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Noel De Calabaza - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Noel De CalabazaNoel De Calabaza

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

413 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 413
Hads: 949
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 70
Gots: 156 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 10-21-2007

"Belgian Christmas Ale aged in oak barrels."
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 413 | Hads: 949
Reviews by bobsy:
Photo of bobsy
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of cbutova
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jolly Pumpkin Noel De Calabaza

11-16-2012, Blend 15. Thanks to Chico1985 for sharing this.

A- Actually much darker than I imagined, deep brown to almost black in spots even when held up to light. A cream colored head rises up to a finger with a thick foamy consistency. Mostly spotty lace with some webs.

S- Dark fruits and lactic are the overall theme to the aroma for me. Flemish feel throughout with slight acetic hints and a somewhat Oud Bruin characters. Cranberry tartness, cherry, lemon juice, wet oak and toasted nuts.

T- Tartness builds up to being relatively sour over time here, both lactic and acetic. Cranberry is one of the strongest flavors for me with spicy raisin, fig, wet oak and red wine grapes, lemon sours and a slight nuttiness. Complexities are a bit tough to pick up because the sours and red fruit and wine notes really start to dominate.

MF- Lighter end body with a bit of a slickness I often find in beers that have acetic character to them. Carbonation is at a medium-low level and it ends quite sour.

Red wine grapes and cranberries and a general dark tart fruitiness opens up sip by sip. The sourness gains even more strength than those. It isn't harshly sour but it seems to block flavors that might exist otherwise. Winey and Flanders Oud Bruin feel. (1,290 characters)

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/20/2011. Pours slightly hazy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of strawberry, cherry, green apple, raisin, orange zest, caramel, toast, oak, clove, nutmeg, pepper, hay, grass, herbal, light funk, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, oak, and spice notes; with good strength. Taste of strawberry, tart cherry, green apple, orange zest, raisin, caramel, toast, nutmeg, clove, oak, pepper, hay, grass, light funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Light fruity tartness/spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of strawberry, cherry, green apple, orange zest, raisin, caramel, toast, nutmeg, clove, pepper, hay, grass, herbal, light funk, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, oak, and spice flavors; with a nice balance of fruit/spiciness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian dark ale. All around nice balance and complexity of yeast, oak, and spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,488 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml
$10.99
Binny's Plainfield

Blend #1 2007

Jolly Pumpkin's newest release is Noel de Calabaza, their Christmas release. It pours a murky rusty copper with a moderate haze as it rises up the glass. The head grew to a creamy three fingers as I poured then settled down to a thick one finger beige crown. Each sip leaves very respectable drink lines.

The smell of Noel de Calabaza is as refreshing as a winter styled brew could be. The nose is so robust it's hard to put your finger on exactly what's there. Some dark fruits are present along the lines of prunes, figs, and although not a fruit, plum pudding. There's that fresh, juicy, fruity aroma found in so many of JP's beers from the fermentation. It makes your mouth water.

Flavor is very similar to the aroma just not quite as robust. The juicy dark fruits are there and create a great complexity. I'm even picking up some candi sugar, whether it's there or not, it sure tastes like it. There's a bit of sourness on the finish but only enough to make you pucker before the tartness leaves you wanting another drink immediately. As the mouthful disappears a touch of tobacco leaf comes into play.

The mouthfeel is the only thing lacking on this beer. The bacteria ate up a little too much of the sugar leaving the body a little on the light side. The lively carbonation and light body usually work great on these sour ales but this one could use a touch more body to go with the darker fruits present.

Although the mouthfeel is a little thinner than I would have liked it actually boosts the drinkability. The slightly dry finish and tartness on the swallow leave you wanting another drink right away.

Noel de Calabaza is yet another good beer from Jolly Pumpkin. It's refreshing to find all these great barrel aged sours so easily and affordable. Jolly Pumpkin does the beer drinking public a great service by offering these normally expensive hard to find styles in many locations and at an affordable price for such great beers. That's one of many reasons you will always find at least a couple Jolly Pumpkin offerings in my fridge at a time. (2,110 characters)

Photo of kjyost
4.84/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Batch 4. Overcarbonated (hello Brett!), but glorious for Christmas Eve! Brett beautifully blended with the dark ale flavours and oak. I could drink this forever! (162 characters)

Photo of WorldWideStout
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 892 - Bottled 09-23-2011.

A: The bottle says it's a deep mahogany color, and I reckon that fits the bill. Billowy, taupe head pours out to at least two fingers, and lacing is ample.

S: Brettanomyces and oak. Mostly brett. I guess almost 3.5 years of aging will do that.

T: Starts out with some fairly ripe plum, but by mid-sip the brett has the spotlight. The plum, which is not particularly ripe, nor too tart, hangs around though, and I get it on the end in most sips. I get a bit of spicy oak every so often, but it's not a strong contributor. Not much of an aftertaste to speak of.

M: Purdy carbonated. Maybe just a smidge too much, but it keeps the beer going down easy, which I like for a wild ale, which is really what I consider this to be, especially after aging.

O: Tasty indeed. After trying many of the Jolly Pumpkin beers several years ago, I decided this was the only one I particularly enjoyed, at least for the price. I wouldn't say this is better than younger versions, just different. (1,018 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/20/2011.I know it's a little late for a CHRISTmas season beer but I gotta good deal today on this home state beer.Poured into an Ommegang chalice a true to label deep mahogany with a thinner slight off white head atop.Oaked sherry vinegar aromas along with some sour/lactic notes,a bit of dried cherry as well.Spiced phenols and that sherry vinegar on the palate,a sharp sour bite hits in the finish.For those who like the sour biting somewhat heavy handed phenolic Belgian darks this is for you,(and there are many)but for me I respect it but don't go outta my way for it. (587 characters)

Photo of DanGeo
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of MadScientist
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 10-5-2011
Batch 910
A: A medium amber with good clarity and a light redish hue. The head is thin but long lasting, composed of fine bubbles

S: The moderately-strong sour aroma has my mouth watering in anticipation, this is going to be tart. Some barnyard aromas come along with that sour. There is a moderately-light aroma of figs and a light nuttiness. Some Belgian yeast character is evident with scents of pepper an a faint fruity aroma. No hops.

T: This isn't as tart as the nose suggests but very tasty with that sweet-tart balance going on between the fruit tartness and a light bit of sweetness from caramel malt or dark candied sugar. There is a light hops bitterness and no flavor. There are light fruit esters is again fig but the tartness brings this citrusy lime-peel like flavor. The balance is moderately to the tart. The finish is dry the aftertaste is sweet-tart and fruity.

M: Medium bodied with high carbonation.

O: If only more Belgian Dark strongs were soured. (996 characters)

Photo of wrycon
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Blend 3 - 2007. Pours a dark cola brown with red hints as well and a small white cap on top. The head stays around awhile. Aromas of brown sugar, orange peel, fruit and an array of spices. Yeast tones and a mild oaky aroma as well with just a touch of a sour undercurrent. Nice.

First sip brings a light caramelly / brown sugar maltiness. Big fruity tones move in with orange peel, citrus, cherry and toffee. Spicy flavors move in with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Sour / funky flavors on the way down with a mellow oaky undertone that's classic J.P.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good steady carbonation. Another Jolly Pumpkin brew that I can hog a 750ml of to myself without a problem. Seek this one out and you will enjoy. I look forward to try my other bottle of Blend 1 soon. (801 characters)

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, Blend 3, 2007. This was a chestnut color with red highlights, and a fairly small head. Pretty nice nose, mostly fruit with a little spice. Similar taste, but something in there gave it an almost medicinal taste, which was not at all enjoyable. This was an OK beer, but probably not one I'd try again. (314 characters)

Photo of warnerry
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beaver13
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, labeled Blend 1, 2007. Pours a dark tea color with a thin off white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is yeasty bread, acidic pears and wood.

The flavor is very dry woodiness with yeast and some sugary fruits that are very acidic and slightly tart/sour. The mouthfeel is medium with some sharp carbonation but a watery texture that washes out some of the flavor.

Overall, it has a definite Jolly Pumpkin character. I didn't like it as much as others. It would be better with more sourness and less dryness. (572 characters)

Photo of VernonKell
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml initially pours a glass of thick and creamy beige foam that hangs around several minutes, becoming pitted and meringue-like. A dark mahogany body with ruby highlights eventually appears underneath. Geeez! This looks more like a dessert than a beer. A thick layer of sheet lacing clings to the goblet and completes the extraordinary appearance.

Lovely aroma of fruity berry and kiwi with lemon/lime accents open the bouquet. Brett funkiness joins in, along with mint and star anise notes to create a really vivid nose.

Mouthfeel has a medium body with some oak tones and silky carbonation.

Taste is incredibly complex. Berry fruitiness carries over from the aroma, but some darker fruits emerge in the taste. Figs and prunes add a soft touch here. Anise(which I don't care for) and pepper join with a minty note to add a unique spiciness. JP's trademark funk is also at play.

Another solid offering from Jolly Pumpkin. Playful, intense, and complex. If I liked anise or licorice, I might score the taste higher. (1,021 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm always somewhat cautious about putting down the cash for JP beers, cuz they tend to be gushers for me...this time I made sure to leave the bottle in the fridge for several days before opening, and the result was a fizzy/active pour, but not an over the top all out gusher. Medium tan head, leaves interesting splotches of lace and islands of foam on the surface. Grape juice, lemon and vinegar in the nose. Notes of citrus, smoke, sour cherries, berries of all sorts, and some woody notes. Complex, intriguing and thoroughly enjoyable creation.

"Blend 4, 2007" (566 characters)

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Mora2000
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

Blend 2, 2009. Pours dark brown with a large beige head. There is some sourness in the aroma. Some tart citrus and some caramel malt. The flavor has some tartness and a little bit of funk. Medium body and very drinkable. (268 characters)

Photo of FMetzger
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing from notes. Had this with several other great beers that night. The Noel took the cake.
A: Dark and bubbly. Beautiful. Head was light.
S: SO frickin good I can't express it in words. I had 5/5 written for this. There was malt, SOUR, sweet. A-mazing.
T: No let down in the taste department. Malt came through. Sourness was present. Slight spice?
M: Carbonation was perfect. All of the flavors made for a mouthfeel that was full, and I'm sure the carbonation added to that. Exceptionally clean.
D: I could probably not drink more than one, but it is a great great beer. More than one in a night, no. One every night I have the chance, yes. (651 characters)

Photo of mikejonze
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of magictrokini
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown with some floaties and a creamy off-white head. Spotty lacing. Expected sweet and sour combo that is Jolly Pumpkin. Caramel, chocolate malt, funky yeast, and dried fruits mixed with red wine, oak, apples, and vinegar. It leans towards the "Belgian Stout" in several areas, including the initial taste. A strong caramel/chocolate combo up front with an equally strong fruity sweetness that borders on syrupy. As the beer warms and you progress through it, it takes on more of the oaky, vinuous qualities I was hoping for. A little sour, either from the barrel or the yeast, or both, but I enjoyed how it gave the brew a pop in the finish. (658 characters)

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Noel De Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 413 ratings.