La Roja - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
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Ratings: 1,592 | Reviews: 746 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +11.9%
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...
11-05-2006 01:00:50 | More by emerge077
3.9/5 rDev -3%
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.
04-04-2009 02:18:25 | More by zeff80
4.28/5 rDev +6.5%
Appearance - Bright and clear reddish-amber for the first 3/4 of the bottle, hazier after that. The three-finger off-white head retains incredibly well.
Smell - Plenty of fruity sourness and barnyard funk, a bit of oak and hints of leather and tobacco. Strange but inviting.
Taste/mouthfeel - Leather, sour cherries, tobacco and moderate funky brett. Tannic, oaky and fairly sour, but not overly acidic. A hint of maple syrup appears as the beer warms, but it's otherwise very dry. Light-to-medium in body, highly carbonated and crisp. Impressive complexity without compromising drinkability. An excellent and unique beer.
03-08-2008 22:12:44 | More by largadeer
3.9/5 rDev -3%
An import-priced Belgian-style bomber at Beerbistro. The cat on the label is very reminiscent of Alley Kat's fat cat imagery. This beer pours a cloudy dark apricot hue, with two fingers of creamy off-white head, which leaves minor lace around the glass as it dissipates. It smells of sour cherry, lemon, and a light woodiness. The taste is more tart cherry, caramel malt, soft oakiness - butter, vanilla - and dry, mildly floral hops. The carbonation is quite strong, very much like cider, the body resplendent in medium fleshy fruit, and it finishes with a pointedly full-stop dryness at the finish, with some cherry and pomegranate fruity aftertaste. A bit of mild alcohol warming shows itself as well.
This is very nicely tart and malty, without the expected funk.
08-19-2009 02:49:33 | More by biboergosum
4.3/5 rDev +7%
Jolly Pumpkin La Roja
Bottled 6-24-2011... just over a year old at tasting; and I should note that this tasting does not necessarily represent the other samples I've tasted. In fact, it's noticeably different in that it's not as highly carbonated and much less sour.
Appearance: The first pour was a hazy, almost cloudy, orange-accented russet brown body. The second pour, with the lees roused, was completely cloudy like a hefeweizen. Even a fairly rough pour brought up only a short head of khaki foam, and unfortunately, the head retention and lacing were both limited.
Aroma: Caramel malt, toffee, fruit (berries, dark fruit, sharp apple, black cherry), some minor mineral and earthiness.
Flavor: There's more caramel to it than you might expect, and that fits entirely well with the Flanders oud bruin tradition. It's not overly sweet, and the gentle tartness balances it nicely. The lactobacilus (and possible wild yeast) is kept in check and there's nothing harsh or overtly phenolic. No real hops are present, although there is some underlying spiciness, and it finishes with some drying oak (which actually makes it kind of a Flanders red / oud bruin hybrid).
Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-light in body. Surprisingly moderate carbonation (which is probably just be this batch; or perhaps my bottle was mistreated along the way and lost some C02). Smooth.
Overall: For the price, a beer of this quality done in the Flanders style (more oud bruin than Flanders red in my opinion) is a steal. And let's face it, there aren't that many out there. Absolutely worth trying.
07-06-2012 21:25:55 | More by NeroFiddled
3.88/5 rDev -3.5%
What the hell. For 15 minutes I watched this bottle foam over. I keep having to clean the foam off before it goes all over.
Pours a ruby hue with some head that rapidly fades to nothing. Nose is like caramelized apples and I also feel like I am standing in an old wine cellar that is ripe with so much exposure to moisture. Just an almost musty, old wood smell. Flavor reminds me of a wine, or better yet a brandy. Different from that though of course. Apple flavor is distinct, but not overpowering by any means. This is my first of this style, so I don't really know what to expect. Which makes this nothing more than an amateurs rating. But over the journey I have taken in beer and coming to this point, I kind of like it. Definitely not something to pick up right off the bat after just getting into the craft brew. But good to push the palate in a forward direction.
Batch 7, 2008
Pours a foggy orange hued brown with a creme head. Nose is all wood with some vanilla and wild yeast tones. Flavor is bitter with an earthy citrus thing going on. Very acidic wood profile overall. Feel has a bit of a biting carbonation to it and a liquid feel that is a bit thick and slick. Nice tiny drink. A bit rough on the edges, but you've gotta love a readily available wild ale.
12-30-2007 06:40:22 | More by RblWthACoz
3.7/5 rDev -8%
A - There was some minor gushing when I opened the cap, but I didn't lose any beer and it is forgiveable in a barrel aged beer. This one has a comically large and tenacious head. Fairly dark orange brown color, somewhat hazy.
S - Spicy, acidic aroma. Earthy and somewhat fruity.
T - Tart, citrusy acidity. Earthy, dirty flavor with fruity notes; lemony and grapefruit like. Finishes with strong bitterness on the back of the tongue.
M - Heavy carbonation, but with a fairly thin body. Maby some tannins.
D - Has a good bit of flavor while remaining light, but the acidity is a little too acrid for my taste and I think a little more residual sweetness would balance it out better.
05-22-2007 04:31:19 | More by nickfl
4.6/5 rDev +14.4%
Appears a clouded ruby amber brown...I guess at this point it's safe to call it mahogany. Forms an effervescent light tan head that leaves at least two fingers worth of foam. Very nice presentation as it the head dwindles a collar of lace is left with each sip, leaving all senses appeased includinig the visuals. Aroma has tart cider oak barrel notes, it's almost perfumey in nature enticing to say the least...vinous as in from the vine notes run rampant as well. Amongst the poetry of aromatics this beer has to offer, comes an amazing spice mix and funky wild barnyard notes, in the words of Vince Vaughn's character in Swingers this beer is "so money". Taste definitely rings in with a rolling crescendo of different flavors, bready at times with hints of charred oak some bitterness from herbal hop bursts entwined with a caramel inspired malt profile. WIth thos spice additions delivered from the heavens above, also comes the backbone of the flavor profile that tart cider character. Delicious on multiple levels not much left to report here. Mouthfeel...this is beer that captivates your palate with it's medium body and fine carbonation it really goes down much too smooth. This is beer really captures the Belgian style ales mouthfeel that most American brewers have a hard time recreating and I'm guessing this is being pulled off with all of the traditional brewing methods. Drinkability is excellent on both in number and leaving me to desire more of the incredible flavors melded in this brew. This Haiwaiin/Spanish speaking individual up in Dexter, MI has not disappointed me yet and so far I've had the Bam biere, Blanca, Oro de Calablaza, and the Luciernaga all incredible I really admire these products.
08-17-2006 19:17:46 | More by WVbeergeek
4.33/5 rDev +7.7%
750 ml bottle pours a volcanic amber/caramel with floaties (cleared nicely) & 3+ fingers of fluffed up sand-colored head. Very good lacing & above average head retention
S: Sour & oaky, not picking up any weird/funky Brett notes (maybe gave it all up through fermentation? That'd be okay by me! )
T: Sourness, apple skins, oaky dryness & a hint of vanilla up front. Tart raspberry follows as this warms. Finishes sour, tart, slight caramel whispers. with tanic notes & hints of cherry & raspberries
MF: Medium-bodied, spritzy
Drinks great for a sour beer& the ABV; this is my 1st American Wild Ale. I'd just about given up on this brewery, this one takes me back to cautiously happy about their offerings, easily the best Jolly Pumpkin product I've had
08-14-2007 04:25:23 | More by russpowell
3.98/5 rDev -1%
My first Jolly Pumpkin, much anticipated, and great props are thrown to LuckySeven82 for providing. I nod at the wily pirate cat on the label, as I embark on my adventure...
Poured into a wide-mouthed La Trappe goblet, it's a distincitively cloudy crimson hue, adorned with a sturdy, long-play head of creamy amber foam.
Aroma? A heady mix of sour and yeast, wild and wooly, like the best of Belgians...a loud and lively nose, big and burly..puts me in mind of a more extroverted Maudite, maybe? Spicy, sour, yet sweet, and unearthly...I must admit, I like it...
Taste: hmmm...big carbonation, high alcohol, bold flavor, but doesn't quite reach what I feel it was going for, doesn't approach the promise of the aroma. I almost want to say "flat", but that would be wrong, just lacks in a forward, full flavor..misses something ethereal in the mix. Other than that disappointment, still quite nice.
And, I shy from seeming to strike at the knees of a new, starting, ambitious brewery, I recoil from calling this out as a failing.
It is tasty, it is a bright, fruity yeasty thing, and it is satisfying....but it's just missing something.
With enough encouragement, perhaps this little Michigan brewery could turn out something really great! (maybe it's waiting in my fridge with the 2 other JP beers in store for me?)
07-04-2005 06:11:55 | More by feloniousmonk
3.58/5 rDev -10.9%
Drinking this beer makes me wonder what the grand reserve is like, a lot.
Beer poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Beer is red and hazy, forms a thin head that disappears slowly leaving no evidence that it was ever there.
Aroma is bretty, mildly acidic, and has this mild cherriness about it. It smells interesting but its odd overall. Too many different things.
This beer is better cold than at room temperature. Its quite bretty in the mouth, mild tartness, sourness is moderate. There is some sweetness to it up front but mostly this is a brett bomb. Overall its pretty good for a wild, i wouldn't really describe this beer as overly fruity or sour. If I want a sour made with cherries I think I'll go for a supplication.
08-30-2010 16:33:31 | More by drabmuh
4.1/5 rDev +2%
Blend 2, bottled 3-18-10.
Been eyeing this in the fridge for a long time, waiting for a good day to do it. After a really long day at work, and more work coming this weekend, and lots of pain trying to buy a new house, I figured it was time to do it.
The long neck forces a slow pour and nice creamy bubbly head that fades pretty quickly though. THe beer itself is pretty clear rosy reddish light maroon color.
The nose is really nice. it has some light sour fruit, a little raspberry, a little bolotin cherry, tart fruits, but very juicy. A very light dry farmhouse funk, lacto style funk, but very light even though this beer has a bit of age. There's a touch of oak and vanilla, with a light creamy malt in the background, and just a faint hint of bourbon.
The taste is lighter than the nose, but not by a large margin. It is fairly sour and tart, with lots more nice fruit, with a little berry, and some sour bolotin cherry. Some acidity comes through, with a light creamy malt taste. Some nice oak tastes with a touch of vanilla. A very light warming booze, with some sweetness as well. A light red malt taste. And of course some lacto funk, a dry and slight farmhouse wild yeast funk, making itself known, but not dominating. More so than the nose at least. Some light bitterness comes through with that, most likely from the yeast and acidic fruit flavors. It finishes with a little flemmy taste, and lots of lingering tart fruit, pretty dry at the same time too.
The mouth is medium to lighter bodied with decent carbonation.
It has an OK drinkability, nothing special, but for a wild at 7% it's fairly drinkable. Some of the flemmy taste gives it a tougher swallow, and a very light warming booze with the sour and tart fruits. But for what it is, it's fairly drinkable.
09-25-2010 03:28:55 | More by jlindros
4.25/5 rDev +5.7%
blend 6, bottled on 3/2/2012. really really good stuff here. pours the color of the label, pale brick red with a paly syrup color undertone, some suspended yeast sediment that eventually settles to the bottom of the glass. small off white head, minimal retention, but some runners like a good red wine as it sips. smells like a brett sour, lots of tiny piquant dancers in my nose. amber malts backing it up, but way back. flavor is similar, big oaky sour vibes assault you every sip, starting on the front of the tongue and eventually dominating the entire palate. some nice complex medium amber malts happening, dusty and bouncing off the sour notes really well. feel is solid, effervescent carbonation and a whole lot of spunk. medium mody makes it rather drinkable and the abv could be anything, not noticeable at all. overall a great beer, my favorite jolly pumpkin so far.
05-09-2012 04:07:41 | More by StonedTrippin
4.2/5 rDev +4.5%
The beer pours a cloudy amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It smells of pale and crystal malts along with lambic bacteria. It's sour with a slight oak barrel aroma; very nice. The taste is great as well. It has a smooth bisquity amber flavor that goes down easy and finishes sour and earthy with some oakey notes. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer; probably the best that I've had from these guys. I have to say that this is a Flanders red ale (says so on the bottle). I don't know who declared the style for this one.
04-10-2007 22:10:58 | More by WesWes
3.78/5 rDev -6%
From 01/07/12 notes. Thanks to whoever shared this one at the last DC RB tasting. Blend 2, from 3/18/10.
a - Pours a murky orange amber color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.
s - Smells of lightly sour fruits, light funk, brett, oak, earthy notes, and barnyard funk. Very nice, a nice mix of fruits and funk.
t - Tastes of fruity malts, lightly sour fruits, barnyard funk, oak, earthy notes, and musty notes.
m - Medium body and low carbonation.
o - Overall a nice beer. Not my favorite JP beer, but seems to have held up well. Some light sour fruits and that JP beer, would have it again.
01-25-2012 16:45:33 | More by mdfb79
4/5 rDev -0.5%
Thanks to jcwattsrugger for sharing!
Pours orangeish amber with an off-white head. Some lacing sticks.
The smell is of a vinegar-y sour with cherries and some bready notes. Smells reminiscent of a tart/sour cherry pie.
The taste is of tart cherries with some caramel. Sour with a touch of sweetness. Some vanilla/oak comes through. Finishes dry.
Nice on its own - unique - but really shines with cream cheese covered with cherries.
08-11-2008 01:13:46 | More by jwc215
3.78/5 rDev -6%
Sampled lightly chilled, December 2004
Pours a hazy amber color, and is topped by a frothy full tan head. As I pour I get hints of apricot, orange, dust, and musty wood. Interesting enough to go in for a deeper contemplative smell. Hmm, this one smells wild and musty, almost has the aroma of a beer that has been in a corked bottle for a while, though this hasn't. I get fleeting spicy notes that are perhaps reminiscent of grains of paradise, ginger, clove, which then moves into malty notes mixed with musty wood notes. Quite an interesting mix of aromas, I am not quite to sure if the taste is going to be good or bad, it depends on which notes come through the most.
Ok, the taste, it is soft and lightly sweet up front, and then moves to a tangy, orange-like middle, then finishes with some astringency. Definitely an interesting beer. This beer is rich with a healthy dose of malt notes that are full of caramel, biscuits, and crusty French bread. The malt mixes with spicy notes of pepper, ginger, clove, and orange peel. There is a musty tartness to this beer that, though not overwhelming, certainly contributes to this beer. This beer finishes with a slightly hot, astringent finish that I am not quite able to pinpoint.
Ultimately, I think that this beer is a little out of wack, it is sort of in the gray zone between conventionally fermented single yeast strain fermented beers, infected beers, and beers that are fermented purposefully with wild, yet house derived character. This beer needs to decide which way it wants to go, and I would certainly be in favor of it going fully funky, if it can be kept in balance. Right now it is certainly interesting, certainly drinkable, and even enjoyable, but it seems a bit muddled by various competing fermentation by products. I could see a bottle of this beer being laid down for a year or two and becoming quite stellar, if not intriguingly different. While I am being quite critical here, this is a beer that I am quite enjoying, and I will look forward to procuring some more bottles of this beer. Cheers to Jolly Pumpkin for pushing the boundaries in the middle of America, and cheers to my personal Santa who delivered this treat to my doorstep.
12-29-2004 22:42:18 | More by Gueuzedude
4/5 rDev -0.5%
750 mL bottle, Blend 11 - 2009,
A: Pours burgundy with a light white head, great colour.
S: Caramel, lemons, and horse blanket/Brett.
T: Light malt flavour, but the taste is dominated by the acidity. Lots of acetic/Flemish Red type flavours, lemon, orange peel and copper as well.
M: Moderately acidic, light carbonation, soft to palate compared with most sour beers.
D: Good flavours and not overly super expensive in this style, what's not to like.
04-12-2010 02:15:28 | More by Halcyondays
4/5 rDev -0.5%
Appearance: pours a cloudy amber color with thin 1/2" head that immediately drops to a surface foam. No lacing develops.
Smell: caramels and ripe fruits.
Taste: caramel, ripe plums, hints of vanilla, mild bitterness, yeast, and a light sourness all wrapped in an earthy tone. Very differnent and interesting.
Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish. The aftertaste is short with the the caramel and fruits. Medium in body.
Drinkability: nicely drinkable, even though it is a bit on the funky side. Definitely worth a look.
04-14-2006 01:14:31 | More by Gavage
La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,592 ratings.