Oro De Calabaza
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Oro De CalabazaOro De Calabaza
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Style:
Farmhouse Ale - Bière de Garde
Ranked #5
ABV:
8%
Score:
92
Ranked #2,644
Avg:
4.14 | pDev: 9.9%
Reviews:
754
Ratings:
1,864
From:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  163
Gots
  273
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Oro De CalabazaOro De Calabaza
Notes:
Reviews: 754 | Ratings: 1,864 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ichorNet
ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of this for the purposes of sharing it as part of a long-distance beer tasting, but that didn't really come to fruition exactly as I imagined it, so here I am with the very same bottle reviewing it on BA as a, well, normal review. Not as exciting or as topical, but whatever. I've had plenty of Jolly Pumpkin stuff over the years, and have reviewed several of their beers in a more professional capacity, but this may be the first JP review I do for BA itself. Oh boy.

Oro pours a hazy golden color with a nice, retentive head of pure white foam that eventually settles down to about a finger or so in my glass, leaving behind articulate but inconsistent lace around about one hemisphere of my glass. Good legs on this one, though, with a very hazy surface that remains as such for the entirety of the experience. Nice looking stuff.

Nose is very reminiscent of pommeau; aromatic and deep with intense spice and orchard fruit notes, including apple. I will note that this is a bottle dated 4/20/17, meaning it's just about 3 years old. Tons of oak and apricot with warm tannins, funky Brett, grapefruit-like tartness and tropical white grape. Lots going on here but it never really gets to the point where I'm lost... JP beers do a good job keeping everything within a logical perspective even with some time on the beers themselves. I dig the big, bold, spicy, and unusually warm fruity note here that dips into orchard-like aspects pretty readily.

On the tongue, OdC is heavier-bodied, somewhat syrupy and quite flavorful... it begins with a slightly orchard-fruit like flavor on the tongue and continues into a semi-tannic and oaky note in the mid-to-late palate, before bringing out some peppery, spicy notes in the finish. The decently-high ethanol component keeps this pretty engaging throughout, with fruity elements being the most apparent aspects brought to the table. However, I will say that this is definitely not "to style" when it comes to Bière de Garde, so do not approach it as such.

OdC has a fairly light body for an 8% beer, with some light tartness and slight concessions made towards it being within the realm of oaky/cider-like/spiced wild ale. It is pretty intense about its defining characteristics and flavors, and the oak barrel aging it underwent is not, by any means, some kind of hidden qualifier; this beer is proudly barrel-aged (foeder-aged?), and it comes across with those vanillins and odd spice aspects pretty apparently. Fun stuff, and I will revisit it again for sure... maybe three-four years from now!

May 31, 2020
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

375ml bottle dated 03/09/16 Blend 4

Pours mostly clear bright gold with a lasting dense creamy white foam head. Smells like tart apple, oak barrel, some vinegary funk, mild banana, sweet golden grains, hint of vanilla, peppercorn, apricot, with a touch of floral earthy hops. Tastes pretty nice and clean, lemony with some tartness, a hint of sour funk, oak barrel, tart apple, banana, vanilla, peppercorn clove spice, apricot, sweet malty golden grains, yellow raisin, white grape, pear, with floral earthy grassy hops. Feels medium bodied, slick with smooth moderate carbonation. Overall a nice wild strong golden ale aged in oak casks.

Apr 08, 2020
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thehyperduck from Canada

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled Apr 20 2017 and served slightly chilled - the last of two bottles that I picked up in summer 2017. I do remember enjoying the first, but that was over a year ago, so I'm hoping this 2.5 year old 'beer for keeping' lives up to the reputation of its style.

Pours a foggy golden-yellow colour, with nearly an inch-thick crown of soapy white foam floating atop the surface. It hangs around for the better part of ten minutes, slowly diminishing to a creamy half-inch cap and collar; gobs of lovely lace are flung about in the process. Truly a beautiful looking beer. Notes of Brett funkiness and cider vinegar sharpness come through on the nose, accompanied by lesser hints of apple, stone fruit, grape and lemon. A bit spicy, with some floweriness, wood and just a hint of vanilla.

Very tasty, but its flavours are complex and challenging to describe both accurately and thoroughly. Pale malt graininess is a continuous background presence, with hints of green apple, sour peach, lemon and grape crisscrossing the taste buds by mid-sip. The funk presence is fairly low key before the tail end, where notes of musty oak wood and leather become dominant; suggestions of vanilla, cherry, cider vinegar and spiciness round out the finish, with leathery funk lingering into the aftertaste. No sign of the 8% whatsoever. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, with assertive carbonation that remains lively well into the glass; feels frothy and a little prickly. I found this very drinkable, but depending on your familiarity with wild yeasts, your mileage may vary.

Final Grade: 4.33, an excellent A grade. I certainly can't profess to having had all that many bières de garde, but I will say that Oro de Calabaza is way more funky than the others I've tried. A little sour too, but it's really the Brett in the driver's seat here, with the oak cask treatment working alongside it wonderfully. I'd love to see more JP beers stocked in Ontario in the future, though I do understand why it may not be worth their trouble to do so - in any event, I'd pick this up again without hesitation. I think Oro is totally safe to store in the cellar for 2-3 years, and may hold up decently for even longer than that.

Oct 16, 2019
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beautiful brew is is kind of like margarita version without all the ridiculous pastry or other additional flavoring help. It's herbal, spritzy and lightly drinkable with a pleasant lemon-lime tartness and very mild funk.

May 22, 2019
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puck1225 from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very pleasant and drinkable sour.

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Cloudy yellow with nice white head and good lacing. Earthy, funky smell and taste. Lemon, lime. Smooth feel. I will buy this again.

May 05, 2019
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Gatch from Rhode Island

4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 12/15/15. My first JP beer and pumped to find a well-aged bottle!

A properly funky nose with tons of yeast, barn, and fruit. Flavor is similar, with tons of character, hints of sugary fruit and yeasty hay. Body and feel are spectacular. This is a stellar sour.

May 05, 2019
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snaotheus from Washington

3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2019-02-13
375ml bottle served in a tulip. Dated 04/19/2018. Sediment left in the bottom of the bottle. Pretty sure it was a gift from @mr-jj.

Pours clear light yellow with a medium sized head that fades fairly slowly. Smell is tart, lemony, light, strong brett funk.

Taste is slightly tart, strong funk, definitely oaky.

Mouthfeel light and smooth. Tasty beer.

Feb 14, 2019
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ChicagoJ from Illinois

4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11/27/18 (Chicago): Gift, bottled 7/25/17. 750 ml bottle, multiple pours into pint glass. Clear, light blonde pour, mild carbonation, minimal white head and lacing. Nice pepper white wine aroma, crisp. Taste consistent with aroma, nice white wine taste, peppery balance, nice pour. Clean crisp mouth feel, carbonation holds, easy drinking. Overall very nice offering.

Nov 28, 2018
Photo of Harrison8
Harrison8 from Missouri

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lightly translucent orange that maintains a slight site obscuring fog to it. Head formation is a finger in height and white in color. Head retention is good. Aroma is spicy and pepper right on the nose. Fleshy citrus, and toasty malts and apple sauce round it out. There is a tinge of sourness, but very minimal. Flavor profile opens with sweet, fleshy citrus and red apples and then fades into toasty malts and oak. Finish is lightly bitter with alcohol apparent. Peppery, spicy notes dance throughout the flavor profile. Each quality is kept well in check, with the loudest note coming from the alcohol burn at the finish. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with a watery-still edge to it. It has a medium-thin consistency. Overall, peppery and spicy with a dose of alcohol at the end. It sips lovely and makes for a very enjoyable glass.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 375mL bottle.

Nov 25, 2018
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Straw yellow with a fingernail of eggshell white on top. Faint sedimentary haze. Light lacing. The aroma is green apple, pear, and oak. I'm tasting green apple, white pear, and a lightly doughy yeast flavor. The mouth is very dry, crisp, and moderately carbonated.

Sep 19, 2018
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JackRWatkins from Alabama

3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy golden color with a pillowy, one-finger, white head.
S: Tons of white grape aroma and some definite oakiness coming through, a bit of funk but not too much.
T: The Tannins come on strong here, (this is a very oaky beer) followed by a definite astringency that is not altogether pleasant, there is a slightly grainy sweetness that there could definitely be more of, and the white grape comes through a bit as well, along with a slightly briney vinegar sourness that wears out its welcome fairly quickly.
M: Dry, dry, dry.
O: Like most every beer I have ever had from Jolly Pumpkin, I find this to be tremendously overrated, I find that while their are not necessarily one dimensional, beyond a certain point they seem to feature basically the same notes and I'm not wowed by those notes, I would liken it to the differentiation between the assorted stouts that prairie artisan ales puts out, only in the case of those beers, the recurring profile is so good that it doesn't matter that they don't differ all that much from beer to beer, which I cannot say about these beers.

Sep 18, 2018
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy yellow colour. Aroma is spicy, lemony, floral with some herbal infusion notes. Taste is tart, lemony, dry but not too astringent, well balanced overall. Medium body and carbonation. Really nice one.

Jul 25, 2018
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chitoryu12 from Florida

3.59/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Hazy yellow with virtually no head.

Smell: Sour fruit and yeast with a distant citrus.

Taste: Sour dill, yeast, and bread.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and high carbonation

Overall: I don’t think I’m too big on this one.

Jun 04, 2018
Photo of jhartley
jhartley from Florida

4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Snörkel snifter.

Appearance: Beautiful golden yellow body with a slight haziness. Thick fluffy white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing in the glass.

Aroma: Lemon, apple, Belgian yeast, slightly tart and sour.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sour and tart apple with a citrus backbone. Belgian yeast esters. Light mouthful with a dry finish.

Overall: A tasty tart beer that is enjoyable from start to finish.

May 19, 2018
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X-Mchs from Canada

3.41/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Full disclosure, I do not like sour beers. I've tried a few and they taste like they've gone bad. So, coming from this guy, this is possibly the best score ever for a sour beer and should be considered an absolute win.
I don't know if the price is different in the States, but in Canada this bottle cost between 12 and 17 dollars, depending on where you get it (and whether you get an employee discount). This is, in my opinion, a bit outrageous for a beer even in the craft community. But hey, it's a free market.
The beer looks very inviting. It's a bright yellow and you can see some floaties inside that I suggested to be fruit pulp. This made me think of it more as a freshly squeezed citrus fruit juice. Turns out I wasn't far off with that assumption as the sour taste comes with citrus-love. It's the difference between sour milk and sour lemon. One is not recommended for consumption and the other is delicious but melts your teeth. Yet, I'd gladly let this beer turn me into a model for an anti meth poster because the flavour made me forget that I was drinking sour beer. Instead, my brain was convinced that I was sipping on some refreshing citrus cider, which made it go down like a toothless hooker. But in a good way.

May 02, 2018
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stortore from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled 1/19/17, had 7/17/17.

Pours a bright yellow, a little cloudy, with a half inch head and some soapy lacing. The smell is sour and tart, Belgian yeast, apples, some straw- like funk, light cherries, a spicy aroma. Tastes of yeast, malt, light cherries and wine, some apples. Sour and tart, a sugary note in the middle. Mostly smooth, a good light to medium body, well carbonated.

Not overly sour and tart, nicely balanced, very enjoyable. A classic Jolly Pumpkin brew.

Feb 20, 2018
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mmmbeer89 from New Mexico

2.24/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

I'm not sure if the flavor went a little bad on this one because my beer had a date of a year earlier on it so maybe that's why I didn't like it but i'm also not a big fan of sours beers so...

Dec 05, 2017
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DrMullet from Florida

3.43/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light yellow gold.
Smell is sour grape and a bit of fruit.
Taste is yeasty sour with a bit of tart fruit.
More sour than your typical Biere de Garde.

Sep 24, 2017
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Tripel_Threat from Michigan

4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wonderful. Served on tap at the Royal Oak location in a tulip. Golden straw color with a finger of foam that turns to swirls of bubbles along the surface. Aromas of fleshy fruit - pear, apple- white grape, bready malt, spice, oak, and funk. Flavors hit with a nice spicy bite upfront followed by a wash of tart/funky fruit, pear, grape, apple, bread, finishes clean and oaky. ABV is completely hidden. Beautiful stuff.

Sep 13, 2017
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VABA from Virginia

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-An amber yellowness with a little head and no lacing.
S-A slight hint of lemon and orange zest.
T-Light with a hint of lemon and orange, the Brett yeast gives it a nice character.
M-Light, refreshing, a nice sourness, and lightly carbonated, the combination gives the beer a good balance.
O-A well made beer with a pleasant complexity.

Sep 03, 2017
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taxandbeerguy from Canada

4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bomber served pretty cold into a tulip. Purchased this well regarded American beer at the LCBO for $11.95 CDN. Bottled April 20, 2017.

Appearance - Pours a rich golden beer that is exception hazy and is capped by three fingers of voluminous white head. Great retention, lots of lacing. A beautiful looking beer.

Smell - Complex. Subtle bits of earthy, barnyard -esque aromas, with a tart smelling earthy grape aroma, some complexity with wood elements mixed in and subtle bits of other tart fruits i.e. cherries. Kind of like if you took the best elements of many Belgian styles (pale ale, lambics and gueuzes) added a pinch of champagne this is what you'd get.

Taste - Tart with grapes, but the whole sourness without really being able to identify anything in particular is interesting. A medley of grape, lemon, cherry, rhubarb and pear to sweeten things slightly.

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation and light feel for a big beer. Tart and bubbles sing on the tongue, alcohol is masked incredibly (unless you drink the whole bottle and try to get up too quickly). Hard to describe. but everything just seems right.

Overall - A hard to describe beer as there are so many elements, most of which are familiar but the wonderful way they marry together is not. Just delicious and easy to drink, if it weren't for the steep price tag (and it's still worth a bottle or two) I could easily justify this going into a rotation.

Aug 27, 2017
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a problem opening this bottle as it foamed over and had to run to the sink and hurry up with the pour to settle things down.

A - Very bright and vibrant light to medium gold color. Head is massive, fluffy, and sticky, while the carbonation is nice and steady.

S - Tart and fruity on the nose in a big way. Pears, funk, white grape skins, pepper, spice, followed with more tartness and funk. Aroma is very dry.

T - Tart and funky, pear, lots of spicy pepper, lingering funk citrus bitterness on the back end.

M - Medium body with gentle, soft carbonation. "Bone dry" finish. Coats the mouth with funky, peppery citrus.

O - A very fine beer.

Aug 08, 2017
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polloenfuego from Canada

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely hazy pale gold with a two finger head. Nice lacing can be seen as well. Smell is tart, oaky and full of the spices and yeast one would expect from the style. Flavor is tart spicy and a nice yeast profile. Damn tasty. Feel is light with a bitter and spicy and dry finish.

My only issue with this beer is that it is pretty tough to finish alone. Normally I'd have help, but a week at the cottage means I am flying solo. I highly recommend this beer.

Jul 20, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a burnt crisp yellow color with a thin white cap of a white head. Mild thin lacing. The smell starts off with some bright sweet citrus, peppercorn, dry floral qualities, white pepper, light wood. The flavor is sharply sweet with pronounced dry floral qualities hitting nicely. Spice kicks on in on the aftertaste. Quick semi-sweet dry finish. Appropriate bitterness hits my tongue. The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied, seemed to sit just a tad under. Carbonation felt good. ABV felt appropriate.
Overall, pretty nice as a beer just to take down but was slightly confused as if this was a Biere de Garde or a saison. I'd still have again.

Jun 18, 2017
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Benjolovesbeer from Michigan

2.63/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

After having many sours in the past couple months this one just doesn't do it for me. I don't understand the high rating I mean when compared to New Holland Incorrigible Reserve this just doesn't come close. But wait hold on, it's starting to warm up and the sourness is coming alive but then again not enough. It's a little sour in the beginning but as it warms the flavor starts to shine. There is an oaky buttery flavor that comes up in the finish and frutiness of grapefruit and tangerine. It doesn't have that white wine, grape, berry sourness I tend to enjoy in a good sour but has this other oaky, woodsy, grassy, grapefruit, tangerine flavor. It's appearance is hazy like an IPA and I find it best drunk out of a tulip. I like it but it's not as good as many other sours.

May 21, 2017
Oro De Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1864 ratings