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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 llikkrad
5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured a 2009 release of this bam noire into a burgundy wine glass made by Riedel. The bottle reads batch 403.

Appearance: Dark brown with hints of dark purple and dark red. Pours an inch of light frothy tiny champagne like bubbles. When swirled, the bubbles create small walls with fading patterns as they slide down the fine crystal. The beer is slightly hazy with a touch of unsettled sediment. It is close to opaque, very difficult to see through the beverage.

Smell: Dark blackberry, medium malty nose, Black cherry, Cognac and Vanilla.

Taste: The same flavors follow through on the pallette. There is a medium minus hop bitterness. Dark berry fruit with subtle power starts and is joined by subtle piny hops flavor with a touch of chocolate malty flavors. Creamy cocoa with edges of Dark cassis and Fig finish wiht a lingering quality of vanilla and dark berries. Baking spices dance in the background of all of these other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium weight moves into refreshing acidity and edgy bubbles. Bubbles party in your mouth at this point cleansing all the surfaces touched by the beverage. This is so refreshing but still has a light richness and finishes clean with subtle dark berry flavors lingering.

Drinkability: This beer is incredibly well balanced and refreshing. It has dark flavors and has the most impressive acidity with well integrated hop profiles. The levels of malt are subtle and the beer finishes dry. This beer would be an impecable pairing for pulled pork or fresh bacon.

Photo of Jmoore50
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The appearance rates so high because this thing has a sticky frothy head that I have not seen in a very very long time. The color is a dark brown-amber color. The lacing on the sides of my glass are ridiculous as well.

The smell is of dark fruits, cocoa, coco cola.

The taste is weird. It is not quite a true farmhouse and not quite a true stout. It is a fifty/fifty for both. Not any strong overwhelming characteristics. There are chocolate flavors as well as hints of coffee at the end. A coca cola type mouthfeel. I can also taste a faint hop characteristic in the beginning as well.

The whole thing is hard to get through. Not really my thing. It is light bodied with faint tastes. Slightly disappointed.


Photo of BigAl723
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Jolly Pumpkin's new cafe in Ann Arbor.

A: This beer poured a deep mahogany color that was also a little cloudy. It resembled a rusty rail road spike. Not much of a head.

S: Plums, chocolate, sour, funk. Earthy and sweet like top soil. This is one very pleasant smelling brew.

T: The taste resembles the smell quite a bit. Obviously it's funky and sour like almost all JP brews but the funk was more on the lower with this one. Very dark, earthy, and smooth. Towards the end some coffee and chocolate notes come through very nicely.

M: Medium mouthfeel with not a whole lot of carbonation. If it wasn't for the sourness, there would be a lot to be desired by the mouthfeel.

D: Very drinkable beer. A great session brew at under five percent. It tastes good too which makes the drink even better.

Overall, a really good beer from JP. They continue to amaze me.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #250.

Pours a deep burgundy color with a fizzy off white head and a nice ring of lacing.

Scent of yeast, sour dark fruit, earth, and coffee. Funky, sweet, sour and earthy, a great scent.

Taste of sour dark fruit, yeast, coffee, cocoa powder, tobacco, leather, and earth. Not quite as good as the scent, but this has aged nicely and offers a great complexity.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and smooth with a good strong bite.

Photo of sweetbrew82
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz. into a tulip/ Batch 403

P: Deep plum with a light tan head of frothy foam that shows a decent amount of firmness and density. Shows good retention before it settles to a thick sheet of bubbles on the surface while leaving some nice lace behind.

A: Smells like rotten fruits, with notes of green apples, lemons, and sour cherries being the strongest of the bunch. Some toasted malt is there, too, along with some Bretty funk, vanilla, brown sugar, and a little bit of cocoa powder. It smells like nothing I have ever come across before, that's for sure!

T: The first thing I notice upon the first sip is the grape skin-like astringency that is plaguing this brew on the backhalf of the mouthful. The second thing I notice is that they must have pulled the reins back on the Bretty funk, because it's nowhere near as funky as others have mentioned when I compare my notes to theirs. What is there is a band aid-like medicinal flavor along with a slight barnyard funkiness and a fruity presence (similar to the nose) that tastes like it was pureed in a blender and battered in cocoa powder. The toasted grains bring some caramel with them, but they don't even make their presence felt until the finish, which only contributes to the fact that the body seems to overload the malt foundation. This is just not coinciding with me and my palate at any point along the journey. I was expecting much, much more from this beer, damn it!

M: Bam Noire is a medium-light bodied beer with a very airy, almost watery feel that is way too thin to provide any depth of character, whatsoever. Furthermore, the very soft carbonation never even takes a jab at the tongue and leaves me with an impression of a still, boring beer that just does nothing for me.

Notes: Well, I could tell from the nose that this beer wasn't going to provide enough funk to satisfy me, but the lack of Brett on my palate was ridiculous. Add to that the bitter astringency, the lack of interesting flavors, the absence of good carbonation, and the thin, watery feel, and you've got yourself a beer that utterly fails to impress me. I'm quite disappointed with this offering from Jolly Pumpkin.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark mahogany color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes quickly into a quarter inch cap of white foam. The aroma is very sour, and very tart with a solid yet soft malt undercurrent that seems to weld everything together. This is a very inviting aroma for someone who loves wild beers, and in fact it makes my checks pucker and my mouth water. The taste is mellower in the sour/tartness, but it is still noticeable. The malt is a lot more pronounced too, but it doesn't seem to add anything to the beer. The taste is nice, but not great like the aroma. The mouthfeel is thin with a watery texture, and lively carbonation. Overall, this is a nice beer. I think it would benefit if the taste were even just a little more sour.

Photo of GRG1313
2.58/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown with light tan head-nice looking

Light simple sour nose.

Thin citrus mouth.

Light citrus simple sour flavors. Not much of anything for this one. A pleasant, light, simple citrus brew but not worthy of Jolly Pumpkin. Best thing about this one is the cool label. By the way, it's not really bad; it's just not good. It tastes sort of like a lightly spiced, lightly sour "less sweet" 7Up.

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

In true Jolly Pumpkin style, Bam Noire has all the great funky flavors along with a dry, spicy finish and a underlying toasty, powdery note througout. Here's more on the session...

The beer pours with a deep amber, moderate brown color with slight haze, a very persistant egg-shell white head with a great deal of lacing and retention. A really nice looking beer.

Aromas of toasty malts, vibrant breads, and tart fruits lead the way. Light phenolic spices of white pepper, cumin, and plastics follow up. While the spiciness is nice, the plastics are a bit of a let-down.

Those fruity flavors of lemons, grapefruit, under-ripened berries, orange zest, and pear piths set the flavors. Soon enough the toasty malt character comes in with bold force and do a bit more than just balance; they garner attention and ride the dry toasty flavor deep into the finish. Woodsy, funky, cork-y flavors offer tart and nearing sourness notes that offer more intrigue than distractions.

Quite dry and malty textures offer creaminess up front and then dries considerably and creates moderate astringencies in the finish. Challenging but pleasant and refreshing beginning to end.

Photo of cokes
2.65/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Muddied dark tan with some glints of auburn. The beige head is short lived and leaves minor lacing.
Roasty nose, in a broad, ill-defined way, somewhere among grains, weak coffee, and woodchips. Light sourness peeks in, but flits off just as quick.
Roasted grain appears initially across the tongue. It never develops a deeper sense of maltiness. Then it turns blisteringly dry. It's like throwing in a chaw of sawdust. Yeast exacerbates the acrid dryness. With no real sour or sweet counterparts, this is a one-sided affair. An a pretty brutal one.
It's a bit mushy in feel, starting effervescent, and growing gradually flatter.
It can't overcome the overwhelming, crushing sense of dryness. There's some promise here (and I like the original Bam), but nothing steps up flavor-wise to complete it.

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

12 ounce bottle acquired as an extra in a recent trade with brewdan, thanks again, drank on Tuesday night, reviewed from notes, served in a Rader snifter, color is medium brown with some dark orange in it, 1/2 inch bubbly white head, not much retention, minimal lacing, aroma consists of tart roasted malts, lemon juice, sour apples, brettanomyces, some spices, and cherries, starts off with berry-like fruits and cherries, caramel in the middle that is a little roasty finish has a bit of spice, pretty tart the whole way through but it is always in the background, does not jump right out at you, nicely balanced between sweet and sour with the fruits, this works well, fruity and tart mouthfeel, medium body, lots of carbonation, taste lingered fairly well, pretty easy to drink despite its color, light in alcohol and cannot taste any, smooth stuff, glad to see this stuff is available in California now, will be drinking again, add another solid brew to Jolly Pumpkin's lineup that I have had now, recommended

Photo of ballewblake
2.83/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

One finger tan head that killed quick, dark brown/black body. Oak on the nose. Oak on the tongue, dry and slightly sour. Not much in flavor or complexity. Minimal lacing. Decent sour, not really interesting considering the dark malts could have added much more to it. Disappointed in this JP, they can't all be winners.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slight pffft of the cap on this 750...Batch 340/341 into Ommegang chalice...

Pours a turbid color that's a split between espresso, iced coffee and root beer. Head is that of a flatter root beer - that wispy ginger-colored stuff. Pretty translucent; can't see the carbonation but I'm pretty sure it's there. Lacing is pretty sparse; head retention is, well...there's not a whole hell of a lot to retain. Second pour is a lot better - 2/3 finger of head with a chunky seam - lacing and retention has a little more meat on the bone.

There's sort of a Flanders Red/Oud Bruin sweet, vinegar essence that is cut nicely by the yeast electricity. Piney to an extent but not aggressively hoppy nor extremely dry, even though it's not incredibly viscous and sweet. This shows a little bit of funk but not huge.

Wow, it reminds me of a Fantome offering. In its stillness the funk becomes much more evident; this is getting drier and drier by the minute. Less vinegar and dark candi sugar quality than notes on the nose, but enough to make it interesting. Hoppy pine is in there, too with balsa wood maltiness. Maybe not true to style as it stands today but it's definitely interesting. Warmth gets it a little closer to the ballpark.

I of course enjoy the dryness but don't really dig the acidic vinegar bite on the back end - I would prefer a brighter, more carbonated effort with some solid, hard core bone dryness and some spring in its step.

This may have some old-school Saison qualities but it's not what I think of when the word "Saison" comes to mind. It drinks a little slower than your average Saison - the vinegar tones and the darkish fruit - a little apple and prune - maybe a touch of cinnamon and clove - slow it up a bit, definitely. Am guessing that JP accomplished what it wanted to here 'cause there are no true flaws to me - I just don't enjoy it as a representative of the Saison style.

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

Pours a light brown red hints clear when held to the light lots of bubbles clinging to the glass. Nice big fluffy head that falls slowly and laces well.

Aroma light malts hints of smokey peat, cherries tart, vinegar notes. Aroma is almost tart in smell.

Taste is like the nose, light tart vinegar light cherry notes. Very light hints of peat, some spice from yeast lightly peppery notes and hints of nutmeg maybe. Finish is dry vinegary tartness and decent note of funk.

Mouthfeel is light side of medium with noticeable carbonation, seems to play out the spice nicely.

Drinkability is good might be a touch to tart with out enough going on to back it up. Still enjoyable though, might not be on par with other Jolly Pumpkins I have had but enjoyable just the same.

Photo of peabody
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a clear reddish black with a certain clarity that can be easily seen through. Two to three fingers of off-white suds then the wonderful lacing make this a great looking beer.
Smell is sour cherrywood and oatmeal cookies. I get a little yeast aroma but it is very faint.
Taste is elmers glue at first then the sour aftertaste comes through with a black currant bitterness.
Mouthfeel is a little dirty at times but the dry bitterness on the roof of the mouth is nice.
Drinkablilty is only OK here. I am just not a Jolly Pumpkin type of drinker.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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