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Bam Noire - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Bam NoireBam Noire

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very good

746 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 746
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 23
Gots: 64 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 746 | Reviews: 329 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of drummermattie02
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a bit of garnet when held up to the light, small white head that fades quickly, good lacing.

Fruity aroma with a moderate amount of funk

Complexity is great for the low ABV - some tart fruits and yeast are evident and the finish is slightly bitter.

Being funky/dry and well-carbonated combined with the good fruit flavors and aromas make this a good one to drink.

Photo of jamescain
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to StoneBrewFanatic for sharing this one.

Appearance: Dark brown with red hues when held up to the sun, offset by a stark white head of about two fingers worth. It slowly fades to a thick lacing over the top of the beer.

Aroma: Dark cherries, fruity esters with a small amount of funk coming though. Even a little bit of lemon citrus.

Taste: I was surprised how much I liked this one. Sour cherries, tart, yeasty, delicious.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated and light body make this one easy to drink even on a hot day like it was again.

Overall: I was impressed with this beer. I haven't had much experience with Jolly Pumpkin and again wish I had tried more while they were available to me.

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

On tap at the brewery.
A: Pours a cloudy brown with a finger of tan head.

S: Mild roasted malt and a hint of coffee and bitter chocolate.

T: Slight funky tartness followed by mild roasted malt, bitter chocolate and light coffee.

M: Lighter body with good carbonation.

O: Not overly complex and a bit thin.

Photo of impending
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750ml into a tulip. Pours an opaque chestnut, towering tan head a mix of large and small bubbles, nice lacing.

Aroma of a fairly hoppy strong pale ale. While minor funk is evident, a saison would be a distant second guess.

Tart and sour dominate the flavor followed by a spike of funk. Little else, lacks complexity. Thin prickly mouthfeel.

I read JP's description and wonder if I'm drinking the same brew.

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

Picked up a six pack of this one for about fifteen bucks not long ago. Poured a nice crimson color with a good off-white head. Aromas of spice, earth, yeast and a little funk. Light bodied and slightly tart/funky, with flavors of yeast, fruit and earth.

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

Poured into a tulip. Pours a deep, hazy brown/black. The head is a good two fingers of head. Head lasts forever with nice lace being left behind.
Very light in the smell, grain, minerals, little bit of the farmhouse funk, not much though.
The taste is pretty good. Slightly sour lemon peel start, wheat malt maybe, some mineral hops, light and crisp, great summer style dark beer.
The mouth was pretty thin.
I enjoyed the bottle but plan on trying some of Jolly Pumpkin's heavier brews.

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

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

Photo of mactrail
2.83/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of aepb1
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of beagle75
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of biegaman
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Soonami
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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

Photo of oline73
2.85/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of BieresDesMoines
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
85 out of 100 based on 746 ratings.