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E. S. Bam - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
E. S. BamE. S. Bam

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

239 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 448
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 17.59%
Wants: 14
Gots: 28 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Big78CJ on 02-14-2008

E.S. Bam - Extra Special Farmhouse Ale
A Bam celebration of excess. More malt, more hops, same vivacious personality.

Seasonal released in April
4.7% Alc./Vol.
View: Beers (44) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 239 | Hads: 448
Reviews by ncfranklin:
Photo of ncfranklin
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with a 04/2011 dating.

A: Murky rust brown to orange. Big light tan head that's quite frothy. Carbonation bubbles are present and adequate.

S: Belgian funk typical of a saison with fruit of apple, pear, grape, and some underlying vinegar. No hoppiness really present in the nose.

T: Surprisingly bitter. Grassy hoppiness up front, which must be quite fresh because it doesn't hold back. The funk is more of a base underneath to this, with some slight grainy qualities.

M: Medium body, with a light amount of dryness.

O: Quite hoppy Saison. The grassy qualities are strong, and mix well with the earthiness of the saison. Maybe it should have set for awhile to give it a little more balance.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass a medium brown with a bit of deep orange tint a creamy slight off white head atop leaving broken lace behind s it never completely settled.A mix of herbal and earthy hop mixed with juicy fruit and just a touch of wet grainy funk,flavors are a mix of hops,somewhat earthy and medicinal with an underlying sourness all up against a hard slighty sweet maltbase.I liked this brew more than the regular Bam, much more hop complexity.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed on tap at Jolly Pumpkin's pub in Ann Arbor. ES Bam pours the color of liquid, molten copper - it's translucent, though doesn't exhibit anywhere near the clarity necessary to be called "clear". A crisp, beige-tinted head rests on hop; clunky and made of large bubbles, it perches up there for quite a while before finally reducing to a foamy skin.

When each of your beers (for the most part) is made with a similar fermenting, aging, and packaging process with the same types of equipment and in the same location, your beers will typically all carry a common denominator, though they may still all be completely different from an ingredient standpoint. Jolly Pumpkin knows this territory well, and ES Bam contains the same funky aroma that you could easily pick out of a line up of beers anywhere.

Musty barnyard, wet hay, and cheesecloth-y Brett are packed into the aroma. Enough dry oak to go around and remain prominent for the better half of the brew, too. The backdrop contains shades of pear-like tartness and a mildly leafy-herbal hop bill, but the funk is certainly the dominant character, here.

Surprisingly enough, the taste begins with an initial fruit sweetness and a faint tart twinge. Far from sour, mind you, and still not as tart as La Roja, Oro, or Bam Biere, but enough tartness to be notable. It's impressive how quickly that tartness is brush aside, however, for the gigantic wave of funk that would be soon to follow.

Mound after mound of funk gets heaped into the palate with each sip; horsey funk, cheesy funk, dry, old, musty, Brett-y funk, completely with a faint burst of pineapple and wet cork. I love funk as much as the next guy, but the sheer balance of this brew may be slightly out of kilter... It seems more like a different take on Bam Noire rather than Bam Biere. The bone dry, oak-ladden finish is commonplace for JP brews, and this one is no different.

The mouth is not bad, but neigh is it anything special. Crispy, slightly effervescent and possibly a little vapid on the palate, but isn't that to be expected for a 4.7% ABV farmhouse ale? Pretty quaffable on the grand scheme of things, but this is a bit lower on the list of beers I reach for when I'm at Jolly Pumpkin. The problem is that ES Bam has no unique qualities that would make me come back to it versus other JP beers, plain and simple.

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Photo of MadScientist
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Not a gusher but be ready for a bit of foam over and than watch as foam slowly rises from the bottle after pour out a glass. The beer is a slightly hazy light copper color. The head is beyond enthusiastic with a light tan, meringue like, stiff foam filling three quarters of the glass.

S: A moderate grapefruit-like tart aroma and barnyard Brett funk with the grapefruit being from from the yeast. There is still a moderately-light citrus hops aroma but being a year old time has diminished their strength. There is also a fair amount of malt aroma being mostly Pils malt with some bready and a touch of caramel.

T: Not as sour as the nose suggest with just a light sour but a decent amount of Brett character. The hops flavor is low and the bitterness is moderate with a slightly pithiness that built as you sip it. There is the fruit and peppery spice of Belgian yeast. There is a moderate pils malt and light caramel malt flavor. The balance is slightly tart and bitter. The after taste is of bitter lemon and lime peels.

M: A medium bodied creamy beer with a moderately-strong level of carbonation.

O: It an off beat beer that defies style but it's enjoyable and worth the purchase. It is a bit too thick and malty to be a Saison and is maybe like a light weight, dry triple. Defiantly a great beer to enjoy with dinner with an acidic, citrusy character that with cut through rich foods just avoid sweet sauces otherwise you'll have that orange juice meets toothpaste effect.

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Photo of wrycon
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 753. Bottled 3-17-11.

Prior to tasting I opened the bottle and went upstairs. Came back down and a white snake of foam was creeping out the top. Never known that to be a good thing

Primarily gold with some slight amber hues. A bit muddled- looking. Some slight floral hops notes mixed with some yeasty funkiness. Not much nose. Initially pretty tame and seemingly sweet. Lots of carbonation up front with some lightly toasted malt. Midway, the signature JP funk presents itself, adding an always welcome element. The hops dominate the back end with a pronounced bitter jab and linger long afterward. It's a unique take on the pale style. Seems a bit over-carbonated, hence the creeping bottle foam. Not sure if that's s product of it aging 8 months.

Like it? Yes, But Not Bowled Over

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Photo of SanDNigel
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark golden honey. Creamy off-white head
S- Sour hoppiness. A very exciting smell. Just a ton of depth in the smell range
T- Slight sour with a nice crisp clean hoppiness. What a great beer
M- Great. Enough bubble but not overwhelming. Really clean
O- A really great beer that I look forward to enjoying again.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml brown bottle. Batch 267,268.

Pours into my glass a dark auburn, red with almost a brown hue to it. A big, thick creamy, rocky eggshell head sits atop the brew and leaves thick lacing as it falls. Aromas of roasty, somewhat toasted grain malts along with a ribbon of caramel as well. Spicy notes that move into earthy, herbal hop tones. Tea-like in a way as well. Fruity tones mix in along with yeast and a slight woody scent. Rather mellow overall though.

First sip brings a crisp, toasty grain malt upfront that moves into herbal, fruity notes with a touch of caramel. Tea flavors along with a mild woody aspect. Earthy, herbal hops move in and bring a slight bitterness. Quite dry on the way down, the overall flavor is mellow as well. Mild sourness on the finish as well. Kinda boring.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess from the fast moving, lively carbonation in the brew. Goes down quite easily overall. In the end though, this one fails to really grab me. The flavors seem somewhat muted and it doesn't keep me coming back for more. I'll be interested to thy the Bam Noire I have in the cellar, but for now the normal Bam Biere is my choice.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, batch 278. Pours a murky golden brown with a lively, rocky white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is yeast funk, spices, pepper, wood and some slightly tart fruits.

The flavor is yeast, some tart fruits, with some grassy bitter hops and some almost cola flavors at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with very lively sharp carbonation that becomes velvety as it sits.

Overall, a nice solid session beer.

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Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of tigg924
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: cloudy, dark tan in color, 1 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: pepper, hay, and lemon

Taste: pepper, funk, hay, some small hops, and lemon

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, light bodied, dry, sweet start with a more bitter sour finish

Drinkability: I really enjoyed the flavors in this one and could have several glasses. Not as hoppy as I expected and very well blended. I would look for this again.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 288/289.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is brett, leather and some light citrus. The flavor is very leathery, I guess from the brettanomyces. I also get some citrus as well as dark fruits with low to medium hop bitterness. As the beer warms I get more caramel and toffee malts. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of bsp77
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Murky orange with a giant dollop of head and fantastic lacing.

Smell: Very musty and dry, with barnyard funk, tea, toast, pepper, and light citrus.

Taste: Extremely musty, with wet blanket, dirt, wood, burnt toast, tea, pepper and other spiciness. That sounds terrible, but certainly is not. Fairly bitter finish, with a light tartness throughout.

Feel: Light, refreshing body with high carbonation. Bone wrenchingly dry.

Overall: This refuses to be placed in a style, with elements of a Saison, a Bitter, and a Wild Ale. What it is is extremely refreshing and delicious. And it is under 5%? Wow!

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours hazy amber under a 2” white foam cap that grips the side of the glass.
S: Has a lemony, tart, light funk aroma that reminds me of Orval.
T: Big lemony citrusy tartness balanced by an assertive hop bitter emphasis. The hop bitterness masks some of the barnyard funk.
F: Soft in the mouth yet tart, medium light body and medium high carbonation.
O: Tart, dry and refreshing with an assertive bitterness.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A hazy auburn. Bubbling white head. Nice lacing.

Incredibly tart and tangy. Spicy and biting yeast. Really nice...

...though the flavor seems off. It's way too bitter, and not in a pleasant way. It hides everything else in the beer, and I'm sure there's a lot of wonderful funk, but it's all hidden by this murky, muddy one-note, unpleasant bitterness.

Medium bodied. Highly carbonated.

Perhaps a good beer somewhere hidden behind an unpleasant, murky, dirty tasting bitterness. An unfortunate miss.

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Photo of ohmybock
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I paid $10 for this 750ml bottle. Great label...I love the stylistically-drawn dog! By the way, this is batch 278.

When I popped the cap, foam rose up inside the bottle and started coming out the top. Sometimes that's a cause for alarm, but with this beer it ultimately wasn't. A huge head formed as I poured this beer. That's not surprising considering the hefty carbonation in this one. I like the aroma a lot. It reminds me of a quality Berliner Weisse with a sharp lemon zest aroma. From the initial aroma, you know this beer is going to have some sourness. Sure enough, the flavor has a similar character as the aroma....moderately sour with a bit of funk. The beer is light and spritzy with a hint of maltiness that quickly turns to a spicy, clean-ish?, sourness. This all culminates in a dry finish with a bit of bitterness kicking in near the end. To be honest, I usually like less bitterness in a sour beer such as this. Don't get me wrong, I love some of the ultra-hoppy American brews that are out there. However, with this type of beer, I feel a less hoppy brew works better. I haven't had the regular Bam or the Noire, but I have had the Weizen Bam. The Weizen and ES are similar, but I think the Weizen Bam has a better balance of flavors. Even though I like the two Bam beers I've had, I don't think they're worth the $10 price tags. If they were $5 per bottle, I would be tempted to buy more. As it is, these are pretty much one-time purchases for me.

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Photo of sarahspat
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 374/375

A pour into an over-sized wine glass results in a half an inch of white head atop an "iced tea" brown liquid. The head falls fast but leaves a few good-looking wisps of lacing.

Smells: horse blanket funk and nail polish remover. Not too strong, though. Smells good to me, but I do wish there was a bit more going on here and/or that the nose was more forceful.

Tastes strongly of citrus peel, red grapefruit, light funk, Bing cherries, and some vegetables like celery show up in the background.

This medium-bodied brew comes across very bitter: mouth-dryingly so. Much more bitter than I was expecting, even considering the word "hoppy", which is prominently displayed on the label. I don't think I would feel like drinking more than one glass of this at once. There is a passable amount of complexity, but none of the flavors really captivate me. All in all, it's not spectacular but not bad either.

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Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Drank at Craft last Thursday. Pours a mixture of dark yellow and light amber with ample frothy head. Good zesty hop presence, not dry hopped ipa like, but hoppy nonetheless. Floral and mildly citrus.

Taste, hops didn't come through as much, bitterness definitely did, carbonation was up on this one. Very dry. Didn't come across anything I would call anything beyond very mildly funky or sour from this, at this point I was realizing I was having a very different beer from Jolly Pumpkin, but closer to par for everyone else. Didn't pick up really any brett from the beer. Was more like one of those imperial pilsners if anything.

At $9 a bottle, its not worth it.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is crimson blood burgundy slightly clouded with minimal suspended particles especially for a Jolly Pumpkin offering. While head simply billows with chunky textured edges, the foam here could absolutely be sculpted by the way it's a soothing earth tone sandy beige. Rocky head dwindles slowly with each sip from the chalice large chunks of head cling to the sides of the glass, pretty amazing and fine effervescent bubbles are noted as well. BTW, this is batch # 267,268, and another thing the appearance changes drastically as the last of the yeast sediment make it in.

Aroma full of wild perfume like, open fermentation, and barrel aging effects. Wild barnyard funk lays it on heavily with a floral, grassy distinct hop nose. Lactic edge wood barrel bitterness with wet grain bringing tame sweetness. Very much a Jolly Pumpkin typical smell, let's see how that works out in the flavor.

Flavor I noticed as the more yeast that made it into the bottle the more the flavors melded together initially before the yeast additions I was thinking brash unfocused hops and barrel aging with the funky lactic notes flowing. Again I have to say fresh cut grass and wild flowers with oak wood edges imparted and semi sweet caramel malts flowing through.

Mouthfeel is smooth with even fine champagne like carbonation really flows well on the palate creamy edges with a oily hop cap thrown into the mix, what a nice sensation however the finish feels like somebody lacquered my tongue with a layer of perfume or some strong odiferous solvent chemical.

Drinkability is all around incredibly complex, it may take you an hour or two to get through a bottle of course start cold and let this baby warm up. I love the take that most of the Jolly Pumpkin brews have on traditional styles however there's a point where every one of these brews start to share way too many characteristics. Don't get wrong I'm down with infecting beer during open fermentation, spice additions and barrel aging but by doing the same process it's giving me way too much Deja Vu and not enough Eureka moments.

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Photo of glid02
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap (glad to see it finally here from JP) at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy amber-brown color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of light amounts of funk with bright and leafy hop aromas. Also present are very mild amounts of dry caramel malts.

Tastes good. Dry caramel malt flavors with a good deal of graininess kick things off. Very mild amounts of funk make their way into things midway through the sip before being drowned out by earthy hop flavors. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter finish that's very dry and mildly crisp.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was an interesting beer however I wish the flavor profile more closely matched the nose. Not the best offering from JP but still worth a shot if you see it around.

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

Review is written from notes jotted down while drinking.

ST: 750ml (I forgot to write down batch).

A: Cloudy amber brown with lots of sediment. It had a thick white head with huge lacing.

S: Grassy and herbal with grapefruit, sour fruity, and flinty earth.

T: Flinty, herbal, citrus hops, malt backbone, and lots of sour fruit notes.

M: Medium and dry.

O: Beautiful body joins an enjoyable dry grassy sour flavor. It is easy to see why this beer comes out in spring. It has enough body to not be light, but it is very herbal and refreshing.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.62/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
Bottled 3-19-12
Drank summer 2012
A- This beer pours a murky dark orange body with racing strands of microcarbonation supporting a thick head this is like shaving cream. The head last after the beer is gone.

S- The fresh British hop have a green herbal quality to them blend with a fruity funk note underneath. There is a fresh rain and mint note that turn more into a perfume old aftershave quality as it warms.

T- The woody green bright hops have some nice brett flavors of white cheese rind and some grapefruit pith that are full and linger into the after taste.

M- The light mouthfeel has a refreshing crisp fizz that compliments some of the brett and hop characters.

O- The bright crisp balance of hops and brett come together with a nice grapefruit character linking them together. This is a wonderful beer to drink as the complexity and full flavor make delicious but the light mouthfeel keeps it very sessionable.

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Photo of ste5venla
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Brenden
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a thick burnished copper, hazy and opaque. An off-white head is nearly two fingers tall and holds its form for a good while. Lacing is left on the glass in patches with plenty of consistency and quantity.
This is a pretty raw beer. Lots of earthiness and a spicy bite set the tone along with a pithiness to the lightly bitter element but also seeming to stem a bit from the funkiness and the tart elements. There's enough caramel to add some balance from sweetness along with a bit of citrus. There's lots green apple skin and some vinous, more grape-like character. Going into the flavor, the finish brings out some interesting notes, with something almost smoky but also a little metallic and slightly charred riding off the crackery-dry malts. Maybe a touch of a medicinal note lingering there?
The feel is pretty good but shifts a lot in an odd way. The crispness is tingly but comes in and out a bit, though smoothness, while not exactly creamy, is consistent. This is an extremely interesting beer and a unique take on Saisons.

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E. S. Bam from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
86 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.