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La Roja - Grand Reserve - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
La Roja - Grand ReserveLa Roja - Grand Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

200 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 200
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 296
Gots: 68 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 02-16-2006

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (40) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 200 | Reviews: 91
Reviews by timtheenchanta:
Photo of timtheenchanta
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark red with thin creamy head and webby lacing.

Very sour nose reminiscent of some grapes and some very prominent woody character that's not unlike vanilla and bourbon. Tart and fantastic smell.

The taste is less in your face than the smell. It's tart and woody like grape juice out of a wooden chalice. Hints of vanilla and bourbon and funky yeast (brett?) It finishes extremely dry and is a little bit thinner on the tongue than expected.

Fantastic beer that I would love to come across again. I haven't actually tried the La Roja yet although I can get it in Georgia and North Carolina. I was going to save this one to have them side by side but just couldn't wait. Many thanks to trbeer for this one.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Mike for sharing this bottle - enjoyed side by side along with Biere de Mars Grand Reserve. The La Roja version pours a ruby-tinted, dingy copper color; opaque nearly everywhere except for the very edges where translucency is still fairly low. The off-white, gray-tinted head fades almost quickly to even be called a head. It's more of a dinky skin that coats the surface of the beer, leaving very small bits of lacing behind.

La Roja Grand Reserve has a killer aroma - a huge step up from the original La Roja. I believe the difference is just a much, much longer time in barrels, right? Cherry skins, apples, lots of vinegar, and big-time vinous notes just pour out of this one. Not much funk to be had, save for a mild mildew-y aroma, but there's tons of barrel notes; heavy on the tannin, tart, fruity, sharp and searing with crazy acidity. It's the kind of smell that makes your mouth water before you even bring the brew to your lips.

Then when you finally do, everything that was promised to you by the aroma - the tart, the barrel, the acidity - is delivered in full. Extremely tart and puckering up front, carrying the flavor of ripe cherries, sour green apples, tart grape skins, and again, an enormous vinous character, complete with wet oak, white wine, and heavy vinegar. Much like in the aroma, the funk is almost unnoticed, to the point where I'm wondering if there's any at all?

The wonderful tartness of La Roja Grand Reserve is strong almost all the way throughout, until the very end when it finally starts to recess and it transfers into a delicate fruity sweetness that's outlined with warm oak. Despite my love for all things sour and tart, this beer would be sure to give you a nice stomach ulcer if enjoyed in large quantities, so the six ounces I had were perfect. The mouth feel is clean, crisp, and overall pretty thin; heavily carbonated for that nice, snappy, dry finish.

Another great brew from the guys and gals over at Jolly Pumpkin. Similar in a lot of ways to the Biere de Mars Grand Reserve, maybe slightly less tart, although this one seemed to affect my stomach a bit more. Would have liked to see a bit more funk, but I'm not surprised by its absence. A wonderfully tart and puckering brew that's sure to please any sour fanatic, and a very nice step up from the original La Roja (which is already a great brew).

Photo of warnerry
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 438/439; bottled 7/25/11

A - Pours a murky red/orange with no head. Very little, if any, carbonation.

S - Nice amount of oak on top of a quite a prominent red vine vinegar aroma. Good funk presence, with a lot of funky cheese. Still some malt coming though as well.

T - Nice acetic sourness, with a vinous character. A bit of sour apple, nice earthy funk, and a pleasant oak.

M - Medium/light mouthfeel with essentially no carbonation, which doesn't seem to distract in this case.

O - This is definitely a tasty sour that I would have again, but I'm not convinced it is that much better than La Roja (one of my favorites from JP), making the price a little harder to swallow.

Photo of dbossman
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Redish brown; hazy; nice head with good retention and lacing

S: Tart; woody and citrusy-but especially dominated by apples; simple but pleasant

T: Tart up front; an oakiness that carries throughout; lemon and apple vinegar are quite prevalent--smooth still with a touch of hops

F: Smooth/even mouth feel

D: For a sour, this is quite drinkable; very easy going with beautiful subtle nuances

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.99/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch 438/439. Bottled 7/25/2011.

Appearance - Almost flat, deep reddish amber. A few stray bubbles.

Smell - Oaky and slightly acetic. Lots of malt. Kind of uninspired.

Taste - Much more acidic here, at least. Not too acetic, but that's the sourness that lingers. Grassy vegetal flavor. Malty and oaky as well.

Mouthfeel - Not too intense of a sour. Very low carbonation.

Overall - I prefer regular La Roja. This is no improvement as the oak doesn't seem to add anything and the sourness is less complex.

Photo of beerhan
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. 11.2 oz bottle

A-Pours a very dark ruby. Looks like very dark cider and a murky brown from the top. Carbonations does not look promising. Pours thin with a slowly rising white head that fades fast and remains thin.

S-Smell is dominated by apples, straw, chardonnay-esque aroma.

T-I was a little vary of the taste when I poured this beer but this blows the regular la roja away. There is a lot of oak up front as well as some dried fruits (strawberry and grape). It is very unique. Pleasantly sour but not overpowering.

M-The sourness of this beer varies with how long you let it sit in your mouth. It is very smooth but if you let it stay in your mouth for a long time it is like a warhead. The alcohol is nonexistent.

O-I went into this beer with no real expectations since i did not know what it would be like. I think it is fantastic and just a treat. Not quite as good as the biere de mars grand reserve but not one to forget.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed November 22, 2006. 12 Oz Bottle. Crisp bold aroma, combing fresh cut Honeycrisp apples, with brightly fermented McIntosh apple cider, and light peach jam over a long run of honey cream. Right off, Brett rules here with well defined fruits and more of the sweet and sour notes. Pour is a fantastic swirl of deep ruby, fringed with heady gold. Flavor is more restrained, with bright fruity fig sauces, redolet with bright apples and cream sugars. Brett plays heavy but is tempered by the oak. Between the traditional caramel, Brett is a warming broth, followed by a centered caramel apple, with dry oakier tones. Oak addes matured aged, dried fruit charred in musty pear notes. The plate is immeadiately dry, but finds rounding in a fast sweep of light euro hops. Graceful finish. Watery phase pulls it down. Hidden amongst the oak panels is a crisp vanilla bean, Madagascar of course.

Photo of jbtice0315
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got to taste this 08 beer at a hombrewers Christmas party.

One of the most delicious and sour beers I've ever had. The sour will definitely knock your socks off, but it was amazing at the same time.

Had a wonderful nose.

After a few sips I could feel the lactic acid dissolving my entire mouth.

Loved it and glad that I had the chance to try it.

Would definitely have purchase some if I could get my hands on it.

Photo of claaark13
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 stubby.

A - Very still, translucent with a brownish-red hue.

S - Mild vinegar, cheesy funk.

T - Some vinegar, tart throughout. Some cherry-like presence at times with a little bit of wwd.

M - Light to medium.

O - I liked this one, but the appearance and body pull it down a bit.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at the release in Ann Arbor. Shared with a few people at AgentZero’s birthday tasting. Batch number 438/439.

Appearance – Pours into my trusty tulip with a murky orange/reddish color. About a half finger of off white head is achieved with a moderate pour that leaves slight lacing.

Smell – Musty barnyard funk, cherry vinegar, heavier caramel, toasted bread, and malt than the BdM GR. Slight oak and lactic.

Taste – Similar to the regular La Roja, though heavier oak and just a bit more tartness. Overall, it is somewhat close to the regular version of this which is a bit of a disappointment. Nice cherries, earthy barnyard funk, and must. A nice tartness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lively carbonation.

Overall – Easy to drink, a bit more sour than the regular. However, I hope this gets a bit more tart with age.

Photo of emerge077
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jay23 for providing the extra...2008 batch, aged 32 months.

Holy acetic acid batman! That's about all I get from this at first. The tan head bubbles up and fades fast. Nice crimson glint, with a brownish surface. Leather, honey, and tobacco in the nose, with a sharp vinegar and blue cheese element. Sharp tartness to the flavor, with plenty acetic notes lingering afterwards. Mild oak and balsamic notes. Full bodied with a nice elevating level of carbonation , keeping things dry.

Gives Rodenbach a run for the money, for sure...

08-08-2007:
Received in a generous trade with JesseDaniel...thanks!

12oz. bottle, neck label states:
"Grand Reserve oak aged - 20 months"

Pour is a deep reddish mahoghany, with an orange ring around the top where the light gets through. Body has a muddy clarity, not completely opaque. A large cap of foam rises, leaving spotty webs of lace. Very tiny particles hang in suspension.

Tendrils of vanilla, oak, coconut, and spice waft from the tulip glass. Swirling produces a sourish fruit and mild sharpness in the nose, hinting at it's strength. The alcohol is sophisticatedly hidden under levels of complexity. A touch of wild yeast is apparent in the sour funkiness.

Woody earthiness of oak, dark berry tartness, vanilla, with mysteriously mild spices lingering long after. Carbonation is present, but fairly toned down. Dry, bittersweet, with tannins similar to a red wine, but more resembling an Oud Bruin. Pepper tingles on the tongue long after the first sip. A definite sipper, it took the better part of an hour to savor this one. The empty glass still smells rich and woody.

Photo of jegross2
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing the La Roja Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales out of Dexter, Michigan.

Score: 94

Bottled 03-13-2012. Label says "Batch 454 & 469", whatever that means. Served in a stemmed Doom teku-wanna be and enjoyed on 06/12/13.

Appearance: Pours a super cloud reddish-brown color that fades to a super dull and pale yellow color at the top. Pours a ring around the glass of off-white bubbly head. Minimal lacing and retention. 2.5/5

Smell: Tons of sharp vinegar, musty and sour cherry and oak. Red grape and a touch of dark fruit too. Lots of lacto. Shares a quality that I can't put my finger on with the Crooked Stave Cognac Sentience I had last week. 4.25/5

Taste: Super tart. Sour cherry, vinegar, lacto-ey greek yogurt and oak (in that order). Hints of dark fruit in the finish too. Lingering lacto-infused cherry, but clean otherwise. No funk. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Just shy of medium bodied, minimal carbonation. Super tart, dries out the cheeks. 4.5/5

Overall: A delicious American wild ale. Blows regular La Roja out of the water. Sour cherry and lacto without being medicinal. Glad I have another in the cellar!

Cost: $10 for an 11.2 oz (330 ml) stubby bottle.

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

I had acquired this one in a trade a while back and had been waiting to give it a whirl. So when I went for something intresting with lunch today, I thought this would be just the ticket. Served cold and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 04/11/2009.

Appearance - Deep reddish amber, burnt sienna in color/ cloudy with a small whispy offwhite head that left a light coating on the sides and bottom of the glass.

Aroma - The aroma was nice, oak with a light funk are pressing here. Some light spice and as it warms up lots of cherries coming at me now.

Taste - Cherries from the start, very nice. light oak and woody notes press in mid palate and as it warms a nice touch of spice starts to come through, almost peppery at times. Some light apple vinegar like flavor in the finish as a dry finish fades off.

Mouthfeel - A smooth, medium bodied ale, nice carbonation here prickled at the tongue at times. Coating and just right.

Drink - Very smooth, with almost no hint of alchol hanging on this one at all. Very easy drinking here.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. Not too heavy, and was just about right for a lunch time brew. I would do this one again with no issue.

Photo of biga7346
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a JP snifter

A - Very still, little to no head, a deep crimson rusty color, rubyish and turbid.

N - Pie cherries, old wood but very spritzy like a white wine, a rich suggestion of white pepper, charred oak; it's a very inviting smell and the JP brett aroma is nearly overpowering accented with some nutty, tart cheese aromas. There is some fruit-like qualities like lemon zest, very sour cherries.

T - Very smooth and carbonated, rolls off the palate like champagne; tart cherries and lemon zest up front, definitely not cloying in the sourness, the regular La Roja I think is almost a little more tart than this. There is some fruit juice like qualities and blackberries, a perfectly placed amount of carbonation; the oakiness and tannins is muted for just a really enjoyable, refreshing yet slightly drying sour beer.

D - Damn good stuff

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

12 oz bottle shared by dyan - thanks, dogg.

Appearance: Tawny in color with no head whatsoever - completely still. Moderately hazy.

Smell: Funky red wine is the first thing that comes to mind. Takes on more of a red wine vinegar edge as it warms. Light to moderate acetic acid, and a bit of mineral water funk.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sour and drying, big oaky tannins. Nice balance of fruity sourness, acetic acid and drying tannins. Slightly mineral/metallic mid palate, with a touch of vanilla following. Carbonation is low, this is almost still, though it does little to hamper my enjoyment of the beer. Good stuff, but not quite as enjoyable as the regular La Roja.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured an orange color with a quickly falling cream colored head. The aroma is sour and yeasty and quite strong initially, but it mellows quickly. The taste is sour and sweet with a hint of spice. The mouthfeel is thin and quite carbonated. Overall the drinkability is fair, but it goes down a little easier as the brew warms.

Photo of camil1mj
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Most recent relase. Served slightly below cellar temp.

A: An orangeish red color. A little cloudy. A small amount of white head.

S: Vinegar sourness.

T: This one is sour on the nose, followed by some vinegar and fruit notes. Very good.

M: Medium bodied and a decent carbonation.

O: A great sour. I wish this was more readily accessible.

Photo of Etan
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle sent by Zaphog. Thanks! Label says, "454 &469. Bottled 3-13-2012".

A: Pours a murky reddish brown with a small off-white head.

S: Smooth lactic notes over pungent sourness (a little vinegar), some vanilla and coconut sweetness from the bourbon barrel.

T: Slightly puckering sourness - vinegar, lemon zest, cherry skin. Some woody spiced notes, vanilla, caramel from the barrel.

M: Light-bodied with very light carbonation.

O: Interesting beer. It doesn't seem quite as complex as regular LR but the bourbon presence is definitely amplified from the extended aging.

Photo of weeare138
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to hopdog for deciding to open this…
Appears a hazy brownish amber with a small off white head. Tons & tons of spotty lacing scattered about the glass.
Smell is of brett filled oak…f’in awesome with oak, vanilla, and whiskey.
Taste is of oaky, whiskey, vanilla in a complex brett dosed malty brew.
Mouthfeel is yeasty, sweet, fruity, oaky, and bourbonesque.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown with ruby highlights. Head quickly recedes to a froth sitting atop the beer.
Smell is tart and funky. Taste is much the same, however, I'm not getting any of the bourbon flavors. Incredibly smooth and velvety on the mouth. Very good tartness coming in at the end. A lot more balanced and smoother than the regular La Roja. The barrel has added a nice smoothness, but none of the bourbon.

Photo of BWH3
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Reddish brown ale with light haze. Amazingly large head with retention for days. I poured some of this beer left for 10 minutes to go pick up some carry out for my wife and when I returned a solid layer of head was still present. The haze is a flaw but the color and head are so gorgeous they more than compensate.

S: An amazing blend of red currant and sour orange accented with a slight vanilla aroma. The sour scent is clearly palpable on my nostrils. A very light caramel flavor is complimentary to the acidity.

T: Identical to the smell with the exception that the barrel aging comes out more. The taste earned a slightly lower score because the sour/acidic flavor is at time overwhelming.

M: Medium bodied, blazing fine carbonation, bubbly full head with amazing retention. The carbonation augments the acidity. Divine

D: I have tasted Monk's Flemish sour so I do have some frame of reference for this style. I found this beer to be exceptional and a must sample for all fans of Belgian ales.

Photo of mrmanning
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Styles, thanks buddy! Deep brown pour with a thin dusting of beige fizz. Very fruity aroma with lots of funk (no surprises), yeast and spices. Very strong wood flavours with minimal booze flavours as well. Nuts and floral nuances as well. Funky finish with tart fruit lingering. Thanks Chris for another gem!

Photo of ppoitras
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a light small-bubbled and short-lived uneven film over the translucent but not clear burgundy brew. Lacing is minimal to nearly non-existant. However, all this stuff is to be somewhat expected from brew aged in oak for months as this one apparently was. Aroma is, yow, strong stuff. Dominant barrel and alcohol notes, leaving little room for anything else. Taste is much more balanced than the nose. Starts with tart fruitiness, vanilla and oak sashay on in, and then the alcohol takes over. Cannot believe this only 8%abv. There is just no way. Mouthfeel and drinkability are not bad for what it is, but wish it was just a bit more user-friendly all around. The burning alcohol I find in the aroma sort of infringes on everything else.

Photo of Luk13
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle batch 48 thanks to the sarro crew. Appearance: Red/brown pour with no head, not necessarily attractive. Aroma: Balsamic vinegar upfront almost ketchup-like, some cherry twist. This is one is really oaky. Taste is insanely sour even more than the Lambicus, it feels like a fruity acidity (lemon and grapefruit) mixed with vinegar, red wine and lots of wood. A little bit of sweetness makes a little easier to drink but still mouthpuckering. Palate is flat but so sour it is almost spritzy like a red wine that turned bad. It also burns when it goes down the throat. But it didn’t hurt the beer. Overall, it reminded me of the Lambicus but I prefered this one to it. I loved the red wine aspect mixed with the balsamic vinegar. A very good beer that I would not drink often.

Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer was tasted at the michigan brewers guild winter beer fest.
from my notes i was served a deep copper sample with a good head.
the aroma was full of brett.
the flavor was a little sour , fruity, minerally, unidentified spice.
the mouthfeel was little watery.
they were pushing this as a 18 month oak aged la roja.

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La Roja - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
93 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.