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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

87 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 213
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 6.6%
Wants: 297
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.
View: Beers (42) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 87 | Hads: 213
Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.17/5  rDev +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. (952 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 dbossman
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
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 (396 characters)

Photo of shivtim
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (624 characters)

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! (653 characters)

Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.13/5  rDev +1%
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. (903 characters)

Photo of mrmanning
3.68/5  rDev -10%
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! (327 characters)

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 BlackBelt5112203
4.71/5  rDev +15.2%
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. (1,703 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 tewaris
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
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 (1,050 characters)

Photo of kzoobrew
4.64/5  rDev +13.4%
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. (1,273 characters)

Photo of claaark13
4.09/5  rDev 0%
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. (288 characters)

Photo of Luk13
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (781 characters)

Photo of beerhan
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (950 characters)

Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (326 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 grayburn
4.13/5  rDev +1%
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. (444 characters)

Photo of Brian700
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kbaker for bringing this one over to my place to share.

This beer rocked my world. When tasting Jolly Pumpkin beers, the age of the beer has so much to do with what you are going to get. The beers are great fresh, great with a little age, great old...but the older they get the more they all kind of start to taste the same. The funk takes over and you get a great beer without some of the subtelties that it once had.

This one seemed to be less funk controled although it was aged for 18 months in a whiskey barrel. All the subtle flavors were well pronounced. It poured a nice amberish/brown with an off white head. The aroma was a tone of oak, whiskey, light vanilla notes. There is that funky bret/lactic presence.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and is a pleasure to wash over the palate.

The drinkability is great. I wish I had a few 750s of this instead of a 12 oz bottle to split amongst 3 people. Nice one Spooky Ron. (969 characters)

Photo of xav33
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jolly Pumpkin La Roja - Grande Reserve
12 oz bottle
Recent release(04/07, batch #2(?)), blushed over 05/07
Medium pour in a tulip glass.

Poured a hazy orange brown with a small light brown somewhat lasting head with lots of carbonation. Very interesting lacing as I tipped the glass for a sip.

Smelt of strong fruity sour oranges and fresh fruit salad and moderate caramel, vinous.

Taste was upfront strong sour and moderate sweetness and light spiciness followed by a strong bitter and sour yeast on a long bitter finish.

Palate was light to medium bodied, softly carbonated, creamy to a dry finish, lightly alcoholic and puckering.

Overall, this is something special. The sour flavors are bold and striking, almost intimidating, but not off putting by any way. The aroma itself is a mystifying treat. I couldn't find myself drinking this in the winter though due to its puckering factor. It's a very odd style and sensory experience, somewhat new to me, but the balance of such strong sour flavors is simply amazing. (1,036 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 mikecharley
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 2012 stubby bottle into my new favorite glass: my Tripel Karmeliet tulip

Pours a semi-ruddy amber/ruby/copper/reddish hue with a small ring of head. Looks much like a light-ish oude bruin. It is kinda dull looking, really, but it is hard to majorly ding a beer this good for the looks, so I give it a 4.

The nose is OUT OF THIS WORLD for this beer. So much going on. Musty Cherries. Oak. Apple. Apple Cider Vinegar. Funk. More Vinegar. 4.5

Taste does one better, which is not very common for any beer. Usually it is unfortunately the other way around. The taste is such a soft vinegar. The malt is present, but not assertive. Some semi-sweet notes from the malt. Sourness does not over-power in any way. Cherries come through nicely in the flavor. One of the better beers I've sipped in a long time. 5

M/O The feel is medium, with a light amount of carbonation. I personally think it fits this style very well 4.5 Overall, one of the better beers I've had the pleasure of drinking in quite some time, and will be doing my best to seek some more out, however unlikely this success is... 4.5 (1,101 characters)

Photo of Bubba83
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at the Beachwood BBQ Sourfest, so I'm reviewing from notes. As Gabe said during the fest, this was supposedly the only keg of this beer in existance.

I like the appearance a lot. It's a dark orange/amber mix with some yellowish highlights. A bright white decent sized head that looks fluffy and creamy at the same time.

Smells a bit vinegary, with a bunch of tart fruits behind that. I'm getting raspberries, not yet ripe blackberries, cranberries, and some yeasty funk and spice. Hard to get to it but there's some breadiness underneath all that.

Lots and lots of tart fruit flavor, every berry underneath the sun, but as if you were tasting them a little too early and hence they are tart. Some vinous character and vanilla give way to an unfortunately harsh tasting alcoholic finish.

Feels really dry and grainy, very prickly in my mouth and sand papery, not impressed.

Overall this beer was kind of a little bit all over the map. There's some interesting flavor components playing which eachother, but ultimately the mouthfeel and the harsh finish really let it down, shame that won't be reflected so well in the overall score with the way the weighting system works. (1,192 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 camil1mj
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Most recent relase. Served slightly below cellar temp.

A: An orangeish red color. A little cloudy. A small amount of white head.

S: Vinegar sourness.

T: This one is sour on the nose, followed by some vinegar and fruit notes. Very good.

M: Medium bodied and a decent carbonation.

O: A great sour. I wish this was more readily accessible. (341 characters)

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