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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

723 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 723
Reviews: 325
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 22
Gots: 60 | 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: 723 | Reviews: 325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a surprisingly large, 4F head. Dark ruby in color when held to the light, with a foamy tan head that left plenty of lacing.

Smell was unexpectedly sweet - like a pumpkin/cinnamon spiced beer with a hint of raisins and Belgian yeast.

After that aroma, the taste was also surprising - in that it was back to basics - typical dark saison. Sour cider bite, maybe a little vinegar, grassy barnyard funk, and aftertaste that had a slight peat smoked quality.

Mouthfeel was good for a low ABV Saison - smooth carbonation, slightly puckering bite... maybe a little too sour.

I don't mind a little sour bite in my Saison, so I found this to be plenty drinkable.

BeerImmediately, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of Treborofmoria
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap in the Jolly Pumpkin Brewpub just north of Traverse City. I would agree with most reviewers that it is definitely an aquired taste, as are all JP beers. This is belgian in style and contains plenty of funk. This beer is high in carbonation and has a wonderful brown color. The tartness could be unpleasant if it is unexpected. I would have no problem using this as a session beer. The lighter mouthfeel is fine for summer, even though the color says fall. Keep up the good work, Ron.

Treborofmoria, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of BitterPachyderm
2.33/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was unexpectedly...downright bad.

I got this in a BIF from an unknown source...batch 327/328, no other freshness markings noted.

Poured into an oversized wine glass. It seemed to have a deep dark nutty brown body with some ruby highlights. My pour created an inch of pecan cream head with some lasting bubbles; not a whole lot of lacing going on in the glass.

Whew! Tart cherries, some pineapple, sour apples, plastic, and some funk. I could smell it immediately as I capped it. It was very winy, with a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Sourness and dirt dominate the pallete here. This is a one dimensional monster of a beer. At times it seems to develop in the glass but the development is an improvement...later in the sitting I notice some burnt plastic lingering in my mouth.

There's something off with this brew...it seems way too carbonated, which might be the root of the problem. This is my first Jolly Pumpkin beer and I can't even finish it. It's a sour little bitch with no real qualities that can be enjoyed, other than the aroma. Epic fail in my opinion. I'll just pray that I had a bad bottle, but by judging from some other reviews, it seems unlikely.

BitterPachyderm, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of Nickls
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a creamier looking lightly tan head; pretty good retention. Not very much lacing, but some present. Muddy dark brown coloring.

S - Lightly sour; earthy; bit of wood; some fruitiness

T - Vinegary sourness, but pretty light. Kinda muted flavors otherwise; bit of the earthiness comes in. Nothing really remarkable

M - Very light MF despite the appearance; very vibrant bubbly carbonation.

D - Nice enough; lightish body and low abv keep this rating up there for me; nice enough taste, but not terribly interesting.

Overall, not my favorite offering from Jolly Pumpkin, but still an OK brew. Worth a look, but don't put much effort into your hunt.

Nickls, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of atsprings
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle into a Duvel snifter pours a murky bubbly dark brown with a nice frothy light-tan head that slowly diminishes to a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is nice amount of funky fruit with a touch of brown malt and cocoa. The taste is a very intriguing blend of sweet malts and fruits with the textbook brett funkiness and a hint of brown malt. The beer is light crisp and nicely carbonated. I must say, this one is a truly unique beer, quite enjoyable.

atsprings, May 26, 2009
Photo of JoePetto
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Firm head with a good 1" of lacing on the immediate pour. Color is at first blush solid brown like a nute brown ale, but holding it up to a light shows its red texture (a la Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Smell: Grab the P-funk records, cause this baby has the funk (in a good way). The smell is lambic-esque with all of humidity of a barn after the rain.

Taste: Not what I was expecting. The first flavor is almost smoky/peaty. The flavor improves with warmth and the sourness on the finish sits on your tongue with each swallow. The finishing flavors are unique and delicious - can't quite my finger on it.

Mouthfeel: More carbonation than a lambic, but has the zippyness of a saison.

Drinability: The abv is spot on, but the sourness could make this a slightly difficult to session. If you are looking for something unique, this is the ticket - definitely not for the neo-phyte.

JoePetto, May 10, 2009
Photo of shivtim
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Love the bottle on this one (as with most J.Pumpkins).
Pours out clear deep rusty brown. Big fluffy merengue head. It's heavily carbonated with lots of bubbles.
Nose is sweet, yeasty and wild.
Taste is wild and buttery, with slight fruit/berry undertones and tangy malts.
Slightly thin mouhfeel.
Great drinkability, especially with the ABV.

shivtim, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, just-short-of-opaque black, with a big, sticky, rocky, fluffy head on top that lingered well into the glass and left a wall of fairly solid lacing.

Nose is a bit sour - hint of vinegar, sour cherry, barnyard funk - with a hint of smooth, sweet vanilla underneath.

Taste starts off with a brisk bite from the carbonation up front, with a soft, almost chalky dry funk in there - barnyard and old leather, musty, sour cherries again, an herbal hint also, with the slightest roasty malt note making itself known as the flavor progresses. Finish is dry and slightly herbal, earthy, lingers a bit.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a soft but crisp carbonation. Interesting and really nice beer.

JohnQVegas, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of tai4ji2x
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle. small stick in the back indicates "batch 340/341"

poured into tulip

very dark brown with amber tones, dark ruby under the light. lots of light tan head, fades to consistent thin layer. nice rings of lace.

aroma: moderate vinegary funk, hinting towards balsamic. flash of overripe strawberries. woody, oak and barnyard hay notes. finishing into a more like cider vinegar, with trace of caramel. gentle, spiced phenols in the back.

flavor is tart yet restrained in overall acidity, giving vingary notes, then quickly to woody, leather and funky phenolic notes, with mild, grassy hop bitterness which lingers. caramel tones under the acidity and wood, but overall it feels like the malt and fruitiness needs a boost to truly be a robust ale. as it stands, it's good, but feels ever so slightly "hollow"...

medium body, smooth at first, then lots of acidic and astringent texture from the middle onwards. tight, sometimes creamy/fluffy carbonation.

if this is a "saison", it's definitely more to the sour side, as with all JP brews.

tai4ji2x, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of photomike
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My first JP brew.

Poured into my Orval goblet a deep murky brown with a miniscule head (poured quite cold). Huge floaties cling all the way up the sides of the glass. This is an incredibly visually unappealing beer. As the sediment settled and the beer warmed, it started to look quite a bit better, however. Swirly, tiny white bubbles sit on top of the glass.

Smell is vinegary, yeasty sourness, and not much else. My interest is piqued. Smells inviting.

Boy...the taste was unexpected. Served very cold, there isnt a lot of flavor here. Watery and sour, my partner-in-tasting Natalie described it as "Sour BMC." I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly was a let down.

...at least to start. As the beer warmed, it got significantly better. The sourness starts to develop some character, and I would describe the taste as a fruit salad made entirely from unripe apples and berries. Quite sour and dry, and pretty good! Not the fullest body, but I think it works.

The mouthfeel is perfect. Just the right amount of tartness, crisp and clean.

The drinkability on this would be very high, but the sourness would get to be a bit much after a while.

Certainly not a bad beer, but I don't think I would buy it again.

photomike, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1" head that slowly falls. Some nice lacing develops.

Smell: loads of sourness with some lemon citrus are easy to pull from the glass.

Taste: tart green grapes, lemon zest, caramel, raisins, some earthy tones, and a sour funkiness creates a unique brew.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, less so at the finish. Aftertaste is long as the sourness lingers on the tongue.

Drinkability: decent slow sipping beer if you are in the mood for the style. In no way can this be considered a sesion beer depsite the lower alcohol levels as the sourness will tire you after one bomber bottle.

Gavage, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of thirdeye11
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to ballewblake for bringing this one to our DFW tasting event last night.

Presentation: Poured from a bomber into snifter style glasses.

A: Pours a dark brown opaque beer with little to no head. Lacing is nice on the glass.

S: Smells a little bit funky, but not overbearing or too powerful. Some dark fruits are here, maybe raisins and I'm smelling what may be Brett yeast. It is not very strong though.

T: This beer lacks any fruit characteristics that I generally prefer in the style. No lemon, dark fruit flavors, or crispness at all for me. It is quite sour, but no sweetness to balance it. Not my favorite saison. As some others have stated I don't taste as much of the barnyard funk or brett that others seem to, but it is sour with what feels like no purpose.

M: The carbonation and mouthfeel were fine, but not a standout to me.

D: I had trouble drinking anything beyond 2-3 oz of this one. Not high on the drinkability for me.

Was glad to have tried this, but I don't think I would drink it again.

thirdeye11, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of shroompod
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark with a decent head and lacing.

Aroma of apple cider vinegar. Some sweetness.

Very tart , undertones of the funky barnyard. I swear I can taste alcohol , but it must be the yeast byproduct.

Mouthfeel is light , crisp. Good carbonation.

Overall a beer that keeps me interested enough to want another.

shroompod, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of Angus703
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml, Batch 340/341, into a tulip
first glass pretty cold, second glass after the bottle sat for a while

A - Poured dark cola color and reddish. good head on it, light tan, leaves some nice lacing

S - Funky, and a little tart, light fruit

T - Sour (obviously) apple

M - Light, slightly tart aftertaste that you can feel in your cheek. Maybe not as much carbonation as I have had with other Saison styles, but compared to Bam Bière (the other JP farmhouse) it fits in well and is very satisfying.

D - Very

Great beer, as anyone would come to expect from Jolly Pumpkin.

Angus703, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, batch #250 at 52 degrees.

Pours dark mahogany with a ruby hue and a three inch head of dense off-white.
The massive foam cap sunk reluctantly to reveal thick, chunky ropes of lacework and a rocky coating on the surface of the brew.

Aromatics lead off with soured dark fruit, raisins, and a vineous bite. Sour cherries, grapeskins, and oily citrus notes follow through.

Medium bodied with a lactic, puckering mouthfeel. Creamy but almost sharp in nature.

Soured apples, sherry vinegar, and acid-laced caramel start the palate. Tannic skins and bitter citrus pith follow through along with strong, vineous overtones.

Finishes with a hint of roast, persistant lacticity, and tart, spoiled fruits.

The dark malts work will with this JP beer. An added level of complexity is welcome beyond the broadly lactic profile. I'd still like more bretty funk and a sharper, cleaner acid bite though.

brewandbbq, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the bottle a light cola with reddish/orange sunset hues. In the glass appeared a dark and lovely burgundy color with a sudsy/foamy khaki colored head that was initially 2 fingers high but quickly calved and gave way to a splotchy and cavenous layering. The carbonation was rather strong and rapid.

S: The aroma was funky and yeasty, with some light musky scents of lemons. Not a lot of complexity but was very nicely executed and prominent with a nice display of its yeasty character.

T: The flavor was much like the nose, yeasty with musky lemons that was moderate in strength. Damp lemon peels with some ripened fruit (green apple skins) and cobwebs give this a really nice sense of the yeasty and musky character associated by style. There was some light cedar wood and dark licorice notes along with a warm worty taste from the malting. A light hint of damp soured fruit lightly entices and trails on the swallow.

M: light with a medium tingly sensation of carbonation. Some acidity and damp citrusy notes linger a bit after the swallow that was sharp.

D: Very nice drinkability, yeasty but with a dark worty nature makes this sure to delight. Just the right amount of yeasty nature makes this easy enough for the newbie while still offering enough satisfaction for the most dedicated of style.

beerthulhu, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of jwc215
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle:

Pours hazed dark brown with a tan head. The thick head quickly descends to a lasting, frothy cover. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of licorice/anise with sour fruitiness. It is funky in a vinegary stale bread way. The "funk" grows to override the "dark".

The taste is of cocoa and anise - towards licorice - but sour (prunes?) overrides. It turns acidic, sour/tart and bready. A dark sour ale? It is grapey in the finish.

It is very carbonated - seems like "all-head" when swirled over the tongue. It has a coating effect despite the annoying fizziness.

I don't want to say it "clashes", but comes close. The funk/sour overrides the dark malt character just a bit too much. The "fizz" doesn't help - it thins it out. For a mild abv, this is one slow sipper. I give it "kudos" for being unique.

jwc215, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of taylorhamrick
4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a dark, dark brown with a massive head, I mean inches, with loose clingy bubbles that stay around, leaving traces all along the side of the glass. The color is not very traditional, but I can't help but think this one is beautiful. The smell is fairly straightforwardly funky, but what else would you expect from JP? You can't exactly smell the dark malts underneath, but you notice it when you taste. I fell in love with this beer from the first sip. You notice this brilliant caramel sweetness, almost backed with a bit of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and almost vanilla. And it finishes wonderfully tart. The perfect balance so that the tartness, sweetness, and dark malts never come unbalanced. You know what I think this tastes like? Tamarind. I think this will be one of my 'subjective' score beers, since I've never seen anything like it. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but never unpleasantly so. That's about all I can complain about. And at 4.3%, I could drink this forever.

taylorhamrick, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of Keith238
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml brown bottle labeled batch 327/328.

Beer pours a deep mahogany color with creamy head that slowly dissipates. Scent of citrus and cherry. Flavor is overwhelmed by the citrus (lemon) flavor and hides any presence of malt or hops. The citrus does however lend itself to making this a very crisp and refreshing beer. I would gladly have another one of these but with so many other farmhouse ales (saisons) that I haven't tried, it may be a while before I get back to this one.

Keith238, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of Gmann
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a 750ml capped bottle. Pours a deep murky brown color with a huge loose tan colored head that left some rocky lacing and a rocky cap. Settles pretty quickly. The aroma is lemony tart, green apples, and some farmhouse funk, horse blanket etc. The taste starts off quite tart, very lemony with unripe granny smith apple, not much of the farmhouse in the flavor. A mild malt presence helps cut the tartness. Moderate body with soft carbonation, a tad dry. If tart is your thing that this is one you want to pick up. I find that the tartness just kills the other flavors for me and it's basically all I taste. Didn't really remind me of a saison.

Gmann, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head and some good lacing.

S: A tart aroma of apples, grapes and a funkiness.

T: The taste was very sharp and lively, with lots of sour apples, grapes and even a little malt. Also, it had that barnyard funk you find in a lot of saisons.

M: Highly carbonated with a light-ish body and a dry finish.

D: This is a drinkable beer with good character and a lively personality.

avalon07, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of HeyItsChili
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 340/341.

A - Poured from a bomber purchased at the Charleston Beer Exchange into a tulip glass. Pours a dark nutmeg/amber with a creamy medium sized ecru head.

S - Sour, slightly bitter hops, with an aroma not unlike sour apples. The aroma isn't completely slanted towards the sour end of the spectrum as there's a bit of light malt underpinning.

T - This is a tough one to gauge. The sour apple crispness is dominant here, with some citric sugar balancing the sour notes nicely. As the sour fades away there's a bit of malty nuttiness that rounds things off quite nicely.

M - Very thin bodied, mild carbonation.

HeyItsChili, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch #250, always good to find old gems like this. Poured into a Koninghoeven glass.

A - Dark amber body with a this tan head and some lacing.

S - Does smell like a JP product... with the whole grape/apple tartness and sourness, with good blue cheese funk thrown in. Seems to dominate any potential malt differences from the other JP products.

T - The shocker here is that I actually taste some roasted malt! The malt bill is quite mild, Belgian pale malt was blended with the roasted malt well, and walked the line so that the roasted malt was present, but I still felt I was drinking a saison. In the finish, I was left with only a very mild hop presence, dry cappuccino, and that JP sourness that dominates from the first sip. That being said, this is probably the best example of a dark saison I have had as of yet,

M/D - I tend to gravitate towards the JP products that have something going for them aside from the funk, and this one does fit that description. Overall, mild for a sour, interesting, and priced so I would only recommend it if you are a fan of sour beer.

SammyDavisJrJrJr, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of soupyman10
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks amazing, as have all the Jolly Pumpkin's I've tried. Huge fluffy head on top of a deep brown color, some deep maroon tones. A few lighter brown highlights in there as well. Head seems to never dissolve, but when it finally does, some excellent lacing. Basically looks as good as a beer can. Nose is lightly sweet and then strongly sour, in keeping with most of JPAA's brews, which basically masks any other aromas there might be. Not particularly complicated or interesting, although not bad. Taste is likewise, and it's really hard to pin down. Sourness, and then in the background some citrus, very light nuttiness and candy sweetness in there as well. But the sourness absolutely dominates. Strong carbonation that goes with the sourness, but also helps to mask whatever else is going on in there. Overall, it's unique - as are all JPAA's - but there's not enough going on here to keep me interested. I'm also a huge saison fan, and this just lacks all the good aromas and flavors that a saison should have (honestly, I'm not sure why they classify it as one). In any case, I need something beyond sourness and great looks, and this just doesn't offer it, especially given the high price tag.

750 ml/$10.99/Sylvan Market

soupyman10, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of n811
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 340/341, 750mL bottle.

Poured into a wide-top champagne-type glass. Head was very fine bubbles, as usual with JP beers, but it collapsed quicker than many of their varieties.

Smell was 100% JP, with that great sweet-sour-appley-funky thing going on. Something about JP beers always makes my mouth absolutely water in anticipation of the first sip.

Taste was as expected from the smell, with a faint sweet nuttiness on the aftertaste. A lighter sourness than some of their other beers, but still enough to satisfy. This is one of their lower ABV varieties, so drinkability is pretty high for a JP - this is one I could drink several of and be happy, not on the floor.

Highly recommended.

n811, Jan 09, 2009
Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
86 out of 100 based on 723 ratings.