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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

737 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 737
Reviews: 327
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 23
Gots: 61 | 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)
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Ratings: 737 | Reviews: 327 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UDbeernut
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a snifter. Active off white head that quickly reduces to a cap, black as oil hue. Nose features slight sourness. Tart apple, cherry, and slight orange taste, somewhat earthy. Light and crisp mouthfeel, finishes to the dry side. Tasty little sour ale.

Photo of MEsoJD
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(batch 658: bottled 10 - 21 - 10)

A: Dark amber/copper body, with a massive creamy/fluffy head (slow/moderate dissipation).

S: Smells sour with some tartness. The smell is faint.

T: Although the nose was faint; the smells follow over into the taste. Sour malt with tart apple and grape throughout. Very earthy beer. Not picking up that leather finish others have mentioned.

M: Light bodied, medium carbonation, no alcohol presence, drinkable but not smooth, and dry finish.

O: Sour ales are not for everyone. If you are part of the minority, I would defiantly suggest this beer. I believe this would of benefit from a higher alcohol percentage. Try this one out, it's a breath of fresh air.

Photo of liamt07
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Ken, batch 512. 750ml bottle into some tulips.

Poured a dark brown/burgundy, with a creamy light tan head. Moderate retention and light lace. Nose has some rockets (the powdery, sweet and tart candy), light funk and tartness and lots of lemon. Taste flashes some dark malts right off the bat which disappear just as fast, and turn tart and lemony. Wheat appears quickly as well. Mouthfeel is transient with some very rapid carbonation (almost like pop-rocks on the tonuge, unique really). Extremely quick finish, which suggests another sip immediately.

Photo of peensteen
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ken's bottle

Brownish ruby colour, 1.5 fingers of white head, lots of sticky lace left behind. Smell is tart and yeasty, sugary sweet notes, sweet tarts candy like, sour lemony citrus notes. Taste is tart and yeasty, moderatley sour, lemon rind, fairly acidic, very quick finish witha almost no aftertaste. Quick high carbonation, medium body, lightish feel. Very drinkable and quite complex, aside from the super quick finish this was very good.

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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 Vengeance526
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a large white head that hangs around a while and leaves a lot of lacing.

Aroma of light sour fruits with some bready malt and brett.

Taste starts off with hints of sour apple followed by more evident notes of dark cherry, peach, and a touch of orange. Slightly musty and the brett becomes more apparent in the middle. Woody and spicy flavors show up in the finish.

Lots of carbonation, mouthfeel may be a little thin. I've seen better from JP but this one was still worth a try.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice looking, brown and hazy with a monstrous head that lasted forever, leaving thick white foam behind, and gobs of sticky lacing.

Taste followed the smell, it was a bit dry and powdery/earthy, with a bit of fruit, a smidge of yeast, and some dry/bitter qualities.

Body was light and very nice for the style.

Overall it's a darn tasty treat. Jolly Pumpkin's 750's rock.

Photo of ehammond1
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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 jondeelee
2.7/5  rDev -28.6%
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 Nashvillain
2.17/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 327/328

Pours a dark ruby-brown into my Unibroue tulip. Even a gentle pour produces a very robust head, which lingers for quite a while before settling into a more manageable rocky pillow on top of my beer.

Smell is both tart and sweet with a brightness to it that really contrasts with the darkness of the liquid producing it. The smell reminds me of some of the other golden-hued JP beers as opposed to the dark sour produced by the Madrugada.

Taste is a complete surprise, and not in a good way. There's definitely something off here. A faint, fleeting tartness up front followed by an uninhabited void of flavor. This beer is a black hole, there's just nothing there. The body is more like a corpse. I've held onto this one for a few months but don't see how that should matter. Finish is metallic and leaves a terrible taste in your mouth. After warming the tart beginning gains a little ground, but there's still that vacant middle and finish that reminds me of the iron taste when you bite your tongue and it starts bleeding.

I really like JP beers and this one won't discourage me from trying others, but I honestly hope there was just something wrong here.

Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

smells of sourness and malts are most immediate. maybe i can smell the roasted malts as well. i want to say it smells a little fruity and spicy too but its hard to say which fruit.

deep brown, almost black. cloudy too, but translucent. great head retention. tan head. and great lacing, which is very much jolly pumpkins tradition.

taste tart. in the finish a slight hop flavor as well as peppery phenols. taste slightly fruity in the middle but again the flavor is so brief its hard to say just what fruit. slightly malt in the finish.

very light body, very crisp dry finish, but the bret flavor still lingers after the finish. very refreshing.

this beer seems to be completely in the finish. thats when all he flavor are heightened and then only for an instant. overall i think it could be a tad more complex. but it is good.

Photo of Derranged
2.85/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a large mug

A- Nice dark brown near black color with thick off white head.

S- Kind of fruity with a hint of vinegar.

T- Not what I expected. Sour like vinegar taste with some dark malts. But a relatively weak flavor.

M- Very thing

O- This beer just did not work for me. It makes me realize that beer styles have an abv range for a reason. I think the low abv might contribute to the lack of flavor/so-so taste. I was disappointed. However, that's what trying out different beers is all about. I'm glad I got the opportunity to try this beer and give kudos to this brewery for making such a unique beer. Maybe I need to try it again to be sure I didn't get a bad bottle.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Deep brown body with a huge off-white head. Almost overflows the glass. Foam sticks to the side of the glass and rests atop the body like a pillow until the last sip.

Smell - At first I smelled dark malts. Then I noticed the funk and a hint of acidic tartness. Some grassy aromas as well. Smells nice, but the flavors clash a bit.

Taste - A bit of tartness up front, but it's hardly sour. Grassy and funky as well. In the back are the dark malts. The blend of flavors clashes even more in the taste than it does in the smell.

Mouthfeel - Kinda heavy for a 4% or so beer. I'm surprised. The dark malts really heft it up. Nice carbonation, but it drinks sluggishly for such a light beer.

Overall - Interesting, but not something I'd buy again. The dark malts muddle the flavors a lot.

Photo of GRPunk
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle labeled Batch 780 Bottled 4-21-2011, poured into a tulip glass.

This may have the most adjectives of any of my posts.

A- A normal pour resulted in a 2-finger, tan head that retained really well at about 1/2-finger. The body was a hazy, deep brown with red-pink highlights. I could make out medium-light carbonation. Nice sticky spots left on the glass.

S- At first, I picked up a ton of Brett-like qualities. I got green apple and spicy notes. It got smokey at points with dark bread and vinegar when it was at its coldest. You really needed to get your nose in there to get the full effect at first. With some warmth, there was a woody quality, subtle raisin, a pleasant must, some leather, and lots of red wine vinegar. Lots of complexities.

T- Again with the Brett, especially from the middle to the end. Some red wine vinegar qualities, Granny Smith apples. Further in, I got a wine barrel flavor. Warmth brought out a little tobacco, grape skins, and peppery spice. With all that going on, I felt some of those "non-Brett" qualities could have come through a little stronger.

M- It's pretty light bodied, though not unexpected at 4.3% ABV. Medium carbonation. Really dry. A tangy bite from the Brett.

O- This is not a bad beer. I'm giving it a good score. It really grew on me by the end. I didn't have any problems finishing off the 750 on my own. That said, I still expected a little more. I think the Brett overwhelmes some of the subtle/nuanced qualities. At the sticker price, it may be a one and done. Something I'm glad I tried even though I may not be back for more.

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

11.2oz bottle, batch 528, poured into a tulip glass.
A: Brown colored; generous two-finger head.
S: Sour green apples.
T: I can't quite place it all- some fruit, some spice, some sour notes, some funk, and something that reminds me of the grill. Intriguing and good.
M: Smooth and light.
O: I enjoyed this. A little different, but definitely good.

Photo of Kayn169
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a Duvel tulip

A- Kind of a raisin brown, with a 2 finger, off white head.

S- Familiar spices and yeast, mixed with a little vinegar. A small Brett funk, and just a touch of apple. Not as potent and fruit forward as I would have expected.

T- First and foremost, I get that JP spicy yeast, mixed with a touch of vinegar and funk. A decent tartness fills my mouth, but then just when you expect the 2nd layer of flavors to fill your mouth with fruit, spices, earthiness, etc....nothing. At first I thought it was just my palate, but as I continued through the beer it just never came. The most I can say, is I get just the faintest watered down apple and grape, but really faint. This is not a bad beer, goes down easy and is pleasant enough, just lacking flavor.

M- Very thin and watery. High carbonation also adds to the light body. Even as the beer warm, it maintains a light feel.

O- A little disappointing. Nice nose, spice and tartness, but no complexity or follow up. Lacking the flavor profiles I have come to expect from JP. I would drink it again, but too many other better JP offerings, to seek it out again

Photo of ElizabethCraig
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Hopcat

A very dark brown beer, almost completely opaque. The head was white and dissipated quickly. I always love the contrast between the beer and head, so I watched this one a little bit =)

The smell.. Ohh! Sour grape! That's always how my nose perceives sour beers. Scent should build anticipation for drinking, and ohh it did!

Taste: Medium carbonation, but with a sour you can't really tell where the carbonation begins and ends due to the sour characteristic of the beer itself.

No fruit in the taste, at least to my palate. Just beautiful sour wild yeasts, my favorite kind! Medium sour grain taste, very tingly on the tongue.

This reminded me of how a really really advanced slightly-boozy sourdough starter tastes. Tingly on the tongue, bit of sour grapes in the nose. Especially with rye, that's how you know your starter will bring great taste to your bread.

If you also love sour beers, I think you'll also be pleased with this one.

Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 512

Appearance: After a brief foamover from the lip of the bottle, Bam Noire settles in the glass with a dark caramel color and a modest cap; not much lacing is left behind

Smell: Oak and tart apples, with hints of pear, leather and farmhouse funk

Taste: Starts out with a dark bread character that quickly moves in a funky, tart direction, with apple, pear, oak and leather characteristics; after the swallow, a touch of licorice adds a vague sweet element, but the beer finishes dry and tart

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: Not among the top tier of Jolly Pumpkins, this one is missing a depth of flavor compared to the others; still, I would never turn away a beer from this brewery and this one is no exception

Photo of bbeane
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into an oversized snifter... Starts with a huge brown head with nice retention but a little light on the lacing. Beer is dark in color with little to no activity

S- Light bitter aroma with lots of funky oak barrel notes

T- This one is really funky tasting. It starts with a light bitterness then is just overpowered by an earthy tart funk

M- Pretty light bodied with light carbonation

O- I thought it had a good tart flavor and really enjoyed it, but don't think it fell in to the farmhouse style guidelines so well


Photo of AmericanGothic
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Unibroue tulip. Bottled on 4-1-11

A: Pours a nearly opaque chestnut brown with two fingers of fluffy off-white head. Strong retention and lace.

S: Tart green apples, faint stewed fruits and spice, a little bit of leather.

T: Tart apples, cream, and leather again on the finish. Tartness is very light and unobtrusive. Some soft minerals add interest. Faint chocolate and some oak come into play over the course of the glass.

M: Light and creamy, strong carbonation.

O: I liked this pretty well. Not as complex as La Roja, yet still tasty and enjoyable. I would buy this again.

Photo of jcreegan
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle into a tulip glass.
Bottled in 1/6/1, cellared and tried on 6/10. This is my first beer of this style and first from jolly pumpkin.

A- beer looks great. Thick off white head which left tons of lacing. Beer is a deep red brown color.
S- smells sweet and floral. Very appealing.
T- smooth but very dry. The taste isn't what I expected from the smell. A little hint of sour.
M- dry and a little sticky if that makes sense. Almost like champagne.
O- a decent beer that is very drinkable. I threw back the bottle with no issue, actually the dryness kept me drinking. Smells great and is very appealing. I would definitely try this style again.

Photo of KTCamm
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4 oz champagne bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours dark black with 2 fingers white foam that settles out to a thin layer. Funky esther smell and fruity. Sour smell. Slightly sour taste. Some bitter fades into the background. Quite tasty.

This was a real good one - my first experience with the brewery.

Photo of Wadsey
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Batch 327/328 of Bam Noire 

Served in New Belgium tulip

A: Initially pours clear brown with fluffy, off-white head having enough retention that my patience fails and I power through foam. Some droopy, sloppy lacing. Later pours become hazy. 

S: Surprising acetic note peers out of glass. The beer tells me apples, pears and vinegar. The slightest suggestion of musty basement and toasty malts. 

T: Acetic note washes over tongue and complicates into lightly tart apples and apple vinegar. More bugs in here than I usually encounter in Jolly Pumpkin's other regularly available offerings, which is good.  A touch of bitterness. A coppery note leads into finish of granny smith apple peels. 

M: Medium-light body and carbonation. This beer is a little watery.  Drying. 

O: Bam Noire is a bit more subtle than my descriptions suggest, but then again, it does support a great deal of character, especially when its 4 abv is taken into consideration. Great drinkability. Good price point. 

As for style, Bam Noire's label suggests dark farmhouse ale, which doesn't sit right with me. I think it should be situated between biere de garde and West Flanders red. 

Photo of SirSketch
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of rocky beige head atop a muddy, deep ruby colored beer.

S - Delicate, floral aroma with a slight molasses sweetness. Tart and straw-like Brett character plays a big role, too.

T - Tart, acidic fruit upfront (apples and pears) and some mildewy, earthy qualities present themselves. There's also quite a bit of roasted malt flavors, notably dark coffee grounds.

M - Light mouth with a frothy carbonation that rounds it out. Easily sessionable.

O - I've yet to be disappointed with a Jolly Pumpkin beer, and this is no exception. Complex, yet delicate. Flavorful, yet insanely drinkable.

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

Batch 340/341

A - Deep coffee-brown in hue, and capped with a prodigious khaki head.

S - Patented JP funk, of a darker variety; huge band-aid aroma, along with spicy ginger, orchard fruit and red grape juice. The brew is exquisitely aromatic and intricately nuanced.

T - The gustatory follows the olfactory with this brew. It does not taste 'brown' or 'dark', i.e. there is not really any roasted character nor residual caramelized sugar, instead it is very dry up front, with a lot of sharp medicinal Brett flavor, and then it segues into ginger-root and orchard fruits like apple, grape and nectarine, finishing with a slight herbal hoppiness. Very well-balanced, sublime, and, again, intricately nuanced.

M - Lighter than medium, creamy and effervescent; enhancing.

O - Jolly Pumpkin is the Cantillon of America.

Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
86 out of 100 based on 737 ratings.