Luciérnaga, The Firefly - Grand Reserve | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Luciérnaga, The Firefly - Grand ReserveLuciérnaga, The Firefly - Grand Reserve
Luciérnaga, The Firefly - Grand ReserveLuciérnaga, The Firefly - Grand Reserve

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 87
Reviews by Georgiabeer:
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks very much to brewdan for this beer in a recent trade. I've had this on my wants for a while and I was very pleased to try this. I really love this brewery and I was ecstatic when they came to Georgia, but of course we have no access to any of the reserve series. This is labelled batch 130/131. Pours a very nice hazy golden with positively a glow about it. Little head, but what is there settles to a thin ring. Wonderful aroma of deep oak and quite a lot of sour that nicely play off one another. Clean and pure, but not overly acetic. The taste is a beautiful balance of oak, sour, and some light funk with an almost haunting interplay of these components through the finish. Bright and delicious. Slightly tannic on the mouthfeel, but the oak is well rounded rather than sharp and the beer is delicious, complex, and refreshing rather tiring to the palate. Just incredible.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of goethean
4.92/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 130/131. Served from a crystal tulip. Dark honey color. Quarter-inch head. Complex malt vinegar aroma. Good fizz. Intense, bracing, complex bitter tartness of balsamic malt vinegar, grapefruit, crabapple. Definite rotten apple cider aroma and flavor, like an orchard in late fall. I'm not picking up much oak. There is a substantial malt strength here. Slight rotten fruit hoppiness towards the end. Drinkability is off the charts. Appropriate reading accompaniment: "The Cow in Apple Time" by Robert Frost.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled yesterday from a 12oz bottle, with "12 months aged in oak" on a neck label. Main label also notes it being at 6.5% abv.

Pours a medium copper/russet hue. Bottle had some yeasty residue at the bottom which got swirled into the glass, making it slightly dull and cloudy, with some chunkies hovering within. Tan head of about 1/4" is fine and creamy, and sticks around a bit, leaving decent lacing behind. Nose is sourish, with some wild funk and horse-blanket hanging around. Ehh... Body rebounds, being a good medium, and the bier is fairly smooth, tongue-wise.

Malt here is very subdued; got to search around for any sweetness in this one. Fruity is the word of the day, with green apple and pear standing out. There is subtle coriander in the background, with the emphasis on subtle. Hops are a bit flowery though restrained here, fading quickly. Oak? I didn't pick up any oak nuances in this one. Gets better as it warms, though not a world-beater.

Thnx to Tim for dropping this off for me at the Split Thy Skull Brooklyn this past March.


overall: 3.65
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to hopdog for bringing this...
Appears a hazy gold with a small white cap that fades out quickly and leaves a small cap and collar in the glass.
Smell is of lots of oaky, vanilla goodness with brett and a touch of bourbon.
Taste is of the same aromas toned down slightly. Lots of nice oak and brett coming through in the taste as well with a mild tartness.
Mouthfeel is mildly sour from the wild yeast with a good amount of oak and candy coming through and making this a nice brew.

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Photo of alexgash
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange-copper body with golden edges. Traces of yeasties, even after a careful decant. Dirty, off-white/beige head that hangs on for a long time. Tart, Granny Smith apples and peels, light vinegar, spices, sugar cookie malt, and woodsy funk. Very nice. Acidic, lemon and sour apple flavors up front. Not as acidic and sour as a lambic. Instead, there's an underlying cookie malt, earthy woodness, and spice rounding out the palate. I can taste coriander and maybe anise. Light tartness and fruit again before a dry, hoppy finish. Moderate body with a lively, naturally carbonated feel. Very drinkable!

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Photo of DLucky
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, Sampled February 2006: This is the original batch of the Luciernaga from 2004, aged in a bourbon barrel for 14 months.

This beer is well carbonated, it starts to foam up a bit once I pop the cap. It pours a lightly hazy full amber color and is topped by an initially two-finger thick, frothy, quickly disappearing tan colored head. The aroma is devoid of sweetness, and has a forward tartness to it, as well as an evident barrel character. There is a definite woody note here, which is quickly followed by a bit of alcohol, or at least a remnant of the bourbon from the barrel. I would not say that the bourbon is specifically noticeable as such, but it does contribute here. There is an underlying fruitiness here, which is just able to poke out underneath the other aromatics; I get note of sour plum, and apples. As my nose becomes used to the aroma a bit of sweetness is detected, in fact it even becomes quite evident. This mainly brings out some other fruit notes including that of strawberry, and perhaps even some tropical fruit; interesting.

The beer has a certain fullness to it up front, which is perhaps contributed by some of the up front, light sweetness. Through the middle this beer has a nice light fruitiness that evokes thoughts of both sour and aromatic/ sweet apples, as well as some sour plum notes, and even a bit of berry character. From the middle on through to the finish the bourbon barrel starts to show itself, again it is not specifically traceable to bourbon, but does contribute an oak-like woodiness, and a bit of a hard liquor type notes. The barrel actual does effect the entire palate of the beer; the fullness that I initially noticed can definitely be attributed to the fullness that tannins add to a beer. As the beer begins to warm up the soft fruit notes begin to pick up a bit, and actually help to balance out the barrel character; I get notes of pear as well as the prior noticed apple and plum. This beer is only lightly tart, not nearly as much acidity as the more recent offerings. There is some definite subtle Brettanomyces notes here as well; a light mustiness is here, with a hint of that sort of horse-blanket note.

The nice thing about this beer is that the bourbon barrel character is not too strong, in fact it is quite subtle and allows much of the natural notes of this beer to come through. This is a really nice beer, but it does not quite live up to the bar set by both the Bam Bier and the Fuego del Otono that I have had recently (admittedly those set a very high bar). I think that a bit more acidity here would really help the over all character, and definitely would up the complexity. In fact with the light barrel notes, a bit more tartness would really work quite well. With all that said, this is quite a good beer, lots of complexity and flavors, definitely worth trying, and I could definitely use a lot more of this.

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Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once upon a funk beer. All funk from smell to taste, still being a good drinker and under control. Much funkier than any JP I have ever tried. Great looks with a big fomay head and lots of lace, that also serve to cushion the tongue and make for a smooth drinkable beer. Thanks for scoring, Doug K.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the cloudy amber brew. Lacing is plentiful and slow-falling. Aroma is tart, with an underlying rounded sweetness and a tinge of funk. Taste is tart upfront, with the malt character flushing out a bit in the middle, and the oak character coming in on the end. Mouthfeel is a bit hard, it all just doesn't come together as well as expected, but remains nicely drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"12 months in oak" - must be from the 2006 release

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a modest cap that leaves a fair bit of lacing after a swirl

Smell: Very tart, vinous character with lots of subtle fruit, such as green apples, strawberries and grapes

Taste: Fruity and vinous at the outset, with the tartness building through mid-palate, as the undertones of oak appear, after the swallow, the dry, woody flavor really kicks in to mellow out the tartness and add complexity; throughout, there is also an underlying swweetness that is barely discernable on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Another great achievement - the JP Grand Reserve beers are in rarified company

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Photo of DrJay
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 130/131, 21 months in the barrel. Big thanks to grub for cracking this one during Day 1 of the 2008 Biergotter Tasting.
It had a hazy peach colour with a thin off-white cap. Though there was only a bit of spotty lacing, it was very sticky and lasted throughout the glass. Very cool aroma, cinnamon and other spices, strawberry and apricot, mild tart fruitiness, faint grapefruit and pine. The flavour was quite tart, plenty of berry and not much in the way of vinegar. Very fruity with earth and tobacco towards the finish. Medium to light bodied, lowish carbonation, just a bit of soapiness to the texture. Very tasty with an interesting set of flavours. I'd love to get my hands on more of this.

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Photo of Viggo
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for opening up this one. Batch 130/131, barrel aged 21 months. Day 1 of insane DrJay visit epic tasting.

Pours a hazy orange, with yellow in the edges, thick white head forms, settles to a medium ring, drops lots of lace spots on the glass. Smell is neat, strawberries, cinnamon and spice, orange peel, lemons, acidic, very woody, honey and caramel, earthy funkiness, very neat. Taste is nice, lemons and oranges, wood, honey, spices, wood, strawberries, apricot, sour and acidic finish, very oaky, barnyard, very neat. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with high carbonation, pretty easy to drink, nice balance with the wood and sourness. These GR's are pretty badass, thanks Russ!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Same bottle as pictured. No less than 12 months in oak on the label.

Pours into my glass a vibrant, clear amber orange color with a thick inch of creamy, cragly white head that leaves patches of lacing as it falls. Steady carbonation rises up. Aromas greet me with crisp, spicy pale malts bathed in a mix of light fruity scents. Apple, pear, lemon and citrus all work themselves in together. Spicy, earthy yeast tones give way to a sour funkiness. Hints of vanilla and oak with the vinegar brett aromas giving it the send off.

First sip brings a crisp, grainy pale malt upfront that quickly turns into a wash of fruity notes, green apple, pear and citrus all move in. Coriander and general spiciness move onto quite a forward vanilla flavor on the way down. The woody, oak tones meld in wonderfully. Sour, funky brett tones are there but somewhat mellow. It finishes slightly dry. Quite a fruity, funky, woody, spicy brew.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with very aggressive carbonation that rushes across the palate. The amount of carbonation makes it a bit hard to drink and knocks down the ability to enjoy it a touch for me. Overall, it's a tasty, funky, oaky brew. I enjoy pulling the woody, oaky flavors out of beers like this that don't show any liquor flavors. 12oz is a good size here. Thanks for this tasty brew go out to SkinnyElvis.

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Photo of hopdog
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade with Styles (thanks!).

Poured a medium amber color with a smaller sized of white head. Some floaters in there. Aromas of oak, wood, vanilla, light spices, brett, leather, green apples, spices, and very light bourbon. Lot going on there. Tastes of wood, light spices, green apples, vanilla and caramel. We tried this side by side with a fresh bottle of the regular Firefly and it was interesting to see the difference.

Notes from and tasted on 4/7/06

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Photo of benito
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Wow do I feel lucky to have a chance to try a full bottle of this beer! I swung past the brewery earlier this week hoping to get a taste of JP's new brew, Perseguidor, which I did (and which is excellent), and I saw that they had some of the Grand Reserve in the fridge as well. Sick.

From a 12 ounce bottle. Aged 12 months in oak.

A: Deep copper and hazy with little head and almost no carbonation.

S: Lots of brett notes with sour citrus jumping out, some lemon and some barnyard funk as well.

T: This is an all-out brett-fest: it's sour from start to finish with a nice buttery, almost doughy feel in the middle of the palate. I get hints of citrus, cherry, seltzer, and cocoa. The finish is nice and dry--a fine complement to the initial sourness.

M: Surprisingly light-bodied and refreshing, this has some of the best qualities of a Flanders red--not exactly what I would have expected from a saison-base! But it works wonderfully, and the overall feel is quenching and snappy.

Overall, this is a special beer--one of the best products I've tasted from Jolly Pumpkin--that does its base beer justice. If only it didn't take so freakin' long to get this beer to this level! In the meantime, I'll be happy to keep drinking the other, great, JP beers.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on November 28, 2006. 12 Oz Bottle. Fairly straightforward sour pineapple and lechee Brett character, with a little edge of Nyquil Red alcohol aroma and a faint wisp of fading windy blended wildflower floralness. Clearish even orange pour, with a tiny rim of off-white. Very low on the carbonation. Flavor is a delicate, sweet perfumy wild sourness, with hazy oak and fermenting on the vine cranberries. Residual sweetness has some umami character and pair well with sour green apple skins. Nice tart, dry, leather oak alcohols. Hops appear in the background, lost in a sea of overly dominate Brett and oak. Barrel may bring wisps of vanilla. Some juicy hop juice and light wildness in the smack. Leathery. I think Brett has gone a little far here and this doesn’t appear as too complex.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold in color with a nice frothy one inch head. For being barrel aged for months, this is still bringing that JP funk. There is a lot of carbonation in this drink as well. Some subtle oak, vanilla and bourbon from the barrels is present in the taste. Another solid offering from JP.

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Photo of emerge077
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 release, aged 21 months in oak.

Deep ruddy orange, with a creamy dollop of foam. Color fades from a darker shade at the surface, to a lighter yellow orange at the meniscus of the glass.

Cidery, sweet/tart acetic vinegar sharpness, dry woody notes. A ripe cheese note blends into the apple cider vinegar mix, with sweet hay and fruity crabapple essence. Smells like fallen apples in an orchard, funkdafied in the summer heat.

Delicious tart apples, almost overripe, with a sweet vinegar note, melded with a ripe farmhouse cheese. Dry oaky tannin, that plays well with the sweet crabapple. Pretty much falls in line with it's aromas. Light carbonation, best served at 55º+ to pick up it's nuances. Complex and super of my all time favorite sour ales.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of grub
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 1: Sour/Wild Ales. i contributed this one, purchased at the brewery.

12oz bottle. batch 130/131, barrel-aged 21 months. sampled nov 27/08.

pours hazy orange - looks like marmalade in the glass. a small dense white head forms, dropping fast and leaving lots of lace.

aroma is excellent. behind some lemon and sourness i almost get a west-coast ipa - apricot, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, maybe a bit of pine. bread and cracker. light alcohol. fresh floral and almost perfumey component. light alcohol.

taste is great. the sour/vinegar is pretty restrained, especially compared to the biere de mars grand reserve we had before it. bit of horse blanket funk. less of the other citrus that i got in the aroma, but there's still a bit of apricot coming through. definitely more towards the sour side than funky.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is good. pretty good balance, but still fairly sour. quite interesting though and i definitely enjoyed it.

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Photo of Deuane
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a bottle of this hard to get brew.

A-Hazy deep copper with a thin off-white head that leaves spotty lace.

S-Significant tartness and oak. some nice building spicy notes in the background with a melding of fruit (granny smith apple and white grapes) underneath.

T-A lot of dry oak astringency with a balsamic vinegar tart/sourness. A nice kick of spice in the finish.

M-Medium-light bodied, crisp with a ton of sharp tartness. Long lasting oak barrel bitterness/flavour.

D-Well done and highly drinkable for such an intense brew. Lots of oak dryness and brett best like this style or else...

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Photo of Shovelbum
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a creamy off-white head over a slightly hazy copper-orange body. Aromas of caramel malt, oak and a strong whiff of bourbon. Coriander and a substantial dose of pepper make up much of the spice profile. A nice earthiness too, which is probably a combination of hops and barrel aging. The oak character is quite pronounced. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp in the mouth.

Definitley smoother and less abrasive at warmer temps. The “no less than 12 months in oak” has made some significant changes over the standard issue Luciernaga. I find the bourbon/oaky character to be a bit overbearing at lower serving temperatures, but mellows out nicely as the beer warms. Compared to the normal Luciernaga, the hop character has toned down to a more grassy flavor that is far less of a presence and makes for a mellower less assertive/bitter ale. Still, there is a good amount of complexity in here that, for the most part, works quite well.

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Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a hazy amber with a thin tan head and little lacing.

S-Sour and woody, what an appealing, rich aroma. Maybe some white grape and apple beneath.

T-My notes say "huge wood", which I imagine refers to the flavor. Deliciously tart and oaky, with a heaping helping of funk thrown in.

M-Medium bodied with carbonation on the low to medium side.

D-An excellent sour beer. I think one a night is plenty, but I could have one a night for a week or two.


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Photo of mrmanning
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Styles, thanks so much for hooking me up with all this JP! Hazy orange pour with a slightly beige head and lots of sediment. Lookin' good. In the nose, dill pickle chips, a bretty funk, sweaty socks, and lots of woody oak. There's a good bite to this stuff. Like pickles, interesting. Very oaky and woody, with earthy funky flavours. Prety interesting. Very soft, and just slightly more flavourful than the regular version. Very easy to drink this stuff. Another winner from Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to northernbrews for this hard to come by gem.

A: Almost no carbonation, can't help to feel its not supposed to be this way. With a jiggle of the glass, offwhite foam briefly appears around the sides of the glass showing that indeed this beer is carbonated afterall. Body is a toffee orange dominated by haze and sediment.

S: Pineapple, green bananas, lime, lemon, grapefruit, brett and a lot of oak.

T: Begins a lot like the original with tart green fruits and citrus around the front of the tongue. This is where it diverges...oak comes next and is fairly strong (it did spend a year in the barrel after all). Its not nearly as buttery or peachy as the original, as most of these flavors are hidden by the oak...or perhaps its that age? Not sure. Good level of bitterness hanging around, much like the bitterness associated with grapefruit rinds. Finishes tart and sour with a lingering lemon juice personality in the mouth. As it warms, the flavors really start to blossum.

M: Medium body, smooth due to the low carbonation.

D: Good but I think I like the original a bit better.

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Luciérnaga, The Firefly - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 87 ratings