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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
91
outstanding

88 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 88
Hads: 219
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 292
Gots: 71 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States | website

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 (50) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 88 | Hads: 219
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.

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

Thanks goes out to CRJMellor for this brew.

Oak Aged - 20 months
12oz. Bottle

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.

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Photo of bigman147
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

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Photo of goethean
4.31/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from the brewery in July '07; consumed in December '07. Served in Duvel tulip glass, maybe in the mid 50s. Paired with homemade namak para (Indian snack food).

Color is dark copper. Mildly effervescent. Aroma is refreshing and there is an extremely tart note present, like the smell of rhubarb, or a freshly peeled bitter orange. An ethanol aroma is present.

Flavor is quite tart without being blatantly acetic/vinegary. Refreshing and yet substantial, with a sour cherry maltiness. Dark cocoa note in the finish. No hops bitterness, flavor or aroma detectable.

A solid, quality beer and a good value even at its price ($22/6 pk). I'm going to cellar my remaining bottles for several more months to see if it improves.

==
28 Apr 08 update: tried another few bottles and it is getting more vinegary.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A truly amazing surprise from kkulacki. Apparently they had this without warning at JP when he stopped by, and he bought a bottle for me...what a guy! Pours a deep, bloody crimson, with really no head at all, though it appeared that one form when I poured it. The redness is deep and exquisite. Smells very tart and aggressive. Notes of alcohol and red fruits. Flavor is a massive blast of familiar sourness, lip puckering at first; more of a tannin-laced tartness than the regular roja, and more tart overall too. Definite oak and vanilla undertones mingle well with the big lactic acid, lambic-y punch and give it a more subtle finish. A very exciting and interesting beer...tastes alive!

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

Batch 438/439. Thanks to Bob (klipper)! Served in Darkness glass.

A - Very late-rising thin white foam settles to a big-bubbled partial cap, and thicker collar. The body is a dark reddish orange, with a hint of transparency at the edges. Some tiny spots of lacing are left behind as the beer is consumed.

S - Smell is quite nice, with a mix of oak, red wine vinegar, dill, hint of blue cheese. Quite vinous, with increasing dry wood flavors as the beer warms up that starts to become a tad overwhelming.

T - Nice sour grapes and appleskins, red wine, quite acetic with minimal lactic character. Long lingering dry oak finish. By the end of the bottle there's a hint of the base brown malt. Again, it's quite enjoyable but it's hard to differentiate from other Jolly Pumpkin offerings without the virtue of an A/B comparison.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium body, with extreme tannic dryness, and a mouth-coating residual candy-like finish. No real indication of the listed 8% ABV.

D - Really nice beer. I was able to finish the 12oz bottle very quickly and I'd gladly have this again in the future if it were available a little more often. Beast Jolly Pumpkin beer I've had in a while.

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

Blend 8: Bottled 6-10-2011. Acquired at Princeton Liquors in Maple Grove, MN. Poured ~5C into wine glasses.

Deep amber body with a light tan tea that leaves some lacing. Brett barnyard and oak on the nose. A firm maltiness in the body that for some reason I was not expecting (8% amber, shoulda been I guess), works decently well with the brett flavours though still seems a hint out of place. Maltier than a Flanders Red, a nice beer that just surprised at the moment.

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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.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
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).

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Photo of warnerry
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of jegross2
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled March 2012 (> 1 yr old now), Batch 454 & 469, Review #700 in a bad ass fantome glass

The beer pours a murky, rusty brown with a centimeter of off-white head that dissipates into a thin halo with little lacing and some sediment. The nose is relatively mild with notes of tart cherries, vinous grapes, and a touch of nail polish. I remember the regular la roja being quite astringent, but this drinks a lot smoother with rounded fruit flavors, malt sweetness, good oak, and less acetone. The mouthfeel is initially molassesy sweet and fruity with a non-bitter, dry, acetone/fruity finish. This is definitely a better beer compared to the regular and is worth trying at least once, but I wish it was more available and at a lower price point.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the release in Ann Arbor, 9-22-2012. Batch 454 & 469. Bottled 3-13-2012

Poured from an 11.2 oz. stubby bottle into a goblet glass.

Appearance- murky reddish copper with only a few bubbles. No head to speak of, very minimal carbonation. Very surprising from a Jolly Pumpkin brew.

Smell- Strong buttery carmel notes, cinnamon, nutmeg, with a funky, tart cherry and red wine vibe with a big oak presence. Very reminiscent of a barrel warehouse in Kentucky.

Taste- Strong sour cherry draw, plums, black grapes, fruit acidity, followed by big, dry, buttery merlot notes, dry oaky finish. Finishes remarkably dry for how tart it begins. Very complex.

Mouthfeel- very soft, almost no carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall- A great beer. Drastically more complex than the standard La Roja release. The taste stands out in this one. I'm very glad I was able to get a few of these. Will be a great one to have in the cellar, and during the winter.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330mL bottle poured into mini snifter - 2011 bottle - thanks erikkoppin

Mostly clear golden cherry pour with a thin cap of beige head. Fades out completely into a super thin collar of film with a handful of lacing spots on the glass.

Acidic and sour in the nose laced with dark cherries, currants and fruit skin. Touches of oak and vinegar with red wine and soft glowing warmth.

Bracingly sour, fruity and lightly sweet up front. Dark earthy malts with a dash of caramel lurk underneath the nevernding sour attack. Cherries, raisins, currants and dark fruits combine to form a sour fruit cocktail, wrapping around the tongue with a warm glow. Funky yeast and oak, finishing with lingering dry tartness.

Medium body, lighter carbonation, dry and lingering on the tongue. I opened this alongside a 2011 La Roja and the difference is quite staggering. While the original beer is a tasty, tart wild ale, this has been cranked up to the max, but manages to avoid becoming too acidic or vinegary.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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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.

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

Reviewed this blind, thanks to abraxel...

A: Pours a cloudy red/purple/brown with very little head. The foam that does show up is off-white and lines the edges of the glass. There is no lacing as it drinks.

S: This is sour. I get sour cherries, raspberries, apple cider vinegar, and funk. It’s just a sour mess.

T: Mmm. This is nice. It starts with a great mix of sweet and sour. I get a lot of fruit up front (cherries, raspberries, apricot). There is a vinegar tartness that cuts through this beer from start to finish, but it’s just right. It’s not overpowering, as I would have expected form the nose. The finish reminds me of plums mixed with sour patch kids.

M: Medium bodied beer. It’s sour but drinkable. Everything mixes well together on the palate even before the lingering tartness takes hold.

O: Really solid. I’d drink this beer again. I really enjoyed how the fruit sweetness maintained a presence through all that sour. I’ve wanted to try this beer for quite some time. Glad I was just recently gifted another bottle. Can’t wait to see how it develops. Thanks abraxel!

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La Roja - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
91 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.