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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Ratings: 948 |  Reviews: 385
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 ColForbinBC
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blend #2, bottled on 4.29.10
Poured into a tulip

A little gush, but nothing that wasn't manageable. Very foamy, slightly off white cap that rose quickly to fill the glass and slow to recede. Leaving good amounts of lace behind. Underneath the cap, there is a bright orange body that is full of bubbles flying north.

You can smell the sour, tart funk from across the room. It leaps out of the glass and permeates the air. Aromas of allspice and cinnamon with a pleasant flowery note laying underneath all this funk.

The tartness isn't nearly as prominent on the palate. Perfumey/flowery, almost orchard like. Soft and pleasant with a touch of faint pepper and orange rind. Not nearly as bold and assertive as the nose would let on, but good nonetheless.

Smooth, lighter body with a dry, flowery finish.

Overall, I found this to be a pretty decent beer. Not sure if being a year old helped or hurt.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 387/388

A - It pours a radiant golden-copper hue and is crowned with way way way too much head. After a few minutes, the head settles enough to drink, but this is pretty ridiculous. The lace deposits look like glacial ice shelves, and the top of my beer looks like a depiction in miniature of an Antarctic coastal scene.

S - It's all JP funk, which is basically a medicinal aroma that smells like hospital sterilization coupled with green apple, Bartlett pear, and aloe vera.

T - Flavor-wise, the funk makes a more subtle impact than it does with the aroma. The brew still has some nuance of iodine tincture in furtherance of the impressions of the nose, but the BPA characteristics are solidly discernible. Pale-pils maltiness, grassy hop and perhaps some spicy wheat notes are well-placed, and they lend a sour-spicy twang that does well to accomodate the yeast-imparted flavors.

M - Softly (and substantially) carbonated, just about at medium-bodied (for a pale brew) and with a long and pleasurable finish.

D - Ridiculously drinkable. I would've liked a bit more intensity from the flavor, but that's about all.

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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 Jesse13713
3.21/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Blend 5 - Bottled 5-14-10

Appearance - I accidentally hit this bottle against a chair a few minutes before opening, which could have been cause for the six fingers of head that this poured. Yep, I had to add my other hand to measure it. I got about an inch of actual alcohol before my snifter was almost overflowing. The foam is very concentrated and soap-like with a huge mound on top. It pours a caramel orange with slight transparency.

Smell - This beer smells of light wheat and lemon. Quite sour and tart with citrus notes. Light barley and malts linger in the background as well. Very light notes of champagne and yeast.

Taste - A surprisingly lacking and disappointing taste. I was really let down by the intensity of this taste. It isn't sour or tart; it's just watery and light bodied. Perhaps aged a little too long. The description of spices on the bottle led me ot believe this would be a spicy and sour beer. I am trying to review this beer for what it ended up being, but it's overall taste just isn't all that interesting. It is bland and boring.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Slightly tart and bitter; but is extremely light bodied as I stated. No real tastes stand out and nothing makes this beer anything spectacular or special. Fairly average and my least favorite Jolly Pumpkin brew.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A huge bubbly head appears immediately upon pouring and stays that way for a while. A nice dull copper color with some brown hues in the center of the body.

S: A very nice farmhouse musty smell with some nice citrus rind tart notes and dry grape like champagne notes as well. Some grassy hop notes and some bread loaf yeast smells. Nice, very nice for this style with layers of complexity.

T: A nice taste with definite citrus like tartness and brett notes, some bready biscuity fruits as well. A very clean lemony start and finish is pleasing. Some faint hop earth tastes are present with strains of belgian yeast. Again a dry champagne grape and white wine taste comes in like the smell. I like this, but it isn't as complex as I expected.

M: A very nice carbonated and spritzy feel goes well with the tartness and grassy hops in the beer. Medium feel.

D: A nice beer overall from Jolly Pumpkin, kind of on par or a little over par for their type of brett tinged belgian farmhouse style.

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Photo of goatgoat
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1, poured into tulip.

Cloudy orange amber. A mounding slightly tan head. Good retention and nice lace. Aroma is sweet, intense with tropical fruits and a slight floral character. Almost juicy. Overlaid with a tart brightness. Taste is softer than the nose at first, then moves into a long finish that nicely combines bitter and tart qualities. Medium body with lots of carbonation. Very drying.

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Photo of corby112
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes:

Pours a hazy dark golden orange/amber color with a large, two finger frothy, off-white head with very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring. Large chunks of lacing left behind.

Spicy aroma with sweet citrus and light fruit notes as well as some subtle hops ans sweet alcohol. Hints of pepper and coriander along with some orange peel, apple and pear in the nose.

Medium bodied, slightly tart and puckering with a bit of earthy oak, zesty spice, sweet fruit and mild alcohol. Tight carbonation with subtle earthy oak which is countered by spicy pepper and coriander as well as sweet citrus peel, apple and pear. Dry finish.

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

Blend 2, bottled 4/29/2010. Poured into a NB Globe.

Well this is generously carbonated. Takes forever to pour this due to the huge head that forms in the glass. The head is very dense and thick foam. The body is a nice golden copper color. When held to the light it is brilliant gold but hazy. Once head finally begins to recede (to about a 1/4" layer), some lacing is left but not as much as I was expecting.

Fruity nose with some coriander spice to back it up. I can't exactly pick out what fruit smells I'm getting here though. For me it smells pretty much like what I expect a Belgian pale to smell like.

The spice plays a much larger role here than in the smell. While it isn't the coriander that is giving much of the spice it is there. Not sure what the other spice is that is coming through. After the spice, there are some fruity esters that come through (not unpleasant but not great). At times I also get some alcohol taste coming though, not liking that.

Even though the head on this never goes away, I'm not getting a ton of carbonation in the liquid. Medium bodied and when I don't get the alcohol taste, this goes down pretty well.

This is pretty drinkable and went down easily. The spices aren't overkill and the fruitiness balances it nicely. I've only had a couple JP beers but looking forward to trying the ones I haven't had yet. If you're a fan of the style, I'd pick this up.

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy blonde with a big head and some lace. The aroma is hoppy and earthy with some fruity notes, reminds me a bit of Orval in this sense. The flavor has a nice character of fruity hopes and a mild malt sweetness, but the beer is dominantly dry. There is a very mild tartness here but generally the beer is dominated by a blend between some spicy yeast notes and pleasant hop bitterness.

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

Poured this into a tulip. Lots of head on this one that looks like a big pile of mashed potatoes with really drawn out retention. More head than beer in the initial pour so it's kind of frustrating but it settles eventually leaving a nice hazy straw colored beer with a bit of sediment sitting on the bottom. I probably should have been more gentle on the pour. The beer also has big thick chunks of soapy lacing. Orange zest comes to mind on the aroma and there's a bit of funkiness to this one. With that bitter hops are present as well. The taste is slightly tart to begin but it seems to mellow out after a few sips revealing a candied citrus sweetness and slight bitter finish. The mouthfeel is relatively light with ample carbonation and kind of a dry finish. Overall, highly drinkable and a really nice beer, I just wish Jolly Pumpkin beers weren't so damn expensive.

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Photo of impending
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

La Trappe. Poured a nice dull coppery gold. Great lacing.

Funk while not too overt is yet a dominant scent, spices and under ripe white fruits. Obvious hops.

Light and prickly body. Taste of citrus, hints of grapefruit. Finishes dry and ever so slightly tart.

Taste does not live up to the aroma which is very nice.
Wish I liked this more.

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Photo of Neffbeer
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice golden color with excellent head retention. Small white caps form with a ton of lacing as it recedes. The smell is of citrus, grass, oak, and belgian yeast. It is a little "yardy" in a really good way. This beer tastes very similarly to the smell with the citrus right up front followed by a bretty/woody dryness. The mouth feel is light and effervescent with a dry, sour finish, really great. I could drink this beer over and over. Cheers.

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

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is a nose full of bretty funk and yeast

T - Follows the nose with the bretty funk and spiced Belgian yeast

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is a very good funky beer that I really enjoyed very good interesting taste I could drink a few of these in a sitting worth getting sometime to try

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sticker on bottle: Blend 1 Bottled 4-22-10

Pours a hazy golden orange with a huge off-white fine head and gobs of lacing. Smell is dominated by Bretty yeast funk, hay and barnyard with some herbal, orange and spice too. Taste is mildly tart with a peppery spice and some typical Belgian biscuit-like yeast. Mouthfeel is tingly and clean with a bit of muted pepper on the finish. Overall, a nice one, but somehow was expecting something a little more complex and layered.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: Bomber bottle poured into my Smuttynose tulip. Served at room temperature.

Appearance: As soon as the popped the cap, this was gushing everywhere. Unfortunately I wasn't prepared so it caused quite a mess and I lost about a third of the beer. Cloudy dark orange in color with a one finger white head and near infinite retention.

Aroma: Unripe apple notes with some nice herbal qualities. Some nice barnyard notes come and go as well.

Taste: Herbal and earthy characters dominate and are complemented by the barnyard notes. Also, some floral hop flavors and bursts of tart lemon notes.

Mouthfeel: After the initial gushing this is actually rather flat. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: The ABV is certainly managable and I had no trouble with my 2/3rds of a bottle.

Overall, a nice Belgian pale ale that I enjoyed enough. The fact that it was a gusher ruined the mouthfeel a lot for me. Very tasty and complex though.

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

Popped the cap and the beer exploded and gushed allover the place. Color of the beer looked clear and like honey. Huge frothy white head. Super yeasty smell. Taste is dominate by peppery yeast. There is a pleasant slight sourness. Feel is tingly and medium bodied. Fairly drinkable. I expected a little more from this but it was nice. For being a belgian style pale ale, this could have tasted more belgiany.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great looking beer! Billowy thick white head. Pale copper color, slightly hazy very nice. Plenty of sticky lacing. Lots going on in the aroma. I pick up slight notes of lemon and pinapple along with brett funk and some spice notes. The flavor of the beer is very Orval. Ever so slightly hopped with some real horse blanket and hay. Dry, dry finish, in the middle of the palate I get some of that lemon and pinapple. Drinks well, like a pale ale. I think this may get a bit much after a while but it is rather nice.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly exploded upon opening, tons of foam, very muted and musky body of a butternut squash orange. Lacing in lots of splotchy strings.

Aroma is mostly of Brett without a whole lot of other complexity going on underneath. The sourness has a couple layers of musty wood and mustier fruits coming thru with a bit of apple and pear juice underneath.

Taste is bright, yet paled slightly with a mincing sharp bite of sour tone, crisp with a light malt backing. The sourness is a bit heavy for me with medicinal hints taking the forefront while slight wood and fruit and some pale dry wine qualities as it gets a bit peachy and bittering dry of Brett yeast and leftover soured grapes.

Bold, fairly full body wiht lots of sour tone and a crisp snappy dryish bite and bitterness. There's a very slender pale malt core underneath helping add some smoothness.

Something familiar about it that just says Brett and not much else. Perhaps since this is not a particular style I drink alot of nor enjoy I'm missing some complexities. But it seems like a bunch of Brett to me?

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Photo of champ103
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours an attractive hazy amber/orange color. A large beige head rises to over two fingers with excellent retention. As the rocky foam gently recedes, lots of patchy lace is left in rings around the glass.
S: Big pepper notes up front and center. Really spicy as well. This has a kick to it for sure. Some light fruity aromas come out, along with the typical funky yeast.
T: Again, just a huge pepper and spice flavor that makes me cough a little every time I take a sip. Some yeasty funk and a light fruity apple flavor as well. Interesting, but is not all that well incorporated.
M/D: A medium body that is well carbonated. Crisp, creamy, and smooth at the same time. The odd combination of flavors makes for a slow sipper.

Very interesting. Though just to much peppery spice character. Add the typical Polly Pumpkin funk to the mix, and this beer just does not mesh right for me. Worth a try, but not one of their better offerings.

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

2007 vintage received in a trade thanks!

A- Body is a dusty gold hue that pours with a 2-3 finger foamy white head.

S- Nose is loaded with tart apple, lemon and other citrus are also noticable. A yeasty background with a hint of pepper in the back.

T-Taste has lots of dry funk upfront. A hint of apple and citrus are noticable in the background but nothing like the nose. The finish is dry and all floral hop bitterness.

M- High carbonation and a dry feel- light to medium weight body.

D- This is a very good brew overall. I had been looking forward to trying this for awhile and it was not a letdown.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Belgian colored with head up the wazoo

Smel-: not at all what I expected. I guess this is my first non sour jolly pumpkin.

Taste- a nice saison taste with Belgian flavors

Mouthfee-: a bit thin and bubbly

Drinkabilit-: fairly drinkable. Nothing special

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

Review is from notes taken on 9/29/2010 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a honey/golden color and starts with a massive 4-finger off-white head (the bottle is actually a very slow gusher upon cracking it); head has crazy retention and the body is a little hazy, but still shows strong carbonation; head is very foamy and thick and leaves thick swaths of lacing on the sides of the glass as it eventually fades to a full and inconsistent head.

Smell: Nice and sweet/tart fruitiness with a bit of a saccharine sweetness to it (I find this to be a bit of a standard in most Jolly Pumpkin offerings); bit of a sour Brett funkiness, but it serves as more of a compliment to the sweet and tart scents.

Taste: A very nice presence of the sweet and tart fruitiness, but well balanced with a nice citric and almost lactic sourness; a light and fruity/yeasty flavor lingers after the swallow; a very faint taste of some Belgian spiciness as it continues to warm, but is still fairly muted.

Mouthfeel: Body is pretty light in terms of weight; carbonation, while visibly strong, is much softer and smoother in the mouth (likely from the time spent in the barrel); a fairly thick and mostly semi-dry coating is left behind and holds the sour aftertaste.

Drinkability: Another solid offering from Jolly Pumpkin, nothing wrong with this one, not too heavy and it has great flavors. I think this would probably be a beer to be enjoyed during the warmer summer months, but I'd take it anytime.

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Photo of ncmussell
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pairings. Nice orange color with big white head. Smell was somewhat muted but had some good citrus. Good carbonation. Taste and mouthfeel had the nice subtle funk that I find in many Jolly Pumpkin beers. This definitely had a few more subtle notes to it than the more standard JP beers that I cant put my fingers on. Overall I thought it was tasty and I had been wanting to try it for a while. But for some reason the beer doesn't really differentiate itself much from the likes of Oro de Calabaza or Calabaza Blanca.

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Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
4.05 out of 5 based on 948 ratings.
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