La Roja | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

very good
1,987 Ratings
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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: 1,987 |  Reviews: 789
Photo of theformula
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of scottfrie
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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 +6.5%

Photo of ek_ek
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Davit
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of stephens101
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
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 +2.3%
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 +12.8%

Photo of jmarsh123
4.35/5  rDev +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 +12.8%

Photo of Supergenious
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of ludachris
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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 -12.3%

Photo of Etan
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
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 -8.5%
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 +25.3%

Photo of IIKaRuII
4.35/5  rDev +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 +0.3%

Photo of cynical1027
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of VIPbeer
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of LittleDon
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blend 18, bottled 9-30-2011, opened 2-19-2012.

Beautiful amber color and clear, despite bottle conditioning. Very short lived head and no lace. Sour fruit and sweet caramel aroma with the sour fruit predominating. Medium to light body Carbonation is perfect, lively, but not overwhelming. Lots of sour fruit and a medium amount of oak, but with enough sweetness counterbalance all this. Bitter finish.

 402 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of TenHornsProud
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky red/brown with a small, fine white head that lingers and laces.

Smells of oak, sweetness, almost cherry, with some darker fruit notes, tartness, some funk. Typical Flanders aroma but really nice in this beer.

Up front wood/fruit character that goes into a big sour note that is tart and somewhat sweet in taste. Again, fits right in with the Flanders red description. There is some more malt character in this beer than others I have had, which I think works. Really nice...some lingering lighter fruit notes and oak character.

Lighter body and high carbonation work well for the style.

A fine representation of the style with a few unique characteristics. This is the first, out of four or five, Jolly Pumpkin beer that I've had that I've been completely sold on.

 783 characters

Photo of doucmehu
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of uvm2003
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,987 ratings.
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