La Roja - Grand Reserve - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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La Roja - Grand ReserveLa Roja - Grand Reserve

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87 Reviews
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Reviews: 87
Hads: 216
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 18%
Wants: 295
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.
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Reviews: 87 | Hads: 216
Photo of SheepNutz
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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!

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Photo of bonkers
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was excited to get this in the sours for dummies BIF, bottled 3/12. Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a snifter, ruddy amber pour, slight white head. The aroma has sour cherries, apple cider vinegar. The flavors have lots of sour fruit, oak, very tart and very drying. The body is light, slight carbonation. IMO a good flanders red, very glad to have tried it.

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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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The awesome OHLRangers tossed one of these in as an extra in a trade. Thanks a bunch, Ed! I split this with Chris for breakfast on day 3 of our epic drinking session.

A: Murky crimson with no head whatsoever. There's a little visible carbonation but this beer is very still. After 32 months in oak, expecting something else is a bit much, eh?

S: Sour, acetic and vinegary and intensely so. Mildly musty abut there's a hint of sweetness in the back. La Folie-like with a bit of a body is how I'd describe it, with vinegar being rather straight up. Tannins from the oak are noticeable

T: Opens up sour and acetic with some oak. There's a surprising body to this beer, not sweet but just heft. Mildly dry, acetic and oaky on the finish that's tart and enjoyable. Could use a little more balance between oak and vinegar, though

M: No carbonation and this makes the beer seem heavier than it is (in a good way). The finish is solid too

D: A whole bottle could be a bit much but 6oz for breakfast? Yes please!

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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.

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

Received this one from iceicebaby in a recent trade, thanks Sean!

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Batch 48. Oak-aged 32 months.

Pours a dark murky brown with some amber highlights. A thin half finger light khaki colored head falls to a thin whispy layer of bubbles leaving just about nothing on the sides of the glass. Smell is pretty sour with hints of oak, grapes, and some vinegar. Yeast, grass, and leather in the nose as well. Overall the aroma was a bit weaker than I had anticipated, but still a nice one to sniff. Taste is sour with hints of white grapes, green apples, and pears. Pepper and spice midway with some vinegar underneath. Aftertaste is pretty tart with vanilla and oak that linger. Medium body with a somewhat smooth feel from the low carbonation. Pretty drinkable for the abv which surprised me. I haven't had the non-Grand Reserve version of La Roja, so I look forward to comparing notes. A pretty solid wild ale, but I've had better.

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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

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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.

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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!

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Photo of quasimoto
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a cloudy amber color with an off-white head, the turns rocky and laces nicely. aromas of musty blankets, some hay, sweet oak, malt, alcohol, some red fruit, and plum.
The flavors are al of the above but blend in with some bread, candy, and a little bit of vinous flavors.
The mouth feel is light and lightly carbonated. Dries out in the end with a tart clinch to the tongue.
Overall a very clean, easy drinking over-complexed fantastic beer.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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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.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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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.

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

Big thanks to iceicebaby for this beer, you are one cool dude ;o)

12oz bottle, Grand Reserve (batch 48) aged 32 months in Oak barrels.

Pours a reddish brown color, similar to dry blood, with a decent half inch of foam.

Fruits and vinegar on the nose, strawberry, cherry, ripe apples, sun ripe raisins, sweet and fleshy plums, caramel, oak, fresh toast, and some citrus in the background. Very nice and complex, lots of layers in this beer, spicy notes as well. Some orange and lemon. Mostly tart berry with some vinegar. A little vanilla from the oak.

Intense vinegar flavor, apple cider, strawberry, tart fruits in the finish, and oak. A little too much vinegar for my liking but the finish is quite nice. Some leather in the aftertaste with lemony hay flavors. Tart apples upfront with some malt in the middle and some glimpses of caramel near the end. Semi-dry and oaky in the finish. A bit of alcohol near the end.

Low carbonation, feels a bit syrupy at times but it works well with the flavors of this beer.

Similar to La Folie in many ways.

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Photo of Crosling
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
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 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 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.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
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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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!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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