Maracaibo Especial | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Maracaibo EspecialMaracaibo Especial
Very Good
804 Ratings
Maracaibo EspecialMaracaibo Especial

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by marburg on 02-28-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 804 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of Nich7601
1/5  rDev -74.7%

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
1.75/5  rDev -55.7%

Photo of squirrel49
1.75/5  rDev -55.7%

Photo of mfgreene
2/5  rDev -49.4%

Photo of NotJesus
2/5  rDev -49.4%

2.03/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Not your typical brown ale. Sour and just gross. I questioned if it went bad.

77 characters

Photo of unibrew
2.06/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This is NOT what I was expecting when I bought this beer. I was expecting to taste more cacao and spices and brown ale qualities at the very minimum. After a glass, I can't seem to find any of that, only sour apples. It's funky. Too funky, and nowhere on the bottle does it say anything about being a saison or farmhouse ale. It's supposed to be a brown ale with cacao and spices, inspired by the monastic brews of Belgium. Instead, it's a bombastic brew for a brown ale. It's sour. I'm not getting any cacao, nor any's sourness is overwhelming to me. I don't like saisons or farmhouse styles, so, this is especially disgusting to me. $12.00 for the bomber, and only one glass. The rest goes down the drain. No more Jolly Pumpkin for me.

 748 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.19/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've given Jolly Pumpkin two shots now. One more beer like this, and I'm done.

Pours a hazy deep amber. Nice white foam that settles to a very, very long lasting rim. No lacing.

Smell is offputting. A hint of orange rind? Try a crapload. Should I be smelling, as opposed to tasting, this much spice? And what is that musty background odor? Is that the cacao? If so, that shouldn't be in beers.

The taste is actually better than the aroma, as the godawful orange rind, spiceiness, and cacao? flavors are submerged a bit into a sour base. They do, however, leave an utterly unappealing spicy aftertaste that makes me want to cleanse my palate.

A disaster on many levels.

 673 characters

Photo of ricknelson
2.21/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Six of us attending a beer tasting that I hosted in my man cave pub gave this beer a score of 8 out of a possible 30 for and an average score of 1.33 It ranked dead last out of the 12 beers we tasted. The group of six were divided evenly, 3 that favored IPA's and 3 that favored Stouts. It actually was so bad that no one even finished the 5 oz pour, and a good portion of it was dumped down the drain. It had a very vinegar taste. Maybe it was a bad bottle, I still have another one un-opened. But do I dare try it!

 516 characters

Photo of AbeFroman
2.25/5  rDev -43%

Photo of litheum94
2.44/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle. "Blend 9 Bottled 12/7/10."

Light tan head explodes out of the bottle, filling the entire glass. I had to pour this beer in stages; it seriously took me 15 minutes just to pour a quarter of the bottle. Very annoying.

Aromas of vinegar and socks. Some orange peel and spices, with a ghost of chocolate bitterness.

Wow. Where to begin? Spices go from faint to overwhelming. Is that chocolate in the background? Who knows. Sour orange zest and cardboard. Here's where it almost ended up in the drain, but I forged ahead. I was slightly rewarded, as the spices start to meld with the sourness as the beer warms. But I still call this a mess.

I don't know what the person who wrote the label description was drinking, but it wasn't this beer. There's cocoa nibs in there? Could have fooled me. Not good at all, especially considering I paid $16 for the bottle. No thank you!

 887 characters

Photo of Rons35
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of CLEGentleman21
2.52/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of 57md
2.61/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance is brownish-copper with no appreciable head. There was some fine lacing on the glass, but not much.

The nose was too mild to discern much of anything - there was a touch of sourness, perhaps. The taste offers a quick shot of cocoa and then fruity sourness that was like biting into a beer flavored jolly rancher.

I've heard a great deal of good hype about Jolly Pumpkin, but my first try at one of their offerings was a complete disappointment. I will certainly try another of their beers, but I will certainly not believe the hype again until I taste the proof.

 575 characters

Photo of benito
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hey, anyone else getting tired of Jolly Pumpkin beers that all have the same sour taste and thin body?

I won't take my inchoate frustration out on a single beer, and Maracaibo Especial isn't awful. In fact, if it were my first JP beer, I'd think I would probably be quite excited. It's a brownish cider color with a thick head this is slow to dissipate. The bouquet and flavor are full of sour apple; it tastes almost vinegary at times. The body has a medium-feel and slightly malty edge that keep this from treading into too sour a realm; however, I don't detect any of the spices (cacao, cinnamon, coriander) that are supposed to be so prominent in this brew. It certainly has nothing of the monastic tradition in it, and the lack of complexity in flavor and texture leaves a lot to be desired.

I really love what Jolly Pumpkin sets out to do and some of their beers (Oro de Calabaza, Luciernaga, Biere de Mars, and the new Perseguidor) are true to style and very tasty. Even some of their weaker offerings, Bam Biere and Calabaza Blanca, have redeeming characteristics. Maracaibo Especial is the weakest of them all, though, as it only has some of the (by now) ho-hum sourness of a Jolly Pumpkin beer without any of the intriguing and playful complexities of their better brews.

It's not enough anymore to make a 'sour' Belgian brew and expect folks to foam at the mouth automatically. Jolly Pumpkin's brews routinely show that bretta funk isn't something to treat as an occasional fad, but this brew just seems to wallow in their own showiness.

Not recommended.

 1,577 characters

Photo of AApparel
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of rderedin
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of jeschaefer
2.77/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of churchillps
2.86/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On no planet is this a brown ale---it's definitely a sour, and a merely average one at that. Very thin mouthfeel, faint smell of orange, and overpowering sweetness, almost nutra-sweet-y. Cannot taste the cacao at all. Really pretty beer with a great creamy head, though.

 270 characters

Photo of np0x
2.9/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The nose on this beer was interesting with all the promise of a good sour beer, the clarity and mouthfeel were nice, but when it came time to drink it...The bitterness was overwhelming with little malt to balance it out, making the beer almost undrinkable. I like most sour beers, but in this case it seemed like the beer was overly bitter and then the bugs ate all the residual sugars leaving the beer with an inhospitable bite in the taste profile.

 450 characters

Photo of lillitnn92
2.95/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of WoodBrew
3/5  rDev -24.1%

This beer is really sour. Beer pours a rich amber with white head that is leaving a nice lace. The scent and taste were primarily sour dough. The mouthful is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall not for me.

 218 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of CortexBomb
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pour is a very attractive dark coppery tone with a smallish white ring of carbonation. Smell is fruity, oakey with definite caramel and chocolate aspects...very enticing.

Taste starts out with a strong sour hit which then segues into oak, in spades...a very woody aspect continues throughout. Tons of estery goodness is hitting my tongue all over the place and a lot of sour appleish tone seems to be the final effect. I'm also getting the caramel and chocolate from the nose in the actual flavour. Very complex but I think the sourness mixed with the oak dominance is a bit over the top, and it knocks the flavour down to slightly below average. It's depthy, but the depth isn't all that tasty.

Mouth is medium bodied, but with some good tingly action on the back of the tongue, so also good. Drinkability is suffering a bit, the flavour is again, a little harsh, and it makes this a harder beer to drink. Particularly toward the end the flavour can really start to become harsh and hard to drink.

Overall, another interesting artisan beer from Jolly Pumpkin. As I said above, I think the flavour is unique and depthy but too abrasive. That said, I like it when breweries try to nudge up against the line that is established norms, and I applaud this beer on those terms though I personally feel that they were off the mark on this one.

 1,346 characters

Photo of mikeburd1128
3/5  rDev -24.1%

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Maracaibo Especial from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 804 ratings