Calabaza Blanca | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Calabaza BlancaCalabaza Blanca
Liked This Beer
3.9 w/ 994 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 994 |  Reviews: 465
Photo of Jablonski
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I had picked up this beer because I had read good things about it. I was not very impressed. The beer pours a color that best resembles the color of banana flavoring that you add to a snow cone. The head was average, but it dissipated quickly and left no lacing. The smell was interesting (a pleasant citrus aroma) but not very strong. The taste was very average. I could taste some spices, but this was overpowered by sourness. It tasted more like lemon juice than anything else. The mouthfeel was nice--a good carbonation, but slightly watery. Not a very drinkable beer, as I had trouble finishing the one I had. As the beer warmed, the spices faded away and it felt like I was drinking pure lemon juice--not too pleasant.

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

Bottle sampled on 09/26/08 at Night of the Funk. Pours a cloudy yellow with a white head. Aroma of sour wheat, slight citrus, and slight hoppiness. Flavor of the same sour wheat, Belgian yeast, with a super sour finish. Almost Berliner Weisse-like with the tart wheat notes. Tasty witbier!
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

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

A- A clear, golden color with a thick, creamy white head that has amazing retention due to the streams of rising carbonation. Very active looking.

S- Slightly sour and funky with light fruit and honey. Kind of subtle, but very appealing.

T- Sweet, sour, funky, fruity, slightly spicy. Complex, but very clean.

M- Very clean and light, but not overly carbonated. One of the cleanest beers I have ever had.

D- A very tasty, light beer. Very refreshing, unique, and enjoyable. As it warmed up, the beer opened up and I enjoyed it a lot more.

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

Slightly hazy golden with white light head. Poured in a bottle courtesy of drewbeerme.

The label says refreshingly tart and I really couldn't put it better. Very easy to drink and quite tasty. One of the best wits I've had. Some lemon and spices, apple/oramge, tartness like cider. Light medium body that goes down easy. Very drinkable.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a pale golden color that is hazy. It has lots of soapy foam that looks like dish washing soap bubbles. It has good lace with a lot of staying power. It has very strong spicy aroma with a sour lemon like smell. Taste like lemon and spice infused with some citric hops. It is sharp and dry but gets sweeter as it sits but it is still tart almost like a dry cider. Light bodied with quite a bit of carbonation.

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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 Greggy
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a some-what soapy head, 1 finger in height. The body is golden with ample yeasty sediment and vigorous carbonation bubbles. Although the head is slightly soapy it does have decent rentention. Lacing is present.

S- Orange, pears, apples, some hay notes, a touch of apricot,

T- Starts with a nice acidity a tart funk off the bat then moves to the finish were i feel some orange apple and some grassy notes.

M- medium carbonation works with the style. Nice tart, sour notes.

D- This is an excellent beer from one of my favorite breweries. It's got quite a bit of funk and tartness and is easily drinkable @ 4.8%.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very light hazy to the light golden colored body. Styrofoam like white head was an inch high but faded rapidly. Streams of carbonation develop halfway up glass. Minimal lace.

A nice wheat aroma in the front. Yeast is present in minimal spurts. Coriander is also present, but there is no hint of any orange peel in the nose.

Orange peel pops very crisply on the tongue. Coriander and wheat flavors are a nice blend to provide a backing to orange flavor. A bit too crisp.

A touch on the watery side. Flavors cling but carbonation helps this slide around easily.

A good brew. Nice with a piece of broiled salmon. A good alternative to some of the mass produced beers of the style. Try it if you like witbier.

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

Poured into a pilsener glass, this nice looking wit displayed a bright but hazy gold color, some long-lasting effervescence and a couple fingers worth of white, small-bubbled head. The head had solid, wheat-ish retention, settling to a nicely thick film that stuck around over the brew. Some lacing.

Tangy aroma, with lemon zest and vinegar. Definitely some of the sour and funk notes I've heard so much about. I guess I've got a rather unique piece of Michigan in me now. A bit of the more standard banana and wheat and coriander kinda undergird things a bit.

A taste of lemon zest, some freshly threshed wheat, hints of apple cider vinegar. Spicing (coriander, white pepper, even hints of ginger) becomes more noticeable towards the end, providing a crisp, dry finish, with something that I'd describe as the memory of sour on the palate.

Crisp and unique, pretty well carbonated, with a light body, this is certainly a drinkable beer. Despite its low ABV, the complexity makes it less than sessionable. Quite glad I tried it though, and will have to return to my local better-beer shop for more Jolly Pumpkin; I can't be sure the shipments will be continuous.

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Photo of notafood
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lovely deep golden color with a massive fluffy white head into a tulip pint glass. Plenty of visible carbonation.

Smells very spicy and sour with some citrus playing as well.
Lemon/orange peel (maybe some lemongrass?), yeasts, and bit of dusty funkiness.

Very zesty citrus flavor with a clean weiss body. Sometimes the fruits remind me of the pear/apple flavors of a good French cidre. Tartness is on par with the best Berliner-Weisse. Delicious.

Fuzzy, medium body, yet still goes down very well. Aftertaste was rather dry but still sweet and floral. This reminds of vinho verde, light tart crisp, and would be perfect to drink on a hot, hot day.

Despite the overt tart/tangy flavor that runs the show, I could drink this all day. Fantastic session beer and a steal at $6.99 per 750ml.

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Photo of JerTheRipper
3.22/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Cloudy amber, almost opaque. Thin head disappears almost immediately, though not completely.

S- Some barrel musk, hint of lemon or orange zest. Alcohol is obvious, but not overpowering.

T- Tangy lemon and orange, with a hint of spices. A little sour for my taste. Finishes very slightly bitter.

M- Medium to medium-high carbonation. Crisp feel goes well with the tangy taste.

D- Refreshing and crisp. Good for outdoors in the summer months.

Overall a good witbier. Worth a try if you happen to see it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get a hold of another bottle.

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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 philipquarles
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-clear golden yellow with a small white head that dissipates to leave a foam film.

The yeast comes through first when taking a whiff, giving it a nice, sour, very Belgian smell. Citrus comes through as well, along with a hint of 'farmhouse' maybe. The sourness definitely carries on to the taste; lots of lactic acid, I guess. Citrus again is there again, along with a kind of musty funk (in a good way) afterwards. Very complex.

Feels good on the palate and definitely very drinkable. The first American 'Belgian-style' beer I've had that actually tastes as though it came from Belgium.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Calabaza Blanca pours a honey colored yellow with a slight haze. The beer seems to be devoid of carbonation save for the occasional bubbles and a thin wispy white cap.

Smells similarly to past Jolly Pumpkin beers no doubt imparted by its yeast, which plays a dominant role. The yeast gives a slightly barnyard and medicinal presence, that stays in check and does not overwhelm. Faintly smells of wheat, spices, apple and honey.

The taste is similar, but slightly less complex. The yeast seems to fade more into the background as the wheat comes through. The fruit notes are not found to any significant degree. Lightly spiced with coriander and a citrus hop finish.

Sipping reveals far more carbonation than is found by its appearance. Fairly light body. I expected some more depth, but altogether its a good brew. Enjoyable on this late summer day.

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

25.4 oz bottle poured into a weizen glass.

Pours a hazy gold with orange hues, lots of little bubbles rising up the glass and a two finger white cloudy head with great retention. Lots of citrus aromas, sweet orange, lemon and pepper. Sweet orange up front, very dry with corriander and pepper in the middle and a lemon rind finish. Light body, medium carbonation, very crisp beer, mouth coating. Solid all the way around.

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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 Beerbuddha
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #279

Appearance- The beer poured a hazy golden color with a nice medium white head that stuck around awhile. The lacing was present throughout the life of the beer.

Smell- Wonderful citrus aroma. Nice hints of orange and lemon zest. Nice barnyard funkiness with hints of spices and hops.

Taste- A nice grain taste with hints of orange, lemons, spices and a sour funkiness. Very clean and dry with a nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- Has a nice creamy mouthfeel with a medium high carbonation which gives it a nice crispness.

Overall- Another impressive beer from Jolly Pumpkin. This one isn't my favorite but is still a top notch, interesting brew. These beers make me want to try more wild ale beers!! Great stuff!

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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 atsprings
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Raleigh Times. Served a hazy straw yellow with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is loads of sweet malts and fruit with a decent spice presence. The taste is anice blend of sweet malt and spice with oak lingering in the background, not overly present as in some oak aged brews. The beer is quite light, crisp and refreshing. This was an enjoyable beer, especially for summer.

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

Light golden color with a thin film for a head. Minimal lacing.

Citrus and coriander smell, as advertised. Perhaps a tiny bit of banana as well, but that seemed to disappear as it warmed.

Tasted of citrus with an ever so slight mustiness to go with it. Not real complex but pretty decent overall. Not as sour as I was expecting.

Great mouthfeel. Prickly and somewhat on the thin side.

This was a drinkable beer, and very nice for the summer months. Nothing exceptional here, but worth a try if you come across it.

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Photo of sholland119
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear light yellow with a thin white head.

S-Strong coriander and citrus notes.

T-The sourness of the oak aging dominates the flavor. A bit of citrus mixes with in as well.

M-Mouthfeel is light with lots of champagne like carbonation.

D-Light and drinkable.


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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 GoodKnight1220
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

This is a bright hazy yellow brew, with a slight head that fades quickly.

Smells of apples and cherries, kind of a cider scent.

Tastes like a cider at first and then the spicy wheat and cherry undertone kicks in.

mouthfeel is very crisp and refreshing, a little over carbonated, making you burp excessively.

Could drink several of these, as they go down very easy.

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Photo of 0110x011
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy straw yellow into a snifter. Bubbly, one-finger head quickly disappears leaving virtually no lacing. Nose is lemon, spice, an bright fruits. Not all that pungent. I really had to stick my nose deep in the glass. Flavor is pretty much the same, with a sour pucker and some barnyard funk. Like the nose, the flavor is very light, bordering on watery. Big bubbly carbonation and high acidity for a dry, crisp mouthfeel. Almost like a light RR Temptation moreso than a Wit. A fine summer sipper, but I lean towards more flavorful brews.

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

Jolly Pumpkin is one of my favorite American Breweries and they have all the characters that a classic, high quality micro-brewery should posess, including a healthy dose of outsider/weird sensibility and a diminished sense of risk avoidance. Calabaza Blanca is a Belgian by way of Dexter, Michigan style Witbier, which is spiced in the traditional sense with orange peel and corriander, and is also oak aged and bottle conditioned. Jolly pumpkin pretty dependably offers a weird and infected take on a classic style, and this is no exception -- the usual spice and funk of a Witbier, which is found in the background and almost entirely caused by yeast and lack of filtration, is all the way up front on this beer, a massive nose full of sour and puckering farm stink procedes any sips you take. Which of course is a good thing.

So yeah, this is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a sour Witbier, but one that is very nicely balanced, very dry, and very Champagne like. This is not an easy thing to pull off and once again Jolly Pumpking doesn't disappoint. They manage to create a drinkable, even sessionable beer here with a less than 5% ABV and a truly refreshing finish. Another Infected Session beer that you would be super stoked to have a six pack of at a barbecue or for a hang out day in the yard. Glad to have grabbed a six pack of this at State Line Liquors on the way back from a trip down to Maryalnd, which by the way, lives up to its reputation for having great craft beers in what is quickly becoming an exciting part of the world for beer in general.

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Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 75.6% out of 100 with 994 ratings
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