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 mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/07/12 notes. Thanks to whoever shared this one at the last DC RB tasting. Blend 2, from 3/18/10.

a - Pours a murky orange amber color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of lightly sour fruits, light funk, brett, oak, earthy notes, and barnyard funk. Very nice, a nice mix of fruits and funk.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, lightly sour fruits, barnyard funk, oak, earthy notes, and musty notes.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

o - Overall a nice beer. Not my favorite JP beer, but seems to have held up well. Some light sour fruits and that JP beer, would have it again.

 630 characters

Photo of willbrown
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of dprophet
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Koufax21
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Blend 19, bottled 10-28-11. Poured from a 750 ml into a chalice. Once popped, my nose was greeted with a rush of foam... Rocket. Once that subsided I get to proceed. Rich amber in color with not much head. Taste is tart. Mild raspberry and white vinegar. Kinda like a watered down oude tart. Decent, but way overpriced.

 319 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up at Whole Foods in DC a bit back. Served in a Jolly Pumpkin tulip.

Pours an amber-brown with a thin off-white head that falls fairly quickly and leaves a thin collar. The nose brings a bit of light lactic acid and some cherry. A bit of cherry pit and mild oak. The flavor really pushes on from there with some nice lactic presence as well as cherry and cherry pit. Oak is good. Really nice. Mouthfeel is crisp and acidic with a dry finish. Impressive. Another winner from JP.

 492 characters

Photo of brnavarra
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of CTAID
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite brews. Described as an American Wild, but I would go as far as to call it a Flanders Red. Reddish copper in appearance, thin head that dissipates but leaves lacing. Smells like only Jolly Pumpkin beers can smell. A funky mixture of citrusy, vinegary, barnyard 'off flavors', oak, lactic acid, and flavors undistinguishable. Yeeeeah. Taste follows the nose, the malt and the hops are not the star of this show. Moderate carbonation, maybe a little bit more than moderate, gives a nice tingly feeling. Very vinegary. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of NarcoSolo
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of LampertLand
2.53/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not sure why the liquor clerk had this with pumpkin ales but I gave one try and learned something , I'm not a fan of American Wild Ales , tasted more like a Barley Wine than an pumpkin ale , maybe that's what a Artisan Ale is ? Lesson learned maybe this will help someone in the future

Cheers LampertLand

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

Reddish copper, slightly hazy, it has a big pale tan head slowly shrinking to foamy ring and a few weak wisps of lace.

Aroma is sour fruits, winy wood, hints of cheese and funkiness, some hay and bread crust.

Taste is lightly tart citric juiciness, vinegar hint, sour fermented plums, wet wine-soaked wood with wood, toasted barley, and bitter leaves in the finish. It has funky winey, juicy, yeasty elements, bread crust, leaves, plus sweetness, tartness, and bitterness all well balanced. It has very good character, well rounded complexity and breadth and is very drinkable. However, it lacks depth and seems a bit thin and light as if all the character is on the edge of evaporating into nothingness.

 706 characters

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

A vibrant red/amber colored beer with generous carbonation fueling a thin, tan head. There is a little lacing on the sides, but the bubbles aren't tight enough to hold on.
There is also ample sediment for those of you that want to know if it was actually bottle was.

This beer maintains a delicate balance between sweet and sour. The only noticeable fruit in the nose is cherries.

The fruitiness that is less distinct in the nose presents itself as boldly tart cherries, unripened banana and peaches. There is a little funkiness, but mainly it's a well made amber ale touched by the sour fairy princess.

It's quite a sour beer, but not the most sour beer I've had. The carbonation and sweetness does a lot to push a vinegary, sour beverage to being both drinkable and elegant.
There is a slightly bitter and funky aftertaste that lingers, but it's not as strong as other sours I've had.

The beer's pretty sour and is definitely worth the price. It's no cantillon, but it gives me hope that someday...on the east coast...we can drink some tasty sours!
Even though they're still made several states away.
I would compare this beer to an ommegang zuur.

 1,219 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a bad looking beer. I may have poured it a bit cold, which leads to minimal head upon initial pour. A nice tight head of tiny off-white bubbles.

The first thing I notice is a Cantillon-like smell. Apple skin and red grape tannins are nice. Almost smells a bit more fruity than a Cantillon. Apple vinegar is minute, but there.

Theres a good bit oak barrel to be found. Sour cherries, tart green apples, and sour grapes. Very light body, and very drinkable. The noticeable absent is the Brett funk that I seem to found a touch of in the nose, but I actually like its absence.

 580 characters

Photo of falcon1
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Rob315
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of DSlim71
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of TheBeerologist
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of actone2001
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My third attempt at trying a sour/wild. Bomber with a sticker that reads 'Blend 10 Bottled 8-27-10'

A - Brick red, orange/reddish brown. Cloudy. Small head that doesn't last.

S - Funk, Sour Cherry and apple. Not off putting for a beginner in this realm.

T - Much like the smell, i get tartness and sour cherry up front. Little bit of sour green apple. I taste a bit of nice oak, and funk as it glides across the tongue.

M - High on carbonation. Medium body.

D - The 7.2% isn't noticeable a bit, and for a sour I could drink this all night. Finished a bomber by myself without a problem.

As far as I'm concerned, this is an exceptional brew. I'm glad that I went with La Roja as my next attempt to appreciate sours. The wood, the sour and funk are extremely well balanced. I'd say this is a great sour for somebody who is just starting in this style.

Re-review notes 1/2/12 - la Roja was one of the first wild ales that tried and I loved it. I still think it is a quality brew, I just like different things in this style now. It's Tart, but does not have the lactic bite that I strive for. I readjusted my ratings based on what I felt after I recently tried nit. Still a great soured brown, and I'd like to see what this beast taste like with some age on it. I still think everybody should start with this beer if dabbling in the style, as it is a great example of what is to come when drinking further 'wild/sours'.

 1,423 characters

Photo of jwhancher
4.94/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a bottle down at Total Wine in DE. Heard some great things about this beer so I opened it to enjoy during this year's Winter Classic. Go Flyers!

A: pours a murky amber with finger wide head. Head fades down to a thin lacing. Sticker on bottle says "Blend 8 - bottled on 6/10/2011".

S: mild to moderate sourness. Subtle oak, caramel, some spiciness, with a nice floral bouquet which reminds me of an elegant red wine.

T: moderate sourness with an acetic vinegar like quality that carries a red grape like taste. Superb.

M: sour with a nice bitter bite. Feels moderately full. After my second fill in my snifter, I'm feeling the alcohol but it neither smells nor tastes like 7.2% ABV.

O: a fantastic American wild ale. Can't believe I didn't try out JP's offerings before this. Will definitely check out more and will revisit this one again when I'm yearning for a sour ale that's both available and somewhat affordable.

 933 characters

Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of fdkayti
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear amber/red with a crisp, short-lived white head. Leaves spotty lacing.

S- Smells slightly acidic, reminiscent of green apples or under-ripe berries.

T- Light fruits (peaches, pears, apples) lend to a crisp, clean flavor. Tartness follows the nose with the green apple flavors, almost vinegar-like. A certain sweetness rounds things out.

MF- High carbonation and light, airy mouthfeel. Crisp. Not much comes to mind.

O/D- A good wild ale for someone who hasn't had a lot of exposure (ie me). Sourness is mild but present, not overwhelming. A good introduction to both Jolly Pumpkin and the style.

 616 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a half inch off white head on a dark copper body. Average lacing and head retention.

S- Aromas of apples and acidity.

T- Somewhat sour but relatively tame compare to others in it's style. Fruity character.

M- Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D/O- Tartness could be upped a tad and would make for a better overall beer. As is, an enjoyable wild that fails to make it to the upper echelon.

 405 characters

Photo of DoctorDog
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of justintcoons
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a flute. Blend 8 - bottled 6/10/2011

A: Pours amber with excellent clarity. Has a short head that dissipates quickly. Lively carbonation and fine webbed lacing.

N: Black cherry, raspberry, a hint of lactic acid, citrus, tropical fruits and naked oak.

T: Light vinegar, black cherry, raspberry and some light orange citrus upfront. Lightly toasted grains, lemon, pineapple and lactic acid follow. Finishes with naked oak, former sour notes, papaya and chardonnay.

M: Medium bodied, tart, semi-sticky and dry.

O: Easy drinking sour. Sour lactic/vinegar notes are excellent mingled with tropical and citrus fruits and a light graininess.

 652 characters

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