Calabaza Blanca | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

very good
459 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: 459 | Ratings: 981
Photo of Norvelljeff
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Look is a hazy gold/orange/yellow. Head went away quickly and was colored white.
Smell is fruity. I get peaches. No idea if thats what it is brewed with.
Taste is crisp and light. Citrus notes hit the back of the throat and the carbonation is perfect. Last like it looks, light and refreshing.
Feel is nothing.
Overall is that this is avery good beer that I would purchase again if given the money...;)

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

A: Light golden, mostly opaque. Moderate thickness. Large white head dissipates slowly.

S: Moderate orange flavor, lightly tart.

T: Spicy, moderately sweet, medium orange taste. Moderate sour and tart tastes linger on the tongue.

M: Thin with moderate carbonation.

O: Sparkly, spicy orange beverage. Like a more deliberate mimosa.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $10.00 for a 750ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a huge head that stays forever. The clumpy head is there forever on an unfiltered medium gold base.

S- Lots here. Sour base shines through. Grapefruit.

T- Sour and good. Tart and crisp. Well blended beer. This one has a lot going for it. Nice overall beer

M- Dry and crisp. Super tart. Just a nice sour style beer

O- Excellent little brew overall. Looking forward to every sip

Food Pairing

This wonderful little beer went well with...... General Tso's Chicken. This beer ate right through the heat.


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Photo of ordybill
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- big citrus aroma Appearance- Pours a golden color with a large white head Taste- Has a tart citrus flavor Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate to high carbonation Overall- a real good example of a Witbier, highly recommended.

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Photo of ssmack
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden straw colour. Quite hazy. Huge head. I could not keep it down. The head filled at least half of the glass. Tons of very active carbo streams. Not much lacing considering the head.

A very brett aroma. Smellslike a barnyard in a very good way. The brett is over the wheat aroma. Lots of coriander too.

A very tart taste that comes in 2 waves. First upfront is a tart lime taste. Then at the end in the back of the palette is a stronger sharper tartness. Herby taste of coriander along with oakiness from the barrel aging. A medincial brett taste as it warms. This is not the sweet spiciness of a typical witbier.

Very dry feel with lively carbonation in the mouth.

This is hard to rate because it is so atypical of a witbier. I appreciate how well it is made. I enjoy the tartness. It took 2 sittings for me to sip through the 750 ml.

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Photo of mchegash
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Date: 8/9/2014

Appearance - 4.75/5
Perhaps it's just my particular lighting conditions, but this beer absolutely glows when held up to the light. It has a perfect orange beer color. The carbonation bubbles flow quickly upward, making this beer look alive, almost as if it was beckoning me to come drink it. Again, the carbonation might just be due to my particular bottle (the carbonation almost overflowed the bottle when I opened). Once the initial head settles, there is little to no head, but the carbonation bubbles still flow rapidly upward. Even after sitting for probably 5-10 minutes, the carbonation flowing quickly upward is still evident.

Smell - 3.5/5
The initial whiff is a mixture of tasty tart smell and cheap beer smell (which I don't really mind). I didn't seem to really be able to smell much after the initial whiff (perhaps the beer is too cold, or my nose is off today), but what I did smell was essentially the same tart + standard beer smell.

Taste - 4.25/5
My first deep sip reveals a tart, juicy ambiguous fruit flavor--maybe some tastes of apple and lemon as well as other fruits. I have had several other Jolly Pumpkin beers, and I love the sour taste they all have. If you have had the Oro de Calabaza or Calabaza Boreal, the sour taste is basically very similar to those beers. I personally love the sour style of JP beer, and I think JP does a great job at making delicious tart beers. I came into the drinking of this beer with an expectation for the classic JP tartness, and I was not disappointed. Perhaps one minor complaint I have which slightly lowers the rating I give is that the high carbonation level somewhat masks the taste of the beer, however I love the carbonation, so the trade-off is of minor consequence.

Mouthfeel - 4.75/5
The beer is very alive and I can feel the carbonation bubbling on my tongue the moment it makes contact. As a swish the beer around my mouth, more carbonation is created, giving a bubbly mouthfeel. It's a great experience for the mouth. The beer is light, not heavy, it moves easily around the mouth and down the throat.

Overall - 4.5/5
Overall, a great drinking experience. I may be biased due to my love for the tartness of the beer, but since that is part of the intended experience for this beer, I think it is fair to give the beer a high rating for pulling it off well. Definitely a beer I would drink again.

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Photo of TerryW
3.09/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tough pour when its just opened. Really aggressive carbonation. Hazy orange. Nose is sharp and tart, full of apple cider vinegar, some yeast at the tail end.

Just too overwhelmingly sour to me. Decent wheat finish, but the tartness abrades your taste buds and scrubs away most of anything else in the brew. The spices and all the rest are lost in the sour.

Simply too one dimensional to be enjoyed. I've had better wits that have more on offer.

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Photo of BGDrock
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Appearance: aggressive carbonation, pour slowly; huge white head, like meringue, and long retention; foggy, gold coloured body

Aroma: orange and spice are prevalent, a touch of aluminium; peach jam

Taste & Mouthfeel: light and bordering on watery with a champagne like effervescence; mostly bready, wheat flavour with hints of spice, orange rind, clove, coriander, white pepper; once the chill dies down, the mouthfeel improves, growing more full, and the flavours become more clear as well

Overall: in the end, a good witbier but can't say it gained much from aging; might want to have this one a bit warmer than you normally would

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Photo of Franck
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Nice aromas of wild yeast and orange. Very high carbonation. Mouthfeel is strong but short. Very sour with traces of coriander and citrus. Surprisingly, barrel aging taste is quite absent. No bitterness and very refreshing.

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Photo of kellyej
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%

A: Light amber/hay color; weak head
S: Nutmeg, clove, orange, raisin
M: Light, bubbly, dry
T: Sour, spicy (peppery), quite sour, citrusy
Awesome beer. Would love to have again (if I can find it!)

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Photo of peensteen
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%


Hazed, light golden blonde, 3 fingers of white head, lots of lace. Smell is a mix of fruit and oak, citrusy orange and lemon, a bit funky with some spicy points as this warmed. Taste is acidic and tart, dry oak flavours, citrus, orange and lemon, more classic wit flavours of coriander, spice and orange peel is present. Highly carbonated, light to medium bodied, champagne like feel. Not bad, but the excess of carbonation makes this a bit tough to drink a lot of.

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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 mick303
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Large bottle picked up from the LCBO (bottled 21/1/14) and poured into a tulip, my first beer from Jolly Pumpkin and marking my 800th review here. Hoped this would suit the occasion. This bottle was a crazy gusher as I've heard others have found with this batch, a bit disappointing but after the head settled down a bit we had an attractive looking cloudy blonde gold beer with pretty impressive lacing.

S - funky tartness, some of the orange peel comes through with some lactic barrel character. Gooseberry, lime, a complex tart and mildly acetic character, refreshing and decently complex. Powerfully Brett forward as it settles. full and complex.

T - Starts with more lime and white grape notes, refreshing acidity to it. Pick up some interesting yeast interplay, tartness and some subtle vanilla, along with a herbal/floral aspect. Wheat character is pretty apparent with a creamy base for the tart notes of lychee and kiwi to stand, ends a bit more dry and coriander. Finish is really crisp with a lingering brett character that commands a following sip.

M - A quenching beer for sure, it stays quite light on the palate while delivering on all flavour aspects, and a refreshing tart acidity and a delicate finish, sourness is at a noticeable, tasty but thoroughly manageable level, it does form a significant aspect of the beer but the integration is done quite nicely. Sessionable and refreshing definitely.

A refreshing and balanced wit, maintains the lightness and refreshing spice of a traditional wit while packing some interesting barrel and Brett acidity and tart character. I thought aside from the gush on the open this was a well put together beer, noticeable tart lime and gooseberry flavours along the coriander and citric orange. A bit yeast forward at the start but it flows nicely into the spicy and tart fruit body, I enjoyed the concept and beer, certainly one I would recommend for fans of Brett as well as to have myself again.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle served fairly cold into glassware. Purchased from LCBO for $9.20 CDN. Here's hoping this wit is worth it.

Appearance - even a gentle pour yielded inches of white froth resting delicately upon a light and hazy golden beer with just a few orange hues. Incredible lacing left behind and the frothy white head lasts for a good long while. Spectacular looking beer.

Smell - big fruit nose combined with some Belgian yeasts, more similar to smell to a saison than a traditional wit. Quite fruity with some peach and pear as well as some spiciness.

Taste - light and tangy with a healthy helping of Belgian yeast, with some bitterness that comes through with some peach and pear flavor. Some earthiness as well. Tasty but to me this is closer to a low ABV saison than a wit. Quite a bit of orange flavor in this as well.

Mouthfeel - very lively carbonation, smooth feel and dry vinous finish.

Overall - certainly tasty and worth trying especially if you are a saison or wit fan but for the price I will probably pass on this next time.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into nonic pint. bottled on january 21, 2014. consumed on july 25, 2014

a: fully cloudy pale yellow. three fingers of frothy, bubbly, web-like head

s: a nice banana scent up front, then oak, spices, pineapple, lemon, and sour funk

t: tart lemon, wheaty malt, orange, funk, pineapple, oak, coriander, and banana, in that order. has a really dry finish with lingering oak, malt, and slight funk flavours

m: really harsh carbonation right when it hits the tongue, could be toned down a bit. light-bodied

o: a tasty and complex beer with lots of interesting flavours. finishes a bit too dry and i'm not a fan of the bubbly mouthfeel, but other than that, great stuff

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours a cloudy orange yellow with a 1 finger head of foam that shrinks quickly. Lacing, yep.

Coriander, clove, banana, some bubblegum...pretty smelly, err aromatic. Hey is that some Brett in there?

It tastes like someone squeezed a fresh orange into my glass of this beer and then threw a blanket in it. A horse type blanket. The coriander and clove are there but that orange and Brett flavour is killing it. In a good way. I could drink a couple back to back.

The body seems to be medium at times but mostly light. Plenty of carbo.

A nice tasty Wit, for sure.

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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 SHODriver
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 7/24/13

A: poured into a Speigelau pint glass to a light and slightly cloudy yellow topped by a fluffy three finger head with excellent retention and lacing
S: smells of lemony tartness, funk, and oak
T: taste is barnyard and horseblanket with some lactic sourness and more brett flavors, slight spice but not a lot. swallow is somewhat neutral with some light maltyness, oak and more horseblanket
M: this beer is on the light side with prickly carbonation and a dry finish
O: A great beer but not as a wit. Light and tart with some nice funk which makes it a great summer sipper

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

A-hazy yellow color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-wheat, lemon, yeast and light funk, hint of spice, oak

T-wheat bread, lemon, orange,yeast, slight funk, light tartness with little vinous quality, oak

F-medium body with lively carbonation, crisp and dry

O-interesting Witbier, refreshing and enjoyable

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin's Calabaza Blanca a couple weeks ago for $4.99 at The Lager Mill. I had this beer when I visited Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor and I thought it was good and I thought I should pick up one these newly released smaller bottles to review, so lets see how it goes. No bottled on date, but I know it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12.7oz bottle into a my jolly pumpkin snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's looks like an illustration taken right out of a fairy tale, I think it's fairly eye catching. It poured a hazy straw yellow color that took on more of golden hue when held to the light with four fingers worth of fluffy and creamy white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left lots of sticky, spotty and patchy lacing behind. This was a pretty good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness and a medium amount of tartness followed by some citrus aromas being the first show up with lemon peels seeming to stick out the most and it's followed by a slight wheaty aroma. Up next comes that signature funky Jolly Pumpkin yeast that adds just enough funk to the aroma and it's followed by some light oak aromas. Towards the end comes the spices with coriander seeming to stick out the most. This beer had a very nice aroma, I thought the citrus and spices were at both the right level.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by a lower amount of medium tartness being the first to show up along with some nice citrus and lemon peel like aromas and it's followed by the spices with coriander still sticking out the most. Up next comes the yeast and the barrel which are both lighter than they were in the aroma, but they impart the same aspects. On the finish there's a nice wheaty and grainy flavor that lingers into the after taste with some lemon peels and spices. This beer tasted pretty good and it seemed to be balanced nicely.

M- Smooth, crisp, clean, a little prickly, refreshing, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a nice mouthfeel and it suited it nicely.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer and I thought it was a good example of a funky White Ale, it had most of the aspects that I would expect in a White Ale and the spices weren't overpowering, but it had just enough funk to identify it as a Jolly Pumpkin beer. This beer had great drinkability, it was smooth, clean, crisp, slightly prickly, refreshing and the taste did a good job of holding my attention, I would have no problem taking out a big bottle or a few of these smaller bottles, especially on a warm day in the summer, I almost wish it came in cans. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma and drinkability, I thought they were both very nice and to me they were the highlights of this beer. What I like least about this beer was nothing, there isn't anything that I disliked or would change about this beer. I would buy this beer again and now that it's in smaller bottles I can see myself keeping a couple bottles in the fridge all summer long and I would recommend it to anyone that doesn't mind a little funk in their beer. All I all I was pretty happy with this beer, I forgot just how easy drinking and refreshing this beer is and on a warm evening like tonight it's really hitting the spot. This isn't my favorite Jolly Pumpkin beer, but it's still a damn solid addition to their lineup and so far it's my favorite funky White Ale. Great job guys, this was one tasty and refreshing beer, keep up the great work.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Lost Abbey tumbler.

Pours a transparent straw yellow with huge white head that lingers moderately long.

Aroma is lemon peel, coriander, grains of paradise, parsley, faint earthy brett notes, and subtle clove. Maybe a touch of oak present as well.

The taste brings more of the same along with bay leaves, lemon verbena, and some lime zest. Easy drinking, flavorful, and hint of tartness that rounds it out. Without that touch of tartness the beer would suffer.

Mouthfeel is spritzy, lively, with a body in the light side. Refreshing.

Overall a very nice wit beer by JP. Super drinkable, refreshing tartness without crossing over into sour or Berliner like wheat beer territory. Summer drinker to the core.

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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle that has been aging for quite some time. Poured into tulip. Batch 777 from April of 2011

A- Deep, hazy yellow. Fluffy, thick two-finger head that faded rather quickly. Nice looking wheat beer.
N- Earthy must, some grassiness, sour green apple, lemon zest.
T- Wheat, breadiness, slight rice-wine vinegar but not too tart. A little spiciness with some citrus as well. Slight wood flavor from the oak comes through but not as much as I would have thought.
M- Light crispness fairly high carbonation. Really dry finish.
O- Nice characteristics without being overly tart. Interesting meld of barrel-aging on a witbier.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip.
Batch 277 Bottled 12/31/13

A - Strong carbonation rises through the hazy golden beer, fueling it's fluffy cloud-like white head, which leaves oddly sporadic globs of lacing on the glass.

S - Just an ever-so-slight hint of wild yeast funk caresses the delicate pale malt and supple wheat aroma. It's restrained yet sharp tartness and small squirt of lemon juice add a refreshing citrus note to the earthy wet rock and damp clay yeast esters. With virgin oak, the earthiness blankets the beer's soft white pepper and coriander spice subtleties.

T - Behind the initial carbonation attack on the tongue lies grainy pale malt and husky wheat - a base that's just the opposite of the nose. The soft wild yeast remains in tact and just like the aroma foreshadows, it's refreshing and citrusy in conjunction with the little splash of lemon, though spiciness is strangely absent.

M - Sparkling carbonation shocks the tongue with prickliness the first sip but the dry crispness it adds to the beer is quite welcoming; Calabaza Blanca is light bodied and refreshing.

O - At it's core, Jolly Pumpkin's Calabaza Blanca is a complex and thought-provoking brew but, when one doesn't have time to kick back and ponder the depths of subtle wild yeast characteristics in a unique take on a witbier, it remains a crisp and refreshing wheat beer with a little twist!

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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 fancypantsster
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle.
A: Golden with a little bit of haze from the wheat, very little lacing.
S: You can smell the acidity off the nose from the oak with the coriander seeping in at the end.
T: Tart but with great herbal character, oaky, and citrusy, reminiscent of grapefruit.
M: Medium to light medium body, very smooth.
O: Great oak aged wit beer. I love the acidity with the coriander, very citrusy but balanced with the oak.

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Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.9 out of 5 based on 981 ratings.
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