Bière De Mars - Grand Reserve - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Bière De Mars - Grand ReserveBière De Mars - Grand Reserve

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101 Reviews
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Reviews: 101
Hads: 212
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 322
Gots: 44 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-22-2006

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 101 | Hads: 212
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ahalloin for sharing this at a recent tasting.

A: Nice caramel look with some great lacing, not much head to speak of.

S: Some nice berry seeds maybe blackberry/raspberry with the classic JP farmhouse brett yeast and maybe even some cherry pie like notes. Nice malt in there to stand up to the brett.

T: Great fruit and taffy taste with some citrus tartness but not a ton of sour, just enough to get a berry tart kind of taste with just a touch of sugar. Plenty of dry yeast and straw malt. Very mature and complex taste.

M: Nice feel without a ton of carbonation, smooth over the palate and not astringent at all.

Nice beer overall.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - -Light brown colored beer with a bit of a white head that didn't rise very high or stay for very long. Looks a little red on the edges.

S - Dark fruits, yeast is fairly present, some funk, little vinegar.

T - Sweet caramel, some tartness with the normal Jolly Pumpkin yeast smell. Some funk and oak from the barrels. I get bored with JP beers, but this one is somewhat interesting.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation and a dry finish.

O - Decent beer, not amazing, but this one is pretty good.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear dark brown color with a minimal frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with fair lacing. Moderate to heavy tart citrus, good funk and wood aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy sour flavor with a medium to heavy sweet & sour finish of moderate to long duration. This is a standout beer for style.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 06/25/11 notes. 2 330ml bottles shared by ahalloin; thanks Tony, always interested in trying new JP beers. Poured into my Bruery tulip. Batch 346/348, dated 02/19/10.

a - Pours a murky dark brown color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Spotty lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of that distinct Jolly Pumpkin yeast and funk, oak, horse blanket, and light fruit. Very funky and enjoyable; really like the nose.

t - Tastes of funk, light fruity, yeast, that barnyard funk/horse blanket taste, and light oak.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty creamy body, and not as carbonated as I expected.

o - Overall a really good beer from Jolly Pumpkin beer. If you like their style this is acan't miss. Would like to have it again.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

330ml bottle thanks to Auoracrisis. First off, this beer was fantastic, just wonderful but I am already biased towards the regular biere de mars which we rarely see in Colorado. Dark red with a healthy head at first that died quick. It smelled a lot like the regular version, sour flanders style beer. The taste however had a very pronounced and beautiful oak flavor to it that complemented the beer very well. Sour but full and not so much the lemon flavor I have detected in Biere De Mars. I was actually astonished by how much better it was with the extended oak aging. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blind BIF #5, Blind beer #9 from abraxel. An 11.2 oz, I think.

A-Pours a clear amber, no head or lacing to speak of.

S-Lactic and oaky, sour and "bring it on". So bring it on.

T-Sour, moderately puckery but in the good range. Vinegar notes are present but nicely done. A really nice wild ale.

M-Bone dry, sour, little to no carbonation.

O-Pretty damn good sour.


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Photo of joshuaseresse
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from auroracrisis, thanks for the trade Ben! Batch #472/473, 11.2oz, bottled on March 22, 2011. Split with my girlfriend and poured into snifters:

A - Pours a deep, dark brown with ruby tints throughout. Semi thick foam ring around the edges with sworls of foam in the middle. Numerous bubbles cling to the sides of the glass. Light lacing.

S - Green apples, grape skins, pears, touch of peaches, oak and a bit of funk. Little bit of citrus notes like lemon and orange peel. Not as funky as I expected but what can I say, this is my first Biere de Garde.

T - Really smooth and nice funk tartness. Grapes, pears, peaches and a bit of lemon zest. Oak and a tartness usually coming from cranberries comes through nicely. Oak and mixed berries also follow, while green apples round out the flavors. Really well done.

M - Smooth and velvety. There is a touch of drying toward the end, but I think that comes from the tartness. The tartness also grips the jaw. I think this is the best part of the brew.

O - I'm really happy with the one. Great smell, flavor and fantastic mouthfeel. I've had a couple offerings from Jolly Pumpkin and this is by far the best one yet. I'd really like more to age...or just drink right away. A must try.

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Photo of MrFootstones
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish brown. Starts off with a centimeter of head which recedes quickly.

Sweet n sour in the aroma. Vanilla, oak, tart green apple, ripe berries, stone fruit.

Slightly sweet, a little tart. Slight phenolic spice, ripe cherries and soft cherry pits. Awesome vanilla and oak in the finish. Tastes like the perfect execution of a Flemish style sour.

Velvety smooth on the palate. Soft carbonation with a slight tingle in the back of the mouth. Could have more carbonation but the amount here works and it's very nice overall.

Damn. This is by far the best JP beer I have ever had. The flavor and aroma are killer. Good to know Jolly Pumpkin can really make something exceptional.

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Photo of jale
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the latest release.

A: Pours a cloudy light brown with a finger of white head.

S: Wonderful sour apples and peaches.

T: Sour apples,pear and peaches upfront followed by oak and a hint of vanilla. Everything you want it to be.

M: Medium body with great carbonation.

O: This is a beer I could drink all day.

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Photo of uno99
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 472/473 Bottled 3-22-2011

Served at 55 Degrees, into a janky Stella Artois glass.

A: Kind of like a Flanders Oud Bruin. Sort of ruby brown. No head, no lace.

S: really pungent. odor is evident immediately after opening the bottle. Seems to develop more after the pour. Quite complex and lovely. Does sting the nostrils a bit - a good warning sign that you are about to enjoy one sour ass beer!

T: First few sips are really intense and easily overwhelm the palate. Dominate flavors are oak, tobacco, anise, hay, raspberry, green apple. Hops not too evident until the late finish. Oak lingers on for a good while.

M: Intensely dry. Almost Cantillon dry! Biere De Mars GR sucks all the moisture out of every part of your mouth it touches. Quite well carbonated, medium bodied.

Overall: Pretty darn good if your in the mood for an intensely sour and complex experience... That mood strikes me often.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 346/348
Bottled 2-19-10

Thanks to mymrnngjckt for the bottle!

Poured into a Hill Farmstead tasting glass. Beautiful, clear, burnt red body with a thin white film of foam across the top. Leaves some nice patches of lacing.

The nose is oaky with vinegar acidity. Cherry and strawberry mixed with light malts. Grape skin and a touch of hay. Quite fruity and oaky.

Tart cherry and soured malts mixed with oak, vanilla and blue cheese on the tongue. Good acidic tartness. Reminds me a bit of a flanders, but not quite. This base biere de garde / saison malts seem to separate it from the fladers style. Red grapeskin and hay, much like the nose. Little bit of green apple brett funk. Well done.

Mouthfeel is smooth, somewhat slimy, yet finishes with crisp carbonation and acidity. Not overly sour, but I'm sure you could get there if you let this beer go another 2-3 years. Little bit of Jolly Pumpkin funk as well. Everything is well integrated.

Drinkability is good. I enjoyed this a bit more than the Luciérnaga Grand Reserve. The nose is good and the flavor is on par or better than most American Wilds. Definitely worth checking out if you can find a bottle. Wish I had another one in the cellar to see how it develops.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 346/348, bottled 2-19-10. Pours a burnt ruby color with a thin layer of head. Pretty looking. Smells a little metallic, a little meaty-sour. Some sweet blue cheese funk, some vanilla-like woodiness. Decent smells; reminds me a little of a flanders.

Tastes nice and meaty with more of a sour tinge than a hoppy bitterness though the tannic bitterness comes through. Refreshingly funky with a little mealy malt at the finish. Carbonation is creamy and adds a little to the light body. Very drinkable and extremely flavorful.

I quite like this one. Would go great with some grapes and some cheese.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 346/348; Bottled 2/19/10

Pours a hazy deep amber to brown in color with a small light tan head. In the aroma, big sour, nice big tart white grape smells. In the taste, tart white grape, starting sour to a nice yeasty dryness in the end. A smooth and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, tart fruit in the aftertaste. Nice big tartness, mellow body, I love you Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Masterski for sending this along in a recent trade. Executed many trades with Alex and he's a great guy.

Bottle marked Batch 346/348 Bottled 2/19/10

Enjoyed this beer in my Dogfish Head over sized snifter. Poured with a small off white head that was only a 1/8th in thick and faded right away to a film of foam. Good looking color that was a deep amber/ruby color. There was nice clarity despite the very deep color.

Aroma is just fantastic. Very earthy, funky and the old horse blanket or farmhouse aroma. Slight tartness in the nose. Also a touch of oak and perhaps some fruit. (Cherry)

Rather interesting beer. Like many the aroma led you to believe there would be a more tart flavor than actually exists. Initial moment of cherry/green apple tart fades to a toasted malt flavor. After this the oak presence makes itself known. I wish there was a lingering tartness to mix with the oak flavor as I think would add more complexity. The oak seems to be the core component in the flavor here. Mixed in here is a touch of leather. Finishes dry. Funk pops out here and there when you least expect it.

The body is actually quite light and delicate. There is a dry finish to the mouth feel like noted above. Just the most subtle carbonation.

Nice beer to explore as you watch a football game. One to take your time with.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First off, a huge thanks to DrDoitchbig and ThomasHardy for this beer (I received one from each and since I can only review it once, props to both!). I have been saving this beer for my 300th review for a long time. Cheers!

Batch 346/348

Appearance - Pours into my Russian River Tulip with a surprisingly dark chocolate color. Held up to the fading sunlight, hints of ruby red light shine through the glass. With a vigorous pour, less than half a finger of head is achieved that surprisingly stays around for a while, leaving slight lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Ahh, the signature JP aroma. Funk, heavy tart green apples, sour cherries, slight vinegar, and a nice amount of oak from the barrel aging.

Taste - As my mouth puckers in anticipation, the most prominent flavor is tart, sour (no doubt) Michigan cherries. My God this just transported me back to Michigan when I was there this summer (and so many prior) on vacation. After the initial wave there is the classic barnyard funk, oak, vanilla (a new taste for me in a JP beer to be honest), and just a hint of leather. This is the most complex JP beer I have had yet. The fact that the barnyard funk is almost downplayed and replaced by the sourness/tartness of cherry fruit is also a new experience. I have read where people state there is a heavier vinegar flavor, however, I am not picking it up for the most part - there is a slight undertone, however, it is by no means distracting or the dominant flavor. There is a hint of sweetness, but again, it takes the form of fruit and is not overpowering in the sense that the tartness from the fruit offsets it to create a happy medium. Delectable.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lower carbonation (though there is - I was worried because it took quite a hard pour to obtain even a little head). Finishes quite dry.

Drinkability - Nonexistent alcohol, clean, crisp, and refreshing. I have another one of these in my cellar and can't wait to try it with a year on it. This is my favorite JP experience yet due to the complexities of this beer I have not found in other JP offerings (yet I still consider them relatively complex so that is saying something). A perfect beer for my 300th review. Cheers all!

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of kryptic. No distinguishing batch information, although it was aged in oak for 16 months.

A: The BdG is a dark ruddy color that verges on brown at times. Only the narrow base of the glass routinely shows off the red highlights. A small head doesn't get very big, nor does it last long.

S: Surprising for JP, the ale offers more barrel than funk, thanks to those 16 months. Sweet, woody oak barely stands out over the critters. That funk is gamey, more wild than tart.

T: Plenty of malt upfront, reminding that this is a BdG. Fast on its tail, the oak shines through with vanilla. The funk isn't as strong as some reviewers note. Instead the barrel has really mellowed the ale out. What little funkiness is there is acetic, a small dose of vinegar and apples. The oak with just a thin undercurrent of funk is interesting and delicious. The funk intensifies a bit as time passes but the vinegary flavors never overtake the oak.

M: The tartness increases over time, gradually moving into the limelight. I really like the oak, the subtle twang of wood and vanilla.

D: The exchange of oak and funk is interesting, especially for a JP beer. The crescendo of the funk, it's really coming close to edging out the barrel, is amazing.

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Photo of brdc
3.72/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small capped bottle, thanks to the generosity of OHLRangers. Unknown batch, the sticker on the back has been partially ripped off.

From notes: Minimal and short lasting head covers this hazy, dark reddish brown beer.
Aroma is funky, tart, with a little bit too much vinegar. Some woody notes.
Taste is a bit too sour and vinegary for a biere de garde, and carbonation is lacking. Some bourbon notes, oak, and again, lots of vinegar. Fruitiness, and the tartness, a bit exaggerated, unexpected for the style.
Pleasant, but definitely not great.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown color with ruby highlights. Poured a half-finger off-white head that dissipated to random bubbles. Spotty lacing.

S: Apple vinegar. Dark fruity Belgian yeast; plum and raisin. Clove and cinnamon spices. Earthy foundation.

T: Sharp vinegar flavor up front. Sour green apple and cherry. Definite wild funk and maybe a little wet wood. Low, even bitter in the finish.

M: Light to medium body. Ample fizzy carbonation. Dry finish with warming alcohol.

D: Cornucopia of flavors; very complex. Drinkable for sure, but definitely a sipper.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Derek and his never ending generosity for this one. Enjoyed as a brief respite from the absolutely excessive heat the last two days.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a head that dies quickly and becomes a thin ring of off-white head.

S: The oak and lactic acidity are quite evident on the nose. A bit of sweet caramel and vanilla, as well as some light funkiness. Some hints of sour cherries and vinegar, as well.

T: Oak is dominant throughout and provides a tannic quality to the beer. Some light vinegar and and cherries, but not overly sour or tart. There's a distinct earthiness to this beer which I find enjoyable.

M: The body is medium with a soft carbonation and lightly dry finish.

D: Like most of Jolly Pumpkin's beers, this is a good one. I haven't had the regular Biere de Mars, but this has inspired me to pick one up at some point.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish copper with an off white head and a good amount of lacing as it goes down. Nose is incredibly complex. I get tart green apples, ripe cherries, brown sugar, hints of caramel, a bit of vinegar, and maybe a little bit of lemon. Taste draws all the flavors together quite well and adds a bit of extra funk. Mouthfeel comes from both acetic and lactic sourness. Quite drinkable, although maybe a bit over the top in any relatively large quantity.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a Bells tulip...A medium brown with a little amber in it, muddy color, light tan head, ok carbation, decent lacing...Aroma is decent funk and oak. In reality it smells like every other Jolly Pumkpin beer, they all have the same oak backbone, this goes a little further adding a little vinegar and tart fruits. Better than the average jp...Taste is pretty good, again a lot of the jp oak but more complex.

Most jp beers are blah to me but this is something I'd like to have more of.

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Photo of nickd717
3.8/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle thanks to sarro on BA.

Pours dark brown with reddish hues and a one-finger light tan head that fades to a ring.

Jolly Pumpkin's house yeast is evident on the aroma. Pretty funky and oaky with caramel malt.

Flavor is slightly sweet caramel malt but mostly tart and full of the house yeast flavor. Funky and oaky with some slight fruity notes and very slight bourbon.

Nice palate, dry and fairly tart with medium body.

Pretty good beer. Not amazing, but good.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transcribed from undated notes. I remember that someone (BeerGestapo (?)) had noted my love of Jolly Pumpkin beers in my Profile Beer Thoughts and brought some by, but when that may have been is lost in the ether.

The pour produced two fingers' worth of thick, foamy, creamy yellowish-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity and a high level of effervescence. Nose had notes of green apple, cider and cheddar cheese. Mouthfeel was medium with a slightly sour cherry taste, but not so sour as to be off-putting. Finish had a very cherry-like flavor, macerated cherries in liqueur as one person put it or kirsch, another way. Mmm.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Starting the vacation off with a bang, the cooler I brought with me to folly for the next 4 days is just insane. After polishing off the growler of twigs this afternoon I cracked this one after dinner. Served chilled in a snifter, this one was consumed on 08/07/2010.

What a gorgeous beer! Dark amber pour reveals tons of cloudiness and a one finger head of off white foam that has incredible retention. Streaks of lacing that are just dripping down the sides of the glass are hallmarks here.

Aroma is horse funk. Deep tart apples, hints of sour that tingle the nose. Apple vinegar and a deep, earthiness that blends well, grounding it and keeping it from being a huge sour monster. Warming brings out the cherries, hints of a brown sugary sweetness and touches of sour apples that show their form. So damn sharp at the taste, bitter as hell with a wincing factor that was off the charts. Mellows mid palate bringing back some of that lovely earthiness that keeps it nice and calm until all moisture is sapped from your mouth an long, dry, sour finish seals the deal.

Overall, wow. A stunning example of the style and a stunning beer in general. Really glad I brought this one with me.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Had twice now -- once shared by chswimmer, another time by nickd717. Thanks guys. From notes.

A: Pours a clear brown / amber / maroon body with beige foam. Retention isn't so great; it forms a medium collar, with spots of lace.

S: Earthy lactic sourness. Some grapes and oak.

T: Earthiness, again. Light brown sugar and caramel (the beer mostly tends toward dry, so I stress "light" here). A strong lactic sourness accentuated by grape. I find a lot of oak and some vanilla in the finish. A mild funk.

M: Light-bodied. It's not particularly heavy on the sugars, but it's not as dry as I would like. Still, quite solid.

D: Overall, pretty good for the style. I am not well versed in Biere de Gardes, but I enjoyed this one. Thanks guys.

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Bière De Mars - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
95 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.