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: 947
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Luciernaga is my favorite beer from Jolly Pumpkin.

Carefully poured from a longstanding bottle it's quite clear. Not clear enough to see your fingerprints through the glass, but easily clear enough to see your fingers. A rouse of the yeast at the bottom will bring it cloudy though. I prefer it a bit clearer as it's more fruity and tart, and I think just sharper in flavor overall. It's a deep-amber/tarnished copper in color, and the head is a massive lid of frothy white. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves some really nice, albeit it short, walls of lace at the outset of the goblet.

The nose is sharp with Brettanomyces and yeasty fruitiness (wet earth, damp straw, leather, tart black cherry, pineapple, papaya), along with a pinch of coriander.

In the mouth it's gently zesty on the tongue with a very fine bubbled natural carbonation from bottle conditioning. It warms to become lightly airy and then cottony smooth.

The flavor offers more maltiness and fruit than the nose suggests (both clean and straightforward), but there's also a touch more coriander and a hint of black pepper present. It's tropical and vibrant with a spicy side, and a bitter undertow that drags it out into a remarkably dry finish with just a subtle touch of yeasty chalkiness. Some coriander lingers long on the palate, beckoning you to take another sip of the refreshing Brett and juicy fruit.

I've heard it said (actually read it here on the forums at BeerAdvocate) that breweries in the U.S. cannot make really good examples of Belgian beers... well, this is one hell of a Belgian-style beer!!! Rock on Jolly Pumpkin!

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Photo of ypsifly
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated 750 poured into a tulip.

Hazed apple juice supporting an off white head of large bubbles that clings to the glass. Good retention.

Hops, sugars, spices, chalky yeast, and a nice farmhouse funk in the nose. The coriander and farm aromas work perfectly together. The hops give it a good dose of dryness.

The taste is bitter overall, but there's a nice earthy malt flavor that leads into spices, orange peel, and a growing hoppy dryness that lingers after the finish. Full mouth that finishes clean. Quite drinkable.

An amazing beer. I highly recommend.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Malto for the beer

This beer poured tawny brown with a big white head( flecked with brown swirls). Nose is spicy and redolent of a Saison. The beer tastes of corriander and Grains of Paradise layered on top and behind a solid Belgian yeast base. Bitterness in the finish gives this beer the ability to perfectly match with peppercorn pate and sausage. Overall this is a very complex beer that opens up new nuances as it warms up. Very well done.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Lightly clouded orange-apricot color with a bit of spent yeast gliding to the botto. Poured a five finger billowy head that settled to an ample dollop in the middle. Generous even lacing all the way down. Decanted steadily.

S: Yeast, light fruits, fruity esters; orange rinds become prominent. Spices and alcohol more to the forefront as it warms.

T: Oak and a wonderfuly coplex sweet and sour flavors. Dry, clean finish.

M: Bright and a bit thin. Light, crisp and clean finish nicely bordered by ample carbonation.

D: Way drinkable and wonderfully complex. This is a beer when you want something special that you'll like a lot.

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Photo of dherling
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a golden amber with a huge puffy white head that faded into some luscious lacing. The nose offered grassy lemon, pepper, malt, yeast, sour grapes, and spice. The taste gives some lemon, grass, spice, tartn grapes and even some hop bitterness on the way out. Mouthfeel has medium carbonation and a dry finish.

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Photo of russpowell
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours bronze/amber with a thumb of creaam colored head. Great head retention & lacing

S: Apple skins & sourness

T: Pears, a little bit of barnyard, some lemon peel & grapefruit up front. Oaky flavors impart themeselves as this warms along with tartness, a touch of pear. Finishes tart, sour & with much orchard fruit

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation, puckery

Super drinkability, a very approachable sour ale. I think I need to revisit some of there beer, I believe my tastebuds today appreciate these offerings more than a few years ago

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Photo of putnam
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crispy, permanent qualities adhere to the foam and -- like the total lunar eclipse tonight in this area -- the color of the liquid underneath is wooden orange.
The aromas are stony, charcoal-infused and basementy. Between sticky globs of crema there emerges earthen aromas of Mexican fresh markets : saffron, cinnamon, chorizo, church pews.
Leathered apricots, vanilla, dates and orange peel characterize the fruit. Sour wood closes it.
It's a mouthful of beer. As challenging as La Roja and as decadent as Oro de Calabaza, it will be nice to see how the trace of brett in this beer integrates over time. I'm taking a case.

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Photo of Skidz
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out bright gold and sits gleaming amber in the glass with a massive creamy off-white head. Fades slowly to a thick coating of foam, thouroughly coating the glass with delicate lacings.

Smells quite tart and fruity, white grapes, pineapple, pear and mangoes. Rounded yeast presence dampens the fruit, and toaty malts are present, but are somewhat overpowered.

Tastes prominantly toasty up front with big mouthfulls of soppy malts thrown every which way. Mild tartness grows, then fades as if it never existed, giving way to a sharp, biting grassy bitterness. Fruitiness is subdued by all of this, only lending hints of green grapes and tart apples. Finish is moderately bitter with lots of malt presence.

Crisp in the mouth with moderate and lively carbonation and a medium body.

Very tasty. An interesting ensemble of flavors, almost and assembly of different styles thrown together. APA, German Pils, Belgian Golden Ale and a bit of saison too. Quirky is my best description, and that's how it shall stand.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freshly poured from a freshly tapped keg. Highly hazed, golden/amber hue, enormous head, big'n;fluffy, mighty lacing, stays long and large...beautiful, like a tremendous pillowy snowdrift in the glass.

Aroma: Lightly spiced...coriander...gentle lemon touches, too. Soft, lively, and arousing.

Taste: Plump in the mouth, full of yeasty flavor, toasty, bready malt, crisp and zesty. Luciernaga delivers true Belgian flavor, with just enough of everything. Exceptionally tasty, smooth and easy drinking, overflowing with character.

Luciernaga = yum. Stays long in the mouth, filling the senses with that delicious blend of Belgian yeast and malt. My first taste of this beer, and it is deee-lectable. Mmmmm, highly recommended.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Body is a cloudy orange hue with golden highlights, topped by a good bit of creamy, bright white head. As the beer dissipates the head appears to form a bit of a nipple over the center of the glass - very odd, yet fun. Aroma of funky Belgian yeast, a pervading sourness that is reminiscent of green apple. Palate is deilcate, with a lightly sweet malt body up front. The tanginess of the yeast then comes through mid-palate, along with a light fruity sweetness. Notes of green apple and coriander come through, along with a lightly sweet biscuity character on the finish. Mouthfeel is light and effervescent, with a touch of astringency. Very drinkable and refreshing, a perfect fit for one of the

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an earthy red colour, almost umber, with lovely cream-coloured head of fairly dense foam and nice sticky lacing. Steady bead. Looks really nice.

Smells lovely. Nice and funky and tart with a good whiff of bacterial wild yeasts, bending slightly towards metallic. Nice hints of guava, berries and some citrus as well, with a very pleasant vanilla creaminess coming off the back. Fresh, sweet, very enjoyable indeed.

Taste is very tart, and possibly pushes the envelope a bit too far, getting mildly astringent with a lemon pith kind of flavour. Fruity, though, with tart cranberry and apple notes upfront, a touch of peach as well. The bitter note doesn't really come through until late, with the most part being really very smooth with no sharp edges. Hint of vanilla late-mid as it cascades down beyond its nadir. Maybe could use some more pop, but it's a big tasty monster nevertheless, handled with an artisan's care.

A bit of tart acidity, but very nicely smooth out; ends up a bit dry but nothing left at the end; almost seamless.

Lovely, crisp, tart refreshing wild ale with a real naturalistic bent, but all the weird funkiness has been tamed, and distilled into a finely balanced chrysalis of flavour.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From notes. Batches 387/388

A: Clear copper color. Poured with a half finger of white head with a touch of spotty lacing.

S: The nose on this one was kind of weird. The hops were right there but a little faded. Continental hops with a hint of some citrusy C hops. Right after that you got a little bit of JP funk. Just enough to keep it a Belgian Pale Ale.

T: Nice mix of funk and hops just like the nose. The balance of this beer was really what I wrote the most notes about.

M: Super dry. Pitch perfect.

D: Easy drinking. Very nice. I always enjoy their beers but the price sometimes keeps me away. Thanks to my friend from Philly for bringing this one up.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i believe i had to obtain this via a trade, but not sure.

750ml bottle w cap. batch 296/297. tasted in early june 2009. poured into tulip.

slow gusher (not a problem, but be aware)

dark honey w amber and brown tones. hazy, almost cloudy, sediment stirred up by very active carbonation. a nearly uncontrollable, 6-finger, massive off-white head. foamy and creamy on top. the latte-like quality gradually fades to a creamy thin layer, with a few diminishing meringue mini-icebergs floating amidst. great lacing.

aroma: mild, leathery, woody brett character upfront. toasted bread, hint of caramelization, into grassy, hay-like hop and barn aromas, backed by spices (coriander, orange peek, anise, pepper) and mild phenols.

taste: maltier in flavor, but still lots of leathery brett and wood character. grassy euro hop w/ mild to moderate bitterness. hints of overripe apple or pear. bitterness links up with the spices, herbs and light phenols in back.

medium body with moments of lightness. acidity, tannins and crisp, prickly carbonation give complex interplay, along with a fluffiness and creaminess.

an outlier in the style, while not quite orval either. but still good. for whatever reason, found myself not wanting to drink a whole lot of it however, thus the slightly lower drinkability score.

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Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy peach color with an impressive head that leaves a curtain of lace

Smell: Hay, wheat bread, stone fruit, barnyard funk, oak and spicy/herbal tones

Taste: Light and fruity, up front, with stone fruit, spices (grains of paradise) and herbs (coriander) that are joined, in the middle by the barnyard funk and acetic sourness from the Brett; the malts appear after the swallow, bringing a bready, fresh mown hay character; dry, tart and oaky, in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation; lively on the tongue

Overall: Another great beer from Jolly Pumpkin; not the most complex of their lineup, but one of the brightest and easiest to enjoy

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Photo of allengarvin
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a Val-Dieu chalice, this beer is a cloudy (to the point of opaqueness) amber brown with a dense, thick and tall head. Nice, perfumy nose, with sweet fruitiness and moderate coriander spiciness. Hugely spicy flavor, with lots of coriander, making for a very peppery taste, almost pungent. Yeastiness is rather phenolic, and some malt finally comes through toward the finish. A lot of carbonation with a zesty mouthfeel.

Complex and interesting. This would be a great dinnertime beer.

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Photo of rye726
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Like all the other JP beers, this has a perfect Belgianesque appearance. Pours a woody brown with a thick, lacy head. A somewhat light nose of sweet malts, soft herbs, orange, honey, tart fruit, oak and spicy yeasts. Taste is slightly more rubust. The sour fruit and funky oak flavors come out a bit more. Crisp, refreshing body. Another unique brew from Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch # 296/297 with the Unibroue style bottles, versus the shaped bottles they used early one.

As all great Jolly Pumpkin beers this one lays on a massive thick billowing head with chunky mountainous textures as it rises above the rim of my Maudite chalice. Body is a clouded glowing amber copper hue with the head ringing in off white beige. Lacing is fine and intricate the most authentic Beligan style brewer in the country right up there with Ommegang and Unibroue but with more machismo.

Aromatics are wonderful spicy black pepper with crushed mint leaves and citrus peels, funky brett notes bringing horse blanket and barnyard funk, this stuff is excellent very lively and unique even compared to other Jolly Pumpkin brews. Tart apples and other fruit notes are detected among the barrage of hops, spices, and malts.

Flavor has an incredible hoppy zesty freshness within the barrel aging and spice additions. Very much like a fresh baked artisan bread with each sip with citrus, ripe fruits including tart apples and tropical notes. As each the last of the bottle is poured into glass spices and yeast notes take over before that however the brett and horsek blanket barnyard funk ride with you the whole bottle and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation very natural organic experience especially in the manner that they brew with open fermentation. Bitter spices and hop oils do sit on the palate after each sip with the tart lactic and brettanomyces adding a slight puckering sensation on the palate.

Drinkability is excellent enjoy with a meal or on it's own as a meal. Great stuff I can't get enough of the vibrance that La Luciernaga has to offer wonderful stuff. Grand cru belgian style pale ale flows so well, makes me want to go and grab a Biere De Mars to see how it's coming along.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

ST: 750ML poured into a chalice. Batch: 806/809. Bottled: 6-3-2011.

A: Copper amber with a light misty head, light carbonation, and very nice lacing.

S: Grapefruit hops, dark fruit (plum), dry earthy yeast, and lost of sour notes.

T: Tangy sour fruity, dry hops, dry yeast biscuit, grapefruit, and earth.

M: Medium body and smooth.

O: Delicious beer with nice use of hops, earth, and pleasant sour, which adds nice contrast to bitter hops. I have yet to be unimpressed by a Jolly Pumpkin beer. If you do not like sour notes in your pale ales, or beers in general, do no pick this one up. However, it is an excellent beer and worth the money.

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Photo of mikem0487
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 06/14/2012. Poured into tulip glass.

A-Poured a very effervescent two fingered width foamy off white head. The body is a really nice orange hue with good clarity. Leaves swaths of lacing down the side of the glass.

S-A citrus aroma of melon, cantaloupe and pineapple. Get some nice pepper notes from the grains of paradise and coriander. Aroma is quite awesome with some nice but very minimal funk tones coming from the wild yeast.

T-Initially the taste is mellow, sweet and peppery. As you drink it the more the sourness kicks in and becomes more noticeable covering your palate in this citrus, spice and funk/sour bliss. The sourness is subtle but there all the way, considerably at the finish, with the hop bight coming along with it.

M-Thin, dry and effervescent on the tongue.

O-Overall this beer is highly drinkable and delicious. The alcohol for me is minimal which adds to the overall drinkability of the beer. Jolly pumpkin is turning out to be one of my favorite breweries due to their unique beers and their execution of them. Buy one, drink it, enjoy.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A generous chunky off-white head caps a hazy copper-amber body. Excellent head retention and good lace. This is a real pleasure for the nose. Aromas of floral, citrus and grassy hops dominate some lesser aromas of caramel and toasted malt. The first sip is a bit of an explosion of spicy goodness: cloves, pepper, coriander, ginger. There's a healthy dose of hop flavor and bitterness in here too, but is paradoxically subdued as well. Malt sweetness and oak as well. Yep, it's complex all right. Crisp and light in the mouth due to generous carbonation. The flavor and crispness are up front, but it rapidly shifts gears for a smooth and dry finish.

Another winner from the unstoppable Capt. Ron. There's a lot going on in this one. It strikes a nice balance between a healthy dose of hops, spice and smoothness. Refreshing and sessionable. Thank the sweet beer gods for smiling on us here in SE Michigan.

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4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken August 20th, 2010. $7.50 for a 10.5oz pour.

A: A huge foamy/frothy bright white head lasts impossibly long and forces the bartender to push most of it out a few minutes later with another pour. The head sticks in finely woven sheets on every surface possible. (Lacing continues nicely later but with less consistency.) The body is hazy, lightly golden orange in color and surprisingly opaque. The beer acts as a diffuser when backlit which further increases its hazy appearance.

S: Oak is immediately noticeable on the nose as is the trademark Jolly Pumpkin wild yeast strain. Light summer-y fruit esters create notes of pear, white or yellow melon and cantellope. Very clean. Minimally hoppy on the nose, but...

T: adequate bitterness is present on the palate. The flavor falls short of expectations and is slightly less complex than the nose led me to believe. Stunning flavor on the front end of the palate but Luciérnaga finishes premature, abruptly and very dry at the end.

M: The body is medium-light with a texture leaning closer to thin than thick. Crisp, clean, perfectly carbonated and extremely refreshing. Damn near perfect mouthfeel.

O: Ron is a master of subtle sourness and incorporating everything oak has to offer to the flavor and mouthfeel of his beers. This one is no exception and comes highly recommended.

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Photo of aasher
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a light bodied And very cloudy gold in color with a billowing three finger, bright white soapy head. The nose is right up my alley, kind of like a barrel aged saison. It's light and features a slight amount of citrus with a mellow yeast character with soft oaking and traditional Belgain pale malt. I love the citrus. It's both lemony and has a nice tangerine side to it. The flavors are nice and light. The citrus character is the first thing you notice, followed by how soft everything is. The oak is perfect! It really does drink like a light barrel aged saison. This is definitely one of the most impressive Jolly Pumpkins. The mouthfeel is very light yet also velvety smooth. This beer is top notch and definitely worth your while.

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Photo of weller1js
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

6/3/2011, batch 806/809

appearance: pours a clear copper-amber, with light carbonation with creamy white foam, with similar lingering lacing.

smell: sharp essences of dark fruit, sour notes are present throughout, yeast notes are aromatic to the point that they come off as almost dry-like; hops are both floral and sour.

taste: very to the point, the dry hops and yeast bring forth a tangy-sourness; soft at start and throughout but sour at the finish, which als has a lightly spicy lingering.

overall: on point; first experience with JPAA, ingredients are well utilized that makes for a well-sequenced, very drinkable.

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Photo of lhaqq
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy light brow/golden body with a huge off-white, sticky billowy head.
S: Main smells are yeast and green apples. A sour apple twinge at the end.
T: Not as much of a sour pang as I was expecting, but still good. Kinda oaky with a little bit of the sour apple, but it ends quickly, and there is only a dull sour/bitter aftertaste.
M: Pretty lively and the lack of almost any aftertaste is great.
D: Definitely pretty drinkable for the style.

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Photo of morimech
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 796/799 Bottled 5-24-2011

Hazy copper colored with two fingers of head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Nice rings of lacing is left on the glass.

Brett funk aroma with tropical fruit. A unique aroma.

I am really enjoying the flavor. About as funky as Orval but being more acidic and fruitier. Has some nice vinous qualities. Finishes dry. My only complaint is that the flavor falls off in the finish.

Body is light and lively. Nice considering the ABV. Carbonation compliments the flavors.

A really enjoyable beer. Moderate funky, fruity, and acidic. Hit all the highlights for this drinker.

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Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
4.05 out of 5 based on 947 ratings.
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