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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

638 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 638
Reviews: 302
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 47
Gots: 54 | 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)
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Ratings: 638 | Reviews: 302 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of samyoung


3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Friday night at Fourth Avenue Pub is a fun time especially when Jolly Pumpkin is involved. The Maracaibo Especial was served in a 12 ounce goblet.

A - Deep orange and red.
S - Fruit and spice, some notes of orange.
T - Extremely flavorful, detected chocolate and orange with a robust hoppy-sour finish.
M - Sticky, sweet and smooth, really clings.
D - One was all I could take; the flavor/body in 12 ounces was blew me away.

Great beer. Jolly Pumpkin makes exquisite, creative and wholly unique beers.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2011 01:09:50 | More by samyoung
Photo of BeerImmediately


3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Not sure why this is listed as a BSDA - it should really be listed as an American Wild Ale.

Pours with a healthy 2F of foamy tan head over a thick, burnt-amber colored body. Decent level of carbonation flowing up, and lots of lacing left afterwards.

Aromas are fantastic (pure Wild Ale). Plenty of sweet & sour, mixed with dark fruits, Belgian yeast, cinnamon-like spice, sneakers, and horseblanket.

Slightly tinny up front on the palate, and the flavors don't rip your tastebuds, as the aromas suggest. But still tastes terrific - dark fruits, plenty of woody/bark character, birch beer, and a light pull of lemon-like sour. Carbonation seemed to disappear, buried by some of the rich flavors. This was probably just average on the mouthfeel, IMO - whether you consider this a Wild Ale or BSDA.

Drinkability is quite high on this, as with most offerings from JP. Plenty of interesting aroma & flavor, and smooth going down.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 00:58:29 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of xnicknj


3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at rattle n hum in nyc

Pours a clouded cherry auburn with brown tones, a thinner off-white head, dissolves with a couple spots of lacing and film.

Dark fruit with some tangy cherries and a suggestion of currants followed by that recognizable JP funk.

Slightly tart and dry with sweet and sour cherry. Some earthy funk with woodiness. Bitterness and some more dark fruit with a touch of dates. Finished dry with some tart funk and very soft sweetness.

Lighter medium body, spritzy on the tongue, pretty dry throughout. Drinks nicely, the cherries are a nice touch and the alcohol is invisible once again. Not my favorite JP offering but another tasty one for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 16:57:01 | More by xnicknj
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazed burnt sienna color with moderate cap of bubbles, gone quickly. Scent is bolder than many beers from Jolly, notes of carmel malt, nuts, bitter cocoa and bread mingling with the tart and funky notes. Taste follows scent and likewise is fairly bold for Jolly, there is a nice underlying beer below the funk and tart and those qualities actually take a back seat when they usually star in their beers. Medium bodied, again a nice moderate level of carbonation not found in their bottles. A nice beer which seems to do a couple things outside of the normal Jolly Pumpkin range.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 15:15:23 | More by rfgetz
Photo of jlindros


3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
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 dciBA


4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark hazy amber into a tulip glass. About 2 fingers of off white head thats lingering for quite a while.

Smell is mostly funk from the wild yeast. Theres a generic spicy smell in the as well. Hard to pinpoint the invidual spices. Taste is an initial rush of wild yeast funk. Pretty typical JP. What follows the funk is what really sets this beer apart. The spice in the nose becomes much more easy to pick apart. A nice dry cocoa flavor is the most dominant with some coriander and Ginger as well.

Mouthfeel is good with just enough carbonation. Finish is perfect. Fairly dry with just enough sweetness. Flavor stays on the palate making it real easy to enjoy this one for a while.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 00:24:19 | More by dciBA
Photo of Ralphs66

New York

4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first review..and my first try of a Jolly Pumpkin offering. I'll review this beer for what it was, not what JP claims it to be. It's definitely not a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The funk and tartness make it an American Wild, and in that context, it was wonderful. Having looked thru the JP website after trying this beer at the Peekskill Brewery (a thumbs up for that place!!), my impression is that JP is really pushing the envelope. They appear to be true non-conformists and are exploring some really extensive boundaries with their brewings. I'll be trying many more of their beers and recommend the Maracaibo without reservation.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2011 13:59:30 | More by Ralphs66
Photo of unibrew

New Hampshire

2.05/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This is NOT what I was expecting when I bought this beer. I was expecting to taste more cacao and spices and brown ale qualities at the very minimum. After a glass, I can't seem to find any of that, only sour apples. It's funky. Too funky, and nowhere on the bottle does it say anything about being a saison or farmhouse ale. It's supposed to be a brown ale with cacao and spices, inspired by the monastic brews of Belgium. Instead, it's a bombastic brew for a brown ale. It's sour. I'm not getting any cacao, nor any spices..it's sourness is overwhelming to me. I don't like saisons or farmhouse styles, so, this is especially disgusting to me. $12.00 for the bomber, and only one glass. The rest goes down the drain. No more Jolly Pumpkin for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 23:52:31 | More by unibrew
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2011 02:44:00 | More by glid02
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.
Blend 9. Bottled 12-7-10.

A - Pours a nice dark and hazy amber color slightly brown beer with a nice sticky off white head that is about 1.5 inches tall. Quite attractive.

S - Aroma has some traditional JP funk as well as some nice tart notes up front. Then there is some slight bready sweet notes as well. Some grain and slight yeast notes are dominating.

T & M - Taste of malt and grains up front that are quite delicious. Then some nice funk is mixed in there which actually add some nice funk to it. There is some good spice and some slight orange peel and apple notes on the flavor. There isn't really that sweet clove-like flavor that dominates many of this style of beers. It really does cary that traditional JP funk and as it warms has some slight cinnamon and notes of caramel. Dry and crisp on the palette. Kind off light.

D - This beer is quite delicious and funky with some nice Belgian yeast notes that make the beer refreshing and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 00:28:38 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of paulozanello


3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange light brown color, very hazy, with a small white head that disappeared completely leaving below average lacing.
Aroma is of apples, sour cherries, barnyard, white grapes. Very Jolly Pumpkinny.
Taste starts with faint sweet malts for a millisecond, then tartness, green apples and vinegar. I'm strugling to get chocolate out of this, maybe my beer is too cold. What I do get are some faint cinnamon notes at the very end.
Body is medium with high carbonation. Aftertaste has that distinctive Brett / JP yeast carachter.
Overall another nice funky beer from JP but I have to admit that I have a hard time telling them apart from each other. Maybe is my not so well-developed palate.
Update: on my very last sip, when the beer was warmer I did get some cocoa notes!

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2011 22:56:10 | More by paulozanello
Photo of boomer31


3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blend 3 - Bottle says sour brown ale

A - Pours a slightly hazy dark burnt orange/brownish color. Thin tan head thats breaks quite fast

S - Slight acidic maybe some citrus. Slight vinegar.

T - Very faint acidic up front that fades quickly. Cinnemon spice and some cocoa but very flat dry finish.

M - Highly carbed but more of a full bodied beer than expected. Dry finish

D - Nothing really stands out, a good blend of spice and acidity. A nice change of pace from traditional sour/wilds

Overall a fun beer, very different. Not sure I'd seek this out again. Seems like more acidity would do this beer well

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 22:31:29 | More by boomer31
Photo of techfed87


4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Carefully poured, this beer produces an average sized head, with very fine bubbles. Nose is sour, lively. I'm not picking up a lot of cocoa notes, however I'm sure they will become more pronounced later on.

First sip is about as sour as the nose, but the cocoa is much more prevalent here than what was aware before. Mouthfeel is frothy and effervescent and very lively.

Very satisfying and very noteworthy, this is another very good reason why Jolly Pumpkin is one of the best breweries in the state.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 02:32:17 | More by techfed87
Photo of Phelps


3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle received from BulbMan in a recent trade. Blend 3, 2009. Bottle says it's a spicy brown ale, brewed with cacao and spiced with cinnamon and orange peel. Poured into my Bruery tulip.

Looks: vermilion. Pours a dark ruby-tinged orange, hazy to the point of near-opacity, with a frothy one-finger head of sandy tan foam. The head recedes fairly quickly, becoming a medium-weight ring with a large blot of grayish film. It lingers for quite a while.

Smells: lightly tart, with citrusy orange peel, a bit of caramel and the subtle sweetness of apple juice.

Tastes: like all Jolly Pumpkin beers. Maracaibo has a distinct tartness; or rather, a distinct lack of tartness. It seems at first sip that it should be more sour than it is, like it builds to a crescendo that never fully materializes. The subtle tartness does ensure that there's not a puckering character that builds after each swallow; instead there's a nice, lightly drying finish. I also pick up flavors of caramel again, as well as a nice bit of toasty breadiness, coriander and a light cherry vodka character.

Feels: fizzy. A medium carbonation causes the beer to foam up quite a bit as it moves about the mouth, and the body just a shade under medium. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but it works.

Drinks: Jolly Pumpkin does this to me all the time. I want to like their beers more than I do; I just need MORE. More flavor, more tartness, more something. Maracaibo is a nice, well-balanced brown. It's just a little subtle for my palate. It did pair nicely, however, with some balsamic-doused salad. The astringent character of the vinegar brought out flavors in the beer I hadn't noticed before.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 05:53:42 | More by Phelps
Photo of rudzud


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

Kinda shocked this is the first Jolly Pumpkin I've reviewed. Had to start somewhere! Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Bottle nearly bubbled over upon opening but I managed to pour before it could happen. The result was a nice hazy amber pour with a fluffy off white head that slowly fades leaving thick lacing with minimal spiderweb lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Picking up some nice malt aromas along with what I understand is typical Jolly Pumpkin funk. Picking up some dark, rich fruits.

T - Really nice tastes with this. That funky yeast adds a nice spin on a traditional strong dark ale. Not getting much in the line of chocolate, as is said on the label. There is some nice malt flavors but that light sourness is really enjoyable for me.

M - Typical light/medium carbonation but there is some nice creamyness to this. Very pleasant on the mouth.

D - This has alot working for it. This killer head, creamy mouthfeel, and the nice tartness coupled with your typical strong dark ale flavors. Hard to believe this is 7.5%, as it drinks much lower. A really tasty brew from Jolly Pumpkin!

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2010 05:11:43 | More by rudzud
Photo of NCSUdo


4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL botte, Blend 2 2009

A: Hazy brown under a medium white head. Small amount of lace and decent retention.

S: A bit acidic, some toasted malt, dark fruit, hint of apple.

T: Sour, sweet, bit of earthy yeast, some hits of cocao, mildly bitter, maybe a hint of alcohol, some apple. Lots of stuff going on here, could use some better balance but still good.

M/D: Medium bodied, carbonation is slightly high but feels right. Drinkability is good, crisp body helps this. Overall, another solid beer from JP.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 00:28:11 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
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 BTPete

New York

3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drank on 5/9/10 to tulip.

A: Clear golden brown liquid with a big fluffy head. Thousands of bubbles rise from bottom.

S: Smells of sweet fruit, oak, and an underlying mustiness. A certain yeast character to the aroma also.

T: Slightly sweet then spicy. The spiciness seems to build with time and as the beer warms. Slight funk in the mouth but not very much at all. Less than I would have hoped for.

M: Highly carbed but didn't seem overly carbed. Medium bodied.

D: Good not great for me. Maybe with some time and a building brett character might be better for my palatte.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 13:14:57 | More by BTPete
Photo of drpimento


3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured with a smallish, light tan head that quickly subsides and no lace. Color is a clear orange, medium amber. Aroma has just bare hints of the ingredients in the description and some malt and a little earth. Flavor is big on the tartness that is JP's trademark and kind of trumps the other qualities that are similar to the nose. Body is dominated by the carbonation and I think could have maybe used a little more density. Finish is like flavor. Another good appertif. One and done. If you can share the big bottle or maybe cook with the leftover.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 23:40:44 | More by drpimento
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 00:10:54 | More by goatgoat
Photo of mithrascruor


3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy ruby red/amber color. Nice off-white head with good retention and light lacing.

Smell: Semi-sweet aroma with a hint of sourness and cherries.

Taste: Light malty body with a bit of more acidic dark fruits. A big tart/sour taste comes in shortly thereafter. Finish includes some cacao and coriander, and then there's some bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and smooth, with a quite noticeable tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: Not too strong in the alcohol department, but the flavor is a bit odd.

This is a very distinct and unusual flavor; not at all what I would have expected from the description on the bottle! It isn't bad, but it is a bit odd - like a Belgian strong dark blended with a sour red with a bit of spices added in. A nice ale to try, but the flavor is just a bit odd for me (even though I like those flavors individually).

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 03:45:02 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

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

Bottle pours a dark ruby brown with a decent amount of foam. Glad this one did gush everywhere. The taste has a sour spiceyness upfront, but its not overwhelming at all. Dark fruits like orange and green apples linger through out. This goes down quite smooth and the second glass is drinking even better. Pretty solid beer overall. Glad I got to try this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 01:11:33 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of chaz01


3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle because I wanted expand my beer experience a bit into some of the sours. I'm hardly a sour person, but drinking this with an open mind. Stamp on the bottle says it's blend 2, 2009. Poured into a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Amber-Brown in color with a thick foamy head. A little murky, but you can still see lots of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

S: Aroma reminded me of a Christmas and/or gingerbread cookie right out of the oven, but looking at the label, the spices are really orange peel and cinnamon. Can pick up a little sour fruit aroma as well.

T: Burst of sweet sourness hits you up front with a hint of vanilla. Lots of orange and cinnamon. The finish is more of a bitter sourness with some oak flavors.

M: Medium mouthfeel with lots of carbonation present. Slightly bitter orange peel coats your tongue long after the beer has been swallowed.

D: It may take me a while to get used to this, but I can see how you can easily acquire a taste for these type beers. It certainly makes me want to get another Jolly pumpkin for comparison, but at this stage, this will be a slow sipping beer for me and I may have trouble getting through the entire bomber.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 02:06:06 | More by chaz01
Photo of digr


4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown amber liquid pours with a off-white tan smallish 1cm head.

S - Awesome smell. Hard to explain but loved it from the start. the smell is slightly acidic, but fruity, some slight malt character. Reminiscent of a lambic / oud bruin.

T - Nice taste. mild malty medium bodied brown beer with a slightl sour note. Basically a very mild oud bruin taste. Can taste a bit of Brett (sour and mild funk) and a bit of lactic. But very smooth. There is a slight bitter note from bittering hops - no real hop aroma.

M - Good mouthfeel, matches the style. Just enough body to match the slight sour effect. Some tannins show.

D - Pretty easy to drink. There is a slight bite from the tannin or hops. But this is a very different and me likely. I'd love to see how this is on tap vs. bottle.

This is a great beer. If you like a slightly sour brown beer. Nicely balanced in that I can't actually identify any of the extra ingredients but can tell this is a different beer. I can taste some Brett L and Lactic flavors that make this very interesting to drink. I'd like to see more of this on american shores!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 03:19:03 | More by digr
Photo of Yoonisaykul

Quebec (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

First taste of Jolly Pumpkin.

A- Almost opaque brown with orange highlights. Okay layer of beige head. Looked flat pretty quickly. Once we dumped the yeast it became more of a muggy reddish brown.

S- Smells like cinnamon liqueur at first, I then get very ripe raspberries, black currants and bunch of other berries. Typical sour yeast produce. Something reminds me of a fruity soda.

T- Sour and spicy with a cocoa bitterness. Ripe apple. Other than that it's much like the smell.

M- Medium to high carbonation. Medium mouthfeel. Very nice light mouthfeel. Just a little too watery for me to think this is from Belgium (most belgium beers I've tasted up to now have had a great mouthfeel).

D- Okay. Having split this with my friend, I want more but still cant say drinkablility is that high.

Good. I enjoyed drinking this but this is listed as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I'm not sure about this . This is awful sour. Maybe I just lack experience with the style.


Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 05:53:16 | More by Yoonisaykul
Maracaibo Especial from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
89 out of 100 based on 638 ratings.