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La Roja - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
La RojaLa Roja

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,554 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,554
Reviews: 746
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 129
Gots: 245 | 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: 1,554 | Reviews: 746 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of phantomwyse


3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours out a dark red-amber with a very dense two-finger cream colored head. Semi-turgid. Sheet lacing

S: Dark cherry, caramel, there's a distinct earthiness to it, like wet wood. Slight alcoholic whiff.

T: I don't even really know where to start, there are so many different characteristics meshing together. There is a lot of malt - caramel, coffee cake, warm sugar. There is a slight hop presence, but nothing of real note. Then there is the funk. And there is lots of funk. Sour raspberries and cherries. Dry, somewhat cloying sweetness. Just a touch boozy.

M: Smooth, just a tad creamy.

D: Bizarre. This is certainly a unique beer. It's sort of like a complex knot. I enjoyed trying to untie it and figure out where each flavor was going and connected to. However, it never really forms a cohesive brew. It's a fun beer, for sure, but just needs something to tie it all together. A beer I thoroughly enjoyed, but will not go back to in particular in the future -- but, I will be exploring Jolly Pumpkin's arsenal.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 02:27:51 | More by phantomwyse
Photo of shufon

New York

5/5  rDev +24.4%

11-19-2011 04:48:57 | More by shufon
Photo of cabsandking


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish/amber with 2 fingers of off-white pillowy sticky head and great retention. Sour fruits, plum, cherry, cranberry, and some alcohol esters. Tartness, greater dryness, and the woodsy barrel notes are more apparent in the flavor. Some medicinals and a rough bitterness, not from hops, at first but grow more enjoyable as it went down. Sour cherries, vinous, burgundy wine, hints of cocoa powder, and caramelized sugar. Medium to high body, mouthfeel starts thin but ends up on the heavier yet smooth side and a carbonation that’s slightly crisp and froths up pretty nicely. This won started slowly but was a winner by the end.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2007 18:26:57 | More by cabsandking
Photo of HisBoyElroy


3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

10-03-2013 00:29:47 | More by HisBoyElroy
Photo of Yetiman420


3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split equally into two Unibroue tulip glasses. One for me.

Copper with a 1/2 finger tan head. The third of three JP beers tasted and reviewed and they all had the same, batched lacing traits.

Flanders-style sourness in the nose. Not as much with the flavor. Interesting that this is classified as an American wild as opposed to a Flanders red ale.

Halfway through the sourness becomes more apparent.

A nice blend between a Flanders red and an American wild.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 03:54:35 | More by Yetiman420
Photo of goatgoat


3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Batch 11.2009.

Poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy ruddy copper, thin tan head that falls within a moment. Aroma is tart and crisp, moderate fruit and a subtle wood note. Taste is a clean tartness all throughout. There's a very light funk that may just be wishful thinking. There's a dry, puckering finish with a harsh bitter in the back of the mouth.

I'm still not good with the subtleties of sours, though this brew is light on the wood, which I prefer. It's a good evening drink after a day in the low 90's. But while the sour aspects of this type of wild is nice, I'm still looking for more funky, musty, barnyard American brews.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 23:56:28 | More by goatgoat
Photo of cjs61679


4/5  rDev -0.5%

09-16-2013 14:58:14 | More by cjs61679
Photo of ber12


4/5  rDev -0.5%

04-19-2014 23:34:02 | More by ber12
Photo of frazbri


4.88/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby brown body with a high tan head. Aroma of oak, apple, apricot, and vanilla. Flavors of vanilla, oak, black curran, and bourbon.

I was at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Festival and saw the listing for Jolly Pumpkin. I had visions of pumkin ales and other kitche brews. I passed it by... big mistake. The labeling and beer names may be jolly and jovial, but this is serious beer. Its been a long time since I've had a beer that blew me away. La Roja did. All Hail Jolly Pumpkin!

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2004 02:16:49 | More by frazbri
Photo of Shovelbum


3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a creamy tan head over a hazy amber-brown body. Good retention and lace. Aromas of alcohol, caramel malt, oak and a touch of hay. A big dose of caramel malt upfront joined by a tart vinous fruit character. Sweet malt and toasted biscuit flavors with a trace of spicy hops as well. Substantial alcohol presence throughout. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Light and smooth mouthfeel, with a slight bitterness. Drying.

The alcohol is a bit too assertive and drowns out some of the complexity, but good depth and use of malt. I prefer the Biere de Mars over this, but it is still another tasty offering from Jolly Pumpkin.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2005 01:22:21 | More by Shovelbum
Photo of SirSketch


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

A - Deep blood red, even purple in spots, and an off-white head clinging to the glass.

S - Such an amazing sour nose with floral notes, apricot, honey and sugary candy aroma to back it up. I don't even need to drink this beer, the aroma is that good!

T - Starts out shockingly tart, but soon mellows out and tastes of cherries and an earthy, rose-water floral character. Quite a bit of malt influence in the form of sweet graham cracker and grainy flavors.

M - Medium bodied, not too dry and doesn't leave an overly sugary mouthfeel like most sours.

O - Goddamn delicious! Balanced in all of its flavors, extremely layered and extremely drinkable

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 02:35:28 | More by SirSketch
Photo of Calculat0r


4/5  rDev -0.5%

09-12-2012 15:26:54 | More by Calculat0r
Photo of tazzman


3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

04-21-2013 20:43:04 | More by tazzman
Photo of wheelinshirt


1.9/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Split a 750 mL bottle from Abe's in Bethlehem (for $7.50 I think) with a friend. Nice amber/brown color with some head that disappears pretty quickly, though this is quite understandable considering the funk. Everything seems good until I took my first whiff--all I got was sour milk. Taste is sour milk, alcohol and some nice malt but is very unpleasant overall. The carbonation is nice and highlights the light body of the beer. I was able to finish my glass but i can't in good conscience recommend this beer. I might try this beer again if somebody offers me a glass but I wouldn't buy it.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2007 01:10:21 | More by wheelinshirt
Photo of DiscGolfRobot


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

04-13-2013 02:46:53 | More by DiscGolfRobot
Photo of cornejo


4/5  rDev -0.5%

02-02-2014 19:17:05 | More by cornejo
Photo of Mauerhan


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

ive been sitting on la roja for a while. its a warm day. i figure its a good time for this.

pours a slightly opaque reddish orange. a very impressive two finger head sits atop and stays. leaving sheets of lacing as i sip. when the head falls i swirl my glass and it comes back just as strong. this beer looks awesome.

upon dipping my nose into my glass I am greeted by a nice amount of oak. hints of apple. a nice little sweetness with a hint on sourness near the end. i enjoy smelling this but i need to start a drinking.

a decently complex taste. i would say this is the least sour of the jolly pumpkins that ive had. but damn this is refreshing. oak, cherries, green apple. nice malt presence.

mouth is medium bodied and smooth. pleasant on the tounge. medium carbonation.

i would be able to put back a few of these easy. very drinkable. definitely worth a try

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 22:23:08 | More by Mauerhan
Photo of KevinTK

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

05-30-2012 15:12:10 | More by KevinTK
Photo of mquartuccio87

New York

3/5  rDev -25.4%

10-02-2013 03:00:35 | More by mquartuccio87
Photo of Biggness

New York

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

This beer poured a reddish amber with a 2 fingered head and nice lacing. The smeel was of a sour ale. The taste was not nearly as sour as I was expecting from the nose, I beelve this is my first Wild Ale... it was interesting, some Kind of like a underhopped big pale ale with sour flavors. The mouthfeel seemed nice and the carbonation level might have been a little low. I drank half a bottle of this and it was my only sipper of the evening.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 13:19:14 | More by Biggness
Photo of layinbrix


3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

07-06-2014 21:04:14 | More by layinbrix
Photo of SlothB77


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

07-16-2014 23:45:46 | More by SlothB77
Photo of fastsrt

New York

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured the big boy bottle to a flute glass.
A: Brown almost ruby red. large tan head.
S: Lots of Oak, funky, grape, love the oak smelled so rich.
T: Oak, wine like, sharp dryness, leaving the pallet covered in oak. low hop bitterness which I feel the bitterness is driven from the oak. sour grape like.
M: The prickly carbonation made it feel like a carbonated red wine. Extremely dry and smooth.
D: this is a sipper and a tough one to figure out, love it it is so unique i have never had a wild ale and i am a fan, this was also the first offering i have had form jolly pumpkin my beer store has two more offerings I am going to swoop them up today.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 14:26:58 | More by fastsrt
Photo of bwarren82


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

04-14-2013 23:42:18 | More by bwarren82
Photo of Lolli1315


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

Updated review

A- Brown color with an obvious red tint that has obvious ruby highlights. One finger of an off white head composed of small bubbles. Retention isn't too bad and lacing is decent as well.

S- Tart cherries and green apples prevalent underneath a rich malt complexity. Sourness reveals itself in the middle, but not an overbearing amount, mostly clean. Alcohol begins to rise into the middle and lingers in the finish.

T- Malt complexity in the beginning of the beer that is complimented with fruit esters of tart cherries and a noticeable green apple flavor. Sourness builds in the middle, but is not dominating in the taste. I would personally like to see a little more, but it is very refreshing. Alcohol becomes noticeable in the middle and builds towards the finish. A "sweet and sour" finish with lingering alcohol.

M- Medium-light in body with medium-low carbonation. Sweet body helps lend to the "sweet-and-sour" taste.

D- Jolly Pumpkin, I apologize for last review of the La Roja. I was young and naive to your sour ways. Please forgive me. I promise I will visit you more often. I'm not the same person I was then. Please allow me this second chance. So what do you say, can we have a fresh start?

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2009 23:50:31 | More by Lolli1315
La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,554 ratings.