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Luciérnaga, The Firefly - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Luciérnaga, The FireflyLuciérnaga, The Firefly

Educational use only; do not reuse.
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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Ratings: 863 | Reviews: 377 | Display Reviews Only:
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look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with great label art and an unbranded green pry-off pressure cap purchased at a local H-E-B grocery and served cold into a Cantillon geuze glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, TX.

Reviewed live as a pale ale per the label. 6.5% ABV. Expectations are high given the brewery, which makes some beers I've really enjoyed in the past. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards.

Upon opening, foam makes a bid for the top, mushrooming out. Pour quickly.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Two fingers wide. Off-white colour. Thin and somewhat weak. Not as full or soft as would be ideal. Has a wanting consistency and a mediocre complexion. Recedes fully within 4-5 minutes, leaving no lacing.

BODY: Translucent transparent pale copper with honey and orange hues. Above average vibrance. Glows when backlit. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

The constantly erupting foam indicates overcarbonation, but also bottle conditioning. I consider it a good thing.

This looks as a Belgian pale should, but the head could be improved and some healthy yeast particulate wouldn't be unwelcome.

AROMA: Has a definite barnyard character, including subtle biscuity Belgian yeast replete with some subtly handled spices - allspice, coriander, and clove, mainly. Green apple. White pepper. Yeasty funkiness. Grains of Paradise. Hay/straw. Belgian golden malts.

The hop profile is primarily floral, with some apt grassy notes in there too that suit the funky Belgian vibe quite well.

Neutral Belgian pale malts provide the simple malt backbone of the brew.

Boasts a white oak barrel character which seems to coax out further nuances from the base beer. The oak sugars are lovely.

No overt alcohol or other off-notes are detectable.

Overall, this is an enchanting aroma which suggests a very complex and subtle brew. I can't wait for the first sip. Mild in strength.

TASTE: The dampened woody notes suit the base beer nicely, bringing barrel sugars and hints of white oak to lend cohesion to the funky flavour profile. The second act is rich with intricacy, boasting varied notes of spices (allspice, white pepper, coriander, Grains of Paradise) over a golden and Belgian pale malt backdrop. Hints of crackery malts and bready malts here and there. The spicy biscuity yeast lends both funkiness and edge, giving the brew a prominent lively Belgian feel.

Green apple. Hints of vague fruits. Barnyard notes of hay and straw, with some farmhouse must.

The hop profile is ideal for the style, lending subtle notes of floral hops and grassiness without intruding on the star of the show - the yeast.

As it comes to temp, more subsidiary notes of lime and sea salt emerge.

Good depth and duration of flavour, with notable amplitude and above average flavour intensity.

It's quite well balanced, juggling its many constituent notes well while still maintaining a natural cohesion. As a result, it feels like a gestalt whole. There's plenty of intricacy and nuance here to please the discerning drinker. Really a lovely brew in its style.

The finish is lovely, smacking a bit of lactic character and leaving the drinker with the ripe green apple in the aftertaste.

TEXTURE: Light-bodied, refreshing, smooth, soft, and wet. It's a biteen too thick.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, rough, or scratchy. Above average acidity.

Overall presence on the palate is good, but not great. This texture doesn't quite elevate the beer beyond the taste, but it's a fine companion to the flavour profile and complements it well.

OVERALL: A nice farmhouse Belgian pale from Jolly Pumpkin, Luciernaga is well worth trying once, but its high price point will deter even the discerning drinker from frequent repurchases. I'd recommend any fan of the style give it a pull at least once, but it's not on par with world-class offerings in the style. I'll enjoy finishing the bottle. More solid work from an oft-underrespected brewery.

High B-

This would develop nicely with some light (~1 year) aging.

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