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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

803 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 803
Reviews: 426
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 26
Gots: 53 | 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: 803 | Reviews: 426 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very light lemon yellow with a milky-like thickness and chunky yeast particles sludging around on the bottom of the glass. Medium standing bright white foam slowly dwindles to a thin creamy skim and collar. Moslty drippy lacing with some partial sheeting and strings stick.

Aroma is of a slightly musty bread dough. Airy and lofty with an unbreakable tint of lemon candy. Has a bit of melon and bitter orange zest along with a faint touch of corriander.

Mild mellow taste of lemon bread dough. Slightly spicy with breezings of herbal grasses, pepper, clove, and corriander. Light pale malt sweetness underneath. Moderately crisp and very easy going with mostly doughy lemon candy taking the front with the spices and light sweetness keeping to the edges. Nice but brief little sugary grab on the finish as the pale malt floats in with very soft and airy light drying.

Feel is light to medium body with a creamy crispness and doughy sweet center. Very pleasant carbonation thats mild and smooth. Not so much Witbier-like as it should be, but I like it none the less as its smoothness tends to favor my palate. Finish is intriguingly unique with its airy pale malt sweetness.

Pretty good stuff. A little out of the realm of most Witbiers, but likeable and damn drinkable all the same. At first I was skeptical, but its mild complexity grew on me. Good thing this comes in a bomber, otherwise 12oz may not have been enough to get a full scope of its easy goin', drinkin' character. Thanks tr!

tavernjef, Jul 22, 2005
Photo of SupaCelt
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden brew with a thumb's thickness of fluffy white head. Impressive sustain effect. Well carbonated.

The scent is a delicious spicy and sugary plume. Really sweet and pleasant. Quite pungent. Smells of candied fruits.

The taste is spicy and quite surprisingly dry. Appealing sweetness that reminds me a bit of bubblegum. The taste is a bit lighter than I had expected based on the highly odorous nose qualities. A lightly grainy backbone meshes the flavours together delightfully well.

The mouthfeel is light like the flavour, but seems to fit. Refreshing and not the least bit overbearing.

The drinkability is good with the relatively low alcohol content and the less than hefty yet satisfying weight of flavour and body. More flavour would not be unwelcome, but this is still very nice nonetheless. I am sure this brew is precisely what the brewer had in mind, so my opinion is just that.

SupaCelt, Jul 21, 2005
Photo of santoslhalper
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours a pale gold color with a giant frothy bleach white head.

Smell: It has an amazing wheat smell, with huge fruit notes, bananas and apples in particular, as well as cloves and coriander.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavor has an interesting taste to it. It makes me think of the beach, and I'm not sure why. It has that flavor that some crappy wits have, the one that's almost like suntan lotion, but it's a really good suntan lotion flavor. I don't know, maybe I'm just crazy but thats what I taste and I like it. The mouthfeel is full and bubbly.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a very unique, and enjoyable, witbier. Witbier's tend to get old after a while, and this one is a diamond in the rough. Unique, and definitly worth a shot. One of the more perfect summer beers I've had all season.

santoslhalper, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow hue, edging that near-white that epitomizes the style, with an able, attractive cap of creamy foam.
Zesty nose, alive with spice, yeast, and citric fruit, lemon and orange.Very lively and likeable, and again, fully in the witbier paradigm.
Tenderly trips on the palate, sleek and slippery, awash with coriander, ginger, and fruit. So light, it dances along the tastebuds, but keeps them happy with delicately delicious flavors.
A top-notch effort from a brewery to keep your eye on!

feloniousmonk, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of mntlover
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance before opening is great don't think I have seen a prettier lable on a beer before. It pours a hazy yellow with hints of orange, almost like apple juice just touch more orange nice white head falls fast but bubbly foam remains and leaves some lace behind.

Aroma is creamy wheat, smells really tart citrus lemony mixed with oranges lots of spice pepper, coriander mix with some earthy woody yeast notes dry wood flavor.

Taste is good, light wheat that is soon overpowered by tart citrus flavors that linger on into the finish. Finish has lots of spice pepper, coriander mingle and spice up the citrus. Nice dry woody finish with hints of vanilla and touches of vinegar.

Mouthfeel is almost medium but it seems little heavier then it feels. Maybe because its so refreshing makes it light or medium. Don't know think I am confussing myself.

Drinkability is good a very nice Witbier supplied by a very nice BA Brian700, thanks.

mntlover, Jul 16, 2005
Photo of Shaw
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely golden color with an equally lovely foamy white head that leaves nice lace in my tulip glass. There is a lot of carbonation. The first glass from the 750 mL bottle is quite clear, but the second looks more like an unfiltered beer: cloudy with some particulate matter.

The smell is lightly spicy with a small sour funky note.

The taste is dry and tart with spice flavors. The taste is difficult to describe, but the tartness reminds me of Orval. This is a lot more tart than Hoegarden or Ommegang Witte. The tartness subsides with the second glass, making this beer smoother.

The crisp body is quite nice.

Overall this is a good beer and a nice refreshing one for a hot day. I can't say that it's something I'd keep coming back to, unless I get more into tart beers.

Shaw, Jul 15, 2005
Photo of silenius
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really wanted to like this beer, but I just can't find too many good words about it. It isn't a bad beer, but it isn't great either.

Pours a hazy light gold with some bits suspended in it. Head is fluffy but short despite my efforts.

Smell is pretty nice. Spices are apparent with some coriander and other darker spices.

Taste is OK. A little bready, a little tart, and a little banana.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery.

The low alcohol makes this a good quaffer, but not something I'd rush out to get again.

silenius, Jul 15, 2005
Photo of granger10
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy golden in pour with an orangish type highlight on the sides. Nicely carbonated but not overly so. Medium white head holds for a bit but ultimately reduces to nearly nothing. Actually, a little more carbonation might be alright. Aroma is notable of the spices. I'm getting a good amount of coriander in the smell, less orange peel or citric qualites. There's a nice fruity flavor in there as well as a bit of cider. Taste has a lot of complexity. Spices are reduced to simply being spices, which I like. Nice thick creamy body for a wit holds a sweet malt like flavor followed by a drying yeasty precense. Light acidity is there but the finish is really dry and lingers. Orange is weak and so is lemon in comparison to other wits. I like that really. The oak again really adds body and depth to this beer, I think. Really well done, seems more artisinal than some of the authentic artisinal beers. Maybe not the most juicy and thirst quenching beer however.

granger10, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of weeare138
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to walleye for this!
Appears a cloudy light gold with a thick 3 finger white head that is slow to fade. There is a constant 1/4" layer of foam for the entire duration. Plenty of sticky white lacing that refuses to drop. Small streams of bubbles arise from the bottom of the glass, which contains yeasty and peppery remnants from the bottle conditioning.
Smell is of creamy, peppery wheat mixed with coriander and citrus that's highlighted by orange peel.
Taste is of well balanced wheat, orange peel, coriander, light pepper and a touch of vanilla.
Mouthfeel is light, citrusy, and smooth with medium carbonation that seems to fit well. A mild sweetness is caressed by a gentle, subdued sourness that isn't obtrusive or offensive. The orange peel pulls most of the flavor towards the front of the tongue and roof of the mouth but everything else seems to be so in place that I wouln't tinker with something as minor as that to possibly sacrifice the integrity of this wonderfully brewed beer.
Drinkability is superb. I wish I had a case of this for the summer.

Finger licking good!

weeare138, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with LuckySevens82. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed 2" of white head over the bright straw brew. Head snow-cones over the top of the glass due to the flurry of bubbles eminating form the bottom of the glass, and laves with beautiful heavy foam. Aroma is a light tart spiciness. Taste as well starts with a tartness, then mellows out with soft wheat coating the tongue, and closes with a dry crispness. Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth, with immensely easy drinkability. A nice post-lawn-mowing brew today after being out in the heat.

ppoitras, Jun 11, 2005
Photo of Frozensoul327
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first beer from the guys at Jolly Pumpkin. Poured out to a heavily carbonated slighly golden color. Nice. Long lived white bubbly head was rather unexpected, yet still appreciated. Aromas of ginger, herbs and spices were noted, as were notes of apple cider and fruits. The taste was initally kind of bland, and actually quite dissapointing. Then this brew really opens up well, around the 2nd glass from the 750ml bottle; flavors of tangerine and citrus are most presents, then a bread/yeast like flavor rears it's head. Herbs and spices are also noted, and the entire time the brew was in my mouth, the carbonation added to the crispness of the flavors. Finshed slighly malty, with a smooth bitterness. I now look forward to trying the other brews from Jolly Pumpkin. Recommended.

Frozensoul327, Jun 05, 2005
Photo of Realale
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold with a slight bronze tinge. Fine almost raspy head settles quickly, much like a cider head. Later pours stick around a bit longer.

Nose is gristy, crackery malt, orange liquer, orange zest, wet hay and touch of a nicely matured goat's milk cheese. The complexity of orange flavors conveyed is impressive. This is certainly not your average wit.

Light side of medium in the mouth with a solid but crisp maltiness. Orange notes are solid and sour, but not as complex as the nose. Doesn't completely gel initially, but comes together as it warms a bit. Touch chalky on the finish, which is of moderate duration. Best wit I've had since the demise of Austin-brewed Celis.

Carbonation level is probably a bit low for style, but helps increase the thirst-quenching properties of the beer. This is eminently drinkable - I opened it for dinner, but it was gone before the meat and veggies were off the grill (which, actually, may say as much about me as the beer . . .).

Realale, Apr 20, 2005
Photo of LuckySevens82
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle
Pours a hazy golden yellow. An easily 2 finger blinding white head top this one off. Carbonation, lacing and retention are all quite nice.
Smell is a musty citrus, wheat, sweet malts, and spices (coriander). Not much in the way of hops. The overall mustiness of the smell is kind of a turn off for me, but nevertheless, I was very happy with the other two offerings from this brewery, so I press on.
Taste begins with a stong acidic citrus twang. Coriander, a distinct wheatiness, and some sweet malt characteristics dominate the beer. There is a slight toasted character as well. Unlike the aroma, there are some hops in this one, but it's very slight and pretty nice.
Overall, the smell of this one is really the only thing that I wasn't happy with. This one is very drinkable, smooth, and pretty enjoyable.

LuckySevens82, Apr 19, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly foggy lemony amber with a huge number of bubble streams firing off the bottom of the glass. The head is cumulus cloud white, pillowy and very large. Despite the massive bubble barrage directed at its underside, the foam falls more quickly than it should. The surface is nearly featureless, indicating a lack of stickiness, also apparent in the complete lack of lace. Room for improvement.

The nose is decent for a witbier, but it doesn't overly impress. Sour orchard fruit is dominant with coriander as the most promient style-specific aroma. A faint suggestion of bitter orange peel is evident as well. While there's plenty of power, the nose isn't as integrated or as characterful as I'd like.

It's a little on the flavor-deficient side; an impression that is accentuated by an airy, ultra-light mouthfeel. The flavor profile is made up of tart, unripe fruit (green apple, pear), coriander and a bitter citrusiness that's as much lemon peel as it is orange peel. There isn't much malt sugar present either. The beer is as dry as they come and the back end is positively arid.

Calabaza Blanca is both evanescent (mild, fleeting flavor) and effervescent (reminiscent of Champagne). I usually have a fairly low tolerance for excessive carbonation, but this beer isn't as annoying as it might be due to the fine nature of the bubbles. The mouthfeel is active, but it's more of a low buzz than a soda-like fizziness.

If the body were any lighter it would cease to exist altogether. To be fair, it does acquire a fraction more gravitas once some of the carbonation has exhausted itself. It does, however, come dangerously close to watery on the swallow. The bottom (yeasty) portion of the bottle delivers more flavor, different flavor, but not better flavor.

Mild. Light. Highly carbonated. These aren't usually characteristics that find a great deal of favor with me. Having said that, this is a pretty refreshing beer and is insanely easy to drink. In the end, 'White Gourd' isn't as impressive as its (very impressive) bottle and label would lead one to believe. I still have high hopes for the other Jolly Pumpkin ales though. Thanks to deejaydan for the bottle.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 27, 2005
Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazy gold with a large white pillow head that is made of very fine bubbles. bottle conditioning has its advantages.
the aroma is yeasty, wheat, spicy, citrus.
the taste is very smooth, rich with flavor, spice maybe paridice seed, and a citrus is in the background. the wheat comes through.
the mouthfeel is pretty light but i would expect that from a witbier. the flavor coats the inside of your mouth.

i must say i am always happy with the small michigan belgian brewery with spanish names for its beers.

plaztikjezuz, Feb 26, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gold with some haziness and lots of little champagne like bubbles. A big, fat, frothy white head that clings to the glass in big white gobs as it takes its time to recede.

Smells of acidic oranges and coriander. Hits you right in the nose as soon as you start pouring. Not unpleasant, but it does remind me of the concentrated orange degreaser used in commercial kitchens.

Tastes a lot better than it smells. The orange peel and spice is still dominant, but more retrained than they are in the nose. Some wheat tones and hops are present as well. The finish has some astringent notes. The tip of my tongue tingles almost to the point of numbness, but it fades quickly.

The mouthfeel is rather light as can be expected for the style.

This could be a good drink for hanging out on a deck on a hot August evening. A real thirst quencher.

ypsifly, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.9/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy gold-orange color, it is topped by a frothy off white, creamy head that is held up by an ample carbonation. The aroma is spicy with orange peel dominating, but there are notes of ginger, pepper, a hint of musty cobwebs, earthy coriander, and a bright citrus acidity. The aroma is quite nice.

The beer is nice and light on the palate. It starts with a citrusy orange character and finishes with a bright acidity, that moves to an herbal perhaps woody tannic note. There is a nice light wheat character here that mixes well with the other refreshing components of this beer. This really is quite well done actually, at first it seems like a straight up Belgian Wit, but there are subtle notes of complexity here, and I do believe that there is perhaps a bit more acidity than is typical of the more simplistic Witbiers out there. This beer has lots of good spiciness to it as well, I get notes of ginger, pepper, coriander. I like that the coriander is used correctly in this beer, it is not too strong and the earthy-herbal note that is typical of overly-spiced versions is held nicely in check.

This is definitely one of the best Belgian Wits that I have had, I am a sucker for a good Wit, but I think that this has struck a really nice balance. It is bright, citrusy, and quite refreshing, yet it has some subtle complexity to it, but not so much that it gets in the way of this beer being refreshing like it should. Hopefully the barrels that this beer is aged in will be properly inoculated, because this could use a bit more funky complexity to it, that would definitely make this beer perfection in the glass come late spring to summer time. This is by far the best beer from Jolly Pumpkin that I have had, This is in fact just a world class example of this style, and I hope this brewery can get their Barrels going such that all of their beers can get to this level.

Gueuzedude, Feb 07, 2005
Photo of Rastacouere
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice cloudy gold, rather dark for a white beer, gentle meringous head, sticking to the edges. Incredible spicy aroma, executed with grace. It seems so easy, this is troubling. Firm ginger roots, fresh ginseng, mellow coriander and a touch of lemon and vanilla combine into the most gracious offering. The closest one I can think of would be hitachino’s, but more subtle and elegant. Like a spice mousse, fluffy. Unfortunately, the flavor doesn’t quite hold up though it’s still far better than most contenders in the style. It is surprisingly bitter and has a sharp sour/vinous middle with rhubarb, ginger and cranberry notes. I don’t find the same coherence than in the aroma, but this may be due to the agressive carbonation, full of big bubbles, which somehow detracts a bit. Nonetheless a stunning take on a witbier, world-class and beyond aroma.

Rastacouere, Jan 24, 2005
Photo of trancefishy
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

this one pours out like a hefe-weizen. nice wheaty orange colour. hazy. a delicate head that clings to the sides fo the glass with a very thin layer left over to cover the top of the beer.

my first thought is "are they using that unibroue yeast?". smells like any given unibroue product. citrusy, bready, very yeasty. mmm, oranges.

taste follows the smell nicely, and adds a bit to it. there is that spiciness. a true definitive yeast flavour that reminds me of a hefeweizen. there is also something a bit more unlikeable. this is the first time i have tasted "that homebrew taste" in a commercial beer. that faintly plastic-vinyl tubing taste. the taste takes a sharp turn from mid-palate to swallow; like it sort of fumbles.

mouthfeel is alright, medium to light, and appropriate for the style. the carbonation tickles the tongue nicely.

i was quite excited to see this beer in the beer store after reading about jolly pumpkin in teh michigan beer guide. this is my very first experience with them. they seem highly rated, but, i'm not digging on this beer all too much. it's good, but i'm not going rush out ot make sure i have another stowed away.

trancefishy, Jan 24, 2005
Photo of ahking
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep golden honey color. Very nice head formation that slinks away as you drink. Didn't notice exceptional lacing, but it was there. Spicy flavor with hints of lemon and pineapple. Very malty, reminded me of a nice belgian dubbel. Noticed a lot of sediment in the bottle, most likely due to the barrel aging. Overall, Jolly Pumpkin is doing some good things with beer and should be applauded for it.

ahking, Jan 15, 2005
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Imaginative name and bottle. I liked this mellow wheat beer, but only as a share of a one-time bottle. Carbonation on tongue, with lemon and bitterness in there. Corriander, ginger and spices moderated by malt dose. Thanks to Wohlfs for shlepping to Doug Shoemaker's super tasting.

Sammy, Dec 16, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy and opaque yellow golden with thin bright white head and lots of effervescence.
Aroma of lemon, grass, pale malt, heavy wheat bread and yeast.
Flavor of some tart citrus, grains of paradise and some very, yeasty, bready hit and some faint coriander.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly tart but still light to start moving to a bready hit with some faint coriander.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly tart but still light to start moving to bready and biscuit middle and finishes with a spicy and almost peppery finish.
Drinkability is very high. Well-crafted with excellent flavor and feel on the palate.

CRJMellor, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 750 mL bottle into a goblet. The color is a hazy orange-tinted gold, with a nice bubbly head. The smell is has a nice touch of the coriander flavoring to it as well as just a hint of the sweetness. The taste is very flowery, with just the right amount of coriander spicing, a bit of banana/clove sweetness and with a hint of the oak aging apparent in the flavor, mostly in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very well-carbonated, even beyond the standard of a wheat beer. As for drinkability, this is certianly a great summer sipper that I'm just happening to have going into December!

Cheers to Ron Jeffries for another fantastic beer from what I've called the Best New Brewery of 2004. A wit that doesn't try to be demure, but wears its flavors out on its sleeves, and certainly one I'll get in my future trips to Michigan (and hopefully someday around here).

beergeek279, Dec 01, 2004
Photo of Sixpack595
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a straw yellw with a thin film of white foam. Decent carbonation, but next to no head. Aroma is fruity and very sweet with the typical Belguan aroma. Flavor is sweet and lemony with a spicy, peppery touch. Just a touch of tangy bitterness at the end, bringing a dry finish to the light bready malt. Easy drinking, great session beer.

Sixpack595, Nov 14, 2004
Photo of mjohn27603
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden in color. A white pillowy head develops. Aroma is of lemons and maybe freshly mown grass with some spices. First sip reveals a orangey and lemon taste with very slight bitterness in the aftertaste. A very fine example of witbier. The only thing I mark down slightly is the mouthfeel which is so light that the beer just floats on the tongue and feels a little watery. Easy to drink. I'm glad this is in Jolly Pumpkin's arsenal.

mjohn27603, Nov 06, 2004
Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 803 ratings.