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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

665 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 665
Reviews: 320
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.7%
Wants: 21
Gots: 50 | 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: 665 | Reviews: 320 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ne0m00re


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/17/10- Had this one at Winking Lizard out of a Batch 474 in a 12 oz.
A: Mahogany with a nice cream tan head.
S: Sour green apple cores, raisin and dark fruits, rye bread, cheese, white wine,
T: Sour green apples, earthy, raisin, some chocolate, and apple cores.
M: Expected mouthfeel from JP. Very frothy.
D: Very good.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 01:21:03 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of kbutler1


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

Draft. Stopped in the brewery and had a little sampler of several beers. Dark red rust color with a white/tan head. Slight smoke notes in the nose along with some coffee. The taste is just ok in my opinion. Leather aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel. It seems to me that a lot of these JP beers have a very similiar profile and taste with slight tweaks. Just really not blown away be there everyday offerings.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2010 18:26:12 | More by kbutler1
Photo of RickS95


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown. Not exactly black, but you can tell it means business. A hunormously thick head sits on top and stays for a while.

I like the smell, it's fruity and flowery at the same time. I can't tell if it's figs or plums or both or something else, but it's a smell I've never had before in a beer. Also, there's a smokiness to it. At first, I thought it smelled like sawdust, but it's smoke.

The taste is strange. It tastes just like it smells, and like I said, it's not a scent I've had before in beer, and this is certainly a taste I've never had before. Again, it must be the figs or plums, but maybe even some sort of berries.

This beer really tickles your palate. It's sweet from the fruit, but also tangy and tart from the fruit. The sweet and tangy battle til the swallow.

Highly drinkable. It's sweet but not overpowering due to the tangy. It's relatively low alcohol, so you can have a lot. I enjoyed this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 02:08:58 | More by RickS95
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

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

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a full cap of off-white head, leaving decent lacing. Scent is of sweet fruits from apples to strawberry with a noticeable sourness to it, also a bit of fresh hay, must and dried grains and a touch of fresh bread. First taste is noticeably earthy, musty and sour, a multitude of fruit flavors are present but dont add a whole lot a sweetness, the backbone is a nice fresh dried grain, hay and bread taste. Medium bodied for the style, slight drying quality to the finnish. A nice beer with some earthy tastes that just get a little too in the way of some bright qualities.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2010 15:17:52 | More by rfgetz
Photo of eclaycamp


3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber (Batch 262, 263) poured into a large tulip glass. Large volumous head with lots of foam and nice retention. As the glass sits the head develops nice pock marks. Color is a dark amber that reminds me a bit of maple syrup. Aroma is of Granny Smith apples and pears with some light fruity sweetness in the background. Interesting taste. Somewhat spicy, Very acidic with some roasted malt and dark cherry flavors with lots of sourness, especially in the finish. Light mouthfeel but there's plenty of flavor there. Overall an interesting beer to drink, though it's not what I would usually gravitate to.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2010 23:41:16 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of Katahdin


4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A wonderful farmhouse ale. Pours a darker color than most farmhouses and exudes a fruity (plum, raisins?) smell upon first whiff. Full bodied with a nice crisp head. Taste is very smooth with hint of lemongrass lingering on the palate. Goes down smooth and light.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2010 18:37:38 | More by Katahdin
Photo of tigg924


4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 14:59:22 | More by tigg924
Photo of laituegonflable


3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark amber, brown-yellow up to the light, with huge, voluminous head, dense and marshmallowy on top, sinking slowly with an interesting foam formation left in the middle. Looks like a cappuccino with a marshmallow melting into it. Leaves amusing puddles of lace behind and seems murky and cloudy. Exquisite - a marvel to behold.

Smell is funkadelia, with lots of olfactory-cleaving pungent tartness. Huge acidity on there with underripe berry notes, some currant notes. Yeah has the classic Jolly Pumpkin, not a lot of darkness except for maybe a richer maltiness underlying. Love the smell, though it doesn't scream uniqueness at me. Reminds me quite a lot of the Bière de Mars.

Taste is...well, interesting. Definitely lacks the acidity and piquancy I had expected. Front is malty with a nutty kind of character, slightly nut-brown, then becomes mildly brown ale-esque with a slight English character and a slight roastiness. Slight sourness on the back but not tart at all, gives it a kind of capsicaian character with mild peppery spice and yeah, a bit of funk but not much at all. Bit of a letdown, really. It tastes kind of like a mild brown ale, could use more funk to spice things up. Not bad but pedestrian, and a bit disappointing from the pumpkins.

Quite nicely textured though, smooth enough. If anything it's a bit thin, but it's quite slick and smooth. Quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 06:07:53 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of akorsak


3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 327/328, a capped 750 mL bottle. Shared with ksak.

A: A saison noire! Or at least JP's take on a dark wild ale. A deep ruby red, the ale is an opaque, nearly brown concoction. A finger and a half of off-white head is lacing in fits.

S: Hmmm, this is a Jolly Pumpkin beer, right? Of course it is, so of course it has a sharp citric tartness. There is no indication of darker malts; it's all lemony.

T: The roasted malts are evident from the first sip, a fuller, rich flavor of burnt toast and chocolate. The fullness is not quite at the level of a stout, but I can see the lines between the two are fuzzy. The roasted malts stand in stark contrast to the tartness, an uneasy transition that takes on an acetic flavor, a first from my JP experiences. The lemony citrus flavors are limited, never stepping into the spotlight. The dryness of the wild critters accentuates the darker malt flavors in the finish.

M: The sharp citrusy flavors are replaced by a roasted malt/acetic presence. The vinegary trend is not one that I'm fond of, but in this case it is very mild.

D: Another low alcohol offering from JP. The ale is a bit more vinegary with the funk and stout interplay.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 00:57:01 | More by akorsak
Photo of buschbeer


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

I poured into a pint glass to a large, tan head. It is copper colored which is dark for a saison but expected since the bottle was clearly marked "dark farmhouse ale". The aroma is that tart, sour, wild yeast smell. The taste is tart/sour as well but just slightly. The darker malt does not play a large role in the taste. It is discernible but not a major factor. It is a lot better than the last couple of saisons I have had. Overall, it is a refreshing beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 17:02:33 | More by buschbeer
Photo of beveritt


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

Presentation: Thanks to my friend Ryan for bringing this treat to me. Poured from a 750 ml brown, capped bottle into a wine glass. Label depicts a black and white dog.

Appearance: Pours with 1/2 finger of light tan head. This settles to a ring around the glass and the random island here and there. Nice lacing is left behind. The beer itself is a medium, muddy brown.

Smell: Sour twang with distinct notes of strawberries.

Taste: Tangy upfront with flavors of citrus, pears, and berries. Medium funkiness, with a long lingering sourness.

Mouthfeel: Average + carbonation level, as I would expect from a sour. Body is decent, maybe a little thin.

Drinkability: My second beer from Jolly Pumpkin and another good one. Provided you enter with the understanding that they make sour beer, irrespective of what style they purport to be making, i think you won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 01:24:42 | More by beveritt
Photo of lacqueredmouse


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

Pours an absolutely gorgeous deep chestnut brown colour, with a huge and frothy head of pale creamy white foam. Lacing is spectacular, and with the luscious, vibrant and beautiful colour of the body, it's hard not to perceive this as a nigh-perfect looking beer. Of course, it's an unusual look for a Saison, but this is what they're going for.

Big vinous oaky characters on the nose. Lovely deep grainy characters as well, but the funk and the oak are the biggest winners. Just enough to suggest darkness, but primarily the wild and unrestrained notes are dominant.

Taste again is balanced oddly between dark grain notes and a little funk, although here the grain characters and the roasted flavours are more prominent. The funk adds a lilting freshness over the top, skewing the palate to something slightly unusual. Very interesting, although it's a little thin.

An interesting brew. Saison? I'm not sure it has the freshness to fit the canonical style, even with its interestingly warped skew towards the dark end of the spectrum to give it some leeway. It feels a little flat on the palate, but it's an adventurous and unusual beer, and I respect that.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 09:08:52 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of womencantsail


3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with batch numbers 258 and 259 on the label.

A: The pour is a dark brown with a ruby red highlight when held to the light. A fluffy off-white head forms on top and settles down to a thin layer.

S: The signature Jolly Pumpkin tartness is there along with notes of cherries and leather. A light earthiness along with a touch of funk.

T: The sour cherry flavor is noticeable for just a moment on the front end. Soon it is followed by leather and tannins and even a bit of tobacco on the finish. A slight acidity throughout, but a noticeably bitterness and roasted quality.

M: The body is somewhat light and tingly on the tongue with plentiful carbonation and a somewhat astringent finish.

D: I enjoyed the flavors of the beer, but I found the finish to become a bit tiresome and drying. Still a good beer, but not Jolly Pumpkin's best.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 04:06:02 | More by womencantsail
Photo of CampusCrew


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

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: roasted malt, some barn yard and earthy aromas. devine

taste: complicated ale. starts tart and sour and finishes with stout like coffee bitterness on the back. might be too complex.

mouthfeel: medium to full bodied

drinkability: truly interesting brew. I enjoyed the expereince of the beer but unlikely to seek out again. maybe....

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 18:09:04 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of bamadog


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

Review is from notes taken on 5/24/2010 and poured from the bottle (labeled 340/341) to a tulip.

Appearance: Pour is a deep plum purplish-brown and starts with a massive 3 finger light tan and frothy head; body is dark and hard to see through because of it, but where you can see looks to be pretty clear; nice and intricate strands of lacing are woven together and criss cross.

Smell: Sweet dark fruits like dates, cherries and even some red grapes; there is a wonderful tangy and tart presence and just a whiff of brett funkiness; nose is really quite strong.

Taste: Flavors are a little lighter than I thought they would be based upon the smell, but still nice; the sweet dark fruits of date, cherry and red grape are present and come across a little acidic; fruit flavors are complimented by a mild and funky tartness created by the brett; overall, this is a very refreshing beer with great flavors.

Mouthfeel: Light and prickly carbonation in a body of medium weight; a nice dry stickiness is left on the roof of the mouth and on the insides of the cheeks.

Drinkability: This may be the most drinkable Jolly Pumpkin offering yet -- and it's rapidly becoming one of my fast favorites. The flavors are solid and funkiness and tartness is a little mild so this would be a solid beginner beer for people looking to get into the style; the ABV is very slight and more than manageable at 4.3%.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 02:24:21 | More by bamadog
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch #373.

Swimsum shared this with several of us at a tasting last night. Thanks Brent! Following review written from notes.

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Clear but very dark. Body is dark brown with tons of crimson highlights. A foamy, khaki-colored head sits on top for the entire session, fed by very active carbonation. As the beer descends, it leaves a trail of crystalline lacing in its wake.

Smell: Bret, caramel, and orange zest. That's about it. Surprisingly weak.

Taste: Vinegar-like Bret and alcohol jump out at me right away. I also get hints of lemon, hay, and earth once the beer warms up. Very mild overall. Somewhat astringent.

Mouthfeel: Very dry and slightly tart. Light-to-medium body. Carbonation is a bit harsh. Odd.

Drinkability: This was a very weird beer. I had no problem finishing it, but I wouldn't ever purchase it.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 22:58:33 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of htomsirveaux


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

750 mL bottle tried 5 Jan 2010.

Poured in a 0.4 L Kur Pils snifter. Large khaki colored head. Dark brown almost opaque beer. Aroma is nice, dark sweet cherries, a little ethanol and just a touch of tanginess. Flavor is earthy with some cherry pits. Cherry flavor is pretty light compared to aroma. Touch of cinnamon, vanilla and oak. Slightly sour twang to the finish and aftertaste. Medium to light body, powdery on the tongue. Moderate ethanol.

Nice example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 01:41:36 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle labeled batch 327/328, poured into a Duvel tulip.

Cherry cola body topped with a fat and fluffy cream-colored head that slowly reduces into a dense half-finger cap. Spotty creamy splotches of lace.

Very tart nose, tart cherry, lemon zest and Granny Smith apple with a funky/yeasty combo lingering in the background. Although it's quite dark, no roasted malt is apparent.

No roasted malt flavors, either. (They're certainly not expected from the style, but oddly absent considering the color- curious what they had in mind here) Tart, almost sour fruits and tangy yeast dominate. Appropriately well attenuated, but not a lot of spice. Could perhaps benefit from swapping some of the tartness for some sweeter fruitiness up front.

Overall impression: Decent, but a bit one-dimensional with the sourness.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 00:07:13 | More by PDXHops
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep, ruddy brown with red highlights. Large khaki colored head. It throws nice lacing but it will settle out before too long.

S- Like a slightly more spicy smelling saison. Light fruits, apples, pears etc but some black pepper and funky, earthy yeast.

T- The fruits are there. Apples and pears but there is that classic Jolly Pumpkin type of sourness. Its not too sour, only enough to give you a short jolt.

M- Dry and very bubbly.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 00:22:45 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of AleWatcher


4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Duvel tulip--

This poured a deep garnet color, almost bordering on brown. Nice fluffy tan head is the color of light brown sugar. It rose 3 fingers and is already leaving big sheets of lace as it settles.

Smelling this is like smelling a regular saison.... Actually it kinda reminds me of smelling Cuvee Rene or Cantillion Classic Gueuze. I get apples and pears and lemon zest. There is a nice funky barnyard earthiness and tart sourness that comes across as well. Like sour cherries and sour apples. This is one of the best, if not the most interesting, saisons I have ever smelled.

The taste rocks right along with the nose. Sweet fruits up front that blends into a tart funkiness. Very nice acidic sourness here that in combination with everything else creates a unique and refreshing brew.

Loads of carbonation and a surprisingly light and airy body for the color make this beer quite easy to drink. The low ABV is odd to me, but it doesn't really hurt this beer in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 03:25:22 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of Reaper16


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, Batch 373, served into a tulip glass

Bam Noire pours out a black body. It doesn't look viscous like a big stout; the lightness of body is apparent when you swirl the liquid around in the glass. But it is super-dark, dark enough that I can see my reflection up against the beer. Hold the beer up to direct light and you can see that the beer is actually very much brown. Three fingers or more of lightly frothy head sit loosely on top. A bit gimmicky for a farmhouse ale? Sure, but it still looks attractive.

The aroma isn't gimmicky; it is immediately recognizable as a Jolly Pumpkin saison. Lemon juice and pear and appleskin and random botanicals and trademark Jolly Pumpkin yeasty funk all dance around together amidst the darkness. Only lightly funky with a lot of fruit character, much of it sour. I'm struggling to find anything in the way of roasted malt scents. With a beer this dark, I am surprised that I'm not getting any roast. All I get is a good saison nose.

The taste is mostly fruit, too. A sour, lemony taste hits the back sides of the palate and never quite goes away. The front of the tongue receives a bit of under-ripe strawberry. A flowery, pollen-like taste dominates the middle of the drink which turns into something lightly chalky on the aftertaste. Only when the beer warms up after awhile do I taste just the faintest whisp of roasted malt. It doesn't decide whether it wants to be drying or juicy. It is refreshing; considering that the ABV% is 4.5% the beer is clearly trying to fit in with the saisons of olde, which were refreshing and light in alcohol.

Bam Noire is very light, which suits the flavor profile just fine. The lightness of body does allow you to perceive all of the carbonation, which might seem more active than it truly is. The drinkability is very, very good because of how much the beer aims for, and achieves, refreshment. It is light, not taxing in terms of alcohol, and the juicy, sour fruits make for a beer you want to drink a lot of. A whole 750mL will not be a chore for a single drinker.

I don't know why this beer exists. This dark Saison has almost nothing that Jolly Pumpkin's standard saison, Bam Biere, doesn't have outside of a remarkably dark hue. They are essentially the same beer, though this particular batch of Bam Noire is better executed than the last bottle of Bam Biere that I had. If you like Jolly Pumpkin's other saisons then you will like this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 01:04:47 | More by Reaper16
Photo of jrallen34


3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap into a tulip at Local Option. The beer is a hazy light straw with a decent head. The aroma is pretty nice and complex, earthy floral hops with a ton of tartness. One of the most tart saisons I've had. The taste is a let down, its super tart almost like a wild but its a weird floral tart that isn't very good. A very disappointing beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2010 01:53:48 | More by jrallen34
Photo of wspscott


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

750ml bottle in Duvel tulip (batch 340/341)

A: Dark brown, almost completely black, only a little bit of ruby highlight come through when held up to a light. Pours with a thick light tan 3 finger head that leaves a ton of meringue like lace.
S: Tart, funky, earth, no malt character at all.
T: I wasn't sure what to expect of a dark saison, there are no dark malt flavors, no roast, only standard saison tartness along with some earthiness. In fact, there is not much in the way of malt character at all, the yeast completely dominates here.
M: Crisp, well attenuated, but with a bit of "roundness" so it is not bone dry. A medium level of carbonation for the style.
D: Another very good beer from Jolly Pumpkin, but I am some what confused at what this is supposed to be. There doesn't seem to be any "dark malt" character, this seems to be a slightly less attenuated version of Bam Bier. I was expecting some chocolate or roasted notes laid on top of the saison character, this is just a good saison with a dark color. I just said to my wife "if your eyes were closed, you would never guess the color". With all of that, still a recommended beer, something worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 01:47:55 | More by wspscott
Photo of webmanspidey


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

25.4 oz bottle poured into a large snifter. This is a dark translucent brown with a solid inch or two of fluffy head. Smell is a sour mix of yeasts and lemon. Taste is a very fresh and sour lemon, but pretty light and drinkable. Some odd funky flavors mix in there as well.

With almost no alcohol presence, this one is very easy to drink. Mouthfeel is pretty thick and creamy. This is the beer equivalent of a sour lemonade.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 01:45:17 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of selecter70


3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draught at the wonderful Lord Hobo:a very lovely spiced dark ale that doesn't lean towards sweet tackiness or hoppy saison; well balanced, at least to me, one who does like the dark lagers & hearty ales. A dark ruby brown pour with 1 finger of tan foamy head and some sticky lace. The aroma gives tell-tale dark roasted malts, with good grainy bread as well as some lambic sour and spiced plum. Medium bodied, smooth and well-balanced flavor of tart sour saison qualities with dark dunkel-esque lager malt and some spice, but not syrupy. Good for a slow sipping on a snowy day; low in alcohol but good to ponder things with...next time in a tulip glass...

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2010 16:46:36 | More by selecter70
Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
85 out of 100 based on 665 ratings.