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Maracaibo Especial - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Maracaibo EspecialMaracaibo Especial

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

585 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 585
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.81%

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)
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Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was surprised on how sour this was. I know the brewery is fooling with wild yeast strains, but this was gushing white. Lambic aroma vinegar. The others who shared the bottle gave great reviews so I am pressing ahead with my impressions. Hypnotic effect for those used to sour beers in terms of drinkablility, it wasn't a cantillon but the sourness overpowered the spiciness.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 20:31:39 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rusted orange peel with bright Sunkist borders. The large crown is the color of ice cream to which orange juice and cinnamon have been added. Since sweet orange peel and cinnamon are used in this 'Special Brown Ale', that's only fitting. The cap is almost Belgian-like in character and deposits a respectable amount of sea foam lace.

I like the nose because I like Brettanomyces. I'm tempted to score it one notch lower, though, because the things that I believe make Maracaibo Especial distinctive (cacao, cinnamon and orange), (or at least have a chance to), don't have a prayer of being appreciated given all the funk. It better be a different story on the palate.

When I first learned of Maracaibo's Especial's ingredients, I was intrigued. I'm pretty sure I've never had a Belgian-inspired brown ale that uses this combination of fruit and spice. The sad thing is, it doesn't matter because the brewer is in love with light-bodied, sharply carbonated, sour, acidic, dry (in other words, highly attenuated beer)... and I'm not.

If I can get my taste buds to filter out the funk (a near impossible task) I can sorta see what this beer is trying to be. It's clearly brown malty, as opposed to pale or roasted, and has the suggestion of cocoa (make that 'cacao'). There's a warm spiciness that isn't identifiable as cinnamon and a puckery citric fruit zestiness that isn't identifiable as orange. In addition, the flavor profile contains as much wood as your average Upper Peninsula forest. Again, the Brett razes everything in its path, effectively eliminating any chance at depth or complexity.

Simply put, I don't care for the way JP beer feels in the mouth. I respect it, I just don't like it. See several paragraphs above for the specifics. If others love it, more power to 'em.

Maracaibo Especial (and the rest of the Jolly Pumpkin lineup) strikes me as 'no compromises' kind of beer. It seems as though the brewer has a particular vision that he doesn't care to deviate from. Hey Ron, would it kill you to ease off the funk and to allow some of the malt sugars to make it to the end product?

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2007 20:49:14 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of womencantsail


4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is an interesting mix of orange and brown with a fluffy off-white head.

S: A surprising amount of oak, apples, a bit of chocolate, cherry, and only a mild tartness.

T: The cherries are probably the most prominent fruit to go along with the mild tart flavor and a moderate level of funk. There's quite a bit of oak in the flavor too and lends a very dry feeling to the beer.

M: As noted before, the high presence of oak makes the beer fairly tannic and dry. I enjoyed this, my girlfriend did not.

D: Another interesting offering from Jolly Pumpkin. Certainly not my favorite, but I'd definitely give it another try and I'd like to see how it might develop with some age.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 02:30:13 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Kryptic: Poured a hazy brown color ale with a bug light brown color head with great retention and great lacing. Aroma of funky yeast with some brett-like aroma with some sour and tart notes. Taste is also dominated by sour notes with loads of oak and barnyard-like notes. Minimum filtration with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I really enjoyed again the wild taste of the JP beers but cannot say that I detected much cinnamon or cacao.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2008 15:49:55 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Typical of Jolly Pumpkin in that they take a terrific style of beer and improve it. What would be a solid Belgian-style Brown Ale, became a balances sweet/tart, malty/vineous, woodsy/clean Sour Brown. Spicy and sweet from the right from the start, but quickly evolves into an under-rippened berry tartness, shrarply acidit and with dusty must with Flander's Red-like acetic sourness, toasty malt, and peppercorn bite. Lightly hopped for added bitterness and earthy grass notes. Amazingly holds onto a light toast (almost cocoa) flavor and firm creaminess despite the alcohol and modest astringency. Another true challenge for the tastebuds. An amazingly well crafted Sour Brown ale that draws inspiration from Belgium but made in America.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2006 04:02:21 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up at Connecticut Avenue in DC.

Blend 4; bottled November 19, 2010. Served in a Jolly Pumpkin tulip.

Pours a clear chestnut brown color with a single-finger off-white head and some good lacing on the way down. Thin cap throughout. The nose has a bit of cocoa as well as some mild earthiness. Just a touch of funk in the background.

The flavor has a bit of dark cocoa. There's a bit of light oak and earthiness toward the back. Not nearly as much going on as other Jolly Pumpkin beers; this is more "normal." It's a pretty good brew, but there's nothing there to take the complexity to the next level.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 18:40:44 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a two finger high dense beige head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface along with lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: The nose has a slight amount of sourness, which also has aromas of orange peel and cinnamon.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a little sour and has orangey flavors along with some hints of cinnamon and oak.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink with all of the interesting flavors, but it's really easy to drink because any traces of alcohol are well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 02:04:45 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - $13.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Blend 1 - Bottled 11-9-10.

Appearance: Dispenses a clouded, medium-brown body with a tall, gushing, slowly receding, off-white head.

Smell: Presents a slow shambling toasted, molded bread maltiness and toasted, earth-strewn nuts with a quick snap of phenols bringing one to attention, then, the cacao and cinnamon slips past followed by ripe fruits, a even little berry.

Taste: Toasted maltiness, slight caramel sweetness, and with more chocolate flavor than I'd ever have expected. Pinch of cinnamon, but also a clovesque, peppery note alongside acedic berries soothed with umeshu. Becomes predominately earthy and acidic as it progresses. Finishes with a flourish of engaging, burp-inducing carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. High carbonation.

Overall: As always, it’s another weird, wild ride from Jolly Pumpkin.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2012 01:02:04 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 349 Maricaibo Especial pours a very dark chestnut-colored body that hints at notes of crimson and orange, but never quite makes it there. The full glass sitting on the bar, however, displays a reddish dark-mahogany. The head is initially frothy but settles quickly to become a creamy yellowed-white pillow. As might be expected, the head retention is quite good and the lacing is fantastic.

In the nose, cloves appear right up-front, almost bubblegum-like, and then quickly dissipate. They're followed by tart notes, and then further tones of wet leather, minerals and oil, and thin shears of metal. Subtle spices arise, mixed with fruit, but they never become quite clear.

In the mouth it's medium-bodied, and gently-zesty-then-creamy as it warms across the palate.

The flavor is a broad spectrum of changing flavors as it warms and your taste buds become accustomed to certain notes. The phenols and Brettanomyces appear first, followed by spice/cocoa/fruit, and then leafy and grassy hop flavors. There's a bit of citrus as well, but who knows where that's coming from. I find sweet red apples, green apples, rotting apples, orange, papaya, mango, melon. Then notes of brown sugar and dry biscuits. Even just lightly browned bread dough hot out of the oven! It suggests sweetness, but it's not really sweet. (Well, it is sweet towards the end). The malt moves back and forth between the fruit/yeast/hops in an almost ghost-like fashion - here one second, gone the next. Nutmeg flickers through, adding to the spicy dryness, but there's a real hop bitterness as well. A rigid bitterness. It finishes dry with a strong note of orange rind and some subtle cocoa, as well as a lingering bitterness and some leafy hops and yeasty mineral and earth. The cinnamon becomes apparent at some point in the lingering finish as it just doesn't fade that well. And at that point everything kind of gets tumbled over and just slightly rearranged to go again in the next few sips. And in some of those new sips the cinnamon and orange merge which is quite nice. But there are so many combinations that it's almost not worth mentioning.

Complex. Intriguing. Requiring some focus.


Do yourself a favor.

(Those last three lines should be a slogan :)

How is it that a brewery that makes less beer than many brewpubs can produce something that's so compelling?

And I'd even say that perhaps this is not that compelling in comparison to some of their other beers that are more full-throttle, but this one is certainly more balanced in some way.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 02:29:21 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of emerge077


4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anticipating foam, I opened the bottle and poured quickly. Only a plume of gunsmoke escaped from under the cap. It poured a deep chestnut color, with reddish highlights. Not opaque, but very effervescent. Sandy foam and lacing stuck around for the duration of the bottle.

Notes of oak, spice, fig, and apple in the nose. Very pleasant aroma.

Taste is moderately complex, a blend of tart to sour apple from wild yeast, figs, raisin, mystery spice, and dry caçao nibs. Slightly roasty malt in the middle. The finish is dry, but it seems more attributed to the yeast or chocolate aspects than to oak barrel aging. One bottle goes down easily, and it becomes slightly more mild as it warms up to room temp. The carbonation isn't too overdone, but gives a lighter balance to the richer flavors.

Strangely enough, once the bottle is empty, it's still halfway full of foam...

A winner from JP...

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2006 15:04:39 | More by emerge077
Photo of drabmuh


3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Thorpe, serves in a snifter. Beer is brown / black with a thin tan head, low carbonation, no lacing.

Aroma is a little roasty, some acetic and lactic.

Beer is a little chocolatey and a little lactic forward. It is fine but doesn't blow me away. I might have it again in the future but this isn't my favorite from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 15:33:36 | More by drabmuh
Photo of jlindros


3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap at Armsby Abbey,

Fluffy 2 finger head off a very long pour, slowly fades wroth thick lacing, hazy golden peach orange color.

Nose of Belgian malts, light and dark, citrus and fruits, a light tart sour mash and light sour fruits, a little bready, light sweetness.

Taste starts a little funky with some light tart fruits and sour mash, bit of lactic, semi sweet Belgian malts, little bready and light wild yeast funk, bit of bitterness, light citrus and lemon zest, smooth and tasty. Finishes with more bitter lemon peel and some light tart funk, little lacto and flemmy.

Mouth is med to a bit lighter with decent carb.

Drink is good, not much abv and the tartness is balanced well with light sweetness and bready malts and light funk, the lacto and flemmy take away a bit.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2011 19:33:34 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled April, 2006
Pours with a frothy, amber tan colored head that starts out about two and a half finger-widths in thickness. It slowly dissipates leaving a light frothy lacing on the side of my tulip glass. The beer is an opaque, dark brown color that shows a murky, reddish amber color when held up to the light. The aroma smells quite fruity as I pour this beer into my glass; notes of sweet plums, raisins, some definite fig notes, and a distinct fruity note that reminds me of something like quince paste. Interestingly enough when I go in for a deep draught of the aroma these fruit aromatics are much muted. Instead I get tart notes of tamarind, some funky Brettanomyces notes, as well as a light acidity. The sharp Brett character seems to be the dominant note in the nose, but underneath it all is an austere, dry, toasty malt character.

The beer is lightly sweet up front and has a creamy mouthfeel to it that just coats the palate. There is some sharp, almost astringent character here that helps to balance the sweetness; it is a mix of sharp, funky Brettanomyces character, and what I would guess is some woody oak notes. The sweetness is complimented by a light, tart sour note that seems to also accentuate the fruit character. The fruit notes remind me of a sweet yet tart plum, some definite rich raisin notes, and a definite, though only a hint of, tamarind. There is quit a bit of malt character in this beer as well, notes of chocolate, caramel, toasted grain, and perhaps a hint of espresso character make for another interesting dimensionality. Somewhere around the middle of a taste of this beer ones starts to pick up a citrus note of sweet orange. There is also a bit more spice character to this beer; lots of spicy yeast notes and perhaps some actual spices as well add up to a not overwhelming character, but one which as a whole is quite apparent, yet well integrates.

This is quite the tasty tipple, it is a bit rich and satisfying, with lots of malt character to round things out. The balance that this beer has is what really sets this beer apart; all of the flavors just integrate so well, with none dominating over the other. The mix of funky Brett character, light tartness, sweet malt, fruit notes, and integrated spicing just works so well here.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2006 02:58:27 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jwc215


3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

POurs murky-ish brown with a huge tan, foamy, rocky head. Patchy lacing sticks.

The smell is of cacoa, cinnamon and sour fruitiness.

The taste is of bitter cacao, slight tinny notes (that hold up even through warming), herbal notes with sour-vinegary undertones that come to the forefront as it progresses. Cinnamon is pretty strong, and very identifyable. Orange zest is mixed in. A touch of alcohol shows. It has a dry finish.

The feel is a bit thin for what it could be, but holds together and is coating.

An "interesting" sipper here. A spiced brew that goes towards Oud Bruin, with less maltiness. Different - a fine sour and spicy sipper, that doesn't fit into a particular "style" per se. Not as rich as I was hoping it would be, but certainly worth having as a "something different" brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 02:07:19 | More by jwc215
Photo of WVbeergeek


4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2007 18:28:59 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy brown color with a 1" fluffy head. Some spots of lacing develop.

Smell: caramel, lite chocolate, and general sweetness.

Taste: mild malt levels with some caramels and milk chocolate, mild bitterness, hints of cinammon, and a touch of alcohol. The finish leans towards a tartness which is interesting.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout, leaning towards smooth. Medium bodied. Flavors linger briefly into finish.

Drinkability: pretty good. Worth picking one up.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2006 22:38:51 | More by Gavage
Photo of Halcyondays


3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25.4 oz. bottle, Batch 253,

A: Pours a relatively clear brown, with a full, long lasting white head, great full lacing.

S: Lactic acid dominates, some spice, but not really that complex, the orange peel is evident.

T: Acidity, brown malt and light bacterial funk form the main flavour at first. Orange peel is the main spice flavour, the cinnamon is there, but much more secondary. Struggling to find the chocolate, thought there would be more of it, it's really only there in the aftertaste. A bit of raw oak in there as well.

M: I like that the carbonation is light, acidity for a JP beer is mild, easy to drink for a sour.

D: I liked this beer, but it didn't really impress me, hoping for more chocolate and spice. Would have again for sure if offered, but whouldn't shell out the $12 for another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2008 06:15:56 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

this trip down memory lane of revisiting all the jolly pumpkin beers has been time and money well spent. all of their stuff is awesome, maybe none more unique than this one, a tart brown ale with orange peel, cacao, and cinnamon, all of which are subtle but definite. hazy light brown ambery glow, heady as can be, bone white and patient. the nose is just like the finish, an odd relationship we don't often see, but its loaded with orange peel, citrusy, tart, acidic, yet dry, very clean and refreshing. this one may be a bit light for winter, even as a brown. i taste powdery cocoa chocolate malt, buttery cacao, zesty citrus fruits, wild yeasts and brett all over the shop, and only minimal cinnamon, just enough to make it puzzling. very light malt flavor, but there is a lot of body in this, made luxurious on the palate by tiny tickling bubbles, similar to other beers from jolly pumpkin, but rounder and softer from the cacao. all orange in the finish, a bit of brown malt, and a memorable zest of refreshment. a summer brown i think, but maybe more versatile with the cinnamon. their yeasts kick butt, and so does this beer, can't recall anything even resembling this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 22:36:45 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 09/15/10 notes. Had at a small DC tasting.

a - Pours a dark amber color with 2 inches of fluffy white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices and dark fruit. Also some fruity malts and bready malts.

t - Tastes of sour, dark fruits, spices, bready malts, and caramel malts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good dark ale. I wasn't expecting the taste to be quite as sour, but it was still enjoyable. Would try again.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 03:00:46 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak


3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am drinking a 750 mL capped bottle, poured into a Chimay goblet. The ale has warmed to room temperature.

Appearance: The ale has a deep brown color that is very hazy. There is a bit of lace around the glass, but not much.

Smell: The ale has a gamey aroma, which I think is par for the course for Jolly Pumpkin. The aged ale suggests hints of a flanders red in the cherry-like nose.

Taste: The ale seems to be angling towards the sour ale zone, but falls a bit short. The flavor is solid and the aged component dries the mouth a bit but not too terribly.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is interesting, as the ale does not appear to be aged too significantly long.

Drinkability: Average. I'd have another, but it is not at the top of my dubbel list.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2006 22:51:05 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium


4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Worthy of note: this did not come off as a brown ale in any regard whatsoever. I don't think "special brown ale" qualifies this as a brown ale...it wasn't. Labeled as a sour ale on the beer list.

Served in a 9oz. snifter, this beer poured some kind of orange-brown-pink hybrid color that I can only really otherwise describe as "imperial topaz;" hazy, with a thin cap of delicate bubbles on top. Aroma was a bit subdued: tart, but actually pretty mildly so, with soft notes of wood and leaves. Taste of cherries, orange pith and apple skins, again, like the aroma, tart, but not overly so, sour, but not lip-puckering, oak and leafiness, tannins, citrus, and light spice with the lightest dusting of cocoa powder. Very nice and complex. Medium-bodied, very drying, very easily drinkable, but nice to sip on slowly.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2012 15:04:33 | More by Rifugium
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.1/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2006 21:33:21 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new Jolly Pumpkin beer is a joy. I hope this one is no exception to the rule. Purchased in California and brought back to Sydney to share with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a ruddy brownish colour, like well-polished mahogany. Head is huge and frothy, even from the initial pour, leaving webby lacing and solid Jolly Pumpkin effervescent ebullience. Looks great.

Nose is... well, it's one of those brilliant experiences you always get with Jolly Pumpkin. It's never quite what you expect, but it's always unique, odd and exciting. Here, we have a savoury grainy character mingled with some classic Biere de Garde like funk that gives a mingled peppery sweetness that smells like BBQ flavoured chips. It's that odd mixture of sweet, savoury and spice, along with a little refreshing acidity. It's unique, but gorgeous.

Taste is missing some of the expected funk and acidity, but the savoury character comes through a lot more here, leaving a meaty, almost salty character with a surprisingly crisp body. Light and drinkable, with almost no sweetness and a carbonation level that suggests seltzer water. You know what, it's impressively light and drinkable, but it misses a lot of the complexity I expected from the nose.

But, as I said, every new Jolly Pumpkin is a joy, and I genuinely love the subtleties and intricacies of their different funky brews. This one ends up cleaner and way lighter than I expected on the palate, but still has the classic, exciting funk that makes every Jolly Pumpkin beer unique. There's a reason they're one of my very favourite breweries.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 05:51:57 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a five+ finger light brown head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Deep red/amber color, ton of yeast in bottom of bottle. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Alcohol and sour apple nose. Starts and finishes with a sour apple flavor, malts in the background. Alcohol is slightly noticeable, not your usual American brown. $8.20 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2006 22:32:14 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Zorro


3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

3/4 Liter bottle received from LuckySevens82 and BIF33 - Team Spring.

Pours a cloudy brown colored ale despite the fact it has been sitting in my refrigerator for 2 weeks settling any sediment that might be in the bottle. Momentary tan head that doesn't last.

Smell is fruity and mildly sour in scent much like a granny smith apple. Beech wood and faint spice are lesser scents.

Taste is sweet and sour but still mild in the first sip. Woody and somewhat sour this isn't really what I would call a great Belgian Brown Beer. Flavor doesn't develop much more at all.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not a beer I can really recommend here. Below par Belgian Ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 02:44:37 | More by Zorro
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Maracaibo Especial from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
89 out of 100 based on 585 ratings.