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La Roja - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
La RojaLa Roja

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,545 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,545
Reviews: 745
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 128
Gots: 242 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
An artisan amber ale brewed in the Flanders tradition. Deep amber with earthy caramel, spice, and sour fruit notes developed through natural barrel aging. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and blended from barrels ranging in age from two to ten months.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-14-2004)
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Ratings: 1,545 | Reviews: 745 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very satisfying, thanks Wohlfs. Refreshing spices. Rum whiff. Well carbonated. All taste. Lots of different malts. Licorice, corriander, rum, bourbon, fennel, fruit. Another bottle two years later and in particular sour, more than I would expect from a biere de garde and great looks from lace and head.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2005 05:41:15 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -0.5%

10-17-2012 02:05:24 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.78/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blend 5, 2009

A - Pours a cloudy chocolate covered cherry red/brown color with a 1 inch head that fades to a 1/2 inch cap. The lacing is somewhat little on this beer.

S - Smells of sour fruits (cherry), vinegar (balsalmic maybe), and funky yeast/bacteria.

T - Tastes like it smells. Tart sour cherries, balsalmic vinegar, and funk all blend together. Very tasty.

M - Beer has good carbonation, so it is pretty smooth. It leaves a coating of funk taste in the mouth (not a bad thing).

D - Very, very good. I am very glad I picked this one up. However, at $11.99 a bottle I will save this one for a once in a while drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 22:08:22 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-20-2011 22:09:31 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up at Whole Foods in DC a bit back. Served in a Jolly Pumpkin tulip.

Pours an amber-brown with a thin off-white head that falls fairly quickly and leaves a thin collar. The nose brings a bit of light lactic acid and some cherry. A bit of cherry pit and mild oak. The flavor really pushes on from there with some nice lactic presence as well as cherry and cherry pit. Oak is good. Really nice. Mouthfeel is crisp and acidic with a dry finish. Impressive. Another winner from JP.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 01:14:56 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful amalgam of orange, copper, coral and raspberry with radiant orange edges. This biere de garde looks like a tropical sunset in a glass. The orangish beige crown is a good color complement to the liquid beneath. It isn't all that large, though, and it could be firmer and stickier. With a better head and more lace, the appearance would be a gobsmacker.

When assessing the nose, spiced golden rum is the first comparison to come to mind. There's also a boozy cherry presence that's a shade too cough syrup-like to suit me. Musty, earthy hops are present as well, but don't work in the grand scheme of things. In fact, the nose is like a handful of random puzzle pieces that don't quite fit together.

La Roja tastes like a Jackson Pollack painting looks: chaotic, colorful, bold, seemingly without a center, although strangely appealing if one is in the right mood. Trouble is, I don't know that I'd be in the mood all that often, if ever. The flavor profile consists of Scotch whisky-soaked caramels with a ton of phenols, smoke, cherry vodka, indeterminate spices and a dash of Jagermeister. I'm having trouble getting my palate around this one. The trouble is, repeated samples aren't bringing me any more clarity.

The alcohol presence is just too overwhelming and intrudes on whatever else the flavor as a whole is trying to achieve. As a focal point, ethanol doesn't cut it. The beer drinks at greater than 7.2%, as evidenced by the slight burn going down and the growing bloom of warmth currently setting up shop in my midsection. I should have let this bottle cool its heels for another few years.

Warming brings some amount of cooperation among the previously untamed flavor elements. It's possible, however, that that impression has more to do with tongue numbing and brain fogging that anything else. I swear the ABV is 10.0%. The mouthfeel is nearer to full than it is to medium and borders on lightly syrupy.

I want to love the Jolly Pumpkin beers, I really do. They've certainly done their homework on presentation: great brewery name, beer names, labels, bottles, etc. Ultimately, though, the contents of those bottles is the only thing that matters. I have little doubt that with a few years under its belt, this will be a better (if still not a great) beer. Right now, I can't recommend it. Thanks to deejaydan for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2005 22:28:33 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear amber in color and poured with a finger high off white head. The head died down into a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: The smell has a moderate amount of sourness and some hints of cherries.
T: Like the smell, flavors of tart and sour cherries dominate the overall taste.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink because the alcohol is well masked.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 21:32:20 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy peach ice tea color with a rocky head that does a nice job lacing the chalice

Smell: Nice balance between the oak barrel, vanilla and caramel elements with just a touch of sour cherry

Taste: Opens with a slightly sour cherry and caramel flavor, with undertones of rum, bourbon and vanilla that develop by mid-palate; after the swallow, the fruity elements pick up and are balanced by the earthy and sour flavors; nice mild, woody finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Where others have marked this one down for being neither fish nor fowl, I find an incredibly well-done balancing act; very nice and approachable

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2007 00:16:18 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I actually picked this bottle up when I was in Ohio, as it was not available around here yet, though it is now. I had wanted to try this one for a while, so I splurged and picked it up. I have heard good things about them so far, so I wanted to see for myself. The very nice 750ml capped bottle looked very good and so I proceeded to pull it out of the fridge.

Appearance - Poured out a very nice and hazy amber color right of the top. A good three finger high head of white colored foam then reached up and sat on top for a good few minutes before finally settling down and leaving just a token film across it throughout the entire session. Some nice side glass lace was apparent as was good carbonation coming up off the bottom of the glass. Overall, not a bad look at all, and I was getting anxious to try this.

Smell - The aroma was nice and sour. Lots of nice yeast likes smells coming off of here. A nice grain base was evident as was some fresh grass and a touch of light fruit. Nice sour cherry like smell coming off of it now. Nothing too heavy with the overall profile staying nice and light. This was very nice indeed, with just the right amount of tartness balanced against a good little bit of sweetness.

Taste - The flavor followed suit almost perfectly. Started out with a very nice light profile, some light fruit, maybe apples and pears, with a touch of some light peach and fig notes. A good bit of spices. Nice sour and tart fruit notes in the back now, really starting to dominate the closer it gets to the finish. Very nice long finish with a nice sour bite that helped walk you through the finish, but never got too out of hand or too harsh, with the flavor staying light right up until the end.

Mouthfeel - Very nice lighter bodied ale. This had a really nice carbonation profile and an awesome smooth feeling to it. Really a nice ale here that had a crisp little bite to finish it off.

Drinkability - This was outstandingly drinkable, in fact I could not detect any alcohol in it at all. It was just a superb drinker here with a light profile and very nice little bit of sourness to it, I could have had this one all day.

Overall, I thought this was really quite nice. The first thing I had from them was the Bam and I loved that but was not so crazy about that winter release. This on the other hand I thought was excellent and would happily purchase again any day.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2008 00:43:02 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

01-08-2012 22:30:03 | More by nmann08
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.78/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a medium brown color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of brett is quite powerful a not the best of mix with the spices that are included in here. Taste is really weird it start with some great sourness and oak which is all ok at this point but when the spice kicks in it really doesn’t provide an enjoyable overall mix. Body is also a bit thin but carbonation is quite lively. I really enjoyed the JP beers that I had but I just don’t think this one is a good mix.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2006 14:16:24 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An intesely flavored beer. Pours a solid rust-amber color with a haze. Head fell to a trace but laced well. Smells seriously fruity and tart with a woodsy musky aroma. Flavors of raspberries and cherries shine in the foreground, the rounding out with a Flanders Red smoothness and lightness. Remains Granny Smith apple tart into the finish. Picks up a little of a Framboise flavor, aroma, and tartness, just not as sweet. Remains a bit musky and oak-ey in flavor. Finishes a bit astringent and a tart dryness. Still, a complex and flavorful beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2005 20:24:18 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque amber in color with a fluffy off-white foam that dissipates to a thin layer, good lacing.

S: A moderate tartness, sour cherries, and oak.

T: Mildly tart, sweet, cherries, almost cola-like. A bit of bitterness, which is surprising.

M: Bubbly, medium body.

D: Not quite what I was hoping for, but still a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 18:38:59 | More by womencantsail
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

10-12-2013 14:45:00 | More by acurtis
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

06-30-2012 04:10:46 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle - $9.99 at Bullock's in Marietta, Georgia. A small sticker on the back of the bottle lists "Blend 3, 2008".

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark caramel body with a pervasive amount of fine effervescence and topped with a goodly-sized, off-white

Smell: Toasted bready and caramel malts cower in the corner from the looming, encroaching wild yeast-derived aromas. I don't blame them, I'd cower too.

Taste: Initial maltiness of heavily toasted bread crusts and dark caramel with a brief, restrained sweetness quickly clear the way for a veritable tide of funk-induced flavors. Sours cherries, unripened Willamette raspberries, freshly-grated nutmeg, Red Delicious apple peelings, a lone drop of vanilla cream, and even some puckeringly tannic, fouled wood barrel tastes. Slight acidity. Fairly earthy and acetic at times. Finishes quite dry with some enduring dusky tannic hints.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Highly carbonated.

Drinkability: As always, it's another weird, wild ride from Jolly Pumpkin. To say these beers aren't for everyone is a huge understatement. Paired well with the song "Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect" by The Decemberists.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 22:36:43 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

11-22-2011 18:25:18 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

08-30-2013 13:00:42 | More by jaydoc
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

05-20-2012 03:47:10 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

03-10-2013 00:02:04 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn how cool is it to see Jolly Pumpkin showing up here in the Buffalo area!This is one of the few offerings suprisingly that I havent tried from JH till today,this poured a light hazed amber/brown with a tight well formed light brown head in my oversized wine glass.The barrel aging shows with hints of vanilla and wood with some lactic sour notes.Very food friendly but flavorful starting out with notes of grape and brown sugar with quite a hefty sour acidic finish but not not to much,yeasty esters thruout.A very nice beer from the home state I like a good Biere de Garde if it can be found and this is quite nice,oh and did I say food friendly?

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 02:00:50 | More by oberon
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured and paired with Raspberry point Oysters... First time having oysters because I typically don't care for seafood. The smell of the beer was fruity and funky. It looked red in color with a minimal head and lacing. The taste of the beer was tart and had plenty of sour qualities to it. The beer pairs really well with the oysters because they was a lots of black pepper in them. The sour and pepper balanced each other out really well. The mouthfeel is the beer had a good carbonation to it. It's light bodied and kind of refreshing. Overall it's a good wild ale in my opinion. Worth trying for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 00:19:28 | More by Knapp85
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blend 5,2009; Ale aged in Oak Barrels-Artisan Amber Ale.

Pours a dark ruby to brick red with a light tan head that quickly fades. Attractive.

Nose of sour cherries and light oak with a hint of green pepper.

Mouth feel is thin but clean and fresh and plea
sant. A lighter mouth feel that still has a quality rich character.

Flavors of green pepper, hints of green herbs like basil and oregano. Herbal flavors but pleasant and attractive. A sour cherry vegetal character that would likely go well with food. Some sour apple, green unripe pear quality.

An interesting sour with no real sweetness. Actually pretty attractive all around.

Long green pepper finish, spicy green herb finish.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2009 00:33:23 | More by GRG1313
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma of sour cherry/cranberry, funky Brett, oak, and a sharp boozy note that soon passes. Over time, the nose reminds me more and more of a Flanders Red. Served at cellar temp, around 55º.

Chilled bottle opens with little fanfare, no spray of foam, or gushing qualities. A lone wisp of smoke exits into the air. A hazy shroud of foam obscures the mahogany hued liquid. Irregular lace forms on one wall of the glass.

Tastes predominantly of sour cherry, caramel, and oak, bubbly on the palate. Interesting notes develop in the dry aftertaste. Some cocoa and leather elements come in, complimenting the spent sour fruits. The sour quality isn't overplayed, it comes in moderately, and exits like a whisper. Complexity isn't overwhelming, but gives you something to think about while savoring it. At cellar temperature it seems to have more depth. Served cold, the flavors are somewhat muted.

This is a high-quality offering, i've tried it many times and never experienced an "off bottle". It's at the top of my JP list, a 4-way tie with Oro, Bam, & Firefly for the top spot. Unique and recommended...

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 01:00:50 | More by emerge077
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a foamy, off-white, long-lasting head that left some thick rings of sticky, patchy lace.

S - It smelled slightly funky and of dried apples. Also, some mild caramel notes.

T - It tasted of funky yeastiness, a sweet caramel maltiness and some sour apple flavors.

M - It was crisp, fairly sharp and very dry. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a pretty good wild ale. Very complex blend of flavors and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 02:18:25 | More by zeff80
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La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,545 ratings.