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Noel De Calabaza - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Noel De CalabazaNoel De Calabaza

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928 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 928
Reviews: 408
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 64
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."
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 928 | Reviews: 408 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of homebrew311
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: translucent brown with a razor thin collar of head, minimal lacing

S: nose features lots of lactic acidity up front, candied fruits come in in the middle with notes of plum and grape, a bit of oak comes in to round things out

T: the acid is present on the palate, any tartness is balanced by fruity sweetness, a bit of funk comes in towards the end, the finish is mainly grape skin, leather and Belgian yeast. Nice balance of flavor, lots of depth.

Mf: body is medium, high spritzy carbonation

O: this is any interesting take on a bsda with a definite lactic acid quality. I was kind of hoping for more tartness.

Photo of dlello2
3.47/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A cloudy breakfast coffee color with a good amount of almost white head to top it. Looks like lots of carbonation.

S - Belgian smell with some funk and hay.

T - Sweet and fruity. Lots of carbonation, bites the tongue. Malty and complex. Lots of fruit and some earth.

O - Not a bad beer, not my favorite.

Photo of Bellabananas
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of IlPostino
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of bluntedboywonder
5/5  rDev +24.1%

5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of justintcoons
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a semi-opaque chestnut brown with ruby highlights. There's a 1/2 finger of off-white head that dissipates quickly leaving behind a tight-laced webbing. Moderate-heavy carbonation.

N: Tart bing cherry, white grape, plum, oak, apricot, peach and a bouquet of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Very unique.

T: Slightly tart upfront with cherry, white grape and apricot. Mid-palette brings in some fresh bread & grains, peach, lemon citrus and hints of lactic acid. Finishes with a subtle bouquet of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove along with naked oak and tobacco.

M: Light bodied, tart and extra dry.

O: Beautiful white grape and cherry notes. Subtle spicing is artfully done and adds to an extra dry finish. Oak and tobacco in the finish is fantastic. Surprisingly mellow for a sour Belgian Dark Strong Ale. Alcohol is not detectable.

Photo of bezakjon
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of animal69
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of smithjl10
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of amrozga
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of southhousebrew
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of tavernjef
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blend 3 - Gorgeous dark mahogany browned murk, nearly black in darker light when sitting in the glass. A tall and creamy crown of light ecru foam sits forever and a day like a slowlt spewing volcano it finally gives way to the air. Leaving a lavishly thick coating of lace across the goblet.

Aroma is all about the sour brett tones with brittle lemon peel and lime zest popping about a slight barnyard musky earthy spice of fresh flowers and a smallish malt base of fresh breads.

Taste is much more complex then the nose as its layers across the palate has much more depth then what the nose displays. Perhaps something JP were after when deciding the oak barrel aging of the brew? Here, I find the barrel aging worked wonders to pull some things together into a smoother balance and not something overly souring and cheek puckering. Which is what I prefer out of any beer with the use of the Brett. Sour, sure, but very well handled and under control as lemon zest and other citrus giants zing about a calming undertone of ripe red apple sweetness and a bit of plummyness. Floral esters squeeze in, definate earthy spice, and some vinegar sweet sided tartness cross paths as well. As it warms it becomes more evident with some warmer bread maltyness and the sourness fades. Nice.

Body is fullish and tartly bright in carbonation and spicy citric zest. Which carries much of its body through to where the malt base and barrel aging smooth it all out just in time to let the sour attributes settle and find the corners of the taste buds.

Damn fine stuff! Really like the balance of sour and tart with the warmer breadyness underneath and its slight pull into other darker fruits.
I'm now wishing I grabbed another bomber...*sadface*

Photo of 8ense1
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found this bottle (Blend 2 2009) remaindered at a local beer-and-wine store at the end of the Christmas season last year. I tried one, liked it, and went back and bought the remaining two and cellared them a year.

On uncapping this pint bottle, I found the beer very highly carbonated. The first pour into my Ollie's hybrid tulip/pilsner glass yielded an inch of beer and four inches of spongy, long lasting suds. After waiting for these to subside and several pours, I was able to fill my glass, but the beer continued to effervesce for several minutes, keeping the top continuously covered with foam and making each sip taste like a sparkling wine.

The smell was surprisingly tame and predominantly oaky. A bite of foam was surprisingly sour, as was the first sip of the deep brown, nearly black brew. The oak taste at first predominated, but the dry quality of this beer, along with the active carbonation, helped cleanse it quickly. The oaky taste then gave way to a slow-developing, rich, fruity aftertaste, with a pleasant astringent effect on the tongue and palate. I see some reviewers have read this as a sour-cherry note, but it seems more like raisins to me. This lingers a long time between sips, making this a good sipping beer, but it would also go well with a rich-tasting steak or prime rib dinner.

On looking at the label, I see that it is supposed to be a holiday beer with a mulled spice undertaste. It's hard to detect this, but taking several sips in a row does bring a nutmeggy note to attention. In any case, it's not a dominant note, which is just fine with me.

Actually, after a more few sips, I could easily imagine that I was having a good barrel-aged Chardonnay wine rather than a Belgian ale. This may be the result of its aging and maybe the ongoing fermentation suggested by its active carbonation. In any case I don't find a flavor note that seems distinctively "beer-like." That might be a problem for many drinkers, but honestly, after drinking this for a while, I don't much mind. Whatever it is, beer, wine, barleywine, it's darn good.

Photo of bbeane
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of BigMike
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 904 Bottled 10-04-2011

A: Pours a hazy dark brown color like cola. A tight bubbled tan head on top of 1 finger.

S: Lot's of initial funk. Dark sticky fruits underneith. Little brown sugar notes and tart.

T: The first half of the taste is funky and tart. After the swallow the second half of the beer takes over. Sweet sticky dates and raisins and figs. The dubbel quality is there.

M: Light bodied for a strong dark ale. Good carbonation. Sticky on the finish followed by dryness.

Overall: A really good beer. Very different then most beers. A sour Dubbel?? Yes. And it works well.

Photo of MikeRMII
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of codon2004
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chris at Boo's for landing this.
appearance: Gorgeous nut brown. Big ass head on the pour that settles but still impressive.
smell: Spices and dark fruit. As Jolly Pumpkin says, "figs, raisins, sugarplums".
taste: Much like the nose with a sour finish.
overall: Interesting brew. Not a big fan of the sour myself, and not getting the oak.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Batch 898, bottled 9-28-11. Served in a Blvd. Tank 7 tulip. Lots of carbonation Poured a hazy brown with a tall, light tan head. Bottle conditioned. Dark malt, cocoa and brett in the aroma. Tart with that trademark JP funk. Some spice. Lighter side of medium bodied. Dry finish. Dark malt in the aroma, doesn't come through as much in the flavor. Very easy drinking for 9%.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Batch 903, Bottled on 10-3-2011.

3.5 A: First pour gave me a hell of a lot of head. Minutes later, I got my glass full. Opaque plum brown color. Three fingers of beige creamy/frothy head. Retention is good and moderate amounts of nonuniform lacing is left. Yeast particulates accumulate at bottom of glass.

4.0 S: This wouldn't be a JP brew if some bugs didn't find their way into the oak barrels. Mild lactic sourness that gives a fruity tart apple, cherry, and unripened plum vibe. Mild earthy and hay funk to accompany. Very light oak with a mild generic spiciness. Not all that malty despite the bottle telling me it would be. Some toastiness and some hints of dark caramel malts.

3.5 T: Very interesting. Starts out with some tangy lactic fruitiness in the form of peach, wild apple, and unripened plum and cherry. Funk is again earthy with hay, horse, and rotting wood. More spice than in the nose and more dark caramel and maybe some dark candi sugar as well. Good, but the spiciness doesn't work all that well with the sour and funk components, though the peppery portion does.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. A good bit too much carbonation, which I put in check with some swirling. Smooth.

3.5 D: Unique beer. There's some stuff I liked and some that I didn't. In any case, I understand why this costs $13, but I don't think it's worth the price to purchase again. Worth a try though.

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half-finger high off white head and has excellent retention properties; a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There are light to moderate sour aromas in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has notes of cherries with little if any tartness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
O: This is very easy to drink for a sour beer as it’s not neither too sour nor too tart.

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