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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

1,757 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,757
Reviews: 760
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 143
Gots: 284 | FT: 23
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: 1,757 | Reviews: 760 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
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.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
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.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
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.

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of GRG1313
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.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of metter98
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.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of brentk56
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

Photo of BEERchitect
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
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.

Photo of womencantsail
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.

Photo of Knapp85
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -0.5%

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La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,757 ratings.