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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

436 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 436
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.93%
Wants: 15
Gots: 29 | 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: 436 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AltBock


3.83/5  rDev +1.1%

Capped 750 ml bottle with a lime green label that has a heat shot drawing of Jolly Pumpkin's Jack Russell Terrier, Bam. Do you know what the regular Bam label looks like? Good! Take Bam, put a small hop bud hat on his head, put a bright lime green hop bud necklace around his neck, and put him on a lime green label with a farm scene background. That's the picture! To the left of Bam is the Government warning, barcode, and a drawing of 3 dogs. To the right of Bam are 2 paragraphs and the refund values. The first one talks about how strong Bam the dog was. He was hit by a car and he still managed to move around. The second paragraph says that it's their regular Bam beer with more malt and hops added to it. That's what I like to hear! The back should be slapped with a batch number sticker. Mine was from batch number 267 and 268.

Appearance: I poured this beer that shares it name with a very special dog into a Corsendonk Tulip. Out of the bottle came a beer that was an extremely murky caramel brown with apple cider highlights. What I said murky, I mean this beer was just as murky as a swamp. It wasn't murky because of hop particles, it was just a naturally murky beer. This bottle was a small time gusher and when it was poured, it had a self rising 3 inch creamy pure white head of foam. This pure white head of foam had slow retention. It was so slow that it took at least 5 minutes to settle down to a point where I could actually taste the beer. when it receded, it left behind a milky white film and a massive amount of sticky white streaks of lace. As you can tell, the color of the beer was just as cool as the the head of foam.

Smell: Like every other Jolly Pumpkin beer I've had in the past, the aroma was sour. Not a beer gone bad sour, but a pleasantly natural sour aroma. The first half of the aroma was sour with a hint of sour raspberries, a splash of sour cherries, a subtle whiff of oak, a speck of tart grapefruit, and a pinch of malted wheat. As you can tell, the first half of the aroma was a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and mixed in with a little bit more of this. Get it? If the beer is swirled around, this is where you'll find the second half of the aroma. The second half consisted of more oak and plenty of grassy hops. I honesty didn't care for the grassy hop aroma all that much. It matters a little bit, but that's OK because I really enjoyed the first half of the aroma. I've always liked Jolly Pumpkin's natural sour aroma.

Taste: The taste was dry hopped and lightly sour at the same time. It actually made for a pretty interesting taste. "E.S.Bam" started off dry hopped with some lightly bitter grassy hops, a hint of bitter and tart grapefruit, a pinch of dried pine needles, a speck of malted wheat, and then this dry hopped taste finishes up with a splash of of lemon peel. After the dry hopped part is where the sourness comes in. There wasn't that to the sour part. That part only consisted of a little bit of oak and a subtle touch of sour cherries. Do you think the taste is over yet? If you think it's over then you're wrong. I thought the taste was over too, but then I noticed that at the bitter end, there was a slight farm yard funkiness taste to it. I think Jolly Pumpkin uses Brett yeast in and that farm yard funkiness proves it. I don't think regular yeast would create that distinct taste.

Mouthfeel: This was a light bodied dry hopped Farmhouse Ale that featured a funky aftertaste of hay, dry hopped grassy hops, a subtle touch of oak, a splash of tart grapefruit, and a hint of sour cherries. It tasted like the aftertaste randomly picked out flavors from the initial taste. The hay and the grassy hops were the only ones from the aftertaste that stood around. They stood around for about 20 seconds and then they decided to leave under their own powers. No water was needed to get rid of them.

Drinkability: Since this was a Jolly Pumpkin beer, I originally thought that it was going to be more sour than hoppy, but I was wrong about that. The sour aspect did take over the aroma, but it was in the taste where the hops made the beer's natural sourness ride behind them. In the end, I enjoyed this light grassy with a slight farm yard funkiness beer. I wouldn't mind having another one of these. If you would like to try a sour Farmhouse Ale with the taste of grassy hops mixed in with it, then this beer is the one.

01-18-2009 19:15:19 | More by AltBock
Photo of DrJay


3.95/5  rDev +4.2%

Batch 267, 268. Warning: Slow gusher alert. It didn't quite go crazy after the cap was popped, but I wouldn't leave it unattended either.
Clear burnt orange with a solid cap of fine beige bubbles. Good retention, aided by constantly surfacing bubbles, with some moderately sticky lacing. JP funk hits the nose right away, a combination of tartness and acidity, almost like salt and vinegar chips, but much more mellow. Earthy berries and grass, this is hoppier than the regular bam, but it seems like the hops have faded somewhat compared to other reviews of the same batches earlier in the year. Still, very nicely balanced on the nose. The flavour was... everything in the aroma, plus more. Hops were much more pronounced, leafy and grassy with a slight mint character in the finish, quite floral, and the bitterness was sturdy and forceful. This worked well with the light acidity, keeping the palate quite clean. Less fruity than the aroma with just a hint of the berry tartness I expected based on the smell. Light bodied, very dry, with plenty of carbonation that kept the texture light and airy. What can I say, I like just about everything JP puts out. My only (minor) issue was the dryness seemed to work against this beer, crowding out some of the flavour.

12-27-2008 20:26:13 | More by DrJay
Photo of SurlyDuff


3.98/5  rDev +5%

Had this and Bam Bier 750's back to back over 2 evenings. I actually think I liked the Bam Bier a bit better. This one just seemed a bit less complex, and a bit more unrefined.

Poured a dark amber into my Church BrewWorks tulip glass. Craggly white head sits aloft.

Immediatly getting a big ole yeasty farmhouse brett funk, which I definitly dig. Some other earthy grassy aromas in there too as the hops show up. I totally love the open fermentation and the tasty saison funk, but this just didnt meet my apparently high expectations.

It;s basically funly yeast with some hops dumped in. It's just kind of flat...not carbonation wise...but flavor wise, compared to other JP brews ive had.

12-16-2008 21:52:42 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of midnite2sixman


3.35/5  rDev -11.6%

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.

12-04-2008 05:14:56 | More by midnite2sixman
Photo of rowew


2.95/5  rDev -22.2%

Presentation: 750 capped, No ABV or date information.

Appearance: Reddish brown with a big head, tan colored.

Smell: Sour is just about the only aroma I can pull out. Maybe a bit of yeast funk, but its buried by the sour.

Taste: Sour, a bit of a tinny flavor. There is some yeast funk, but not much malt flavor in there.

Overall impression: This one seems sour for the sake of sour, without a lot of depth to it. Still interesting, but not one of the better sour beers I've had.

11-28-2008 21:13:44 | More by rowew
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

11-20-2008 20:44:48 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -4.2%

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a DFH snifter.

A - Amber in color with a cherry hue and a huge off-white head. Good lacing.

S - A tart and floral aroma with lots of green apple.

T - Starts with a nice sour, tart flavor but that fades quickly and becomes a bit dry and a little hoppy. An interesting combination. I wasn't a huge fan after the first few sips but it grew on my as I went on.

M - The carbonation and consistency are about right for the style.

D - A decent American attempt at a farmhouse but it's a tough style to reproduce.

09-30-2008 09:51:10 | More by GJ40
Photo of ruckzuck


3.93/5  rDev +3.7%

A - pours a deep amber with lots of lovely red highlights when held up to light. MASSIVE frothy head. Seriously, this thing rules, and the shape it's as it dissipates making is totally wacky. I seriously can't get over the foam sculptures this thing is making. In fact, here is a picture: http://i33.tinypic.com/2rhtpw9.jpg

S - woah. Some of that bitter/tart barnyard funk came to town tonight. I'm also getting some fruitiness, mainly apples, out of the nose from the hops and hints of yeast and spice

T - wow, again, massive bitter/tart fruity funk. Awesome. I like this taste. Sour apples somewhat? Very similar to the nose anyway

M - Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Some dryness to the mouthfeel as well

D - well, I like this beer. Wasn't sure what I wanted to drink tonight, and this is really hitting the spot. Would totally recommend if you like sours with some extra hoppiness. Good work, Jolly Pumpkin. Drinkability may be a bit limited by the flavor, but like I said it, I like it

09-24-2008 04:05:00 | More by ruckzuck
Photo of OWSLEY069


4.13/5  rDev +9%

Batch 267/268
Pours a deep red/ copper color with a big light tan head. In the aroma, small tartness, earthy, and small hop hints. In the taste, earthy, a small fruity tartness, and small hop presence up front. A bitter and a medium mouthfeel, and a small dry bitterness, and a green apple tartness in the aftertaste. Not a conventional ESB, nice green apple tartness, and a good hop presence. I don't think Jolly Pumpkin makes a bad beer.

09-23-2008 13:47:40 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of blakesell


3/5  rDev -20.8%

Poured from the 750ml capped bottle into an oversized brandy snifter.

Appearance- Beer pours a ruddy reddish brown with a substantial finger and a half of head and lacing clinging amply to the sides of the glass when swirled. Carbonation persists across the top for the duration of the beer.

Smell- Smells a bit like spoiled milk and Jolly Pumpkin yeast. Hops are fairly strong and musty. It smells to have all of the funk of the other JP brews and smells a whole lot like Bam Biere. Musty basement seems to cling to the nosehairs, and unfortunately there isn't much else coming through on the scent.

Taste- Very thin. The hops are big on the beer and the malt isn't picking up the slack here. The funky yeast and bacteria are here, but there isn't near enough malt to call this an ESB, a Saison, or and IPA Saison, which was what I was thinking it may lean toward. The hops give a lot of sour bitterness, but it's really not working out too well in the beer's favor here.

Mouthfeel- Thin, watery, astringent, bitter, light bodied, and highly carbonated.

Drinkability- It drinks like water, refreshing in that respect, but not really great overall. Ron has pleased me very well in the past, but this beer doesn't quite cut the mustard for me.

09-07-2008 21:00:52 | More by blakesell
Photo of ThirstyBird


2.95/5  rDev -22.2%

Poured from a 750ml bottle batch 267,268

poured a hazy bronzed amber a pretty beer with a thick, lumpy off white that slowly turned into an eighth inch covering.

I smelled some mustiness, fruit and some malt sweetness.

Front end hoppiness with a sour and dry finish. I feel that this beer is not well balanced and the hop flavor takes control but not in a good way.

This beer was quite fizzy yet fairly smooth with a light/medium body.

I could only drink my 6 oz. pour and didn't want more.

09-01-2008 16:41:01 | More by ThirstyBird
Photo of champ103


3.83/5  rDev +1.1%

A: Pours an amber/orange color. A small head forms and recedes to leave some patchy lace.
S: Funky barnyard and malty biscuit aromas. Some citrus and nice hop bitterness that is well balanced. Enjoyable.
T: Follows the nose. Funky biscuit malt. A bit tart. Very light citrus hops.
M/D: Medium bodied that is well carbonated. Kind of thin and watery. Not really a session beer for me, but it is not hard to drink at all.

A good saison. One I enjoyed and would recommend.

09-01-2008 14:16:45 | More by champ103
Photo of benito


4.05/5  rDev +6.9%

A nice reinterpretation of Bam Biere from Jolly Pumpkin, much better than the other efforts (Weizen Bam, Bam Noire) in that the malt presence and floral hops really mesh well with that hint of sourness/classic JP funk (a little leather, a little barnyard).

It's a hazy, dark amber with a long-lasting head and moderate carbonation. The lemon-vinegar-leather dominates the bouquet, but on the tongue, the brett flavors give way to a sweet, almost malty middle and a long-lasting tea-driven finish. They got the flavoring hops right on for this one.

Good mouthfeel and just light enough to match well with a summer salad and vegetable risotto for a great dinner. This is the most accessible beer I've had from JP other than Oro de Calabaza. This is a winner.

On a side note, this should probably not be listed as a saison, but rather a Belgian IPA (though done with British hops) or an American wild ale (think a slightly funky ESB).

08-23-2008 00:12:10 | More by benito
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +6.9%

Sampled at biegamans Summer Saison tasting, thanks to MDS for bringing this one.

Pours a hazy brownish amber, thin off white head forms, quickly drops to a thin ring, some lace spots on the glass. Smell is caramelized, some herbal hopping, floral, light citrus, bit of bready spiciness, tart fruit, nice, some light roasty malts. Taste is similar, caramel, some wood, herbal and lightly fruited, very toasty middle, a bit astringent and bitter in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, big bitterness, but very solid and drinkable. Thanks Mike!

07-28-2008 02:24:54 | More by Viggo
Photo of drxandy


4.15/5  rDev +9.5%

Labeled Batch 278, 750ml poured to tulip glass, pours a foamy highly carbonated deep reddish peachy brown shade with creamy tan head - looks good :D

smells of funk, apples, sweet, yeastiness, hops

tastes just like the other bam lineup but with hops thrown in the mix, not a bad thing, but i just kinda hoped for something different and nothing extremely new/unique - but regardless that doesn't effect the score for me. Carbonation makes everything pop, good malts, hop usage is enough to let you know they're there but don't outstage the rest of the party. Love the balance, as the hops linger but don't disrupt anything, very very nicely played ron jefferies.
sweet, bitter, sour, tart, funk, yum, most likely my favorite bam so far :D

mouthfeel is crisp from carbonation, great head and retention, nice subtle lingering bitterness, great beer!

07-26-2008 17:45:46 | More by drxandy
Photo of GClarkage


3.58/5  rDev -5.5%

07/23/08- Purcahsed at City Beer in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with no freshness info found. Poured into my Trout Slayer weizen glass.

Appearance- Deep golden in color, if not approaching a light amber color. Yeast infused with small and larger floaties. Head becomes quite large upon pour...one inch plus very easily. Large bubbled, frothy, lightly creamy looking. Lacing is exceptional with chunks, streaks and spotting all over the glass.

Smell- Definite hops. Grapefruit pith rather than the juice or peel. Quite bitter in the nose. Also a decent amount of white pepper in the mix.

Taste- Hoppy for sure. Very bitter with a slight touch of sweetness upon the swallow which fades quickly. White pepper abounds as well. Seems like a one hop brew as it's very straight forward. Would have liked more sweetness. The hops carry the show, but seems like a one trick pony.

Mouthfeel- Very crisp, but also a very heavy carbonation level. Slightly drying mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I like my hoppy saisons and tripels, but his one seems a bit too hoppy with nothing really to back it up in the flavor sense. It's not a bad beer, in fact is was good for what it was, just needs something else.

07-24-2008 15:49:39 | More by GClarkage
Photo of israel

New York

3.6/5  rDev -5%

poured into my ommegang tulip

A- pours a darker than expected(for this style) amber with a two finger head that hangs around for the whole show. Lots of little bubbles racing to the surface along with some chunky yeast falling to the bottom.

S - initial fruitiness along with an earthy aroma is perceived but nothing truly recognizable is in the foreground and its difficult to really pick out any familiar aromas

T - the "standard" jolly pumpkin funk is in the foreground and there is a bitter hop finish to it, but then everything is wiped from the palate by a dryness that leaves you wanting another sip.

M- uber dry and a nice carbonation makes the mouthfeel kinda enjoyable.

D - one bottle did me just fine but I am glad that I have another bottle in my cellar waiting for the right time..

07-15-2008 22:35:04 | More by israel
Photo of wagenvolks


3.73/5  rDev -1.6%

Batch 288/289, poured into a Foothills pint glass.

The bomber dumps a dark amber body stratified with sizable chunks of yeast. A buff-colored head builds to a decent half inch and slowly drops to a wisp of foam. The aroma on this thing was sublime: funky wooden earth paired with yeasty esthers and a citrusy, spicy hop note.

Like most of Jolly Pumpkin's brews, the flavor of ES Bam had that signature "sourness" to it. I can't say I was wildly impressed with the way this one tasted, but it certainlyw as intersting: Wooden oakiness, sour notes of lime and cherry, and a backbone of biscuity, toffe malt. Mouthfeel was on the high side of medium bodied and with a dry, sour wood finish. Although I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each JP beer I come across, I have yet to find one that really hits it out of the park form me. Maybe I'm just not a sour beer lover :(

07-10-2008 10:50:19 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of largadeer


4.03/5  rDev +6.3%

Appearance: Dark amber, almost opaque. A thick, frothy three finger head forms from a gentle pour. JP beers always have fantastic head retention and this one is no exception.

Smell: Earthy, herbal hops with a slightly metallic undertone. This is pretty subtle in aroma, and it's very homogenous; I can't really pick out anything specific.

Taste & mouthfeel: Flavors of spice and savory herb (rosemary, sage) greet the palate immediately, leading to a hint of bitter lemon peel and tobacco. The mouthfeel is incredibly light, almost watery, and bone-dry. This is almost lambic-like in its dryness. The finish brings out an herbal hop note with a pleasant lingering bitterness. This is definitely hoppy for the style, though still pretty tame in the grand scheme of things.

Notes: Really nice stuff, I'm glad I decided to pick up a bottle of this.

07-06-2008 20:28:00 | More by largadeer
Photo of Onibubba


3.68/5  rDev -2.9%

Always thrilled to try a new Pumpkin. No gushing problems, this poured a thick looking dark amber into a Duvel. Tawny highlights. Much darker than I was expecting. Nice off beige head. Not picking up much in the aroma, other than a familiar JP smell. Once again, I drank this too soon. I've found most of the JP beers improve dramatically by letting them set a while after opening. Initial mouthfeel is somehwat sharp, high on the tongue. This relaxes into a smooth draught after a bit of a rest and a swirl. Not picking up a lot of hops, and more reminicent of Bam Noire than Bam. Drinkability is excellent as putting away this bomber was not a problem. All in all, not bad, but not a repeat purchase, and by no means a classic Saison.

06-28-2008 01:05:15 | More by Onibubba
Photo of Beaver13


3.65/5  rDev -3.7%

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.

06-25-2008 05:31:39 | More by Beaver13
Photo of weeare138


3.68/5  rDev -2.9%

Thanks to hopdog. Batch 267, 268.

Appears a semi-transparent amber with a small white head that slowly fades out. Tons of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of funky farmhouse, earthy notes, citrusy hops, and ripe fruit.
Taste is hoppy, earthy, rubbery, citrusy, with mild apple coming through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, fruity, hoppy, with citrus lingering along the palate in the swallow.

06-25-2008 02:11:28 | More by weeare138
Photo of Lupe

New York

2.93/5  rDev -22.7%

Just a beautiful looking beer. Pours a hazy bronzed amber - much darker than expected. Huge fluffy white head caps the liquid and takes a while to recede. This puppy has some serious staying power and leave behind sheets of lace.

Pretty unusual and interesting aroma. Some mustiness, light malt sweetness with caramel, toffee, and golden raisins. Next the hops kick in with a with strong spicy punch. Different, but not surprising considering the crossing of styles.

Hops completely dominate the flavor with only traces of biscuity malt coming through. No sweetness, very light funk, and tons of noble hop spice and bitterness. I could tell this is well crafted, but definitely not my thing. Perhaps if the hops build up instead of smacking you in the mouth. I would also have liked if there was a peppery character like other Saisons. After letting it warm up to see if that would bring out some subtleties, I found that was a mistake - just about undrinkable for me when warm.

Medium bodied, bone dry and overly carbonated. Crisp and a little thin without being light. Was not a fan of the flavors of this beer and could only muster half a glass before dumping.

06-23-2008 17:48:41 | More by Lupe
Photo of ccrida


3.3/5  rDev -12.9%

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.

06-20-2008 00:28:05 | More by ccrida
Photo of demitriustown


4.1/5  rDev +8.2%

750ml bottle into a Tulip glass. Aroma is Sour apple, yeast, tart, some malts in the backing, and nice and rounded light floral hop aroma. Pours a cloudy amber with a milk tan head that lingers. Taste is got more of a hop presence than other JP beers then melds into the classic belgian tastes that I'm used to from Jolly Pumpkin. With the sours apple, yeast, and a slight amount of roasted malts intermingled. Palate is bubbly and lively on the tongue with an aftertaste of slight tartness. Overall, A really enjoyable session brew in my opinion. Cheers!

06-17-2008 18:00:12 | More by demitriustown
E. S. Bam from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
85 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.