Luciérnaga, The Firefly | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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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:

Added by putnam on 10-28-2004

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Reviews: 385 | Ratings: 946
Photo of BitterBrian
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What is this? A perfect score? The answer is yes. This stuff was Divine. (Note the capital D)

Due to illness this past weekend, we celebrated Easter with family tonight. I brought this bottle along and I am glad I did. It complimented everything I ate - the salty ham, scalloped potatoes, bean cassarole and especially the strawberry pie.

I poured into a tall wine glass and the fluffy head retention was amazing. Almost like a sweet gummy cotton candy. The smell was very rich and I made it a point to take a big 'ol whiff before every sip. What did it smell like? Shit if I know. I didn't compare it to anything, I just enjoyed it everytime it hit my schnaz.

The taste was also sweet, but in a dry, fruity fashion. The bottle says it was spiced with coriander and grains of paradise. I didn't detect as much coriander as it usually ruins it for me, so it must've been the grains that I enjoyed most.

Color was of burnt umber. . . not that it matters. This was one delicious brew. I could easily drink it all the time, IF I had the Hamilton's for it.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.97/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a Leffe goblet, The Firefly shows plenty of soft-looking carbonation and a hazed golden body. Also, I should add that while I am not rating for bottle label art, this is one of the coolest labels I've ever seen.

S - Spicy and floral, orange blossom and wildflowers. Some light white peach. It has a crisp, fresh aroma. Wow, some amazing fragrant rosewater as it warms.

T - One sip, and you can tell this is Jolly Pumpkin. Yet, it isn't the typical Jolly Pumpkin Brett bomb. While obviously a Brett beer, it seems that the barrel aging, spicing, and relatively aggressive hopping of this beer have combined to make this a really tight beer. Indeed, I don't find any loose ends dangling here. What hits the palate first is a wave of game-y bitterness, slightly soured leather with some push-back from the floral, grassy hops and a sense of orange peel and white peach. Peppery in the middle, with the grains of paradise, yet I suspect this would have come off as a peppery beer even if it had not been spiced. Very, very dry. A little musty barrel quality, but again, this isn't coming off as a big funky wild yeast-and-barrels affair. It's more elegant and pulled together than that, closer to the tight craft you expect from Orval than from a bugged-out American Wild Ale.

F - One area in which I've found Jolly Pumpkin to be inconsistent is with the carbonation. I've had some bad bottles from them that were flat. Others have been over-carbonated. Not this one though, this one is just right. While well-carbonated, it is entirely appropriate; it doesn't go overboard. I don't have to swirl the glass madly to get rid of some of the carbonation so I can taste the beer. It is very well carbonated, but it's *soft* carbonation.

D - Well, let's see. It's bone-dry. Complex and interesting. Manageable 6.5% ABV. High flavor-to-ABV ratio. Would pair well with a wide variety of foods. I'd say that adds up to a real winner. I was expecting a lot from this, and it didn't let me down. This sits with E.S.Bam as one of my favorite Jolly Pumpkins.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.92/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

No question about it, this beer stole the show at last night's tasting, even over the Dark Lord! Very fine beer. My favorite from Jolly Pumpkin to date, and an instant favorite. I would love to have more of this, but unfortunately it was acquired from out of state.

The beer looks good enough. Nice and light pale golden color with a light haze and a creamy white head. Nice active carbonation. Lacing is fluffy.

The smell is quite exceptional. The coriander goes perfect with the flowery hops and other spices, as well as the infectious yeast flavors/aromas. The taste is just as good, if not better. Starts off with a nice sharp citrusy tart flavor, fading into a flowery hop flavor, and finishing bone dry with a funky saison-like finish of barnyard must. Very smooth. Not sour or acidic at all. Everything works perfectly together to create this magnificent brew. I love Jolly Pumpkin, but most of all, I love this beer in particular.

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Photo of thelagerheads
4.9/5  rDev +21%
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 gbontrag
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's nice to see a 750 with a cap instead of a cork.
Wow, pours frothy, then simmers to the color of dried orange peels...
"We interrupt this description to bring you the aroma of perfume!"
God that smells sweet, floral, herbal, minerally.
This is juicy unlike any beer I've ever tasted. The froth has literally transformed itself into a white top hat. This ambrosia turns and turns on the palate with sweetness, herbal essences, bitterness, floral water, strained grapefruit juice. Unbelievable. Tangerine. A bit of chardonnay, and oak. I'd call this intense, but it's so lite. It washes over my mouth like ocean waves on a white beach; gently coloring my palate with insane softness, and depth. Fine carbonation, sweet and tangy with perfect herbal bitterness. It opens like a flower releasing more botannical aromas with each sip. This is what makes beer appreciation so worthwhile. This is just a damn fine drink with every quality you could want in your refreshment. wow

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle (courtesy of Sammy): Poured a dirty yellow color ale with a huge white foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of floral malt with a good dose of Brett is exquisite. Taste is almost perfect with a great mix between floral malt, oak and a well balance presence of sourness and tart. The spices that are mentioned on the label (Coriander and grain of paradise) are very subtle and could hardly be tasted though. This is probably the closest thing to Orval that I’ve had the chance to drink. I do wonder when going through some of the other ratings and the description on the label if the Brett and the sourness were intended or not but in any case I am not complaining because this was a great beer experience.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours rusty, hazy orange with a huge rocky head. Reduces slowly, leaving a big cap of foam and a zigzag pattern of sticky lacing.

S-Super funky with aromas of new American oak, grassy hops and grapefruit/tangerine skins. Mouth watering.

T/M-Everything promised in the nose is delivereed in the flavor profile. Funky, earthy brettanomyces and washed rind cheesiness, reminiscent of Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk. Hops are alternately earthy and grassy, and meld beautifully with the slick yeasty finish and vibrant, chewy carbonation.

O-One of the best wild ales I've had. Nearly perfect.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
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 goldenpeanut
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
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 gregc
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a orange like color with a 1 to 2 finger head. Aroma of orange rind, wet oak, coriander and some funk.
Taste is great with the oak and the coriander really coming through. I taste sour funk and sweetness, its a great flavor, and has a nice dryness from the oak in the finish. The mouthfeel is great, nicely carbonated, very light and crisp, a nice summer beer in my opinion. Jolly Pumpkin comes through with another great funky beer.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge, mountain of a head. The beer was a bit of a gusher out of the bottle. Hazy gold to orange color.

The aroma is simply amazing! Complex malt, apples, orange zest, spicy yeast and a tangy sourness make up the smell. The taste begins with a very earthy, woody malt, followed by a slight sourness. The coriander and other spices come later. Freshly made bread and a little musty hop flavor, too.

For how complex the aroma and flavor are, the dry finish and lively carbonation make this beer insanely drinkable. Absolutely a world class beer!

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Photo of gordavidson
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A wonderful, luminescent, cloudy orange beverage. The head is monstrously thick and craggy. It shows its weight by dimpling the top of the beer. When the head settles down a little bit, it leaves some excellent lacing. The Duvel tulip it's in keeps a massive mound of head in the middle of the glass. One of the coolest looking beers that I have ever seen.

S- Sour and tart with some fruitiness. Some funk as well. I am picking up some wood too. Complex. It really opens up a lot more as it warms.

T- Stunning. This is a very unique experience. Definitely sour and funky with some strong citrus in the flavor, most notably lemon. Spicy and woody. Some fruits such as apple and pear are there as well. Floral notes tingle my buds here and there. Really complex and everything seems to fit really well together. There is so much flavor in this for not being a "big beer" at 6.5%.

M- Wonderfully smooth and spicy at the same time. The carbonation is great as well as the bottle conditioning. The beer almost keeps my mouth watering.

D- I love this beer. It is really unique and packs in a massive amount of flavor into a beer that wont put you out for the night. Highly recommended if you are looking for something a little different.

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Photo of ken3c
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge head. Copper color. Nice lacing. Fairly clear with fine bubbles rising quickly.

The aroma is intoxicating. fruity and flowery. spicy and nutty.

There is a sweet orange taste and very hoppy (flowery) but very little bitterness. Fruity and spicy with an oak finish.

Mouthfeel is foamy and warming with a medium body. There is a also a very bubbly sense.

This is so very easy to drink. I definately want more.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bursting forth from the bottle, this beer pours a hazy medium amber color with plentiful and large bubbled white head. Aromas are full of tart cherries, deep oak, white balsamic vineagar, and a touch of floralness. On the palate, things really develop beautifully with such complexity. Take a regular BPA, age it in oak, add some bugs and spices, and you get such a rounded and enjoyable beer like this. With each bottle I buy from this brewery, the more I understand how well Americans can make beer, world class beer. Ron Jeffereys and the rest of Jolly Pumpkin deserve the recognition they all to often do not receive.

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Photo of lamarr04
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pt. bottle poured into tulip glass

A: deep orange with persistent 3 inch white foamy head
S: Yeast, apples (smells like hard cider)
T: Bready yeast, sour apple, spice at the end with a clean finish. Very smooth and refined.
M: Crisp carbonation, medium to light body
D: I will have to finish this whole bottle by myself, and that is a task I will gladly undertake

Notes: I've been on a belgian kick as of late and have only had a few of jolly pumpkins offerings. I look forward to working my way through their lineup.

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Photo of HopHobo
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from the 2007 stash

A- Pours a golden honey color, with three finger head. Lots of yeast in the bottom of the bottle. The bottle itself is very cool as one would expect from JP. Wine bottle with a green label, very cool artwork really sets this beer apart visually.

S- The smell is slightly sour, but has nice yeast and floral aroma. All smells meld together nicely.

T&M- mmm, delicious, nice balance of sweet and sour, very refreshing. You can definetly taste the wild yeast in this brew, goes down very easily for a wild ale. Mouthfeel is light and almost fruit like.

D- One of my favs, very drinkable, a little pricey, but I would definetely love to have this beer in my fridge all summer long.

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Photo of merlin48
4.64/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a goblet a hazy, rusty orange body topped by a large and billowing head that is offwhite to beige. Retention is excellent and lacing is in abundant sheets.

Aroma is very floral, a plethora of herbal, fruit, and flower blossoms. Some toasty grain adds to the allure. White pepper and coriander front a heady aroma of spices. Bretts lend a wild, earthy, and pastoral aspect to the complex bouquet.

Lovely mouthfeel is effervescent and well carbonated to the point of being velvety. Body is light medium. This just feels wonderful to swirl on the palate.

Taste id dominated by herbal hops which provide a clean and dry bitterness. A bit of toasty grain seems understated but works well here. Sour white grapes, woody oak, mint, and coriander add to the complexity. Reminds me of a well crafted Saisson. Excellent all around!

Another delightful artisan ale from the Jolly Pumpkin folks. Complex and intriguing, a sheer delight to enjoy. Highly recommended.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Medium golden color with a thick, frothy, lingering, 2 finger, off white head. When the head dissipates and forms The beer leaves lacing on the glass wherever it touches.

S: Spicy! I detect coriander and a hint of citrus. The smell is mildly sweet and a faint hop aroma can be detected.

T: Pretty spicy and tart right away that leads into a nice sour flavor. Brett was here, methinks. The fruity taste helps balance out the spiciness, and the slight hop aroma is very pleasant. This is really fantastic stuff.

M: A nice full mouthfeel with a great deal of carbonation and a dry finish.

D: For the intense flavors this is pretty damn drinkable, though I wouldn't care to drink more than one of these large bottles.

Another fantastic beer by Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy orange. White, soft, sticky head boasts more than honest lacing. Never heard of aroma, cedar juice. What are those hops? They feel german in a way.. they’re a pure pleasure, a treasure. Very woody, subtle, elegant. Sprucey orange juice uncovers a spicy medley and a shot of vanilla. Minty, musty, earthy. Enjoyable belgian yeast, dry (pencil shavings) and bready. Original leafiness lasts and lasts in a straw-like bitterness, sandy and earthy. Yum. Incredibly mellow palate, superb carbonation, soft medium body. Unique and tasty, Jolly Pumpkin has become in no time a serious rival to any farmhouse beers producer and trying those beers is mandatory for any amateur of the genre, a complement to beer culture.

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Photo of robbyc1
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Won a bronze in the 2008 GABF as a French and Belgian style Saison. A funky and cloudy look of off orange, with a bright sour nose with spices and a light malt backbone. The sourness combines with the spices and malt to give you a funky Saison that goes down easy. It wafts a great aroma that is outdone by the taste, one to savor on it's own or with spicy food. Keep this baby around especially in spring and summer months.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.59/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have enjoyed every Jolly Pumpkin beer I have tasted and this was no exception. In fact, this was probably my favorite after Biere De Mars. The color was a cloudy orange, hazy. The head was viciously strong and took a while to settle. it looked like whipped fluff sitting on top of the brew. The smell was funk! Funky, funky, with some sour vinegar and mustiness but I liked it! The taste was also sour, fruity, dry, delicious. The Jolly Pumpkin beers are kinda costly but they really are well made beers. Excellent!

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Photo of andjusticeforale
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this in Great Barrington; no availability and I have never seen it in Connecticut; anyway, it came with much hype; I poured it from the 750ml into a tulip; there were massive, explosive amounts of carbonation. The color was a rusted bronze, the smell was of malt, some hops, nothing extravagant.

The taste was quite good; there was a great fullness of body, a great start to middle malty-ness; a nice lingering finish- with flavor but surprisingly clean. There was a terrific balance of hop and alcohol bitter/harshness with the smoothness given from the heft of the mouthfeel and the malty-ness; it was complex but not overpowering. I would suggest drinking this on your own and not pairing it with food; but if you had to, make it lamb chops or veal meatloaf.

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Photo of nortmand
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with a big, frothy white top.
Sweet, plum smell with a coriander luster. Nothing too exciting, but solid nonetheless.
Spicy flavor, sweet and supported by a rubbery bitterness at the end.
Nice and carbonated, this is a great strong brew for a warm summer evening.

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Photo of Phatz
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
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 Bobikel
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the 750ml bottle -
Poured into a .5 litre goblet

Appearance - Even with a fairly gentile pour, a massive two and a half inches of tightly packed foam arises. A few streams of bubbles can be seen throught the hazy golden liquid. Blond highlights around the outsides make for a fairly appealing body, while the head leaves gobs of lace over the course of its slow recession.

Smell - A little bready maltiness is quickly overpowered by a dry and earthy hoppiness. This is accentuated by a light funk, as all jolly pumpkin ales are, conjuring bits of green apple, pepper, and a slight grassyness.

Taste - A fairly explosive bitterness fills the mouth right away. Malt sweetness in the center of the tongue is slowly supplanted by a very mild sourness. The hops remain pervasive throughout, well after the swallow, still clinging on to the sides of the tongue. A very interesting progression of flavors that, ultimately, create a nice balance between the sweet, sour, and bitter.

Mouthfeel - A tight prickly carbonation dances across the tongue. Smooth and a little slick through the mouth, and a touch thin.

Drinkability - A very approachable ale, that is as complex as it is drinkable.

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Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
4.05 out of 5 based on 946 ratings.
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