Calabaza Blanca | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

very good
458 Reviews
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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 Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Imaginative name and bottle. I liked this mellow wheat beer, but only as a share of a one-time bottle. Carbonation on tongue, with lemon and bitterness in there. Corriander, ginger and spices moderated by malt dose. Thanks to Wohlfs for shlepping to Doug Shoemaker's super tasting.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Artisan White Ale; Ale brewed with spices. Batch 547; Bottled 5-18-10

My opinion: very over rated. I can't help but think that this gets high reviews because people simply think it's supposed to get high reviews. The beer is remarkably uneventful and is not the "tart" beer it purports to be.

Pours a golden orange with a little haze and a short white head;

Nose is a light lime citrus with lemon hints; sweet vinegar undertones. Hints of white pepper.

Mouthfeel is rich and full.

Flavors are of green vegetables - lettuce, cabbage, and with a big celery character. Some white pepper in the mouth. Flavors are delicate and integrated; not really sour but "almost" there.

Short "green" finish.

This is like a beginner's sour. Supposedly brewed with oranges and corriander, neither is apparent in nose of mouth. Supposed to be a tart beer but doesn't get there; tastes a bit like mowed grass. Actually very drinkable in that it is refreshing but really misses the mark; a bit simple, thin and uneventful.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a hazy light yellow with a foamy white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with malt, grain, fruit, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, fruit, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a great friend described this beer as the most similar to what everyone else is doing of the jolly pumpkin repertoire. and while this came before many of them, i generally agree with him. this beer is fabulous, no questioning that, but its not as unique and distinct as their others. this is their take on a belgian wild wit, with coriander and orange peel over a pale wheat malt base with lots of classic dexter michigan funk and brightness. blonde beer with great white head, a nose of herbs, almost like a gin, and funky brett. the flavor is wine-like and fruity, with the orange adding quite a bit. complex and tasty, but indeed similar to other wits out there. some others of theirs, fuego and the special brown come to mind, are so entirely their own, while this one sort of flirts with other beers in the same style. its delicious and refreshing, but less separate. could use a touch more carbonation and maybe the same amount more body, this comes through on the thin side, even for a light style. but its yeasty finish makes it awesome. not critiquing this too hard, but their other beers impress me a bit more.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy pale yellow in color and poured with a thin film of bubbles covering the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of sourness in the nose along with some hints of citrus and spices.
T: The overall taste has a light to moderate amount of sourness with flavors of wheat and notes of spices.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink because the sourness is subdued. It’s a very light, easy to drink and refreshing witbier with a twist.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very complex and experimental Witbier. A lot going on. Aromas are very spicy, citrusy, yeasty, bready, and musky with a touch of tartness that boarders on sour. Looks a hazy straw with an abundance of carbonation and laces very well. An alternating play of tart lemons and grapefruit with sweet oranges and wheat malt swirl around a solid dosing of hops. A moderate base of barley malt gives a bready, yeasty, and a light grain flavor. Spices of corriander and curraco play on the toung. High carbonation gives a creamy texture. Less thin than expected. Finishes dry and quite chardonay-like. Muskiness continues. Lightly sweet and bitter with a light grainy bite in the throat, still, refreshing. A very good beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Honey, your ship seems to have come in - so, what's the catch? Ooooh, lemme guess - it's a big white pumpkin!

This beer pours a hazy, pale golden yellow colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy bone-white head, which leaves some random reaches of splattered sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of gritty wheat malt, funky yeast, orange peel, lemon zest, dried coriander, white pepper, a hint of astringent barrel staves, and a slight earthy leafiness. The taste is rather thin grainy wheat, muddled black pepper and coriander spice, ethereally funky yeast, fairly tart lemon rind, a bit of weak salad vinegar, just-emptied white wine barrels, and a musty, leafy grassiness.

The carbonation is quite tight and well into the realm of frizzante, the body medium-light in weight, barely, and just a bit too fizzy to be deemed particularly smooth. It finishes mostly dry, the grainy wheat handing things off to the lingering yeast, spice, grass, and lemon.

An interesting enough witbier, the typically average sweetness perhaps lacking here, but the expected adjuncts doing well to blend and provide a balanced flavour. I'm not sure the funkitude of the yeast is all that welcome, though, by the style, and certainly not by this camper - kind of detracts from the ease of drinkability, I gotta say.

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Photo of brentk56
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a coudy golden color with tons of frothy white foam; icebergs rather than lace stick to the side of the glass

Smell: Surprisingly tart nose (almost like a Berliner Weisse); clear elements of wheat biscuit, coriander and, to a lesser extent, orange

Taste: Flavor burst of wheat, coriander and orange/lemon bitterness followed by a less sour, but more yeasty, finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied but full of carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice brew for the warmer weather; having picked this up on a recent trip to Orlando, I was hesitant to keep it until next Summer; a very intriguing wit from a brewer I will seek out in the future

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky and opaque blond with a tiny white head that dissipates pretty quickly.

Smell: Musty funk and lemony tang. Signature Jolly Pumpkin musty barrel aroma is present but in good balance with the spicy, zesty quality of the beer.

Taste & mouthfeel: Tangy, mildly funky, ultra light bodied and crisp. Flavors of lemon zest and spice at the forefront. No sweetness whatsoever here, nor is it particularly sour or acidic. This is a witbier with the Jolly Pumpkin twist, exactly what I was hoping for. I could drink a ton of this stuff on a hot Summer day, it's incredibly refreshing and light but still full of flavor.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A barrel aged witbier? Why? I'm skeptical but optimistic. Especially since it's Jolly Pumpkin. Batch 1043. Bottled 03/07/12. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an Odell 90 Shilling pilsner glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger white colour head - quite thin - of no real cream but above average retention. Body colour is a cloudy pale yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks typical of the style.

Sm: Lemon, orange, clove, pale malts, fresh citrus zest, and cilantro (but I wouldn't say coriander, if we're being technical. I don't detect any oak or barrel notes. A fresh aroma of moderate strength.

T: Orange and lemon citrus fruit, with some grassy hops throughout. Lemongrass in the body. Cilantro. Citrus zest. Orange peel. Pale malts are well integrated in the body. It's nicely built for a witbier but lacks the subtlety a better offering would feature.

Mf: Too heavy on the palate for a witbier, which is supposed to be fleeting, light, and refreshing. Still, it's nicely smooth and wet but with enough coarseness to coax out the flavour, and sound dryness on the finish to encourage the next sip. Thickness is troublesome but well executed.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but stops short of refreshing. It's pleasant, but lacks the feel of a solid witbier. I think the barrel aging meated it up too much; it's lost its subtlety. I don't know that the slight aging did it any favours.

Low B-

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Thebeercellar2 : Pour a yellow ale with some white haze and a big foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of brettanomyces was overly dominant and left little space for the coriander and orange peel that were advertised on the label. Taste is also dominated by the brettanomyces with some hints of coriander and wheat. Body is definitely above average for the style and that made it pretty enjoyable. I’m not sure what to make of this beer since I’m not sure the brett was planned to be there but it didn’t stop my enjoyment of the beer.

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Photo of emerge077
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured very slowly into a pint glass, resulting in massive, pillowy foam. Multiple tiny streams of carbonation course through the liquid. Head is slow to fall, looks like a whipped merengue.

As the last dregs of wheat & yeast are swirled then poured, the body becomes increasingly opaque. Watching the yeast fighting against the upward carbonation is like witnessing some primitive chemical reaction.

Smells of coriander, earth, lemon, and fruit pastille candy. Taste is earthy belgian yeast, mildly tart citrus, not much hint of alcohol. Pretty zippy overall with the carbonation and citrus taste. Yeast/wheat delivers a smooth mouthfeel without being soapy or heavy. Tart, tasty, and thirst-quenching.

Ranks among the best and most unique US versions of this Belgian style, in my humble opinion.

Edit: The first time I tried this, I didn't think much of it. By the 2nd or 3rd time, it's subtlety was clearly it's strong suit, and I find myself returning to it again and again for a good thirst-quencher. This ale has expanded my understanding of this style.

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Photo of zeff80
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a light to straw yellow color. Fairly cloudy with a small, white, fizzy head.

S - It smelled of corriander, wheat and yeast.

T - It tasted very spicy. The spiciest wit I've ever had. Nice blend of wheat, citrus and lemon flavors.

M - It was sharp and crisp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very interesting wit. It tasted like nothing like any other wit I've had. Pretty good, too.

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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 mothman
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle into New Belgium Globe Glass (wish I would have had my weizen with me).

A really large 3-4 finger pillow top head, very fluffy. Color is a hazy/cloudy peach orange. Heavy lace patches with a lot of light colored yeast floating around.

Aroma is very fruity. Bananas and orange zest. Also cloves and some leafy hops. Very amazing.

Taste is very powerful for a 4.8% abv beer. It is complex. Very fruity and cloves. A lot of zest. It kind of reminds me of a saison with some farm and funk to it.

Mouthfeel is a little bitter, but mainly smooth. It ends with a fairly well aftertaste.

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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/17/2013. Moderate gusher upon opening, took a while to pour this. Pours very hazy golden straw color with a 3 finger foamy and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big tart lemon, green apple, pear, grape, orange peel, coriander, clove, pepper, wheat, wet hay, grass, floral, funk, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of yeast, spice, and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of tart lemon, pear, green apple, orange peel, clove, pepper, coriander, wheat, hay, grass, floral, funk, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of crisp tartness/spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, light fruits, clove, pepper, coriander, hay, grass, wheat, floral, funk, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Very nice balance and complexity of yeast, spice, and light malt flavors; with a great fruity/spicy balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very high carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very crisp, prickly, and slightly acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent oak aged witbier style. All around great balance and complexity of spice and yeast flavors; and extremely crisp and smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The "white pumpkin" pours a hazy yellow-gold body beneath a fluffy head of bright white. The head retention is great, no doubt buoyed by the effervescent bubbles rising from beneath, but the lacing is limited. The nose is oaky with some orange/lemon and non-descript spice beneath. It's light bodied and zesty in the mouth with a very fine-bubbled, effervescent, natural carbonation from bottle conditioning The flavor is oaky and dry upfront, followed by a spritz of orange/lemon and a touch of ginger-like spice. Coriander becomes apparent in the finish. Tart, refreshing, dry. It has a low bitterness to it, but it's still very dry in the finish, no doubt in great part to the oak-aging. Delicate. Enjoyable.

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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 TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle (Batch 313) into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright yellow color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains sour citrus, Belgian yeast, some spice, light malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with tart and acidic flavors of lemon and other citrus fruits that are quickly followed by wild Belgian yeast and a thin malt character. There is some mild spice in the background along with a faint but complementary hops presence creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sour and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very clean.

D: Tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid, poundable, light, Belgian-style beer worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 964 Bottled on 12-08-2011

A: Pours a cloudy pale to medium yellow in color. The beer has a finger tall fizzy white head that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer as a single patch and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light lacing is observed.

S: Overall this beer has a rather mild aroma. There are notes of citrus and spices along with the sourness I usually associate with brett.

T: Like the smell, the taste of this beer is rather mild with a light presence of wheat, citrus zest, and coriander/spices. Also, there is a pleasant amount of sourness, like what I normally associate with beers that have brett. Very tasty.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly prickly on the tongue due to the sourness combined with the carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this beer, the combination of the brett-like sourness with a witbier. The sourness contribution makes this beer strangely refreshing. Very easy to drink and definitely one that I could have a few during a session.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 279.

Appearance: Pours out a cloudy, straw-colored body with a frothy, tall, white head.

Smell: Pleasant mixture of tangy wheat with tart-scented fruits, earthy, freshly-ground spices, piquant oak, and some punchy lactic notes.

Taste: Soft white wheat with a scant, brief honey-like sweetness. Tart fruity flavors of pears, white peaches, and, lastly, some tastes of sweet and bitter orange peel. Then, in comes the spice hints of coriander and powdered ginger. Relatively smooth, but still slightly puckering oak wood hints. There's sort of a ubiquitous lactic sourness throughout. Finishes rather dry with lingering, lasting touches of oak, spice, and tartness.

Mouthfeel: It's just a hair under medium-bodied. Well carbonated, no question there, and quite bubbly from beginning to end.

Drinkability: To help "set the mood" for this beer, I stepped out into the unpleasant, grotesquely humid, hot Atlanta weather for a few minutes. Though it ultimately lacked the body and creaminess of some witbiers, I felt it excelled surprisingly well in terms of both refreshment and enjoyment (at least with Batch 279). With some beers, clearing through a mere twelve ounces is a chore, but finding the end of this 750ml was a breeze!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly foggy lemony amber with a huge number of bubble streams firing off the bottom of the glass. The head is cumulus cloud white, pillowy and very large. Despite the massive bubble barrage directed at its underside, the foam falls more quickly than it should. The surface is nearly featureless, indicating a lack of stickiness, also apparent in the complete lack of lace. Room for improvement.

The nose is decent for a witbier, but it doesn't overly impress. Sour orchard fruit is dominant with coriander as the most promient style-specific aroma. A faint suggestion of bitter orange peel is evident as well. While there's plenty of power, the nose isn't as integrated or as characterful as I'd like.

It's a little on the flavor-deficient side; an impression that is accentuated by an airy, ultra-light mouthfeel. The flavor profile is made up of tart, unripe fruit (green apple, pear), coriander and a bitter citrusiness that's as much lemon peel as it is orange peel. There isn't much malt sugar present either. The beer is as dry as they come and the back end is positively arid.

Calabaza Blanca is both evanescent (mild, fleeting flavor) and effervescent (reminiscent of Champagne). I usually have a fairly low tolerance for excessive carbonation, but this beer isn't as annoying as it might be due to the fine nature of the bubbles. The mouthfeel is active, but it's more of a low buzz than a soda-like fizziness.

If the body were any lighter it would cease to exist altogether. To be fair, it does acquire a fraction more gravitas once some of the carbonation has exhausted itself. It does, however, come dangerously close to watery on the swallow. The bottom (yeasty) portion of the bottle delivers more flavor, different flavor, but not better flavor.

Mild. Light. Highly carbonated. These aren't usually characteristics that find a great deal of favor with me. Having said that, this is a pretty refreshing beer and is insanely easy to drink. In the end, 'White Gourd' isn't as impressive as its (very impressive) bottle and label would lead one to believe. I still have high hopes for the other Jolly Pumpkin ales though. Thanks to deejaydan for the bottle.

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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 mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always a favorite and welcome one to see on the wall. I could not resist grabbing a pint of this one again.

Wonderful pour, light golden yellow in color with great cloudiness to it. A big white head caps the the top of it nicely before settling down with nice lacing coating the sides of the glass. Aroma is light, slightly tart with hints of citrus and grassy notes, cloves and bananas. Really well done aroma as it seems to get even more complex the further into it you dive. Smooth, coating feel here. Not that crisp and clean feel you would expect from the style, it is fuller with a much more coating feel to it. Again really well done and just a great example of the style. Nice banana and clove flavors play off each other with light peppery spice and lemon zest tacked on for good measure. You could really just drink this one all day.

Overall this is one of the smoothest and easiest drinking beers you can find. Great job here,

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from 2010

A: The beer pours a rather clear golden amber color with a massive white head that is very well retained.

S: A rather strong note of green apples and apple skins to the aroma. There is a light spice character to it as well as some musty oak and a little bit of grass and pear.

T: The flavor is sort of muddled. There are some of the same apple and pear notes with a light lemon zest tartness. Musty funk is there, as with almost all Jolly Pumpkin beers. Very light spice notes on the back end.

M: Light to medium in body with a rather high level of carbonation and a drying finish.

O: Good, but it didn't impress me as much as other Jolly Pumpkin beers.

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