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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.

87 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 217
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 18%
Wants: 292
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 (44) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 87 | Hads: 217
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 davedahl
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a 12oz beer from "Batch 48".

Apperance: Zero head. A slightly hard pour gives a thin head that dissapears with a snap crackle pop. Beer is a nice ruby-hue'ed amber.

Smell: Definite funk in the nose straight off the bat. Berries in the middle ... rasberries? cherries? can't put my finger on it...earthy but an all around refreshing aroma.

Taste: Immideatly hit with the JP sourfunk. Niiice. More cherries in the middle (similar to aroma) and slight spice/cinnamon on finish.

Mouthfeel: Tart but balanced with slight sweetness and slight acid bite. Clean finish.

Great stuff.

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