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Bam Noire - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Bam NoireBam Noire

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

752 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 752
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.17%
Wants: 23
Gots: 62 | FT: 1
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: 752 | Reviews: 329 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HeyItsChili
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of soupyman10
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
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

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.

Photo of oakbluff
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage 750 ml bottle. Pours light porter colour- cola like with vigorous head. Nose- very dry musty smelling, with some citrus. Taste-strong wood flavours, nuts, some dark fruits and bretty kick. Very thin body, just slightly less drinkable than regular Bam, but interesting all the same.

Photo of dsa7783
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML bottle...
Batch 327/328...
Appearance: Maroon-tinted, carbonation evident, minimal head, minor lacing...
smell: farmhouse funk, which was also apparent in the taste...
Taste: Funky nuances... sourness noticeable... slight malts perhaps?
Light-to-medium bodied mouthfeel
easily drinkable...
very similar to many other jolly pumpkins...
definitely not worth the high price shelled out for a 750 ML...

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

Reviewed on 10/16/08. Bottle, batch 262,263. Pours a dark murky brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of sour with slight funkiness. Flavor of cocoa powder initially with light sourness and sweettart candies. Very tasty. A little thin at times but that is my only complaint. Delicious! (Why the low scores, this is an awesome saison!!)
8/4/8/4/16 (4.0/5)

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

Batch 258,259 (from 2007 I am pretty sure)

A - Clear mahogany body with two fingers of off white head that has pretty good retention and excellent lacing

S - Mild funk and what I can see other people calling wet horse blanket. Also some fruit notes come through as well

T - Like a maltier and fruitier saison. Some noticeable strawberry and cherry notes

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Pretty enjoyable and easy to drink

Photo of GClarkage
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12/13/08- Purchased at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. No freshness info noted. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Smokey brown colored pour with a larger 2 inch head or so. Left nice small chunks and pacthes of lace behind.

Smell- Nice saision-like nose. Some horse blanket, some wet hay..a bit of urine. Smells of lemon rind and sourness.

Taste- Quite sour and tart for a saison. Some light earthy dirt flavors as well. Very light on the sugar and a darker malt taste. Lemon rind flavor.

Mouthfeel- Upper carbonation level. A bit foamy.
Nice tart aftertaste though.

Drinkability- Clone of Fantome Black Ghost that comes out almost as good. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew from GREGER, Thanks Greg!

16.9 oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - dark, chestnut brown color with a fluffy head of off-white foam that stayed around for the entire glass as bubbles rose from the bottom.

S - sour fruit and earthy aroma.

T - sour cherry candy taste with a touch of yeast.

F - light and fizzy, sourness hits every tastebud.

D - very easy to drink.

Photo of guzzle211
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 750ml bottle into a wine goblet. Foamy off-white head rose quickly, but retreated just the same. Resembles cola in the glass.

Smell is of an earthy funk. As soon as my olfactory nerves caught their first scent, I knew this was a JP product. Brett is quite noticeable in the nose, along with hints of cider.

This tastes very much like Bam Biere (obviously.) The dark malts create a body that is more present, but Brett dominates. Fruit that is not yet ripe blends with a very sublte earthy note.

Mouthfeel is slightly biting due to the Brett character, but more so due to the carbonation.

If you are a fan of the funk, this is a great brew. Its also a great way to get yourself introduced to the style. I am slightly biased due to the fact that I love everything Jolly Pumpkin does - which means you should be checking this brew out!

Photo of illidurit
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang goblet. Dark mahogany with a thick crown of beige head. Excellent retention and lacing. Great brett aroma with tart vinous notes, unripe cherry, and a touch of cocoa mix. Flavor isn't quite as deep or complex. Still some bitter fruit up front and a mild chocolate sweetness, plus a very peppery dry finish. Mouthfeel is quite overcarbonated at first, but after some swirling and breathing it comes down to a normal level.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Batch# 250. Pours from the bottle into my glass reminiscent of black tea with ruby red highlights as well. An inch of creamy off white foam sticks atop the brew and leaves sticky lacing on the side. Aromas start with puffs of mild cocoa and dark fruits. Lightly toasted grain meets earthy yeast spiciness. Tartness and wild yeast funkiness becomes quite apparent with a woody backbone.

First sip brings a lightly toasted dry malt mixing with a kiss of cocoa and a touch of plum and black cherry. Spicy, earthy yeast tones meld into a well pronounced tartness with wild yeast funkiness. Finishes really dry with wood and oak barrel afterthoughts. A mild, easy drinking brew but I was hoping for a bit more flavor wise overall.

Mouthfeel is light and arid with fast moving carbonation. This one floats over the palate and is incredibly easy to drink. Would be very refreshing on a hot day, too bad it's freezing right now in Chicago. Overall, I was hoping for a little bit more of a robust flavor here, but in the end it's still a tasty variation of Bam. Pairs well with some 6 year old cheddar as well.

Photo of abfraser
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark brown with big white head. Some floaties spiraling around on pouring

S: Tart and citrusy, big Brett-like aroma. Faint malt

T/M: Earthy, tart. Green apple on the finish. Relatively light bodied for its appearance, with a nice crisp aftertaste from the tartness.

D: Exceptionally drinkable given low abv and farmhouse style

Overall a solid offering. I like other Jolly Pumpkin beers better, including the regular Bam Biere.

Photo of ATPete
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


This was a tasty beer. Ive never had a dark saison before but this one definitely spoiled the style for me in the best possible way. Pours a dark brown cola color with a small off white head. Subtle funk to this one, some notes of coffee and faint chocolate sweetness. Grassy dry hops and coffee cream round this one out. Not overly huge on flavor, mild and very drinkable. Light medium bodied, i recommend this over the Bam Biere even though both beers are exceptional.

Photo of Jmamay22
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bam Noire pours a dark brown that approaches black. Ruby red highlights can be seen along the edges of my Chimay chalice. Fully inch of creamy tan head that refuses to die down. Tons of thick webbed lacing.

Like other Jolly Pumpkin beers this one is heavily influenced by brettanomyces. I'd really like to try some of their stuff sans brett because I believe there's a lot hidden behind the maniacal yeast. Aside from the barnyard funk there is the smell of currant, leather, and sweet plums.

Tastes is sour and bitter. Largely dominated by the brett. Unfortunately, not much else peaks through as it did in the aroma. A bit of a disappointment.

Carbonation is huge and really too much. Beneath the bubbles there seems to be a thin watery complexion. Disappointing brew really. Goes down fine, but the brett just takes over and possibly ruins something more enjoyable beneath it all.

Photo of number1bum
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of NEPA BC split #19.

Pours a chestnut brown with some reddish hues at the edges, and a billowing and creamy beige head. Head retains very well, keeps a thick and full lace and leaves lots of stick.

Smell has some significant funk going on, and just a ton of yeast character. It's spicy, a bit earthy, fruity. If I were blindfolded the only thing that might tip me off that this is a dark saison is a bit of cocoa.

Taste starts off like a regular and very funky saison. Like the smell, there's a good amount of funk, which is slightly tart, and some earthy and spicy yeast. Midway through and into the finish is where it diverges from the typical saison flavor and goes dark, as it is nutty and there is some dark malt, cocoa and woodsy flavor. There's a bit of toasty malt here, too.

Mouthfeel is light and it's very crisply carbonated, spritzy and refreshing. Maybe a bit too spritzy, though.

I really like this saison - it's really funky and quite different. At such a low ABV it's very drinkable and refreshing. Definitely recommended.

Photo of allergictomacros
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Cloudy brown with a very solid head of tan foam. Laces well.

S - Belgian yeastiness and dark fruit predominate. Spicy and earthy notes as well as a hint of funk and honey.

T - Sour up front, with some chalky/earthy flavour. There's a hint of roasted malt and coffee beans but it's in the background. Spiciness and mild hop round out the finish.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Dry.

D - Not really working for me. There's a lot of flavour in this, but isn't quite right. There's just no life in this beer - it doesn't pop, and doesn't excite.

Photo of bditty187
2.57/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Garnet-ruby brown in hue, seems to be fairly clear (at least on the first pour); it is a lovely color. Massive beige head, of course the Duvel glass I poured this into has something to do with the head size. The head did not move, it looked like meringue... I am impressed. After a long white the foam slid back to a fluffy cap. Subsequent lacing was widespread. Honestly, this is a good looking beer.

The nose reminds me why I have a love/hate relationship with Jolly Pumpkin. When JB offers a truly great beer it is uniquely funky but all their other offerings are just "JB funky." It is possible I am not sophisticated to figure out the nuances. I am a simpleton. Brett dominates the nose. No maltiness. No "dark" fruitiness. Nothing that says anything noteworthy... nothing that Saison for that matter. Bottom-line, it is simply (literally) funky. Moderate potency; the nose is pleasant but not noteworthy.

One hit wonder. I am literally bored by the second sip. A trace of maltiness backs up the Brett driven palate. Nothing about this beer reminds me of a Saison. Nothing about it is particular dark. Empty finish. Almost no aftertaste which is nothing I want in a fine Belgian ale. I guess, all in all, this is not a fine Belgian Ale. Sadly, I taste so little and I have nothing else to add to the description.

Light in body, very thin and watery; the mouthfeel is quite poor.

So, I take over a month off from reviewing beers and this is what I am welcomed back with. Goody me. I don't quite recall where I bought this bottle at. Chicago? Kansas City? I know it wasn't Omaha because I am boycotting carrying JPs at Beertopia at the moment. I hope that changes. While I am not crazy about most of their beers a good number of people are. I respect JB. I "get" their beers. I understand their niche. I don't understand this beer. Major dud. Avoid.

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

Poured out of the 750ml bottle into a nice tulip glass a deep, slightly reddish brown with a little clarity ad a nice light brown head that released those brilliant sour yeast notes that are all the rage. Black cherry and slight esters keep emanating from the head as it settles into two fingers worth of foam and pleasant lacing on the sides of the glass. Sourness is not so prominent- it's there, don't get me wrong, but it's not a powerful as it has been in the other Jolly Pumpkin beers I've enjoyed. Little bit of spice and soy on the palate - maybe a little bit of cumin. Really clean finish- highly drinkable at this point in the day.

JP keep their rep and theme with this beer, but its smoothness is welcome in the wake of their other beers I've had. She's a keeper.

Photo of benito
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bam Noire is Jolly Pumpkin's first fall seasonal (followed by releases of Fuego del Otono, Maracaibo Especial, and Noel de Calabaza later in the fall) and seems to have been conceived as a darker version of their year-round saison, Bam Biere. So, this is sold as a fall saison ambree with some brett funk. As it turns out, it's more like a summery oud bruin...

A: Cloudy copper with a sudsy, long-lasting head and low carbonation.

S: Similar to Bam Biere--there's lots of lemon and a hint of brett funk (leather). There isn't as much malt presence as I would expect from a beefed up saison.

T: Lemon tartness up front with brett flavors running amok my the time the beer hits mid-tongue. The finish is long, dry, and slightly ashy. As with the aroma, I wish there were more malt presence here to meet the intended style, any potential in that area gets steamrolled by the barnyard flavors. If this were marketed as an oud bruin or sour red, the sourness would be more acceptable.

M: Spritzy and light bodied for a dark beer. A nice refreshing beer that suits early fall/late summer well.

D: Again, this beer's best quality is that it mixes the easy drinkability of a saison with a little more heft than your typical summer ale.

Overall, this is a mediocre saison and a decent sour ale. It ranks lower down on my list of JP beers, but it's nice to see the brewery continuing to push the boundaries of style with something unconventional.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this bad boy into a snifter. Somewhat cloudy dark ruby color. One of the best heads on a beer I have ever seen. Pillowy, fat off-white clouds float on for ages! Definitely a gorgeous beer.

Dark berry fruit nose, rotting wood, strawberries, pumpkin, cedar trees - very complex. La Folie-esque nose.

Taste is nearly a 180 from the smell! None of the fruitiness from the nose makes it to the 'buds. Dry, woody, earthy, tannins. Funk-a-licious...Brettomyces!

Photo of blakesell
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Yes! I found a sixer at a decent price here in Columbus, so here we go.

Poured from the 12oz bottle into my favourite Belgian style goblet.

Appearance- Beer pours an Oud Bruin Style brown, cloudy, thick and with so much yeast it looks like a largemouth bass has pooped in it. Head is a thin half finger that subsides to a murk across the top with orange pac-man styled power pills across the top. Lacing clings like a four year old that loves you for some strange reason, I guess it's the funny faces.

Smell- Sour and full of wild funk. This is the finest of all funks and Isaac Hayes would be proud to smell this funk. That sweet/sour smell that I love to smell so much that is so characteristic from the Jolly Pumpkin beers. Lactic sourness with a big brettanomyces backbone. Very difficult to catch malt or hops although I'm sure they are there. The bacteria is all I'm getting here.

Taste- Sour and bacteria laden indeed. Very lactic and really, almost unpleasant. Pediococcus thick in the flavor. Very nice upfront, but afterward just ends up tasting a bit like bug spray, something I had never tasted in a beer until a recent beer judging, I'm guessing that lambic had the same things going on in it as this Bam Noire has in it. I had such high hopes, but was kind of smashed with the output.

Mouthfeel- Sour, medium bodied, somewhat warming despite it's low ABV, solventy, very highly carbonated, not a gusher, but just under that level, very tart and puckering.

Drinkability- While I will end up drinking the other 5 bottles over the next five years or so, I will be doing it very slowly to see some significant changes (hopefully).

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

Bam Noire pours an interesting looking hazy tangerine/cola color with a lid of lightly fluffy/frothy, light beige, fuzz.

It brings an interesting array of apples to the table, offering a touch of red apple with much more significant sour/tart golden/green flavors, a solid funk, and a fair bit of peppery spice. It's pretty light bodied but has some definite pop and zing to it's zesty, lightly fuzzy-sharp carbonation.

It's quite refreshing and supremely drinkable, just not quite as complex or solid of a brew as the original Bam. Good beer, but maybe not quite worth the price I payed for it. Well worth a try though.

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

750ml bottle, poured into a New Belgium chalice. Dark, cloudy reddish-brown color with a substantial head on top, and excellent lacing. There's a soft maltiness in the nose, and a little ripe fruit. Interesting flavor: an initial graham-cracker malt, not too sweet but with a little cocoa. Fruity, yeasty, with a pleasant tart sourness that's much less than the Bam Biere and better blended. Finish is satisfyingly dry.

Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
85 out of 100 based on 752 ratings.