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

87 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 213
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 6.6%
Wants: 295
Gots: 71 | 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: 213
Photo of seaoflament
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (1,052 characters)

Photo of davedahl
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (588 characters)

Photo of BWH3
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Reddish brown ale with light haze. Amazingly large head with retention for days. I poured some of this beer left for 10 minutes to go pick up some carry out for my wife and when I returned a solid layer of head was still present. The haze is a flaw but the color and head are so gorgeous they more than compensate.

S: An amazing blend of red currant and sour orange accented with a slight vanilla aroma. The sour scent is clearly palpable on my nostrils. A very light caramel flavor is complimentary to the acidity.

T: Identical to the smell with the exception that the barrel aging comes out more. The taste earned a slightly lower score because the sour/acidic flavor is at time overwhelming.

M: Medium bodied, blazing fine carbonation, bubbly full head with amazing retention. The carbonation augments the acidity. Divine

D: I have tasted Monk's Flemish sour so I do have some frame of reference for this style. I found this beer to be exceptional and a must sample for all fans of Belgian ales. (1,005 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.09/5  rDev 0%
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! (1,008 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (668 characters)

Photo of grub
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 1: Sour/Wild Ales. DrJay picked up the special oak aged blend for me and i purchased the 32 month aged bottle at the brewery. thanks jay!

12oz bottles. one is labeled "special oak aged blend" and was purchased in december 2007. the other is labeled as batch 48, barrel-aged 32 months. sampled side by side on nov 27/08. recorded score reflects the 32 month aged version.

32 month: 4.5/5/4.5/4/4 = 4.5
pours crystal clear deep red with only a small dense ring of very fine white bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. no lace.

aroma is fantastic. oak, vanilla, bourbon. touch of lemon. lots of tannin and woody character. bit of dark fruit. light citrus. earthy. so much more depth than the younger batch.

wow. taste is excellent too. vanilla, bourbon, oak and tannin. lemon. bit of dark fruit. light alcohol. some vinegar too. bread. bit of cracker. leather. horse blanket funk. mixed citrus. malty and delicious

mouthfeel is good. just under medium carbonation level. just under medium body. bit of a lingering acidity.

drinkability is good. it's certainly more acidic than the younger batch and that does detract slightly from its drinkability, but overall it's still my favourite of the two. great stuff.

2007 batch: 4/4/3.5/4/4.5 = 3.85
pours hazy and slightly lighter red than the 32 month. a big fluffy white head forms, falling slowly and leaving lots of lace behind.

aroma is good. vanilla. light oak. maybe a hint of bourbon? lemon. touch of cider vinegar. white bread. cracker. light alcohol. white wine. light fruit, but nothing specific or dominating.

taste is good. light vanilla. lemon. malt vinegar. bread and cracker. there's a mix of some lighter fruit, but not nearly the depth of some of the other beers we've tasted and not as nice as it's older brother.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium carbonation level. medium body. fairly smooth even wtih the light acidity.

drinkability is great. the acidity is more restrained than in the older batch, improving it's drinkability. i'd still happily take the older batch overall. (2,086 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.79/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for opening up these two La Roja Grand Reserves! Side by side, La Roja GR maybe 16 or 17 month, unknown blend, and the La Roja GR 32 month in barrel! I'm just going to review the 32 month version. Day 1 of insane DrJay visit epic tasting.

Pours a crystal clear reddish orange, cleared up insanely well, thin bubbles form, almost no head, couple spots find their way to the edge of the glass. Smell is amazing, bourbon, oak, vanilla, melons and assorted fruit basket, very sour and funky middle, almost salty, tons of funk, caramel, barnyard, amazing. Taste is just as good, honey, sweet and sour, fruits, salt and vinegar, bourbon, oak, very sour and acidic lemon juice, malty, more wood, very smooth flavours, sour juice finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, very sour in the finish but insanely well integrated and balanced. That long in the barrel really did some awesome things to this beer. I think I have a bottle around too, neat to see how it changes in a couple years. Thanks a ton grub!

The unknown batch was very different. Still pretty hazy, not as well integrated, and a little rough around the edges. (1,166 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (417 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 48
Pours a hazy deep amber/ copper color with a small white head. In the aroma, oaky, tart, and vinegar. In the taste, oaky, a white grape fruity tartness. A smooth and medium mouthfeel, with a dry tart green apple/ white grape aftertaste. Great tartness, dry green apples, oaky and smooth, it actually rivals Rodenbach Grand Cru. (336 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (968 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
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! (690 characters)

Photo of dbONE
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured form a capped belgian style bottle into a large belgian glass.
The head is a beautiful off white with good retention and nice lacing as the glass empites. The color emerging from the pour is a deep amber with a shade of red hiding throughout. The picks up first on the sourness followed shortly by slight cinnimon and cardamon hints. Caramel also comes through.
The palette gets a wallup of sourness. Imagine eating a grannysmith caramel covered apple at the fair. With a showing of vanilla and oak the spice is in force in the back as it dries up init sour wood.
My parents live in Dexter and I havn't forgiven them for not telling about Jolly Pumpkin when I visited a few years ago. (691 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at the brewery about 6 months ago. Pours a murky dark copper with almost no head. Smells soured and brettanomyces. Fresh lettuce from the crisper, sour brett w/o much horseblanket, and cherry.

Tastes sour. Acetic more than lactic, which is a change for the beers I've had from Jolly Pumpkin. Peaches and nice oaky character. Some alcohol heat adds a counterpoint zing. Md-light mouthfeel, yet light and creamy. Decent drinkability. Not profoundly complex. An interesting take on brettanomyces. (511 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (307 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of quasimoto
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (453 characters)

Photo of mpyle
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color and clear. Moderate sized white head with good retention.

Peppery, fruity, red wine. slightly earthy, barn yard aroma.

Fruity sweet, bitter, and eventually sour. Like the sweet and sour, but the bitterness felt out of place. Medicinal. Too bitter at the start.

Medium body and light-medium carbonation. A bit astringent from the sourness, minimal alcohol warming.

More bitter than expected, and not the fruity/sour combo that is sometimes seen in the style. (473 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one was a blend of 12 and 14 month La Roja, purchased at the brewery store.
A bit hazy with a deep reddish amber colour topped by a solid cap of off-white foam. Pretty good head retention, with a thin skim and solid collar remaining throughout. Lacing was quite sticky, starting out as solid sheets and becoming more spotty towards the bottom of the glass. The aroma is great, lots of brett and wood character, but still mellow. A bit of tartness in the nose, along with plum and oak, faint leather. Tart, fruity flavour with some warming alcohol in the finish. Mild caramel sweetness, plus plums and apple skins, oak, tobacco, and very mild spiciness. Lingering tart berries. Medium bodied with soft carbonation, quite creamy with pronounced dryness. This stuff is simply amazing. It's mellow and balanced all around with some bold flavours. Highly recommended - I could drink this all night. (898 characters)

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.47/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured an orange color with a quickly falling cream colored head. The aroma is sour and yeasty and quite strong initially, but it mellows quickly. The taste is sour and sweet with a hint of spice. The mouthfeel is thin and quite carbonated. Overall the drinkability is fair, but it goes down a little easier as the brew warms. (336 characters)

Photo of goethean
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (813 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle served at 45 degrees F.

Muddled dark copper with a finger of frothy, glass-ascending, light khaki head. Strong aromatics of tart cherry, sour fruits, light vinegar, horse blanket, grapefruit, leather, and faintly caramel malt notes.

Sour, acidic fruits right off the bat. Intensely sour at first, but backs off a little revealing fruit peels/skins, tart cherries, and ruby red grapefruit. Gradually, caramely malt shows through, with hints of vanilla, earthy oak and alcohol. Dry, champagne-like finish. Medium-bodied with a lively feel. Refreshing and complex and delicious! (591 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (1,278 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jay23 for providing the extra...2008 batch, aged 32 months.

Holy acetic acid batman! That's about all I get from this at first. The tan head bubbles up and fades fast. Nice crimson glint, with a brownish surface. Leather, honey, and tobacco in the nose, with a sharp vinegar and blue cheese element. Sharp tartness to the flavor, with plenty acetic notes lingering afterwards. Mild oak and balsamic notes. Full bodied with a nice elevating level of carbonation , keeping things dry.

Gives Rodenbach a run for the money, for sure...

08-08-2007:
Received in a generous trade with JesseDaniel...thanks!

12oz. bottle, neck label states:
"Grand Reserve oak aged - 20 months"

Pour is a deep reddish mahoghany, with an orange ring around the top where the light gets through. Body has a muddy clarity, not completely opaque. A large cap of foam rises, leaving spotty webs of lace. Very tiny particles hang in suspension.

Tendrils of vanilla, oak, coconut, and spice waft from the tulip glass. Swirling produces a sourish fruit and mild sharpness in the nose, hinting at it's strength. The alcohol is sophisticatedly hidden under levels of complexity. A touch of wild yeast is apparent in the sour funkiness.

Woody earthiness of oak, dark berry tartness, vanilla, with mysteriously mild spices lingering long after. Carbonation is present, but fairly toned down. Dry, bittersweet, with tannins similar to a red wine, but more resembling an Oud Bruin. Pepper tingles on the tongue long after the first sip. A definite sipper, it took the better part of an hour to savor this one. The empty glass still smells rich and woody. (1,636 characters)

Photo of bigman147
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (673 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
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 (760 characters)

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