1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

La Roja - Grand Reserve - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

166 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 84
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.75%
Wants: 291
Gots: 56 | FT: 5
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 02-16-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 166 | Reviews: 84 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Alieniloquium
3/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

Alieniloquium, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of zvanwink
3/5  rDev -29.1%

zvanwink, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.03/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased at the brewery, back in the Spring.
La Roja oaked aged for 18 months.
Poured into a New Belgium chalice.

Pours a caramel brown color with some ruby highlights. No carbonation and very still. A sliver of an off white head, with no retention. Strong boozy and oak dominate the smell. This is the strongest sour tasting beer I've had from Jolly Pumpkin so far. Its not overpowering but still very noticable. Vert tart with hints of oak and alcohol. No carbonation knocks down the mouthfeel a little bit, but still enjoyable. I still like the regular La Roja better, a little too boozy for me.

BigDaddyWil, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of cfrances33
3.1/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2011 bottle, poured into a teku glass.

Pour: A copper, rusty body. Absolutely no carbonation, and is dead flat. A couple bubbles on the rim. This is an ugly beer.

Smell: Some nice sour cherries up front, along with a burnt caramel and a light oak. Some vanilla comes through as well.

Taste: Starts off with a big tartness up front, characterized by tart cherries and vinegar. I'm honestly getting a little bit of oxidation, and the flavors are quite dull, despite the strong sourness. A caramel sweetness comes on the back, and the most redeeming quality is a nice oak and vanilla on the finish. I would describe the overall taste as stale.

Mouthfeel: Horribly flat, which sometimes is okay, but is NOT here. Muddles the flavors, and makes each sip difficult. Finishes dry, which is nice.

Overall: If someone poured me this beer, and I didn't see it go right from the bottle into the glass, I would be convinced is got left out overnight, put in the fridge to cool, and then served to me. Very disappointed.

cfrances33, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of Bubba83
3.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at the Beachwood BBQ Sourfest, so I'm reviewing from notes. As Gabe said during the fest, this was supposedly the only keg of this beer in existance.

I like the appearance a lot. It's a dark orange/amber mix with some yellowish highlights. A bright white decent sized head that looks fluffy and creamy at the same time.

Smells a bit vinegary, with a bunch of tart fruits behind that. I'm getting raspberries, not yet ripe blackberries, cranberries, and some yeasty funk and spice. Hard to get to it but there's some breadiness underneath all that.

Lots and lots of tart fruit flavor, every berry underneath the sun, but as if you were tasting them a little too early and hence they are tart. Some vinous character and vanilla give way to an unfortunately harsh tasting alcoholic finish.

Feels really dry and grainy, very prickly in my mouth and sand papery, not impressed.

Overall this beer was kind of a little bit all over the map. There's some interesting flavor components playing which eachother, but ultimately the mouthfeel and the harsh finish really let it down, shame that won't be reflected so well in the overall score with the way the weighting system works.

Bubba83, May 31, 2010
Photo of StaEva
3.36/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

lots of acetone, vinegar, ugly raisin sweetness. not the best showing by JP. lots of oxidation in the bottle, possibly not purged before filling? I'd rather drink BamBier all day everyday.

don't go out of your way to get a hold of this, as it was not yet ready to be consumed.

StaEva, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

barefootbrewer, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of Big_Dave
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Big_Dave, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

32-month edition. Batch 48. Thanks to ygtbsm94 for sharing. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a rusty amber color without any head. THe nose brings some light cherry in the foreground plus a bit of oak in the background. Overall, the nose is mildly acetic and has a bit of old burnt rubber. Some mild funk as well. The taste is overwhelming sour, and it almost hurts my mouth. Granted, I had a cut on the inside of my lip, but still. Very puckering and has quite a bit of oak. Almost too sour to be enjoyable. More of the problem, I think, we that there was nothing other than a bit of oak to back up the sourness. Too bad, as I was really excited to try this one. Thanks again, Brad.

Thorpe429, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of mpyle
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color and clear. Moderate sized white head with good retention.

Peppery, fruity, red wine. slightly earthy, barn yard aroma.

Fruity sweet, bitter, and eventually sour. Like the sweet and sour, but the bitterness felt out of place. Medicinal. Too bitter at the start.

Medium body and light-medium carbonation. A bit astringent from the sourness, minimal alcohol warming.

More bitter than expected, and not the fruity/sour combo that is sometimes seen in the style.

mpyle, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 48. The beer is a murky dark amber color with minimal head formation. As expected, quite a bit of vinegar. Sort of a blend of balsamic and red wine vinegars. A bit of toffee sweetness and perhaps a hint of acetone. A nice oakiness and mild vanilla. Not much fruit on the nose. The intensity of the vinegar is equal to the aroma. A decent amount of cherry and red grape flavor with a nice wine note. A hint of vanilla along with some tannic oak. Nice flavors, but the acetic quality makes it a bit tough to drink.

womencantsail, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of mentor
3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at the brewery about 6 months ago. Pours a murky dark copper with almost no head. Smells soured and brettanomyces. Fresh lettuce from the crisper, sour brett w/o much horseblanket, and cherry.

Tastes sour. Acetic more than lactic, which is a change for the beers I've had from Jolly Pumpkin. Peaches and nice oaky character. Some alcohol heat adds a counterpoint zing. Md-light mouthfeel, yet light and creamy. Decent drinkability. Not profoundly complex. An interesting take on brettanomyces.

mentor, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of mrmanning
3.68/5  rDev -13%
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!

mrmanning, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of ppoitras
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

ppoitras, Jun 26, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

plaztikjezuz, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of LoveStout
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

LoveStout, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

t0rin0, Oct 17, 2012
Photo of BMMillsy
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from trade. Batch 438/439. 7-25-2011 bottle date. Poured 2-20-13. Pours cloudy red with no head at all. Smells like the regular La Roja with a bit more vinegar. Bit of dry oak present for sure. Sour cherries. Bit of paint thinner. Mellow mouthfeel explodes into strong but smooth sour notes. Cherry vinegar that finishes very dry. A nice beer, very low carbonation. Not sure if the oak did all that much here.

BMMillsy, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of scottfrie
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle bottled 3/2012. Thanks jbck109!

A: Pours a murky dark cranberry juice color with a minimal off-white head that faded into a bubbly collar that left a few spots of soapy lace down the glass.
S: Musty barrel notes meet red fruits. I get hints of apple vinegar, cherry skins, woody oak tannins, cranberry juice and acetone.
T: Tart and slightly acidic notes of red wine vinegar, apple vinegar, sour cherry juice, cranberry juice, gritty dry oak, leather and damp musty basement. The finish has a hint of sweetness and the aftertaste is full of sour lemon peel and dry cherry skin tannins.
M: Rather thick body, greasy, slick, tart, and dry mouthfeel, with very low splashy carbonation and an acidic/acetone bite. Dry but not crazy.
O: I thought the flavors were good and smoothed out by the oak. An enjoyable sour from JP but not my favorite from their lineup. Thanks again Jay.

scottfrie, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Labled as La Roja Select (Brandy Barrel Aged Flemish-Style Amber Ale)

Sampled on tap at the First Annual Stone Sour Fest, July 2007

The beer is quite hazy and is a dirty, amber color that looks almost completely flat with a few wayward bubbles lazing around. The aroma is a mix of sour / funk notes as well as some big wood / barrel character; a mix of spicy wood, buttery oak, tart plum, hints of cheddar, and some Bourbon-like notes that come through with out being overwhelming. The oak aromatics are more noticeable than any Brandy notes.

The beer fells flat as it hits the mouth, there is no carbonation, which accents a light sweetness, which in turn accentuates some fruit notes of Macintosh and plum. The finish is tannic; like a green tee that coats the teeth. There is a spicy note in the finish that is contributed by some hot alcohol notes, spicy oak flavors and a light, yet drying astringency. This beer would be really helped by some carbonation, especially since the flavors in this beer are so well balanced. This is a nice mix of light tart flavors, mellow, yet persistent oak notes and a hint of liquor-like notes. Actually, carbonation would make this a fantastic beer. This has much better, more integrated flavors than the Oro de Calabaza Reserve.

Gueuzedude, Aug 16, 2007
Photo of cosmicevan
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

big thanks to genuinedisciple for sending this one my way. enjoyed from a jolly pumpkin snifter side-by-side with a bottle of regular La Roja, for science ofcourse.

la roja grand reserve batch 454 & 469 bottled 03-13-2012
la roja blend 5 bottled 02-15-2013

a - brew opened and the cap and collar of the bottle were coated with some funky residue (sediment?)...a bit gross, but the brew poured the same semi-transparent amber maroon as the regular la roja, but the regular boasted a bigger fluffier head and better lacing.

s - nose is fairly funky. lots of lacto and acetone. the regular is soft sour with some fruity notes in the flanders vein...whereas the grand reserve is way puckery...almost to the point of nail polish remover. my poor teeth enamel!

t - picks up right where the nose left off. SUPER sour. acetone, funky sour bugs and bacteria...almost too sour, whereas the regular la roja has some of the same sour elements, but seems to fall a bit flat to the grand reserve...like the cherries have barely started to sour, but not the grand reserve...almost too sour. as it warmed and my palate adjusted to the sourness, i found myself really getting into it.

m - soft feel, but comes with an extreme pucker. one of the more in your face sour beers i've tried.

o - overall, grand reserve is an improvement on the base...it isn't necessarily a home run. the sourness is a bit over the top for me and makes me feel like my tooth enamel is getting stripped from the beer. extremely glad to have the tick, but not something i'd seek out again. as it warmed and my palate adjusted to the sourness, i found myself really getting into it.

cosmicevan, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of HopHead84
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A vigorous pour from the 12oz bottle yields a small, beige head with little retention and very little lacing. The color is deep ruby amber. The aroma is of tart cherries, barnyard funk, oak, and alcohol. Taste is funky, tart cherries with some oak and lactic acid. Finish is very tart and alcohol with some bourbn. Mouthfeel is very thin and syrupy with low carbonation...slightly puckering as well. Interesting beer.

HopHead84, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of Crosling
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange color with a small, white head that leaves a light ring. Aroma shows a lot of the barrel with coconut, wild yeast and mountain fruit notes. Flavor has a lot of wildness, red fruit character, funk and a lot of barrel contributions. It's a funked out sour ale with a lot of complexity. It's a nice ale.

Crosling, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of joshuaseresse
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this bottle at our recent La Crosse sour tasting. Thanks to GrandCruDrew for this bottle, thanks Drew! Not too sure which vintage it is but based on the characteristics of the bottle and label, the people at the brewery (I called them direct) said it was at least 3 years old, if not older (and they were thinking it was the 32 month aged vintage) Split with some upright BAs:

A - Caramel brown with light amber, yellow hints. No real head. Tiny bit of lacing and signs of carbonation.

S - Great smell! Caramel apple, grapes, bits of funk and slight hints of whiskey. Oaky and a bit of cherries.

T - Just a slight let down... :( The flavor is a bit watery. Hints of whiskey, funk, cherries and oak.

M - Smooth and a bit thick. No real carbonation.

O - Well, I'm really glad that I got to try this and am really curious as to the other vintages but I'm OK with not seeking this vintage again. Don't get me wrong, the smell was AWESOME but the flavor was a bit of a let down and made me a little sad. Oh well...but thanks again for the hookup Drew!

joshuaseresse, May 15, 2011
Photo of kmpitz2
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. 8 oz sample. This brew pours a very dark tea brown color with just a fwe wisps of head over top. This is a pretty hazy beer, and is as still as they come. I imagine that at bottling, there were minimal sugars left for the beaties to chew up and gas out the carbon dioxide. Aroma is initially very sour, lightly acrid, and a touch acetone sweet. After sitting in the glass for a minute, the base beer really comes through, giving impressions of brown sugar soaked figs, with very solid oaky tannins lending to bring thoughts of whiskey when I smell it. The sweet acetone notes are still there, making me think of an oud brune. I like it. Flavor is interesting. It initially hits with a sour tinge before swallowing. After swallowing, the alcohol really dominates, melding in with the light tart brett character. After swallowing the beer, the flavor starts to develope. Light brown sugar sweetness and raisin, with a very nice Belgian spicey character. I would like to see less of the alcohol flavor, as it gets in the way and blocks out some of the more fine flavors that are behind it. Mouthfeel is fairly light with a flat carbonation, but it is what I was expecting. This one is pretty dry as well, but with the age and the beasties used to chop up even the most complex sugar, its no surprise. Burps on this one accentuate the flavor, tending more towards an oud brune than anything else. Even with the alcohol character, I think this one improved with the additional aging. It added a nice extra bit of acetone tart/sweet while toning down the base. This is a pretty nice sour brew.

kmpitz2, May 12, 2006
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
La Roja - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
94 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.