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Luciérnaga, The Firefly - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Luciérnaga, The FireflyLuciérnaga, The Firefly

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872 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 872
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 64
Gots: 92 | FT: 8
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

View: Beers (39) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 872 | Reviews: 378
Photo of jgasparine
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- The bottle erupted upon opening. After getting that under control, the beer was poured with a massive 1"+ cream-colored rocky head, which slowly gave way to some fabulous lacing. The body was a slightly hazy orange-amber color.

S- BIG FUNK!! (Pedio and Brett?) accompanied by lesser spicy and caramel malt notes.

T- The funkiness and maltiness compete for dominance on the palate with some substantial corriander flavors also coming into play. Ultimately, the funk wins this battle and dominates through the finish.

M- Medium-Firm body with a huge, creamy carbonation. The dry sensation of the tongue on the roof of the mouth is the only sign of hops in this beer.

D- This beer was very carbonated, making me feel bloated as it went-down... this is a big detractor in the drinkability department.

Photo of Patrick999
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a Leffe goblet, The Firefly shows plenty of soft-looking carbonation and a hazed golden body. Also, I should add that while I am not rating for bottle label art, this is one of the coolest labels I've ever seen.

S - Spicy and floral, orange blossom and wildflowers. Some light white peach. It has a crisp, fresh aroma. Wow, some amazing fragrant rosewater as it warms.

T - One sip, and you can tell this is Jolly Pumpkin. Yet, it isn't the typical Jolly Pumpkin Brett bomb. While obviously a Brett beer, it seems that the barrel aging, spicing, and relatively aggressive hopping of this beer have combined to make this a really tight beer. Indeed, I don't find any loose ends dangling here. What hits the palate first is a wave of game-y bitterness, slightly soured leather with some push-back from the floral, grassy hops and a sense of orange peel and white peach. Peppery in the middle, with the grains of paradise, yet I suspect this would have come off as a peppery beer even if it had not been spiced. Very, very dry. A little musty barrel quality, but again, this isn't coming off as a big funky wild yeast-and-barrels affair. It's more elegant and pulled together than that, closer to the tight craft you expect from Orval than from a bugged-out American Wild Ale.

F - One area in which I've found Jolly Pumpkin to be inconsistent is with the carbonation. I've had some bad bottles from them that were flat. Others have been over-carbonated. Not this one though, this one is just right. While well-carbonated, it is entirely appropriate; it doesn't go overboard. I don't have to swirl the glass madly to get rid of some of the carbonation so I can taste the beer. It is very well carbonated, but it's *soft* carbonation.

D - Well, let's see. It's bone-dry. Complex and interesting. Manageable 6.5% ABV. High flavor-to-ABV ratio. Would pair well with a wide variety of foods. I'd say that adds up to a real winner. I was expecting a lot from this, and it didn't let me down. This sits with E.S.Bam as one of my favorite Jolly Pumpkins.

Photo of grub
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

one of the jolly pumpkin lineup that i've purchased on several occasions, but always end up BIFing/trading/giving it away so i've yet to try it. this one has been hiding in the cellar for a while now and i'm glad to finally sit down and and drink it.

750ml bottle. sampled nov 17/09.

pours deep orange, showing a nice ruby red at the widest part of the glass. a big fluffy off-white head forms, dropping slowly and never actually going away completely. tons of chunky lace coats the glass as it falls.

aroma is great. starts off with a blast of belgian yeast and spice, slowly giving way to lemony funk and sourness. honey and a bit of caramel. horse blanket. old leather. a bit of malt vinegar. orange peel. white bread and cracker. light alcohol.

taste is good. the brett hits big in the flavour. horse blanket. leather. very faint malt vinegar. light lemony sourness. orange peel. bit of grapefruit. cracker and a bit of white bread. touches of honey and a bit of caramel. floral and perfumey too. when i get to the second glass it's starting to warm and more of the orange and tangerine comes through.

mouthfeel is good. nice light body with a super dry finish. medium-high carbonation level.

drinkability is great. pretty much no acidity, and hiding its alcohol very well. love the brett character and the great complexity it has retained. i can't wait for the second glass and wish i had another bottle! i don't know if the depth and brett has come out with the extra time it has spent in the cellar, but it's damn good!

Photo of cvfish
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - This beer poured a cloudy golden color that produced a giant fluffy white head that great retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were right on with the herbs and spices, and then the fruity sourness that took over

T - The taste of this beer was quite interesting, pale malts, spices and herbs, and a moderate amount of sour apple that finished this beer off

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a light to medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation

D - The drinkability of this beer was very good, this is how I like Sours, a mix of two beers, where the sour is not overwhelming, but moderate and tasty

Photo of bluejacket74
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, Batch 296/297. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a hazy orange/brown color with about a couple inch frothy off-white head. Head retention is excellent, lacing is good. The aroma is musty and fruity, the beer smells like coriander, sour apples, yeast, pineapple (and other tropical fruit), peppery spice and citrus. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like tart apples, yeast, coriander, pineapple, oak, pepper, spice and lemon. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has high but soft carbonation. Drinkability is very good, it's smooth and the soft carbonation makes this easy to drink. I think this is a good and enjoyable beer, I'll definitely buy this again.

Photo of GRG1313
2.89/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark hazy deep orange with a thin white head that a quick swirl makes thick and firm.

Nose that is a big and pure and assertive gewertzraminer wine grape with that sweet apple and spicy character. The nose is the real winner and strength of this brew.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium with a bit of a sour character and flavor. Nice acid in the sour character that makes this a nice food beer.

Flavors may be a bit lacking for me and also are a bit salty. Love the nose; flavors are wanting. Some sour; some yeast; some savory spice - not a lot appealing, however.

A very short lackluster finish, perhaps a bit of citrus lime in the finish.

I somehow don't "get" Jolly Pumpkin. I'm still looking for a beer that I really like from Jolly Pumpkin. I'll keep tasting them but perhaps I just don't "get" them. Love the labels; not so much the beers, so far. (Maybe I had a bad bottle?)

Photo of cjgator3
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle
Batch 296/297

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a hazed brownish orange color with a large off-white head that provides excellent retention ad lacing.

S- The aroma like most all of Jolly Pumpkins beers is mouthwatering sour. There is also some fruit, spices, old must, oak and yeast in the lovely aroma as well. 

T- The taste like the aroma starts out sour with some fruity notes and oak flavors as well. The finish has a nice spiciness to it and finishes on the dry side with some yeast.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is quite simply another fantastic brew from Jolly Pumpkin. Now after trying just about every beer from this brewery, I can say that they do not brew anything less than great. This beer like all other JP beers is highly recommended! 

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 ThatWineGuy
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy burnt orange colour with a generous three to four finger off-white head that never quits, foamy with good retention. Lots of sediment that was avoided in my glass. Fine bubble carbonation impressed with great retention and sticky sheet lace.

Smell is funky alright with spicy coriander and orange peel; a generally sour aroma predominates. Taste is funky again with a sweet but mostly sour tartness, over ripe fruit, sour peach, not too acicdic despite the mature fruit tones, balance is just about right. Aftertaste also in the tart and sour category, long after taste lingers with just a touch of vinegar that detracts from drinkability. Jolly Pumpkin ales always seem to me to be in a league of their own and this is no exception; overall a very complex and interesting belgian pale ale that I heartily enjoyed after dinner tonight, recommended.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a cloudy deep orange with a huge, thick frothy off-white head. Aroma of sweet fruits, lemon, citrus, bitter hops, and sweet tart candies. Flavor is sour/yogurty at first with a dry, malty, slightly bitter finish. Palate is thin, sort of watery. This is alright, certainly easy to drink but underwhelming.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle - $8.49 at Beverage SuperStore in Suwanee, Georgia. No listed batch number.

Appearance: Pours out a clearish, dark orange body with a huge, dense, foamy, white head.

Smell: Malts enveloped with acrid notes of musty wild yeasts, butyric acid, juiced apples, mangled pineapples, damp oak wood, earthy spices.

Taste: Toasted, honeyish malts instantly disappear behind the strongly phenolic Brett character. Pristine pineapple juice blended with spoiled apple juice. The doses of Grains of Paradise and coriander are quite spicy and particularly pungent, giving the tongue a bit of enduring ginger-like heat. Touch of oak. Surprisingly bitter as well. Particularly dry finish with a lingering taste of the added spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: As always, it's another weird, wild ride from Jolly Pumpkin. The spices can be a bit overly brash at times. While not the most captivating of the Jolly Pumpkin lineup, it's certainly solid and worth a try.

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

A 750ml capped bottle shared with psycohops and brothercannon. Poured into a trio of plain snifters, the ale appears a cloudy medium apricot color with about two fingers of fluffy off white foam. Aromas and flavors are of coriander, sour green apples, enough sourness to make you briefly pucker, mildly spicy yeast, sweet, funky, and a sour. Quite the complex ale here. Light to medium bodied and amply carbonated. No doubt, I'd seek this one out again.

Photo of rtepiak
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour is murky golden in color. with a nice balanced head of tight bubbles. smell is a tart musk familar to jolly pumpkin. sour quality. not as powerful as some others of the brewery though. night pineapple, lemon, sort of orval like. takes is all there. smooth hop of citrus. pineapple, lemon, pepper, yeast, a very mild tart quality similar to a flemish wild. a musk sweetness simliar to that style too. fantastic beer. will definately have again. a must for BPA fans. great for late spring.

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

750ml bottle into half pint on 4/1/09, courtesy of Deuane.

A - Slightly cloudy amber body with vigorous carbonation and one-finger off-white head that settled into a quarter inch of retention and deposited a modest amount of lace on the glass.

S - Spicy and mildly astringent nose with some funky yeast. Hints of clove, coriander and citrus rind round out the aroma.

T - Spicy flavor with hints of clove and coriander, as well as a funky sour green apple character. Earthy hops provide some mild bitter notes in the finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with a syrupy texture and lively carbonation, resulting in a prickly mouthfeel. Finish is spicy and slightly bitter on the palate.

D - Quite a complex Belgian-style ale, yet not something of which I could drink a full bottle on my own. I definitely admire the character of this brew, and I will certainly try other Jolly Pumpkin offerings in the future.

Photo of Beerzebub
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sarcastro for trading me this.

Poured in a big wine glass at 55 F/ 13 C.

Striking hazy orange color, massive cream colored head that slowly melts into valleys between stiff plateaus, huge chunky lace. Impressive.

Exotic fruity spicy custardy aroma, complex and alluring. Golden apple, stone fruits, orange zest, custard, exotic spices.

Tastes tart, fruity, spicy, and floral. Sharper than the aroma, less sweet and creamy, but their is some mild sweetness. Bitter lime peel, orange, peach, spices, and floral perfume especially towards the finish. Long bitter finish, lime, flowers, and some stone.

Tart juicy texture, quite refreshing and thirst quenching.

Exotic and tasty, I enjoyed this.

Photo of robbyc1
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Won a bronze in the 2008 GABF as a French and Belgian style Saison. A funky and cloudy look of off orange, with a bright sour nose with spices and a light malt backbone. The sourness combines with the spices and malt to give you a funky Saison that goes down easy. It wafts a great aroma that is outdone by the taste, one to savor on it's own or with spicy food. Keep this baby around especially in spring and summer months.

Photo of Reagan1984
2.8/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

**after writing my review I read a few others. I was wondering if my bottle had gone bad, but based on the other comments and some others having the same questions. I think this is the way it's supposed to be. Not my thing and not like other Belgian Pale's I've enjoyed.

Upon popping open the bottle I was treated to a virtual volcano of foam. It just kept erupting out of the bottle. Way too aggressive foaming. I poured two separate glasses just to save the beer and it while it settled in the glass the bottle kept producing more foam.
In the glass there was a full glass of creamy, whipped cream. Once it settled the beer was a nice deep amber color with better clarity than I had expected at this point. As you might imagine there was non stop lacing

The aroma was very sour with a strong tart cherry aroma. Was not expecting a sour beer here. Uh Oh.

Sure enough the flavor did deliver on the sour hints advertised in the aroma. The flavor was Smokey, slightly sour and fairly medicinal. (phenol?) There was a slight fruity flavor along with a great deal of spices. Also a lot of flavors I believe are from the yeast.

The body was fairly light, the beer exploded with effervescence in your mouth from the carbonation. Puckering...

Not very drinkable in my book since it took about 4-5 minutes just to get a glass of beer out of the bottle.

I'd say this was a bit over the top in terms of tart and funk for a Belgian Pale. Not my cup of tea.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 11/1/2007 (bottle):

Pours a huge foamy head, off-white, good lacing. Extremely cloudy amber color. Fizzy with dark coloring. Aroma of spices, maybe pumpkin, nutmeg. Some flowers, Some sour. Enticing, but not too strong. Fizzy, sour taste. Might be a bad bottle. Some of the spices, but not very flavorful. Reminds me of a flemish sour or a geuze. Soft mouthfeel. More flavor as it warms. More hoppy.

Photo of Yetiman420
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crazy fluffy three finger head. Took a while to split this between two standard pint glasses. I took the portion with major yeast dregs.

Golden copper color with tons of tiny bubbles.

Funkiness and spice aroma. Anticipating sourness based on aroma. First couple of sips come across musty. Pale ale bitterness and hop aroma comes through at the halfway point.

A very nice beer although I was hoping for a bit more sour and funky out of this one form JP.

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 lamarr04
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pt. bottle poured into tulip glass

A: deep orange with persistent 3 inch white foamy head
S: Yeast, apples (smells like hard cider)
T: Bready yeast, sour apple, spice at the end with a clean finish. Very smooth and refined.
M: Crisp carbonation, medium to light body
D: I will have to finish this whole bottle by myself, and that is a task I will gladly undertake

Notes: I've been on a belgian kick as of late and have only had a few of jolly pumpkins offerings. I look forward to working my way through their lineup.

Photo of lhaqq
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy light brow/golden body with a huge off-white, sticky billowy head.
S: Main smells are yeast and green apples. A sour apple twinge at the end.
T: Not as much of a sour pang as I was expecting, but still good. Kinda oaky with a little bit of the sour apple, but it ends quickly, and there is only a dull sour/bitter aftertaste.
M: Pretty lively and the lack of almost any aftertaste is great.
D: Definitely pretty drinkable for the style.

Photo of rye726
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Like all the other JP beers, this has a perfect Belgianesque appearance. Pours a woody brown with a thick, lacy head. A somewhat light nose of sweet malts, soft herbs, orange, honey, tart fruit, oak and spicy yeasts. Taste is slightly more rubust. The sour fruit and funky oak flavors come out a bit more. Crisp, refreshing body. Another unique brew from Jolly Pumpkin.

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bursting forth from the bottle, this beer pours a hazy medium amber color with plentiful and large bubbled white head. Aromas are full of tart cherries, deep oak, white balsamic vineagar, and a touch of floralness. On the palate, things really develop beautifully with such complexity. Take a regular BPA, age it in oak, add some bugs and spices, and you get such a rounded and enjoyable beer like this. With each bottle I buy from this brewery, the more I understand how well Americans can make beer, world class beer. Ron Jeffereys and the rest of Jolly Pumpkin deserve the recognition they all to often do not receive.

Photo of Floydster
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle given to me as an extra from OHLRangers, thanks for the opportunity Ed, fresh batch, poured into my Duvel tulip glass

A-Light orange with some golden highlights, two and a half inch creamy white head that stays around for a long time, nice retention, some lacing at first
S-Aroma was the best part of this beer by far, wild yeast is what hits you first, then funkiness, lemons, Belgian sugar, orange peel, oak, champagne, minimal sour notes, hoppiness, spices, and grassy accents
T-Starts off slightly tart and then fades into some toasted malt in the middle that is a little sweet, finish is super dry because of the yeast, more fruit comes to the surface as it warms, nice mix of sweet and dry until it warms and it becomes only dry for the most part, expected this one to be more sour but it lacked in that complexity, never really tasted the spices I could smell either, great nose but the flavor lacked what was going for it there, still enjoyable at times
M-Sparkling and bubbly feel until it warms, dry and slightly sweet mouthfeel, taste lingers for some time, medium bodied, lots of carbonation
D-Goes down pretty easy but the overly dry aftertaste could cause some problems later on, ABV is pretty low and it is light on the stomach though, crisp but not as smooth as it could be

One of my least favorite Jolly Pumpkins yet, smelled great but the flavor was just lacking in my opinion, hopefully the grand reserve sitting in my closet will be better than this one, probably would not drink again if I had others from this brewery to choose from, still worth trying

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Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.