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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

1,679 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,679
Reviews: 754
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 142
Gots: 274 | FT: 22
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,679 | Reviews: 754 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JordanEllwanger
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very dark amber with a cream white head. Smells fruity alcohol and caramel reminds me of the liquor my Pip used to pour in his basement, a whiskey I think. A spice taste that reminds me of relish. A nice sour tart taste and feel. A good beer. One of the best Jolly Pumpkins I've had thus far.
Cheers.

JordanEllwanger, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of wl0307
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF 2010; "Blend 5, Bottled 5-27-10", served lightly-chilled in Gulden Draak's tulip-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a dark ruby amber hue, slightly murky, coming with a semi-thick beige frothy head with relatively good retention, plus healthy streams of tiny bubbles in action.
S: sour-sweetness of overripe green melons, sour cherries, Chinese amber prunes, salted+dried tangerine peels, and musty yeastiness floats on top of an enticing sheet of sweet vanilla-ish notes as of lightly-toasted white oak barrels added with a lingering Rioja Crianza/Reserva's oaky yet sour grapey aroma; given a swirl, a rather settled layer of honey-ish notes and nutmeg-like spiciness gets mixed with the omnipresent oaky aroma, allowing a note of amber malts to sneak through subtly. Very nice, very oaky, and moderately + pleasantly funky.
T: the healthy carbonation renders a nice effervescent mouthfeel upfront, the foretaste is subtly funky, sour-fruity (prune-ish + mildly cherry-ish), and lightly gristy-malty, leading towards an aftertaste filled with semi-dry, saison or farmhouse ale-like mustiness but in an understated manner, along with a lingering oaky undertone as of well-aged French red wines... the finish is semi-clean, with light notes of dried herbs+spices (licorice root + nutmeg) and residual bitterness as a reminder of funky yeasts and bitter hops.
M&D: this ale has shown a decent ageing potential, I'd say; the flavour profile is quite balanced, the body is medium-plus, and the carbonation is very healthy indeed (for this batch/blend); all in all, this is a very likeable oaky-funky ale.

wl0307, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

jlindros, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Dunkle
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a 750mL bottle at Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery in Ann Arbor. According to the sticker, this was bottled on August 27th, so it's quite fresh!

A: Dark amber in color. Reminds me of apple cider. Almost no head, even with a 90 degree poor.
S: Smells sweet, spicy, and sour with a hint of alcohol.
T: This has a lot of flavor. Sour fruit notes are apparent throughout, as well as some spices. Alcoholic, tart aftertaste.
M: Relatively high carbonation, but it fits this brew well. The medium body feels good in the mouth and on the palate.
D: I was surprised that this is only 7.7% ABV; it tasted like more. I sipped this and am glad I split this one.

Worth a try.

Dunkle, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of pdoran10
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out a clean amber brown color with a small amount of head that quickly fades and does not leave much lacing.

smell is a faint sharp sour, with a hint of must and funk. not strong smells, but pleasant.

taste is slight sour bite up front, quickly blended with a light cherry and berry flavor, slight vanilla oak presence in the finish. feels like the bite and funk are a bit missing here could if it had more of both.

mouthfeel is standard thickness for style a bit thin, but stylistically correct. carbonation is lacking. could really use a good amount more.

very approachable drinkable sour. could have many of these, but i wish some of the flavors weren't so faint.

pdoran10, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of bbeane
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a DFH snifter... a murky dark beer pours from the bottle with a nice frothy finger thick white head that slowly disappears, but not completely. A decent amount of head still lingers 10 minutes from the pour. Appears to be some sediment resting at the bottom of the glass

S- Initially not very aromatic, but after some swirls of the snifter... wood and bourbon or booze mixed with a slightly sweet slightly vinegary smell

T- Very interesting... Slighly sweet slightly vinegary start with a oaky backbone

M- Lighter body with light carbonation

D- Its an interesting beer and worth the try if you enjoy different brews. That being said, I don't think it's a beer a would go out looking for...

CHEERS!!

bbeane, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of laituegonflable
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice red-tinged amber colour, quite hazy through the body. Head is quite wonderfully dense on top, leaves some really nice trails of lace around. Head retains a good amount. Yeah, nice head, very nice lace, haze is good too, all pretty damn nice.

Okay, nose is certainly a tart one. Lots of underripe fruit notes, cranberry with other berries - raspberry, blackberry. Lots of funk as well with that slight washed-rind-cheese note. But yeah, pleasant, refreshing. Goodly amount of sourness.

Taste is very rich and strong. Quite tart for the most part with lots of cranberry and funky cheese notes, some blackberry as well and hints of pear and apple. Lots of tasty tart fruit, sour even, but all very fresh and lively. Slight buttery flavour underlies it all, but doesn't really come to the fore. Overall it's a bit simple, just strikes me as all the bits of an American Wild Ale with nothing extra special here.

What is special though is the mouthfeel. Awesome texture, just a very slight tingle from carbonation, great body, great feel. If all beer felt like this I'd be a very happy man.

Yeah, a tasty, refreshing beer. If it had more character this would be sensational, but it's very drinkable.

laituegonflable, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

drabmuh, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of deapokid
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 13, 2009.

Overflowed for about 10 minutes, sending red liquid all over the floor, my shirt and the kitchen counter.

Color is a deep cherry red with a thin coating of a head that forms a ring around the glass. Carbonation is moderate, if not a bit lively for the style. Wasn't able to identify any sediment in the glass, but did notice chunky red flecks while cleaning it off the counter. Looks elegant and sweet.

Aromas include the fresh grape notes of a sauvigon blanc, oak barrels, a little hint of the barnyard must and a strong dose of alcohol. A bit fruitier than most wild ales, which is to its advantage.

Taste is sour (obviously) backed with vinegary notes and an oak aftertaste. The wine comparisons are endless, from the dry tanniny flavor to the tart cherry sweetness to the intriguing spice blend (think basil and paprika). There's also a lingering saltiness, which may make this a pleasant accompaniment to a steak or pork chop.

Liquid leaves behind an acidic and tart resin that burns the tongue and deadens the palate a bit. I know this sounds a bit like a criticism, but an all encompassing dryness in a sour beer is rather pleasant.

Although this can be a bit too acidic, it's a very interesting take on the style and it's fun to seek out all of the unusual flavors. It would have received an even better review if it hadn't been enjoyed in such close proximity to several glasses of Consecration.

deapokid, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of jpoder
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a: reddish hue light in color decent head that lingers pretty well

s: clean sour cherry smell. would actually like to see this a little funkier...this is pretty young (says bottled in 6/2010, so I'd imagine if I cellared this beer it would get funky in time)

t: nicely sour, tart, OAK, sourness is strong up front, then fades quickly to oak. finishes very dry and tart. delicious! slight acetic taste in the back of my throat as I drink...not as strong as Rodenbach, but same idea...I like this a lot.

m: very light, thin body, but suits this very well.

d: boy I could drink a bunch of this. very tasty, nicely sour, nice oak. this is a really great beer!

jpoder, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Healthy Spirits in San Fran, and lovingly carted back to Sydney Australia to crack open with @LaitueGonflable.

Slightly hazy reddish amber colour, with a good and vivid head of creamy white foam like full-cream milk. Lacing is absolutely superb, giving such intricate patterns down the side of the glass. Carbonation is surprisingly absent for a wild.

Big sour characters on the nose, with robust oak notes and big vinous, almost vinegar notes. Very classic American wild notes, but with a surprising carbonic acidity to it - surprising mainly because it's not very exceptionally carbonated.

Taste is very astringent, the acidity really comes through a lot. Lots of oak, with a strong bitterness coming through the back, but it's a weird almost spiritous bitterness - nothing like hops or roasted grain. Mouthfeel is spritzy and light, which very much suits the style.

It's a nice enough beer, but it's a little bit too acidic and intense, without the complexity to make it really exceptional. I've had better Wilds, and better beers from Jolly Pumpkin. Still, it's hard not to respect it.

lacqueredmouse, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of clegolfski
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A = Nice fluffy white head. Brownish red in color

S = Tartness not alot of funk

T = Pretty Tart up front but it fades quickly into an earthy, slightly funky taste to really that memorable

M = very thin and leaves a bit to be desired

D = Meh. Some flavor but after having La Folie leaves me a bit wanting. It seems other pumpkin offerings have more going on.

clegolfski, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of uturn
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into an Augustijn Grand Cru glass.

A: Poured with a nice 2 finger head.

S: The nose wasn't as funky as I had recalled in the past and the only aroma I picked up was that of souring cherries.

T: The taste was mostly mildly tart cherries and then a mild sweetness followed in this very refreshing ale.

M & D: Mild to medium body and quite drinkable.

I enjoyed this brew today but I've had much better beer from Jolly Pumpkins before. They are in the top 20 of my favorite brewers in the USA.

uturn, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of doubleipa
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great big head, pretty hazy body, and brown hue. Aroma was grain, flowers, herbal, light yeast, and granny smith apples. Long finish with a medium body, dry texture, and lively carbonation. Can really taste the oak, which gets more intense at the finish lingers.

doubleipa, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of berpwillie
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a semi-transparent ruby color with good off white head, good lacing, and lively carbonation. sour fruity smell, taste is much the same with a bit of dryness to it. moderately sweet. tart and sour but still on the moderate side. lite body, with a thin slick texture that's a bit chalky and sour in the finish. average flavor duration. very mellow and smooth but still delicious.

berpwillie, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my lost Abbey stemware. Poured brown in color with a frothy off white head taking up the top 1/2 inch of the glass. The head had some decent retention and left some great lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a very nice mix of sweet, fruity, malty flavors and a tart, funky, sour flavor. It has a lot of sweet and sour cherry flavor coming through in the nose as well as some grape and apple cidery flavors. Very complex and appealing aroma to it overall.

The taste is a little more moderate in the sourness then what was in the nose. It has more of a tart fruitiness to it with a moderate sourness coming through more in the finish. Some apple, grape and cherry flavors all come through in the fruitiness. Some caramel and malty flavors help give the beer a nice base.

The mouthfeel is a little above medium bodied and carbonation is also above average. Drinkability is pretty good, it had a lot of great flavors to it. It was pretty well balanced between the tart and sour flavors and the sweet fruity flavors which definitely helped the drinkability. Very good beer overall.

billab914, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of jminsc76
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick white head with plenty of lacing; sitting atop a deep red, ruby body. The head dies down in due time and does not reemerge with much vigor, but consistently existent.

A complex nose with plenty of sour, funky horse blanket; cherries (both sour and dark); and caramel. Quite the excellent bouquet that gives more and more upon each sniff.

The flavors are also very impressive, with the spices spreading out across the entire palate, followed by some funky earthiness up front and on the finish. Tastes like a Flanders Red making love to an Orval (the QUEEN of Trappist ales, mind you).

Mouthfeel is thin and light; the flavors are the punch of this beer.

Overall, very impressed with this one. When colder, exhibits the refreshing goodness of a Rodenbach or an Oude Tart; as it warms, much more of the funky horse-blanket starts coming through and delivering an uncanny yet pleasant experience.

jminsc76, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of divineaudio
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

1pt 9.4 fl oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. blend 4 bottled on 4-23-10.

pours a gorgeous hazy copper with a pinky of off white head. head calms to a thin film that lasts throughout. leaves some spotty lacing in the glass.

smells like a glass of red wine with a bit of woodiness and biscuity malt. slight alcohol presence.

taste is sour, acidic and fruity. i can just barely pick out some malt character and a bit of oak, but no hop flavor. really tastes more like wine to me than beer.

mouthfeel is lighter with a puckery sourness. lots of carbonation, but avoids being prickly or fizzy.

i can see why wild ales are an acquired taste, i had a hard time finishing this bottle. the flavors were pretty off putting at first, but improved a bit as i worked my way through the bottle. even still, i won't be revisiting this beer or even this style anytime soon.

divineaudio, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of Reaper16
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle - batch 2008, 4 - served into a goblet

Pours an opaque butterscotch/garnet color. It is mostly butterscotch brown but has a certain reddish tint to it in places. Two solid fingers of buttermilk colored head sits on top - all creamy like - and never goes away. Lovely, spindly lacing too.
If only the color itself was more attractive.

Lactic acid, canned fruit cocktail and this unique potpurri/lavender/body wash sort of fragrance all hit the nose with equal strength. Some lemon, of course. A bit of barrel aged woodsy quality (but not up to the strength of a Russian River wild ale).

The taste is, well, more muted than I expected. The first thing you notice is that La Roja is less sour than you expected. I've had bottles of Bam Biere that are more sour. Faint lemon juice, wild strawberry, some bile. Not much funk to speak of, just a light touch of musty basement. There is way more sweetness than in most Wild Ales I've had. Sweet amber malt is evident. Some bread crusts and light honey. I'm scoring it a 4.0 because it is pretty nice, even though far less tart than I'd prefer.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid. Appropriate carbonation - not prickly at all but evident - but perhaps a bit thin given all the sweetness. On one hand, the light tartness makes this very drinkable. On the other hand, experienced sour beer drinkers wouldn't want to drink a whole lot of this. Good overall, I'd say.

Very solid beer. Not spectacular. Needs to be more sour for me. But I can't deny that it does a lot of things very well. I think it objectively a good beer, even if I don't see myself buying this again.

Reaper16, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of timtim
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

man, there is a lot going on here... deep, dark amber with a tan head that holds well and leaves a good amount of lace. soft caramel and a savory maple syrup (like pancakes with bacon and syrup?) scent hit me first followed by funk and vinegar and wrapped up with wood and musty, earthy fruitiness. the wild and sour sides come out a lot as it warms. taste is all of the above, and it seems to have a peaty almost whiskeyish note in the finish. i know it's barrel aged, but is it bourbon barrel aged? just a little too hot for me, but interesting, complex and well made.

timtim, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of GregoryVII
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

La Roja was drank the night Spain won the world cup, of all things. Poured a 1/2 inch thick white head, with red and brown hues in the beer itself. Unfiltered sediment congregated in small gatherings hovering just above the bottom of the glass.

The scent is sweet and sour, with grapes, apple, cider and balsamic vinegar and just a suggestion of acidity that clears the nose a bit. Initially the flavor is a tart fruitiness, berries and apple cider that transforms to a sour, lemon tart with a burst of citric acidity. There is a definite woody character from the barrels that settles in over the course of the experience as well. Not upfront, not intense, more of a rounded flavor. There is decent, but understated carbonation and a light-medium body that is maybe just a touch on the watery side.

GregoryVII, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Naugros
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serious froth! It starts to bubble up as soon as you pop the top and it will not allow you to fill your glass in one pour. You're lucky to get halfway with the pour until you have to stop and let the head settle. Pour again, wait for head to settle. Repeat. You'll get there. The head is beige and billowy, like a good Belgian. And the beer is reddish-brown like a good piece of teriyaki beef jerky.

From the first smell you can tell you have a Belgian-style sour ale. Sour fruit with caramel malt and some brandy tossed in to wake you up. There's a bit of a medicinal quality to it, however and it's not just the mustiness I'm getting that you'd typically associate with a kriek.

As I sip, the alcohol is the first to stand up and shout for attention. It hits the back end of the palate, but fades to allow the other players their time on the stage. Look past it and the sourness comes through clearly...dark cherries. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they imported Morellos for this, but I can't be sure. There's a slight caramel tone from the malts right up front, but it's gone almost as soon as it's perceived. Pity. The alcohol continues to assert it's place, but dances offstage with some spicy notes...maybe rosemary.

Let it warm a little and the heat backs off a little, letting the sour fruit to take front stage with strong support from the caramel. The spice profile changes a bit; the rosemary is accompanied by some pepper.

The carbonation is ample and these guys seem to have taken a note from the Belgians on how to utilize the proteins in the beer and make bacteria do its thing in adding flavor and mouthfeel. I only wish they knew how to mask the alcohol a little better, as it detracts from the other flavors.

Naugros, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of dasenebler
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blend 14, 2008. 750mL straight bottle.

Pours a murky, reddish brown with a small head that retains and laces pretty well.

Nose is fruity and funky. I get tart strawberry coupled with barnyard aromas.

Flavor is very tart and bitter, with a slight touch of toasted malt sweetness. This beer is far more sour than expected, even though I knew what I was getting into with a Flanders Red style. Acidic, vinous flavors abound. The barrel aging comes through every now and then, providing woody, oaky notes that are quite nice. Finish is bone-dry, with a funky, earthy aftertaste. The medium-low carbonation and relatively light mouthfeel suit the beer well. Quite refreshing and not heavy in any way, shape or form.

This is a very authentic-tasting Flanders Red. Well played, Jolly Pumpkin.

dasenebler, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of Ghenna
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife is a big fan of wild (sour) ales, and the kitty on the label was the tipping point for this one. Bomber purchased from the Davis foods coop in June 2010. Blend 8 2009

Poured a red/amber with 1 finger of off white head that recedes quickly but leaves a minimal layer of suds atop the beer through the first 33% of the beer.

Nose is of mild alcohol, mild sweet, and mild spice. Put together it makes for a tempting combination of all that should be in a an American wild ale. That bit fruit/spice mixed with a tartness that entices one to drink.

Flavor is a home run in terms of American attempts at wild ales. Initially, its a dry sour taste- the wife describes it as refreshing. The pug seems interested as well. Were I to describe it as an experience- I would say that it reminds me a little of rock sugar candy, with a taste of fruit at the end.

All told I (and the wiv) have been really pleased with what we've had the opportunity to taste from Jolly Pumpkin. We ate it with rachel Ray's super sloppy joes, which was a bad pairing, but it seems like it would be good with a salmon or a spicy dish, which is to say not a sweet dish. Although it isn't a Lambic (the gold standard of sour ales) it is quite a pleasing offering from Jolly Pumpkin, as have been all of their beer I've tried thus far. We will definitely be picking up more from them.

Ghenna, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of DukeKensington
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When I bought this beer I didn't realize it was barrel aged. I read Amber Ale and then grabbed the bottle. I've had a few others from Jolly Pumpkin, and I'm always curious to try an amber ale. It says a lot about this beer that even though I took my first sip expecting a vastly different beer, I wasn't even remotely put off by what I got.

A - A fairly murky burgundy with a very attractive head that recedes quickly.

S - My first hint that something was different about this amber. Tons of fruit aromas. Coming back to it later after realizing it had been barreled age the oak was a little more obviously present, but still just barely.

T - Sour, but still very sweet. The oak flavors were way stronger than the aromas. A few other (not unpleasant) flavors I couldn't really identify that I might chalk up to yeast. But I could be totally wrong. If all ambers tasted like this I would drink more of them.

M - I can basically best describe the mouth feel with the word "wine". Fairly thin, with a pleasantly mild amount of carbonation.

D - One of the best beers I've had lately. It solves the "beers my girlfriend would like" conundrum very easily. As an added bonus, the alcohol content is not outrageously high. Of course, it's not exactly cheap, but definitely worth the money spent.

DukeKensington, Jul 02, 2010
La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,679 ratings.