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

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Ratings: 804 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of nomad
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, kinda muddled, when poured. The head on this beer dies fast. Shiny and kinda purply, though! But seriously, a decent though flat looking beer.

Smell begins with cacao and cinnamon spice over a toasted biscuit scent. Light yeast esters and malt-driven fruitiness arises slowly amongst the even and moderate spicing.

The cacao flavor is light in effect though first in notice, tapping over a strong grape-like backdrop. Dark sugar and baking spices developed over the session as the malt was fairly quiet over moderate Trappist-like yeast notes. Eerily light on the palette with a soft and quick finish - surprising since most spiced beers tend to linger on my palette like in-laws. All the competing parts integrate supremely well as this beer warms to near room temperature (65F), while an interesting true-sour tone pops up close to the finish. Perhaps the brettanomyces and lactobacillus is beginning to grow in Jolly Pumpkin's barrels to (occasionally) noticeable levels. It's not much but still give an important texture to the flavor.

I don't care for dubbels and I don't care for spiced beers... so of course leave it to the magic of Ron Jefferies' Caribean fantasies to put those opinions on pause. A fine after-dinner beer - just let it warm up first.

EDIT: Wow, a few months later and this beer is already getting better, rounded with a larger and deeper malt presence with little spice interference.

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Photo of frazbri
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy brown body with a billowing mocha/cream head. Earthy aromas, banana, chocolate, and dates. Bananas, apples, cocoa and a hint of pepper. Fairly light in body, fairly high in carbonation, dry finish.

Jolly Pumpkin's dubbel influenced ale is another winner. There is quite a complexity of flavor, but a lightness of body. For a beer of 7.50%, there is little alcohol heat. It's quite drinkable. Don't drink it too cold, be patient and let it warm a little. Distribution is limited, so hit up your friends or drive to Dexter. It's worth the trip for me. Ron's a personable guy who brews some fine beer.

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Photo of marburg
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update, 2/28: This second bottle is a bit different than I recall -- or at least, my palate is in a different state. A lot more alcohol and chocolate than I recall in the aroma. Less dry than I remember it being from two days ago but still bitingly orange pith bitter and musty/chalky/yeasty. Less of other spices and a bit more peppery in the finish. I'm glad I bought a few bottles of this because it's interesting beer. No change in ratings.

Original, 2/26: It pours out a clouded brown liquid, foamy tan head atop; one glass got away from me, the head shot up to fill half the glass. Nice carbonation. The last bits had visible yeast chunks, and the whole beer was nearly opaque.

The aroma is subtle but assertive -- the first thing that hit me was dried orange peel. Cloves, brown sugar, and slightly singed chocolate.

Woody, musty, yeasty flavors contribute to a remarkably dry beer. This is really where I find the only "faults" in this beer. I really enjoy this -- the wood, the spiciness, the yeast, the lingering orange pith-like bitterness -- except there's not really any malt sweetness pulling this guy back. Possibly the driest dubbel I've encountered.

Medium bodied and well carbonated, this goes down fairly easily, and the 7.5% is well-hidden. The dryness takes away a bit, I think. I've got one or two more of these for myself and will re-evaluate, of course: I love dry beverages in general, but this seems like it could use just a bit more malt sweetness. Another solid effort from JP though to be sure.

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Photo of putnam
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Copper brown with a fussy, resigning mass of noisy foam on top. The aromas are of healthy, fresh Dubbel: plums, nectarines, cinnamon, cocoa, pepper. On the palate it is Bruin/Dubbel/+ intense with big, arcing, streaking lines of firey fizz. The fruits and sugars are wiry and natural, evoking baked fall fruit pies, chalky, sweet, dried spices, brown sugar, and -- I swear -- raw cocoa. The finish is deliriously bitter.

I've just come from drinking an Oro de Calabaza with family and freinds for a friend's birthday. It was followed by a Tempier 2001 Cabassou, lamb chops and a 30 minute drive. That should expose any falseness in a beer, and this one passes with flying colors. America is the greatest county ever! Dexter is America!

Jolly Pumpkin's beers are horribly under-rated.

(this really is a surprisingly terrific beer!)

There are very few Dubbels that can approach this quality level. And I could care less if it comes from my state. This could come from Nunavut or Samoa or Poland. It defines natural, pure dubbel the way that Southampton and Allagash can define their beers of Belgian and Flemish nomenclature... and few others.

((Thanks for the parcel, marb))

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