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La Roja - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
La RojaLa Roja

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1,789 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,789
Reviews: 763
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 145
Gots: 291 | FT: 21
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-14-2004

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,789 | Reviews: 763 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brnavarra
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of CTAID
4.59/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite brews. Described as an American Wild, but I would go as far as to call it a Flanders Red. Reddish copper in appearance, thin head that dissipates but leaves lacing. Smells like only Jolly Pumpkin beers can smell. A funky mixture of citrusy, vinegary, barnyard 'off flavors', oak, lactic acid, and flavors undistinguishable. Yeeeeah. Taste follows the nose, the malt and the hops are not the star of this show. Moderate carbonation, maybe a little bit more than moderate, gives a nice tingly feeling. Very vinegary. Fantastic beer.

Photo of NarcoSolo
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of LampertLand
2.53/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not sure why the liquor clerk had this with pumpkin ales but I gave one try and learned something , I'm not a fan of American Wild Ales , tasted more like a Barley Wine than an pumpkin ale , maybe that's what a Artisan Ale is ? Lesson learned maybe this will help someone in the future

Cheers LampertLand

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

Reddish copper, slightly hazy, it has a big pale tan head slowly shrinking to foamy ring and a few weak wisps of lace.

Aroma is sour fruits, winy wood, hints of cheese and funkiness, some hay and bread crust.

Taste is lightly tart citric juiciness, vinegar hint, sour fermented plums, wet wine-soaked wood with wood, toasted barley, and bitter leaves in the finish. It has funky winey, juicy, yeasty elements, bread crust, leaves, plus sweetness, tartness, and bitterness all well balanced. It has very good character, well rounded complexity and breadth and is very drinkable. However, it lacks depth and seems a bit thin and light as if all the character is on the edge of evaporating into nothingness.

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

A vibrant red/amber colored beer with generous carbonation fueling a thin, tan head. There is a little lacing on the sides, but the bubbles aren't tight enough to hold on.
There is also ample sediment for those of you that want to know if it was actually bottle conditioned...it was.

This beer maintains a delicate balance between sweet and sour. The only noticeable fruit in the nose is cherries.

The fruitiness that is less distinct in the nose presents itself as boldly tart cherries, unripened banana and peaches. There is a little funkiness, but mainly it's a well made amber ale touched by the sour fairy princess.

It's quite a sour beer, but not the most sour beer I've had. The carbonation and sweetness does a lot to push a vinegary, sour beverage to being both drinkable and elegant.
There is a slightly bitter and funky aftertaste that lingers, but it's not as strong as other sours I've had.

The beer's pretty sour and is definitely worth the price. It's no cantillon, but it gives me hope that someday...on the east coast...we can drink some tasty sours!
Even though they're still made several states away.
I would compare this beer to an ommegang zuur.

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a bad looking beer. I may have poured it a bit cold, which leads to minimal head upon initial pour. A nice tight head of tiny off-white bubbles.

The first thing I notice is a Cantillon-like smell. Apple skin and red grape tannins are nice. Almost smells a bit more fruity than a Cantillon. Apple vinegar is minute, but there.

Theres a good bit oak barrel to be found. Sour cherries, tart green apples, and sour grapes. Very light body, and very drinkable. The noticeable absent is the Brett funk that I seem to found a touch of in the nose, but I actually like its absence.

Photo of falcon1
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Rob315
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of DSlim71
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of TheBeerologist
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of actone2001
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My third attempt at trying a sour/wild. Bomber with a sticker that reads 'Blend 10 Bottled 8-27-10'

A - Brick red, orange/reddish brown. Cloudy. Small head that doesn't last.

S - Funk, Sour Cherry and apple. Not off putting for a beginner in this realm.

T - Much like the smell, i get tartness and sour cherry up front. Little bit of sour green apple. I taste a bit of nice oak, and funk as it glides across the tongue.

M - High on carbonation. Medium body.

D - The 7.2% isn't noticeable a bit, and for a sour I could drink this all night. Finished a bomber by myself without a problem.

As far as I'm concerned, this is an exceptional brew. I'm glad that I went with La Roja as my next attempt to appreciate sours. The wood, the sour and funk are extremely well balanced. I'd say this is a great sour for somebody who is just starting in this style.

Re-review notes 1/2/12 - la Roja was one of the first wild ales that tried and I loved it. I still think it is a quality brew, I just like different things in this style now. It's Tart, but does not have the lactic bite that I strive for. I readjusted my ratings based on what I felt after I recently tried nit. Still a great soured brown, and I'd like to see what this beast taste like with some age on it. I still think everybody should start with this beer if dabbling in the style, as it is a great example of what is to come when drinking further 'wild/sours'.

Photo of jwhancher
4.94/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a bottle down at Total Wine in DE. Heard some great things about this beer so I opened it to enjoy during this year's Winter Classic. Go Flyers!

A: pours a murky amber with finger wide head. Head fades down to a thin lacing. Sticker on bottle says "Blend 8 - bottled on 6/10/2011".

S: mild to moderate sourness. Subtle oak, caramel, some spiciness, with a nice floral bouquet which reminds me of an elegant red wine.

T: moderate sourness with an acetic vinegar like quality that carries a red grape like taste. Superb.

M: sour with a nice bitter bite. Feels moderately full. After my second fill in my snifter, I'm feeling the alcohol but it neither smells nor tastes like 7.2% ABV.

O: a fantastic American wild ale. Can't believe I didn't try out JP's offerings before this. Will definitely check out more and will revisit this one again when I'm yearning for a sour ale that's both available and somewhat affordable.

Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of fdkayti
3.42/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear amber/red with a crisp, short-lived white head. Leaves spotty lacing.

S- Smells slightly acidic, reminiscent of green apples or under-ripe berries.

T- Light fruits (peaches, pears, apples) lend to a crisp, clean flavor. Tartness follows the nose with the green apple flavors, almost vinegar-like. A certain sweetness rounds things out.

MF- High carbonation and light, airy mouthfeel. Crisp. Not much comes to mind.

O/D- A good wild ale for someone who hasn't had a lot of exposure (ie me). Sourness is mild but present, not overwhelming. A good introduction to both Jolly Pumpkin and the style.

Photo of Duff27
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a half inch off white head on a dark copper body. Average lacing and head retention.

S- Aromas of apples and acidity.

T- Somewhat sour but relatively tame compare to others in it's style. Fruity character.

M- Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D/O- Tartness could be upped a tad and would make for a better overall beer. As is, an enjoyable wild that fails to make it to the upper echelon.

Photo of DoctorDog
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of justintcoons
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a flute. Blend 8 - bottled 6/10/2011

A: Pours amber with excellent clarity. Has a short head that dissipates quickly. Lively carbonation and fine webbed lacing.

N: Black cherry, raspberry, a hint of lactic acid, citrus, tropical fruits and naked oak.

T: Light vinegar, black cherry, raspberry and some light orange citrus upfront. Lightly toasted grains, lemon, pineapple and lactic acid follow. Finishes with naked oak, former sour notes, papaya and chardonnay.

M: Medium bodied, tart, semi-sticky and dry.

O: Easy drinking sour. Sour lactic/vinegar notes are excellent mingled with tropical and citrus fruits and a light graininess.

Photo of rmaste6282
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of hurfer
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of kenzak
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of EnemyWithin
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

La Roja. Bottle in Duvel tulip on Dec 9,2011.

Appearance: 3.5
Red brown with slight haze and faint incomplete rim of brown-yellow head. Mild lacing.

Smell: 4
Mild to moderate sour aroma with “Rockets” candy notes (sweet and tart). Also get soft barnyard funk. Very approachable, but with solid elements of “a sour beer” in the nose

Taste: 4.5

Moderate sourness with faint lemon and spice notes as well as mild sweetness for malt. No “vingeriness” at all. Also notes of tart fruit, and slight florals. Overall, quite good, esp with food.

Had second half of beer with chicken enchiladas, with the pairing definitely enhancing the flavors of the both the beer and food.

Mouthfeel: 4

Mild carbonation with slightly sour mouthfeel. Mild to moderate thickeness.

Overall: 4.5

Very great, approachable sour. Easy drinking, but still interesting with good complexity. The sour element is prominent, but does not overwhelm or seem too extreme. Strongest offering from Jolly Pumpkin I have tried so far. Will seek out again.

Photo of smithmd4
5/5  rDev +24.4%

La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,789 ratings.