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Luciérnaga, The Firefly | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

385 Reviews
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Luciérnaga, The FireflyLuciérnaga, The Firefly

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States | website

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: 938
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

slow gusher (not a problem, but be aware)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

S: Apple skins & sourness

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

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation, puckery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Luciernaga is my favorite beer from Jolly Pumpkin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Undated 750 poured into a tulip.

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

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

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

An amazing beer. I highly recommend.

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

Thanks to Malto for the beer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of detlefchef
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

OK, so about the appearance. I realize that this is likely supposed to look this way, but let's just say, when I poured it, I was not drawn to it. So, there you have it. That was about the last thing about this beer that I did not find to be glorious.

It smelled of ripe pears and spice and had lovely and clean flavors of citrus that vanished into a bright, crisp finish.

A friend and I essentially devoured it despite pouring small doses into wine glasses one after another.

No surprise, really that these guys came through with such a great ale of this style because they obviously know their way around brett beers.

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Photo of marburg
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Roman orgy beer. Just downright sexy, regal, and hedonistic. Voluptuous (Yeah, I said it) globs of foam cling to the side of the glass as the head recedes on this coppery autumn orange brew.

Lightly peppered fruits -- estery melon and Empire apples -- mix with the gentle sting of alcohol. Very fresh. Cardamom, honey, and dried orange peel round out the nose. The notable flavor that jumps out at me is derived from the hops. Grassy bitterness is a bit of a force on the palate in the finish, and while it's not at all unpleasant or misplaced, it strikes me as unique. There's a certain earthy, simple quality to it. Prior to that, there are waves of sweet flavors -- sweet Belgian malts and doughy bread, concentrated fruit essence, and hints of oaky vanilla. As it warms further, there's a very minimal hint of some country funk to sort of fill out the natural, earthy quality to this.


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Photo of MarioM
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1095/1096
Bottled 06-27-2012

750 ml bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A: Beautiful pale yellow with a hint of orange. White fluffy head is composed of tiny creamy bubbles with a few large bubbles trapped in the dense foam. Lacing is beautiful as well and looks like this head is going to last a while, just like I like it.

S: Light fruitiness with a hint of hops and a gentle lactic sourness. A little bit of what I see as oak spiciness and earthiness comes through as well. Although I could also be confusing myself with the light phenolic yeast character that adds some spice to the nose. Regardless, very typical JP aroma, complex, tart and mouth watering.

T: Gentle bitterness and tartness. This brew definitely lets the yeast and oak aging do the talking. Light malt character shines through but hops and funk dominate the palate, which works great and makes for a complex unique brew. Aftertaste is also really great. Almost sweet and is where the malt shines in. Wow, great beer.

M: Dry and almost thin but more towards a medium body. Tartness and nice bitterness carries the beer through and finishes with a great yeast spice and hop bite.

O: A very drinkable, complex, refreshing and overall satisfying beer. Gentle enough to finish a 750 ml no problem and complex enough to fully saver without requiring a 12 % abv monster. This, and most all JP brews, is art in brewing at its finest. Ron Jeffries is a God.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a frothy 1 1/4" slightly off-white head over the murky light amber brew. Head lasts well, leaving delicate, if not substantial, lacing throughout the drinking experience. Aroma is spicy and lightly tart fruits, with some oak notes apparent. Taste is upfront the fruity tartness, quickly fading into the spicy malt character, and ending with a building magnitude of barrel notes that multiply this brew's complexity many times. Mouthfeel is a bit busy, and could deter one, perhaps, but the drinkability of this brew is excellent. An enjoyable entry to the world of Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of grub
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

one of the jolly pumpkin lineup that i've purchased on several occasions, but always end up BIFing/trading/giving it away so i've yet to try it. this one has been hiding in the cellar for a while now and i'm glad to finally sit down and and drink it.

750ml bottle. sampled nov 17/09.

pours deep orange, showing a nice ruby red at the widest part of the glass. a big fluffy off-white head forms, dropping slowly and never actually going away completely. tons of chunky lace coats the glass as it falls.

aroma is great. starts off with a blast of belgian yeast and spice, slowly giving way to lemony funk and sourness. honey and a bit of caramel. horse blanket. old leather. a bit of malt vinegar. orange peel. white bread and cracker. light alcohol.

taste is good. the brett hits big in the flavour. horse blanket. leather. very faint malt vinegar. light lemony sourness. orange peel. bit of grapefruit. cracker and a bit of white bread. touches of honey and a bit of caramel. floral and perfumey too. when i get to the second glass it's starting to warm and more of the orange and tangerine comes through.

mouthfeel is good. nice light body with a super dry finish. medium-high carbonation level.

drinkability is great. pretty much no acidity, and hiding its alcohol very well. love the brett character and the great complexity it has retained. i can't wait for the second glass and wish i had another bottle! i don't know if the depth and brett has come out with the extra time it has spent in the cellar, but it's damn good!

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Photo of beergeek279
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 750 mL bottle into a goblet. The color is a slightly hazy copper, with a nice wispy head that lingers long after the beer is poured. The smell is a strong candi sugar sweetness. The taste is slightly candi sugar sweetened, with a good coriander spicing to it, just a bit of pepper smokiness, along with a tasty hop bitterness that lingers well in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, this is quite nice and I'd have some more.

A very nice Belgian-style from good old Jolly Pumpkin. A nice, drinkable relatively low ABV Belgian pale ale, with a nice mix of spicing, sweetness, and that characteristic JP smoky flavor. All in all, definitely another good offering and one that I'll be glad to have again, especially if/when Jolly Pumpkin arrives in Pennsylvania.

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Photo of Onibubba
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darker than I expected. Pours a light amber. Very fizzy. Beautiful thick creamy head that lingers for the whole bottle. Yikes! What a smell! Fruit chews - Gummi Bears and tart red grapes. Good lacing as I swirl this around to take in the smells. Very funky sour taste - slimey, yet satisfying ;) Surprisingly hoppy.

If you like Saisons, give this a try. I could easily work this in after a Dupont or Fantome. Not as highly carbonated as La Roja, this does seem a bit thin. Still, it all works. Helluva beer. I could get used to this. Already thinking about how to obtain another bottle. Highest recommendation.

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Photo of seand
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear slightly dark amber with a large amount of dense off white head. A thick blanket retains well, and leaves full walls of lacing.

S: Floral, funky, and fruity. There's also a noticeable yeastiness.

T: Sweet floral notes to start, with the funk starting to appear mid palate and in full force by the finish, accompanied by lightly bitter grapefruit.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall I like this a lot. It's interesting, complex, drinkable, and not too boozy, which is an unfortunately uncommon combination.

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Photo of frazbri
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden auburn body topped by a tall white head. Pepper, lemon zest, and flower aroma. Grapefruit, honey, and biscuit malt flavors on a bitter base. Moderate cabonation and light body. Finishes spicy, warm and dry.

A flavorful beer from Jollly Pumpkin. Brewed in two batches, then blended together, this is another complex ale. Hop flavor is more pronounced than their other offerings. This is a good candidate for cellaring, if you have the willpower to keep from drinking it. Pick up a bottle of beer from Michigan's "farmhouse brewery".

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Photo of jakester
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet.

Pours a hazy amber/orange with an absolutely HUGE rocky, off-white head of foam. The head falls to a nice coating and a big ring, with great lacing. Looks highly effervescent.

Aroma is Belgian funky, but light; kind of like Duvel or Leffe. Next I pick up spices, like coriander and something I can't identify. A little yeasty, too, some Noble type hops, and maybe some citrus from wheat? Anyway, smells great.

Flavor is clean pilsner malt, slight caramel, yeast, and pretty damn spicy; very pleasant. Some fruits like golden raisins or dried pears. Some barnyard, but not much, decent level of bitterness. Caramel-y, but crisp and dry. This beer is different. Aftertaste is long, spicy, and interesting. Very complex brew.

Mouthfeel is crisp and dry, with a very high level of carbonation. Finish is almost chalky dry, but pleasant.

This beer is wonderfully spicy, hoppy, and intriguing. It has Belgian funky shit going on, it's fruity, yeasty, dry, crisp, and very well made. Highly recommended.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Fitzgerald's in Eagle River, MI. Poured from bottle into DFH Signature glass. Batch 796/799 Bottled 5-24-2011.

Appearance: Pours a relatively clear/clean light copper color with a thin whispy white, but lasting head. A deep shaded clover like shape dissipates into a foamy swirl.

Smell: Some sour apple notes and citurs. Bit of wet wool funk, yet has a bright aroma of tropical fruit, almost margarita like. As Luci warms up, she begins to reveal sweet vanilla and oak, every so slightly.

Taste: Great citrus with a minimal amount of hop bitterness and hardly any hop flavor. Great fruit body supported by the right amount of earthy coriander and cloves. Not a WHOLE lot of funk, but it's got a bit of sour tartness, more so than I expected.

Mouth: Crisp and lively mouthfeel. Light to medium body. This is a fun beer. The tartness really challenges the back of your tongue. Sour, tart, and drying.

Drink and overall: I'm a homer, so it's hard for me to hate on any JP beer, BUT if I did, it wouldn't start here. Really nice expression. The balance between oak, sour, and lively body really make this unique. Not cloying, bright, enjoyable. Drinks like a dry Sauv Blanc.

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Photo of BrutalSusan
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 813/814, Bottled on 6/6/2011; Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Hazy glowing golden copper with a nice fluffy head with great retentionHazy copper colored with two fingers of head that had excellant retention.

Aroma - very floral; roses. light fruit; pears.

Taste - Nice bright acidity with a yeasty finish. Reminds me of a hoppy cider. Lots of tropical fruit and like I mentioned, hops. It's herbacious and "green tasting". VERY delicious.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied, a nice balance of sweet and dry.

Overall, very enjoyable. I could drink many of these, often. Refreshing, not punishing. Lighter but very complex, a lot going on. Definitely recommend this.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy golden tea color under a 2” almost meringue like off-white foam cap that persists and clings to the glass.
S: Spicy, tart, lemony nose with traces of hop and light funk.
T: Achieves a balance between fruit, spice and hop bitterness with a moderate wild yeast funk.
F: Very fine carbonation feels soft in the mouth. Medium to medium light body.
O: An interesting, well made sour ale with an assertive bitter emphasis.

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Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was by far the best JP experience I have had. Definitely not a sour bottle here. Pour has a golden peach brillance to it with a bit of haziness. Head is medium in size with good retention. Nice amount of lacing along the glass.

Nose is of pale wheat grains and peppery spices. There seems to be some hops the warmer it gets as well. The definitely a rubbing alcohol element as this beer nears room temp.

Lots of flavor here. It's really an nice effervescent Belgian. Juicy hops mix in with dry grains and tons of variations from the spices. I can't really put all the spices in order but there's definitely coriander and I'm getting straight pepper (but i dont really know my spices too well). There an underlying sweetness to this beer that isn't noticeable upfront but is really nice in its subtleness.

The body is really smooth and somewhat thick without being overbearing. There's an alcohol kick in the finish and a warmth in my belly.

Even with the noticeable alcohol flavor this is dangerously quaffable. The flavors are so alive here and work so well together. I couldn't see how aging would help this beer here. I needs to be drank asap. Really enjoyable.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Sarah for sharing this one!

A-pours the standard golden amber color, hazy, with a slightly off white head.

S-the nose has a nice light belgian yeast to it, notes of spice to it, citrusy hop aromas of mango and orange.

T-the flavor has a nice belgian yeast, slightly earthy, great spice to it with a nice sweetness behind, citrusy flavors of mango, hints of acidity, some bitter grapefruit, light lingering bitterness in the finish.

M-light to medium body, syrupy texture, soft with a hint of grain in the feel towards the back, good carbonation (could use more but still enough to balance) with a dry finish.

D-this is quite nice, great beer with a fantastic balance to it and a nice amount of complexity. spice, citrus, acidity, earthy, yeasty, well put together.

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Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 385 ratings.
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