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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,994 |  Reviews: 790
Photo of July2Nov
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy red with a spotty shortlived head. Lace trails on the glass are intermittent. The aroma is of lemon and earthy notes, malt too. Sour notes upfront in the taste, doughy caramel malts and herbal notes build over time providing fantastic balance to the moderate sourness. Kiwi and tropical fruit notes also show. The mouthfeel is full and creamy with carb bubbles. the finish is sweet and sour pretty much equally, with sour lingering longer. Alcohol is impeccably well hidden for 8%.

This is a fantastic Belgian Red Ale. I wish I tried it sooner. Seek this out.

 571 characters

Photo of ScottyC54
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of chocosushi
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Melbourne Bros. Glass
A ~ Eruption! But after a couple minutes, the pour is deep Amber with effervescence that forms into a head all but for a couple seconds. Spritzy mineral water carb.

S ~ Tart cherries with layers of oak long beneath. Slight artificial grape. Vinegar & a splash of alcohol on the end.

T ~ Cherry following through with a berry/vinegar note with a strapping oak middle fading into a whiskey mash/boiled barley note. Splash of Salinity before the dry finish.

M ~ Tart. Not pucker tart, or Sour, but very good! Oakiness is mid-palette & it lingers for awhile. Heat is there which is the only drawback on the feel.

D ~ A good Wild! Easy drinking. Heat would probably diminish with age. Check it out!

 721 characters

Photo of emsroth
2.51/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle

App: a great red orange but a cloudy body. Being a brewer I've come to appreciate clarity. Low carbonation so a small head but that us acceptable for the style.

Smell: a strong scent of sour, unripe fruit and acid. A strange touch of cinnamon. Occasional scent of alcohol.

Taste: an almost fall harvest taste throughout. Strong flavors of sour apples and cinnamon. A bit of hop dryness and lactic sourness in the finish, but the apple cinnamon dominates.

Mouthfeel: medium body with appropriately low carbonation.

Not a bad beer, I just can't get past the fake apple cinnamon taste.
I feel like I'm drinking my generic cold medicine or a harvest time snapple.

It's got interesting characteristics from the wood maturation.

 748 characters

Photo of ryanw111182
1/5  rDev -75.2%

Photo of Winslow
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of theformula
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of scottfrie
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into HOTD tulip. Blend 10, bottled 8/27/2010.

A: Pours a murky burnt cherry color with a couple finger of light tan head that quickly faded into a thick film and fuzzy collar. Soft streaks of laceing were left down the glass after every sip.
S: Big notes of musty cherry skins, cherry pits, and damp earth. Oak is woody and noticeable with even a slight hint of vanilla. There is a light amount of barnyard funk as well as some sour smelling vinegar and acid.
T: Follows the nose with dominating notes of cherry skin and pit tannins, woody oak and earthy funk, and just a hint of caramel and sweet cherry juice in the finish. I get notes of cranberries as well. The aftertaste contains notes of leather and just a hint of dark fruits and vanilla.
M: Tart and refreshing but not acidic or overly vinegary. The body is medium, carbonation is soft and frothy, and the mouthfeel is slight and heavy. Finish is drying with a bit of gritty tannins but I wouldn’t call this beer a desert.
O: A very solid and easy to drink sour. Fruits flavors are definitely “red” and refreshing. I’ve never had this fresh but it certainly is drinking well with a little bit of time in the cellar.

 1,201 characters

Photo of twelveinches
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of ek_ek
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Davit
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of stephens101
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost shiny reddish-orange in color with an airy tan head that disappears quickly. Smells of light sour fruits among some plums and cherries. Caramel, beer bread and taffy are noticed along with a bit of musk. Taste is almost as complex as the aroma with more sour and tangy fruits, orange peel, a vinegar afterthought and a distant oakiness. Slightly puckering, but not overkill. Goes down dry with a medium body. Wild ales haven't always been my thing, but this one works well on many levels.

 495 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Hazy, yeast filled pour with a red body. Off white head forms and fizzes out but I see that with most sours, it had a silky texture. Nice webs of lace after the head dies.

S- Nice fruit and sour tart funk. Like a mix of sour dark cherries, grape skins, citrus and oak.

T- A great mix of dark cherry, green apple and white grapes, general yeast/bacterial funk, oak barrels, lemon citrus, barnyard straw and a bit of caramel malts.

MF- Light body with high fizzy carbonation I find in most sours, on par. Silky and smooth.

Love the dark fruit and slight sour funk interplay. On par with the good fruity funky wild ales.

 624 characters

Photo of npfisher22
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of jmarsh123
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11/29. One of the younger La Rojas I've ever had.

Pours a ruby red with a faint white head.

Aroma is not overly sour, but you can tell it's there. Notes of cranberry, apple and a bit of underlying funk.

Very smooth flavor. The sourness is there, but it takes a back seat to the other flavors. Taste like a funky apple cranberry juice with light hints of oak providing a nice dry finish. All flavors blend nicely and everything was very smooth.

Lighter mouthfeel with medium carbonation levels.

For a beer this young, it is amazing how smooth it is. I'll definitely be stocking up on more of these next time I'm in Michigan.

 636 characters

Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Supergenious
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of ludachris
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just shy of a finger's worh of cream coloured, whispy head rests on top of its rich rusted orange body which looks very enticing. Dots of lace slowly slide down the sides of the glass.

Well rounded and soft is the nose. A pronounced but unoffensive sour tartness is the first thing I pick out which can most likely be attributed to the brett. Candied sour cherries and tart green grape skins give the nose a spritzy fruitiness. Wet hay is spread thinly in the background.

Sour and tart sensations quickly center themselves on the middle of the tongue. Just like the nose, these attributes aren't offensive in any way. Sour cherries, green grape skins, dried apricots, and plums make for a tasty and refreshing fruit melange. The sweetness from the fruit fades in the finish allowing for the sourness from the brett have the final say with a swift dry kick.

Well rounded, prickly, and dry are all fitting adjectives when it comes to describing the feel. With the 7.2% ABV I was expecting the body to be a tad heavier but light to medium, where it naturally sits, adds to its drinkability.

A well crafted beer but for me, not overly impressive. It was well rounded, tamed, and easy to drink which make it perfect for an intro to the style. I wanted a bit more "umph" in the flavour department but I still found it enjoyable nonetheless.

 1,341 characters

Photo of bthomas
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Etan
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blend 22 (bottled 12/12/11).
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Spiegelau tulip.

A: Dark, murky reddish-brown (more on the red side) with a lively tan head full of large bubbles.

S: Mild horsey wild yeast, vinous oak, sour grape, ripe cherry. Smells nice.

T: Quick oak-laced fruity sweetness gives way to a moderately-puckering sour grape and cherry, which builds and then fades, leaving a pleasant lingering sourness along with smooth lactic yeast and oak in the finish. Ghostly breath of sweet caramel malt in the finish as well.

M: Medium-bodied with a nice bit of carbonation pushing up the sourness.

O: A very nicely balanced American sour. Very drinkable without sacrificing that nice flash of puckering sour fruit. The malt profile could be better expressed, but otherwise delicious.

 794 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a flute. Blend 17, bottled 9/16/2011.

A: Hazy orange with tinges of red. One-inch finely bubbled head never yields. Web-like wisps of lacing stick to the glass.

S: Fruity and floral on the nose underneath a stiff acidic tartness. Cherry blossom, apple blossom, orange peel. Hint of white vinegar. Underlying scent of sweet, sugary caramel.

T: The palate is greeted with a strong punch of sour acidity right off the bat. Orange peel dominates, but tastes of sour cherries and pears are perceptible too. Sweet caramel malt tastes provide a nice contrast to all the sourness. Perhaps a hint of biscuit too. Tannic oak sweeps through toward the end with woody vanilla in tow and has an immediate drying effect. Quick finish of vanilla, wood, and some lingering tartness.

M: Light in body, has some of that acidic coca-cola feel that makes it seem as though your teeth are dissolving. Moderate carbonation picks it up and makes it a little more lively.

O: A solid American-made flanders red. Not quite as complex and well balanced as some of the better examples of the style, but it's easily worth a buy. After all, not too many brewers over here even attempt a beer like this.

Notes: It felt a bit too oaky. There is a tad more astringency than I'd normally like, but this is a minor quibble. The whole back end of this beer is dominated by oak and barrel though. I would have preferred to see a more subtle integration. A slightly more skillful blend would probably yield better results.

 1,516 characters

Photo of Beezee
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of IIKaRuII
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Arnolds Carry out for this Cellered 5 year old La roja

Pours a Deep Copper red, with tight tiny khaki colored bubbles. When I opened this it wouldn't stop overflowing out of the bottle. Cloudy with alcohol legs sprouting up quickly. Retention is great.

My oh my this smells fantastic. has a bite to it. You can smell the alcohol almost making it boozy. dates, figs, cherries. certainly sweet.

Taste is amazingly sweet, and tart. Then turns a stinging sour that grabs and won't let go. The cherries linger, been leave almost a red wine taste.

Certainly a full bodied beer. The carbonation helps with the sourness, but has an amazing quantity to leave you grasping for more.

This is a phenomenal Aged Amber Ale. Certainly in my top favorites.

 759 characters

Photo of bishocr
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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