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Maracaibo Especial - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Maracaibo EspecialMaracaibo Especial

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

658 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 658
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: 658 | Reviews: 305 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cavery
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml shared with Klym, marked Blend 5 11-23-10

poured into over-sized wine glasses.

A: At first look I thought this was a flanders red ale. Has that really creamy foam with ultra-fine bubbles. Silk screen lacing smothers the edges of the glass after a strong 1 finger (in a wine glass!) head. There wasn't even a violent pour, and I was amazed at the longevity of the foam. Amazing reds and browns, really is something special to look at. Not very often that you can really say that about a beer. This one is unique looking.

S: Not what I was expecting! Some very interesting notes in here. Sweet and funky stewed tomatoes, candied button mushrooms, and some soft alcohol flavored cotton candy. Super complex in the nose, ultra-complex even. Never sniffed another like it. Though the funk really is the spice on all the flavors, and may in fact overwhelm lighter notes. Nonetheless, lots of strong and distinct scents.

T: Really earthy mushroom flesh notes, comes off like the stem flesh of portobello mushrooms. Funky sweetness that tastes initially of green olives, but the latter is strongly suggestive of briney black olives. The sweetness head butts the funk for a salty salty transition. A late bitter linger that takes me to the world of stinky cheese. Definitely a head scratcher, I really sat with this one as I felt challenged. Extremely mild roasted chocolate shavings in the finish.

M: Heavenly in the just superb fancy carbonation. So many micro bubbles burst to give a cotton candy like texture in the mouth. The body is very full while giving the illusion of being light as air. The bubbles are so small and delicate it almost tickles the under side of my tongue. World class in the mouth-feel department.

O: This was not was I expected at all, but I came away with a very positive experience. there's more interesting stuff going on here than I could have ever hoped for. There are some very daring notes in this beer, and it all comes from a very balanced yeast profile. This beer is not too funky at all, but the funk paints a most complex picture over somewhat familiar sensations. This brew the work of an alchemist. The yeast is the star, where everything is influenced by its presence. Is that a familiar sweetness I taste? No, it's stewed tomatoes. Oh a nice salty sensation from the yeast, or is that green Olives?...wait, I mean Black? Ugh. That's how this beer goes. A wonderfully controlled chaos of complexity.

Cavery, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of Klym
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass. Shared with Cavery.

A: Man, that's pretty. Against the light it's a translucent blood red with bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass like there's a gas fissure down there. Head is off white and near perfect in its construction and size, just going a little over a one-finger on a solid pour. Lacing starts out like a blanket and disolves into spots that remain on the glass throughout the drink. I'm often not sure how to rate the appearance of a beer but this one was easy.

S: Yeast, nuts, cherry, cocoa shavings, tortilla, and a hint of basil. Was more yeasty than I expected in the smell but there are real subtle complexities packed in underneath. Also, while the yeast presence is strong it's not as sharp and assaulting as I've found it to be in many beers.

T: I often hastily review beers because for most, I would say, the immediately noticeable flavors constitute the vast majority of the experience and other complexities really have to be dug for. This beer is quite different though, it makes its hidden complexities known and really beckons you to dig deeper. Still maybe a little yeastier than I'd appreciate but there's a ton going on behind the scenes here. Sharp cherry hits and rolls into savorier and darker flavors like nuts and cocoa shavings, a very playful mustard taste and character follows the transitions throughout and there are very subtle kicks of things like kimchi, grease, and potato. The delicate layers of flavor in this is pretty unrivaled.

M: If you expect a beautiful beer to have a great mouth feel, you'd be right with this beer. The mouthfeel starts out thin, gets a little thicker and almost finishes oily, but in a bizarre way it follows the flavor transitions perfectly. No imbalanes in the mouth and the oral experience spreads pretty perfectly.

O: This beer grew on me hugely in the course of drinking this. I wouldn't recommend this beer on the basis that it's simply delicious (not that it isn't), as I would many beers, but rather that there is enormous complexity in this. If you're looking for a beer to savor and ponder, this is it. Jolly Pumpkin is really catching my attention after this.

Klym, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing this as a BSDA is kinda weird as it is rather funky. Very carbed big puffy billowing slightly off white head. Actual puffy lacing on the glass. Deep amber red to brown color and it is opaque. Nice lactic sourness married with some spice and earth notes. Little bit of wood barrel is present too. The flavor is very unique, a blend of spice and sour. I can pick out the cacao, and maybe some allspice, and others which blend with the typical JP sour notes. Again I can detect some of the barrel flavor. Nice deep malty base backs all these complex flavors up well. Even for a well attenuated beer Maracaibo has nice body. Again not what I expect from a BSDA, but I knew what to expect as it is JP, pretty damn good beer, just not a BSDA. I'll have it again.

pmlondrigan, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Meridian Pint DC into a tulip glass.

A very nice glowing dark brown cherry/amber body is presented, with a light off brown very foamy one finger head. While drinking there is some minor sticky/spotted lacing. Looks good.

Bouquet is clean and fresh, with classic brett and yeast. Very airy, and hints of sour crisp apple.

Taste brings a powdery mild malt and just a bare sense of brown sugar. Mixed in with that on the palate is classic sour yeast taste with a very full bodied feeling. No unfortunate prickly carbonations or extremely off putting finish.

I think the thing that stands out the most for me on this one is the particular version of this style feels incredibly refreshing for such a dark sour. Very impressive beer.

smakawhat, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of AngusOg
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle labeled "Blend 4 11-19-10". Poured a light brown with some deep ruby red showing through in the light into a tulip glass. Two fingers worth of good head. Who doesn't like good head? Aroma has some Belgian funk/sourness, although this one is from Dexter, Michigan. Flavor is a little sour too, not in a bad way per say, just hoping it does not dominate. And it does not for long. As my palate gets used to the sour and/or it warms, the complexity of this brew starts to come forth. The spices, etc make for an interesting and enjoyable mix with the sour back drop. Thoroughly enjoyed this one on the deck grilling some chicken. This was my first offering from Jolly Pumpkin, looking foward to more.

AngusOg, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Slow's BBQ in a pint glass. From notes.

Appearance: On tap this has a cloudy apple cider color with a darker brown middle. A wispy off white head contributes no lace, most likely from an honest pint's pour.

Smell: Cacao really jumps out from here, along with cinnamon, orange, and some funky sour cherries.

Taste: A touch of toasted bready sweetness up front, this is modest, yet complex and interesting beer. Tart cherry, coriander, and some orange are imparted on my taste buds with some sour Brett and a little wheat. A dose of funk exists throughout each sip. Fairly sour, but I am guessing it is less sour and funky on tap than it would be in the bottle.

Mouthfeel: This is dry, which is no surprise from the yeast used, fairly light, and smooth. The crisp carbonation works well with the body and flavors to create a light, refreshing beverage. Somewhat acidic.

Overall: This was different, complex, and very enjoyable. I will definitely order this again. Even a while after drinking it, it keeps popping back into my mind as a beer I would like to go back to soon.

KickInTheChalice, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in the regional growler gif. Thanks man.

Poured into a small snifter. Pours a garnet red. Hazy. Nice light tan head with nice lacing.

Aroma isn't strong but I get a bit of cheese at first. Not bad cheese but a pleasant cheese. Bit of funk and maltiness.

Taste is pleasant. You can taste the brown ale but then there is a nice Brett funk and that dry bitterness.

Mouthfeel is super dry and high carb.

Overall a tasty brew. These aren't cheap so don't think I would buy this but it was good to try.

PeprSprYoFace, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared this one with my room mate. Split into two tulips. This one pours a slightly light brown; kind of hazy here but with a big creamy beige head that caps this one off with at a couple inches. Pretty nice retention and lots of sticky lace.

Sour granny smith apples are right up front in the aroma. Seems to have a little bit of spicy character in the aroma with some dried cocoa. A little bit yeasty in the aroma but all in all a nice refreshingly tart aroma. A little less tart than the aroma leads. Yeasty sourdough flavor here with a kiss of cocoa. Nutmeg and cinnamon are noticable with a little bit of a figgy flavor. Really nice slightly tart finish with a little bit of spice.

A little bit coarse on the mouthfeel but a really nice light body. Really an interesting beer. They really take some unique flavors on this and come up with a pretty enjoyable brown ale. This one is a bit yeasty after a while, but that's not enough to break the deal.

Bendurgin, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of aepb1
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to my brother for sharing this beer

A- Cloudy brown body white a HUGE foamy tan head

S- Musty, funky sour

T- Brown sugar, sour apple, and other dark fruits. It's sweet, sour and finishes crisp

M- Light body and highly carbonated, a little different than I'm used to on the style

D- A very interesting take on the style and being such a big fan of saisons, I probably like it more than the style should allow

aepb1, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of Ghenna
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cream head, lotsa fingers, penny copper in color/ Smells of candi sugar- similar to that of a faro lambic. afterstench of general spice.

Taste- nice and sour. warm spices are pronounced - i.e. cinnamon. Lactic sour with piny tinge and a bit of sweet in the background. Flavor is of sour and spice- and that is all. generic sour and spice actually- not a lot to rave home about.

Generally a decent bottle. but a bit underwhelming considering the other reviews. Truthfully the bret is a little stong- moderating it out with ped. and other sour bacteria would do it wonders in terms of balance.

Ghenna, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of socon67
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/11/2010

A - Pours an amber brown like iced tea. Very cloudy with a bit of sediment in the bottle. A cream colored foam laces the glass *(When opened this foamed from the bottle despite all normal precautions).

S - Scents of candied fruit, cinnamon, and belgian yeast.

T - Tastes sweet with a tangy bite. Spices and sugar flavor the beer, with an astringent taste in the finish. This is a fiunky belgian strong; its not a heavy beer and yet there are many different flavors (cinnamon, milk chocolate, pepper, raisins).

M - A bit heavy on the palate. This is a sipper.

O - Certainly an interesting beer and my first try of Jolly Pumpkin. If you like belgian strongs this is worth a purchase because of the unique complexity.

socon67, May 29, 2011
Photo of seand
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bubbly red amber, with a large amount of dense, bubbly white head. A nice blanket of foam retains, leaving pretty good walls of lacing.

S: Yeast and dark fruit, with just a touch of citrus, along with a mild chocolate note.

T: Sweet with yeast, and an interesting spice mixture, as well as a dark fruit background. There's also a slightly citrusy note sitting on top, which almost feels like citrus more than tastes like it; kind of like the feeling of drinking orange juice near the back of the tongue.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

Overall good, and interesting. Quite unique.

seand, May 25, 2011
Photo of babaracas
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark red/brown with orange edges, big cream colored meringue head. The middle of which settles to half an inch leaving a ridiculous 1/4 inch thick sheet of lace on the glass. Smell: a lot of spices upfront, sort of peppery but also pie spices - cinnamon and something else? A whiff of cocoa, brown sugar, slight lemon rind component. Not quite hay/barnyard but you can tell it's going to get funky...warms a bit and you're there. Taste: barnyard funkiness, citrus rind, a bit cidery, cinnamon, brown sugar. Sweet, heavy on the spices, a bit funky with a light sourness. Nov release so has about 6 months on it. Interesting and would be a huge step up from the usual slate of spiced and pumpkin beers that come out in the fall. Batch 349.

babaracas, May 19, 2011
Photo of Treebs
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blend 5, bottled 11/23/10.

Poured from 750ml into Founders snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown with a 2 finger cream colored head. Head retention is crazy with great bubble lace.

S: Jints of cocoa with several unidentifiable spices with some citrus present. Strawberries come to mind with other berries.

T: Very spicy, almost a sudo-burn even though the alcohol isn't present. Orange with a slight cinnamon. Sweetness of a little chocolate fills the backend.

M: Tingly mouthfeel. Medium bodied with light spice left on the tongue.

O: Boy was this interesting. The spices are incredible and dominate the overall flavors, but it's a nice drink. And it's pretty smooth if you let it sit.

Treebs, May 19, 2011
Photo of larryi86
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL dated 11/19/10, blend 4, poured into a tulip

A- A deep red/orange with a huge light tan head.

S- Brown sugar, sour apples, some spices, hint of orange. Smell is nice, but not overwhelming.

T- Sour, but not too sour, some caramel malts and spices, I can't fully put my finger on all the flavors. This is a nice sour ale with a good balance.

M- Medium body, smooth, crisp, dry.

O- This is a solid sour that is worth the money. This is my third beer from Jolly Pumpkin and it is just as good as the others I have.

larryi86, May 15, 2011
Photo of ThePorterSorter
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't remember where I heard about this brewery, but remembered it none the less and grabbed this bottle as a birthday treat. The bottle I grabbed was Blend 10 bottled on 12-8-10.

Very foamy, quite excessive in fact. I had to stop an overflow by sucking down some foam and I am quite pleased by how the foam tasted. After letting the beer sit for a bit it became obvious this head wasn't going anywhere, there is potently thick lacing. The beer appears a light and hazy brown and the inch of head is slightly tan. There is dark black sediment, possibly the unfiltered cocoa nibs and yeast?

Sour cherries with a light sweetness. This beer definitely smells pretty dank, but this beer doesn't capture any notes of the alleged cocoa nibs. The spice of this beer comes through strongly and mixes with the spiciness of the yeast. Definitely a beer to give a chance to breathe and let warm.

I am getting strong fruity sourness, followed by spice and bitterness. Very smooth and tastes alive. There are hints of cherries, as noted in the nose, and other dark fruits such as raisin, but the sourness is reminiscent of a ripe lemon. Although this beer is definitely sour, it's not defined by its sourness. The spice works in and helps segue from initial sourness to the drying finish that a sour tends to leave. It's definitely a good beer, unexpected sourness with little making it a Belgian Dark Ale.

Initially very sour, but it smooths out on the side of sweetness as the beer approaches room temperature. There is a luscious spice and some bold fruitiness. The beer is also light and airy, the intense fluff from the beer's head does fade eventually, but puts up a god fight. The white and black peppercorn sediment scares me, but I must finish!

This beer is tasty, but it had a pretty hefty price tag associated with it! It was a great celebratory drink, sour with Belgian spice and funk. I shared the bottle with someone as interested in good beer as me and heard great responses. I would love to try this brewery's other beers, but only when i'm ready to shell out $15 for a pint and a half.

ThePorterSorter, May 14, 2011
Photo of SeaUrchin
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this on tap on tuesday at Slows BBQ in detroit, served into a pint glass

appearance - poured a nice hazy light brown, with minimal head that hung around(pour mistake not because of the beer itself) noticeable carbonation

smell - upfront was a mixture of spices and lightly roasted malts, then there was a slight hoppyness with low amounts of chocolate and a bit of funk, makes em want to jump into this one, iv never been let down my a JP beer before

taste - follow the nose for the most part. first there was a pleasant mix of spices that quickly faded into sweet roasted malts and bitter chocolate, this quickly moved into a slight citrus with a bit of hops bitterness, then came a lemony funk, not too strong but enough to make me salivate a bit and want another sip. would have liked a bit more sour to this bad boy but it was on par with what fresh JP normally tastes like

mouthfeel - it was lighter than i expected on my tongue, thanks to the carbonation but still let a bit of a syrupy feel in my mouth, considering i like big stouts this was a very pleasant feeling

drinkability - easy to drink, makes you want to have another,would recommend to anyone whoa asked

overall - easy to drink, tasty, and strong enough to keep you happy, will have again

SeaUrchin, May 05, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

441st review on BA

App- A darker amber orange with a good 1/2 in head to it. Very good cling to this one. For a brown ale the color is off to me, even with spices and cacao, I was pretty sure this would be a bit darker.

Smell- This was a bit of a mix of the spices, some chocolate and malts. Wanted to have more of the sour that this was but didnt get any of it.

Taste- This was much less sour than I had hoped. I didnt get much of the sour taste or notes of it. I got mostly the cacao and the cinnamon and other spices.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Didnt leave too much of a taste except for the spices.

Drink- Nice beer but for the 1st beer I have had from Jolly Pumpkin, I was a bit let down. I wanted more sour and felt the taste was a bit tame. Probably wont come back to this one.

FosterJM, May 02, 2011
Photo of rrski198
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Largest, most fluffy, sticky head i've ever seen. Absolutely amazing. Sticks around for ever. Murky brown color. Great lacing.

S: distict sour and sweet brown sugar. beautiful funky yeast smell.

T: Sour up front followed by a highly spicy, distinctly belgian yeast flavor. Deeply roasted malt and a highly funky flavor finish off the flavor.

M: Highly carbonated. Might be the most carbonated beer i've ever had. Very flavorful and mildly puckering.

O: This is the second "sour" that I have ever had. It is quite different than the first and I have to say that i like it. It is very different than other belgian strong ales but at the same time, so musch the same. I am digging it!

rrski198, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of webmanspidey
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large snifter. This is a clear dark brown color with around an inch of foamy head. Smell is sour and acidic, reminiscent of fermented apple cider. Spices in the background include cloves and cinnamon. Taste is a mix of sour lemon, chocolate, and cloves. Alcohol is barely noticeable, keeping this extremely drinkable.

Overall, this isn't quite as complex as the bottle made it sound, but it is a very drinkable sour beer.

webmanspidey, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of kwjd
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper-amber colour with incredibly huge white head. Lots of lacing around the glass, great head retention. Smells quite spicy with some barnyard funk there too. Some sour vinegar flavour and I think I get some more fruitiness in the aftertaste. Really big carbonation level. This is a nice beer, fairly sour and yeasty.

kwjd, Apr 15, 2011
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 sk8man121
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into Allagash chalice. Batch 13.

A: Pours a deep mahogany with tangerine highlights. Huge 3-finger rocky tan head slowly fades, leaving a great deal of lacing on the glass.

S: Strong sour apple and brett up front; typical JP. Caramel in the background.

M: Sour apple, pear and lime with a distinct brett overtone. Caramel, toffee and cacao are evident but very faint. Finishes somewhat metallic from the brett.

O: While this is not my favorite JP offering and is a bit less complex than I had hoped (would like to see more cacao), it still stands as a well-balanced, easy to drink sour.

Very nice offering.

sk8man121, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amazingly wavey, tan, foamy head. Great cloudy, murky, mahogany color

S - Very citrus with apples, lighter fruit notes. Oakey and rough smell hidden by cinnamon and orange

T - Great oak and citrus balance. Very deep oak with pleasant orange and lemon zest with just a slight sprinkle of pepper... YUM

M - Great carbonation, smooth and flavors are delightfully complemented by the bubbles

D - Hard to savour... Great job JP

Great brew by JP, definitely didn't disappoint. Worth the pennies spent... I couldn't drink one very night, but very good good. I will highly recommend this brew to all friends and interested people.


chugalug06, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of ksarko
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: cloudy amber color. Thick head. Good lacing down the glass

S: Sour on the nose

T: Champagne burn on the tongue sour flavor. hints of sour apple and caramel.

M: medium body, big punch than leaves fast.

O: Great summer sit around the fire beer. Good to sip on. I really enjoyed this beer. Gives you that punch in the front and makes you wanting more. Great beer overall

Serving type: on-tap in a 23oz beer glass

ksarko, Apr 07, 2011
Maracaibo Especial from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
89 out of 100 based on 658 ratings.