La Roja | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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La RojaLa Roja
1,994 Ratings
La RojaLa Roja

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An artisan amber ale brewed in the Flanders tradition. Deep amber with earthy caramel, spice, and sour fruit notes developed through natural barrel aging. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and blended from barrels ranging in age from two to ten months.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-14-2004

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Ratings: 1,994 |  Reviews: 790
Photo of Calculat0r
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of heddar33
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of MadScientist
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of redleg64
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Chugs13
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of BeerHunter76
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Brewsed
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of dhbiker0889
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of sourgrass
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of fehrminator
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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

Pours a color typical of a red or amber ale. Small thin offwhite head on the top, probably no bigger than 1/3". Smell delivers tart and sour notes in the typical Flanders vein, giving it a healthy dose of aged and lightly musty wood or oak. Some darker cherry type of aroma as well.

Taste, pleasant, better than your average Flanders, more tartness, more dark cherry and red fruit like notes. Some toffee to it, although the mouthfeel and consistency of the beer never really goes beyond a standard red or amber ale. Takes on more of a light cabernet tannin aspect than 98% of beers do. Alcohol seems a little more prevalent than most 7% beers.

While it is a plenty enjoyable beer, the $10-15 price these goes for seems somewhat problematic. I'd rather just pay a few dollars more and have the vastly superior Oude Tart.

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Photo of claspada
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent dark amber color with a large amount of fine effervescence and topped with a goodly-sized, off-white head.

Aromas begin with toasted bready and caramel malts, but then the wild yeast-derived funkiness begins to emerge. Oakiness, light lactic acid and some cherry.

The tastes begin with initial maltiness of heavily toasted bread crusts and dark caramel with a brief, restrained sweetness quickly clear the way for a veritable tide of funk-induced flavors. Sours cherries, red apple peels, vanilla and some puckeringly tannic, fouled wood barrel tastes. Fairly earthy and acetic at times.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with traditional Jolly Pumpkin high carbonation. Finish is intially sweet but ends up dry from the ample bubbles. Slight acidity also present in the finish.

Overll this is my favorite year round offering from Jolly Pumpkin and really hits the mark for balance as far as American Wild Ales go.

 936 characters

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

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich amber hue with a decent haze. Hazy enough to obfuscate any apparent effervescence. Quite nice.

Smell: tart, funky aroma with a light hint of amber/caramel malt underneath. Not bad, and quite tart and funky enough!

Taste: starts off with a rich funkiness of blue cheese; perhaps a roquefort. Throughout that is a mild but enticing tartness, like lemonade. Underneath all of this is an amber ale combination of sweetness and breadiness that it is hard to qualify. Normally I would not be a huge fan of this malt flavor, but combined with the roquefort and lemon it is quite enticing. I rather love this beer!

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good level of carbonation and good creaminess. Actually, the initial mouthfeel is rather billowing and wonderful, but it subsides very quickly indeed. In general, though, I like it.

Overall: my first Jolly Pumpkin beer, and I am not at all disappointed. I think it is balanced and quite delightful.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

25.4oz split and poured into a snifter. Blend 10 Bottled 05-18-2012.

A: Pours an opaque ruby red with a 1/2 finger off white head. Hard to see any carbonation with how hazy it is. Head sticks around for most of the glass. Specks of lacing.

S: Tart and funky smell. Real nice sour notes from the wild yeast. There is some musty malt and I think I can pull a slight bitter hop. Hints of a belgianish yeast too.

T: Smacks you in the face with a nice sour and tart taste. Exemplified by letting the beer hit the sides of your tongue at the back of your mouth. Even with the sour front, it still mellows out with some malt and oak.

M: Real clean and crisp light/medium body. Love the puckering effect it has on you. The oak makes it very drinkable. Lingering sourness makes you want more.

Overall another good beer from Jolly Pumpkin. One of my favorites due to its sour qualities. Certainly worth a try by anyone who is a fan of this style.

 943 characters

Photo of Number3red
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of leinie13
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of HopBrain
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

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4/5  rDev -0.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

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3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

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4/5  rDev -0.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of astebelton
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Brenden
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Roja it certainly is, a medium-dark with some thickness to it, though I wouldn't call it hazy; more a natural thickness in the body and color. An off-white head grows to half a finger and shows pretty good retention. Lacing is left spottily but just consistently enough.
Tart and sour in the nose, as expected, there's no questioning the direction the brewers wanted to take with this beer. Acidic with a touch of vinegar that works well, there's also an underlying sweet note that helps to balance it with an earthy undertone. The sourness, of course, gives off impressions of all kinds of tart fruits, particularly cherries, and red wine.
The flavor follows suit but something improves it. I like to think that sweetness in a sour is like malts in an IPA: it's got to be sour, tangy and tart sour, but there should be just enough sweetness to add depth and balance, and even some complexity. Here's where a gentle, somewhat subtle underlying toffee, vanilla and caramel note come in. It allows this beer to work as a funky, wild sour while the creamy sweet note serves to balance it so it's not too sharp. Well done.
There's just enough carbonation to keep this beer going, but a consistent crispness and a well-rounded smoothness help to make this beer pleasing all around.

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La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 1,994 ratings
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