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La Roja - Grand Reserve - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
La Roja - Grand ReserveLa Roja - Grand Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

171 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 171
Reviews: 84
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.75%
Wants: 292
Gots: 58 | FT: 5
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 02-16-2006)
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Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 84 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ppoitras
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch 438/439. Bottled 7/25/2011.

Appearance - Almost flat, deep reddish amber. A few stray bubbles.

Smell - Oaky and slightly acetic. Lots of malt. Kind of uninspired.

Taste - Much more acidic here, at least. Not too acetic, but that's the sourness that lingers. Grassy vegetal flavor. Malty and oaky as well.

Mouthfeel - Not too intense of a sour. Very low carbonation.

Overall - I prefer regular La Roja. This is no improvement as the oak doesn't seem to add anything and the sourness is less complex.

Photo of Viggo
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of DrJay
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of xnicknj
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of aasher
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of tectactoe
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Mike for sharing this bottle - enjoyed side by side along with Biere de Mars Grand Reserve. The La Roja version pours a ruby-tinted, dingy copper color; opaque nearly everywhere except for the very edges where translucency is still fairly low. The off-white, gray-tinted head fades almost quickly to even be called a head. It's more of a dinky skin that coats the surface of the beer, leaving very small bits of lacing behind.

La Roja Grand Reserve has a killer aroma - a huge step up from the original La Roja. I believe the difference is just a much, much longer time in barrels, right? Cherry skins, apples, lots of vinegar, and big-time vinous notes just pour out of this one. Not much funk to be had, save for a mild mildew-y aroma, but there's tons of barrel notes; heavy on the tannin, tart, fruity, sharp and searing with crazy acidity. It's the kind of smell that makes your mouth water before you even bring the brew to your lips.

Then when you finally do, everything that was promised to you by the aroma - the tart, the barrel, the acidity - is delivered in full. Extremely tart and puckering up front, carrying the flavor of ripe cherries, sour green apples, tart grape skins, and again, an enormous vinous character, complete with wet oak, white wine, and heavy vinegar. Much like in the aroma, the funk is almost unnoticed, to the point where I'm wondering if there's any at all?

The wonderful tartness of La Roja Grand Reserve is strong almost all the way throughout, until the very end when it finally starts to recess and it transfers into a delicate fruity sweetness that's outlined with warm oak. Despite my love for all things sour and tart, this beer would be sure to give you a nice stomach ulcer if enjoyed in large quantities, so the six ounces I had were perfect. The mouth feel is clean, crisp, and overall pretty thin; heavily carbonated for that nice, snappy, dry finish.

Another great brew from the guys and gals over at Jolly Pumpkin. Similar in a lot of ways to the Biere de Mars Grand Reserve, maybe slightly less tart, although this one seemed to affect my stomach a bit more. Would have liked to see a bit more funk, but I'm not surprised by its absence. A wonderfully tart and puckering brew that's sure to please any sour fanatic, and a very nice step up from the original La Roja (which is already a great brew).

Photo of DefenCorps
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
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!

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of LoveStout
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of AlexFields
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of sweemzander
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle poured into a tulip. Huge thanks to Matt for sharing this long time want! 07/25/2011 Bottled date. #438/439 Batch.

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish caramel amber hue. Some froth and lace.

(S)- A subtle cheesy funk with lots and lots of barrel wood. Some subtle spice. Very mild lactic bits.

(T)- Some nice tart/acidic fruits with the same superb dry wood barrel and subtle spice. Not as funky as the smell, but again, some lactic bits in there.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and balance. Has a great flow of sour fruit to dry oak and subtle funk. Very harmonious despite the heft oak barrel profiles.

(D)- Very nice stuff here. Great smell, taste, and feel with not one part standing our from the next, so it is a well balanced and integrated beer. Regular La Roja is one of Jolly Pumpkin's best beers, and this just got even better than that.

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
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!

Photo of warnerry
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
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 reserve...like 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 base...it 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.

Photo of scottfrie
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

Photo of kmpitz2
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

La Roja - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
94 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.