1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Noel De Calabaza - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Noel De CalabazaNoel De Calabaza

Educational use only; do not reuse.

928 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 928
Reviews: 408
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 65
Gots: 154 | FT: 12
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."
View: Beers (41) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 928 | Reviews: 408 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Luchman
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark brown with a small light tan head.

S: Funky sour hits the nose first, with some oak and vanilla in the back. Cherries and dark fruits are there, but not prevalent. Smells good.

T: Tasty. Oak, cherries and other dark fruits (Cranberry?), some spice, with a slightly sour finish. Ends with a small hoppy bitterness and slightly hot, but in a pleasant way.

M: Medium to light body with medium/high carbonation. Fits the beer well.

O: Tasty! I love the oak in this in combination with the sour flavor. A little more spice and this could be my favorite winter ale. Still, not a bad beer to celebrate xmas eve with.

Photo of Gtg642
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of EseLocoSS
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of JohnK17
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of BARFLYB
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Khyber Pass Pub. I've been ducking this one for a bit now.

Jolly Pumpkin Noel De Calabaza goes in the tulip a dirty brown crick water color with some hints of red up to the light on the edges. A nice cusp of evenly layered cream/light brown foam on top leaving minor sticks.

Smell is ripe with fruit, winter spice and souring bugs/old wet wood. The fruit comes out a bit more with time giving off berries. A small scent of caramel/chocolate at the tail end.

It took me a while to warm up to this as it warmed up for me, but cold, a nice spiceiness mixing in with caramel malt and slight chocolate. Warming up the bugs come out and dance with the winter spice, plum, cherry, slight vinious taste from the barrel/wood.

Bugs are there but not enough to dance around in my stomach lining, which makes this a bit more drinkable in the long run. Acidity is down, small lactic bit, with a trace amount of vinegar, yet not to flanders levels. The carb died down towards the end making this one go down pretty easy like, while the body is a nice medium build.

I would buy a bottle of this stuff from time to time if it were not so damn expensive. I like Jolly Pumpkins sour program/ and their wild yeast strain but it does not keep me coming back for more. It does however, set JP apart from other wild producers.

Photo of SolarMikey
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Tschnab
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blind Tiger

A- pours a deep ruby red with a couple of bubbles clinging to the glass's sides.

S- lots of tart fruit like rasberry and cherry. Oak and funk come in next, followed by a good touch of winter spices.

T- tons of that tart cherry/ cranberry mixed with ginger and cinnamon makes this taste like a Holliday cranberry sauce almost. Good amount of tartness and funk makes this a great all around beer.

O- a beer that marries the flavors of sours and Holliday ales perfectly. Loved this one from jp.

Photo of unclejazz
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I must once again thank Sunswick 35/35 for carrying such a diverse constantly changing tap selection. For the record, never been a big fan of winter/holiday ale. Too much spice for me usually.

A-brown/orange short white head and not too much carbonation.

S-I catch that combo of holiday spices including clove, cinnamon, et al. Also a bit of smokiness. Could this be the Oak.

T-yeah, not too much xmas spic, but enough along with some nice malts. The flavor get better as beer opens up. A bit more spice, but never too much and it does taste artificial.

M-just a bit syrupy, but in a good way. Strong ales and Winter brews should have this anyway. A great moment during the finish where it just cuts out, crisp and clean. Impressive.

O-this will be a beer I reccomend to people looking for a good holiday brew. It is quite tasty.

Photo of Wowcoolman
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of throwback
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of stevefinny
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of lballstar
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of miked234
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas Ale from Jolly Pumpkin? Sign me up! Drunk on Christmas drinks with my bro, @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a lovely deep brown colour, with an enormously frothy head of slightly orange-tinged white. Lacing is frothy and sticky, but persisting only in shallow bands. Body is pleasantly light, with the categorical brightness of a wild fermented yeast.

Nose is pleasant and bright with sharp oak characters and a pleasant slightly sweet funk. Slight crispness or green herbal character to it, which gives it a spicy lightness. Indeed, lightness seems to be the watchword of this 9% ABV winter beer, which is an unusual thing, if not an unpleasant thing.

Taste is also light and bright, with the funk and acidity coming through rather sharply towards the back. Spiciness on the back comes through rather strongly, leaving some slight clove and aniseed characters. Almost a absinthe-like wormwood bite at the back of the palate. The spice is an interesting take, but it clashes slightly more with the clean Jolly Pumpkin classicness.

Overall? It's good, but missing the mark a little more than I expect from the great Jolly Pumpkin. But to be fair, that's a high bar to meet.

Photo of fehrminator
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of elNopalero
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Is this Jolly Pumpkin’s only ‘pumpkin’ beer? Now that I think of it, I’m not even sure there’s pumpkin in it—just the name. And ‘pumpkin spices,’ which can just as easily be ‘holiday spices’. (Or even chai spices, as I realized recently.)

This appears a nice brown color with a Belgian-y yeasty ester aroma undercut by some oakiness. The oakiness dominates as it warms, with a dry finish. I should say warming finish as well, as the alcohol makes itself known. There’s a lot going on here and I’d like it revisit this beer again to see what else I find.

Photo of bobsy
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of sgoro
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

50th Review. Bottled on my birthday of this year.

A: Colored like a brown ale, with a similar head as well. Dense, luscious lacing that clings to the glass for dear life. Some light carb.

S: Biscuits, bready funk, sour acidity, and an odd hint of something that took a while for me to place--it's a very distant hint of tunafish (it's sulfidic, I guess). Hope this isn't skunked; it's not something that I've smelled in a beer before but it's doesn't ruin it for me. It's interesting.

T: Here goes. Wow, different than anything I've ever had. The sourness of JP beers is there, the oak as well, and then the bready malts kick in, but are quickly cut down by the sourness. Very dry and sour linger. Not much of the fruit or spices that other reviewers mention (and that I'd expect from a Xmas Ale), not that I mind. Sour how I like it, but it would benefit from a little more maltiness and dark fruit character to cut the sourness a little, as it is supposed to be a Xmas Ale.

M: Lot's of carbonation. Some alcohol warmth. Pretty light-bodied and dry.

Photo of savagepm
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of jmvecchio1
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of vicsju1991
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Soneast
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of JayS2629
3.57/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark, murky brown with a huge pillowy head that fades quickly into a foamy film that leaves thin creamy walls of lace.

The smell has dark fruit notes of wild cherry, plum and berry with mild spice notes, toffee and dark bread. Oak hints throughout with a touch of vanilla. Complex but subtle.

Taste starts out with a sweet toffee malt that fades quickly into herbal, medicinal finish. Dark fruits are there, but tart notes and band-aid like. Plenty of funk. Big metallic aftertaste that lingers.

A bit thin and overcarbonated. Almost fizzy.

High carbonation carries medicinal/herbal flavors with oaky finish and tart notes. Not very tasty to me.

Photo of davesway10
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Noel De Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 928 ratings.