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

Luminous, yeastiful, pumpkin orange beneath a beautiful looking head of lightly orange-tinted alabaster. The cap is large thanks to the generous carbonation and is tacky enough to result in a rough-hewn, pitted surface and a good bit of clingy lace. A wonderful appearance.

Firefly's nose is orchard fruity with a dusting of herbs (coriander) and spices (grains of paradise). I certainly couldn't have been that specific had I not seen the brewery's website. The nose is appealing, but it does suffer somewhat in comparison to authentic Belgian pales. It's more simple and direct than it is deep and complex.

Like the nose, the flavor doesn't quite measure up to the best of its Continental counterparts. Now that that's out of the way, I can judge it for what it is rather than what it isn't. The beer is still peach and pear fruity, although it's fruit that has seemingly had the majority of its sugar removed. That gives it an austere, dessicated character rather than a warm, welcoming one.

Grains of paradise (a little too prominent) are much more noticeable than coriander (not quite prominent enough). More depth and complexity is sorely needed and at least a pinch of candi sugar would do wonders. In addition, alcohol plays too much of a role in the flavor profile; hard to believe at only 6.5%. The beer tastes somewhat medicinal as a result.

I was hoping that the ethanol would fade on the finish, allowing the fruit and spice to shine, but no such luck. The mouthfeel is light-medium with a supple silkiness that I'm enjoying. The beer doesn't feel quite as carbonated as it looks, but it's still on the lively side.

Luciernaga falls short of its intended style target. That isn't to say, however, that it isn't worth a purchase. I found enough to like in this bottle to make me rue its faults all the more and to wonder what could have been. Although Firefly doesn't light up the night, it does give off a pleasant little glow. Thanks to deejaydan for the bottle.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

There's a half inch of eggshell white on top. Gold to amber in color with a hazy complexion. I smell grains of pardise and light coriander. I taste for aims of paradise and light malt with earthy, peppery yeast. There's a slightly sweet taste overall. The mouth is highly carbonated and dry.

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Photo of wedge
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazed orange color with a torrent of carbonation rising from the center. Huge, billowy head of marshmallow fluff is perfectly "Belgian" - big foamy clumps of lace are all over my glass. Aroma is full of spices - yeasty with a touch of soapiness. Nutmeg and cinnamon warm the nose and blend with some melon and sweet malts. There's an immediate citric sourness in the taste at first - bitter spiciness with earthy and floral qualities. Rind-ish dryness and some alcoholic warmth in the end. "Easy" mouthfeel is smooth with moderate carbonation.

All kinds of spices add a nice complexity to this brew. Well worth a try and convincing enough to make me try others from Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of xgrigorix
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 750 ml bottle, no dates.

Burnt sunset amber. Voluminous off white head. Swift moving lines of tiny bubbles move with purpose.

Pleasantly spicy aroma. A touch herbal.

Spicy, distinct notes of coriander & pepper. Earthy & herbal. Off dry finish with some subtle hints of orange. Medium bodied, robust carbonation. A bit hot (surprising for only 6.5% ABV). Tastes like it has some cellaring potential.

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Photo of schwaeh
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle- bottled 5/21/11

A:Pours a pumpkin orange color with as much frothy white head as you care to pour. These JP beers are always crazy carbonated. Nice lacing.

S: Smells of sour apple, brett funk, oak barrels, and a nice delicate hop presence. This has some nice fall spices going on, very cool. This is the hoppiest smelling Jolly Pumpkin by a landslide.

T: This tastes very funky- hay, horseblanket, pears, grain, and some rotten apple. This has some nice use of spices- nutmeg, coriander, and some pepper are all noticeable; These all add some very nice warmth and depth to this brew. Its almost as if the finish isn't there on this beer, the flavors fade fast in your mouth until a light amount of hop bitterness shows up. There is a citrus quality to this(from the hops?), maybe clementines. The hoppiness builds and seems slightly out of place in this beer.

M: A little thin here but not too bad. Lively carbonation(brett, Jolly Pumpkin, duh). Lingering bitterness.

O: I can really appreciate this beer, especially when grouped in this style, but for me I would really let this one sit a while. The use of fresh hops is kind of distracting with the funk and spice going on here. This is good but time might push this up a notch.

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Photo of smcolw
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Awesome head with sticky lace. Dark gold in color with a touch of orange. Very murky with yeasty beasties.

Malty soured cream smell. Spice touches include corriander and all spice. Crisp and clean.

Strong sour bites to the malt, almost like there is lemon juice in the brew. I can detect light hop after the swallow. Relatively short lived aftertaste. Excellent body with high carbonation.

Overall, I find this to be a crisp ale with a lot of flavor. A beautiful pour. A good offering in Belgian Pales.

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Photo of hardy008
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 542/543 Bottled 5/14/10.

Pours a clear honey orange color with a 4 finger foamy white head with excellent retention and lacing. I need to keep an eye on the rest of the bottle, as the foam keeps coming up to the top. The aroma has coriander, lemon, orange zest, wood, and Brettanomyces.

The taste has Brettanomyces, coriander, lemon, orange zest, and a little bit of pepper. There is a little bit of sweetness, and a lot of funk and some bitterness.

Light bodied with plenty of carbonation and a dry finish. Definitely worth trying.

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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 MartzMimic
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Pours a cloudy orange with a finger of white head that lasts for a couple minutes. Yeast, banana, cloves and spice predominate the nose. They are also apparent in the taste, but it's moderately sour. Medium light mouth with lots of crisp carbonation. Fairly dry. Every Jolly Pumpkin brew surprises me in one way or another, and with the sourness, this is no exception. Not bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of pleasewearpants
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into the only clean cup in my sink. Ha. Hazy light amber orange color. I only have fluorescent lights in my bungalow so its hard to tell sometimes. Minimal head dissipates quickly. Nice brett aroma, not much else in there, maybe some light spice. Hard to tell when you've had this much reconstructive surgery. Taste is very nice - funky, mild brett sourness, real clean and light. Comes off like a dry latex glove. Sense a little citrus and spice. Nice bitterness too. Good solid Jolly Pumpkin beer. Going to Taco Bell, hope this is still here when I get back.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Blend 3, bottled 4-28-10.

4.5 A: Hazy orange brown color. Three fingers of pillowy white head with excellent retention and plenty of lacing.

4.0 S: Brett comes off as the strongest aroma. Lots of different spices going with pepper, corriander, grains of paradise and even cinnamon, but none of them are very strong. Pretty decent, I like what the brett is doing here.

3.5 T: Surprisingly drying on finish is what I noticed first. Grains of paradise show up big time with corriander and pepper on the second front. Very pear like fruitiness. Brett funk blends in with the other flavors as opposed to being the focus. Good, but lacking something I can't quite put my finger on. I wish I could give this a 3.75 for taste.

4.5 M: Medium body. Good actively spritzy carbonation. Good creaminess as well. One of the highlights of this beer.

3.5 D: It's an okay beer, but certainly not worth the price. Flavors seem okay on paper, but it's missing some of the intangibles that make a beer great. I'm not a huge fan of pear flavor in beer and this one has a lot of it.

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Photo of bruachan
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

chillhazy but a nice reddish copper color. sudsy suds up there, releasing funky scents.

light-bodied and refreshing. very little malt essence. i would prefer a little more to bite into, although perhaps i would feel differently in 7 months (it's October right now). some nutty malt flavor appears with patience. do i detect grains of paradise? the bottle says yes...and coriander

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

750ml bottle into a snifter

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

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

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

M: Great body and carbonation.

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

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Photo of glid02
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy lemon-yellow color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with good amounts of pear and lemon peel aromas. Hints of funk waft out every now and then.

Tastes OK. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by muted lemon zest flavors. The lemon zest lightens up midway through the sip making room for unripe pears that carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I enjoyed this beer and it went down easily however it wasn't robust enough to be very good. Worth a shot, especially in the warmer months.

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

A: poured amber brown with slightly reddish orange highlights that had a finger of head and left good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I definitely got some spices on the first whiff but it also seemed like it had vinegar notes with barrel funkiness, honey, herbs, brett, and faint apple notes.

T: Upfront it had a nice slight tartness with the spices really popping out more on the palate alongside slight lemon, grains, and punchy brett notes. It had some underlying vinegar and apple notes as well.

M: The brew was medium body with a good amount of prickly carbonation that had a spicey, zesty, tart, and slight dry finish; interesting.

D: It drank pretty good and was quite different from other belgian pales that I've had but it did have the Jolly pumpkin signature slight funky tart flavor.

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Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

24oz bottle to an imperial pint (I know, my mistake)
Labeled "Batch 387/388"

A: A moderate pour resulted in copious amounts of head, but eventually led to a 3.5 finger creamy foamed tan head. Color was orange copper and slightly hazy. Head retention was good eventually reducing to a tan froth crown as well as a decent amount of lacing.

S: Orange peel citrus, coriander and spice. Sour and vinegar-like with hints of band-aid from the use of Brett.

T: Upfront with sweet and sour fruit flavors (grape and apple) with a slight alcohol warming which faded fast. Caramel and toffee notes definitely play second fiddle to the sweetness with an ever-so slight bitterness on finish from grassy hop flavor. For me, the sour character became overbearing as the session progressed and any spice character was hard to discern over the sour flavor.

M: Highly carbed initially but faded fast leaving a creamy, somewhat watery feel. Medium dry with a slick finish.

D: Medium bodied and moderate alcohol. The sweet and sour nature of this beer make it a short one for me.

This was an interesting beer to review and I did enjoy it. However, the sour character and funky aroma from the use of Brett. aren't my "cup 'o' tea." Overall, an interesting variation on a Belgian Pale Ale.

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

Served chilled into flute.

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

Aromas of citrus, grape must, banana and spice.

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

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

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

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle - $8.49 at Beverage SuperStore in Suwanee, Georgia. No listed batch number.

Appearance: Pours out a clearish, dark orange body with a huge, dense, foamy, white head.

Smell: Malts enveloped with acrid notes of musty wild yeasts, butyric acid, juiced apples, mangled pineapples, damp oak wood, earthy spices.

Taste: Toasted, honeyish malts instantly disappear behind the strongly phenolic Brett character. Pristine pineapple juice blended with spoiled apple juice. The doses of Grains of Paradise and coriander are quite spicy and particularly pungent, giving the tongue a bit of enduring ginger-like heat. Touch of oak. Surprisingly bitter as well. Particularly dry finish with a lingering taste of the added spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: As always, it's another weird, wild ride from Jolly Pumpkin. The spices can be a bit overly brash at times. While not the most captivating of the Jolly Pumpkin lineup, it's certainly solid and worth a try.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

M-Lots of carbonation with a moderate body.

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

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

Big gusher of a bottle. Luckily didn't lose too much to the countertop. Cloudy tangerine with huge chunky head. Aroma- nice oaky funkiness. Taste- high initial sourness that drys quickly. Not really a juicy sourness, more dry woodiness. Little bit of citrus. I think this is the dryest JP beer I've had. Not high is alcohol, but seems boozy for some reason.

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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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Luciérnaga, The Firefly from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
4.05 out of 5 based on 947 ratings.
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