Calabaza Blanca | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca
Very Good
1,008 Ratings
Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: Belgian Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-25-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,008 |  Reviews: 471
Reviews by BenZ:
Photo of BenZ
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Light honey colored, bright white head

S - Some acid and sweetness, maybe some floral aroma

T - Sweet, sour, barfy, bitter, cereal! Tastes like 2/3 Berliner weiss mixed with 1/3 Orval.

M - Somewhat watery, nothing objectionable

D - An easy drinker, feels like you could treat the 750ml bottle like a 12oz'er

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More User Reviews:
Photo of thelagerheads
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In the "Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" the mystical G. P. never arrives much to Linus's chagrin. In the Jolly Pumpkin's world it's the pumpkin ale that never arrives. What? Contrary to popular belief and local legend these guys don't put out a brew befitting their moniker. Anywho...what they do deliver is a spice-rack bed of Procrustes. Of the few I've tried (at the brewery from the tap and in single bottles) the spices over-ride the smooth creaminess of otherwise excellent beer. This one is the exception so far. There's enough tang in it to let you know that you've been with a tart but not enough spice to make you fret that you have been infected with her malty infarction. Scared little man? Ish Kabibble...I should worry? No! Not me!

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.11/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: White peach body, thick white head. Carbonation is small but mobile.

N: Coriander and oranges. Less cheese wiz aromas then many Wits. (If you don’t know this cheese wiz aroma of which I speak, pick up a Blue Moon, think cheese, and inhail. You’ll soon know what I’m talking about.) Some tangerine. Too much “perfume” like chemical attributes to fully enjoy.

T: Pretty much on. Plenty of spice and citrus. Quite fitting in the style.

MF: Medium to full body. Metallic powders distract. Chemical perfume quality (negatively) burns palate slightly.

D: Low. All the sweet fruit of a wit (that diminishes drinkability for me to a point, without the smooth, light qualities that increase it). Harsh.

The style is well captured here but with some strong detractors.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of ricke
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy orange with a medium-sized head. Good lacings.

S: Wheat, oranges, spices, hints of tobacco and brett. Good, rather mellow. Good balance.

T: The taste is somewhat sweet with dry wheaty flavors and dry orange notes. Spices (mostly coriander) and mild bretty notes. Very tasty juicy fruit flavors, mostly tart citric notes. Hints of yeast. The finish is dry with note of wheat, fruits and minerals.

M: Moderate body, rather dry texture. Nicely refreshing carbonation.

D: A good beer. Very easy to drink. I'm not usually a big fan of witbiers, but this one was rather pleasant.

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Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of brewdogmrb
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jolly Pumpkin is one of my favorite American Breweries and they have all the characters that a classic, high quality micro-brewery should posess, including a healthy dose of outsider/weird sensibility and a diminished sense of risk avoidance. Calabaza Blanca is a Belgian by way of Dexter, Michigan style Witbier, which is spiced in the traditional sense with orange peel and corriander, and is also oak aged and bottle conditioned. Jolly pumpkin pretty dependably offers a weird and infected take on a classic style, and this is no exception -- the usual spice and funk of a Witbier, which is found in the background and almost entirely caused by yeast and lack of filtration, is all the way up front on this beer, a massive nose full of sour and puckering farm stink procedes any sips you take. Which of course is a good thing.

So yeah, this is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a sour Witbier, but one that is very nicely balanced, very dry, and very Champagne like. This is not an easy thing to pull off and once again Jolly Pumpking doesn't disappoint. They manage to create a drinkable, even sessionable beer here with a less than 5% ABV and a truly refreshing finish. Another Infected Session beer that you would be super stoked to have a six pack of at a barbecue or for a hang out day in the yard. Glad to have grabbed a six pack of this at State Line Liquors on the way back from a trip down to Maryalnd, which by the way, lives up to its reputation for having great craft beers in what is quickly becoming an exciting part of the world for beer in general.

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Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of wrycon
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Calabaza Blanca pours from the beautifully labeled 750ml bottle a bright, cloudy sunshine yellow with a two finger foamy head of tight bubbles. Aromas of fresh pale grainy malts combined with a vibrant lemony/orange citric aroma. Slighty spicy coriander and yeast. Nicely nuanced.

First sip brings a rush of cirtusy pale, wheaty maltiness, a bit bready. A somewhat spicy coriander comes in midway through the sip with hints of dry lemon and orange peel. Crisp and refreshing with a mellow earthy yeast character. Finishes clean with a hint of woodiness on the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel is fairly light with an abundance of fast moving carbonation that rushes across the mouth. Slightly dry and crisp...very refreshing. This is definetly a nice summertime brew and an enjoyable witbier. I'm glad that Jolly Pumpkin has found it's way down to Illinois now...and thanks to marburg for this bottle I'm sampling today.

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Photo of blitz134
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge head on the pour. Pure white dense foam that reduced itself to a thin cap. Slightly hazy yellowish straw colored body.

Tartness is evident in the aroma. Some tart apple, pear, and white grapes. A bit of corriander and pepper as well. Tart on the tongue, but doesn't make my jaws hurt. Taste is somewhat light, a bit of spice initially and then some muttled light fruit all over a light wheat base. Some farmhouse funk rounds it up with some subtle hints of the barrel aging when allowed to warm. Interesting flavor for a wit.

Mouthfeel is thin as expected. Coats the mouth well. Fair amount of carbonation, probably too much actually. I think it cuts down on the amount of perceived flavor. Drinkability is good. Unique flavor that I like on occassion.

Just expect a bit of funkiness with some tart. JP brews always seem to have a bit of a unique edge to the style which they attempt which draws me to their brews. I think they are easily approachable for one getting into beers fermented with some natural bacteria.

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Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad beer, but I've been more impressed with some other Jolly Pumpkin beers. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass, this was a yellow, faintly hazy beer with a small head. It had a fruity, spiced wheat aroma. It had a citrus taste, orange mostly, decent tartness, and some warming spice. I thought it was a little too bubbly, and not a beer I'd want to drink a lot of.

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Photo of heddar33
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of warnerry
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 518; Bottled 3/4/10, into a tulip

A - A slow motion slight foamer after uncapping, but not too bad. Pours a hazy golden brown with three fingers of white head and an intense stream of rising carbonation. Head has very good retention and leaves quite a bit of lacing.

S - Coriander is the first smell I notice, followed by yeast funk and orange zest. Has a bit of spice beyond the coriander as well.

T - A sharp tartness, with orange zest and a bit of lemon to start with, followed by coriander, faint pepper, and a nice funky yeast presence. Pretty refreshing, with a lingering lemon taste.

M - Light, crisp, and intensely carbonated.

O - I haven't had a fresh bottle, but aging doesn't seems to have bothered this beer one bit. A bit simple compared to other JP brews, but it is refreshing and tasty, so no complaints there. The lemon aspect is very nice.

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Photo of grynder33
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lemony Belgian Yeast aroma,lots of esters ,easy to see how the style came to be known as Wit ,looking at the body and color. Nice to see what a good brewery can do with a style that is normally soft and timid. All the spicey orange,lemon corriander and tang of the best Wits you've had ,only amped up .Thanks to Chris at Murray's for this beauty.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a cloudy brownish yellow with a fizzy white head that quickly recedes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing. It has some chunky yeasties in the bottom.

The aroma is musty yeast, wheat, some floral hops and sweet and tart citrus.

The flavor is musty earthy yeast with some peppery spices and some tart and slightly sour citrus. The mouthfeel is is medium with a ton of sharp carbonation.

Overall, an enjoyable lighter beer. It's interesting for a wit - a little more tart fruits than spices. This is more of what I was expecting from the Bam Biere.

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Photo of dgfool
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Duster72
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a faint yellow with a two finger head. Aroma is very enticing orange peel and spices. Definitely has that signature Jolly Pumpkin taste, which I am not sure how to explain. Must be the yeast. Very pleasant blend of orangey citrus with the mild wheat. Very tasty. Too much carbonation and slightly thin mouthfeel. Would be interesting to try a slightly sweeter version, although I like the clean aftertaste.

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Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served into a Kapuziner half liter weissbier glass, slightly chilled. Cloudy canary yellow body is brimming with excitable small bubbled carbonation. Large and pillowy vanilla head hangs around for a few minutes, until reinvigorated by the next pour. Lots of sticky globs of lace are left on the glass as it slowly empties.

Aroma has a citrusy aspect, with lemon and orangezest up front. White pepper and coriander add a soft spiciness. Hops are here, as well, lending a grassy and fresh hay presence. An odd, but pleasant, note from the barrel aging chimes in with a hint of coconut/vanilla.

Mouthfeel is light bodied, zesty with carbonation and mild pepper.

Very refreshing taste is dominated by citrusy lemon, orange peel, coriander, and cracked wheat. Lively carbonation throughout, mildly spiced with white pepper and soft coriander, dry not bitter. Yeast presence is clean and outdoorsy. Goes down the gullet quick and easy.

Another excellent, oak aged artisan ale from the Jolly Pumpkin folks. This one is as well crafted as their higher alcohol releases, and more of a quaffer. Excellent any time of the year, but this would be an exceptional summer ale.

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Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 298

Appearance: orange-brown in color, cloudy, 1 inch head, high carbonation, sediment

Smell: orange, lemon, and hay

Taste: orange, lemon, cloves, coriander, and hay

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter/funky, high carbonation, light bodied, dry

Drinkability: Super sessionable beer. Different for the style as this one is a bit more sour and funky. Another winner from JP that is among the best I have had in the style.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 298.

The beer pours a straw gold color with a huge white head. The aroma is classic Jolly Pumpkin. I get a lot of wheat and lemon/orange notes, as well as a ton of brett character. There is a little bit of funk as well as a lot of leather notes in the aroma.

The flavor is great. I get a lot of leather notes as well as some orange citrus. There is some nice wheat and lemon notes mixed in as well. The beer is very dry overall and is very drinkable. As the beer warms I start to get some cherry notes in the flavor.

Medium mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. Outstanding overall.

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Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 1,008 ratings