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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

824 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 824
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 59
Gots: 79 | 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: 824 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

woodychandler, Feb 20, 2006
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).

yourefragile, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of corby112
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

corby112, Jan 22, 2011
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.

orangesol, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

weeare138, Jul 24, 2005
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

lacqueredmouse, May 05, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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...

Billolick, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Georgiabeer, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

duceswild, Dec 30, 2011
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.

akorsak, Jul 10, 2011
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.

superspak, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -1%

ejimhof, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

rhoadsrage, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Huhzubendah, Jul 30, 2011
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.

BARFLYB, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -1%

Gonzoillini, May 03, 2014
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

afsdan, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of ppoitras
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a frothy 1 1/4" slightly off-white head over the murky light amber brew. Head lasts well, leaving delicate, if not substantial, lacing throughout the drinking experience. Aroma is spicy and lightly tart fruits, with some oak notes apparent. Taste is upfront the fruity tartness, quickly fading into the spicy malt character, and ending with a building magnitude of barrel notes that multiply this brew's complexity many times. Mouthfeel is a bit busy, and could deter one, perhaps, but the drinkability of this brew is excellent. An enjoyable entry to the world of Jolly Pumpkin.

ppoitras, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

brandoman63, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -1%

DrBier, Jul 27, 2014
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.

John_M, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

biegaman, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of billab914
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into my Shipyard glass. Hazy and golden yellow in color with a thick white head nearly overflowing from the glass.

The aroma has a moderate funk to it with a little bit of a musty, slightly sour flavor coming through. I get a little malt sweetness and a Belgian yeast spice to it as well.

The taste shows more of the funky, musty flavors to it up front while more of the pale malts and belgian yeast come out towards the finish.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being high. Overall it was a flavorful, easy drinking and complex beer. The sour, funky flavor really worked well for me. Very nice overall.

billab914, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of chinchill
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

chinchill, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of Viggo
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Sam's in Chitown.

Pours a hazy copper/orange, think off white head forms, tons of lacing, great retention, head never quits. Smell is acidic, very sour, vinegar, toffee, spices, some yeast, not as complex as their others. Taste is very fruity, wheat, spices, nice sour middle, yeast and citrus, spicy finish with a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation, smooth. Nice beer, although probably my least favourite from JP.

Viggo, Jan 20, 2007
Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 824 ratings.