of DogFood11
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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.

Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
88 out of 100 based on 864 ratings.