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Bam Noire - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Bam NoireBam Noire

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

681 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 681
Reviews: 321
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 21
Gots: 56 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: FightingEntropy on 09-01-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 681 | Reviews: 321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NorCalYeti


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

taste- earthy malt, toast, bitter hop flavors

color- light brown, amber

clarity- pours clear and dense

smell- cloves, sweet earthy malt aromas, chocolate, grain

body- smooth, slight bitter finish, hint of sourness, slight hop bite on the palate, light weight on the palate, short-medium length finish

appearance- off-white rocky head...looks like an a&w rootbeer float, awesome

overall impression- enjoyable farmhouse that doesn't overwhelm and is a nice drinking experience

notes and comments- batch 358, spent yeast in the bottle

beer spy- monument wines and spirits, concord ca, march 2011, $9.99, 22oz

glassware: tulip

04-09-2011 03:57:11 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of mactrail


2.83/5  rDev -25.1%

Think and sour brown ale.

Vinegar aroma, but intriguing. Appealing sudsy head and lacing along the glass, lasts well. Sour is the main flavor. Really thin and sharp. Tastes like any malt has long since been eaten by bacteria. The taste starts in the back of the throat and works its way forward. If you use your imagination it could taste like a hint of salted plum. Aftertaste is soapy and dishwatery. Just not much taste at all.

I'm all for crazy flavors, and sour beers demand some respect for stretching the mind. But I'm just as interested in a delicious and drinkable beer, which this isn't.

04-08-2011 04:09:31 | More by mactrail
Photo of aepb1


3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

Had at Pi on Broadway, a treat my brother brought down from Michigan, notes from phone on 3-3-11

A- Dark brown body that lightens at the edges with a generous fluffy white head

S- Fruity spices and some yeasty funk

T- Sweet fruity malts up front, moves into some spices and finishes mildly sour

M- Light body and higher end for carbonation but good for the style

D- Very easy to drink and a nice take on the style

03-23-2011 21:48:31 | More by aepb1
Photo of beagle75


3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Selma's in Rancho Santa Margarita.

A: Clear, dark brown color with over one finger of mocha-tinted foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Generally mild combination of lightly roasted fermented grain and musky tartness.

T: Begins dry, with faint roasted malt that is slightly nutty, and lactic acid that is detectable but restrained in intensity. Some volatile woodiness is detected into the middle where acidity remains prominent and characterful, but under tight control. A whiff of snappy black pepper is also present in the middle, making perhaps the only concerted attempt to match the classic flavor profile of a saison. The finish features restrained bitterness and continued dryness emphasized by the presence of charcoal, with just a hint of dark stone fruit that does not linger long.

M: Thin viscosity, wet and smooth on the palate with appropriate acidity that is slightly felt, and with moderate carbonation.

D: This sour ale demonstrates that the intensity of sensory qualities can be restrained, rather than challenging, in such a beer. While it does not present itself clearly as a saison, it does represent a very approachable example of an American wild ale. This could be regarded as the pilsner of sours--not in terms of appearance or other particular sensory qualities, but in the overall cleanliness that is evident. There is no place for off-flavors to hide here, revealing a mild but focused flavor profile that shows no tendency to fatigue the palate. It also stands out for its sub-5% abv, further enhancing its approachable and forgiving nature.

03-19-2011 16:39:28 | More by beagle75
Photo of EgadBananas


3.78/5  rDev 0%

Batch 710, bottle 1-6-11 for whom it may concern.

Definitely a dark saison. Color was a raisin color, muddied, and hazy. Head was massive, spongy and sticky. Needless to say, there was plenty sticky, spongy webbing strewn down the glass. Retention was good.

Aroma was earthy, spicy and herbal. Some zesty hops in there and a tinge of roast just to confirm the dark side.

Light bits of roast co-mingle with nice herbal hops, zesty yeast and spices. SLightly bitter finish with some accompanying citrus.

Feel was light, and a bit more effervescent for a saison. While made for a nice sight, the bubbles wound up being a bit to prickly.

The bottle wont be a stretch to finish. Overall, pretty good. I think the Bam Biere is better, but this would be worth coming back to while it's available here.

03-17-2011 00:33:41 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

Bam Noire may have a blackish tone but it turns into a ravishing deep maroon colour when held against the light. Its complexion is almost too dark to be certain, but it looks like clarity is fully intact. The surface is wet with a midnight dew whose lacing is only semi-gummy.

The weirdest thing about the brewery describing the aroma as "worn leather and cool autumn nights" is that it's accurate. This has a most peculiar smell - as do most beers barrel-aged with brettanomyces and/or bacteria - that is richer and more full-bodied, with notes of black coffee and plums buried under the tart, funky, yeasty acidity.

Said wild yeast and/or bacteria have desecrated much of what the world might have otherwise known to be Bam Noire. The few remaining drops of cold coffee and all but the faintest dark fruit, marzipan and bittersweet cocoa have been devastated by a bubbly, pinching, earthy, offbeat funkiness that trumps all else. I wish I could taste more flavour.

In one sense, this porous woodsy tint and tart, musty characteristic makes me think of a quaint lambic cafe somewhere in Belgium. In that regard, this beer rubs me the right way. But, in another way, I've become quickly bored with the lack of flavour and repetition of the stinging tartness. To be sure, this is no lambic. Not by a long shot.

The bloom is off the rose with regards to barrel-induced bacteria and wild yeast. Palates are familiar enough with such products by now that they're no longer impressed solely by tongue-numbing tartness and funky off-notes. True artistry can be readily discerned and is imperative. Most JP offerings have that. This one, however, simply seems contrived.

With Jolly Pumpkin you either speak their language or don't. That's the bottom line. If you like musty, tart funkiness in your beer you'll get along fine. That being said, Bam Noire does not hold up to the usual standards of the brewery and, even for the die-hard funk-heads out there, might be worth passing on, if only for a different, less contrived offering.

03-15-2011 22:55:43 | More by biegaman
Photo of Soonami


2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

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.

03-15-2011 05:41:35 | More by Soonami
Photo of oline73


2.85/5  rDev -24.6%

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with a reasonable amount of light coming through. There are three fingers of off white fluffy head and a good layer of head remains throughout.

Smell: Initially there is a bit of a sour smell. Some herbal/spice smell comes through with a little bit of fruit and sour apple.

Taste: Just like the smell, there is a mild sourness right off the bat. Following that, there is a little bit of roast and some spice as well. Overall I think the flavors don't blend real well and it tends to be a bit watery as well.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit on the thin side. I wouldn't say that this one is super smooth. The finish is quite dry.

Drinkability: I don't think I'll be searching this one out again. I don't think the roast and sour flavors blend real well in this case.

02-26-2011 00:26:58 | More by oline73
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.8/5  rDev +0.5%

Fair dark saison, good drink but not particularly memorable.

Presentation: 750 ml brow cap bottle. Label shows an illustration of a bat winged dog in blue and black tones. Offers short side narrative going over the main characteristics of the brew, and intent. Displays semi peeled off batch number (Batch ?58 10-21-10). Served in a tulip glass.

A - Hazy brown pour, good foamy head, fair retention, and moderate lacing.

S - Yeasty nose with a whiff of spices, and fruit. Faintly funky.

T - Roasted touches over yeast, fruity sense, touch of pepper, with a bit of sugar in the finish and minimal sourness.

M - Medium-light body with medium carbonation, somewhat dry finish.
D - Works well, although it feels slightly boring towards the end...

Notes: Not a bad brew, but it's probably the least memorable of the offerings from Jolly Pumpkin I've tried.

02-24-2011 03:25:21 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of BieresDesMoines


4.13/5  rDev +9.3%

Pours a deep brownish amber color with a good head and some lace. The aroma is fresh oak, lots of florals and some good farmhouse & horse blanket stuff. The flavor has a nice mild sourness throughout with some light caramel sweetness and a nicely fruity character. The beer is generally dry all around maintaining a good sharp tartness and a mild but pronounced bitter and spicy hoppiness. The palate is very spirzy but full.

02-21-2011 17:23:57 | More by BieresDesMoines
Photo of goblue3509


3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

Pours a dark brown cider like color with a fluffy two to three finger head which gives way to decent lacing on the glass. The aroma is a little faint but of green fruits. The taste is tart with green fruits on the backend and cherries up front with sweet malt. The mouthfeel is thin with mild carbonation. Drinability is good it is a very easy drink. Overall it is a soild beer with a nice flavor and an easy drink. Easily could have a couple.

02-19-2011 22:44:19 | More by goblue3509
Photo of BucBasil

South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +15.1%

Poured from the 750mL bottle into a large snifter. The bottle is labeled "batch 462."

A: The beer is a very dark brown - almost opaque aside from a bit of light coming in around the sides. Very large head of more than 3 fingers, very light tan color and with excellent retention.

S: Pretty funky tart smell. Fruit profile mainly of raspberries, cherries, and some nice pie-crust malt. Currants are in there, and unripe blueberries and strawberries. Beautiful aroma that ranks up there with the better Belgian lambics.

T: More subtle up front with hints of light fruits and a slight oakiness from the barrel. Some slightly unripe grape notes. Finishes funky and slightly bitter with lots of unripe fruits and unblended lambic flavors - citrus peel and unripe cherries. Very tangy and funky. A nice reminder of my trip to the Cantillon Brewery in Brussels. Wow. Very faithful interpretation of what a sour should taste like from an American brewer. Excellent.

The tanginess makes it a little less drinkable than ideal, but the taste itself is almost irresistable for the style. Alcohol level is very low, so that helps. A good change-up unique beer that I might get again, although a bit expensive in CA.

02-19-2011 08:06:00 | More by BucBasil
Photo of notchucknorris


4.15/5  rDev +9.8%

A: Deep and dark brown and garnet in color with a head that balloons up in the glass as soon as it's poured, then stays at about 3/4 inch.

S: Spicy yeast, brown sugar, some funk and something that smells a bit like chlorine.

T: Surprisingly, a little on the sour side, which was nice. Some cherries, vinegar, and some woodiness in the aftertaste. Goes down smooth.

02-18-2011 17:59:19 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of klewis


2.6/5  rDev -31.2%

Batch 528, bottled 4/1/10 in a 11.2oz stubby

A: Pours a murky brown with two fingers of frothy foam. Good retention and lacing.

S: A moderate dose of brett funk with citrus and mild spice aromas.

T: Some burnt, roasted flavors on the back of the tongue, but oddly almost no other flavor whatsoever - nearly like soda water (and this on a clean palate).

M: Light-bodied with fizzy carbonation.

D: I normally love JP beers, but this one seems to be quite off in the taste department. Not offensive, but really no reason to drink it.

02-16-2011 16:11:25 | More by klewis
Photo of grover37

District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev +13.2%

A $13 750ml bottle bought from D'Vines poured into tulips.

Appearance (4.5): A cloudy, dark brown with three fingers of fizzy, off-white head. The foam spiderwebs and recedes to a thick, half-finger layer with lots of huge, patches of lacing. Carbonation is very apparent.

Smell (4.5): Very strong funk with notes of oak, wheat, and maybe chocolate.

Taste (4): Tart and a bit acidic up front with some dark berries like raspberries and some sour grapes. A hint of sweetness and oak tannins in the middle and a dry, slightly woody finish. The aftertaste is of white grape and some vanilla from the oak.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Effervescent and light. Light bodied with high carbonation. It is a bit drying from the wood and little residual sugar presumably.

Drinkability (4.5): This is a very good wild ale and packs a huge punch considering it's only 4%.

02-12-2011 04:44:29 | More by grover37
Photo of mmercede


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

750ml bottle served at the Kite and Key.

Appearance: Amber-brown with unfiltered haze. Pours a huge head that lasts till the last drop.

Smell: Some lactic and funk character. Some earthiness, roasty, and caramel aromas. Quite interesting.

Taste: an interesting contrast between a substantial malty body, a complex saison yeast, and a lactic and funky undertone. This is a great interpretation of a seasonal saison offering. The malty flavors are dominant and feature roasted barley, dark chocolate, caramel, and oak. The saison yeast adds a level of pepper and fruit flavors. The funk and lactic sourness are reserved, but really finish the flavor well. Well done Jolly Pumpkin.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is the major drawback to this beer. The body is fine. However, I feel that this beer is over-carbonated...even for a saison.

Drinkability: THe mouthfeel and price definitely hurt the drinkability of this one. However, the flavor and aroma will keep me coming back.

02-11-2011 06:57:25 | More by mmercede
Photo of Adamthome1


3.1/5  rDev -18%

Pours a dark amber, unfiltered look, a fantastic looking full handed head, pour slowly as not to over froth...head retention is A+

smells of sour apples and pears

for a very dark amber looking beer I'm surprised at the super sweet, malty body, only a very mild caramel or roasty flavor, it is dominated by fruity and earthy undertones, maybe some oaky aging, particularly noticed in the aftertaste

As it warms it tasted like old apples and pears, drink cold

02-06-2011 04:36:47 | More by Adamthome1
Photo of Hophead101


3.85/5  rDev +1.9%

ok - second beer from my starter box from sitarist

beer poured into my chalice glass. color is a hazy dirty brown. decent off white head which is bubbly but not frothy. nice collar once it subsides, decent lacing as well.

smell was fruity at first but not overpowering. some sour notes, grapes, tannins and underlying brown sugar sweetness. earthy and inviting.

taste was initially sour, but mildly sour. this is not a sour - but the beer has a sour component to it. get more of the fruity tones and grapes all backed by a malty earthy sweetness. this is a unique beer, I am not wowed by it, but I keep going back for more tastes. I would call this a bit one dimensional, but I kept going. Kind of like the woman in the dark corner of the bar - you think she is hot, but you don't know for sure and you keep looking over her way.

it is well carbonated, almost a bit too much. not very complex, but still pleasing.

02-04-2011 04:33:10 | More by Hophead101
Photo of timobkg

New Jersey

3.15/5  rDev -16.7%

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

The beer is a very dark red, such that it looks brown. Holding it up to the light reveals it to be a very dark red, like a garnet. Thick beautiful head.

The smell is fruity and tart, like sour cherries, and definitely earthy and funky. As it sits, the fruitiness is replaced by sourness.

It tastes light, slightly tart, refreshing, and funky. And yet I find myself wanting more. I keep thinking that it tastes nice..., not thrilling, but nice. There's little to draw me back into taking another sip.

Drinkability is where this beer suffers. The first glass is nice, light, refreshing. But on the second glass, I'm struggling. It's light, low alcohol, refreshing, and yet the second glass feels taxing to drink.

Overall, I'm glad I tried this beer, but I'm not going to buy it again, and can't really see myself recommending it.

01-14-2011 02:12:24 | More by timobkg
Photo of Gobzilla


3.68/5  rDev -2.6%

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights that had a thin bubbly head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the signature jolly pumpkin bretty funky oak barrel characteristics were there on the nose with vinegar pickle juice notes and faint citrus.

T: the taste also had the weird vinegar pickle flavors but with funky bretty notes and oaky accents. After a few sip the citrusy and various grain notes seemed to come through.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of tingly carbonation which had a bretty, funky, oaky, vinegary, and slight dry finish.

D: I usually really like jolly pumpkin beers but this one was not something I can honestly say I truly enjoyed all around. It did drink pretty good though.

01-05-2011 05:18:22 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of innersanctum


3.55/5  rDev -6.1%

Poured this domesticated Belgian into a tulip glass which enhanced the aroma of light cherry, strawberries and pine. Head contained lots of foam which must enhance the smell of this brew. This ale has a dark mahagony color and not very transluscent. Once that ale hits the pallete it is a stark contrast with the smell as a subtle sour tone covers the tongue. Be warned this is not a harsh nor unpleasent sour, but a light and ever present coating, yet the finish is very dry so there is no heavy lingering of flavor on the pallete. Its very nice really, and the mouthfeel is about as heavy as an apple juice, thus solid from sip to swallow. For a complex tasting bomber bottle this was very drinkable with the 4.3% ABV.

Overall this wasn't my favorite, but nonetheless it makes me want to taste other Jolly offerings.

01-03-2011 15:54:04 | More by innersanctum
Photo of JoEBoBpr


3.63/5  rDev -4%

Poured into a tulip glass from a 1pt 9.4 oz bottle. Batch 512.

A - Pours a rich mahogany color with some good head on it. The head is about 2 inches tall and its slightly off white with some really tight bubbles.

S - Aroma is yummy with some slight tart notes and some good sweetness in the nose as well. Some slight clove and yeast aromas are present as well. I smell some slight licorice and some slight cinnamon in the nose as well these are not in any way prevalent.

T & M - Very funky flavor. Dry and crisp and very very clean. There is some tartness in there that is slightly muted and a bit vinegary. There are some grainy flavors but overall there is funk, funk and some slight tartness. There are some woody hints around the palette as well. There is slight fruit sweetness that can be felt but the wood aspect kind off cuts this quick.

D - Not my favorite of the JP ales. It is refreshing but I wouldn't have this one over.

12-02-2010 01:57:31 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of BierFan


3.93/5  rDev +4%

Poured from a capped 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. Batch 508, bottled on 2-11-10.

Appearance: Big khaki colored head has decent staying power. Body is a very dark hazy brown.

Smell: Smells like a Jolly Pumpkin beer, tart.

Taste: Tartness obscures the dark malts a bit. A little roasty, kind of has some porter flavors.

11-24-2010 05:12:39 | More by BierFan
Photo of stimulus

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a NB globe glass. Batch 614, bottled 8/19/10.

A: Pours a hazy brown/red with a huge tan head that settles to one finger, mostly as expected. Great lacing is left along the edges.
S: Funky and spicy, like a typical saison.
T: Spices and funk on the beginning followed by smooth oak flavor and finally some sweetness on the finish (probably from caramel malt used to darken this beer).
M: Smooth and light bodied, with higher than normal carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable, even for a saison. Not much detracts from this beer; it is simple yet complex, and the oak aging paired with the dark malts turn a crisp finish into a smooth one.

11-19-2010 03:21:13 | More by stimulus
Photo of despainmakesbeer


4.65/5  rDev +23%

Clear brownish red color. Tan head, thinish but very lacey. Moderate to mild carbonation. Intense smoky aroma, combined with powerful musty, woody, leathery aromas. Very Earthy. Flavor starts out smoky and toasted, as drink goes down, smokiness fades to tartness and soured flavors. Delicious contradicting flavors in one drink. Amazing how flavors transition in your mouth. The ending tartness of the drink causes it to feel heavy when first on the tongue, but turns into a light refreshing finish. And over all awesome beer with amazing qualities. A very delicious, drinkable beer.

11-14-2010 06:16:11 | More by despainmakesbeer
Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
85 out of 100 based on 681 ratings.