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
92
outstanding

211 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 211
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 298
Gots: 73 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 211 | Reviews: 96
Photo of cultclassic89
3.69/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bit too acetic, pretty harsh sour.

Photo of cfrances33
3.13/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

Photo of NJB145
2.45/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Smelled like turpentine and tasted marginally better. Was the 2012 batch.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of Filabee
1.66/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This was a 2012...Based on this sampling...Do not age this beer! It had the smell and taste of nail polish remover.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of linnymtu
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 Release. Very solid, could've had a little more fruit presence for my taste.

Photo of aforbes10
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Photo of dbossman
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
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

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of shivtim
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of SheepNutz
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of mrmanning
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Styles, thanks buddy! Deep brown pour with a thin dusting of beige fizz. Very fruity aroma with lots of funk (no surprises), yeast and spices. Very strong wood flavours with minimal booze flavours as well. Nuts and floral nuances as well. Funky finish with tart fruit lingering. Thanks Chris for another gem!

Photo of seaoflament
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330 mL bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature. The bottle spewed foam upon popping the cap – just like ordinary La Roja did for me. Luckily, this time I saved it by letting the foam spill out into the glass instead of all over the counter, floor, and sink.

L – Hazy ruby-tinged amber-brown color with a 2-finger frothy tan head. Great retention and nice lacing. Extremely surprising head characteristics for a sour beer.

S – Red wine, dark cherries, musty oak, and a strong dose of vinegar acidity. Just like regular La Roja except with a little more vinegary perceived sourness and perhaps a bit more oak.

T – Wow. This is where this beer soars above ordinary La Roja. It starts off sweet with dark cherries and red grapes but almost immediately plunges into a wonderful puckering sour abyss. When the sourness finally begins to subside, a nice red wine and musty oak dryness appears at the finish.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sharp and puckering mouthfeel, and a very sour and dry finish. Sour cherry and grape flavors as well as some oak dryness linger for a great amount of time.

O – This is an outstanding sour beer. I was impressed right off the bat with the fantastic amount of head formation and retention. I haven’t seen many sour beers with good heads on them. The aroma was fairly similar to ordinary La Roja, but the taste absolutely blew me away. It is leaps and bounds more sour than the regular stuff. Also, the time in the oak barrels gives the beer a pleasantly woody and dry finish that complements the puckering sourness very well. I’m so glad I happened to be in Ann Arbor when this was released. Phenomenal beer from Jolly Pumpkin.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.47/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

Photo of tewaris
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
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

Photo of kzoobrew
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 release

Rusted red colored beer. The body is rather murky and cloudy. A very modest one finger egg shell colored head rests atop momentarily. The head recedes quickly leaving a decent ring and scattered lacing.

Tart aroma up front. Combination of sour apple and cherries provide a pleasant introduction. A fair amount of earthy funk settles in just behind. On the back a vinous dry grape aroma develops. Soft oak develops and provides some continuity in the nose.

An assertive tartness is picked up right off the bat. A bright cherry flavor develops just behind, the transition is seamless. The oak comes into play on the midpalate. The oak dries out the flavor a bit and helps some more subtle flavor emerge. Soft earthy flavor noted on the back of the palate. A grape like tartness lingers long after the swallow.

Medium to light bodied beer. The carbonation is rather low. I did not think this would be appropriate for this particular beer but I am enjoying it very much. The finish is very dry.

La Roja is hands down my favorite beer from Jolly Pumpkin, La Roja Grande Reserve surpasses its younger version in so many ways. Intense flavor while maintaining impressive balance. Fantastic beer and highly enjoyable. Easily one of my favorite beers of the year.

Photo of claaark13
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of Luk13
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of beerhan
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. 11.2 oz bottle

A-Pours a very dark ruby. Looks like very dark cider and a murky brown from the top. Carbonations does not look promising. Pours thin with a slowly rising white head that fades fast and remains thin.

S-Smell is dominated by apples, straw, chardonnay-esque aroma.

T-I was a little vary of the taste when I poured this beer but this blows the regular la roja away. There is a lot of oak up front as well as some dried fruits (strawberry and grape). It is very unique. Pleasantly sour but not overpowering.

M-The sourness of this beer varies with how long you let it sit in your mouth. It is very smooth but if you let it stay in your mouth for a long time it is like a warhead. The alcohol is nonexistent.

O-I went into this beer with no real expectations since i did not know what it would be like. I think it is fantastic and just a treat. Not quite as good as the biere de mars grand reserve but not one to forget.

Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer was tasted at the michigan brewers guild winter beer fest.
from my notes i was served a deep copper sample with a good head.
the aroma was full of brett.
the flavor was a little sour , fruity, minerally, unidentified spice.
the mouthfeel was little watery.
they were pushing this as a 18 month oak aged la roja.

Photo of mpyle
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

Photo of grayburn
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

La Roja - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
92 out of 100 based on 211 ratings.