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Calabaza Blanca - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
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 Estarrio
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

In the "Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" the mystical G. P. never arrives much to Linus's chagrin. In the Jolly Pumpkin's world it's the pumpkin ale that never arrives. What? Contrary to popular belief and local legend these guys don't put out a brew befitting their moniker. Anywho...what they do deliver is a spice-rack bed of Procrustes. Of the few I've tried (at the brewery from the tap and in single bottles) the spices over-ride the smooth creaminess of otherwise excellent beer. This one is the exception so far. There's enough tang in it to let you know that you've been with a tart but not enough spice to make you fret that you have been infected with her malty infarction. Scared little man? Ish Kabibble...I should worry? No! Not me!

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

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.

Photo of Mitchster
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

$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.

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

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.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of bennetj17
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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...

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.

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