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: 980
Photo of alwaysTomorrow
1.24/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

This is not a Witbier, it's a fucking Gose. There is no "balance" between sweetness/tartness as one reviewer put it, there is *zero* sweetness to this beer. nor did I find it particularly "tasty" -- sours admittedly aren't my thing, but I really couldn't pick up *any* subtlety or nuance. Nothing but extreme, funky sourness and vinegary acidity. Like Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus contaminated a vat of lemon juice.

I wouldn't presume to critique an example of a style I don't personally enjoy, but this is very clearly labeled as a Wit and it is categorically not a Wit.

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Photo of edwino
1.56/5  rDev -60%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I'll be brief. Maybe I got hold of a bad bottle, who knows. But this is the first beer in a long time that I have poured down the drain. Absolutely tasteless. Nice bottle design though.

I really expected something more here. I've been a fan of Celis whitefor a long time and thought this might be something along those lines but it is like they took a good white beer and sucked the soul out of it.

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Photo of arboristfish
1.66/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The beer pours a pale straw yellow hazy color. There wasnt any head on this beer, and when I opened it there wasnt that noticeable KSHH sound to it. Hopefully it isnt a bad bottle. The smell is of sweet malt, and hints of orange peel and spices. The beer has a very sour bad funk to it. This has to be infected. Looking at the bottle cap there is a bulge on the bottom. Like a blister with something kind of dirt looking stuff in it. Gonna have to try this again...

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Photo of Enola
2.03/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Received as part of the Double Trouble Bif.

Hmm. This beer is a cloudy yellow. There is a fair head. The smell is typical of the style. The taste is typical as well. The mouthfeel and drinkability are both typical too. Typical as in my least favorite style. This is the first beer of the BIF I have tried. It can only go up from here. On a hot summer day this may be a little more tolerable, but not on a cold winter day beside a wood stove.

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Photo of Windigstadt
2.08/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a slightly hazy yellow-orange with an adequate white head. Some floaties, but it's bottle-conditioned so I'll blame myself for not pouring it well.
S- Very spicy; not really coriander as I'd expect from a Wit; grains of paradise possibly? [Side note: after looking up the Jolly Pumpkin webpage I learned it is indeed coriander; go figure...] Also a strong sour apple note. Not picking up any orange peel.
T- The sour funk of brettomyces predominates. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a huge brett fan, but I can appreciate it where appropriate (e.g. Rodenbach Grand Cru). That being said, it's not part of a traditional Witbier profile, and the only hint of such flavors from the bottle description is the fact that it's aged in an oak barrel. If Jolly Pumpkin had warned me of the strong brett character, I could have avoided this. That being said, there's simply nothing about this beer that says "Witbier." No orange flavor. No coriander flavor. And while a slight lactic tang is appropriate, that's quite different from the funky, earthly sourness found in this beer. I'm sure plenty of Belgian beer folks love this beer and I have no problem with Jolly Pumpkin for brewing this, but don't call it a Witbier.
M- Light and effervescent.
D- Maybe if you're into wild fermentation you'd down several of these, but I'll be lucky if I get through this one bottle.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
2.1/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

i really, really do not get the brett thing and am regretting like hell that i bought an entire sixer of this. i should have known that this is an acquired taste that happens to not be my cup of tea. if i wanted this sour brett stuff (my mistake, i guess), i should have just bought some wine. the sweet looking bottles finally lured me in, though. and despite knowing that they use brett (shouldn't this be a fucking flaw?), i figured they wouldn't use it in a wit, right? woops. this looks like a nice wit, and smells like one too. but in the mouth it's all sourness and astringency. like a beer gone horribly wrong. if anyone wants the rest of this sixer and lives in the naperville area please come and take it before i pour it down the drain. i'm dead serious, just email me and it's yours. it's taking up precious space in my beer fridge.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.48/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not a very good beer. Appearance was orange-y and cloudy with fairly minimal head. Aroma was striking - there was a lot of stinky feet or stinky cheese (isovaleric?) smell going on here, which I found fairly unpleasant (despite a fondness for cheese). Flavor was more distinctly orange-peel and witbier-like, although the sweat and cheese aroma persisted into the flavor. Mouthfeel was pretty astringent, particularly for a beer with such a low ABV. I did not find this to be very drinkable.

I would not recommend this beer.

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Photo of RBorsato
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tasted bottle on 9/25/06 at Tria Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

White-ish colored with a huge white head and overcarbonated resulting in multiple pours. A funky oaky and tart aroma and flavor. The coriander and orange peel don't get a chance to shine in this one. Very light bodied and airy due to carbonation but refreshing enough I guess.

Not quite what I think of when I think of a wit... save your $.

Per Label: 4.8% ABV. "Wit Aged in Large Oak Casks" & "Orange Peel and Coriander"

($6.50 / 12 oz. bottle)

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Photo of PatrickJR
2.61/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Hazy, very pale yellow. Soapy, two finger head rises and falls quickly leaving nothing. No lacing.

S - Pleasant aroma, but not quite on point with a wit. Citrus is present though it leans more towards lemon than orange. There's also a lot of sour aroma from (I assume) brett. A simple wheaty smell provides the backbone but overall it's fairly bland, particularly devoid of any spice or chalky yeast.

T - This hardly resembles a wit. Mild, tangy wheat with a touch of citrus starts things off. Mid palate the flavor becomes grainy and completely devoid of nuance before a slightly sour kick from the brett takes hold. A big, tart lemony element is intense but brief, and the brew finishes with a tapering sourness. No spice at all and very little typical witbier citrus.

M - A bit too thin for the style and quite a bit of carbonation. Both factors are undoubtedly
contributing to a percieved lack of flavor while honing in on the brett character.

D - Well, it isn't terrible. Calabaza Blanca is certainly a drinkable beer but it isn't very interesting. Pale, boring grain with a kick of brett. Rather than a witbier complimented with
brett, as I thought this would be, it's just a watery, boring excuse to throw sourness in a brew.

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Photo of BierGiek
2.72/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Feelings as to this beer noted above. Great appearance, all right aroma, mouth feel light and fitting for the style. As to taste: far too acidic, and the funk overwhelms the delicate witbiet characteristics. What's left is simply too much: no subtlety, too acidic, too funky, too many cooks in the kitchen. Pick a style and run with it; I've had enough of these everything but the kitchen sink beers

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Photo of jp32
2.78/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a champagne color, or pale straw yellow, with just the slightest haze to it. Smells tart. The flavor of the beer is very tart. Reminds me much more of a gose without salinity than it does a witbier. In fact, it barely reminds me of a witbier at all. Think tart, sour, chardonnay. Maybe just this style isn't exactly for me, or the beer wasn't quite what I was expecting it to be, but this one wasn't for me.

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Photo of Applesauce1
2.79/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the Pit Stop in Nelsonville, OH.

Appearance: gold color with a slight haze and a 3/4" head off the pour
Smell: oranges with some skunkiness
Taste: oranges; some malt; very watered down it seems; almost more of a orange pop flavor (not impressive)
Mouthfeel: light bodied
Drinkability: could do three or four in a night because its so light

Overall, I'm not too impressed with this beer. It has some good reviews up, so I might try it again and hopefully get a better bottle next time.

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Photo of pentathlete
2.81/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear gold, almost lagerish appearance. The white head hangs around for a bit then collapses to a ring. Plenty of bubbly carbonation. Nose is odd mix of sugar, vanilla, fake banana odor. Taste is just as strange with a base of rubber band and club soda with some yeast and wheat malt thrown in, but it just isn't enough to overcome the taste. Mouthfeel is ok, medium. I can't get past the flavor. This is my second Jolly Pumpkin that has disappointed, the Roja was the other.

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Photo of mrkrispy
2.82/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Large form bottle says Batch 382/383

We just started getting JP distro back in San Diego summer of 2009, so I am hoping to try more of their beers. This is one I haven't had before.

Pours a very clear golden, more vibrant and yellow than a pils.
Quite bubbly, but no head. No sediment or haze, doesn't look anything like a wit but does look good.

Trademark Jolly Pumpkin funky nose, not sure what bugs are in here. Doesn't smell like brett though. A mild funk, bit of spice, wood, and vanilla? Very mild.

Wow, almost no flavor here. Tastes like a funkified version of a BMC lager. Thin, extremely dry. Tiny amount of lemon and spice far, far, away. Almost no tartness even though it is mentioned to be tart on the label. Double checked with the girl - same opinion... just no flavor. Clean and drinkable, but not in a refreshing way. This is a very poor representation of a witbier (almost no spice, no wheaty mouthfeel, filtered, etc) so it should get lower marks but it at least has some of the JP uniqueness.

This might be the first total disappointment I have had from Jolly Pumpkin. I was concerned about the shipping out here but I had a La Roja that arrived at the same time and it was fine and as I remember it.

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Photo of WhiteOak
2.87/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Golden-white color with a slight haze. The white head falls quickly.

S- Smells nice with big, upfront aromas of wheat, yeast, orange peel, coriander. The smell is alluring, but what follows is a let-down.

T- Shrill, unpleasant tartness and Brett character dominates the palate mercilessly, along with a powdery yeastiness and a grassy hop finish.

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
2.92/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A massive pillowy head that billowed up from a heavily carbonated golden straw colored beer - a little overkill it seemed. The smell is pleasant but nothing is really jumping out at me - lemon, citrusy, funky bits here and there. The taste is the same as the nose for the most part but once the sweet funkiness disappears from my palate the aftertaste imparts an unpleasant metallic flavor that isn't exactly inviting me in for another drink. The mouthfeel is too much to handle - one small sip allows for an explosion of fiz that takes up my entire mouth making it hard for me to really enjoy this. I'm a bit bummed out as this is my first Jolly Pumpkin beer I've tried. I found this bottle along with a Bam Noire in a local gas station/market store and wondered why they were in Omaha, NE (pretty sure JP doesn't distribute here). Anyway I took the advice of some fellow BAs and made the purchase only to be disappointed. I'm hoping this beer is just old and has been sitting there getting worse and worse. Hopefully JP can impress me in the future with some other stuff (I'm sure they will).


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Photo of SixpointJMH
2.93/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy golden colour with a thick frothy white head that quickly dissolves to a lace that leaves minimal residue on the glass. There is also some yeast that can be seen floating in and settling in the glass.

The aroma is a bit yeasty, but primarily tart and lemony, with some grape in the mix at times. There's a slight touch of spice here too, but the lemon notes overpower it for the most part.

The flavour is more fruit. Lemon still leads but grapes are very apparent here in the mix and this one become white wine like at times, with perhaps even a hint of apple juice like flavours. Coriander is slightly noticeable as well amongst the overall tart flavour. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

I wasn't crazy about this one. It's too much of what seems to be a white wine/beer blend. Not bad, just odd and not my cup of tea. I'd call this one average at best overall.

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Photo of Chaney
2.93/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this on draft at Pizza Paradiso in DC over on Dupont Circle.

A: Cloudy, almost peppery orange, with very little head, just a few bubble swirls on top.

S: Very unusual. Smells of pears, orange, coriander, sweet tarts, and pepper.

T: Even more unusual! VERY peppery, with tons of orange. The pepper cuts into the citrus and the two don't go very well together in this setting. Perhaps it's because the carbonation is almost non-existent? Also, I could use more tartness overall. It tastes like diluted orange juice concentrate.

M: Like I said, not much carbonation, which I think would have benefited this one.

D: I wouldn't get this again. There are too many great Witbiers out there.

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Photo of shivtim
2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy yellow with a brilliantly white head. Looks about like it should. Nose is oranges, yeast, and wheat, with some slight spiciness. Taste is orange rinds and corriander, then Lemon Pinesol. The lemon really doesn't work here at all. Mouthfeel is slightly over-carbonated, even for the style. Drinkability is average. Insteresting beer, but the lemon-freshness doesn't quite jive with the orange/spiciness.

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Photo of benito
2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

From a bottle with the enticing Jolly Pumpkin artwork on the front and cheesy Hawaii/rustic country brewery chit-chat on the back, this pours a mix of champagne and straw, like white grape juice, with lots of head and carbonation. The head dissipates quickly, but the effervesence sticks around throughout the entire sampling.

Phenolic smell is evident, sugar and plastic along with hints of citrus, as one might expect from this style. The flavor itself is an interesting contradiction: in what I imagine is an effort to avoid the cloying sweetness that typifies many American versions of the witbier, the brewers have held back on the body and spices and amped up the citrus, carbonation, and tart flavors. In theory, I like the idea, but Calabaza Blanca would certainly benefit from a slightly more heft (and possibly smooth) body and a more distinct spicing. As it was, I found the flavors to be a sort of spritzer-like free-for-all jumble in my mouth.

There's a lot of potential here, and with a little tweaking this could be a top-notch and highly complex brew. As of today, it's not there yet.

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Photo of quasimoto
2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It pours a hazy golden/orange color with only a little bit of head. and some nice lacing. There seems to be a lot of citrus hops in the this beer. But then it blends into a orange aroma. Dry light vinous spices take over this beer. Almost phenolic. Makes me think of eating a raw onion ala Lt Riggs style. The mouthfeel is sharp dry and crisp, but rather harsh on the palette. Hard to enjoy. I'm going to go ahead and maybe purchase a bottle of this, in hopes that it is just bad tap.

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Photo of chinchill
2.97/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

Shared bottle in Atlanta.
A very funky witbier, although I'd classify this as a sour white ale.
Moderately tart and rather lemony.
Some vinegar in the somewhat medicinal aroma.

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Photo of sirpsycho
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a hazy yellow, fluffy white head, no lacing to speak of. Not much aroma to speak of, maybe a little funk and coriander. Soapy white head. Picked up the orange and coriander, also the sour / funk that is Jolly Pumpkin. Not a bad beer, but not my favorite Wit.

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Photo of GimpyCane
3.02/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew was recommended and my wife and I were not that impressed. Poured a hazy blond w/ a creamy white 1 inch head that mostly diminished. Got a whiff of coriander, honey and some smoke elements. The body was light, watery and very fizzy like a champagne. IMO and my wife's opinion there is to much involve and drank like a champagne. Although we finished the 22 oz. bottle it was a hard to finish. For those out there, hope you get a better result.

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Photo of ZAP
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This one just isn't for me....not sure what the hell it is but it's not one for me.

Golden head to speak of....aroma is big on the barnyard wild yeastiness...slight impression of lemons...

Body is fizzy...taste is tart...lemons....a little barnyard on the taste.

Glad I only bought a single rather than a experiment gone bad in my opinion...not what I'm looking for in a whit...

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Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.9 out of 5 based on 980 ratings.
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