Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

La Roja - Grand Reserve - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

87 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 216
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 294
Gots: 75 | FT: 11
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 (41) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 87 | Hads: 216
Photo of claaark13
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 288 characters

Photo of tewaris
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz stubby bottle sent by Romulux. Poured into a snifter. Thanks!

Pours a dark burnt red, with good clarity. Thick layer of dregs is seen settled at the bottom and the neck of the bottle, that thankfully did not get disturbed at all. In spite of a good pour, no head forms and the beer looks lifeless :-/ This is surprising because the carbonation couldn't have been more apt as far as the mouthfeel goes!

An ale of staggering complexity, La Roja Grand Reserve opens with the vinegar and plum peel character typical to Flanders style beers, but quickly delivers fleeting notes of bubblegum and phenols, typical to tripels. It is also one of the most oak/bourbon forward beers and reminds me of straight bourbon every now and then. With so much going on, the finish is puckering dry, in part from oak and in part from acid. A fruit peel like slightly tart bitterness lingers with hints of wood. Amazing! The relatively low body keeps things clean and also lets the oak/bourbon shine, almost dominate the end in the best way.

2, 3.5, 4.5, 5, 4

 1,050 characters

Photo of biga7346
4.62/5  rDev +12.4%
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

 857 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 842 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle poured into a tulip. Huge thanks to Matt for sharing this long time want! 07/25/2011 Bottled date. #438/439 Batch.

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish caramel amber hue. Some froth and lace.

(S)- A subtle cheesy funk with lots and lots of barrel wood. Some subtle spice. Very mild lactic bits.

(T)- Some nice tart/acidic fruits with the same superb dry wood barrel and subtle spice. Not as funky as the smell, but again, some lactic bits in there.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and balance. Has a great flow of sour fruit to dry oak and subtle funk. Very harmonious despite the heft oak barrel profiles.

(D)- Very nice stuff here. Great smell, taste, and feel with not one part standing our from the next, so it is a well balanced and integrated beer. Regular La Roja is one of Jolly Pumpkin's best beers, and this just got even better than that.

 854 characters

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SpdKilz for sharing this one at my birthday tasting.

A - Rusty amber colored beer that didn't have much head on it.

S - There's a decent bit of tart cherry on the front and some oak. Little bit of funkiness to it as well.

T - Taste is pretty good. There's some cherry flavor that has held up decently as well as a bit of funk. Good sourness.

M - Medium bodied, carbonation is pretty active.

O - I thought this beer had some good taste and was fairly enjoyable to drink. Would drink again.

 505 characters

Photo of shivtim
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Konrad for getting this bottle in Michigan.

Poured into a large tasting glass. Deep red copper, with orange tint. No real head, but a very tiny ring/lacing.

Nose is sour, sweet sugar cane and vinegar. Flanders-esque. Slightly oaky and bits of dark pickled fruit. Fantastic.

Taste is incredibly sour. Layers of sour upon sour. Straight vinegar. Oak and more mouth puckering sour. Quite possibly the most sour beer I've ever tried.

Mouthfeel is pretty decent. Foamy and dry.

Overall a very interesting and unique beer. Quite an achievement, but perhaps too sour to enjoy more than a small amount at a time.

 624 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 mL bottle into a snifter. Thanks to bauermj for bringing this over.

Appearance: This has almost no head from light carbonation and a bright copper color with transparent edges.

Smell: The aroma is very sour and scorches the nose a little bit. Toasted bread and caramel malt fade behind a soft funky presence with a nice sour cider aroma.

Taste: The flavor is sour more than anything. Lemon citrus fronts light toasted bread and a bit of caramel malt. Some cherry in the background. It is sour all the way through.

Mouthfeel: This is lighter, more dry, and flatter than the regular La Roja I have had.

Overall: I can't quite decide if I like this better than an aged La Roja or not. It is more sour and lighter bodied than the regular.

 760 characters

Photo of mikereaser
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed blind thanks to Abraxel as part of the Blind Beer BIF #6

A - Poured from a short bottle into my tulip. It pours a chestnut brown, very murky, with just a little bit of foam that quickly faded.
S - Nice sour cherry and apple aroma with some nice funk. There is just a bit of oak along with some grapes? The smell is so inviting it makes my mouth water.
T - Light vinegar flavor mixed with some nice red berries, maybe cherries or raspberries. The sourness is not as strong as I expected and makes it very drinkable and not tiring so far. The tartness seems to becoming stronger as I sip it, sometimes hitting you in the back of your mouth.
M - Light bodied with slight carbonation. It has a nice dry finish. It works well with this beer.
D - Very easy to drink and quite enjoyable.

Again, I really have no idea what beer it is so I'll rip open the bag...

Jolly Pumpkin La Roja Grand Reserve!
Its not on my want but is a big want of mine. I had no idea it was bottled in 330ml bottles. Very nice indeed and just the right amount all around. Thanks Abraxel for the chance to try this one.

 1,114 characters

Photo of camil1mj
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 341 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
4.64/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 release

Rusted red colored beer. The body is rather murky and cloudy. A very modest one finger egg shell colored head rests atop momentarily. The head recedes quickly leaving a decent ring and scattered lacing.

Tart aroma up front. Combination of sour apple and cherries provide a pleasant introduction. A fair amount of earthy funk settles in just behind. On the back a vinous dry grape aroma develops. Soft oak develops and provides some continuity in the nose.

An assertive tartness is picked up right off the bat. A bright cherry flavor develops just behind, the transition is seamless. The oak comes into play on the midpalate. The oak dries out the flavor a bit and helps some more subtle flavor emerge. Soft earthy flavor noted on the back of the palate. A grape like tartness lingers long after the swallow.

Medium to light bodied beer. The carbonation is rather low. I did not think this would be appropriate for this particular beer but I am enjoying it very much. The finish is very dry.

La Roja is hands down my favorite beer from Jolly Pumpkin, La Roja Grande Reserve surpasses its younger version in so many ways. Intense flavor while maintaining impressive balance. Fantastic beer and highly enjoyable. Easily one of my favorite beers of the year.

 1,273 characters

Photo of beerhan
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 950 characters

Photo of Luk13
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 781 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a kickass JP tasting a while back... finally getting my notes typed up.

Pours a murky reddish brownish rust color. Minimal head, minimal lace. Some small bubbles stick behind in the legs.
It doesn't look bad.

The nose is super sour. And tart. Oak, sour cherries... smells great. It smells so great I shall pause and blow my nose to ensure my enjoyment level is where it needs to be. The oak is big. Little bit of vinegar. Very fucking nice.
The beer ends up being pretty dry... It starts off with a little sweetness and then dries out with some strong tartness before going full-out, over the top sour.

The body is medium, with really really light carbonation-- almost wine-like... But man does this work.

Overall-- just spectacular. This is in my top 3 from JP... I would love to get more of this one!

 811 characters

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
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!

 1,059 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

Batch 48
32 month edition

The beer is sunburst and ruby hued, with very little head. Aromas include caramels, cherries, oak, vanilla, and light funk. The beer is impressively sour. Give it to me baby! Don't...stop...don't stop...don't stop! This beer will F your palate in the A with its sourness. Moving on. The flavor brings a lot of the barrel characteristics, as well as a light helping of cherries. Really wonderful and complex, even challenging, I thoroughly enjoyed this. I so dig sipping on a complex, super sour monster of a beer, and this one delivered.

 608 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

 683 characters

Photo of jbtice0315
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 417 characters

Photo of Bubba83
3.33/5  rDev -19%
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.

 1,192 characters

Photo of dbossman
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
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

 396 characters

Photo of dzni
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful amber with good head that dissipates rather quickly
S - Sour, lemon, banana, bready/wheat, strawberry
T - cherry/strawberry, lemony sourness, spice, hoppiness
M - Medium bodied, tiny hoppiness
D - Goes down pretty easy, but alcohol sneaks up on you. This is a pretty sour beer, which I love! Some people may not like sour beers like this, but I find them really refreshing; and this one is particularly interesting.

Poured into a tulip glass.

 457 characters

Photo of mrmanning
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
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!

 327 characters

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

Thanks OHLRangers for this one.
Small capped bottle poured into a tulip glass.

This is a difficult one to classify, as the informantions do not match. The bottle states biere de garde, which does not seem to be; some reviews mention flanders red, which is closer, but not quite there. An oud bruin would seem the best classification, but american wil will do.
Deep copper colored, the minimal carbonation produces very little head that is gone within seconds despite a vigorous pour.
Aroma, just like the flavors, include acidic and sour components; astringency, dry and puckering at times. Fruitiness, slight sweet maltiness, and a subtle but consistent oakiness. Minimal vanilla might be found as well.
Medium bodied, although I was initially disappointed by the poor carbonation, it actually is quite drinkable, and under oud bruins, would be acceptable without the carbonation. Nevertheless, in my opinion, would be better with some carbonation.

 955 characters

Photo of grayburn
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, what a beauty out of the bottle, pours a ruddy brown with a huge head. Lacing and retention are perfect.

The smell is dominated by some sour funk notes, then some oak is followed by caramel sweetness.

The taste starts funky, moves to a heavy smokey oak. Sour notes abound, slight residual sweetness.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin, carbonation is nice though.

The drinkability is pretty good, overall a very nice offering, rather complex.

 444 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 1,190 characters

La Roja - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
91 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.