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Luciérnaga, The Firefly - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Luciérnaga, The FireflyLuciérnaga, The Firefly

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

863 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 863
Reviews: 377
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 62
Gots: 92 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: putnam on 10-28-2004

June
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 863 | Reviews: 377 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750,

A: Pours golden with fizzy white head, but good retention.

S: Relatively light nose, some funky malt is there.

T: Definite Brett earthy character, wool, with a hint of lime and sweet citrus in the finish.

M: Very mildly acidic for JP, soft and easy carbonation which I like, medium-bodied overall.

D: I remember having a bottle of this back in early 2007 and it was one of the best bottles of my early drinking career, it blew my mind, a 5 in taste easy. I've tasted it a couple times since then; frankly, it's not as good as I remember. This bottle in taste would be 3.5-4, that's it. I put it at 4.5 because of the memory of that original bottle, but it's not as good as that currently.

Photo of orangesol
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Ffej of July IX

A - Pours murky amber orange with a thick two finger tall white head leaving thick rings of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of bright citric fruit, lots of barn yard funk, the typical JP brett, and just a tiny bit of acidic sourness.

T - Starts off with a big dose of dry barnyard funk from the brett slowly giving way to a mix of lemon, even more bready yeast, and a faint kiss of caramel sweetness. The finish is even more chewy brett, leaving the pallet dry for some time. This one really grew on me over the course of the weekend.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Lots of tart funk in the feel, lingering through the finish.

O - I had quite a few of these over the two days and it really began to grow on me. It had just enough funk without being too overpowering.

Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of yourefragile
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Chilled hazy copper, golden amber color with steady carbonation. A massive, rocky foamy white head with great retention and large sticky webs of lacing. Later pours are a little cloudier as I have trouble keeping the sediment out of the glass in the pour.
S: Fairly sharp, slightly sour, very earthy aroma. Slightly spicy (coriander and pepper) and some ripe fruit, but not sweet. Not overly complex, the musty earthiness is the strongest smell.
T: Medium body with strong, bubbly carbonation. Light and zesty in the finish. Body is slightly sour and very earthy like the nose. Grass, grains, orange, pepper, coriander and other fruit rind like flavors are prominent. Body and finish is fairly dry, yet full. Personally, I would like a little more sweetness or tartness to put this beer over the top for me, but still an excellent American take on this style (reminds me a lot of an Orval).

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sticker on bottle: Blend 1 Bottled 4-22-10

Pours a hazy golden orange with a huge off-white fine head and gobs of lacing. Smell is dominated by Bretty yeast funk, hay and barnyard with some herbal, orange and spice too. Taste is mildly tart with a peppery spice and some typical Belgian biscuit-like yeast. Mouthfeel is tingly and clean with a bit of muted pepper on the finish. Overall, a nice one, but somehow was expecting something a little more complex and layered.

Photo of woodychandler
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I had a small sample at the January 2006 Heavyweight Open House and I thought it good then, but my curiosity was really piqued when gueuzegeek chastised me for not knowing about the brewery or the brewer. I was really excited when I discovered it on cask at Spuyten Duyvil on my way to BOS for the EBF.

It started slowly for me, as a lightly cloudy, medium-amber colored beer with a very thin, white head that evidenced low retention. Further, the mouthfeel was on the thin and watery side. Enough of the negatives! The nose had a wild mix of brett and apple cider. It was simultaneously tart and sweet on the tongue with the brett lingering on the finish. As it warmed, the mouthfeel thickened and the apple and citrus flavors began to assert themselves. The brett was a lingering tartness throughout the beer, but it was not as overwhelming as it has been in other beers that I have tried.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; batch 813/814, bottled on 6/6/2011. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 2 finger fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big tart apple, lemon, pear, pepper, clove, coriander, grass, hay, funk, floral, herbal, light leather, and earthy yeast spiciness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity, funk, and spicy notes. Taste of tart apple, pear, lemon, pepper, clove, coriander, hay, grass, light leather, and earthy spiciness. Light earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart light fruits, coriander, pepper, clove, grass, hay, light leather, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of fruity and spicy notes with funkiness; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent spiced Belgian pale ale! Great balance and complexity of tart fruit, funk, and spicing; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Is it just me, or do others seem to have carbonation issues with every bottle from Jolly Pumpkin? Yup - another gusher...after a few HUGE head pours and more foaming from the bottle, this one settled down perhaps 45 mins after being opened...so it ends up looking medium apricot, semi cloudy, long lasting and wild looking tan head, plenty of eccentric lacing and a nice floral, yeasty nose. Yummy, yeasty brew, the expected coriander, medium spicing and fruity notes. Quite drinkable, complex and well worth trying this one, just try to get a fresh and well cared for bottle, from a store you trust and good luck to you...

Photo of corby112
3.39/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes:

Pours a hazy dark golden orange/amber color with a large, two finger frothy, off-white head with very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring. Large chunks of lacing left behind.

Spicy aroma with sweet citrus and light fruit notes as well as some subtle hops ans sweet alcohol. Hints of pepper and coriander along with some orange peel, apple and pear in the nose.

Medium bodied, slightly tart and puckering with a bit of earthy oak, zesty spice, sweet fruit and mild alcohol. Tight carbonation with subtle earthy oak which is countered by spicy pepper and coriander as well as sweet citrus peel, apple and pear. Dry finish.

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to Brian700 for this...
Appears a glowing gold with a 2 finger white head and lots of lacing.
The smell is of oak aged light vanilla and bourbon with a sweet fruitiness.
Taste is of smooth vanilla and light sugary citrus with a Belgian yeast that's evident in the undertones of crisp brew.
Mouthfeel is smooth and warming with the carbonation just right.
Drinkability is nice but there is a bit of alcohol detectable towards the end. Everything these guys do is right, from the barrel aging to the addition yeast in the bottles. Great stuff.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange golden color. Good head, only minimal lacing.

The aroma is a little funky with some barnyard smells, some brett sourness, and some soft spice.

The taste is a nice blend of wild ale flavors, a touch of sweetness and spice. Starts with a little candy sugar sweetness, and then morphs into a soft funkiness with a touch of sourness, and finally some coriander and cinammon.

Nice light and refreshing mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Very drinkable and interesting. A nice beer.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Capone's in Philadelphia.

The beer is hazy and yellow with a soft white head. The aroma brings spice, funk, citrus. The beer is quite tasty, and the funk flavor emerges much more as the beer warms. Citrus and spice add nice depth and complexity. The feel is thin bodied with a distinctive Jolly Pumpkin finish. An interesting and enjoyable brew, especially if you appreciate funky, eccentric beers.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, brought back to Sydney Australia and shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a lovely bright, but cloudy honeyed amber colour, with a fine, but lively head of pocked off-white. Some patchy lacing as its tilted, but the body doesn't seem particularly heavy enough to sustain it for very long. Looks good overall.

Nose is bright and crisp, with subtle hints of funk and oak giving a really rustic tone to everything. Some slightly buttery tones, and a hint of mint and lemon giving a real freshness. Very pleasant indeed.

Taste is flatter than expected, and missing the bright acidity that would have helped it along. Faint, slightly empty characters of watered wine with a touch of herbal vegetation. There's a touch of metallic bitterness on the back, and a slight lilt of funk and mild tartness on the finish but overall it's quite flat. No faulting it for drinkability of course: the bright crispness and the undeniable flatness on the palate make it dangerously easy to swig.

Overall, another very solid beer from Jolly Pumpkin. Unfortunately, I feel as though I now have astronomical expectations for each new beer of theirs I try. This is still a very good beer, but I always expect a world class one.

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of BARFLYB
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Memphis Taproom, served in a tulip.

The Firefly has a hazy bronze appearance with some gold trimmings. A whisp of off white foam on top that has pretty good legs, leaving some minor spots on the glass. Looks a shade darker than the standard Belgian pale ale. Smell is fruity, a lot of esters. bready yeast and some earthy hop aroma. I get a nice sniff of apple skins with traces of orange. Not sure if this is aged in any sort of barrel but some wood accompanies the pale ale, some floral aspect. Fruity in the middle with apple orange and coriander. A bready finish with yeast. Pretty light bodied, not as spritzy in the mouth as other Belgian pales, this could stand to be a bit crisper but im just nitpicking. A glass of this is ok for me, a whole bottle would be better shared.

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Ffej of July.

A: The pale ale is amber orange, a coppery color. More head than is good for anyone, the thick white foam clings and coagulates, taking a very long time to dissapate.

S: Funky horseblanket aromas, dirty brett, dominate, lending citrus and tartness to the mix. Lemons and fleshy fruits stand out.

T: Brett does a number on the ale, smoothing over biscuity malts with extreme recklessness. The brett dries the ale out, leaving tart citric acid flavors, maybe even a little acetic, behind. Lemons and vinegar, more of the former than the latter. Dry fruits, just a little sugary (the ale is quite dry, recall), add more flavor. In the end, though, it all comes back to the brett and how it completely controls the flavor profile. The tart recoil upfront and lingering lemon in the finish are nice.

M: The mouthfeel takes a bit of time to adjust to even though I've had the beer many times. That tartness is jarring, a refreshing citric blast.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a glowing orange hazy body with a thick light tan head that is creamy but turns rocky and last for most of the bottle in this state. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that collect to form the bottom of the head.

S- This beer has a tart aged vinegar note with an oak and wet wood aroma. The faint spicy finish has green hops coming through as it warms.

T- The age vinegar tartness has a big grapefruit tartness in the finish that also has a spicy note similar to the smell. The tastes of soft aged cheese, tangelo and grapefruit come through as it warms giving it a nice complexity that grows through the bottle.

M- This beer has as medium-full mouthfeel with a smooth creamy quality in the beginning. The finish is a dry with no astringency noticed.

D- This beer has a nice flavor of wild ales and hops with makes it interesting and flavorful.

Photo of chinchill
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

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

Luciérnaga, despite its deep orange colour, does indeed emit a good deal of glaring light. This luminosity persists even after I've considerably mucked up the clarity by pouring in some of the sediment. Its head is a spectacle - the kind of spectacle normally ever only observed in Belgian ales. From the pour it was overly zealous, layer upon layer of bubbles would stockpile until soon there was as much foam as there was beer.

But it didn't take long before the appearance was again in proper proportion. Although much of it is now crystallized in thick reams onto the glass, what foam still floats above the beer is ultra creamy, with large bumpers of foam surrounding the outskirts and a giant mass of caked froth imposingly plunked in the middle like some monumental two-ton statue.

Musty and confounding smells exhume from under that soapy lather. It is a sort of fruity character that emerges, with complimenting hints of yeasty fresh-baked bread as well as a light acidity that comes to very closely resemble tangerine or other tropical fruits. It is a tinge floral, with each sip the fleeting scent of orange blossoms. Its perfumy, peppery must is surely the coriander and grains of paradise. Damn, this smells delicious.

And perhaps that is because it is more and more reminding me of one of my favourite beers - Orval. It has that same funky, bready Brett character that results from inoculating the beer with wild yeasts and/or bacteria. This yeast and the barrel have each imparted a lightly tart/vinegary, very dry, fairly funky character. The lemon juice-like, lingering tartness is a great match for the bready sweetness of the pale malts.

The brewer should also be commended for using the spices with proper restrain. Although I wonder if I would have actually clued in to their inclusion if I hadn't already read so on the label, I'm enjoying the secondary flavour and texture they impart. The faint peppery spice is an added dimension to the softly sweet pale malts and the arid dryness of the yeast. The carbonation is lower than expected and the mouthfeel is exceptionally creamy.

Jolly Pumpkin may be dedicated to the "traditions of old world craftsmanship" but they're also clearly intent on new world innovation. Although time-consuming maturation, barrel aging and the use of wild yeasts have become more common amongst micro-brewers these days, it should be noted that this Michigan brewery was among the first to dare to try. One can only assume it is because of successes like the Firefly that others decided to follow suit.

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's beers like this that remind me I'm just not all that "in" to sours. On tap at the TDR hopfest event.

The beer pours a tawny amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty wild, showcasing primarily white pepper and barnyard funk, with a hint of vanilla and tropical fruit. There is virtually no malt presense in the nose, which tends to accentuate the peppery hop aroma and the funk. The flavor profile tends to replicate the nose, but I'm really picking up some considerable hoppy bitterness in this lean, very dry and funky beer. Really, I'm not sure when I have ever encountered this type of flavor combination. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a long, bitter, sour funk finish.

Intriguing and unusual, this beer is surprisingly drinkable with the alcohol barely noticeable. Not my cup of tea, but even I can appreciate the craftmanship that went into the making of this beer, and what a quality beer this is. Impressive.

Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 863 ratings.