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 oldsailor
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crisp and refreshing. A little sweet, but not overpowering. I'm not typically one to enjoy a Belgian Pale Ale and this one is one I'd definitely have again. Pours a typical golden color and carbonation is light and very pleasing. It seems Jolly Pumpkin can do no wrong!

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Photo of srhoadsy
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served chilled into flute.

Pours a hazy gold color with an inch of white airy head that slowly recedes leaving moderate to heavy surface layer and lacing.

Aromas of citrus, grape must, banana and spice.

A mixture of a lot of strong flavors. Citrus zest, grape must, banana, clove and pepper along with a musty funk, reminiscent of a saison.

Mouthfeel is sweet and crisp with moderate carbonation and a lingering aftertaste.

Overall a very interesting beer, and I found myself enjoying it the further into the bottle I got. It is very complex. The best way I can describe it is a sour saison. Definitely not for everybody, but if you're interested in the aforementioned styles, give it a try.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draft at beer study in chapel hill, snifter.

pours a pale yellow with a big head. smell is yeasty and a tad sour. taste starts off a tad sour but not much or lingering, yeasty, funky . no bitterness. real easy drinking. mild bodied. high carbonation.

overall another winner from jolly pumpkin.

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Photo of mhaugo
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle decanted into a tulip glass. 6.5% ABV.
Appearance: The color of toasted peanuts with a persistent, white head. So persistent, in fact, that it tried to climb out of the bottle as I was settling down to enjoy my glass. The foam eventually breaks into smaller islands, but the heavy carbonation remains. Beautiful Belgian-lace. The body is stormy and impossible to see through (3.5/5).
Aroma: Dry cloves and sweet cider. Very musty. A hint of orange peel pith. Almost smells like a Saison (4/5).
Taste: Peppery and citrusy. Kind of yeasty. Sharp bite on the back end. Ever-so-slightly sour and very drinkable (4.25/5).
Mouthfeel: Medium body, heavy carbonation. Slightly dry and astringent (3.75/5).
Overall: So it was not until I got this beer home and was cracking it open that I realized that there was a sticker on the back that indicated “Bottled 06-27-2012”. I know this beer comes out in June, but two Junes ago? Ruh, roh. Can a 6.5% alcohol beer survive 15 months? Well, I bought this beer from the refrigerated beer section at Whole Foods and I think the proper storage environment has treated this beverage well. I’m guessing the bottle conditioning chipped in as well. I actually really like it. To me it tastes a little more like a Saison than a Belgian Pale Ale, but it’s on the darker side and maybe not quite as dry. Very nice (4/5).

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a hazy golden color. Head is difficult to examine in the 2 oz. sample cup. It does lace well though.

S-Barny and musty. Light tartness. A bit of apples. Hay. Light graininess.

T-A notch below the nose in my opinion. Musty and natural with some wild yeastiness. Spicy. Light apples. Rotty hay. Light, tartness in the finish.

M-Lots of carbonation with a moderate body.

O/D-Pretty neat. Another one if those beers that I was happy to sample without having to shell out a bunch of dough for one of their bottles.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from the shop. Pours a beautiful clear golden with big fluffy white head. Aroma of fruity Brett, apples, pears, citrus, lemon peel, dry oak, and some spice. Flavor is bretty to the core, sour apples, sweet pears, orange peel, and a nice bitter dry crisp finish. Light on the palate and easy drinking with lots of carbonation. Nice summer beer which pushes the Saison/farmhouse style more than pale ale style.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is set by the head alone as I witnessed amongst the thickest creamiest thick you could put a bottle cap on it. The coloring was light, a little bright, yellow and this had very nice lacing

The scent is light orchard fruits, Apple and pear, with grassy and yeasty tones. Light spices appear deep in the background.

I catch a lot of juicy Apple on the tongue, followed by a distinct peppery spice. Some pear, bready malt and dough pass by the palate. I really catch a lot of that pepper that gives it an interesting kick as it mixes with the sweetness of the orchard fruitiness.

The feel is big, expansive, champagne like and dry. Quite bold in the mouth it sets itself apart from other beers.

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Photo of macher0
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Beer Trappe in Lexington, Kentucky.

A: Medium straw color. Light head that quickly retreats to a fine bubble rim. Some blotchy lacing.

S: Tart bready yeast. Black pepper, grains, neutral oak. Moderate fragrance.

T: Light tartness. Peppery and noticeable hops. Apple and cider notes. Sour yeast.

M: Moderate to high carbonation with strong effervescent. Slightly harsh.

O: Another fine ale from jp. A good beer for warm weather. I tend to prefer less hops but this certainly has its place. I highly recommend this ale to sour fans, especially if you like hop forward ales. I loved the chance to try this on tap. This could certainly be a session sour.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
1.94/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

The Firefly pours a hazy amber color with a huge lacing and fluffy head. There is a strong spicy aroma with strong hints of Belgian Candies. Taste is the same strong, lots of spices, and lots of Belgian candy flavors but a mess with the sweetness, way way way too sweet. Nice carbonation, good body, but so sweet. Overall I found it one of the worst beers I have ever consumed (or tried to consumed for that matter). I am rather convinced I must have picked up a bad bottle.

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Photo of mtomlins
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.
Bottled: 2012/08/13 (Batch 1117); Drank 2013/7/27

A: An orangey, tangerine color, cloudy but appropriate for style. Poured to 2 fingers of off-white head and slight lacing.

S: The nose is both sweet and spicy with lots of tartness, coriander, yeasty, maybe some sour cherries.

T: Right out of the gate, very tart and dry. There is a lot of sourness and farm funk there. A touch of hoppy bit, some tight citrus, some bread/biscuit notes. It has a long finish with lots of sour notes dancing around.

M: Medium body (a bit light) and nice carbonation.

O: I found the nose and flavor to be very different and would have liked a bit more sweetness on the palate. There is a lot of tasty sourness and barnyard funk though and still quite enjoyable, just a bit dry for me.

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Photo of BWED
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Rino's, Exton, PA. Poured into a tumbler.

A- Very hazy brownish orange. Ring of an off white head, and a little more with some agitation, leaves some good lacing and some speckles of sediment behind.

S- A fruit and yeast character overall. Apple and citrus in the fruit. Just a bit of the funk is in there too.

T- This is quite fruity, with some spice and, again, a little funk. Some bready malt hangs in the background as well.

M- Good feel. Just a little more than a light body, and carbonation is smooth. Easy to get down, but there is just the slightest bit of drying in the finish.

O- I thought this was pretty tasty. However, I didn't think it was worth the $8 I paid for it. Nothing stood out as an unbelievable beer. The funk was the only thing that set it apart from anything else like it, and that was subdued.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle poured into a tulip. Batch 788/790. Bottled 05-10-2011

(A)- Pours a hazed golden orange hue. Produced a nice cap of white froth. Good retention and good lacing as well.

(S)- A nice dry biscuit-like floral yeast component. Ever so slight spice element in the middle. Quite dry but great aroma overall.

(T)- Very similar to the smell only a really nice fruity middle; touches of orange and melon peel amidst the dry, yet floral biscuity yeast.

(M)- A lively carbonation level meets a refreshing balance of dry yet fruity elements.

(O)- This is one thrist quenching yet satisfying beer that with some time on it has perhaps helped dry this out a bit and let the yeast do its thing.

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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 coreyfmcdonald
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a hazy dark golden color with two fingers of dense white head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Typical, yet clean Brett funk dominates this beer - a bit musty and spicy. Behind that, I get a nice fruity character - mostly apricots. The aroma is very bright in nature. Spicy oak mixes extremely well with the other flavors. Cohesive is an understatement.

T: While some of the components of the aroma are there, I get a distinct smoky, tannic quality that is unpleasant. The musty, funky nature is there, but the fruitiness is almost all gone. Not sure what happened here.

M: Great body and carbonation.

O: The aroma is great on this. Great balance, complexity, intensity. The flavor has an odd off flavor that I assume is from the yeast. It's tough to describe, but it certainly takes the beer down a few notches.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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 KickInTheChalice
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip.

Luciernaga pours a light caramel color with golden edges. A substantial off-white froth forms on the initial pour, leaving a nice sheet of lace down the side of the glass.

There is a generous spicy oak presence in the nose. The woody notes accentuate the light wild yeast funkiness. A zesty lemon presence is noticeable with a bit of coriander as well. A bit musty as well.

The flavor starts out slightly tart, with a light-bodied grassy malt presence. Lemon zest, hay, and a bit of spice are all surrounded by a woody oak presence. The flavor is tart but not overly sour. The progression of flavors is very typical of a Jolly Pumpkin offering.

With a smooth, lightly creamy feel and a light to medium body, the mouthfeel works well with the flavors of the beer.

Overall I found this to be another good offering from Jolly Pumpkin that did not have any factor to really push it over the top.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Bottled 5/20/2011
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Lucienarga, named after the beetle family Lampyridae, is a Brettanomyces-influenced Belgian pale ale, with notable bitterness from the hops and a mild berry-like tartness reminiscent of a Flemish ale. At two years of age, I can't know if this is how the beer is fresh from JP's cellars, but it's an interesting and very pleasing hybrid of a Belgian pale ale and a Flemish sour. Am interested in trying one fresh, even at the fairly high price of $15 per bottle.

Pours a voluminous head of 6cm, made up of medium and large-sized bubbles, with an exceptionally long retention time, eventually fading to a thick, dense cap resting atop the entire body of the beer. Lacing is excelleng, thick patterns and washes clinging to the sides of the glass, modified slightly with each sip. The body is a dark caramel brown color with a slightly reddish hue, light bringing out orange-red colors throughout. Carbonation is slightly visible through the rather hazy (70-80% opacity) body, but is quite strong, arising steadily and vigorously from the center-bottom of the glass and less strongly along the sides.

Aroma is, at this two-year junction, primarily of a collection of somewhat spicy, plastic resin-like scents generated by Brettanomyces yeast and perhaps some wood-associated bacteria, with a bit of bready pale malt, lightly caramelized malt, and moldy peaches. The hops that the label mentions aren't noticeable, but that's to be expected with two years of age.

Flavor showcases a pleasant pale and caramel malt base that's been altered significantly by Brettanomyces and other yeasts, producing complex tart fruit and "funky" vegetation tastes. The front of the palate picks up pleasant caramel and pale malt sweetness, somewhat tart, berry-like flavors as from an Flemish sour ale, and a faint European hop bitterness. Mid-palate is dominated by silage and cheese-like flavors produced by Brettanomyces, along with a touch of plastic resin, all on top of a pleasant pale and caramel malt base that balances out the "funkier" flavors. Back of palate finds increased caramel malt sweetness with stronger tart berry-like flavors, and a bit of European hop bitterness. Aftertaste has a base layer of light pale malts, topped by a slight European hop bitterness, as well as tartness and acidity that is initially stronger than the base, but fades over time. Undoubtedly influenced by Brettanomyces, but also incorporating a light caramel and berry-like acidity similar to a Flanders ale.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with carbonation of medium to medium-high intensity. The result is a mouthfeel that is slightly fizzy, prickly at first, but which quickly changes to a foamy, smooth, and full mouthfeel. Closes quite dry, with modest stickiness lingering on the palate.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip.
A: Pours a hazy yellowish orange with huge 3-4 inch rocky white head. Excellent retention and lacing.
S: Bright citrus, spicy Belgian yeast, white pepper, cinnamon, and a good dose of farmhouse funk.
T: Citrus, Belgian yeast, coriander, and minerally farmhouse funk.
M: Light body. Carbonated tingle, spicy, and a hint of dry sweetness. Lingers nicely on the palate (more funk and citrus here).
D: A solid brew and good example of style. Excellent sessionability.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear golden-amber with a finger of frothy off-white head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet caramel and grainy malts, oak, vanilla, Belgian yeast, coriander, pepper, other spices, lemon zest, tart green fruits.

T - Sweet caramel and grainy malts, oak, vanilla, lemon zest, Belgian yeast, coriander, pepper, other spices, tart green fruits, a bit of citrus hop.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a dry, tart, spicy finish.

D - Very nicely balanced BPA.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a slightly hazed golden amber color with a huge thick billowy white head that persist very well. The head fades very slowly leaving a fair level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is massively sweet of almost a candy variety. A big candy like sweetness mixed with a citrus fruit of orange are the heaviest. These are mixed with some yeasty and light spice aromas as well as a somewhat funky sour aroma.

Taste – The taste begins much more bitter and much less sweet then the nose would have let on. There is an orange citrus and somewhat wheaty flavor beginning the taste. As the taste advances some, it takes on some more sour notes of a sour apple and tart melon like taste. These flavors advance to the end where when the beer is cold the taste ends with a nice light bitter hop flavor which leaves a lightly sour and funky but enjoyable balanced flavor to linger on the tongue. Once the beer warms however, the sour and funky flavors dominate the end, with no real presence of the hop, leaving a somewhat unbalanced flavor to linger in the mouth.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of creaminess and thickness with a carbonation level that is a bit on the higher side. Both are rather nice for the funky and sour tastes of the brew, helping to keep it still rather drinkable in light of its funky sourness.

Overall – This was a rather interesting brew, although not one I would likely go back to again. As the brew warmed over time it seemed to lose much of the hop flavor that was present at the end of the taste, replacing it with a more puckering sour taste. A decent one to try and best to drink cold.

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Photo of stephens101
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A huge, fluffy, off-white head tops this sparkling reddish-orange brew.

Fresh light fruits (oranges, green apples, lemon), a bit of yeast and brett mustiness to the nose.

Crisp on the tongue with more oranges, green apples and lemon, as well as some banana notes. Later on a bit of chalk and grain are noticed.

This is a light bodied brew whose genius lies in its simplicity and ability to fuse all its individual parts into one easy to drink yet very tasty brew.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a medium-dark, slightly hazy amber color with a pretty big fluffy white head. Leaves tons of lacing.

Smells of brett, yeasty banana, hints of apple and grape.

Flavor opens with a mild tartness, pretty strong apple and grape, moves into some brettiness and light funk, finishes very dry and vinous.

Mouthfeel is excellent, great carbonation, nice full mouthfeel, very drinkable.

This is a pretty light beer and nothing especially exciting, but it's really nice. Not the best Jolly Pumpkin beer but really solid.


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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; batch 813/814, bottled on 6/6/2011. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 2 finger fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big tart apple, lemon, pear, pepper, clove, coriander, grass, hay, funk, floral, herbal, light leather, and earthy yeast spiciness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity, funk, and spicy notes. Taste of tart apple, pear, lemon, pepper, clove, coriander, hay, grass, light leather, and earthy spiciness. Light earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart light fruits, coriander, pepper, clove, grass, hay, light leather, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of fruity and spicy notes with funkiness; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent spiced Belgian pale ale! Great balance and complexity of tart fruit, funk, and spicing; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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 DelMontiac
3.07/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Corked/caged bottled July, 2012. Shared and poured into Rose and Thorn nonic glasses. We were totally stoked to see JP in OK!

Poured a very pretty almost perfectly clear effervescent golden orange with 2 fingers of snow white cap that popped and fizzed to a thin layer in a couple of minutes.

Hmmm...what is this??? Steely and barely fruity. Maybe pears and bananas? Weak.

Well this is a this a light beer? A very light synthetic fruitiness of pear and apple backed by a shakey backbone of ghostly bready malt. Most notable is sour apple - more sour than apple. Very lackluster compared to what I've read about it here. I'm really at a loss for words here...bland and uneventful.

I don't think feel is an issue now. Carbonation is good, but body is quite thin and lost.

Overall I have to say this is quite average. Hype is hype and it is what it is. I traded my Bam Bier after this. A very overrated brew quite honestly.

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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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