Luciérnaga, The Firefly | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Luciérnaga, The FireflyLuciérnaga, The Firefly
961 Ratings
Luciérnaga, The FireflyLuciérnaga, The Firefly

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 961 |  Reviews: 389
Reviews by redleg64:
Photo of redleg64
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An Americanized barnyard seasonal. Barnyard and maltiness and spices aroma. Lots of head all the time. Very drinkable. Grainy medium mouthfeel, with a bit of bitter astringent sourness in mid-sip. Got more malt than spices, some pepper, vanilla, lemon,coriander, apple . Thanks Dr. Jay

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Photo of PurpleDuck
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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 Phatz
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had the opportunity to share this beer with phnphilly tonight and we discussed splitting a case. WOW!

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange with a moderate white head that remains a cap before disappearing.

Smell: Fruity and yeasty. Even through my cold, I can smell the barnyard funk and the Brettanomyces is certainly there. A bit of granny smith apple.

Taste: Very sour apple and oak. Tart and divine. That Jolly pumpkin Brettanomyces is evident in all there beers and this is no exception. There is a bit of candied malts but then it tends towards the sour side, leaving the mouth just bit of a pucker and a dry tart aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light but lively on the palate with a combination of spices and yeast flavors pinching and poking at the taste buds, smooth sensation though and a lightly astringent finish.

Drinkability: Exceptional. I love sour beers. This one is just sour enough, but so sour as to reduce the drinkability. I defiantly need more of this beer.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of thelagerheads
4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Omigod Ommegang! This reminds me of the Three Philosophers but with an elevated alcohol content and spice feelers I soon forget about that unfortunate wine-beer and direct myself towards the spiritual. Of ascending church steeples and descending bodies in genuflecting waves going up-down up-down. Some bedraggled saint has his face pressed against the stain glass crying knowing that the earth will never suffer as it has sewn. And so being a lit fool is said to be the worst way to review a beer but I disagree. As one should write as close to unconsciousness as is possible to write in a dream-state so should he think about spirits. Ghosts and yeasty succulence flitter away. So comes bliss.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
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 goldenpeanut
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle in good exterior condition poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Capped champaign bottle, no cork. Bottle gushed on opening, as did another Jolly Pumpkin reviewed a few days ago. Carbonation is high but not really excessively so, I think the problem is related to the heavy lees in both bottles, lots of nucleation points.

Poured with a huge light tan head that settled down to a fine foam on top of larger bubbles, very nice.

Very nice aroma with hints of both coriander and grains of paradise (both stated on the label) in a very nice balance with the malt and the yeast notes. This is a type of balance I've only experienced previously with Belgian examples. There is a definite Brett bite in the nose, will it be in the flavor, I am salivating.

Well the gush is now explained, there is definite Brett in the flavor. Explosive carbonation blasts the beer into a foam that coats the palate. There is a full range of flavors to experience as the foam dies back. First there is the flavor of Brett, lactic acid, then citrus notes mostly orange and lime. As the citrus notes fade the bitter becomes forward with a character very similar to bitter orange as used in Wit beer.

The finish is short leaving a spicey bitter to remain, and some sweetness too. A sip finishes quickly; demanding you return to the glass quickly for another. And you obey.

This is truly a great beer, the Brett is really nice, there are cellared flavors here that I though only could be produce in Belgium. I'll be looking for this beer again and will try to stock up on it. I want it with a dinner, duck, steak, anything oily where I want an acidic beer to cut the fat.

If you find this beer buy it, hell, buy at least two, I wish I had.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Luminous, yeastiful, pumpkin orange beneath a beautiful looking head of lightly orange-tinted alabaster. The cap is large thanks to the generous carbonation and is tacky enough to result in a rough-hewn, pitted surface and a good bit of clingy lace. A wonderful appearance.

Firefly's nose is orchard fruity with a dusting of herbs (coriander) and spices (grains of paradise). I certainly couldn't have been that specific had I not seen the brewery's website. The nose is appealing, but it does suffer somewhat in comparison to authentic Belgian pales. It's more simple and direct than it is deep and complex.

Like the nose, the flavor doesn't quite measure up to the best of its Continental counterparts. Now that that's out of the way, I can judge it for what it is rather than what it isn't. The beer is still peach and pear fruity, although it's fruit that has seemingly had the majority of its sugar removed. That gives it an austere, dessicated character rather than a warm, welcoming one.

Grains of paradise (a little too prominent) are much more noticeable than coriander (not quite prominent enough). More depth and complexity is sorely needed and at least a pinch of candi sugar would do wonders. In addition, alcohol plays too much of a role in the flavor profile; hard to believe at only 6.5%. The beer tastes somewhat medicinal as a result.

I was hoping that the ethanol would fade on the finish, allowing the fruit and spice to shine, but no such luck. The mouthfeel is light-medium with a supple silkiness that I'm enjoying. The beer doesn't feel quite as carbonated as it looks, but it's still on the lively side.

Luciernaga falls short of its intended style target. That isn't to say, however, that it isn't worth a purchase. I found enough to like in this bottle to make me rue its faults all the more and to wonder what could have been. Although Firefly doesn't light up the night, it does give off a pleasant little glow. Thanks to deejaydan for the bottle.

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Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slight hazed honey color with a huge blossoming white head that stuck like glue to the glass as it slowly settled,aromas of honey malt and big coriander tones with a hint of orange.First off the beer seemed a bit overcarbonated and was hard going down at first somewhat prickly in the mouth as well,nice flavors not overly big on the phenolic yeastiness that I dont care for much honey sweetness with some black pepper spice with a lighter apple flavor in the finish.A bit raw for sure but a pretty good beer to be had.

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Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on tap at Jolly Pumpkin's pub in Ann Arbor. Sunburst orange with a faint translucency apparent throughout this mostly cloudy and hazy brew. The off-white head is pretty frothy and creamy looking; it recedes quickly, but can be easily conjured back up by swirling the glass a little bit. Moderate, temporary lace spots top off the glass.

I love the nose on this one - it's got a good amount of that signature Jolly Pumpkin barrel aged funk. Plenty of oak, musty cheesecloth funk, and a bit of wet hay. What really piques my interest, though, is the heavy amount of orange zest and coriander, coupled with a mild vanilla aroma and a hint of malty sweetness that really sends off triggers inside my head saying "Orange Creamsicle!" Seriously, this thing smells like a mildly musky and funky creamsicle.

The first sip introduces quite a bit more spices than were really appreciated on the nose; white pepper, heavy coriander, and a bunch of herbal hoppage, front to back. Much like the aroma, the orange/citrus zest and coriander are giving me the big-time creamsicle feel and I'm absolutely loving it. It's undeniably Belgian and undoubtedly tasty.

Mild lemon rind, funky cheese, wet, corky hay, and a great bit of dry oak round out the flavor profile and cruise into the bone-dry finish. A little astringent on the back-end, but everyone who's familiar with Jolly Pumpkin's work will expect that palate-scraping, dry and somewhat astringent finish. It may come off as harsh to some, but I think it works great for the style.

Another winner from Jolly Pumpkin. Maybe I'm a homer and possibly just a bit biased since I'm from Michigan and we (presently) don't have an abundance of farmhouse style brewers, but Jolly Pumpkin knows how to work those Belgian style ales extremely well. I think this beer is totally underrated; a super refreshing ale that would go great with a muggy, late-summer evening.

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Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of MadScientist
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch 1117 Bottled 8-13-2012 Luciernaga The Firefly, 6.5% alcohol Belgian Pale Ale. Thanks to Amanda at the local Cork and Keg for the find in Florida. A beautiful display of bottling by JPAA as usuall with a glowing fairy-like mast of a ship.

A- Like in the name firefly is excellent in explaining the burnt glow of the orange hue made by this brew. Light frothy head that seems to have some slight lacing on the pint glass used for this one... yes a pint... i've had a few of these JPAA in my time.

S- First to come to mind is the musky cellar notes of stag air with no circulation. Followed by a fruity mix of citrus and sharp hops tingling the nose.

T-M- The taste brings on the goodness of this one with fresh lemon and orange peels upfront followed by a tangy almost tart yeasty bite. Aftermath flavors include hint of unripe white grapes and earthy notes. Mouthfeel is easy and lightly carbonated with little to sway you from drinking this as a session but... the price is not right.

All and all a excellent beer from one of my favorite us made Belgian style brewers and I feel it gets the job done with the Belgian Pale Ale style.

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Photo of tbryan5
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of wrycon
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 791/79? Bottled 5-11-20?? (right end of the label is smudged off)

Quite pretty - a lighter golden amber. Smells very tart, very yeasty, with some citrus. A bitter tartness hits initially, which you expect to turn sweet, but the acidity kicks up another notch. Then the funk presents itself, rounding the back end and making it really interesting. The final taste is bitter. Good, complex stuff.

Like it? Sure Do

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright orange pour with a thick, fluffy two finger head and some yeasties in suspension. Nice sticky lacing. Fresh spicy, citric coriander, tropical fruitiness and earthy yeast. Woody, musty floral bouqet and orange peel. Good show.

Crisp fruity flavors of citrus and apple along with some spicy coriander. Woody, earthy yeast notes wash over the back of the palate on the way down. Herbal hop bitterness makes itself known as well. Light and refreshing with a twang of peppery spiciness. A nice mix of flavors that makes for a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is fairly light with strong carbonation that rushes across the tongue. The malt character is light and it could use a bit more..however it's a minor complaint. It's warm and sunny here, a perfect match for The Firefly. I could drink this all day. I look forward to trying more Jolly Pumpkin brews...thanks to marburg for the opportunity here.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Hazy dark orange color with a thick, sticky white head. The head was like meringue. It had a spicy, flowery aroma. Taste was upfront spice, then it became a little sweet, then a tiny hop taste at the end. A thoroughly enjoyable beer.

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Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of heddar33
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of warnerry
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 6/21/10; Blend 3 bottled 4/28/10

Pours a cloudy golden color with two fingers of head, leaving thick lacing behind.

Smell is nice but somewhat subtle. Light nose with coriander and sour notes.

Nice persistent hoppiness in the taste with a lot of earthiness as well.

High carbonation with light to medium mouthfeel Some earthiness lingers on the tongue; pretty dry.

High drinkability, though the earthy bitterness can be a bit much after awhile.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.54/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy, muddy amber with a monster fluffy white head that sticks around and laces the glass.

The aroma is musty yeast, some grains, wood and spices and a little fruit in the background.

The flavor is some slightly tart and acidic fruits and a hint of spices leading to a noticeable, lightly bitter hop finish. It has a very dry lingering aftertaste that I can't quite identify. The mouthfeel is medium with tons of bubbly carbonation.

Overall, a very nice beer. It's not as sour as JP's other brews. It's easy drinking, but the aftertaste doesn't quite jive with me.

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Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 961 ratings