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Bam Noire - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Bam NoireBam Noire

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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 Jmamay22
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
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
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
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
2.55/5  rDev -32.5%
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
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
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
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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

750ml bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity. Batch #250.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" light tan head over the cloudy reddish amber brew. Head lasts tremendously, with heavy frothy lacing. Aroma is spicy and tart. Taste balances the spices with the moderate tart, an intricate tightrope act that JP has mastered here. Mouthfeel is smooth but a little too bubbly, maybe, with nice drinkability as well. Another good thing from the barrels of JP.

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

Sampled at biegamans Summer Saison tasting, thanks to blankboy for bringing this one.

Pours a clear dark orange/brown, thin off white head forms, drops some nice lace, light ring around the glass sticks, looks good. Smell is good, sweet and malty, grains, brown sugar, tart citrus kick through the middle, honey coated bread, sour dark fruit, nice. Taste is caramel, fruity sourness, toast and dry spice in the middle, tart citrus and biscuity malts in the finish, drying. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation. Nice beer, JP always delivers. Thanks Paul!

Photo of tpd975
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was provided by Sea Bass

A: Pours a dark brownish red hue with hints of shimmering red showing thru. The one finger head is big and rocky. It leaves behingd spotty lace.

S: This one is a nice mixutre of fruit, earthy spice, and a touch of sour.

T: Nice peppery spice with hints of apple and dark fruit. Other spices mingle with bready malt in the middle and the finish has a little tart sourness to it.

M: medium to chewy. Good for the style.

D: Rather enjoyable.

Photo of 11thFloorBrewing
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a muddy dark amber, lots of carbonation, getting a lot of little bubbles, thick fluffy khaki colored head about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick that lasts forever, thick foam clings to the glass as I drink

Smell - sour apple, stone fruits, light alcohol, cherry, overall the aroma is very subtle

Taste - oh wow this is much lighter in flavor than expected, a wonderful balance of toasty malt, sour apple, definitely a farmhouse but the funk is nicely restrained, the finish is dry with a slight sourness

Mouthfeel - very strong carbonation, lots of bubbles on the tongue, overall very light

Drinkability - I expected this to have a very strong flavor with lots of funk and was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite. Very well balanced, light and refreshing. I am a huge fan and will definitely pick up more bottles soon.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Saison Dupont tumbler.

A: Pours the color of Liptons tea; murky, chocolate-brown with suspended sediment and a creamy, three-finger, khaki-colored head that leaves sheets of lace.

S: Earthy and sharp. Tart fruity funk and toasted malt with a helping of oak.

T: Much like above. I found the funk to be pretty restrained for a JP beer. I also noticed an underlying hint of bitter dark chocolate. The toasted malt makes itself known during the finish, as does the oak.

M: Tart and fruity, but not over the top. Dry and spicy on the tongue.

D: I was expecting this to be a sour & funky monster and instead was surprised at how balanced it was.

Photo of JDV
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottle shared at tasting. Pours a muddy chocolate brown with no head. Smell is fresh, tart, and fruity vinegar, and cherries. Taste is mild, dusty, and lightly funky with very faint tart fruity dark flavors. Bubbly mouthfeel, light, and mildly flavored compared to the nose again. Decent.

Photo of RedDiamond
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Starts with a drafty, toys-in-the-attic smell and highly excitable carbonation. Deep mahogany color. Informal flavor with old sock bittering.

Bam Noire has farmhouse written all over it with gentle, backdrop souring, and a gentle body that holds a persistent cap of beige suds. Casually elegant.

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

12 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a nice chocolate / soda brown color with a decent 1/2 inch light tan & dense head. Lacing is moderate.

S - Strong dark fruit with good earthy yeast flavor. Sour dark cherry, raisin and plum. Some spiciness adds to the welcome earthy scents. Almost chocolately in its darkness. Good, interesting flavor.

T - Starts with nice dark fruit sweetness, mainly sour dark cherry and raisins. Mid-palate presents some dry spiciness with good, dark earthy flavor. Finish is dry and sour, in a champagne-like way. Well balanced and interesting.

M - High carbonation with a very tingly sensation on the tongue. Medium bodied. Crisp finish with lots of residual spice and some sweetness.

D - An interesting take on the saison, adding dark fruit flavors to the traditional earthy spice. Another winner from Jolly Pumpkin. Low alcohol for such a dark beer. Flavor stays appealing as it warms.

Photo of demitriustown
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle: An awesome sour apple, sweet, yeast, a little bit of caramel malt and some fruit undertones. Appearance is a deep dark reddish brown with a thick tan head that lingers for a while. Taste is subtle but very refreshing. The notes in the aroma don't really pop. Nice and tart with some lingering yeast. Palate is nicely carbonated, lip feel is bubbly, mouth feel is light with a lightly malty aftertaste. Overall, It's pretty good stuff. Not as good as the regular Bam or the ES bam IMHO. Cheers!

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

Thanks to iceicebaby for this brew.

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark ruby with a fluffy two finger light khaki colored head which stays there forever. Solid layer of webbing remains on the sides of the glass once the head finally decides to fall down. Lots of tiny crazy bubbles sprinting to the top. Smell is funky and sour with hints of leather and wood. Pear, a touch of vinegar, and sour yeast in the nose with some apple as well. Pretty complex aroma overall. Taste begins with lemongrass, farmhouse hay, and sour dark fruits. Earthy hops and some woody malts blend midway leading to a funky dry aftertaste. Again this beer is complex but in the flavor profile, very nice. Light and creamy feel with a medium body and steady carbonation. I feel this could be a very interesting session brew. I've seen a few JP brews around here, but unfortunately not this one. Bam Noire is just proof again that American breweries really know what they're doing when it comes to Belgian style beers. Keep up the good work JP, you Michigan folk are lucky bastards.

Photo of halfP1NT
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to johnd513 for this one.

This beer pours a nice dark mahogany with a thick, dense, off-white head. Some yeast sediment is floating throughout. The head sticks around for a long time and leaves some big lacing behind.

Smell is yeast and fruit; sour apples, pears, raisins, bready and a little bit of spice. Smell is not very strong, but the breadiness is dominant.

Taste is very bready. It starts out very tart and a little sweet with some flavors of fruit; plum, apple, sour grapes. Lots of carbonation, crisp and bitter, finishes very dry and clean.

This is quite a refreshing beer for the hot weather, very drinkable. I think I would drink this more often in the summer if it were available in NJ.

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

An Easter gift from my wife.

A: Super dark amber. Capped with virtually no head - though I suspect that this has something do do with the fact that it had been opened and capped in my refrigerator for a couple of days.

S: A nice sweet and sour aroma. Some oak and funk. All restrained. Earthy though no horse blanket. Lactic acid all over the place.

T: Great lactic acid taste takes front and center. Some limited farmhouse funk. Earthy - a little peaty maybe. No esters or hops. Dry and woody.

MF: Medium mouthfeel. Good spritzy carbonation. Dry.

D, notes: Lactic sourness makes this want you to come back fro more adding significantly to drinkability. Jolly Pumpkin makes very good beer my only concern is they all taste kind of the same.

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

sampled may 24/08 as part of biegaman's annual summer saison tasting, with a mix of BA/RB represented. paul/blankboy shared this one. thanks paul!

750ml bottle. batch 258,259.

pours hazy medium brown with a small dense off-white head. the head drops fast and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is great. malt vinegar. grapefruit. bit of lemon. caramel. bread. hint of spice. leather. horse blanket.

taste is good. funk and sourness is much more restrained than i expected from the aroma. just under medium bitterness level. caramel. bit of lemon. multi-grain bread. slightly toasty.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is good. good balance, restrained funk. very nice.

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional beer in every way except taste. Mind you, it doesn't taste bad, but it doesn't taste much.

Lovely pour into a chalice, big thick creamy head. Head fades to a solid lid and leaves lots of lacing. Obvious yeastiness.

Smell is delightful: funk, mild horse-blanket & leather, some bready malt, a bit of ginger, some grass notes.

Taste is a big let-down. Pleasant yeastiness, but not much else. Not nearly as complex as the smell.

Mouthfeel is soft and round with ample carbonation.

Exceptionally drinkable at only 4.3%

Overall, good enough, and worth having more of. Quite refreshing.

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

Interesting brew.

A-pours a dark red/brown color. 1" of brownish head. Cloudy.

S-not really sure. It smells familiar but I can't quite put a finger on it. Fruity, spicy.

T-Raisins/grapes, corriander, all-around a fruity-spice mixture.

M-Tingly, warm, sweet.

D-On tap, could probably have my fill. Out of a bottle, one every now and then would be good.

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