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E. S. Bam - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

443 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 443
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.93%
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:
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.

(Beer added by: Big78CJ on 02-14-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 443 | Reviews: 238 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of semibaked
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Label on the back says Batch 514 and Bottled 3-5-10.

A - Pours a orange-brown with a big marshmallow flush type head, large amounts of carbonation and yeast floaties all over the place. Amazing lacing comes after every drink.

S - Sourness come through immediately, then funky yeast, straw, also some slight lemon too.

T - Big time bitterness from the hops and yeast, not overwhelming but definitely high on the bitterness. Lemon, sourness, maybe some floral hops too.

M - Very light bodied with oiliness.

D - Definitely good for a hot day, I like the sourness and got used to the bitterness after awhile, Not my favorite from Jolly Pumpkin but glad I tried it.

semibaked, May 16, 2010
Photo of dfillius
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Aggressive "pffft" when opened. 2 fingers of head from a gentle pour, great retention of off-white foam. Hazy reddish amber liquid. Good looking!
S: Bright citrus hops, some funky aspirin character. Smells like my homebrewed Hop Two Wet. Faint biscuit
T: Fairly modest funkiness up front with Brett medicinal taste. More hops, malt, less funk please. Slight pineapple, bread.
M: A bit too carbonated and astringent.
D: Okay. I wouldn't order another or buy again. One to share, and I'm alone.

dfillius, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the best looking pours I"ve seen. Used my Chimay glass and the head is what wowed me. Off-brown/tan, creamy, rocky, great lacing. Yum!

For a saison the aroma misses the mark, but still not bad. It's more of a sour than spice blend. Not that I mind, but when I was craving a saison, this isn't what was expected.

Not nearly as complex and delicious as Bam (but of course, not many are). I think this beer is predominately yeast, water and hops. Malt is gone after a very brief appearance by some biscuit. Some spice surfaces and is beat down by sour, same with some earthy and citrus hops.

Not a bad beer at all and quite drinkable. Misses on the style marked here

Mebuzzard, May 28, 2011
Photo of ccrida
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle (batch 280/281). Poured into my Meantime snifter, E.S. Bam is a hazy bronzed amber with a large bone colored head that is super tight and dense. Very slow to settle, the carbonation forms a mountain of foam rising up above the rest of the large head in the middle, lasting through the settling to the last sip. Very heavy lace. Wow, damn impressive! I was really worried this one would be a gusher. The first bottle I grabbed at the shop promptly burst (the glass broke with a muted dink) when I laid it on it's side in shop's the plastic hand held basket! I assumed the bugs had built up to strong, but this one didn't gush, or pour with excess froth...weird.

Smell is musty, slightly sweet caramel, toffee and raisins, with strong, spicy hop backbone. Not to bad, but very unusual for the style. Blindly, I'd guess English style IPA.

Taste is bone dry, not sweet, light funk and huge noble hop spice, with a bitter finish. I like the concept (I homebrew hoppy saisons myself), but I'm not in love with the hops they used here, which overpower the saison's underlying subtleties. Not bad, but not very exciting either, something about it just doesn't quite work out...much like Bam Noire, it pales to the original Bam.

Mouthfeel is is bubbly, but the specialty malts keep the body from being as thin and dry as regular Bam, although it's still very light and crisp.

Drinkability is ok, it's an easy drinker that's light in the belly and low in ABV. But the taste isn't that interesting, and gets a bit astringent after awhile.

ccrida, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of oglmcdgl
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at guess where, capones. Damn what a sick saison line up.

A- copper orange with a slight haze. Small froth of egg shell head that settles to a ring and some sticky lace.

S- oaky and funky with some graininess. Hints of brown bananas and over ripe pineapple.

T- wow that's got wood. Very woody and musty with some light funk. rye bread and sour mash. Very malty and lots of earthy hops. Long linger.

M- medium to light I'm body with the same in carb. Very dry.

D- well its good but the wood just over shadows the rest of a very nice brew. Alright but I like the regular bam better.

oglmcdgl, May 21, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Provisions

A: The beer pours a cloudy amber color with a big off-white head.

S: A mild to moderate tartness with notes of apples and lemon peel. A mild spice to the beer with a nice breadiness and sweetness. Some earthy and floral notes with just a little bit of oak character.

T: Unfortunately, the flavor is far too bitter. The bitterness and very high carbonation drown out the other flavors. Negligible tartness, which just isn't right for a Jolly Pumpkin beer. Floral and earthy tones as well as some light grass and oak.

M: Medium in body with a lot of carbonation.

O: This was a rare miss by Jolly Pumpkin to me. I don't think I'll bother with this one again.

womencantsail, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of midnite2sixman
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brown raisin type color with a nice head almost an inch and a half thick.

First smell is a blast of sour and maltiness.

Taste is sour up front. Funky. Then sweet and a dash of hops for good measure. Definitely a wild beer from a brewery known for its eccentricities.

Not sure if the nailed this one or not, but I won't say it isn't worth trying. The balance of the sour and funk doesn't necessarily match up with the hops in my opinion.

midnite2sixman, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Quite a unique offering, and I will have to try out some other beers from this brewery after this one. Orange-red color with a massive off white head. I mean massive.

A nice blend of flavors, from citrus to light fruits, some light spices, but most notably a heavy floral taste. The floral tastes become a bit overwhelming making it hard to drink alone.

Beautiful mouthfeel with great carbonation. But I would only ever get it again if I'm sharing.

ElGrecoVerde, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of SaisonFest
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle that was bottled 223 days ago. Batch 1049.

Body is pretty hazy, lots of sticky lacing, huge cap that only lets me pour a third a glass at a time. all things i like to see in a saison personally.

The aroma is funk prominent, with fresh cut lawn, fragrant lilac and roses, and subtle citrus juice.

Flavors are more subdued in the funk department, higher in the floral ester arena, the hops are not strong, so the 200 days probably mellowed them out but that is not a bad thing with this beer, let the funk grow. If i had more bottles of this i would probably let them sit longer actually.

mouthfeel is medium for the style.

SaisonFest, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of mothman
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 373 - 3-17-11

Pours 1/2 finger of white head. Good retention with some lace rings. Color is a hazed autumn gold.

Aroma: Floral, herbal, and grassy. Fairly malty. Bready.

Taste: Very bready. More malts show here. Floral as well with a lot of grassy hops. Some light spices mixed in. A touch of oak as well.

Mouthfeel: Fairly bitter. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends kind of sticky.

Overall, a decent beer, but a bit to floral and bitter. Decent drinking. Doesn't really fit the saison category too well, but it's fine.

mothman, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of Mudpuppet
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a 6oz tumbler at the Manhattan Cask Fest. Pours a hazy amber color with no head.

S- A mildly hoppy nose with a mild JP funk to it. Not an overpowering nose.

T- The hops in the beer leave a bit of a resiny residue in your mouth as you drink this. There is only a mild JP funk/sour in the beginning but as it warms you get less hops and more funk and sourness.

M- Nice feel for this. Obviously a cask beer so low carb but it lets the beer shine through.

D- A nice drinker as it warms up. But even with a cask room temp beer it was a bit too cold for the right flavors to come through.

Mudpuppet, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of mrfrancis
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with an enormous, pillowy white head.

S: Aromas of lactic yeast, oak, must, pickle brine, unripened grapes, unripened pineapple, lemon rind, lime zest, and grapefruit fill the nose.

T: Notes of unripened pineapple, carambola, unripened grapes, green apple, lemon rind, grapefruit pith, and lime zest are underscored by notes of biscuit, oak, must, pickle brine, cider vinegar, sea salt, white pepper, chalk, and talc. The finish is extremely dry, crisp, and acidic with notes of citrus, biscuit, chalk, and vinegar.

M: Light-to-medium in body, chewy, and very dry. Carbonation is fairly intense. This ale is very drinkable, at least at first, but tends to dry out one's mouth completely.

O: This is an interesting ale that displays a ton of depth and complexity, but at the same time, it lacks drinkability and balance. For me, there is a point where sour ales simply become too vinegary, and this beer has more than reached that threshold. I can't say I wholeheartedly dislike E.S. Bam, but I also can't say that I would ever come back to it. In the end, this is not Jolly Pumpkin's best effort, but it is interesting nonetheless.

mrfrancis, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of Reaper16
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 288/289 bottle served into a Westmalle chalice

Pours darker amber in color -- a complete surprise seeing as this is supposed to be a saison. It looks like a different style of beer, IPA maybe. The head, too, is darker than the expected white; it pours out a light, cappuccino brown. The foam is nearly two fingers at its apex, thick and creamy in consistency, with lacing that doesn't really cling to the glass all that well.

Interesting stuff going on in the nose here. Lots of apple cider up front coming from the hops and yeast with snickerdoodle cookies coming from the malt base. There's something like soapy water too.

It is very similar to the Bam Biere in taste. The same lemon juice sour flavor hits the sides of the tongue. The hops offer some slight bitterness and fleeting herbal tastes. Not much malt flavor to speak of, and no real farmhouse ale flavors of hay or barnyard funk. This tastes more like a Belgian pale ale -- lightly hoppy with a sour finish. It isn't bad tasting but its a bit monochromatic.

Lively carbonation and low ABV% make for a drinkable beer that goes down the ol' gullet with a quickness. The bottle won't last long. The flavor isn't intriguing enough to want multiples of, though.

This beer is yummy enough but there is an inescapable feeling of missed opportunity. Saison? That's hoppy? That's a bit sour? Yes, please! Except... that sounds a lot better than this beer actually is. What should have been deliciously complex is actually pretty simple. Everything about this beer is nice except for the taste.

Reaper16, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of mrmanning
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle- A deep mahogany/dark sandalwood with a long lived, frothy beige cap. The nose is filled with cherries, wood, some plum, brett funk with a touch of fresh hops and milk chocolate from the malts. This beer shows sweetness up front, with white plum and sour cherries with yeasty funk, alongside woody, earthy malts. The finish is chalky and dry, quite acidic. Another solid brew from this brewer. Who brought this to the tasting? :)

mrmanning, Apr 04, 2008
Photo of drpimento
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmm, interesting idea: cross an esb with a tart saison. Technically well crafted, aesthetically doesn't quite work for me. Poured with fabulous huge, foamy, frothy, thick, cream colored head that just sits there and lots of lace. Color is an almost clear amber brown. Aroma is floral, yeast, hops, malt, sour. Flavor is like nose, but no sweetness at all, completely dry, sour/bitter. Body is good and carbonation for the style - I'm not sure. Finish is like flavor except has flash of nuttiness that helps and is fairly long. I'll finish this but don't want any more

drpimento, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of bkilpatr
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass. 03/10/09. Batch 280/281.

Pours a cloudy orangish-brown color with a huge 4+ finger soft beige head. The head left tons of sticky lace as is dropped to a thin layer, with excellent retention. The aroma is peppery with lemon, floral hop, and some funk.

The taste starts with a nice sour and rubbery funkiness, zesty lemon, orange peel, grapes, and white pepper. That is followed by an herbal hop bitterness in the finish. Very fruity and earthy. This is labeled a "hoppy farmhouse ale", but the hop bitterness doesn't mend well with the rest of the beer.

Feel is medium-bodied and a bit thin with plenty of carbonation. The finish is nice and dry. Drinkability is decent. Finishing the bottle is not a problem, but I wouldn't want any extra.

Overall, decent but not great. The hops add an odd bitterness for the style. Not bad, but if you're looking for a true saison, look elsewhere.

bkilpatr, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of sarahspat
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

sarahspat, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, May 26, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

WVbeergeek, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of ste5venla
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

ste5venla, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of prototypic
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 267, 268

E.S. Bam pours a caramel color that has a nice scarlet hue when backed by a little light. It's a little hazy and features a few yeast particles floating around. A very impressive tan head tops it off. It's over three fingers deep and leaves a substantial amount of sticky lace clinging to the glass. Very impressive.

The nose is a little weak. It could definitely use more strength. It's spicy and earthy initially. There's pepper and a mix of other spices I can't identify. There's some orange, lemon, and perhaps even plum fruit scents. Smells a little funky and grainy. I can't say that it smells like Brett, but is funky. The label suggests an infusion of more malts and hops than (Bam Biere), but I'm not appreciating either. To be fair, this bottle is over a year old now and I'm sure that the hops have faded to a large degree. Oooops. It's above average, but isn't stunning by any means. It's a little too weak and the elements don't seem to entirely mesh very well.

The flavor profile is pretty consistent with the nose. Pepper and other ancillary spices kick it off. They're not very strong, but warrant mention. It's a little fruity and features some lemon and light orange. I'm not getting any dark fruit here. It's definitely earthy and grassy throughout. A funky, yeasty flavor is noted and is rather prominent. It doesn't taste like Brett to me, but has a funky quality. There's some light malt sweetness and perhaps a floral hop flavor, but bother are faint. I'm sure the hops have fainted due (in part) to my procrastination. Perhaps I should've jumped on this one sooner. Nonetheless, the flavor never really comes together well and comes across as a few individual flavors rather than a medley. It's above average, but not quite good.

The body is light and not at all smooth. Carbonation is very active and doesn't work well at all here. The feel is very average and probably contributes to a few of this beer's issues. Drinkability is a little above average, but that's probably a little generous. The flavor's alright and it goes down easy.

E.S. Bam is disappointing at the end of the day. The nose could use some work, the flavor doesn't come together well, and it suffers from overcarbonation and a thin body. Now that I've gotten through all that, I certainly feel that the score is very generous. It needs work. Jolly Pumpkin has a nice run of disappointment going here. I'm hoping that one day (soon) I'll be blown away by one of their beers. Today is obviously not that day.

prototypic, May 10, 2009
Photo of markcp
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

markcp, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of Danielr26
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Danielr26, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of ninner00
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

ninner00, May 09, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium brown color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma consists of tart and sour notes with some grainy malt. Taste is also a weird mix between some grainy malt with some tart and sour notes and an astringent final. Not as balanced as the Weizen Bam that I tasted a couple of days before.

Phyl21ca, Nov 20, 2008
E. S. Bam from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
86 out of 100 based on 443 ratings.