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Maracaibo Especial - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Maracaibo EspecialMaracaibo Especial

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

659 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 659
Reviews: 305
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 49
Gots: 57 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: marburg on 02-28-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 659 | Reviews: 305 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by goatgoat:
Photo of goatgoat
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Batch 2.2009.

Poured into tulip. Hazy barely brown, more coppery/amber with a thin tan head. Aroma is light fruit, plum, light breadiness, and a nice tartness. Taste starts clean and lightly malty, but quickly get overtaken by a refreshing tartness.

It's not really a Belgian Strong Dark, it may have been before going wild. But that bridge was burnt. So I'll not review it as a BSD because it would do poorly. As a wild it's refreshing.

goatgoat, Jun 22, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of thelagerheads
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I like to carry the expended bottle caps from my open brews in the pockets of my shorts for a few hours to jangle around with the silver pieces and keys. It's like a currency until I drop them into my wicker basket of used caps. Now I'm thinking about how I can carry the pint + 9.4 oz wine-like bottles from Jolly Pumpkin on me. A holster with a bullet belt for the caps? A sidecar with my favorite pet in tow like a motorcycle has? Maybe even an IV bag to keep me from certain dehydration?

This one starts with the typical fruity keg-o'spice and then languidly ends with a gradual fog of descending cacao cloudiness. Not how I prefer my darker beers to be but this one tricks the palate into believing that there are actually two beers at work here and really in essence there are: the standard fare high quality super mofo Jolly Pumpkin brew with a russet echo.

thelagerheads, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of tectactoe
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Thanks, Kevin. Always willing to try something I haven't had from Jolly Pumpkin... surprised it took me so long to try this one. Pours opaque with a tawny brown center and vivid, copper edges that show just a lightest bit of translucency. A super huge and foamy, light-beige head billows up and grows and grows and grows, finally settling at well over three fingers and lasting for a while.

Didn't really know what to expect from the nose, but after one sniff, I'm pleasantly surprised. Acidic cherry skins, slightly vinous grapes, moderate oak, and that signature Jolly Pumpkin, musty and old-world funk. The critter evoke a light tartness and even a touch of sourness, maybe even a bit of sour lemons in the periphery. This is listed as an American Brown Ale? C'mon... this is a funky ass American wild.

The taste is slightly more "brown ale-ish", but when I say that, I mean that it just has some more brown ale characteristics... this is still very much an American wild. Some mild tobacco with hints of caramel and cocoa powder but the oak barrel and wild yeast reigns supreme, as is the case in many Jolly Pumpkin brews. Sharp lemon peels, more cherry skins; a touch of astringency but not nearly as acidic as I was expecting from the nose.

I'm getting some underlying floral notes, kind of earthy, dirty, and woodsy, and it's working nicely with the musty, wet wood oak flavors from the barrel. The finish is dry as all hell, leaving your palate wrung with heavy flavors of dry oak, and some cheesy, cotton-y funk. This one might be a little over-carbonated... The bottle wasn't a gusher like many others, but the biting essence is heavy and it's quite tingly on the palate.

Another damn fine beer from Jolly Pumpkin, this is something that could be thrown back, beer after beer after beer. You must understand however, this is far from an "American Brown Ale". It may have started as a brown ale with some caramel and Munich-type malts, but the oak barrel aging and wild yeast strains have turned this beer into a full-fledged American wild ale... funky, dry, and mildly tart - characteristic of many beers being churned out by Jolly Pumpkin.

tectactoe, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of MadScientist
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy medium-dark copper with glowing red hue. The head is a persistent light-tan foam about a finger thick that leave long thin streaks of lacing.

S: One of the richer sour aromas I've experienced with a strong, well rounded fruity aromas mostly of red currents and tangerine. There is a complementing malt support with some malt sweetness, a touch of chocolate and Pils malt character. The cacao nibs come through at a moderately-low level along with a cinnamon that seems more oak derived. There is some spicy phenols at a low level and a moderately-low perfumey alcohol note.

T: A complex fruit flavor with orange peel, plums, currents and tart cherry finish. The malt is low with a light chocolate note and light sweetness. There is low hops bitterness and a no hops flavor, not that it's needed the sour and tart fruitiness are balancing the malt being moderately sour over all. The finish is pretty dry with an orange and cherry aftertaste.

M: Medium-full bodied with a moderately-strong carbonation. There is a slight astringency probably from the spice additions.

O: A fruity, well balanced sour with orange peel, currents and plums. The oak and cacao add to the light spicy yeast notes. This would be great beer to introduce your friend to sour beer.

Batch 930
Bottled on 12-01-2011

MadScientist, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

CavemanRamblin, Today at 02:52 PM
Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Maracaibo Especial special brown ale by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Dexter Michigan. 7.5% alcohol 1pt. 9.4fl. oz. capped brown bottle with a firey plum tree design.

A- Pours an glowing orange brown fluid that radiates red in the sunlight. With a subtle pour it produces a mildly active off white head that leaves a thick quarter inch froth on the top with heavily lingering lacing from the beginning to end of the brew.

S- Sour green apples come to mind on the first sniff on to more complex cinnamon and sweet brown sugar like alcohol esters on the back of the nose.

T-M- Citrusy orange peels and lemon come to me on the first bite but with a little warmth and charactor defining I find a spicy carmel hint that is followed by oaky backbone. Mouthfeel is smooth with a astringent bite that tingle the taste buds to lead you to a refreshing brown ale only to be made by a brewery that barrel ages all their beers.

Overall a excellent beer but to little on the brown ale charactor and slighty more wild than normal... but hey whats normal? Cheers!!

wesbrownyeah, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Maracaibo Especial with the always sweet artwork pours from the 750ml bottle a deep, murky crimson color with hints of brown as well. A creamy, bubbly khaki head appears and leaves some splotchy lacing on the side of the glass. Looks good to me! Aromas begin with rich caramel and chocolate tones along with a dark baked bread. There's a nice spiciness that's a bit peppery with hints of cinammon along with loads of dark fruitiness. Earthy yeast and mellow woody notes collide. The real cacao really shines through here. Quite enjoyable.

First sip brings a sweet melding of caramelly, brown sugar and mellow cacao. Spicy cinammon and light peppery flavors meld in with a side of baked bread. Big fruity esters run wild all over the place mid palate. Yeasty along with a flash of dry woodiness as the brew flows down the mouth. It finishes with a lingering cacao and a sweet fruitiness as well. I haven't had too many dubbels to compare this to, but it's a damn tasty beer!

Mouthfeel is good with a slight creaminess and smoothness from the laid back carbonation. Being not overly heavy it makes it quite easy to drink and each sip has me coming back for more. I think I could drink this damn near all day! Another winner from Capt. Spooky and JP. Easily one of my favorite Michigan breweries..check this out if given the opportunity! Kudos to marburg for the treat.

orbitalr0x, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Red/brown color with a tiny head. Citrus aroma, cinnamon/clove spiciness. Taste followed suit: citrus, spice, cocoa, all nicely tied together with a pervasive, but pleasant, sourness. A light, easy to drink beer that belies its 7.5% ABV.

lordofthewiens, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of heddar33
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

heddar33, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of warnerry
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blend 2, bottled 2009 consumed 10/26/10

Pours a reddish brown w a good three fingers of head. Head is thick and quite persistent. Smell starts off with some sour notes, particularly green apple. This is followed by some nice bready malts and a decent amount of funk. Very pleasant smell. Taste starts out with a bit of mustiness, followed by tart green apple. Also got a bit of cocoa on the aftertaste, which was interesting and perfect for fall. Taste also includes some definite breadiness and a bit of orange as well. This is easily one of the more complex tasting Jolly Pumpkin beers I have had. Mouthfeel is nice; pretty light and highly carbonated. This is a very good beer overall, though the complexity of the flavor profile eventually caught up with me, making a 750 a bit too much.

warnerry, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of Beaver13
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Pours a murky tea-brown with a small white head that quickly goes to a thin film.

The aroma is bready malts, some maple, nuts, chocolate and some tart fruits. Brett comes out as it warms.

The flavor is strong tart fruity sourness and some wood and brett and a little maple/chocolate/molasses seasoning that is pretty overwhelmed. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with light watery carbonation.

Overall, a nice sour. The spicing is overwhelmed, but I like the tart sourness and the brett. The only downside is the watery mouthfeel.

Beaver13, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
1.75/5  rDev -55.9%

SmellsofMahagony, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of VernonKell
4/5  rDev +0.8%

VernonKell, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of jburchett
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

jburchett, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of ehammond1
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Light brown with orange and auburn edges. Thin light brown and creamy head. Regular lacing down the glass. Very pretty.

Spicy (peppery) and tangy aroma, dark fruits, some mild funk, and a light tart sourness as well. Interesting and unique--and distinctly Jolly Pumpkin.

I don't think the flavor marries quite as well as the aroma. The yeast, funk, and mild tartness dominate, hiding the dark fruits, and sweeter, maltier elements of the beer. Mild bitterness. Again, interesting, and distinctly Jolly Pumpkin, but not a beer I particularly enjoy drinking.

Light to medium mouthfeel.

An interesting wrinkle on the style, but not a beer I'm crazy about.

ehammond1, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of Cynic-ale
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Cynic-ale, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of jminch
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

jminch, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of HoppySeb
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

HoppySeb, Thursday at 01:58 AM
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Duvel chalice from a 750 ml bottle...appears a deep ruddy amber hue with a large beige foamy head dwindles leaving behind fine lacing evenly around the glass. Aroma contains perfumey oak notes with tart lactic brett funk, spicing is evident but hard to pick apart and I'm not sure what type of sweetness cacao brings to the mix. Flavor is incredibly complex yet finishes in a combonation between the oak barrel aging effects and the funky wild yeast notes very barnyard with a diverse mix of sweet, tart, and bitterness very interesting brew. Jolly pumpkin beers all share common characterisitics for sure, but this one is somewhere in the middle of how well all flavors are expressed. I'm a fan but Oro and La Roja kick this one to the curb so far I've tasted Luciernaga (favorite), La Blanche, Bam Biere and this one is in the middle. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with somewhat effervescent carbonation and really sticks around with a dry finish a bit ciderish with the tartness. Drinkability is nice like I said I dig what Jolly Pumpkin is doing, and this is just another great beer.

WVbeergeek, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of jtladner
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

jtladner, May 18, 2013
Photo of Shovelbum
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellared for over 1 year.

Pours a tall rich mocha-colored lather of foam over a hazy mahogany colored body. Head drops quickly to a thin covering that leaves a thick coating of lace. Aromas of caramel and chocolate dominate with more subtle notes of dark vinous fruit and Belgian candi coming through. The flavor is of dry biscuits and cacao up front. Mild pear and dark fruit complexity soon joins in along with some understated spices— perhaps coridander, but difficult, and not necessarily desirable, to say. Mild woody character throughout, although it doesn’t dominate or detract, just adds another layer of complexity. Mild signature Jolly pumpkin tartness, but far more subdued than in other ales of the fleet. A balancing crisp bitterness emerges toward the end of the swallow. Lean to medium body, although it tastes slightly underattenuated for the style, but on the upside it's smooth and creamy. Average carbonation per style.

There’s a lot going on this ale, despite the rather mild-mannered first impression it first gives. I cellared this bottle for over a year, and it was damn good. I’ve had it fresh, but it was long ago, so my memories are unreliable to non-existent. Definitely an outlier for the strong-dark style category. It seems like more of a dubbel/strong-dark hybrid, but whatever you call it’s a tasty ale.

Shovelbum, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours an opaque and muddy brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of muted dark malts with hints of pears and cocoa powder. As it warms very slight funk wafts out in addition to lightly tart green apples.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more robust. Dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by overripe pears dusted with cocoa powder. Midway through the sip the fruit flavors become more tart with the addition of green apples. The fruit and light cocoa powder carry through to a mildly bitter ending. As with the aroma, hints of funk come into play as it warms.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I had been anticipating this beer for some time but I was let down a bit. The flavors are interesting and meld together well however nothing was robust enough to make me want to try this again. Worth a shot if you enjoy JP in general.

glid02, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of goast8127
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blend 6. Bottled on 11/24/10.

This beer pours slightly cloudy with a reddish/brown color and a two finger, off white foam that remains for a good amount of time. The aromas immediately conjur memories of Belgian strong ales I've previously had. Bold scents of sour and spice warm my nose. As I drink a moderate amount of lacing follows the beer down the side of the glass. The sourness from the nose is accentuated by touches of citrus and tart. The beer is thin and smooth but not watery. The bitter, sour and citrusy flavors linger at the back and sides of my mouth. Surprised that the cacao was almost absent from the beer, as it was highlighted on the bottle. Could be that I was expecting something I shouldn't have been from that description. Overall a pretty good beer that grows on me as I continue to drink it.

goast8127, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer was a gusher when it was opened. The thick light tan head was a perfectly smooth top to a hazy brown leather colored body. There was a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles and it looked a bit like a snow globe with tiny bits of trub stirring around in the glass.

S- The swell of earthy basement was light with a dark malt aroma to follow which was finished by a smooth mellow cherry and aged vinegar brightness.

T- The dark malt flavors had more of a brown sugar note than that of grain. There was a light aged soft cheese note to it as it warmed. The hint of apples and a faint wet wood note also came through adding more depth. The finish was a light tartness and an earthiness with a very light dark hot cocoa note in the finish. After each sip a slight bitterness perhaps from hops showed up as yet another flavor.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a faint astringency that is a nice quality.

D- This beer has a dark and subtle complexity that is reinvented with each sip. It has notes of wild ales but not a big Gueze bite like many lambics. There are flavors of brown ale and a very faint cocoa hint in the finish that I wouldn't have picked up on without reading the bottle first. Very mysterious.

rhoadsrage, Nov 03, 2006
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Maracaibo Especial from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
89 out of 100 based on 659 ratings.