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Maracaibo Especial | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

very good
327 Reviews
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Maracaibo EspecialMaracaibo Especial

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by marburg on 02-28-2005

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Reviews: 327 | Ratings: 777
Photo of Sabtos
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Starts out dark ruby red with a thin beige ring, but the color somehow fades to a gold hue with brown edges when you start running low.

Pretty one dimensional aroma of sweet cherry. Actually, after a while it comes off more like pink Starburst or Laffy Taffy. A touch of maple candy comes off the sticky rim of the glass.

Sweet cherry flavor balances out the acetic sour element making this a very approachable sour compared to some of their other extreme takes. Maracaibo is much closer to a Flanders Red than anything resembling an American Brown.

Reading that there is cacao, cinnamon and orange peel is a total shock, as this was a very balanced, smooth, but one dimensional sour. Not in a bad way, but it's just not the spicy, Belgian-esque and decadent concoction you might expect with that ingredient list.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this one at Jolly Pumpkin in Detroit.

Whatever... really not all that impressed, sadly. It has the nice spiciness of a brown (or, moreso an amber or red ale), but something about the yeast in this one is slightly off-putting. It's not that delicious puckering sourness that I tend to enjoy, it was ever-so-subtly metallic. Not bad by any means, but lacking. Nice little "trunky funk" and I do like the malt flavors, but the sourness itself seems a little off. Not JP's best.

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Photo of byronic
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks nice but doesn't have much of a nose. Has great flavour up font. A sweetness that becomes tart after which any taste seems to disappear completely. On a positive note the abv is well hidden and this goes down easy.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer looked great and had a nice nose. Taste was sour up front, but the flavor faded fast leaving me wanting more. Feel was thinnish, though there was some nice carbonation. All in all a fair beer, but I was expecting the flavor to last a little longer and give me a bit more.

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Photo of Stolenface1
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber/brown color with billowing head that doesn't stick around very long. Aroma of sour apples, caramel, slight cinnamon & orange, stone fruit, and slight funk. Flavor is exactly like the aroma but adds oak, tannin a very slight chalky cocoa powder on the finish. Its barely there, but its there. Any more and i think it would overpower the other flavors. I get orange more than any of the other spices, again, a good decision. There are also hints of leather and maybe slight cherry. The feel is dry, but has a sturdy base. I think the cocoa and cinnamon accentuate this perceived dryness. Overall a very unique and enjoyable experience. Only quarrel is there is a touch more booze on the finish than what would be expected for 7.5% ABV.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky amber color with beige head. Aroma is tart, slightly acetic and spicy. Taste is just a bit tart and spicy but no detectable specific spice. Medium body and soft carbonation. Quite nice and easy drinking overall.

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Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a hazy chestnut with a nice head of foam that leaves strands of lacing

Smell: Tart,with brown bread, cinnamon, chocolate and orange peel

Taste: Bready forward, with tartness building, bring with it the flavors of chocolate, cinnamon and orange peel; leathery and dry after the swallow and through the finish though the underlying flavors remain throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A rather unusual take on the style; high quality as are all the brews from this brewery

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Whole Foods. 2013 bottling. I haven't had this in years.

A clear brown with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing, this looks great! The nose is fantastic. Deep and complex with light acetic notes, cocoa, light roast, earth, mushrooms, some grain. The Brett character on the nose is just excellent - so deep! A little cotton candy, brilliant! The palate opens bright, fruity and funky. A blend of acetic and lactic acids, hay, funk, mushrooms, earth, cocoa is present. The mid-palate leans heavily of Brett-derived flavors of clove, some allspice and musk. Drying, incredibly funky on the finish, this is quite marvelous. Light in body and medium-heavy in carbonation, this feels great on the palate. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brownish amber under a 1” white to cream colored foam cap that grips the side of the glass.
S: Funky Brett with fruit and hints of cocoa, apples, and spice.
T: The palate follows the nose with lightly spiced fruits with light cocoa leading to a pleasant finishing tartness.
F: Big Brett texture, effervescent, medium to medium light body.
O: An excellent sour funky brown ale.

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Photo of Brenden
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This one is a thick brown-red, heavy in the body with a foamy off-white head that settles to big bubbling at just under half a finger's height. Retention is pretty good, as is the mix of spotting and patching.
This is a good sour brown, hearkening to the Oud Bruin style while retaining and American character. The typical may have a touch more sourness, maybe a bit more yeast to create a more complex interplay, but this tart, sour and malty beer does the job. I just want to draw a little more out of the spices, but they are present.
The medium, somewhat steely mouthfeel I expect greets the palate, a nice crispness leading into solid smoothness the whole way, some dryness and a bit of acidity easing it with no harshness added.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light brown in color and very murky looking. There's a good half inch of densely packed head. Brussels lacing. I smell cinnamon, orange peel, and Belgian candy sugar. The taste tart orange peel and cinnamon. That and the Belgian candy sugar dominate the palate. There's a Granny Smith apple tartness at the back of the palate. There's a massive amount of bubbly carbonation pricking my tongue.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.09/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The body is a deep brown, murky color, almost like water but with a few golden hues floating around. The head is thick, two and a half fingers thick and it’s very creamy and billowy and its an off white color. Mild lacing marks every sip.
Floral hints mixed I with some mild apple butter.
Sour up front, but this fades as it warms up and a lemon zest flavor starts coming out. I cannot detect the cacao or the cinnamon even after it warms up a bit.
Crisp and medium to light bodied.
Pretty good overall, a bit to sour in my opinion for a brown ale, but still a very good ale.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours (SRM 8-9) almost clear amber with a casual drifting carbonation. An enormous, creamy-beige head pushes out of the bottle impatiently. An eternal dense head leaves thick patches of lace on my grandfather’s Rupert Brewing mug.

Fermented apples waft through the air, carrying the aroma of Brettanomyces. Spicy yeast allows some malt and apple vinegar.

Fermented autumn fruits comprise the bulk of this beer, bringing forward memories of apple harvesting. Quite earthy with sourness and acidity, leaving room for sweetness and some semblance of balance. The malt is toasted with caramel. A long, sour finish yields to light bitterness. Warmth reveals further character and hints of ginger.

Maracaibo is a medium to full bodied beer, highly effervescent with dry, but not warming, alcohol and a soft, woolen texture.

The brown ale base is present, supporting this Belgian-influenced beer. This beer is fun and is just as I had hoped for from Jolly Pumpkin. This one will work well with relaxed or animated conversation and pairs with good cheese.

Blend 10 -- 14.Dec.2012 -- The more I drank, the more I wanted to drink.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1pt.9.4 fl.oz. bottle
Served in a Jolly Pumpkin snifter

The color lies between a burnt orange and a rust. It appears cloudy. A lively mountain of tan head coats everything inside the glass.

The aroma comes across as sour apple and cinnamon. I don't pick up any cacao or orange. However I do detect that lovely farmhouse aroma of mildew and funk.

The taste is full of that funky, sour taste one would associate with a saison. The cinnamon comes through, and I can even pick out the orange. The cacao still eludes me.

Medium mouthfeel. Highly effervescent.

I swear this beer is way more sour on tap. It is probably a difference in age of batch. I cannot make out the bottling date or batch number. The stamp is partially missing. i never had that problem with the stickers. Anywho, this is another quality beer from Jolly Pumpkin. They rarely disappoint. I was hoping for more sour, but I still like it a lot.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany, hazy, with a really cool creamy slightly off-white head.
Ah, ok, so it's a FOB. Did not expect (from the label) to smell this mix of lactic acidity, slightly sour cherries and pretty rich caramel malts. Add to that some light nuttiness, citrus peel, faint cocoa powder, a whiff of fresh toast and some rustic wine notes, gone a bit too sour, of course.
A really nice mix of sweet and sour in the taste, like caramel and lemon juice (and peel), with the funky tartness gaining more and more ground. Subtle fruity notes, with apple, orange, faint cherry, and those added cocoa nibs (/powder?) show off for a bit on top of the toasted malts. Dusty kind of spices, a bit earthy, with some cinnamon, faint nutmeg, a touch of pepper. Tartness sticks till the end, which is slightly yeasty, but nice and dry, almost mildly bitter.
All the sour notes disappear in the aftertaste, leaving a bit of nut, a "dusty" note, just hinting at cocoa (not too strongly) and toasted malt. Medium body and carbonation.
A pretty tasty sour, authentic, but doesn't surpass the top of its Belgian counterparts.

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Photo of fourstringer
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a capped 750 mL bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderate hand. Bottled 1/15/13, I believe. It's a bit smudged.

A: Slightly hazy, copper-orange body. 1.5 fingers of dense, off-white head. Good retention. Nice lacing.

S: Musty lactic & citric acid. Some cherry, lemon. Lightly floral hops. Touch of nuts, toasted bread. Orange.

T: Mildly funky and lightly sour start. Slightly nutty, tangy, but ultimately subdued, malts make an appearance. Mostly dry finish with a certain interesting astringent/quinine-like bitterness in the aftertaste. Alcohol presence is consistent with 7.5% ABV with a light burn.

M: Moderate carbonation with a medium to light body. A touch prickly. A bit sticky.

O: Another fine offering from Jolly Pumpkin, if not really blowing me away. Nice tartness and easy-going funk notes. Perhaps a bit thin overall - both on the palate and with regards to the flavor. I didn't get much of the advertised ingredients, but pretty tasty nonetheless.


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Photo of GregJ
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish brown with a thin off-white head. Smells sweet, yeasty and of wheat. Tastes sweet, copper, chardonnay, and a moderate sour bite. Medium body, light carbonation, sour and light wheat aftertaste.

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Photo of M_J_Z
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Had this a few times this year. It's very good.

The first time I tried it, I was totally caught by surprise by the mild sourness. After a few sips, the unusual surprise became a pleasant one. I shouldn't have been all that surprised, though, considering the styles of beer that Jolly Pumpkin produces.

Not one of my favorite JP beers but it definitely is interesting. Plenty going on in this one. The most I could give this is 4 stars, for the time being. 3.75-4. Definitely would like to try this again in the future and give it some more attention.

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Photo of mchegash
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4.5/5
Medium red-brown with a couple fingeres of frothy beige foam. Looks beautiful upon initial pour. After head dies down to about half a finger, less so.

Smell - 4/5
Classic JP sour aromas. I love the flavors, it just doesn't very much between different JP beer. Tart cherries, lemons, apples. Maybe hints of orange and spice as well (which are in the beer according to the bottle). Overall a good smell...I would have liked it to be a little stronger though, and to get more of the unique flavors like the cinnamon and chocolate into the smell (versus just smelling like most JP beers)

Taste - 3.75/5
Tastes pretty similar to the aroma. Tart cherries, lemons, apples, citrus. It definitely tastes spiced, but I am struggling to taste any of the cacao or cinnamon, which were the aspects of this beer which I was really looking forward too. There does seem to be a little bit of sweetness and/or spiciness which seems to be distinct from the fruity-tart flavors, so I am assuming this is the cacao/cinnamon. Occasionally I get sips which seem spicier than normal, but overall I would have liked these flavors to be more pronounced. It tastes good, but with regards to the flavors it advertises, I believe it falls a little short.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Great level of carbonation. About a medium-high quantity of perhaps slightly higher than medium intensity carbonation. The beer is refreshingly crisp. About medium body.

Overall - 3.75/5
This was a decent sour beer. I've never had a JP beer which I didn't really like. But while this had the same great sour aspect JP is known for, I don't feel like this beer really adds much to their lineup. I couldn't detect the cacao or cinnamon in this beer, and so I think they need to work on upping those flavors to improve the brew and make it stand out more from the rest of their lineup.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Mildly cloudy copper pour with an airy off-white two-finger head. Nice sour fruit and funk aroma. Slightly sour cherry and citrus taste upfront backed by light spices, grain and sweeter malt. Finishes with a mild lingering tartness. Medium bodied.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 11/25/13. Batch 206/208.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny chunks of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is sour with malt, cocoa, spice, cherry, funk, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour malt, cherry, vinegar, funk, and acidic flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with cocoa and spice qualities in the aroma, but the taste is mainly sour fruit and funk.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3/5  rDev -24.6%

This beer is really sour. Beer pours a rich amber with white head that is leaving a nice lace. The scent and taste were primarily sour dough. The mouthful is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall not for me.

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Photo of rand
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 750 mL bottle to pint glass

A: The brew yields a giant foamy head on a gentle pour, obviously well bottle-fermented. Is cola-brown in color, kinda oily viscous as well.

S: Tart cherries are the dominant note of a lively bouquet, per usual for a JP offering. Woody, oaky notes as well, touches of pepper.

T: The flavors are an interesting play between tart fruit and nutty sweetness. Oak and white pepper add complexity, while notes of alcohol rounds the palate.

M: Chewy, full-bodied and well carbonated.

Another tasty treat from Jolly Pumpkin. Definitely recommended of you're like me and find most brown ales boring.

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Photo of churchillps
2.86/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On no planet is this a brown ale---it's definitely a sour, and a merely average one at that. Very thin mouthfeel, faint smell of orange, and overpowering sweetness, almost nutra-sweet-y. Cannot taste the cacao at all. Really pretty beer with a great creamy head, though.

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Photo of macher0
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Winos in BG. I had this beer a while back, but just getting around to entering the review. Boring day at work.

A. Light mahogany with dark amber hues. Translucent. Poured a thick, fine bubble egg shell head that retreats to a frothy rim. Strong laces. Healthy head.

S. Traditional JP yeast. Neutral oak, light malts. Bretts.

T. Medium to light tartness. Medium roasted malts. Neutral oak. Fairly simple flavor.

O. Smooth, medium body, medium body.

O. This is a very straight-forward, lightly sour ale. I usually pass on browns, but this is not your typical brown. This is a sour, no doubt. This has session written in BIG LETTERS. I go for this every summer, but this can be enjoyed any season.

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Maracaibo Especial from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
89 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.