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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

872 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(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

June
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 872 | Reviews: 378
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slight hazed honey color with a huge blossoming white head that stuck like glue to the glass as it slowly settled,aromas of honey malt and big coriander tones with a hint of orange.First off the beer seemed a bit overcarbonated and was hard going down at first somewhat prickly in the mouth as well,nice flavors not overly big on the phenolic yeastiness that I dont care for much honey sweetness with some black pepper spice with a lighter apple flavor in the finish.A bit raw for sure but a pretty good beer to be had.

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 biboergosum
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, nice glowing hop seafaring metaphor depicted on the label.

This beer pours a cloudy medium golden amber hue, with a teeming amount of thick, puffy, silken eggshell white head, which sits in for a long spell, before leaving some very attractive webbed/chain link lace around the glass, as it gently abates.

It smells of tart lemon, wet hay, soft grainy malt, some tame earthy funk, and somewhat bitter leafy hops. The taste is gritty, grainy pale malt, sour aged lemon, a nice, even herbal funk, some soft coriander spiciness, and leafy, zingy weedy hops. A slight, sultry alcohol warming tickles the throat.

The bubbles are fairly robust and a tad sharp, the body on the light side of medium weight, and surprisingly calm in its overall smoothness. It finishes barely off-dry, as the pale, kind of biscuity malt is pressed hard by the lemon and orange citrus, with that nice earthy funk, and a bit of lingering leafy hop bitterness adding to the push.

A very well-rendered BPA, all inputs used in equally deft measures, giving us a full-flavoured version of an all too often underwhelming style.

Photo of emerge077
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once opened, a heady floral & citrus bouquet wafts out. A moderate amount of foam results from a careful pour. This isn't as charged up with carbonation as the Bam.

Smells excellent. Pear, citrus, berries, oak, and a mild funk make for a truly intoxicating mix. Body is a hazy amber-orange, with tiny ascending streams of bubbles. Foam settles to a film that rings the glass.

First sip is fairly complex, my first thought is of the Bam Biére I had yesterday. Definitely a similar yeast, but that's about it. Tangy citrus is bolstered by a wave of fruity hops, though not to an overpowering degree. Oak is barely present in the aftertaste. At cellar temp., it becomes smoother, flavors are more melded together, with a slight warming alcohol presence. Finish is fairly dry.

One 750 bottle was enough for me...a Bam would make a nice sidecar though.

Oh, and a gorgeous label with original artwork to boot. The text makes no claims of "style", other than "ale brewed with spices". Truly unique brewing right here.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Luciernaga is my favorite beer from Jolly Pumpkin.

Carefully poured from a longstanding bottle it's quite clear. Not clear enough to see your fingerprints through the glass, but easily clear enough to see your fingers. A rouse of the yeast at the bottom will bring it cloudy though. I prefer it a bit clearer as it's more fruity and tart, and I think just sharper in flavor overall. It's a deep-amber/tarnished copper in color, and the head is a massive lid of frothy white. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves some really nice, albeit it short, walls of lace at the outset of the goblet.

The nose is sharp with Brettanomyces and yeasty fruitiness (wet earth, damp straw, leather, tart black cherry, pineapple, papaya), along with a pinch of coriander.

In the mouth it's gently zesty on the tongue with a very fine bubbled natural carbonation from bottle conditioning. It warms to become lightly airy and then cottony smooth.

The flavor offers more maltiness and fruit than the nose suggests (both clean and straightforward), but there's also a touch more coriander and a hint of black pepper present. It's tropical and vibrant with a spicy side, and a bitter undertow that drags it out into a remarkably dry finish with just a subtle touch of yeasty chalkiness. Some coriander lingers long on the palate, beckoning you to take another sip of the refreshing Brett and juicy fruit.

I've heard it said (actually read it here on the forums at BeerAdvocate) that breweries in the U.S. cannot make really good examples of Belgian beers... well, this is one hell of a Belgian-style beer!!! Rock on Jolly Pumpkin!

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded amber gold with a decent crème head and a lot of bubbles floating up all over the bottom of my wide glass. Kind of reminds me of fireflies. Nose is very yeasty with a talcy, chalky edge. Flavor is tangy with a bitter tone to it. Also seems to be a pretty firm mineral influence as well. Tart is the name of the game here though as it kicks you pretty good in the back of the mouth. Feel is smooth with a good level of carbonation and bubble hitting you and a decently balanced liquid feel. Overall extremely drinkable. Another fine American produced BPA.

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 WVbeergeek
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch # 296/297 with the Unibroue style bottles, versus the shaped bottles they used early one.

As all great Jolly Pumpkin beers this one lays on a massive thick billowing head with chunky mountainous textures as it rises above the rim of my Maudite chalice. Body is a clouded glowing amber copper hue with the head ringing in off white beige. Lacing is fine and intricate the most authentic Beligan style brewer in the country right up there with Ommegang and Unibroue but with more machismo.

Aromatics are wonderful spicy black pepper with crushed mint leaves and citrus peels, funky brett notes bringing horse blanket and barnyard funk, this stuff is excellent very lively and unique even compared to other Jolly Pumpkin brews. Tart apples and other fruit notes are detected among the barrage of hops, spices, and malts.

Flavor has an incredible hoppy zesty freshness within the barrel aging and spice additions. Very much like a fresh baked artisan bread with each sip with citrus, ripe fruits including tart apples and tropical notes. As each the last of the bottle is poured into glass spices and yeast notes take over before that however the brett and horsek blanket barnyard funk ride with you the whole bottle and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation very natural organic experience especially in the manner that they brew with open fermentation. Bitter spices and hop oils do sit on the palate after each sip with the tart lactic and brettanomyces adding a slight puckering sensation on the palate.

Drinkability is excellent enjoy with a meal or on it's own as a meal. Great stuff I can't get enough of the vibrance that La Luciernaga has to offer wonderful stuff. Grand cru belgian style pale ale flows so well, makes me want to go and grab a Biere De Mars to see how it's coming along.

Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of russpowell
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours bronze/amber with a thumb of creaam colored head. Great head retention & lacing

S: Apple skins & sourness

T: Pears, a little bit of barnyard, some lemon peel & grapefruit up front. Oaky flavors impart themeselves as this warms along with tartness, a touch of pear. Finishes tart, sour & with much orchard fruit

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation, puckery

Super drinkability, a very approachable sour ale. I think I need to revisit some of there beer, I believe my tastebuds today appreciate these offerings more than a few years ago

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An interesting beer for sure, really tastes like a hoppy cider. Apple flavor really comes through, medium body, somewhat clean finish. Plenty of taste but is definitely a bit tart, which hurts the drinkability a bit. One of the more unique beers you'll try, but with the expensive price tag and overly done tartness, you'd be hard pressed to finish this bottle too quickly.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freshly poured from a freshly tapped keg. Highly hazed, golden/amber hue, enormous head, big'n;fluffy, mighty lacing, stays long and large...beautiful, like a tremendous pillowy snowdrift in the glass.

Aroma: Lightly spiced...coriander...gentle lemon touches, too. Soft, lively, and arousing.

Taste: Plump in the mouth, full of yeasty flavor, toasty, bready malt, crisp and zesty. Luciernaga delivers true Belgian flavor, with just enough of everything. Exceptionally tasty, smooth and easy drinking, overflowing with character.

Luciernaga = yum. Stays long in the mouth, filling the senses with that delicious blend of Belgian yeast and malt. My first taste of this beer, and it is deee-lectable. Mmmmm, highly recommended.

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is the #6 Belgian Pale Ale on the best of lists on beeradvocate.com. This being a top 10 beer for the style, I'm quite excited about getting to review it. Love finding top 10 beers.

Beer served on draft at Meridian Pint in Washington D.C. in a shaker pint for some reason. Wouldn't have been my first choice of glass but whatever. Beer is yellow and hazy with a big white head of small bubbles, some lacing, nice carbonation.

Aroma is mildly sweet with wood and funk in the nose. Interesting, a little grainy in the nose too.

Beer is thin and tastes exactly like it smells. It finishes a little dry with oak, tannins, and some grain, the forward is mildly sweet, some pilsen malt and some lactic acid sourness, the brett comes through nicely in this beer. Overall an interesting beer and I'd have more of it.

Photo of mdfb79
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 07/23/11 notes. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. Batch 2, bottled on 04/29/10.

a - Pour a deep amber color with two fingers of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Lots of head retention and lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of barnyard funk, sour fruits, brett, spices, yeast, and light bananas. Really good nose to it, as it's combining some Belgian like notes and that JP funk.

t - Tastes of Belgian yeast and spice, bananas, light fruit and citrus, and some brett/funk. Not quite as funky, and more spices; a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Like some other JP beers, a little too carbonated.

o - Overall a good beer. The nose is fantastic and sour, while the taste falls back to more conventional Belgian like spice and yeast. Would definitely have it again.

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Photo of smcolw
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Awesome head with sticky lace. Dark gold in color with a touch of orange. Very murky with yeasty beasties.

Malty soured cream smell. Spice touches include corriander and all spice. Crisp and clean.

Strong sour bites to the malt, almost like there is lemon juice in the brew. I can detect light hop after the swallow. Relatively short lived aftertaste. Excellent body with high carbonation.

Overall, I find this to be a crisp ale with a lot of flavor. A beautiful pour. A good offering in Belgian Pales.

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -1%

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

The beer pours a cloudy golden color with a reddish hue along with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a spicy Belgian yeast aroma laid over a fine malt bill. It's loaded with spices and seems almost sour smelling. The taste is good. It has a smooth pale and light crystal malt flavor that is accompanied with spices and fruity Belgian yeast finish. The barrel aging adds a certain smoothness to the brew. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is my first Jolly Pumpkin brew. I can't wait to try some more. This is a damn good drinking beer.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -1%

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