La Roja - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
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Ratings: 1,421 | Reviews: 738 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Maxwell:
3.5/5 rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
As I crack the cork, this beer is a gusher. Like a geyser, this liquid is out of the bottle, and I see some of my well bought booze ooze onto the table. The geyser was quickly stopped after the first pour, but I would like to warn others to its gushing potential. The beer pours a deep, caramelized, burgundy color with very light orange hints. It pours with a fair head of medium sized, lightly yellowing bubbles that fizzle down to about a quarter of a finger’s width. In the light the beer is like a ruby red grapefruit color, with a dark, opaque body that seems a bit murky, but does show some nice, lazy bubbles running to the head. The head leaves a light lacing of spatter marks on the sides of the glass. On the nose, the beer smells of a tart, earthy must. As the scent lingers in the nostrils I get more distinct notes of cherry and leather, much akin to a Flanders red, but subtler. A creamy, scentless sense seems to dominate the nose, which is a little bewildering to me. Even subtler than the funk is soft vanilla and oak. As the beer breathes, distinct lactic scents travel up from the glass to give the feel of a subtle Flanders red. This smells good but I want more of it! On the tongue, the beer tastes a bit like a muddled mess. Almost middling tart acidity moves bad funk notes with an odd, light bitterness that moves into smooth tannic bitterness, while a light, earthy salinity touches over the tongue. The sweet, caramelly malt in the background is nice but a bit watery, leaving the beer without the balance of the great Flanders reds. In flavor, the beer begins as tart, green apple with a bit of basement must. The must grows to an unpleasant funk with plastic and medicinal notes to it. Within the must there are intriguing hints of grass, hay, and loamy dirt, but these get caught up and jumbled into an odd sweetness, falling into a less desirable flavors. The finish is of a rotting forest floor with musty leaves intertwining with decay and soft caramel notes, and the aftertaste is nice tannic oak with vanilla and very faint, light roast coffee. This beer has a lot of potential, but just does not seem to pull its parts together. In the mouth the beer feels on the light side of medium in body with a thin, lightly-watery mouthfeel that doesn’t fit the style well. Carbonation is soft and smooth, and actually quite nice, though surprising given my bottles gushing opening. The mouth is left fairly clean accept for light acid-canceling saliva. Overall, this beer is a bit of a letdown. It has subtlety and grace in the nose, but it muddles everything in the taste and never quite weaves them together. I wonder if a bit more time in the bottle might have aided the beer along. The beer does get better as you drink it, and does have some interesting points for a seasoned sour/wild/etc… drinker, but is definitely not a beginner’s beer. The more I drink of it the more I note a definite oaky tannin to the taste, which I actually deeply appreciate but it doesn’t seem to work with the rest of the beer. I’m happy I tried it, and I hope it gets better in future batches, or perhaps with age, but for the time being I would say it is not good enough for its price point.
Serving type: bottle
09-13-2013 02:04:11 | More by Maxwell
More User Reviews:
3.83/5 rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
On tap at ChurchKey in DC. From notes.
A - Poured a sort of amber colour with lot's of haze. OK carbonation with one finger of off white head. Spotty lace and a half finger of retention.
S - Grapes, vanilla, oak, not too tart but it was there.
T - Tart grapes, cherry, wood, a bit subtle. Acidic, vinegar.
M - Good carbonation, light to medium body, dry and slightly tart finish. Body was a bit light for my liking.
O/D - This was good. A nice Flanders Red with good flavours and some complexity. Not boozy and fairly tasty. They flavour was subdued compared to other examples of the style, but for the most part this was enjoyable.
Serving type: on-tap
04-15-2014 23:59:29 | More by tbeckett
3.91/5 rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
750ml split 3 ways, no bottled on date here but I believe this is pretty fresh.
Appearance - Pours a translucent amber color with an off-white head of about 2 fingers to start. Ring, partial cap and bits of lace left.
Smell - Reminiscent of a tame Flanders red, easy-going but some sourness/funk. Brett, apple, cherry, earthy, farm, wine, some caramel/brown malt type tones.
Taste - Taste is more on the tart side, nice kind of combo of flanders red+funky saison flavors. White and red wine, some spice, bretty fruits (apple and grape), cherries, some funky and bready yeasts, light caramel, oak barrel, some earthy tones.
Mouthfeel - A bit on the thin side, medium-high carbonation, some booze showing through. Average drinkability.
Overall - Like many Jolly Pumpkin beers I've had - solid flavors while being somewhat lowkey, but kinda safe/unremarkable in the category of funky saisons/wild ales. That being said, it's still quite enjoyable, I especially liked the Flanders-esque elements in this one.
Serving type: bottle
04-08-2014 00:33:56 | More by Chico1985
4.14/5 rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Bottled on 12/0/13
Poured into a standard tulip glass
Pours a murky reddish brown with a tightly bubbled, 2 fingers tall, light tan head that quickly fizzles down to a mere puck on tap the of the beer. The head leaves light, sporadic blotches of lacing as it recedes.
Tart notes of cherry juice leap out of the glass immediately. Accompanying these notes of cherries is a slightly sharp, vinous acidity. Just before the acidity starts to get a tad acetic in the nose, a soothing layer of matured Brettanomyces comes into play; big notes of dried apricot, musty earth and damp high. The nose is a rounded out by a pleasant, gentle caramel malt backbone. As the beer warms, some woodsy vanilla undertones surface.
As soon as the beer lands on your palate, you're rushed by a blast of clean, lactic acidity with a strong cherry presence. Providing some welcome contrast to the tartness is some of the Brettanomyces character that was found in the nose; tones of apricot, sun worn leather and barnyard funk. The light stone fruit character takes hold of your palate though out the smooth, caramel driven malt backbone and tart, off dry finish. Long, lingering notes of cherries, lemon juice, dried apricot, sweet breads and a slight woodsy vanilla presence.
Nice full body for a sour, with moderate to high carbonation. Does have a slightly watery finish.
One of the few sour red ales that don't get overly acetic; I am particularly a fan of the apricot heavy brett character this beer showcases. Jolly Pumpkin does a fabulous job of balancing the sourness with a smooth malt backbone, as a sour red should. Want a fantastic, year round sour red ale? Look no further.
Serving type: bottle
04-01-2014 03:01:17 | More by flayedandskinned
La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,421 ratings.