Bam Noire - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Bam NoireBam Noire

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very good

786 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 786
Reviews: 336
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.17%
Wants: 23
Gots: 75 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: FightingEntropy on 09-01-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 786 | Reviews: 336
Reviews by 01001111:
Photo of 01001111
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A deep rusty brown, similar to a dark, cloudy, black tea.

S: Vinegar and berries.

T: There's an wave of the tartness, astringency, and fruits which is subsequently gives way to hints of the malts and then a dominating hop bitterness. As the bitterness subsides there's a lingering flavor of black cherries or pomegranate juice.

M: A bit thin and quite fizzy.

O: There's a lot going on in this beer and it seems reasonably well balanced. One of the better American craft farmhouse ales.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky copper, dark brown hybrid color with an extremely fluffy beige head; cloud-like and lasting nearly all the way down the glass, the head is one of the most unique ones I've seen. I love the way this beer looks and I love the way the head seems to pillow up forever.

Slightly fruity nose with a touch of funk, cork, and barnyard hay; berries, apples, grapes, and peaches seem to fill out the fruit bill. Can't quite put my finger on whether or not this beer is going to lean more towards the funk side or more towards the tart side. Warming up lets the funk get a bit stronger, but the fruits never recess too much.

The taste hits tart and sour at first, which mellows out rather quickly from sour to sweet in the form of light berries and drenched peaches. The barnyard funk hits halfway through and lasts until the end, also leaving the largest impression in the aftertaste. Murky, funky, corky; think of hay, wet wood, and funky, old cheese.

On paper, the flavor profile sounds gross, but works for this type of brew. However, it's a little too dominant here. The sweetness and sour element of the beer just isn't strong enough to balance the heavy funk; I'm sure some funk-lovers out there will enjoy the crass funkiness of this brew, but I would like to see a bit more tart/sour balance. Thin-medium body with a heavy dose of carbonation.

A little lacking in the flavor department from the sweet and sour sides, making the funk stand out a little more than it needs to. Not a bad beer, but this likely won't be a revisit for me, mainly because JP makes so many other delicious beers.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(x2) Bam Noire by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales... 4.3% alcohol? Huh expected more. Dark Farmhouse ale. I couldn't pass this 750ml glass up Batch 340/341 on bottle.

A- Pours an excellent dark fluid with nice one inch off white head that falls to a thick frothy top leaving decent patchy lacing behind.

S- Smell is tangy and sour fruits... cherries, apples and grapes. Small amounts of farmyard funk show itself in the back of the nose... wet blanket?

T-M- Taste is original in the fact i've never tasted a farmhouse that is as light and watery as this one... not a bad thing though. I'll explain. Upfront this brew packs a smooth sour tang that is then followed by a thick brett farmhouse funk. Simple but has all the flavors to keep me drinking this large bottle of beer to the end. Pouring some of the yeast in the bottom in the beer to see if flavor is changed... Just more funky yeast and brett flavors not bad. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with light carbonation rolling over the buds that only make the light tartness of the beer taste better.

D- Drinkablity is exceptional and I would love to get more of these but they are out of season and i've bought the last one at my store... cheers!

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Batch# 250. Pours from the bottle into my glass reminiscent of black tea with ruby red highlights as well. An inch of creamy off white foam sticks atop the brew and leaves sticky lacing on the side. Aromas start with puffs of mild cocoa and dark fruits. Lightly toasted grain meets earthy yeast spiciness. Tartness and wild yeast funkiness becomes quite apparent with a woody backbone.

First sip brings a lightly toasted dry malt mixing with a kiss of cocoa and a touch of plum and black cherry. Spicy, earthy yeast tones meld into a well pronounced tartness with wild yeast funkiness. Finishes really dry with wood and oak barrel afterthoughts. A mild, easy drinking brew but I was hoping for a bit more flavor wise overall.

Mouthfeel is light and arid with fast moving carbonation. This one floats over the palate and is incredibly easy to drink. Would be very refreshing on a hot day, too bad it's freezing right now in Chicago. Overall, I was hoping for a little bit more of a robust flavor here, but in the end it's still a tasty variation of Bam. Pairs well with some 6 year old cheddar as well.

Photo of Beaver13
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a brownish tea color with a thin white head that quickly recedes to a thin film. It has lots of big yeast sediment.

The aroma is musty yeast , grains, toffee and some tart fruits.

The flavor is some chocolate malts, musty yeast and a little zippy lemon twang. The mouthfeel is light to medium and kind of watery.

Overall, a nice easy drinking and refreshing beer. I'd make it a regular if it wasn't so expensive ($14.50 a six pack).

Photo of merlin48
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a clear and dark mahogany body, topped by a large beige head that has excellent retention. Abundant patchy and curtain lacing decorates the glass.

Very nice aroma is almost perfumey. Herbal, grassy, and minty, with floral and spicy notes. A hint of yeast, lemon zest, and coriander contribute to a very saison-like nose.

Mouthfeel is the only weak point here, as it seems much too thin. Light medium body has an effervescent carbonation.

Taste is dry and herbal with coriander and white pepper notes. Some lemon and green apple tartness add a nice edge. A cola note and a vague hint of dark fruits are the only indication of darker malts. Finishes clean and even with a hint of funk.

The dark color belies a very solid, lighter bodied saison. Highly drinkable and on a par with some of Jolly Pumpkin's other outstanding ales.

Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large bottle, "Batch 255", pours dark plummy dark tan head, initially huge, then fairly quickly down to islands and wildly lacing the glass. Just some slight cola and hints of earthy horse infused funk in the nose. I have a hard time getting a good take on these Jolly P beers. I dont drink em that often and when I do they always seem somehow hard to figure out. Have they gone south in the bottle or are they supposed to be slightly over carbonated, then somewhat thin taste wise and then wild and funky? Anyway, I'll go with the wild and funky thing here, as this one seems fresh and in good shape. Notes of more cola, wood, tang, slight barnyard funkyness, moderatly sour, with just light malts and minor to no hops. Interesting, lively and active brew, its alive and vibrant in the mouth. Give this one a try if you like some sourness and are able to find a bottle or two in you area.

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear, brown in color, 1 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: dark fruit, hay, funk, plum, cinnamon

Taste: nice dose of dark fruit--berries?, sweet juice, hay, light funk

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light bodied, funky and sweet

Drinkability: I really like this one and could drink it regularly. A greta combo of sweet fruit and funk. Jolly Pumpkin is becoming my favorite maker of this style.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 512.

The beer pours a medium to dark brown color with a fluffy white head that hangs around until all the beer is gone. The aroma is quite a bit of Belgian yeast, along with some dark fruit, toffee and a little bit of brettanomyces character. The flavor is much heavier on the brett, as I get a lot of leather and orange citrus notes, as well as lemons, a slight bit of funk, toffee and yeast. The beer is very dry and is very easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and a high, biting carbonation.

Photo of jondeelee
2.8/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bam Noire (batch 426, if you keep track of that sort of thing) smells distinctively Flemish, with strong fermented apple cider notes wafting from the bottle. Hints of orange and pear lie just beneath, with a light background of spice (coriander and clove).

On the tongue, these flavors translate almost directly for the first half of the mouthful, with the apple cider winning heftily over the lighter fruits and spices. The second half of the mouthful, however, takes on a characteristic all its own, with the sour flavors kicking into an overdrive that would leave fighter pilots envious. Unfortunately, this isn't a good thing, as the extra boost of sour makes the beer taste less purposefully, and more accidentally sour--as if it had been left out in the light for too long. Instead of apple cider sour, the brew tailspins out of control and becomes partially-rotten-apple-cider sour. Mouthfeel is light, and carbonation is extreme, making this reviewer think he should have left the bottle open in the fridge for a half-hour or so to deflate.

Overall, I can't say as I'd recommend this one, which is a shame, as the first half of the taste was so good.

Photo of ehammond1
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A dark ruby bordering on brown. Thin white head and lots of ringed and spiderweb lacing down the glass.

I love the way this beer smells! It's a fantastic combination of sweet fruits, wet wood, and barnyard mustiness. It's funky, tangy, and sweet all at the same time.

Taste follows the nose, though the earthiness, wood, and tangy yeast is at the forefront, with the sweet fruit flavors just lingering behind the rest.

Medium bodied, though seems a touch heavy and creamy at times.

A delicious, fruity, musty, barnyard saison. I enjoyed this one a lot, especially the aroma.

Photo of Soonami
2.56/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bam Noire is not the beer that I signed up for when I drank it. It is a dark saison, which is unusual, but sounded interesting to me. However, as I am realizing with many JP beers, it tastes very much like all of the other beers they make that are barrel-aged, they just have a weird funk, with just a tinge of tartness. Bam Noire though was not good. I suspect the base beer before barrel treatment was probably very phenolic and plastic tasting from fermentation that ran too hot, because the finished beer is just not good. I can taste the fermentation flaws and combined with the barrel, it tastes like old water passed through a sun soaked plastic hose that is run through an old leather glove. I spent a fair bit of money on this beer and most people that drank it agreed that it was not good. One of the few occasions that I have drain poured a beer.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark plum ruby amber hue with yeast sediments floating abroad streaming upward from the bottom with the bubbles from the fine carbonation, forms a nice sized light beige head with dimples from the stream that I poured into my glass. Aroma has tart raisins with green apples flowing with tobacco leaf qualities galore as I dig deeper it's more of the same with some cider and mild vinegar tones. Flavor brings dry dark chocolate edges with soft fruity sweetness rounding out the dry tart edges, herbal qualities from the hopping flows freely and comes out very notably here. Body is medium with very nice spritzy fine carbonation that carries the body much lighter than it actually is, much like a farmhouse schwarzbier really flows well on the palate. Really leaves a dry palate with each sip, due to the tart sourness this beer contains each sip really leaves nothing in the finish besides a dry puckering effect. Drinkability overall is great and purchased a couple standard Bam's to compare this variation side by side, I love Jolly Pumpkin this dark version a farmhouse ale is no different quality and the little doggy is sporting bat wings I guess it's the right time of year for it.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
Batch #250
A- This beer pours a murky mahogany brown body that glows with a light red hue as the light catches it at the base. There is a oatmeal colored head that is sticky, clinging to the glass with each sip. There is a sea of tiny bubbles that bounce around the body.

S- This beer has a fresh musty wet leaves smell with a soft pine and dark ruby red grapefruit note to it. There is a dark cherry note smell followed by a strong bad breath smell at the end.

T- The smooth dark roasted malt note has a hint of dark cola and a big cheese rind tartness to it. There is a green pine hop flavor with a nice bitterness at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a full astringent pucker which wakes up the tongue.

D- The wild characteristics and the hops really work together nicely to contrast each other even though the tartness is still much stronger. Nice twist to the original bam. I think age could really do some interesting things to this beer.

Photo of mully
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a- rich brown -- thick head that sticks around -- lots of great yeast left on the bottom of the bottle

s- cloves and some roasted malt

t- crisp, tart clove and a little sour, not truly funky

m - thin - but true to style

d - would be a better sumer beer that winter would be refreshing on a hot day not the best fit for a cold night.

Overall a good beer, could be more sour, good intro to funky beers, good balance, not too much of any one area.

Photo of bwstud
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brilliant offering from Jolly Pumpkin.
Batch 895
Bottled 9/26/11
Opened 11/24/11

Bam Noire pours a thick, opaque auburn with bright copper around the edges. A one and a half finger head rose readily to the top of a pint glass. Fine bubbles. 6-7 minutes into drinking there is still a thin layer of fizz.

The aroma of this beer is lovely. Lots going on. Nose warrants repeated examinations. Currant, golden raisin and bing cherry lead the charge. Keep smelling and you’ll get dark sorghum and a faint, sour/metallic note. A pop of miso reminds me of a soy-sherry reduction.

Flavors develop nicely around the tongue. Tart cherry and a sour profile are the stars riding a light malt background. That sour start fades into a full expression of old ranch living: worked leather and yellow straw. Long, subtle, dark fruit finish. Important to note that the sourness is not overwhelming or abrasive. Quite mild, in fact.

In terms of mouthfeel this beer can be summed up in a word: rich. Medium body and sublime, silky carbonation. Bam Noire’s sour astringency reminds you your drinking something on the wild side. An extremely pleasing experience.

At the end of the day this stand-out from Jolly Pumpkin is a hell of a lot of fun. A chewy and rewarding bottle for those familiar to the world of sour beer but also an excellent potential introduction for the uninitiated. Recommended drinking.

Photo of Maurizio
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose: mildly tangy on a farmhouse background.
Taste: very complex and well-balanced maltiness with just a hint of bretty funk and tang.
Mouthfeel: medium body, appropriate.
Overall: Well-executed beer. I personally prefer more funk and tangyness, but I don't think that's what they were going for here. Solid beer.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter from the bomber (?).

The head is a bit out of control. Surges out like a homebrew.

After multiple pours I finally get what looks like a normal pour. Fluffy, light and airy, pale and off-colored white head. The body is opaque, dark brown with visible trickles of carbonation. 3.25

Lots of tartness bordering on sourness on the aroma, plus an overall funk. Bright floral, lemony and acidic notes. Darker malt notes lurk beneath begging to be noticed. 4

Taste picks up on the nose, funky, tarty, lemony and peppery. Chocolatey malts bubble to the surface and give a new dimension to the beer. The flavors are nice but on the lighter side rather than being aggressive. 3.75

It's an interesting medley of sensations that constitute this beer, funky, tart, earthy, and a speck of acidity. The body is light and bubbly with a dry finish. 3.75

Unique so that's a plus. Quite the mix of tastes and feels. Enjoyable but it doesn't quite make me fall in love.

Photo of weasbri
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Jolly Pumpkin review. We visited the brewery while visiting relatives in nearby Ann Arbor, and picked up a few to bring home.
Color is a reddish-brown, with a little bit of head and not much lacing. I get a slight bit of funkiness mixed with perhaps some cherry in the aroma.
I actually enjoyed the flavor of this. A tad on the light (watery) side, but I've gotten a little tired of all the Imperials this winter, so this was a nice contrast. Good tartness on the sides of my mouth, but some sweetness as well, definitely some raisin in there.
I like this one, as I said, as a contrast to some of the "big" beers I've been having, I could have a good session with this brew.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out like black cherry cola, with a thin head that remains present throughout the session. As said, the color is a ruby-tinged dark brown, with minimal lace leavings as the glass empties.

Musty aroma reminds of sour cherries and dank, dark basements. The yeast is definitely performing its magic here.

The flavor is certainly interesting, in that it explodes at the front of the sip like a great Belgian fruit beer (not a lambic), brings in generous tartness and a little funk (as expected from this brewer), and then dies in a quick, dry snap. Finish leaves only the ghost of the fruity/funky flavors, and makes the insides of the mouth pucker as when eating grapefruit. With time it reminds of cherry, grape, grapefruit and gooseberry, without being terribly sweet. And balsamic vinegar. Mouthfeel is thin, and being well-carbonated it feels a bit like soda. Definitely the weak spot here.

This is good if you're up for something tart and fruity. Not as good as Bam Biere, which is one of the best funk-gateway beers I can think of. Probably not the best of the Jolly Pumpkin line, but not out-of-character for them either. Nice to be able to sit with a big bottle like this and not feel completely dizzy when it's gone. Still, I probably wouldn't visit it more than occasionally.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad to see more JP on AK shelves.

Pours a cloudy brown ruby haze with a nice off white head that retains pretty well and leaves good lacing.

Nose is similar to bam, funky, tart, but with a little more sweetness.

Wow. Actually a bit more tart than i expected even. Funk, not sweet in a flemish way, but in a more sort of tabaccoey way, but pretty slight. Finish is nice and dry.

Mouthfeel is just about right for carbonation as well as viscosity.

Drinkability is good, but there is a little bit too much going on without a good melding here. Kind of messy.

Overall, a tasty brew, but needs a little rounding out i'd say. All the seperate parts are good, but they don't mix as well as they could. Hard to pinpoint what im trying to say, so i'll just shutup now. A good beer.

Photo of cokes
2.68/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Muddied dark tan with some glints of auburn. The beige head is short lived and leaves minor lacing.
Roasty nose, in a broad, ill-defined way, somewhere among grains, weak coffee, and woodchips. Light sourness peeks in, but flits off just as quick.
Roasted grain appears initially across the tongue. It never develops a deeper sense of maltiness. Then it turns blisteringly dry. It's like throwing in a chaw of sawdust. Yeast exacerbates the acrid dryness. With no real sour or sweet counterparts, this is a one-sided affair. An a pretty brutal one.
It's a bit mushy in feel, starting effervescent, and growing gradually flatter.
It can't overcome the overwhelming, crushing sense of dryness. There's some promise here (and I like the original Bam), but nothing steps up flavor-wise to complete it.

Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black saison. The JP aroma of sour yeast, sour, yeasty. Some head. Sour taste dominates, average mouthfeel, another good one in taste and drinkability. A little ginger and soda pop like carbonation.Other spices besides pepper are a melange. A palate flattener. Lacey on a blackish body.

Photo of augustgarage
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 462. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip.

Light soapy wheat head recedes from four fingers to one, covering the burnt umber body which glows rufous and rust when pierced through by the sunlight. Ornate delicate lacing. Good retention.

Cedar, sourdough, wild yeast tartness/funk, chamomile, toasty malt, and faint generalized spiciness in the nose.

Ginger, pepper, corander, bitter melon, and lots of citrus create a complex mixture for the palate. Moderately bitter grapefruit and Japanese citrus notes from the hops intermingle with the sour yeast flavors beautifully. The finish is bright, yet dry and somewhat earthy, nutty, and phenolic as well. Subtle, and well balanced.

Medium-light bodied, effervescent, and somewhat puckering mouthfeel. I was concerned the low ABV would reduce the body somewhat, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Refreshing and sessionable without sacrificing any depth of flavor (on the contrary!). A unique dark saison, and one of the few domestic examples that I find similar to some of Fantôme's offerings. Quietly top tier, this.

Photo of ekmoody
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I haven't had many saisons, but I'd have to say this was not what I expected. Came from Batch 373.

Pours out like a darker brown ale, but with a very thick head. Doesn't leave much lacing.

Smell reminds me of some faint spiciness with maybe a hint of dark fruits.

Taste is really not like anything I've had before. Has a kind of sour flavor at first, with some fruity notes mixed in as well. I also got a hint of spice towards the end, but not as much as I would have thought from the smell.

I felt that the beer was too carbonated, the mouthfeel just wasn't right. This was really the weak point for me. Overall I'd probably have it again, but wouldn't put it in my favorites.

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Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
85 out of 100 based on 786 ratings.