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Bam Noire - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Bam NoireBam Noire

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

335 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 335
Hads: 798
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 23
Gots: 75 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 335 | Hads: 798
Photo of goethean
4.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a champagne-style bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Aroma of sour, almost rancid grapes. has that classic Belgian lambic funk. If blindfolded, I would have guessed that this was an imported lambic.

A bolt of intense tartness is my first impression. thin body. tartness is balanced by a smooth, mellow maltiness. fruity but not cherry-like. oxidized, musty finish, with a detectable hops bitterness.

This is nothing like the refreshing Bam Biere, but is of the very highest quality, which is what I have come to expect from Jolly Pumpkin. Demands that the consumer has acquired a palate for funky, sour, complex, weird ales.

Here is my wife's review: "first, I felt bitterness on the back of my tongue. then this nasty funkiness, like a dog that hadn't taken a bath for a while. ooooh...it was awful." (817 characters)

Photo of mully
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
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. (452 characters)

Photo of beerking1
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pure black, until held up to the light, when you see it is actually a muddy dark brown, with some significant haze. Aroma is dark fruits, with the musty, earthiness you expect from a saison or farmhouse ale, only this one is dark. The is also some tartness in the background of the aroma. Flavor is tart, musty and fruity, with very little malt. Some hop character, but subdued. Finish is complex, with a tartness and some fruit and must. A black saison, very interesting change of pace. (493 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting II on 10/19/07: Hazy dark amber color with a medium tan head that dissipates steadily. Stringy lacing. Aroma of tart fruit, cobwebs and yeast. Light-bodied and effervescent with flavors of dark fruit, straw and peppery spices. The finish is tart and short with a spicy aftertaste. Above average overall. (340 characters)

Photo of Mudpuppet
4.57/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Riedel sniffer. Pours a medium brown with good clarity.

S- Great nose. Dark malt but fruity notes from the yeast.

T- Some nice sweet malt at the onset moving towards darker coffees and almost leathery taste. This is very good!

M- As always with JP good carbonation. I think the natural carbonation makes a difference in the mouthfeel.

D- I could drink a 6 pack of this no problem. I like the flavor and it goes down very easy. Without knowing the ABV I would say it is a good session beer. If you can get enough to make a session out of.

Thanks to kryptic for the chance to try this! (624 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.06/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of jjpm74: Poured a clear dark black color ale with a big foamy head with perfect retention and perfect lacing. Aroma of dry hops with loads of Brett is really enjoyable and classic Jolly Pumpkins. Taste is also dominated by some nice Brett flavours with some light sweetness and huge Belgian malt. Body is above average with some great carbonation. Complex beer with some nice controls of the funky aromas. (423 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Goblet

A - Poured a very deep dark maroonish colored brown. Almost a garnet color with lots of hints of reddish tones around the outside and bottom. Nearly opague as well. A large tan head of about three fingers high rose up and settled reluctantly down into a thin film across the top leaving behind more then adequate sticky side glass lace.

S - The aroma was very thick. Lots of musty wild yeast and a touch of some earthy and woody like smells as well. Very hard to describe, but as others have noted, almost a salty or briney like smell to it. It was very odd, very full and very good. Some light fruit notes way in the back but they were pretty much obscured.

T - The flavor was extremely full as well. Lots of deep musty bread like tones mingled in with a very big presence of yeast. Some strange things going on here as it morphed into a smokey robust flavor that ended in a slightly spicy earthy finish. Nothing like I have ever had before.

M - Nice medium body had alot of carbonation which led to a very nice creamy feel. Great follow through and really no slickness here at all. This was very good.

D - This again was unlike anything I had ever had, and how it is under 5% abv is simply beyond me. This was just great and I could have easily had another and then another after that.

Overall this was actually my first offering from Jolly Pumpkin and it will be no means be my last. This was simply too unique and too good to pass up. I would love to have this in the fridge to hit whenever. It was in a word, great! (1,559 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany color that's quite dark in the center, topped by a long-lasting coffee-foam head. The aroma is heavy on the wild yeasts and gives off a tons of earthy (and even some fecund marine) smells). Underneath the sweat and salt and rot is a light toasty malt backing with just a touch of spent coffee grounds. Wonderful aroma. On the palate, hop bitterness up front, with a tart backing that grows into the mid-palate. Toward the end a slightly sweet and smooth nutty malt character comes out. Very interesting tastes here. Overall, this is a really interesting beer. It's an odd category for a beer -- a dark farmhouse ale -- but the results are, at the same time, expected and unique. Very cool. (711 characters)

Photo of becktone
4.06/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eye: Garnet in color with some copper in there as well. Head has excellent retention, great lacing, and is a tainted white in color; texture is somewhere between creamy and rocky.

Nose: Earthy, spicy, smokey, and musty, and damp woody, mulch like aroma. Can't quite put a finger on the spice aroma, but all the others described above combine to form it. Maybe a little bit of cinnamon in there as well. Smells interesting and intriguing.

Tongue: Unlike any beer I've ever had before. Very earthy on the palate. Lots of smoked character as well as earthy wood/mulch. Also some sourness upfront followed by some sweetness. The brew finishes dry with a very woody character-cedar? All in all a very unusual and unique brew. I really like this one, nice departure from everything that I've ever tasted. Not really a "Saison" by all definitions but still an interesting brew to check out.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: As mentioned before if finishes dry, leaving a woody and earthy taste in the mouth. And when I say earthy here, I mean it, this is the epitome of earthy in edible food, besides licking a rock or eating a handful of dirt or mulch you can't get closer than this. It may sound gross, but I find this beer to be quite tasty. Very refreshing, a nice departure from most beer styles. I wouldn't hesitate to grab another. This beer would be easy to session, and I can see it pairing real nicely with smoked pork, smoked chicken, maybe a salad, some steak. Also a nice session beer. (1,490 characters)

Photo of cabsandking
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby highlight, a fingers worth of beige, fine bubbled head that fades but still leaves a sticky crown. Sour cherry fruit and some yeasty funk, and slight earthy malt for aromas. Very dry grains, chalky bitterness and an astringent yeast character. The farmhouse funk is bit one dimensional. Some vinous, cherry notes through the middle and settles in the finish with a bit of musty, husky grains and bitter, dry cocoa powder. Descent mouthfeel that’s well carbonated and not too watery for a 4.3. Not bad for a dark saison, I’ve got mixed emotions on this one. It’s an easy drinker right now but I would like to see something bigger for this style. (668 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #250

A - Pours a murky brown with blackish ruby highlights and 2 fingers of tan head.

S - Funky with wet hay and leather, yeast and some cocoa.

T - Wet wood, tart and funky with some cocoa and yeasty flavors.

M - On the thin side and slightly watery.

D - I was hoping for a nice take on Bam Biere and it ended up just being interesting. (348 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (1,291 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (997 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Cloudy, chestnut color. Off-white pillow top head. Good head retention.

Sour fruit aroma, and bit funky and floral. Black cherry perhaps. Slight roasty undertone.

Dry, roasty flavor at first, hint of cocoa. A bit chalky. Not as much tartness as I expected from the nose. A bit of earthy and floral bitterness. Maybe a hint of spice, corriander?

Light body, lots of carbonation. I wasn't sure what to make of this. Probably my least favorite so far from JP. (475 characters)

Photo of shbobdb
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This, in my opinion, is Jolly Pumpkin at their best. The beer has an undeniably "wild" presence but it is restrained enough that it doesn't obscure the beer's nature as a dark saison.

The beer pours very dark with an off-white head that lingers and lingers while leaving fantastic lace as it slowly, slowly falls. All good things much come to an end, though, and it quickly forms a nice compact layer over my beer. The beer itself is quite dark with a nice hint of garnet around the edges of my chalice when I hold it to the light.

The smell is very pleasant. There is a nice burst of aroma hops (Kent goldings, I wanna say but don't hold me to that), they are sightly fruity, slightly spicy, slightly earthy. This mingles with what I think of as a traditional saison yeast character -- subtle notes of tastes I can't quite describe because they never make enough of a showing for you to identify them but together they leave an impression of almonds and apricots. All of this mixes with a nice light acetic note. Nothing too strong, but just a hint of something sour, something rotten.

The taste follows the smell with the notable addition of a nice, long chocolate finish.

The mouthfeel is full at first, but as I drink the beer and the carbonation fades it becomes apparent how thin this beer is.

Ahhh, now this is a beer I could get used to. I could make a heck of a session out of this guy. It combines the best aspects of a saison and a porter with any conflicts that might arise being dealt with by enough funk that you can't notice any problems. (1,562 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber/ mohogany color, with an off white/ tan head. Aromas of a roasty malt and sour hints. In hte taste, roasty malt and a suttle tartness. A tart and bitter mouthfeel and a small dry, sourness in the aftertaste. A good stepping off for sour beers, because it was not that sour. Different with the roasty malt. (324 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark bronze with an infusion of blood red. In spite of what looks to be a healthy amount of carbonation, the beige cap barely reached two fingers in height. Although it's creamy and doesn't immediately melt, the head has a featureless surface and isn't laying down any lace. I'm not sure what a 'dark saison' is supposed to look like, but I expected something better than this.

The nose is decent if you like Brettanomyces. If you don't, then what the bloody hell are you doing drinking Jolly Pumpkin beer! There may be a whiff of cocoa that distinguishes this ale from a standard (that is, non-dark) farmhouse ale, but it's subtle at best.

Only on the finish does Bam Noire threaten to fullfill its promise. Prior to that, it's simply another over-attenuated, Brett-blasted JP ale that, like most of the rest, isn't distinctive enough or deep enough to be considered good beer. Once the funk storm has passed, a little (and I do mean a little) dark malt flavor makes its way to the taste buds.

The flavor profile consists of borderline rotten, unripe, spiced peaches; a tannic woodiness; Band-Aid phenols and a sprinkling of cocoa powder, all nearly smothered by a ratty old horse blanket that needed to be washed weeks ago. I like microbes in my beer as much as the next guy, but they have to be used selectively and they have to allow the beer's other qualities to be appreciated as well. What's the point of brewing a dark saison if it doesn't taste very dark because its drinker has to pick the funk out of his teeth?

The mouthfeel is too thin, even for a beer with an ABV as low as 4.3%. That would be fine except that it's also too fizzily carbonated. That combination makes things too harsh in the mouth; a characteristic that improves, but doesn't resolve completely, by the final ounce.

I like Bam Biere. My hope was that Bam Noire would be its delicious doppelganger, but for all the reasons noted above, it isn't. Nevertheless, I will continue to buy and try Jolly Pumpkin beer because one never knows when greatness will appear out the chaos. Continuing to Brett the living shit out of each and every style isn't going to get it done, though. (2,160 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
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). (455 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at the Buckeye Beer Engine last night. This beer is a dark amber red color. Mine had a nice slightly tan colored head about 2/3 inches thick when served to me. Very nice lacing indeed! Yeasty aromas of apple and clove were present and not much else smell wise. Flavor wise there really wasn't very much here. It had a sort of bitter taste with yeasty, malty flavors of the apple and clove mentioned above. maybe a hint of plum or grape as well. It wasn't a bad taste, there just wasn't much to it. In some ways the taste reminded me of Guinness, bitter and also sort of bland and unexciting. The server told me that the beer was probably still currently in the fermentation process in the cask. Well if that is indeed the case I think the batch they currently have needs to ferment/age some more before it is served to the patrons. has a nice smooth and creamy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink in the way a well crafted beer should be. I'd try this again maybe on-tap or out of the bottle after it has fermented/aged for the proper amount of time.

Eric (1,116 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #250

Pours into a Caracole tulip with a solid cap of foam, moderate level of lacing.

Aroma is extra funky...horse stalls and wet moldy hay, getting into burnt wood and delicate puffed rice. Soil and upturned roots....there's alot of depth even though it was off-putting on the surface at first.

Lots of dry wood and toasty malt, giving way to an nice earthy roast midway through. Some berry notes come out halfway through the bottle. A ton of light colored yeast sediment. Yeast is the only similar component to Bam Biére. Not really all that bitter, save for some mild tartness, but much less than and Oud Bruin or Wild Ale in general. It's still fresh though...a far cry from "apple, dark malt and nothing else" mentioned elsewhere.

Mouthfeel is not completely thin, but less than medium-bodied. The carbonation saves it. It feels a bit like a rustic homebrew at times. I'm working on a 750 solo, and i've finished a Madrugada before, but this is a distant relation to the supreme drinkability of Bam Biére. (1,023 characters)

Photo of zdk9
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First night powerless, in the dark and cold. This beer seems quite appropriate- the darkness of 'noir' and the rusticness of a saison- for a candlelight drinking.

A- Pours a dark ruby red with half a finger of light head that leaves speakled walls of lacing.

S- The first wave of smell is all yeastiness. Then the second wave arrives- more yeastiness. But all the yeast is accompanied by some fruit- cidery apples. There is also some sourness, a touch of balsamic vinigar right at the end.

T- Yeast, cider, balsamic vinigar. Same as the smell but in much better balance. The back of the mouth reveals the earthiness of grass, not freshly cut, but a day old and browning.

M- Great balance of sweet in the middle of the tongue, sour on the sides, and bitter in the very back. Quite effervescent.

D- A really delicious and quite complex beer. A wonderful beer to sip and analyze. (881 characters)

Photo of IdentityAles
2.74/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard wine glass from a 750ml bottle at around ~40 F.

Aroma: Sour notes, dirty celery, some funk, spice, clove and maybe a hint of anise.

Appearance: A nice looking color of dark brown with red hues but all hints of a proper head disappeared within a couple of seconds.

Flavor: sour apples, a hint of dark malts, but nothing else. Very disappointed with the flavor, nothing close to the complexity of other Jolly Pumpkin beers I've tried.

Mouthfeel: Watered down water. Not Good!

Overall: This is the first Jolly Pumpkin beer I'm really disappointed with. I didn't even finish the $10.00 bottle. The aroma was the best part but everything else was a let down. I'm not a huge fan of the regular Bam Bier either, so I guess this isn't a huge surprise for me, but none the less I'm a little dissapointed. (824 characters)

Photo of wingman14
3.21/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with an off white head that faded quickly, but left some lacing. The smell is interesting, and one that I have never experienced before. It has a sweet and sour smell with aromas that I am unable to pinpoint, it is just quite odd. The Jolly Pumpkin website says that the aromas is of "worn leather and cool autumn nights. Notes of sweet plum and toasted raisin, hints of coffee and cacao." I cannot pick up those aromas, but this is different than most other selections out there. The taste has that toasted raising coming out immediately with a few sour notes following. The toasted flavor lingers at the end. The mouthfeel is good, very smooth. I couldn't see having more than a couple of these in one sitting, I would consider this more of a slow drinker. Worth checking out, different but interesting. (824 characters)

Photo of Overlord
2/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Dark brown with ruby highlights. Big pale tan head. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin yet viscuous, if those two make sense together.

Taste is....off. Sour, with figs, raisins, and something else. This beer gave me a headache halfway through the bottle, but I won't review it on that basis, as I can't be sure without sampling more than one.

It smells pleasant enough, with dark roasted fruits (cherry?), but this just did not come out as anticipated.

**Confirmed from Buckeyenation, this beer causes headaches! (507 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (1,198 characters)

Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
85 out of 100 based on 335 ratings.