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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: 945
Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Cloudy orange pour with a nice foamy white one-finger head. Aroma is of mild sour fruit. Taste is mildly sour upfront backed by yeast, wood and musty spice flavors. As the beer warms a really nice tart citrus flavor emerges that carries through to the finish.

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

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with great label art and an unbranded green pry-off pressure cap purchased at a local H-E-B grocery and served cold into a Cantillon geuze glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, TX.

Reviewed live as a pale ale per the label. 6.5% ABV. Expectations are high given the brewery, which makes some beers I've really enjoyed in the past. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards.

Upon opening, foam makes a bid for the top, mushrooming out. Pour quickly.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Two fingers wide. Off-white colour. Thin and somewhat weak. Not as full or soft as would be ideal. Has a wanting consistency and a mediocre complexion. Recedes fully within 4-5 minutes, leaving no lacing.

BODY: Translucent transparent pale copper with honey and orange hues. Above average vibrance. Glows when backlit. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

The constantly erupting foam indicates overcarbonation, but also bottle conditioning. I consider it a good thing.

This looks as a Belgian pale should, but the head could be improved and some healthy yeast particulate wouldn't be unwelcome.

AROMA: Has a definite barnyard character, including subtle biscuity Belgian yeast replete with some subtly handled spices - allspice, coriander, and clove, mainly. Green apple. White pepper. Yeasty funkiness. Grains of Paradise. Hay/straw. Belgian golden malts.

The hop profile is primarily floral, with some apt grassy notes in there too that suit the funky Belgian vibe quite well.

Neutral Belgian pale malts provide the simple malt backbone of the brew.

Boasts a white oak barrel character which seems to coax out further nuances from the base beer. The oak sugars are lovely.

No overt alcohol or other off-notes are detectable.

Overall, this is an enchanting aroma which suggests a very complex and subtle brew. I can't wait for the first sip. Mild in strength.

TASTE: The dampened woody notes suit the base beer nicely, bringing barrel sugars and hints of white oak to lend cohesion to the funky flavour profile. The second act is rich with intricacy, boasting varied notes of spices (allspice, white pepper, coriander, Grains of Paradise) over a golden and Belgian pale malt backdrop. Hints of crackery malts and bready malts here and there. The spicy biscuity yeast lends both funkiness and edge, giving the brew a prominent lively Belgian feel.

Green apple. Hints of vague fruits. Barnyard notes of hay and straw, with some farmhouse must.

The hop profile is ideal for the style, lending subtle notes of floral hops and grassiness without intruding on the star of the show - the yeast.

As it comes to temp, more subsidiary notes of lime and sea salt emerge.

Good depth and duration of flavour, with notable amplitude and above average flavour intensity.

It's quite well balanced, juggling its many constituent notes well while still maintaining a natural cohesion. As a result, it feels like a gestalt whole. There's plenty of intricacy and nuance here to please the discerning drinker. Really a lovely brew in its style.

The finish is lovely, smacking a bit of lactic character and leaving the drinker with the ripe green apple in the aftertaste.

TEXTURE: Light-bodied, refreshing, smooth, soft, and wet. It's a biteen too thick.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, rough, or scratchy. Above average acidity.

Overall presence on the palate is good, but not great. This texture doesn't quite elevate the beer beyond the taste, but it's a fine companion to the flavour profile and complements it well.

OVERALL: A nice farmhouse Belgian pale from Jolly Pumpkin, Luciernaga is well worth trying once, but its high price point will deter even the discerning drinker from frequent repurchases. I'd recommend any fan of the style give it a pull at least once, but it's not on par with world-class offerings in the style. I'll enjoy finishing the bottle. More solid work from an oft-underrespected brewery.

High B-

This would develop nicely with some light (~1 year) aging.

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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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Photo of Gaisgeil
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'd heard a good many things about this one before finally getting an oppurtunity to pick some up, honestly I feel a little let down by it.

Pours a hazy yellow/gold in color with thick and impenetrable white head. Nose is a bit sour, citrusy and spicy. Initial sip is quite bitter, bits of citrus followed by a peppery spiciness coupled with the trademark JP wild funkiness, earthy and pungent. A but too sour and peppery actually, the flavors don't mesh very well, not horrid, interesting to say the least but not overly pleasent either. Worth a try especially for Belgian beer lovers.


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Photo of Floydster
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle given to me as an extra from OHLRangers, thanks for the opportunity Ed, fresh batch, poured into my Duvel tulip glass

A-Light orange with some golden highlights, two and a half inch creamy white head that stays around for a long time, nice retention, some lacing at first
S-Aroma was the best part of this beer by far, wild yeast is what hits you first, then funkiness, lemons, Belgian sugar, orange peel, oak, champagne, minimal sour notes, hoppiness, spices, and grassy accents
T-Starts off slightly tart and then fades into some toasted malt in the middle that is a little sweet, finish is super dry because of the yeast, more fruit comes to the surface as it warms, nice mix of sweet and dry until it warms and it becomes only dry for the most part, expected this one to be more sour but it lacked in that complexity, never really tasted the spices I could smell either, great nose but the flavor lacked what was going for it there, still enjoyable at times
M-Sparkling and bubbly feel until it warms, dry and slightly sweet mouthfeel, taste lingers for some time, medium bodied, lots of carbonation
D-Goes down pretty easy but the overly dry aftertaste could cause some problems later on, ABV is pretty low and it is light on the stomach though, crisp but not as smooth as it could be

One of my least favorite Jolly Pumpkins yet, smelled great but the flavor was just lacking in my opinion, hopefully the grand reserve sitting in my closet will be better than this one, probably would not drink again if I had others from this brewery to choose from, still worth trying

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Memphis Taproom, served in a tulip.

The Firefly has a hazy bronze appearance with some gold trimmings. A whisp of off white foam on top that has pretty good legs, leaving some minor spots on the glass. Looks a shade darker than the standard Belgian pale ale. Smell is fruity, a lot of esters. bready yeast and some earthy hop aroma. I get a nice sniff of apple skins with traces of orange. Not sure if this is aged in any sort of barrel but some wood accompanies the pale ale, some floral aspect. Fruity in the middle with apple orange and coriander. A bready finish with yeast. Pretty light bodied, not as spritzy in the mouth as other Belgian pales, this could stand to be a bit crisper but im just nitpicking. A glass of this is ok for me, a whole bottle would be better shared.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into half pint on 4/1/09, courtesy of Deuane.

A - Slightly cloudy amber body with vigorous carbonation and one-finger off-white head that settled into a quarter inch of retention and deposited a modest amount of lace on the glass.

S - Spicy and mildly astringent nose with some funky yeast. Hints of clove, coriander and citrus rind round out the aroma.

T - Spicy flavor with hints of clove and coriander, as well as a funky sour green apple character. Earthy hops provide some mild bitter notes in the finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with a syrupy texture and lively carbonation, resulting in a prickly mouthfeel. Finish is spicy and slightly bitter on the palate.

D - Quite a complex Belgian-style ale, yet not something of which I could drink a full bottle on my own. I definitely admire the character of this brew, and I will certainly try other Jolly Pumpkin offerings in the future.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.54/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy, muddy amber with a monster fluffy white head that sticks around and laces the glass.

The aroma is musty yeast, some grains, wood and spices and a little fruit in the background.

The flavor is some slightly tart and acidic fruits and a hint of spices leading to a noticeable, lightly bitter hop finish. It has a very dry lingering aftertaste that I can't quite identify. The mouthfeel is medium with tons of bubbly carbonation.

Overall, a very nice beer. It's not as sour as JP's other brews. It's easy drinking, but the aftertaste doesn't quite jive with me.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 5
Bottled 5-14-10

A - AMAZINGLY active bottle! Huge soft off-white head! Very soapy at first and then fades to foamy goodness. brew is foggy orange with lots of yellow and slight reds. Nice foamy lacing too.

S - Very Farm-y and funky! Lots of wildness to this intriguing brew... JP always brews funk, but this may be towards the top in terms of scent... Very white grape-y. Some nice coriander and fresh oak.

T/M - Slightly sour, but not anywhere near tart. Very dry and bitter. A bit too much spice for my taste, but a well rounded brew. perfect carbonation. Slight burn in the back of my throat. There's some acidic flavors missing...

O - A very good brew! A definite must try if you're a fan of JP's brews; they always catch me off guard... :) If this brew could be more 'sour' it would be amazing!!!

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 11/1/2007 (bottle):

Pours a huge foamy head, off-white, good lacing. Extremely cloudy amber color. Fizzy with dark coloring. Aroma of spices, maybe pumpkin, nutmeg. Some flowers, Some sour. Enticing, but not too strong. Fizzy, sour taste. Might be a bad bottle. Some of the spices, but not very flavorful. Reminds me of a flemish sour or a geuze. Soft mouthfeel. More flavor as it warms. More hoppy.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear red-brown body with a thick creamy cap of off white head. A touch of lacing manages to develop from the thin layer of head that remains after a few moments. Aroma is slightly musty with a hint of caramel and a spicy hop note. Flavor is odd. Very spicy with a cedary finish. Malt is present but not pronounced. Piney and grassy hop flavors mix with the spiciness and provide a complex taste if not a very enjoyable one. Mouthfeel is quite good except for an oily sensation I generally find in very hoppy beer, not quite appropriate for this one. Carbonation is full and lightens an otherwise moderate body. If not for the queer taste I would consider it a very drinkable beer. If you like the taste this beer would be a gem.

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Photo of litheum94
3.59/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 802/804. Bottled 6/1/11.

Copper color, with a bronze middle. Not much of a head to speak of, just some whispy trails of bubbles.

Sour apples and cherries, with some caramel. Very light spicing. Some jasmine flowers on the nose, and a vague sweetness.

Slightly tart cherry flavors with a light coriander flavor. Very grainy and dry mid-palate. Vanilla and oak. Grains and malts last throughout to the end.

A very nice, surprisingly sour ale.

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Photo of clvand0
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a light amber color with a medium head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is comprised of a little spice, some floral hops and some citrus (lemon). The flavor is very similar. Quite a bit of the floral hop flavors along with a bit of peppery spice and a caramel malt backbone. Interesting flavor here, but I don't care much for the hop and spice combination they used. Tasty, just not my thing. The body is moderate and the drinkability is good.

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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 shanblur
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled 5/14/10. A - Slightly hazy orange with some brownish highlights. Very frothy, but this quickly recedes to extensive patchy lacing. S - Smells of lemons with some bready malts and a good amount of Belgian funk. T - Spicy and tart up front with a definite sour note which lingers. Has a definite acidity. No hops presence. Some funk present in the taste as well. M - Lively carbonation and a medium body. A good beer if you're into sours. Would be a good beer pairing.

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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 Spider889
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at B-Spot off Chagrin Blvd while in Cleveland.

Golden yellow color, small white head leaving awesome thick lace down the glass.

Smells of lemon predominate, followed by soap, and faint sour fruit - like green cherries picked months early.

The taste is pretty mild. It's like they tried hard to mask any real fruit flavor, which left me wanting what was not there. It's mildly sour from the yeast I imagine, not from fruit. Faint undertones of granny smith apple skins. Light hop bitterness finishes.

Well carbonated, this drinks fairly easy for a sour, but for my second beer I was wanting more intense flavor. Went back to my friend's place and made a Black and Tan with Stone IPA, had a Burning River, and cracked some Nemesis 2010... went to bed happy.

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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 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 LilBeerDoctor
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a cloudy deep orange with a huge, thick frothy off-white head. Aroma of sweet fruits, lemon, citrus, bitter hops, and sweet tart candies. Flavor is sour/yogurty at first with a dry, malty, slightly bitter finish. Palate is thin, sort of watery. This is alright, certainly easy to drink but underwhelming.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A peachy/ orange color with a large fluffy white head. Tiny bit of lacing on the glass. Very small champange like bubbles. The nose
was dominated by the coriander spice with some wet earth scent.
Good acidity, with a smooth orange marmalade with a spicy corriander and grains of paradise. The finish had a huge citrus twang that left your palate a dry finish.

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Photo of abankovich
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very rich, deep amber color with an intensely thick head that clings and sticks like crazy.

Very floral, citrus, earthy aroma with a definite breadiness as well. I'm getting slight alcohol notes as well as some toasted scents. Definitely a lot of spiciness as well. Overall very complex in the nose.

Wow this is a unique and complex beer. I don't know where to start. Up front there is a wave of spiciness (coriander) and flavor. Across the middle all of these seems to drop out instantly to a void of bitterness and dryness. Then sweet, toasted malts are left on the back end. The alcohol does come through a little more than I'd like, but it isn't overpowering, just noticeable.

Mouthfeel is light to medium with some decent carbonation that comes into play. The drinkability isn't too high on this for me, just because a 750ml of this stuff would be more than enough in one night.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly-hazed bright golden yellow with a nice white head and some good legs as it makes its way down. Smells of dry funk with a bit of wheat. Good level of funk, but hasn't quite hit the level of complexity I like and am used to from Jolly Pumpkin beers. Taste really reflects this, as it's somewhat one dimensional, although still tasty. Just doesn't stand up to pillars like Orval and Westy Blonde. Mouthfeel is a nice touch--light with good carbonation. Drinkability is a bit lower as it's not quite as sessionable (at least as far as blondes generally are compared to their bigger Belgian brothers) as others of the style.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fricking carbonated. Poured a copper color with half the glass filled with thick, foamy head. I can see carbonation bubbles rising from around the glass at an incredible rate. Layered, stringy lace all around the glass.

Nose has some nice tangy malts and just a whiff of tarty spices.

I thought the beer was gonna be room temperature by the time the head receded enough to taste the beer. Malts come across as a bit woody actually with just a slight sourness to them. A very slight hop twist towards the middle of each sip that leaves a tart tang in the mouth. Little bits of spices (nutmeg and clove) that are kind of cloying.

Full mouthfeel that gets more syrupy as the beer warms up. Slight dryness too with a bit of a wood-aged feel. At first I was not thrilled with this beer but after it warmed up it grew on me quickly.

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Photo of confer
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It looks more like a wit or hefe than a Pale ale. Pale gold and very hazy with a frothy head.
Smell is also like a wit. There is some sweet citrus fruit smell and banana. Small spicy smell.
Taste is much spicier than the smell. I suppose that is the grains of paradise creating that tartness. Small hop presence also in the taste.
Creamy wheat feel.
This beer really seems to be a wit or hefe but I guess it isn't. Overall a little underwhelmed at my first Jolly pumpkin especially considering the price.

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Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
4.05 out of 5 based on 945 ratings.
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