Calabaza Blanca | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: 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

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Reviews: 458 | Ratings: 979
Photo of haggadah
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Screw everything you've heard about this beer. It's a witbier so fine, it very close to a wine in character. Paid nearly $9 for the bottle, and saved for a special occasion. It's a food beer. Three of us enjoyed it with a fried walleye. Nothing could've been better. We all agreed it was a delicious accompaniment. Keep that in mind when you sip this: enjoy every taste. It's one of the best beers I've ever enjoyed. "Good" my eye: it's top dog.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.97/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got in a trade with johnnnniee - many thanks! Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass. The label has an interesting picture on it - great artwork. Batch 272 which according to the bottle log on the website was bottled exactly one year ago. This has some age on it but doesn't seem any worse for the wear. It was a cloudy straw color with tons of carbonation and slight lacing. It had a huge fizzy white head that slowly settled to a constant foam base.

The aroma was amazing. I love wits and this one had the textbook aroma. Dry and spicy with a touch of oak. It was missing the orange peel but I ended up not missing it since the remaining elements were so outstanding. The taste was outstanding as well. Had that great wit bite (think Hoegaarden not Blue Moon) that I love. Very crisp. Hard to explain but it had a dry finish that wasn't dry. That is, it had that great dry taste and finish but it didn't leave you dying for a glass of water. Great balance. The mouthfeel was exceptional with the tartness, dry finish and carb attack.

Overall, a truly outstanding beer that I most highly recommend. Classic wit example. Only wish they were available here but looked them up on Mapquest and they are 5-6 miles from my brother's house so going to hit him up for some regular shipments. This would be a constant in my fridge if available in the Great Beer Desert of Texas. Go get some now!

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Photo of rrwiltse
4.95/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What an absolutely amazing beer! One of, if not THE, best example of this style I've ever had. This little brewery out of Dexter, MI, is simply outstanding. The aroma is outstanding--coriander, citrus, incredibly inviting. Amazingly drinkable, I'm so pleased with the relatively low alcohol content. This will be a great summer beer; also a great session beer.
Highly recommended to anyone who loves witbier.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.88/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy gold-orange color, it is topped by a frothy off white, creamy head that is held up by an ample carbonation. The aroma is spicy with orange peel dominating, but there are notes of ginger, pepper, a hint of musty cobwebs, earthy coriander, and a bright citrus acidity. The aroma is quite nice.

The beer is nice and light on the palate. It starts with a citrusy orange character and finishes with a bright acidity, that moves to an herbal perhaps woody tannic note. There is a nice light wheat character here that mixes well with the other refreshing components of this beer. This really is quite well done actually, at first it seems like a straight up Belgian Wit, but there are subtle notes of complexity here, and I do believe that there is perhaps a bit more acidity than is typical of the more simplistic Witbiers out there. This beer has lots of good spiciness to it as well, I get notes of ginger, pepper, coriander. I like that the coriander is used correctly in this beer, it is not too strong and the earthy-herbal note that is typical of overly-spiced versions is held nicely in check.

This is definitely one of the best Belgian Wits that I have had, I am a sucker for a good Wit, but I think that this has struck a really nice balance. It is bright, citrusy, and quite refreshing, yet it has some subtle complexity to it, but not so much that it gets in the way of this beer being refreshing like it should. Hopefully the barrels that this beer is aged in will be properly inoculated, because this could use a bit more funky complexity to it, that would definitely make this beer perfection in the glass come late spring to summer time. This is by far the best beer from Jolly Pumpkin that I have had, This is in fact just a world class example of this style, and I hope this brewery can get their Barrels going such that all of their beers can get to this level.

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Photo of elginirishpunk
4.87/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured from a 750ml into Pint glass. Decent amount of foam that too a while to settle. Very cloudy.

S- Strong smell of citrus and spices, with a light sweetness.

T- Smooth and sweet with a hints of all the different spices which can be indiviually identified.

M- Smooth and no bittlerness

Vergy good beer for the style. And nice to see from a brewer I have not heard quite a lot about.

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Photo of Mudpuppet
4.83/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a gold-rimmed Brooklyn flute. Pours a gorgeous hazy straw yellow with a .5 inch head. Constant bubbles flying up to the surface similar to champagne.

S- Sour, funk, lemon, apple, and an odd notes of popcorn is all present in this nose. In my world a nose like this lets me know I am in for a treat.

T- Starts with sour and light wheat notes followed by a bit of funk with citrus notes. This is not a over powering beer but better yet a delicate and delicious beer.

M- Very sharp carbonation which cuts through the sour and funk. Almost creamy on the tongue from the natural carbonation. This is not bottle refermented but I don't think it was force carbonated. I maybe wrong on this but it is a very fine carbonation.

D- Absolutely drinkable. I really like this beer. If it wasn't so hard to find this would be my summer drinking beer of choice. I cannot say enough how much I enjoy this brew!

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Photo of Keithernandez
4.73/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a 3 year old 750 ml bottle into a snifter glass.

Look: nice golden color. Good amount of haziness.

Smell: the smell of Brett funk comes through immediately, a nice dose of citrusy zest follows, there are noticeable hints of coriander definitely coming through as well.

Taste: very similar to the smell. The Brett really shines in this beer, a nice citrus profile follows with a slight peppery/dry finish.

Feel: nice and bubbly, fairly light, super drinkable.

Overall: jolly pumpkin has knocked it out of the park with this one, age has done this beer well. I would consider this more of a wild ale rather than a witbier, but it is absolutely amazing. Would highly recommend to try at least once.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
4.72/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 744. Bottled 3-2-2011

Pours a solid, hazy gold that looks like the exact shade of lemon-meringue pie filling. Dense soapy white head, 2 fingers, which recedes completely about the same time the yeast sediment from the bottom starts making a more pronounced presence.

Nose starts with a light malt aroma of white bread, joined by a vanilla creaminess and musty, tart lemon notes. As more of the sediment joins the brew, the bright tartness mellows and nicely joins the yeasty spiciness. The coriander is really coming through now.

The palate is great too- moderate sweetness and an overall light body. The low alcohol coupled with the bright carbonation give it an almost Champagne-like feel- very refreshing. Big notes of meyer lemon and spices, and a finish with just the right amount of tartness- the kind of tartness that a good orange juice has, makes ya finish the carton waaay to fast.

With 'Calabaza' in its name, you have to assume its related in some way to the Oro de Calabaza. And with its brightness, lemony flavors and musty funk, it's basically a much more sessionable Calabaza, which makes me like it even more. The flavors work much better when they're lighter on their feet.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew pours a cloudy pale yellow-white color. The head is massive, creamy, and white. The aroma of oranges with a bit of coriander in the background, and an overall tartness. The taste is of juicy oranges, and is very tart. I think I might even detect some bretta at work. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this may not be a great representation of a witbier, but it is a great representation of a very good beer. I think this just might become my beer for this coming summer.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a hazy gold with tons of rapid bubbles racing up the beer from all points, even climbing up the glass. 1/4" head is maintained well and leaves thick, sticky lacing like merengue when drunk. Even the remaining beer in the bottle has a head. I'm guessing it's some wild and crazy yeast with Omar Gooding and Donny Jeffcoat. Smells of wheat crackers, grain, citrus oils, with spiciness and mustiness from the yeast. Leaves the nose clean after filling it with all these aromas. Upon tasting, a bright acidity rushes the palate. This is very tart. Taste is of lots of citrus, along with wheat malt and grain. Some spicy yeast in the middle. Finishes dry, clean, and with more tartness. This tastes almost like a witbier and gueuze blend. Mouthfeel is light and really spritzy, perfectly setting off the acidity. However, after first pouring, the carbonation was a bit much and would just foam up in my mouth. It's making me kind of gassy too. This is extremely refreshing and sessionable.

Jolly Pumpkin is 2 for 2.

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Photo of ccrida
4.67/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle at cellar temp into my New Belgium goblet, the Calabaza Blanca is a clear gold with a creamy, medium-large sized white head that is slow to subside and leaves a foamy collar.

The aroma is beckoning with a soft sweetness, curacao and a mineral spritziness reminiscent of saisons, with some wheat funk as well. Very nice, but as I often find to be the case with brews that use curacao, there's just a bit to much orange.

The taste is very nice, grainy wheat with just a touch of citrus from the spices and the historically accurate bacteria sourness, which is very rare to find in wit's these day, and exactly why I like this one so much. I particularly like how the spices,are so much less obvious on the palate, in spite of the fairly orange heavy aroma. Highly attenuated with a very clean and dry, bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is light with a creamy yet sharp carbonation that gives it a pleasant crispness.

This is a very drinkable beer if you like the wild ales. I love them, and this is a great example of how they can be restrained and refreshing. The low alcohol also adds to the drink all day in the sun factor. If only it was more affordable, it would be by go to hot day beer. Pretty much the perfect wit for me, at least commercially available. If i tried to brew this myself, I'd probably add a little candi sugar to punch up the ABV about 1.5% while still keeping the body light. But the fact is I really love this one. In fact, as I worked my way through the bottle, I kept bumping up my scores to the point that it's probably one of my highest rated beers, and rightly so for my tastes!

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Photo of rand
4.64/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 250 mL bottle into a Mikasa pilsner glass

A: Looks like a and opaque with white hues, and forms a frothy 2 inch head on a gentle pour that never fully recedes.

S: The nose is lemon pepper and yeasty pastries and a touch of grassy funk. A little barnyard-y, kind of reminds me of something Fantome would brew and call a Saison.

T: The flavors follow, with a tart, honey sweet aspect quickly dried by lemon pepper and orange zest. Maybe a touch of coriander. The yeast yields a touch of funk that carries throughout the sip and accents the drying aspects. Finishes short and dry and refreshing.

M: Light and crisp on the tongue, plenty a carbonation that adds to the levity.

Another ace from JP. This has got to be one of the tastiest, most original takes on the style. I love the session-able approach as well, pretty much nailed this one on all aspects.

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4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Draft pour served in 10.5 oz tulip for $7. Barrel-aged witbier

A: Served with a finger and a half of a dense bright white foamy head. Incredible retention. Even after 30 minutes, the head is persisting. The body is the palest light yellow-orange-gold combination with very little transparency, even when held to light. Very active streamers line the glass, which is already filled with madly rushing bubbles keeping the height of the cap steady. No wait...the head is actually gaining height, lasting for the entire length of the brew.

S & T: The nose is awesome. Tart, mildly sour, faintly funky and it provides great expectation for the flavor to come. The oak plays perfectly off of the aroma profile and somehow even better off of the flavor. Impeccable incorporation. Bit of lemon, hints of vanilla cream, orange peel and coriander. Sour twang with medium length flavor duration and ending with orange-lemon acidity.

M: The mouthfeeel has a buggy bite to it that is most aggressive at the beginning and rounds out around midpalate so that the flavors are the only thing left to be experienced on the back end. I'm assuming the brewer used Lactobacillus as the yeast strain.

D: The Calablaza Blanca is the best witbier [or variation of a witbier] that I've ever had and I believe it deserves more credit than the ratings would lead one to believe. Much more. Phenomenally brew.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle picked up somewhere a month or two back. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a clear light golden color with a thin white head and some spotty lacing. The nose carries some really great wheat character along with a light touch of oak and funk. Slight acidity there as well. Reminds me a bit of a berliner. Flavor confirms that last point. The wheat and bugs combine for a really pleasing dryness. Great balance and supreme drinkability. Light body with crisp -- yet not over the top -- carbonation. Slight acidity to the finish. Extremely solid. Beautiful beer.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw that this beer now comes in six packs, so I had to pick up a single to give it a go. Pours a cool, golden, somewhat murky color, with a nice head that accumulates rapidly, and holds up very well. Sediment can also be seen accumulating toward the bottom of the glass. Aroma has something so familiar in it, but I cannot quite put my finger on it... perhaps the slight funk of hard boiled eggs. It definitely has a certain stink to it, but in a very good way. Other aromas I smelled included vinegar, sour cherries, and lemon. Taste is full of tart lemon flavors, and a bit of green apple. It finishes somewhat on the dry side in a way that is similar to the way a gueze leaves you. Mouthfeel is light, with good dose of carbonation to liven things up a bit. Very easy to drink as well if you are in to other funky wild ales. What a beer! I will be getting this beer again for sure. Probably the most interesting example of this style I have tasted.

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Photo of bort11
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into an oversized mug. Huge billowing white head that is slow to recede. Specks of foam stick to the glass. Color is a bright and hazy golden yellow. Specks of sediment swirl around.

Smell has a light citrus notes with green herbal spices. Coriander and parsley are mixed together. Taste is a light and refreshing lemon zest and white pepper. More coriander and spices. This wit needs no extra fruit added to it.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp, and very refreshing. A great summer beer to sip on while sitting out on the front porch with friends.

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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 Angus703
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 343 Picked up from brewery.

Appearance- Gave it a little swirl, poured a hazy yellow, head was fairly big and foamy, not that great retention though.

Smell- well I'm a little stuffed up, but maybe a little honey, funk.

Taste- Love the sour style, sour funky, obviously a witbier.

Mouthfeel- light, little tangy, combination yet clean enough, to be smooth

Drinkability- just great, I'm going to let it warm up a bit, then have a go at the rest of the bottle.

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Photo of weeare138
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to walleye for this!
Appears a cloudy light gold with a thick 3 finger white head that is slow to fade. There is a constant 1/4" layer of foam for the entire duration. Plenty of sticky white lacing that refuses to drop. Small streams of bubbles arise from the bottom of the glass, which contains yeasty and peppery remnants from the bottle conditioning.
Smell is of creamy, peppery wheat mixed with coriander and citrus that's highlighted by orange peel.
Taste is of well balanced wheat, orange peel, coriander, light pepper and a touch of vanilla.
Mouthfeel is light, citrusy, and smooth with medium carbonation that seems to fit well. A mild sweetness is caressed by a gentle, subdued sourness that isn't obtrusive or offensive. The orange peel pulls most of the flavor towards the front of the tongue and roof of the mouth but everything else seems to be so in place that I wouln't tinker with something as minor as that to possibly sacrifice the integrity of this wonderfully brewed beer.
Drinkability is superb. I wish I had a case of this for the summer.

Finger licking good!

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Photo of cdizinno
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: At first, a gentle pour of the first half of the bottle resulted in a crystal clear golden yellow with a nice white head and champagne-like carbonation. After a few swirls and a vigorous pour, the color turned to a straw/apple cider brownish yellow with a nice creamy white head, heavy cloudiness, and moderate lacing.

S: Very light citrus and mild spiciness.

T&M: Lighter bodied with a very sour, twangy bite. A bit like sweet tarts, but not too sweet. Citrus seems to be more lemony than orange as stated on the label. Very clean and crisp. Tastes a bit like cider. No hops at all, but very nice taste and feel due to its uniqueness.

I like Witbier. Not a huge fan. But if it's good, like this, I can drink more. I recieved this in a beer of the month pack and I hear it is quite costly though. That would be the only thing holding me back from trying more!
Great brew.

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Photo of guthrie
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Based on notes from the bar...
I actually swooned when I first tasted this. It's like a perfect blend of a nice crisp white (like Hitochino White or Blanch de Bruixielles - light, not sluggishly wheaty, with subtle spicing) and a plain lambic or gueze.
Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Slightly hazy, straw yellow slight head (I was being careful not to disturb the sediment), minimal lacing.
Slight brett-funk smell. Some citrusy or slight floral notes in there.
Oh my freakin god. It's really good. A light pineapple taste followed by a nice tart-funky sensation after swallow. The brett is pretty mild in here ( as compared to their Roja) but it's still really nice - subtle.
I would definitely say this is a must try. It may be a nice intro to "real" beers for friends who are uninitiated. Absolutely a nice refreshing summer beer.

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Photo of putnam
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Orange and cardboard-colored with a cream-like, temporary foam on top. Aromas are heated with orange peel, eucalyptus and coriander -- raw seed resins and bakehouse products finish the olfactory image. A big, hyper-mousse texture competes with alcoholic richness long enough to allow flavors of tangerine and sticks to appear. Camphor lines the perimeter. The finish is predominantly bitter and chalky, yet tangy fruits appear there too. Lemon, cinnamon and pepper are conjured upon repetition.
This resides at one pole of the Wit spectrum : big, earthy and exotic : less "Hoegaarden" and more "St. Bernardus" if you will.

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Photo of russpowell
4.51/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 323 pours an effervescent light gold color with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Some yeast sludge clings to the inside of the bottle top... Hazes a bit as the bottle drains, superior head retention & & insane lacing

S: Grainyness & sourness, coriander & lemons in lesser amounts

T: Follows the nose, some lemon zest as well & chalky dryness up front, a touch of coriander & white pepper as well. Lemon zest & sourness as this warms, plus dryness, Finishes zesty, citrussy, with a touch of lemon grass

MF: Light bodied, creamy & a slight grainyness

Very drinkable, not a fan of all Jolly Pumpkin offerings, but this one is very refreshing, a great example of the style & maybe my favorite from these guys

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.51/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml. bottle, 4.8% ABV. Cloudy golden color, with a slight orange tint. Lots of active carbonation produces a thick fluffy white head that lasts the entire life of the beer. Great lace left on the glass at the end.

Orange zest, and other citrus fruits in the aroma, as well as corriander. Slightly sour in the nose as well.

Good tartness up front, without being puckering. Some corriander and spices, but they are restrained. Tartness lingers. Good balance with earthy hops.

Light bodied with refreshing carbonation. Great refreshing beer, perfect for summer.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy gold under a 1” cream colored foam cap that grips the side of the glass.
S: Citrus, barnyard funk, spice aromas.
T: The palate showcases wild yeast with lemony citrus, barnyard, tart, and spice flavors.
F: Has a very fine, soft carbonation and a dry, medium light body.
O: Excellent wild wit.

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Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.9 out of 5 based on 979 ratings.
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