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Luciérnaga, The Firefly - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Luciérnaga, The FireflyLuciérnaga, The Firefly

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

795 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 795
Reviews: 370
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 58
Gots: 75 | 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:
June

(Beer added by: putnam on 10-28-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 795 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -1%

JAHMUR, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%

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!

NeroFiddled, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1%

SocalKicks, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

RblWthACoz, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

nickfl, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

WVbeergeek, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%

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

russpowell, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%

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.

feloniousmonk, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Slatetank, May 16, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%

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.

drabmuh, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

dank ass beer. pours a darker red shade with a jovial white head. smells like a sour brett concoction. flavor is great, really sour brett up front, but more nuanced unrolling, with some red licorice and caramel malt. had a very funky memorable finish. tart and assertive. mouthfeel is great, very very lively carbonation with a piquant conclusion. great example of an american wild beer. way way better than the blue one, and more seductive than the red one. sessionable

StonedTrippin, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Rifugium, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of WesWes
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

WesWes, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -1%

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle at our recent sour tasting.

Batch 387/388. The beer pours a clear medium-dark orange color with a large cream-colored head. The aroma is oranges, yeast, pineapple, mango and some tartness. The flavor is citrus fruit with some yeast and low-medium tartness. There are also some spices similar to white pepper. There is a little funk as well. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, May 31, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%

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.

mdfb79, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -1%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -1%

DrunkinYogi, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%

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.

smcolw, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -1%

Sampled lightly chilled, December 2004
Pours a hazy light amber to copper color, the haze is entirely a chill haze as this beer was quite clear before I chilled it. It is topped by a tan head that is quite thick, frothy and creamy at the same time. As I was pouring it, I thought that I got some aromatic notes of oak, but more the woody component, which I was not really expecting. As I go in for a more extended sniff, I get a complex mix of wood, orange peel, cobwebs, and a bit of herbal character. There is a definite dominant note here that I cannot quite place, it is sort of spicy, yet combines all of the above descriptors as well.

My first taste; this beer stats out soft and smooth, and then moves to a certain mouth coating fullness, it then finishes with a slightly sharp astringency, yet throughout it remains refreshing. The interesting aroma from the nose is in the taste as well, and there is a certain tannic backbone here as well, perhaps the contribution from the barrel fermentation. This beer is quite interesting, and certainly not at all what I expected. The taste is subtly spicy with soft, smooth notes of orange, grass/ hay, ginger, and coriander. Ah that is what it is, the coriander is what I was sensing in the nose. And I also see that grains of paradise was used too, which also makes sense as I always felt that this contributes a sort of dusty dried ginger type thing to a beer.

As it begins to warm up I start to get and enticing note of green beans that have just been spritzed with lemon in the nose. And despite it sounding weird, this beer really does evoke thoughts of chewing on old dusty cobwebs. I really like the fact that this beer has a certain fullness and body to it, even though it is relatively low in alcohol, it gives this beer a certain richness that is quite appropriate for a December evening. There is a certain soft creaminess to this beer that I am really digging, it just envelopes my mouth in an extravagant celebration of taste.

Despite all I have said, this is currently lacking that certain... something, that would put this over the top, but given Jolly Pumpkins stated goals and practices, I have a feeling that this will become more complex and challenging (this is definitely a good thing) over time. And please don't let my statement make you think that this beer is not superb, this is a beer that demands to be contemplated, quite the tasting brew, and I am enjoying the complexity that is inherent in this tasty brew. To finish, I have got to say "damn I wish I lived in Michigan."

Gueuzedude, Dec 29, 2004
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -1%

MarkyMOD, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev -1%

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.

Halcyondays, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%

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.

oriolesfan4, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -1%

imperialking, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of corby112
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%

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.

corby112, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -1%

InspectorBob, Aug 27, 2013
Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 795 ratings.