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Noel De Calabaza - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Noel De CalabazaNoel De Calabaza

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

854 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 854
Reviews: 394
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 61
Gots: 139 | FT: 9
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:
"Belgian Christmas Ale aged in oak barrels."

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 10-21-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 854 | Reviews: 394 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of magictacosinus
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was one of the many beers poured at the December Albany Taproom bottle share. Not sure who brought this, but thanks! Poured out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. My first Jolly Pumpkin beer ever, too!

I believe we had the Alpha Klaus a little bit before this one, and as far as I'm concerned, both of them were nearly exactly the same in appearance. The only difference, of course, is the viscosity and yeasty appearance of this beer. Otherwise, it's equally opaque, with dark amber tones, as well as an off-white creamy head that temporarily coats the top of the glass before dissipating into a modest ring. Leaves behind no lacing, sadly, but still looks pretty appetizing.

Smells a lot like your typical spiced quad, but there's the commonplace (allegedly, anyways) funk that this brewery is known for right away, as well as some tart elements. Dark fruit are at the front, but of the under-ripe, tart variety: green plums, currants, raisins, figs, and at the finish sweet molasses. Afterwards, there's a leathery, barnyard aroma that appears in an unexpected manner, melding with notes of black pepper, ginger peel, nutmeg, and allspice. Roasted nuts are at the front as well, although it does seem that the highlight of this beer lies in the sour fruit notes overall, as well as in the spice profile used. Pretty unique stuff - definitely quite restrained for what it aims to be.

The flavor is a little bit more varied, however - often to its benefit, but sometimes to its detriment, especially when it gets progressively funkier and leathery. At first, there's notes of dark cherries, sour plums, blackcurrant, and figs. Roasted chestnuts are at the front, with some light pine, molasses, and tobacco. Leather, especially of the slightly charred kind, starts to come in over time, as does these unexpected lactic funky notes that make the beer taste creamier and sweeter, yet at the same time a little funky and bizarre. The finish is filled with more of the spices, mainly of cinnamon and nutmeg, with some light chocolate notes. This is pretty yeasty, but it's surprisingly crisp and filling, with a sweet flavor from the malts that melds well with the spices and funky fruity flavors. Carbonation could be a bit better, but it definitely lives out to be the decadent, albeit, strange beer it's supposed to be.

This was definitely one of the better ones of the night, and a lot of it owes to the tremendous balance given between the malts and spices as they fight over the rapidly shifting funky yeasty notes. This is definitely what the old school Xmas beers must have tasted like in the era of farmhouse ales. The results are very intriguing, and done quite well. I'm looking forward to trying more from Jolly Pumpkin.

magictacosinus, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of Buck_Jones
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Buck_Jones, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of ToddHolder
4/5  rDev -0.7%

ToddHolder, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of Danny1217
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Danny1217, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of mwilbur
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a very dark cola brown with 3 inch light tan head. Excellent retention and lacing.
S: Dark dried fruit (raisin, fig), sweet caramel malt, mild chocolate, warm spice (cinnamon) and clove.
T: Berries (esp. strawberry), cinnamon, tart Brett, clove, soft caramel malt, and dark dried fruit (raisin). Interesting amalgam, but a bit jumbled.
M: Medium body. Sweet with a dry finish. Moderately tart throughout.
D: A decent brew with some interesting components. Not top notch for style however.

mwilbur, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of leprechaunandfatman
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

leprechaunandfatman, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of angeepangie
2.25/5  rDev -44.2%

angeepangie, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of mikejonze
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

mikejonze, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of ryanpj
4/5  rDev -0.7%

ryanpj, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of beergeekteacher
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

beergeekteacher, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of DustinSWB
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

DustinSWB, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of micropale
4/5  rDev -0.7%

micropale, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of jaymo18
4/5  rDev -0.7%

jaymo18, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of Mcwill51
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Mcwill51, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of jeffwright
4/5  rDev -0.7%

jeffwright, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of gillagorilla
4/5  rDev -0.7%

gillagorilla, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of HRamz3
4/5  rDev -0.7%

HRamz3, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of NYR_Rob
4/5  rDev -0.7%

NYR_Rob, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of VelvetExtract
2.81/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A-Pours a dark brown hue. Tan head is birthed from the pour. Dots and waves of lacing are left behind as the head fizzles away.

S-The aroma's got some funky yeast and dark maltiness. Dark, rotten fruits. Light oakiness and lots of Christmas spice.

T-The flavor does not jive for me. I get some odd, medicinal or band-aid flavors. The funk is alive and well but it doesn't mesh with the dark malt and spiciness. Each sip leads me to question what's really going on in my glass.

M-Hard to appreciate the feel when you don't like the flavor much. Rather light in body.

O/D-Didn't care for this one at all. Will not revisit.

VelvetExtract, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of bier78
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

bier78, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of ThirstyHrothgar
3/5  rDev -25.6%

ThirstyHrothgar, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of AMarkle6524
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

AMarkle6524, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

superspak, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of ipc2000
4/5  rDev -0.7%

ipc2000, Jan 27, 2014
Noel De Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 854 ratings.