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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Ratings: 991 |  Reviews: 465
Photo of Halcyondays
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, batch 406,

A: Pours a hazy yellow to burnt orange. Very thick long-lasting white head, thick lace, though it was a bit of a gusher on the opening.

S: Coriander initially, but is overtaken with sweet orange peel and lactic acid. Bit of semolina wheat.

T: Definite orange peel which I like in a wit is the predominant flavour with light notes of lactic acid. Coriander and peppery wit flavours are there but understated. Lemon/citric type acid in the finish. There is some acid, but the barrel aging is nowhere near as evident as in some other Jolly Pumpkin beers, but it provides a good overall backbone, coalescing all the flavours together and giving a hint of vanilla on the finish making a lemon custard note which is quite enjoyable.

M: It's so overcarbonated at the beginning, I have to dock it for that, but sometimes it can happen in bottle-conditioned beers. A little coaxing fixes this and leaves a nice spritzy light-bodied ale, mild acid, creamy and dry.

D: This is truly wonderful white ale. The oak aging adds a lot of complexity and the flavours are dynamite. I think I would like this even more with a bit more funk and acid, but it's great as is. One of the more expensive wits on the market, about $5 for 12 oz., but you get something special.

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Photo of organicbrewer
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


A-Very pale straw, about as white as a beer can get. Cloudy. Huge cloud like head.

S-Musty straw. lots of brett. Some orange. no hops.

T-Very tart and dry. Not flabby like many wit beers. A hair less sour would be nice, but this is still tasty.

M-Bone dry. Moderate high carbonation. tart. Perfect.

D-Great for a hot day like today. Very dry and tart. A bit less funk might make this perfect.

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Photo of champ103
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy golden/orange color. A two finger, creamy, white head with good retention. Light lace is left behind.
S: At first, tart orange peal up front. Some barnyard funky yeast that is awesome. Oak and vanilla aromas linger as well. A light peppery spice.
T: Tart fruits are up front. Oranges, lemon, and pears. Funky yeast and spice. The peppery spice is a little more prevalent than in the nose. Some oak and vanilla lingers as well.
M/D: A light to medium body. Crisp and very dry. So easy to drink. This is great on a hot day. I can drink this all day.

This is an excellent beer. Right on the edge of being a Witbier and some sort of Farmhouse Ale. I just love it. Well done Jolly Pumpkin. Highly recommend.

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Photo of Xul
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy pale golden rod, capped by a one to one and a half finger white head. Retention is good and leaves moderate lacing in its wake.

S: Somewhat subdued overall...a moderate tartness up front, followed by spices, some green apple, and a bit of wheat.

T: Tartness comes in up front at a medium level, followed by some clove-centric spices, wheat, lemon zest, and green apples. Not a lot of complexity but enjoyable.

M: Fairly thin body but approproate for style with moderate carbonation.

D: Very quaffable, low ABV certainly doesn't hurt.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Sharing a big bottle two ways.

A- Golden pineapple juice liquid isn't too nice. Whipped white head is really nice and mushrooms out the top of the glass. Lacing is thick and kind of looks lik those vietnames shrimp crackers.

S- A sour, creamy lychee. The whole packag is lik harsh and strong smells intertwined. A bit of a stronger orval yeast smell.

T- Light lychee and pear. Watery. Something reminds me of chloriated pool water. Not incredible. Adding the yeast lees is a good thing, giving the drink character.

M- Close to thin. Astringent. Low carbonation. Doesn't feel well engineered.

D- Good.

Easy to drink but I wouldn't want to drink another one. My friend didn't even want to help me finish the bottle.

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Photo of Tone
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of tart malt, yeast, slight sweet malt, citrus, slight spice, and slight wheat. Fits the style of a Witbier. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is also a noticeable tartness. Tastes of yeast, tart malt, slight pale hop, citrus (lemon), and slight spice. Overall, a good aroma, blend, and body.

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Photo of jwhawkins81
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 298

Aroma - Lemon and a light spice

Appearance - Cloudy yellow with plenty of carbonation, very good looking

Taste - Lemon with a slight acidic tang. Smooth and crisp and a slight dry quality. Pretty tame really

Notes - I first had this beer a couple years ago and found it more enjoyable with a stronger brett quality. I guess I have to assume this bottle was fresh and that one I enjoyed more was aged a little.

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Photo of Stigs
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, served in Stone Levitation glasses

A - pours with a thin layer of loose white bubbles, falling away fairly quickly. the beer is unusually clear for the style - very light gold almost yellow colored with a good amount of bubbling.

S - very pungent tart lemon and sour apple. only a faint amount of wheaty sweetness, coriander, grainy....

T - very crisp, slightly sour green apple and a large amount of grains...some spiciness. great little kick of funk in the second half. noticeable earthy and grassy characteristics.

M - very crunchy and prickly carbonation, thinnish body as expected. finishes quite dry yet refreshing.

D - very unique, missing the Witbier qualities but still a good one. awesomely refreshing, screams "sit outside and enjoy me on a warmer day". really love the subtle musty funkiness that is very delicate.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow with three fingers of persistent head.

The aroma is grainy and hoppy with a nice clove and citrus backbone. Definitely what I would expect for the style.

The flavor is spritzy and first and catches me off guard. Some light grape tartness and a spicy finish. Earthy hops and a bit of must are also noticeable. The body is medium and carbonation is high but not prickly. Everything about this beer seems about standard for what I would consider to be a "good" beer for the style. Overall it didn't really seem noteworthy however.

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

Poured in to my Portsmouth Brewery tulip

A: This beer pours a hazy dark yellow with a two finger of rocky, but very sudsy looking head. Head recedes somewhat quickly and leaves just a few spots of lacing in the glass.

S: Nose has a brewery, or "house," tartness to it and a grapefruit citrus, a light earthy grassiness, and a hint of wheat.

T: Taste starts with a bit of tart, sour apple flavoring, light wheat flavoring moves in, and light grassiness. Grapefruit and lemn tart come barreling through in the finish. Grapefruit tartness really sticks on the tongue after the finish.

M: Light body, medium carbonation, crisp and clean body with a touch of a sticky finish.

D: Goes does easily, well balanced, very tasty, the drinkability on this is very high.

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Photo of Dubber55
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An excellent refreshing beer. Nice and tart. Pours an off white color with a nice cap of foam. Tastes and smells like citrus and green apple, slightly spicy. I am picking up a bit of the orange peel as well in the taste. A bit overly carbonated but a very nice light beer. Excellent for pairing with food

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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 nsmartell
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the Batch 416 bomber bottle poured into a tulip glass. A good Christmas present from my brother.

Appearance: Pours orange in color with a huge fluffy white head that stays around for some time. Lots of bubbles floating to the top.

Smell: Spices, orange and banana cloves and a hint of tartness.

Taste: The tartness really takes over now. Too tart for my tastes for what I was expecting in this beer. The spiciness comes through now as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, very tart and crisp. This beer is well carbonated and finishes nice and dry. However, the tartness is overwhelming.

Drinkability: Due to the tartness, I would be OK with just the 2 glasses this bomber allows. Definitely the most unique witbier I've ever tasted.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Taken from Notes at Christmas (yeah, I've been meaning to add these for quite some time)

Appearance - I pour two glasses, one for my brother in law (cheers!) and one for myself. Two fingers of beautiful fluffy white head are garnered through a moderate pour, and as we sit and chat, the head slowly dissipates leaving some great looking lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Tart, spicy, green apples, the great barnyard funk JP is so famous for is highly prevalent as well. I keep inhaling deeply just enjoying the aroma of this brew. Amazing.

Taste - Witbier's have been growing on me as of late, and what a better way to make me like them better than have one made with JP's twist on the style. Unbelievable. An immediate sour/tart flavor reaches your mouth with slight musty barnyard funk (not as prevalent as in JP's saison's). The flavors of green apples, wheat, white grape, etc. Extremely refreshing as we are drinking this by a roaring fire (and will be drinking some heavy stouts later on out in the cold for the hell of it!). The sip finishes with another tart flavor, leaving your lips slightly pursed for the next drink.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied yet almost watery, very carbonated, and finishes a bit dry.

Drinkability - I would drink this by the gallon. This review is from Christmas and now that I am typing it up I am so annoyed I cannot obtain this readily out here in California (I was home in Illinois at the time I purchased the Calabaza Blanca). Extremely drinkable, but honestly pretty expensive for such a low alcohol content beer. Alas, I guess I have expensive taste, heh. I would buy this again in a heartbeat if I saw it.

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

750ml bottle

Pours a golden yellow color with a very sticky snow white head. Lots of funky lemon skin, light yeast esters in the nose. Clean and refreshing, medium carbonation. Tart is a good enough word to use in describing the bite because this beer is not quite 'sour', a brief bitterness late on the finish balances and rounds everything out nicely. My ideal summer beer to be honest with you, just enough going on to keep things interesting but still light enough to drink in the heat.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 received as a great extra in a fantastic trade with Kbeals.. Very Nice Kevin!! Shared this one with Brenda because she says she likes witbiers, but I think this one is going to make her think.

Foamy white head.. nice lacing that melts pretty quickly.. the brew is a slightly hazed straw golden.

Nose has the JP lactic sour that I know... funky and tart.. phenolic.. green apples.. grape skin.. with warmth shows some dank and dark cellar...

bretty funk .. mild horse blanket .. lemon zest ... tart apple skins .... some spice that may be identifiable as coriander.. dry underripe peach essence..

Lite/medium and abundant sparkly carbonation..

This no where on the same planet as most wits.. but I love the JP take.. and I love the JP funk that permeates this bottle.. strikes me as a bretty American take on a Berliner Weisse.

Thanks again Kevin!! Too much.


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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 Chrisco88
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very pale gold color, almost yellow. A bit of yeast cloudiness which fits the style. Large creamy head that lasts a while.

Aroma: Very light and citrus-y, a bit of a sour twang that I really enjoy but seems to dominate the senses.

Taste: A little sour but perfectly balanced with a clean, tart aftertaste. Tastes a bit like cider but has a great brett taste that I loved. No hop character at all.

Palate: Pretty thin but very intensely carbonated, finishes clean with a nice tart pucker.

Overall: Hands down my favorite wit (my favorite style mind you!) and definitely in my top 5. It's a fantastic tasting beer and stands out among every other wit I've tried, but like most wits it doesn't hold your interest for more than a glass or so.

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Photo of BeerMandS
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a great Beer!
It has very interesting spicy notes to it with I think a very citrus appeal. Unfortunately, I also believe that this appeal is also its demise. I had it in 750ml format and I must admit that in the end it was getting a bit repetitive; I wasn't going back for more.
It looked great! Smelled awesome and was very exciting, then I had my second glass... The palate was somewhat creamy but not as heavy as I expected for a wheat beer.
I think it drinks very well but keep it as an appetizer with a friend. I also think this beer should be drunk during the summer month.

Although I like this beer it's not my favorite from Jolly.

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Photo of icetraxx
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours the same color as apple juice, with some haze from the yeast. A slightly creamy head is formed, and it sticks around for quite awhile, even lacing the glass. This is an interesting looking wit, definitely a bit more yellow than others.

S: Wild yeast, vinegar, and a tinge of malt, the key components of many Jolly Pumpkin brews. The aroma isn't as powerful as I would like, and the citrus and coriander seem lost in the smell.

T: I have to be honest upfront, I was expecting some funkiness here, but what I got was a decent wit that was (slighly) overwhelmed by a sourness from wild yeast. Hops are completely missing, which is ok for the style, but I would like to see a presence as the coriander is too far in the background to replace them. There is a quite a bit of citrus which tastes like lemon to me, but the bottle says orange peel.

The finish is crisp, tart, and clean. No aftertaste. No funkiness. Unusually refined. Dominate flavors include the twang from the yeast, a bit of barely malt, citrus, and a hint of coriander in the background. This beer is disappointing on the complexity front, on top of this, the other flavors don't pop out at me like the tartness initially does. Wheat is disappointingly lost.

Even with these complaints, this beer is more than the sum of its complaints. To be honest, this beer tastes good, actually, it tastes really good in its own way. It just is not the best example of the style, and needs a bit more complexity and flavor pop. This beer tastes surprisingly like a Sauvignon Blanc, and yes, I know that is a wine.

M: Just barely over-carbonated for the style, but otherwise perfect. Exceptionally creamy for a wit, yet a bit watery at the same time while I swirl it around the glass.

D: Just finished the 750ML bottle to myself. I could drink even more. The tart and crisp finish really quench my thirst, and even make me beg for more. I wasn't genuinely upset when I finished the bottle (as I was when I had the Hitachino), I think I need to see a bit more complexity and funkiness to keep me interested in this one.

O: A fine Sauvignon Blanc of Wits, but not the funky over-the-top brew that I hoped it would be. Hitachino White Ale has the funkiness that I desire and is the exact same price (or cheaper) than Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter Glass

Appearance: The pour is a crystal clear canary yellow color with a finger of fluffy white head sitting on top. A few swirls with the snifter give some nice, medium thickness sheets of lace scattered around the glass. The beer also looks quite effervescent. In fact, the stream of bubbles isn't even coming from the center of the glass. They are streaming up between the center and far left side of the glass. Ron, what have you done?!

Smell: The nose isn't as strong as I was hoping. There are some nice notes to be found, but it's all rather subdued. Granny smith apples, wheat, some spice from the yeast, orange, and a little coriander.

Taste: The palate is, unfortunately, following suite with the nose as being rather subdued. In fact, even more so. There just isn't a lot of flavor coming through on this one. You can find all the same notes listed above, but it's being held back from a little too much water being put in.

The tasting starts out with some wheat and pale malt up front. Very little sweetness to be found throughout the tasting. Some coriander shows up along with some tart white grapes and green apples. The finish is dry, with just a little bit of orange peel to finish the tasting.

Mouthfeel: The beer is a bit harsh on the palate at first from the aggressive carbonation. It makes it hard to pick out many notes. I let it sit for an hour while I made a sweet potato pie, a twist on spanakopita. Once I came back, it was much more pleasant to sip on. The body of the beer was just fine; medium to thin bodied.

Drinkability: With such a low ABV, it's an easy beer to drink on just about any night. The nose and palate are both enjoyable, but it isn't my favorite offering from Jolly Pumpkin.

However, keeping style in mind, this is a great wheat beer and Belgian ale; one of my favorites of the style in fact.

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Photo of wedgie9
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted from a 12 ounce bottle.

Aroma - Yeasty, green apple, under ripe white grape, moist aged leather and citrus.

Appearance - The beer has a pale golden color, and it is slightly cloudy. The large fluffy head dissipated quickly.

Taste - The predominant flavor is sour apple. The sour white grape flavor comes through as well. Just a small amount of bitterness.

Palate - The body is very light with an oily texture. The carbonation is lively and the finish is short, but sour and acidic.

Overall - This is a great example of what this style should represent. It is fairly simple but very enjoyable.

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Photo of np0x
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The combination of a witbier with souring character was a great combination, making a refreshing beer even more refreshing. The sour character was faint, but added a refreshing palate cleansing acid bite. Sourness was understated, but nicely balanced with the understated witbier flavors.

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Photo of pwoods
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from a couple old 12oz. and an oval label. Notes.

A: Pours a dull banana color, very cloudy. Towering pearl head with great retention and a few wisps of lacing.

S: Plenty of spicy, fruity yeast. Tart green apples and gree grapes. Plenty of funky, musky, damp cellar, wet hay.

T/M: Like wheaty grains, tart. Plenty of the tart fruits as well. More of the spicy yeast. A bit of orange peel. Some soft but nice funk has developed with some wet hay and maybe even a bit of vinegar. Light crisp body with a little too much carbonation.

D: Low ABV and very drinkable. Oval labels should probably be drunk now before they turn into gushers but I'd say the 12 ouncers have at least another year or so in them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.9 out of 5 based on 991 ratings.
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