La Roja - Grand Reserve - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
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Ratings: 165 | Reviews: 84 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev +3.5%
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...
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.
08-08-2007 02:18:22 | More by emerge077
4.35/5 rDev +2.8%
Appearance: Pours amber almost pinkish with very solid sticky head that slowing faded to an odd lacing.
Aroma: Smells of grape wine and bourbon. Slight funky tart cherry or ripe fruit with a sherry alcohol note.
Taste: Drying and astringent. Tart apple or lemon. Surprisingly refreshing with a yeasty wheaty character. Alcohol aroma doesn't lend itself to a huge alcohol note on the palate.
Mouthfeel: Tart (astringent) with drying end. Excellent representation of style.
For drinkability, this is not something that you would sit around and session with. It was a nice tart after dinner beer. Warming alcohol and bourbon/sherry notes really make this beer.
07-08-2007 17:36:49 | More by bigman147
4.33/5 rDev +2.4%
Oak Aged - 20 months
Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a modest head that belies expectations as it foamed out of the bottle when opened; lots of splashy lacing
Smell: Funky bourbon/cider aroma - tart green apples and rotting peaches
Taste: Peaches and bourbon right off the bat, with the oaky vanilla flavors building by mid-palate; after the swallow, apricots, peaches, tart apples and currant flavors emerge and join the strong bourbon flavors; funky finish with considerable wine-like dryness from the oak
Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to low carbonation
Drinkability: This is a really interesting blend of flavors and a particular treat for those who like both bourbon and wild ales
Thanks, JesseDaniel, for the experience
06-30-2007 23:15:45 | More by brentk56
4.55/5 rDev +7.6%
Jolly Pumpkin La Roja - Grande Reserve
12 oz bottle
Recent release(04/07, batch #2(?)), blushed over 05/07
Medium pour in a tulip glass.
Poured a hazy orange brown with a small light brown somewhat lasting head with lots of carbonation. Very interesting lacing as I tipped the glass for a sip.
Smelt of strong fruity sour oranges and fresh fruit salad and moderate caramel, vinous.
Taste was upfront strong sour and moderate sweetness and light spiciness followed by a strong bitter and sour yeast on a long bitter finish.
Palate was light to medium bodied, softly carbonated, creamy to a dry finish, lightly alcoholic and puckering.
Overall, this is something special. The sour flavors are bold and striking, almost intimidating, but not off putting by any way. The aroma itself is a mystifying treat. I couldn't find myself drinking this in the winter though due to its puckering factor. It's a very odd style and sensory experience, somewhat new to me, but the balance of such strong sour flavors is simply amazing.
05-02-2007 04:19:39 | More by xav33
4.38/5 rDev +3.5%
Thanks goes out to CRJMellor for this brew.
Oak Aged - 20 months
Poured into a chalice a cloudy darker amber/burnt brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tannish head, some islands and sticky lacing follows. The nose is tangy, malty, slightly spicy, and a nice touch of caramel. The taste is tangy, malty, grapey, some spice thrown in, nice touch of caramel. Medium body, a pretty complex brew. Alcohol is hidden pretty well, but there is a nice warm feeling. Very drinkable, glad to have had a chance to try this awesome brew out, highly recommended.
04-22-2007 02:00:05 | More by Wasatch
4.5/5 rDev +6.4%
Many thanks to northernbrews for this beer.
A: Very hazy and murky mahogony peach colored brew. Head is small but creamy, a flesh color with iron highlights.
S: Strawberry yogurt, fresh hay, bourbon, floral notes and pencil lead.
T: Mmmm, begins very bretty with loads of peach yogurt. Oak becomes immediately present at the front of the tongue with a zing. Then the bourbon comes quite powerfully but plays very well with the funky flavors. Interesting blend of vanilla, red apple and apricot make this an intriguing brew. Finishes spicy with lingering yogurt and a slight bitter bite.
M: Medium body with a soft yet slick mouthfeel.
D: This was so enjoyable. What an exciting and different beer for those that like both bourbon barrel beers and wild ales. Good stuff. This was better than the original.
01-26-2007 05:03:52 | More by Westsidethreat
4.43/5 rDev +4.7%
Thanks to Kbaker for bringing this one over to my place to share.
This beer rocked my world. When tasting Jolly Pumpkin beers, the age of the beer has so much to do with what you are going to get. The beers are great fresh, great with a little age, great old...but the older they get the more they all kind of start to taste the same. The funk takes over and you get a great beer without some of the subtelties that it once had.
This one seemed to be less funk controled although it was aged for 18 months in a whiskey barrel. All the subtle flavors were well pronounced. It poured a nice amberish/brown with an off white head. The aroma was a tone of oak, whiskey, light vanilla notes. There is that funky bret/lactic presence.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and is a pleasure to wash over the palate.
The drinkability is great. I wish I had a few 750s of this instead of a 12 oz bottle to split amongst 3 people. Nice one Spooky Ron.
01-09-2007 07:00:26 | More by Brian700
4.1/5 rDev -3.1%
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.
12-19-2006 18:54:25 | More by CharlesDarwin
4.38/5 rDev +3.5%
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.
11-13-2006 02:12:22 | More by timtheenchanta
3.03/5 rDev -28.4%
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.
09-24-2006 18:50:15 | More by BigDaddyWil
3.75/5 rDev -11.3%
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.
06-26-2006 01:33:52 | More by ppoitras
4.13/5 rDev -2.4%
12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a hazy brown-orange color with very little head. There's almost no lacing as well. The smell hits you hard at first with lots of whisky aroma. Lots of wood and alcohol, with hints of vanilla as well. There are bits of cherry in there as well. The taste is a little woody up front, with more of those whisky flavors. Then the funky wild aromas start to come through. It's a little tart and sour, very nice. The finish has a bit of alcohol to it. The mouthfeel is decently thick and strong. The drinkability is a little lacking, due to lots of alcohol coming through. Still a decent brew, thanks Kev!
05-11-2006 23:34:49 | More by SheepNutz
3.98/5 rDev -5.9%
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.
05-11-2006 23:33:57 | More by kmpitz2
4.45/5 rDev +5.2%
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 fin 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.
03-31-2006 23:05:20 | More by weeare138
3.75/5 rDev -11.3%
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.
03-19-2006 04:07:24 | More by plaztikjezuz
La Roja - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
94 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.