Luciérnaga, The Firefly
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Luciérnaga, The FireflyLuciérnaga, The Firefly
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Belgian Pale Ale
Ranked #4
Ranked #4,371
4.06 | pDev: 10.1%
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States
Luciérnaga, The FireflyLuciérnaga, The Firefly
Notes: June
Reviews: 390 | Ratings: 965 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of macrosmatic
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from (long-standing) notes. Poured from the 750 mL bottle into a Cigar City Brewing goblet. Purchased from a local bottle shop on 6/20/16, consumed about six weeks later.

A: Nice brilliant gold with just a very slight haze. Forms a two-finger off-white head with very good retention. Lots of visible carbonation. A pretty beer for sure.

S: On the low side for overall amount of aroma. But there's musty funk, lemony citrus and coriander, with some biscuit malts. I’m getting more saison yeast than Belgian on the nose.

T: Brettanomyces earthiness and mustiness. Lemon citric tartness – but fairly mild. Brett-derived pineapple and some citrus, tropical fruit, and grassy hops. Biscuit malt body and mild woody oak tannins. Light Belgian fruity yeast esters – pear and mild banana – lurk under the coriander. It finishes with a fruity hop bitterness and more dry Brett funk.

M: A medium body with lots of good carbonation sensation. Low alcohol presence.

O: Tasty and well-made. It doesn’t have huge flavors, or overly sour, or terribly funky, nor particularly hoppy. But it’s balanced in all of those things, and killing off the bottle solo would be no problem. If they packaged this in small format, especially in cans, this would likely be something I'd grab as a change of pace off the shelf. But with this bottle - likely opening it to share with a few people - it just doesn’t deliver a big punch of anything in particular. But I’d definitely grab a pour on tap in a heartbeat if I was in the mood.

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Photo of OohToBeAGooner
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Date bottled: 03.11.14

Look: hazy amber with an orange hue. Nice off white head with evenly dispersed fine bubbles.

Smell: nothing inherently overwhelming. Slight hint of hand sanitizer with an underlying tone of orange peel.

Taste: bright citrus notes with grapefruit throughout. Complex backend of hops and wheat competing in the aftertaste. Bit of a cardboard vibe.

Feel: extremely palatable. Light, yet full mouthfeel coating the tongue but not lingering.

Overall this is a fantastic pale ale. It’s extremely refreshing but still has the depth of an aged beer. After reading some of the other reviews it seem the aging does make a difference this one being nearly 5 years aged. Great brew from the Ann Arbor neighboring town.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottle dated 4/2016:
Okay, I am under the assumption this beer, while a BPA, is not one that definitively should not be aged. I bought it as such from a respectable place, but I could be wrong. This beer has much yin and yang to me at its current age.

The look has a nearly cloudy, somewhat murky amber orange body. Yet, its head is a lovely near white, and doesn't leave the top of the beer throughout this ordeal.

The nose just jumps at me ax oxidized. There's a freshly opened bag of rubber balloon main scent here. Not appetizing. Behind this is a lemon vegetal note, and eventually a decent spice, earthy in general, nutmeg in nature particularly.

The taste has the same rubber balloon aspect, but it isn't as bad. The funky yeast isn't helping, I believe. The earthy spice may also be stepping on the opening, but at least they let up and become an interesting aspect by the end of the taste. There's a light lemon zest that accents the funk. Grains of Paradise seem obvious once I learn that's the spice I am getting. In general, this reminds me of an early fall lawn cleaning, with grass clippings and the first leaves of fall combining for a earthy, grassy tea base upon which there is some spice and funk added.

The oxidized nature was just too much for my enjoyment. I would suggest letting this one warm, as this aspect seemed to fade as I drank the beer. There's some interesting things going on, throughout, but they seem to come together a little better nearer cellar temps. I wonder how much different it would be without two years on it.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Artisan (Rome). A bit hazy orange color with off-white head. Aroma has sweet candied fruits like apricots and tangerines with a light yeast funk. Taste starts with sweet and tart apricot, peach, tangerine but on the finish it gets quite bitter with herbal hop notes. Light to medium body and carbonation. A really well made beer with a good combination of tart, sweet and bitter flavors, all integrated gracefully.

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Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle dated 2010. Poured into a snifter appears a clear copper color with an offwhite head that fades leaving patchcy lace.

The nose is grainy sweet with clove and spices and a hint of orange.

It tastes bitter and rindy with clove and almost has a hint of tea and orange zest as well.

This is light in body with effervescent carbonation. Overall pretty nice.

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Photo of Ottoj55
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great looking, hazy yellow, white foam that left nice lacing. Smells of crackery malt, slight wild funky brett character and tart. Taste is tart with decent funky earthiness just under it, some citrus overtones and a bit of spice. Dry crisp mouthfeel. Outstanding sour beer.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

There's a half inch of eggshell white on top. Gold to amber in color with a hazy complexion. I smell grains of pardise and light coriander. I taste for aims of paradise and light malt with earthy, peppery yeast. There's a slightly sweet taste overall. The mouth is highly carbonated and dry.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A: pours golden yellow with a nice thick, white head. good retention and lacing.

S: brett funk, slight citrus, bready, lemon

T: slightly tart, funky, bready, a bit of bitterness, lemon, slight orange.

M: over carbonated.

O: not terrible. genearlly not a huge fan of the style. the main drawback is overcarbonation.

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Photo of NellysBandaid
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy orange with about two fingers of lingering, fluffy head. Spicy, lemon and stone fruit on the nose. Taste is tart green apple and some spices with grassy hops on the finish. Super dry and refreshing. Pairs great with food.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy golden tea color under a 2” almost meringue like off-white foam cap that persists and clings to the glass.
S: Spicy, tart, lemony nose with traces of hop and light funk.
T: Achieves a balance between fruit, spice and hop bitterness with a moderate wild yeast funk.
F: Very fine carbonation feels soft in the mouth. Medium to medium light body.
O: An interesting, well made sour ale with an assertive bitter emphasis.

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Photo of ARoman
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap, poured into a sampler at American Beer Classic. The aroma is a pleasant blend of wood and sweet spice with a light backing note of stone fruit (peaches?). It's a murky orange yellow with an off-white dense head that has abundant retention and good lace. The taste is a moderate sweetness balanced with sour and a slightly lighter bitter. The oily beer goes down smooth with a creamy carbonation and a light body containing notes of bread, stone fruit, and bitter citrus with a finish that's clean and has a sour note of underripe fruit. The aftertaste is clean and fresh with a light wax quality.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

1 pt.9.4 fl.oz bottle
Served in a Jolly Pumpkin snifter
Bottled 03/11/14

It didn't quite gush after opening, but some white foam had reached the counter after I put the bottle opener away. Once I managed to pour it in my glass I could see that it is an opaque orange color. The head is mountainous and off-white in color and coats the sides of the glass.

It has a musty smell like an old basement. I also pick up on some citrus.

The taste starts out with the citrus, orange seems to be the prominent flavor. The dank, musty taste then moves in. It finishes with a slight bitterness.

Lively mouthfeel

This is a good beer from a great brewery. The cost is the only thing that keeps me from purchasing more bottles. That's why I go straight to the source on most trips to Ann Arbor.

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Photo of wingman14
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy orange with frothy white head. The smell is spicy, with coriander and sweet notes. A very subtle hop comes through as well. The taste is spicy, with some yeast, and subtle hops as well. The bitterness comes in the end, and spices stay throughout aftertaste.
A medium-light beer, nice and smooth with great flavor balance. Overall a nice mix of flavor, done well, very enjoyable.

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Photo of safaricook
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle from 2011 that was still in excellent condition. This beer is not an assault on the senses it is rather a gentle complex composition of Belgian yeasts, spices and barnyard aromas. Would drink this again any time if it was more accessible.

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Photo of babaracas
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy glowing light orange, thick offwhite head, settles slowly to a big cap and rings of thick lace down the glass. Oh yeah, was a pretty serious gusher. Smell: floral, big not quite ripe nectarine, a little spice cake. Taste: peach and lemon, lightly acetic and herbal, more dry stone fruit and coriander, very lightly bready backing, finishing dry with more peach skin and lemon tea. Wee bit of goat cheese and woodiness, nice. Light-medium bodied with very creamy carbonation. Not a lot going on - very tasty and easy drinking though - it would have been great for the summer but this bottle stamped 3/14 just made it to local shelves.

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Photo of PurpleDuck
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. Though not the best example of a pale ale, in my opinion. The reason I think this beer stands out is that it has all the positive elements of a sour and pale ale but with none of the negatives.

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Photo of MarkQ617
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this poured into a pint glass. The color is a hazy golden yellow, with massive head and intense lacing. Flavor was unique, grains of paradise and passion fruit. Not much hoppiness for a pale, but I don't think that's what they're going for here. Aroma was sweet and enjoyable. Good stuff.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.79/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful beer. Huge, fluffy, rocky, merengue head, loads of bubbles racing up the sides of the glass, brilliant orange body. Smells of peppery spice, citrus, light grain, touch of JP house funk, mild brett. Flavor: bone dry, tart, hint of balancing bitterness, actual spices and spiciness from the yeast fully in control, bready malts in the background, floral/grassy hops. Mouthfeel: light, crisp, effervescent. With such excellent head retention, you get fluffy head in every sip; kind of like with a Coke float. Truly excellent beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with great label art and an unbranded green pry-off pressure cap purchased at a local H-E-B grocery and served cold into a Cantillon geuze glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, TX.

Reviewed live as a pale ale per the label. 6.5% ABV. Expectations are high given the brewery, which makes some beers I've really enjoyed in the past. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards.

Upon opening, foam makes a bid for the top, mushrooming out. Pour quickly.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Two fingers wide. Off-white colour. Thin and somewhat weak. Not as full or soft as would be ideal. Has a wanting consistency and a mediocre complexion. Recedes fully within 4-5 minutes, leaving no lacing.

BODY: Translucent transparent pale copper with honey and orange hues. Above average vibrance. Glows when backlit. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

The constantly erupting foam indicates overcarbonation, but also bottle conditioning. I consider it a good thing.

This looks as a Belgian pale should, but the head could be improved and some healthy yeast particulate wouldn't be unwelcome.

AROMA: Has a definite barnyard character, including subtle biscuity Belgian yeast replete with some subtly handled spices - allspice, coriander, and clove, mainly. Green apple. White pepper. Yeasty funkiness. Grains of Paradise. Hay/straw. Belgian golden malts.

The hop profile is primarily floral, with some apt grassy notes in there too that suit the funky Belgian vibe quite well.

Neutral Belgian pale malts provide the simple malt backbone of the brew.

Boasts a white oak barrel character which seems to coax out further nuances from the base beer. The oak sugars are lovely.

No overt alcohol or other off-notes are detectable.

Overall, this is an enchanting aroma which suggests a very complex and subtle brew. I can't wait for the first sip. Mild in strength.

TASTE: The dampened woody notes suit the base beer nicely, bringing barrel sugars and hints of white oak to lend cohesion to the funky flavour profile. The second act is rich with intricacy, boasting varied notes of spices (allspice, white pepper, coriander, Grains of Paradise) over a golden and Belgian pale malt backdrop. Hints of crackery malts and bready malts here and there. The spicy biscuity yeast lends both funkiness and edge, giving the brew a prominent lively Belgian feel.

Green apple. Hints of vague fruits. Barnyard notes of hay and straw, with some farmhouse must.

The hop profile is ideal for the style, lending subtle notes of floral hops and grassiness without intruding on the star of the show - the yeast.

As it comes to temp, more subsidiary notes of lime and sea salt emerge.

Good depth and duration of flavour, with notable amplitude and above average flavour intensity.

It's quite well balanced, juggling its many constituent notes well while still maintaining a natural cohesion. As a result, it feels like a gestalt whole. There's plenty of intricacy and nuance here to please the discerning drinker. Really a lovely brew in its style.

The finish is lovely, smacking a bit of lactic character and leaving the drinker with the ripe green apple in the aftertaste.

TEXTURE: Light-bodied, refreshing, smooth, soft, and wet. It's a biteen too thick.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, rough, or scratchy. Above average acidity.

Overall presence on the palate is good, but not great. This texture doesn't quite elevate the beer beyond the taste, but it's a fine companion to the flavour profile and complements it well.

OVERALL: A nice farmhouse Belgian pale from Jolly Pumpkin, Luciernaga is well worth trying once, but its high price point will deter even the discerning drinker from frequent repurchases. I'd recommend any fan of the style give it a pull at least once, but it's not on par with world-class offerings in the style. I'll enjoy finishing the bottle. More solid work from an oft-underrespected brewery.

High B-

This would develop nicely with some light (~1 year) aging.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Cloudy orange pour with a nice foamy white one-finger head. Aroma is of mild sour fruit. Taste is mildly sour upfront backed by yeast, wood and musty spice flavors. As the beer warms a really nice tart citrus flavor emerges that carries through to the finish.

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Photo of barczar
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

Floral and barnyard aroma, with slight tart fruit character.' Flavor is extremely tart, musty, lightly phenolic, and has a dry, fairly bitter finish. It's more bitter than I prefer, but I like the tartness.

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Photo of MartzMimic
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Pours a cloudy orange with a finger of white head that lasts for a couple minutes. Yeast, banana, cloves and spice predominate the nose. They are also apparent in the taste, but it's moderately sour. Medium light mouth with lots of crisp carbonation. Fairly dry. Every Jolly Pumpkin brew surprises me in one way or another, and with the sourness, this is no exception. Not bad.

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Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, gold color. 2/3 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sourness, slight sweet malt, hint of hop, slight alcohol, yeast, and slight citrus. Fits the style of a Belgian Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is a strong dryness associated with this brew. Tastes of strong sourness, hint of hop, alcohol, sweet malt, and yeast. Good appearance, aroma, blend, and body.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin's Luciernaga, The Firefly last month for $13.49 at The Lager Mill. I've had this beer before and I remember liking it, but other than that I don't remember much about it and I thought I would revisit and review it. Bottle 6/27/13. Poured from a brown 750ml bottle into a Jolly Pumpkin snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a look to it that's a little similar to fairy tale illustration and I think it's fairly eye catching. It poured a golden yellow color that took on more of darker golden amber color when held to the light with three fingers worth of fluffy white head that left some rings of sticky patchy lacing behind. This was a very nice looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the hops being the first to show up and they impart a slight citrus and earthy hop aroma and i'ts followed by some more citrus aromas with some nice lemon like aromas coming through and there's a medium amount of spices showing up in the background with no single spice sticking out the most. Up next comes the funky yeast which imparts a slightly lighter barnyard aroma with some wet straw coming through and in the background comes the barrel which imparts some woody and oak like aromas that are pretty noticeable. This beer had a pretty good aroma, I thought it was well balanced and I have no complaints.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma, but a little lighter and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by the hops still being the first to stick out and they impart the same light hoppy aspect and it's followed by some malty flavors with sweet malts seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes that citrus and lemon aspect with some spices and this time the grains of paradise seem to stick out the most and it's followed by that signature funky jolly pumpkin yeast that imparts a lighter funky flavors with some wet straw still sticking out the most. On the finish there's a slightly higher amount of light bitterness with a light amount of tartness also showing up along with those same barrel aspects that I got in the aroma and it had lemon, light tart, funky yeast and oak barrel like aftertaste. I thought this was a pretty good tasting beer and it seemed to be almost as well balanced as the aroma.

M- Pretty smooth, clean, crisp, dry on the finish, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a high amount of medium carbonation that was right on the border of being highly carbonation. This beer had a pretty good mouthfeel and it worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer and I thought it was a little Belgian Pale Ale like to me and I think it's a good example of a lightly funky and pretty drinkable Jolly Pumpkin beer, I don't think the spices added that much to this beer, but they certainly didn't take anything away from it. This beer had pretty nice drinkability, it was smooth, clean, crisp, dry on the finish, not filling, slightly refreshing and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, this is a nice bottle to split, but I don't think I would have any problem drinking the whole bottle especially on a warm day in the summer. What I like the most about this beer was the balance, nothing was too overpowering with this beer and it seemed like all aspects were kept in check. What I liked the least about this beer was that spices didn't come through a little more and a little more citrus in the flavor wouldn't hurt either. I would buy this beer again, at over $13 it's a little pricey for what you get, so I don't think I will be buying it that often and I recommend it to anyone who likes sessionable funky beers. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer and I like it a little more than I did when I first tried it. It went down pretty easy on a warm first day of June. It's not my favorite Jolly pumpkin beer or sessionable funky beer, but it's pretty good in it's one right and I enjoyed it. Good job guys, this was a nice warm weather beer, keep up the great work.

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Photo of SpiersBrewingCo
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Just received a shipment of Jolly Pumpkin beers from Colorado as I am becoming more and more a fan of Artisan style barrel-aged ales and wild yeast. The first bottle I've tried is Luciernaga.

A: Pours honey-gold with a thick, bubbly and foamy head.

S: Funky woody with a hint of oak.

T: Light then follows with a tart finish with pear and green apples.

M: Extremely carbonated.

O: I am very spoiled living next to Jester King Brewery with their excellent sour and tart flavor profiles. My expectations may be too high although I am looking forward to trying and reviewing the remaining Jolly Pumpkin. That's why I bought several as I am sure there are one or two that will be even better. I'd say this is more of a Session Style Beer similar to the Le Petite France at Jester King.

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Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 965 ratings