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 BEERchitect
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If all brews were like those by Jolly Pumpkin, then I'd be one sad and drunken slug. Firefly is no different, upholding the classic brewing principals and modern artistry that we all should be demanding of our beers. Very lemony and oak-ey aromas exploding from the bottle. Pouring a diry peach color, a rocky head forms even before the beer hits the bottom of the glass. Spicy, peach and pears soon follow up in the aromas and transfer a moderate sweetness into the flavor. The wood aging really rounds off belgian yeast twang, overbearing spiciness, and alcohols. Very woodsy, musty, nutty, with a bold date flavor without the fruity sweetness. Very dusty and earthy throughout with overripe fruits. Not syrupy or sweet. Well matured and formulated. The oak may get a little dominant, and where I may criticise this in one sip, I'll applaude it in the next. The beer improved as I swirled the yeast sediment into suspension, then decanting into the goblet, then gulped it down. Amazing how I can pour 3/4ths of the bottle into the glass and the carbonation still pushes the foam from the top--it's quite magical. I really appreciate what Jolly Pumpkin does. I recommend all of their beers.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle

Pours a nice orange copper color. Huge white bubbly head. The lacing is some of the best i've even seen. It clings to my Chimay glass in spiderweb patterns and dosn't move.

Nice floral and citrus smell with the faintest hint of corriander. Very interesting and enjoyable. Not IPA like floral and citrus but unmistakably those scents come through.

Taste is just as enjoyable. Sweetness up front that finishes with a bitterness that is very different. It is very dry almost like a dry chardonay and it lingers but not in an overpowering way. The flavor changes to a real woodyness as you drink more. The only thing lacking is a real solid maltyness.

Overall a very enjoyable beer. Glad i picked this one up.

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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 MagicLantern
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Duvel glass.

Up front I want to point three things out. First, the bottle looks great. The artwork is cool and it has a by-gone era look about it. I enjoyed this and it's why I bought it. Second, I drank this maybe two months ago and I'm making this review from notes. Third, I'll follow my notes, but the fact is I just remember hating this beer. My notes say otherwise, but my memory says never again. So I guess I'm surprised to read my notes and see that I sort of enjoyed it.

A: Little to no head. Simply a halo around the edge of glass. Heavy carbonation rests at bottom of glass and rises lightly and evenly through center of glass.

Deep translucent amber with hint of red in it.

S: Pleasant. Nutty, strong but welcoming. Slightly fruity. Smell is hops to follow.

T: Sweet followed by bitter. This has a clear distinct taste that can be broken down as follows: It starts with a crisp sweetness followed by a tart flavor which is quicky covered by a swift bitter bite that lingers just abit. This is the hops one can smell in the beer. No overt alchohol taste.

M: Watery with a bitter bite that strikes back.

D: The bitterness is sharp in a manner that increases as one drinks more of this beer. This is definetely going to cap the amount one can drink.

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Photo of Higravity
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good thing I know what I was expecting from a JP beer as I had my glass ready as soon as this was popped. I needed every inch of the Duvel glass. After the initial pour in looked at the mouth of the bottle and noticed that it was damn near shut by a yeast plug. I guess this bottle was stored upside down? Anyway there were some floaties as you can imagine. The color was hazy orange-yellow with a tremendous head that became chunky and flecked with yeast. The smell was spicy and sweet with a alcoholic burst countered with a citric swirl. The taste is earthy and funky with a citric sword slicing open my stomach, the peppery dryness in the finish is nice and I really enjoy the aftertaste. A decent body on this beer I probably drank it too warm but I don't care. Good enough that I would put it into the rotation but watch out for the yeast plugs.

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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 taez555
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's been a while since I've had a gusher, but here I am, covered in beer.

This beer poured a HUGe foamy white head with a bright orange/tan/yellow body.

Nose is fruity, yeasty and slightly sour. Classic belgian saison type nose. Farmhouse stink with a pepper and sharp earthy hop spices.

Taste is very saison like. Medium bodied with an astringent hop bitterness. Strong astringent citrus peel taste, farmhouse and yeast flavors. Strong citrus fruit flavors as well, lime, grapefruit and rotting lemons. A melange of spices. Coriander, grains of paradise and black pepper. This beer ends with a looonnnnggg lingering bitterness.

A nice Belgian style ale. So very hoppy with a strong astringent bite.

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Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
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 Crosling
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark orange. Lofty, creamy bubbles clung together above the liquid, showing very good density. Aromatics are not exploding but are definately present, providing scents of spices (coriander), wood (white wine, cocunut), loads of fruits and the attributes of Belgian yeast. Flavor is full and rounded, rich and diverse, strange yet interesting. Fruit forward, full of spices and oak. Very tasty. The best Jolly Pumpkin beer I’ve had yet.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden/orange color with a fluffy two finger head that never really fades away and leaves behind lots of thick lacing.

Smell; very floral, with some grape and pear aromas. There's a bit of an oak smell, along with a bit of coriander and other spices.

Taste; fruity at first with pears, white grapes and some mild ctiric notes. There's a decent sweet maltiness with just a little bit of a balancing bitterness, followed by a slight grassiness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a a good amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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 goodbyeohio
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

picked this up at julio's in mass..

pours a nice orange with a slight gravity haze.. lots of carbonation and a dark spot on top where the foam casts a shadow of doom into the body. smell is very perfumey with floral eurohops and a cracked wheat hint as well.. very odd, very pointed, almost like a brett note. you never know whats creeping into these barrels..

first thing i notice is the body which is very fizzy.. so much so that it interferes with the examination of flavor... which is ok, but wanders off in several different directions. primarily, this beer possesses a white wine-like orvally hop-funk braced blindly by a malty, buttery pale ale off flavor that seems to have been generated by the barrel. there is a slightly metallic bitterness in the end which reminds me of apple seeds. kind of a mess, and leaves you with an unpleasant aftertaste.

haven't really cared excessively for any of these jp brews (except the oro), and this one is no different. if you think this has potential, seek out goose island's matilda to see this idea carried out successfully.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I had a small sample at the January 2006 Heavyweight Open House and I thought it good then, but my curiosity was really piqued when gueuzegeek chastised me for not knowing about the brewery or the brewer. I was really excited when I discovered it on cask at Spuyten Duyvil on my way to BOS for the EBF.

It started slowly for me, as a lightly cloudy, medium-amber colored beer with a very thin, white head that evidenced low retention. Further, the mouthfeel was on the thin and watery side. Enough of the negatives! The nose had a wild mix of brett and apple cider. It was simultaneously tart and sweet on the tongue with the brett lingering on the finish. As it warmed, the mouthfeel thickened and the apple and citrus flavors began to assert themselves. The brett was a lingering tartness throughout the beer, but it was not as overwhelming as it has been in other beers that I have tried.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tart and tangy. On the darker side of the pale ale spectrum. Drinks quite a bit like a wild ale or a lambic. Shades of sour apple jolly rancher candy. At times it's a bit like drinking perfume, but for the most part I like this quite a lot. There are Belgian pale ales sorta similar to this that I don't like, but the tangyness makes this unique and interesting.

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Photo of ggaughan
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 750 ml bottle at the Farmhouse in Emmaus. The beer poured a nice copper color with a thick white head. The beer had a nice sweet, tart aroma of grapes, maybe apples. The taste is toasty, malty with a bit of a hoppy bite that is enjoyable. The beer is not overally complex but is drinkable and another good beer from Jolly Pumpkin.

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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 walleye
3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from the bottle. popped the cap on this big bottle and it foamed all over the place. poured a cloudy copper, with a big white head, that left some great lacing. aroma, sour fruits, hops, toast, honey, spicey. flavor like dry wine, sour grapes, with a touch of sugar some alcohol, fruity. a differant beer but not to bad

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this stuff (and all Jolly Pumpkin beers) only comes in large bottles. That's all I've been able to find, and that's what I had this time.

I think the major take from this beer is Orval. It has some kind of wild ale flavor to it, completely reminiscent of Orval. I still don't know if I like Orval or not, it's just so different from my usual styles. So same with this one.

If you like Orval, give it a try.

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Photo of DrJay
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed caramel with a cream coloured head, good retention and lacing. There's a pleasant spice in the aroma along with fruit, wood, and fresh hop character. A bit of barnyard funk too. The flavour's slightly tart and fruity with an earthy, woody quality underneath. Quite dry, maybe a bit salty. Spice hangs in there through the finish along with leafy bitterness. Light body, high carbonation, a bit of slickness, but mostly dry. Fairly complex, but tasty and quite drinkable.

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Photo of Jredner
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is funky and spicy with a soft sweaty (not musty) a women’s sweat not sharp, greasy man sweat. Pour was the most Belgian-like I have ever seen from an American made Belgian style. The look of Belgian ales when being poured have always had an appeal to me so that alone earn points. Pale amber color with a frothed up, two finger thick, creamy, lasting white head. Fore is very herbal and spicy with lots of mashed vegetable/herb notes. Almost has a stewed zuccini flavor to it. There are some sweeter soft fruits beneath, but the spices and herbal notes dominate. Lot of funky, overripe flavors in the finish. There is so much going on here and yet it still stays soft and fun to drink. A very interesting beer.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The pour delivered an amber coloured brew that diplayed some late fall dirty orange hues. A pillowy off white head bloats up and remains steadfast. It is well hazed even after a careful pour. Lacing is copiously produced.

Smell: A characteristic Jolly Pumpkin aroma oozes off of the top of my chalice. The scent comes off as mildly spiced with an appealing subtle sour acidity from open fermentation and some woody mustiness. A pleasant fruitiness assembles itself out of these characters and a bit of hoppiness shines through as well.

Taste: The flavour is tastefully sour and mildly fruited with apple and white grape impressions. There is a nice amount of hop bitterness and some peppery qualities as well. The hopping, and possibly the spice addition to some extent, produces a feeling like the bitterness of fruit rinds; specifically apple skins. The yeast presence is perceptable and adds a sort of chalkiness which is a welcomed accent to the rest of the aspects.

Mouthfeel: The body is fluffed and puffy. It carries a light weight and seems to explode with gaseous bubbliness once atop the tongue.

Drinkability: The drinkability is good. The hop character that makes this unique lessens my compulsion to rapidly pour this down my gullet. It is good indeed, but not my favorite JP to date. Another fine brew from this brewer at any rate. The future is bright.

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Photo of Derek
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden-blond with a white head that leaves a nice lace.

S: Fresh hops, a little solvent, slightly spicy.

T: There's a soapy, hop flavour that I'm not fond of. The spicyness is quite nice. Finish is dry and slightly tart.

M: Light body is highly carbonated. Finish is quite dry.

D: Certainly a digestable, though the carbonation is quite high.

Thanks DrJay!

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Jolly Pumpkin's Luciernaga has a slightly hazy amber color with a small head of white foam. The aroma is tart apple skins, orange peel, coriander, and pepper. The flavor is fruity and spicy. It starts out with a dry malty flavor. Fruit comes in with a strange combination of apples, peaches, grapes, and melons. Finish is spicy and a little hoppy. Some medicinal flavors get in the way of what is otherwise an interesting, complex flavor. It may be the hops I object to, but I'm not quite sure. The beer shows promise, but the recipe needs just a little tweaking.

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Photo of OldSock
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 750 ml bottle from Julio's. Two finger creamy white head sitting on top of a slightly hazy golden/amber beer. Great retention with patchy lacing.

Smell – Tart green apples with some yeast. Not sure if the spice flavors are added or from the yeast, but corriander, orange peel and pepper.

Taste – Again slightly tart apples, with the addition of sweet toasted malt. Not much hop presence, but great malt and yeast character. Slight spicy alcohol presence in the finish.

Mouthfeel – Medium body with medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – An interesting take on a golden Belgian ale, with less bitterness, but great yeast character. It has the complexity of a beer of 8% at only 6.5%, and retains that lower alcohol drinkability.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the chalice deep amber golden with an off-white and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was oaky with a strong fruity presence that was grassy and earthy with a bit of sulphur. Also present was a bit of acidic sour aroma. Light and in the background was a caramel presence. The aroma also contained a bit of pepper and some citrus.

The flavor was bitter with a fruity citrus bite. The flavor was earthy and interesting with an oaky character. The bittering was well done and highly present with a peppery spice component.

The finish was bitter with lasting citrus presence and pepper spice long and pleasant into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation added a creamy texture to the mouthfeel. The ABV was low and no appreciable alcohol was perceived. Listed as a Belgian Pale Ale, but teetering between one and a Saison. The label lists coriander, but I don't pick it up except in perhaps a muted spice complexity. A nice drinking beer, but as it warmed it took quite a while to consume.

750 ml capped bottle. Thanks beerinator!

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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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