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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 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 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 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 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 alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
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!

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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 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 grub
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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

Picked up at the release in Ann Arbor. Shared with a few people at AgentZero’s birthday tasting. Batch number 438/439.

Appearance – Pours into my trusty tulip with a murky orange/reddish color. About a half finger of off white head is achieved with a moderate pour that leaves slight lacing.

Smell – Musty barnyard funk, cherry vinegar, heavier caramel, toasted bread, and malt than the BdM GR. Slight oak and lactic.

Taste – Similar to the regular La Roja, though heavier oak and just a bit more tartness. Overall, it is somewhat close to the regular version of this which is a bit of a disappointment. Nice cherries, earthy barnyard funk, and must. A nice tartness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lively carbonation.

Overall – Easy to drink, a bit more sour than the regular. However, I hope this gets a bit more tart with age.

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Photo of mentor
3.55/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 drbenderdo
2.98/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Blend 1: bottled 11-3-14
Poured a murky brown with basically no head. Smell is funky and tart. First few sips were nice and sour, but as it warmed, all I could taste was sherry vinegar. Very unusual mouthfeel. Overall, disappointed. LOVE the original La Roja....one of my all time favorites. This, not so much.

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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 DovaliHops
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 454 & 469. Bottled 03/13/12. Pours a murky, brownish amber color with little to no head. Scent is very inviting on this one. Tons of sour cherries and sweet oak aromas. A lot of vanilla with sour berries and a hint of red wine vinegar. Very fruit forward in the aroma with a nice balance from the oak barrels. Taste is just as good as it smells. Initially, it is very sweet. Sweet vanilla, oak, and berry. Then it gets some cherry flavor which becomes more and more sour as it warms. Not as sour as I was expecting, but definitely complex and with immense flavor. Just the right amount of vinegar and acidity. Very well balanced. Mouthfeel is almost spot on for this beer. Not too carbonated with a very dry finish. Drinkability is very high, and the 8%ABV is nowhere to be found. Overall, a step above from regular La Roja. I love the original, but this one is better IMO. Delicious and complex wild ale. Wish I had more of this.

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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 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 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 Westsidethreat
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to northernbrews for this beer.

A: Very hazy and murky mahogony peach colored brew. Head is small but creamy, a flesh color with iron highlights.

S: Strawberry yogurt, fresh hay, bourbon, floral notes and pencil lead.

T: Mmmm, begins very bretty with loads of peach yogurt. Oak becomes immediately present at the front of the tongue with a zing. Then the bourbon comes quite powerfully but plays very well with the funky flavors. Interesting blend of vanilla, red apple and apricot make this an intriguing brew. Finishes spicy with lingering yogurt and a slight bitter bite.

M: Medium body with a soft yet slick mouthfeel.

D: This was so enjoyable. What an exciting and different beer for those that like both bourbon barrel beers and wild ales. Good stuff. This was better than the original.

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Photo of cfrances33
3.13/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2011 bottle, poured into a teku glass.

Pour: A copper, rusty body. Absolutely no carbonation, and is dead flat. A couple bubbles on the rim. This is an ugly beer.

Smell: Some nice sour cherries up front, along with a burnt caramel and a light oak. Some vanilla comes through as well.

Taste: Starts off with a big tartness up front, characterized by tart cherries and vinegar. I'm honestly getting a little bit of oxidation, and the flavors are quite dull, despite the strong sourness. A caramel sweetness comes on the back, and the most redeeming quality is a nice oak and vanilla on the finish. I would describe the overall taste as stale.

Mouthfeel: Horribly flat, which sometimes is okay, but is NOT here. Muddles the flavors, and makes each sip difficult. Finishes dry, which is nice.

Overall: If someone poured me this beer, and I didn't see it go right from the bottle into the glass, I would be convinced is got left out overnight, put in the fridge to cool, and then served to me. Very disappointed.

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