1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bam Noire - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Bam NoireBam Noire

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

709 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 709
Reviews: 325
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 22
Gots: 57 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 709 | Reviews: 325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morimech
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle Batch #250. Has a clear mahagony with a small head that has good retention. Plenty of lacing left on the glass.

Smells sour with just a hint of malt. Brett is definately noticed.

Starts out fruity but quickly goes sour with a barnyard/horse blanket finish. Very dry.

Has a lighter body than I expected with heavy carbonation.

The low ABV aids drinkability but this is an expensive beer that goes down quick.

morimech, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of albern
1.75/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Sorry all, but this beer is dreadful. I bought this a few weeks ago, tried it, and thought surely this was just a bad batch and I should try again. Well I bought another bottle over the weekend and the second time the beer is consistent with the first, so statistically it is very unlikely that I have two bad bottles. The taste is vinegar, really potent yeast, and just undrinkable. I'm getting nothing but really strong, pungent, astringent vinegar. Malt, caramel, warming notes, I don't detect anything of the sort. I liked the other Jolly Pumpkins I just don't know what in the world the brewmaster was trying to get at with this awful concoction. Down the drain it goes, it's just too bad I spent $12 to do it.

albern, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of prototypic
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's a very dark, roasted brown color. Head is just a bit off white and roughly two fingers deep, but it's damn stubborn and just doesn't want to go away. A bit selfish too as there wasn't much lacing left behind.

Smell: It's a bit light in this department. There are some roasted and malty notes that are noticeable. Aside from that, it's yeasty and a bit odd smelling. Perhaps its the Brettanomyce yeast, but I'm personally only acutely familiar with such an aroma. Frankly, to the extent you can smell it, it's a bit stinky.

Taste: It's better than I anticipated. But, still just a notch above average. It does have a sour, yeasty taste which, again, I anticipate is from the infusion of Brett. It's not a bad flavor though. Caramel malts are sweet. Roasted malts complement the other flavors well and perhaps provide a slight smoky flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and overly so. The body of this one clearly needs to be thicker. Carbonation is good and it has a nice crisp bite to it. Drinkability is pretty good. I'd be more inclined to drink more if it had a better taste. Overall, it's interesting and certainly worth a try. But, it's clearly a far cry from what it could've been.

prototypic, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of dgallina
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml green glass bottle marked batch #250.

Pours slightly cloudy dark brown and red. An inch of thick foam settles to a persistent finger of head and nice clingy lace. The house yeast produces a fragrantly sour beer. The aroma is laced with orange, pepper, lemon, and light cocoa notes as well. The flavor is less exciting. Tart lemon and lime flavors are carried on a husky malt and cocoa bean base. These make for a slightly odd and thin combination. Pretty light in body as well, with abundant carbonation. Drinks easily, but isn't the most successful Jolly Pumpkin beer in my opinion.

dgallina, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of ccrida
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml, Batch 258,259. Poured into my big St. Feuillien goblet, the Bam Noire is clear, dark ruby with a small, creamy ivory head that is long lasting, leaving heavy lace. The second pour was more of a murky chestnut, with a few smaller yeast floaties. Decanting is for wine, and no, that 1/2 tsp of yeast didn't change the taste!

Smell is softer, dark fruits, some spices, a bit of cane sugar and wisp of brett.

Taste is not very funky, well at least compared to the Fuego Del Otono I just preceded this with! In retrospect, I should have reversed the order. The brett here is more of a musty, dirty sock kinda of vibe, with the dark malt providing a slightly astringent charcoal taste. From there very first sip, I was disappointed with this one. Really not much more too it. Don't come here if your a big Saison fan, as this is no where near that by any measure. It's just a funky small Belgian ale with black patent or some other dark malt that didn't really contribute anything very pleasant in the taste department. Strangely, in spite of the low ABV, there a bit of alcohol in the taste as it warms, probably exacerbated by the astringency. JP's beer's are mostly big hits, but this one's a firm miss in my book.

Mouthfeel is sharply carbonated, light bodied.

Drinkability is low for a Saison, and for a Wild Ale, it's still a bit below average. Just not that tasty. And I consider myself a big fan of Brett beers, and Saison's are my absolute favorite style. Stick to regular Bam, much better IMHO. On the plus side, the low ABV makes it easy to gulp down and move on!

ccrida, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Bam Noire pours a deep, rich mahogany with a very effervescent tan head. Great head retention, with some good lacing. The aroma on this is intense. Very nice sweet/sour aroma. Some figs and plums as well. Lactic acid takes the lead. Very nice taste as well. The sours are very mellow. Nice malty flavors. Light hints of figs along with some fall fruits. Smooth and very mellow mouthfeel. Nice and clean. High carbonation level. As for its drinkability, I would always drink anything from Jolly Pumpkin, especially if you are into sours and Farmhouse style beers.

paulthebeerguru, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this one a while ago at Beverage Warehouse (I think). First time I've tried a Jolly Pumpkin brew. Poured into a nonic glass. Batch 258,259.

A: Obviously very dark for a Saison, a clear reddish-brown. Thick two finger head forms but very quickly dissipates, leaving some film. Does not appear overly bubbly.

S: Huge funky scent attacks the nostrils. Plenty of other smells going on though, including apples, raisins, cloves, cinnamon and some sourness.

T: The first thing that strikes me is that there is a fairly pronounced sourness in this beer, along with a lot of oak funk and earthiness. It's not the only element, but it is quite noticable. Past that there is a strong toasted malt flavor with maybe just a little coffee.

MF: The sourness already gives this a bit of a mouth puckering feel, but it is also fairly carbonated. All that being said, the feel is pretty thin. It left my mouth feeling almost gritty, like the earthy flavor actually translated into soil.

D: This is a unique and complex beer, owing to the extremely earthy flavor and the sourness. The flavor is actually fairly mild though, and refreshing. It's quite drinkable due to the low alcohol content, but still a sipper for me because of the strangeness of the flavor. I'm kinda on the fence with this one. It's good enough to drink once, and an interesting taste experience, but it also kinda grew on me as I drank it. An interesting take on this style.

rxdrewthejew, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of rdickey
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark reddish brown with somewhat rocky one-finger head. Significant chunks of yeast even though it wasn't a bad pour; looks like some of it was caked around the top of the bottle.

Smell: There's a funk to this. Almost barnyard like, but in a good way.

Taste: Malt sweetness with a little smoke up front, then gives way to some fruity tartness that reminds me of green apples and echoes the yeasty funk in the nose.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied; tartness belies some of the heaviness you might otherwise expect.

Drinkability: Between the yeasty funk and the tartness, this is a very interesting beer. If you were in the mood you could easily drink these all night, and unlike most of the big beers we spend most of our time tasting, you might not end up on the floor.

rdickey, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 262,263

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Pours a dark black black color with a large two finger light tan head that possesses great retention and lacing characteristics. The aroma is a little tart and acidic with some dark malt, cocoa, yeast and a touch of funkiness. The taste is tart with some malt, cocoa and yeast with a dry earthy finish. Overall, this is an interesting brew that is worth a try.

cjgator3, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to egajdzis for hooking me up with this one...
Appears a dark crimson with a hearty, off-white head that fades into a mild cap. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is unusual with notes of cocoa, pumelo citrus, zesty spices, yeasty dough, and light caramel.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with notes of apple, and apricot layered on top of the cocoa, citrus, and plum.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, tart, dry, light cocoa, vanilla, oak, and citrus.

weeare138, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25.4 oz. bottle,

A: Pours actually a dark ruby red, with an average white head, average retention, no lacing, good colour though.

S: Lactic acidity, molasses.

T: Brisk acidity hits first, nice wood notes, light vinegar/acetic acid, dark malt, dark fruit.
Not terribly complex, I think I like the regular Bam Biere Saison better, but quite a tasty acidic beer.

M: Acidic, low pH, crisp and easy to drink, light-bodied, bubbly carbonation.

D: A nice beer from JP, great with a steak, its acidity cut through the gamey flavours and the dark malt complemented the roasted flavours of the meat. A beer I would have again, but $11.49 for a 750 is a little much, all and all, a good beer from Jolly Pumpkin.

Halcyondays, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of weasbri
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Jolly Pumpkin review. We visited the brewery while visiting relatives in nearby Ann Arbor, and picked up a few to bring home.
Color is a reddish-brown, with a little bit of head and not much lacing. I get a slight bit of funkiness mixed with perhaps some cherry in the aroma.
I actually enjoyed the flavor of this. A tad on the light (watery) side, but I've gotten a little tired of all the Imperials this winter, so this was a nice contrast. Good tartness on the sides of my mouth, but some sweetness as well, definitely some raisin in there.
I like this one, as I said, as a contrast to some of the "big" beers I've been having, I could have a good session with this brew.

weasbri, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark brown in color with only a little froth around the edges.
There's some kind of cola, coffee smell in the nose and the taste. Can't quite put my finger on it, but it's definitely there. It's not jiving with me though. Taste is the aforementioned cola and coffee with a bunch of carbonation. Mouthfeel is medium and non-cloying. I'm a huge Jolly Pumpkin fan, but this is by far my least favorite of their offerings.

FtownThrowDown, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of rsyberg01
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - 12 oz bottle, 07 stamping on bottom of bottle. recieved in week two powerball from theblackmallard, cheers to you sire

A - pours a slightly hazed deep orange, head doesnt stand for too long and reduces to a thin patchy layer on the beer.

S - earthy, tart smell, tart cherry notes, very slight sweet chocolate note.

T - chocolate undertone, earthy, bitter is gentle but gradually getting more and more bitter, cherry is subdued but definitely there.

M - dry, crisp, slightly lingering

D - 4.3%, oh yeah. Not necessarily a session, but damn near

rsyberg01, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large bottle, "Batch 255", pours dark plummy dark tan head, initially huge, then fairly quickly down to islands and wildly lacing the glass. Just some slight cola and hints of earthy horse infused funk in the nose. I have a hard time getting a good take on these Jolly P beers. I dont drink em that often and when I do they always seem somehow hard to figure out. Have they gone south in the bottle or are they supposed to be slightly over carbonated, then somewhat thin taste wise and then wild and funky? Anyway, I'll go with the wild and funky thing here, as this one seems fresh and in good shape. Notes of more cola, wood, tang, slight barnyard funkyness, moderatly sour, with just light malts and minor to no hops. Interesting, lively and active brew, its alive and vibrant in the mouth. Give this one a try if you like some sourness and are able to find a bottle or two in you area.

Billolick, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of DaggerEyes
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large Bottle, Batch # 255

Poured into my tulip glass a hazy brown with a slight slight slight hint of red an enormous craggy tan head rose up in the glass. The head looked lik

sweet and tart on the nose. hints of cola, brown sugar. Winey a faint bit of sour cherry. A little funky...call me crazy but I even detect a very subtle dill pickle like scent on the nose.

Taste is a bit blunt and monochromatic for a jolly pumpkin, but it's not bad, very smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation. Some faint cola flavors, funkiness, tart...sour cherry, brown sugar, some cocoa...
Bitter bite on the aftertaste almost a little medicinal or asprin-esque, but none the less very refreshing.

I must say I admire a beer at 4.3, super sessionable, which is great for those nights when you want to enjoy a few glasses but don't want to loose your edge...perfect for a night like tonight when I'm trying to get tax bullshit together.

This is slightly disappointing for a Jolly Pumpkin, pales in comparison to a god of a beer like their La Roja, but even though this maybe a Jolly Pumpkin low light it's none the less a pretty decent brew

DaggerEyes, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of nickfl
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers of off white foam on a dark, ruby colored body with slight haze. The head settles at a moderate pace, but leaves thick lace.

S - Sweet and sour fruity aromas hit the nose first. Peppery notes with a hint of unrefined sugar.

T - Strong sour note followed by a rough, very woody oak note. Lots of spice in the middle, black pepper, chilies, and cardamom. The finish is very oaky, with a little bit of caramel and some herbal hops.

M - Thin body, high carbonation and a very dry finish. There is a good bit of astringency in the finish as well.

D - This beer has an almost overwhelming amount of raw oak character, and that makes it a little hard to drink for me. This spice notes are nice and there is plenty of refreshing sourness, but the oak is rough around the edges (quite tannic and lacking any vanilla character) and there is not quite enough residual sweetness to balance everything out. In some ways this beer reminds me of Rodenbach, but it is not as subtle or complex; I would expect that with some additional aging it might compare more favorably.

nickfl, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 255.

Pours a very dark brown that is clear with a sizeable creme head. Nose is like browned apples. Seems to switch to what smells like cooked plastic. Liked it at first...nooot diggin' the plastic so much. Flavor is deep and robust. A part of it almost seems like roasted game of some sort. The plastic tone kind of comes back, and I have to say it kills the experience a bit. There is just something lacking...something out of line. Feel has a very full carbonation and the liquid is about standard. I personally like the Bam Bière better as it is one of my favorite American produced saisons.

RblWthACoz, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of tprokop7
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up the bottle @ Julio's about a week ago and poured into a Duvel Tulip. Temperature was in the high 48-50F. I love farmhouse's, and I love dark beers, so I was excited about the combination of both...

A - Dark, dark, dark red and not too cloudy. Full off-white head, dissipates to Belgian lace concentrated in the center where the glass creates it. Really is beautiful in the glass.

S - Smell is similar to a Flemish sour... can't really smell much else.

T - Starts out wonderful, like a dark Belgian (think Oerbier). As it finishes, though, you get a strong, burnt flavor. It's different than a typical smokey flavor, and it turns me off from the beer. Also notes of coffee and bitter chocolate in the finish.

D - The burnt flavor ruins this one's long term drinkability for me. I like the beer, but I think it'd be so much better if it was just a bit mellowed.

tprokop7, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of BeaBeerWife
2.85/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've only had two beers in this category so far. But it's my favorite in the category! I have tried quite a few Jolly Pumpkins and loved them all, this was the first one I have had from them that I am impartial to. It is completely unique. A variety of strong smells, and a complete lack of traditional taste. I tasted nothing sweet in this beer at all. A very weird experience!! Probably the most unique beer I've had to date, but overall it's just too far out there for me. But I have mad respect!

BeaBeerWife, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I usually love me some Jolly Pumpkin, and I've had all of them now but the reserve beers. This one, though, just underwhelmed me. Tasted kinda watery and without enough funk to make it interesting. Oh well. Poured chestnut colored with little head. Aromas are thin and lightly sour. The taste is likewise, thin, lightly sour, clean and light, and has some light malt as well. Mouthfeel is relatively thin. If it had a bit more oomph it would be a lot better. The flavors are okay, they just need to be pushed more in the same direction.

Georgiabeer, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured with a short, tan cap covering the hazy, deep reddish brown beer. The foam was really sticky with good head retention, and very slowly thinned to a thick ring and skim of fine bubbles. The aroma had the funkyness I associate with JP - a bit of barnyard and light vinegar, with an earthy and bready center. There was a very quick, sharp bitterness up front with mild sweetness at the rear and a bit of lingering, grassy bitterness and a hint of chocolate. There were also notes of leather, earthiness, acidic vinegar, and some fruitiness throughout. Medium/light bodied with generous carbonation, it stayed fairly crisp and was on the dry side. Definitely on the mouthwatering side. I enjoyed it and it was a tasty brew, but I think I liked the regular bam biere a little better.

DrJay, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color, cola-like, with a slim whitish head.

Sweet aroma, cola, again, maple, then a kick off spice...vanilla, anise, pepper, ...others?...candi sugar...brown sugar?

Taste: smooth entry on the palate, there's the buzz and pop, the sweet and the spicy, mixed with the dark. A bit light on the tongue and in the body, but that's what the saison is, of course. Very drinkable, if lacking in finish. Finishes quickly, but it urges you into another drink. Goes down well, and might make a fine match with dinner, particularly a meat dish, turkey or other poultry, games, etc. Might even work with pasta, heartier vegetarian fare.

Don't think this is a brew I would return to again, doesn't fit in with the ones that please me most, just for drinking, but I find it recommendable. Tastes good, drinks well...try one with friends and food!

feloniousmonk, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 250 bomber pours an effervescent brown/chestnut with 2 fingers of caramel-flecked sand colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Sourness, a bit of dirt, some apple

T: Apple skins, tartness,& apricot up front. Sour cherry, dryness, brown sugar& more apple skins as this warms. Finishes dry, tart with some raspberry & a bit of apple vinegar. This barley gets an above average

MF: Slick with moderate carbonation, body holds up great for the ABV

Drinks alright, bot a huge fan of this style, but spot-on technically. If you like em sour & just a bit funky, then this will please you. I like my Saisons with more malt

russpowell, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of goethean
4.63/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a champagne-style bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Aroma of sour, almost rancid grapes. has that classic Belgian lambic funk. If blindfolded, I would have guessed that this was an imported lambic.

A bolt of intense tartness is my first impression. thin body. tartness is balanced by a smooth, mellow maltiness. fruity but not cherry-like. oxidized, musty finish, with a detectable hops bitterness.

This is nothing like the refreshing Bam Biere, but is of the very highest quality, which is what I have come to expect from Jolly Pumpkin. Demands that the consumer has acquired a palate for funky, sour, complex, weird ales.

Here is my wife's review: "first, I felt bitterness on the back of my tongue. then this nasty funkiness, like a dog that hadn't taken a bath for a while. ooooh...it was awful."

goethean, Dec 25, 2007
Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
85 out of 100 based on 709 ratings.