La Roja - Grand Reserve
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

La Roja - Grand ReserveLa Roja - Grand Reserve
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Style:
Sour - Flanders Red Ale
Ranked #13
ABV:
8%
Score:
92
Ranked #2,016
Avg:
4.22 | pDev: 10.9%
Reviews:
90
Ratings:
229
From:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  287
Gots
  68
SCORE
92
Outstanding
La Roja - Grand ReserveLa Roja - Grand Reserve
Notes: "THE RED"
SOUR AMBER ALE
Aged in large oak casks then bottle fermented, La Roja is a Franco-Belgian style ale crafted on the Flander's tradition of aged and blended beers. La Roja is rich and lush with undertones of caramel fruit and spice. Truly an ale of grace and distinction.

Cheers and Mahalo plenty!

IBU: 25
TIME IN OAK: 2 Months - 15 Months
HOPS: Strisselspalt & Tettnang
GRAINS: Pilsner Malt, Pale Malt, Munich 10, Wheat Malt, Crystal 150, & Black Malt
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS: Dextrose
Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 229 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of superspak
superspak from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/16/2018. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper/light reddish color with a 1 finger dense and creamy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big sour/tart/tangy lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, citrus peel/zest, cherry, cranberry, strawberry, peach, pear, apricot, melon, red/green apple, red grape/wine, toasted oak, hay, straw, grass, brown sugar, caramel, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of peppercorn, leathery/musty/lacto funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, oak barrels, and dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big sour/tart/tangy lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, citrus peel/zest, cherry, cranberry, strawberry, peach, pear, apricot, melon, red/green apple, red grape/wine, toasted oak, hay, straw, grass, brown sugar, caramel, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of peppercorn, leathery/musty/lacto funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate fruity/lactic tartness, wine tang, and yeast/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart/tangy lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, citrus peel/zest, cherry, cranberry, strawberry, peach, pear, apricot, melon, red/green apple, red grape/wine, toasted oak, hay, straw, grass, brown sugar, caramel, toasted bread, peppercorn, light leather/funk/vinegar, and yeast/oak/tasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, oak barrels, and dark/bready malt flavors; with an awesome malt/tang/tartness and yeast/oak spiciness balance; with no puckering flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering tang/tartness and yeast/oak spiciness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/grainy, and acidic/tangy/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is fantastic. Minimal warming alcohol for 7.2%. Overall this is a fantastic Flanders red ale style! All around outstanding balance of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, oak barrels, and dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the modestly acidic/tangy/tannic/drying finish, not overly lactic. Amazingly well rounded classic JP house funky Brett/Bacteria complexity; with perfectly balanced dark/bready malts, and wine/oak barrel presence/integration. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example. Just as impressive as the base beer, but smoother/more balanced.

Feb 09, 2019
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Powerfully flavored, extremely complex and bracingly sour, Jolly Pumpkin's Grand Reserve brings about the character of the classic La Roja that we've grown to love, just much more of it.

Hazy and tawny amber, La Roja Grand Reserve pours with a slightly deeper and bronze hue than the original before crowning with a loose, sparkling and broken swath of foam. Spicy, acidic and fruity, the nose is rife with weathered woods, cork-like must and a host of macerated and soured fruits. Scant sweetness brushes up against the tongue with hints of taffy, hard candy and a splash of fruit juices before the sourness takes hold.

As the malt influences are washed away by the bracing acidity of the beer, a host of fruit complexities turn up the dial of flavor with cranberry, crabapple, red grape, cherry, redcurrant, rhubarb and lime. The sourness of balsamic and red wine is slightly robust in taste but its level of sourness rivals red wine vinegar. Its piquant finish of nutty oak, whisky and wine brings out the perfect amount of tannins, solvents and bitterness for balance and crispness.

Light in body, the drying nature of the barrel and the elevated alcohol spice and sourness all bring the gravity way down for the utmost refreshment, crispness and cleanliness. A brief echo of saddle leather, cork and floral must wafts above the after palate in a fast fleeting finish and quick aftertaste.

Jan 25, 2019
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JefferyLaGrow from Michigan

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an amazing beer from Michigan. This beer is all about what I would hope for in a sour. The look of it was a dark amber, with a lighter pale head. The nose was super funky barnhouse, and a little sour fruit (strawberry, lemon). The taste was pure juicy sour and some more strawberry and sour blackberry. The mouthfeel was perfect for the style. Great beer!

Jan 17, 2016
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.28/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to mrbubbler for sharing this one at his tasting.

Blend 1. Bottled 11/3/14.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, fruit, fruit juice, and acetone aromas. Taste is much the same with sour malt, fruit, fruit juice, and acidic flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but the acetone aromas aren't too pleasant.

Serving type: bottle.

Apr 12, 2015
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

2.81/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12.7 fl oz bottle sealed with JP pressure cap.

white letters on the bottom of the bottle state: blend 1; bottled on 11/03/2014

poured into SP wine stem.

Appearance: deep maroon red body with ruby colored hues when held up to light. Moderate opacity. Dirty off white colored head that starts 2 full fingers tall. Head drops down to uneven cap leaving random and spotty lacing.

Smell: This smell quite acetic almost getting to levels of spicy acetone character. This does not bode well for how this beer might taste... I hope it does not taste like nail polish remover, but it smells like the possiblity is definately there. It also smells very rich; spicy, sweet, oaky, and fruity. Elements of cherry pie and light musty funk are noticable as well.

Taste: This brings a mellow sour bite with a lot of spiciness. It has a boozey burn up front with the sour and spice and you do taste some acetone. Cherry pie, wet oak, musty funk, and dirt.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation. Stinging and spicy boozyness. Not very drinkable. Gives a sensation of immediate acid reflux in the back of your throat after each sip.

Overall: Well, this is not a very good sour. You can tell it had the potential to be good, but acetone flavors have ruined this for me. I will probably just stick with La Roja because it is a much better beer. Not sure that I want to try other Jolly Pumpkin Grand reserve beers because this was pretty disappointing for my first taste of Jolly Pumpkin grand reserve series beers. I think Jolly pumpkin can do much better than this... Makes me wonder if this is just a bad bottle or all bottles are like this from this release.

Apr 11, 2015
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drbenderdo from Michigan

2.98/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Blend 1: bottled 11-3-14
Poured a murky brown with basically no head. Smell is funky and tart. First few sips were nice and sour, but as it warmed, all I could taste was sherry vinegar. Very unusual mouthfeel. Overall, disappointed. LOVE the original La Roja....one of my all time favorites. This, not so much.

Feb 18, 2015
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cosmicevan from New York

3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

big thanks to genuinedisciple for sending this one my way. enjoyed from a jolly pumpkin snifter side-by-side with a bottle of regular La Roja, for science ofcourse.

la roja grand reserve batch 454 & 469 bottled 03-13-2012
la roja blend 5 bottled 02-15-2013

a - brew opened and the cap and collar of the bottle were coated with some funky residue (sediment?)...a bit gross, but the brew poured the same semi-transparent amber maroon as the regular la roja, but the regular boasted a bigger fluffier head and better lacing.

s - nose is fairly funky. lots of lacto and acetone. the regular is soft sour with some fruity notes in the flanders vein...whereas the grand reserve is way puckery...almost to the point of nail polish remover. my poor teeth enamel!

t - picks up right where the nose left off. SUPER sour. acetone, funky sour bugs and bacteria...almost too sour, whereas the regular la roja has some of the same sour elements, but seems to fall a bit flat to the grand reserve...like the cherries have barely started to sour, but not the grand reserve...almost too sour. as it warmed and my palate adjusted to the sourness, i found myself really getting into it.

m - soft feel, but comes with an extreme pucker. one of the more in your face sour beers i've tried.

o - overall, grand reserve is an improvement on the base...it isn't necessarily a home run. the sourness is a bit over the top for me and makes me feel like my tooth enamel is getting stripped from the beer. extremely glad to have the tick, but not something i'd seek out again. as it warmed and my palate adjusted to the sourness, i found myself really getting into it.

Jan 03, 2014
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DovaliHops from California

4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 454 & 469. Bottled 03/13/12. Pours a murky, brownish amber color with little to no head. Scent is very inviting on this one. Tons of sour cherries and sweet oak aromas. A lot of vanilla with sour berries and a hint of red wine vinegar. Very fruit forward in the aroma with a nice balance from the oak barrels. Taste is just as good as it smells. Initially, it is very sweet. Sweet vanilla, oak, and berry. Then it gets some cherry flavor which becomes more and more sour as it warms. Not as sour as I was expecting, but definitely complex and with immense flavor. Just the right amount of vinegar and acidity. Very well balanced. Mouthfeel is almost spot on for this beer. Not too carbonated with a very dry finish. Drinkability is very high, and the 8%ABV is nowhere to be found. Overall, a step above from regular La Roja. I love the original, but this one is better IMO. Delicious and complex wild ale. Wish I had more of this.

Nov 19, 2013
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xnicknj from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330mL bottle poured into mini snifter - 2011 bottle - thanks erikkoppin

Mostly clear golden cherry pour with a thin cap of beige head. Fades out completely into a super thin collar of film with a handful of lacing spots on the glass.

Acidic and sour in the nose laced with dark cherries, currants and fruit skin. Touches of oak and vinegar with red wine and soft glowing warmth.

Bracingly sour, fruity and lightly sweet up front. Dark earthy malts with a dash of caramel lurk underneath the nevernding sour attack. Cherries, raisins, currants and dark fruits combine to form a sour fruit cocktail, wrapping around the tongue with a warm glow. Funky yeast and oak, finishing with lingering dry tartness.

Medium body, lighter carbonation, dry and lingering on the tongue. I opened this alongside a 2011 La Roja and the difference is quite staggering. While the original beer is a tasty, tart wild ale, this has been cranked up to the max, but manages to avoid becoming too acidic or vinegary.

Jul 12, 2013
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jegross2 from Illinois

4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing the La Roja Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales out of Dexter, Michigan.

Score: 94

Bottled 03-13-2012. Label says "Batch 454 & 469", whatever that means. Served in a stemmed Doom teku-wanna be and enjoyed on 06/12/13.

Appearance: Pours a super cloud reddish-brown color that fades to a super dull and pale yellow color at the top. Pours a ring around the glass of off-white bubbly head. Minimal lacing and retention. 2.5/5

Smell: Tons of sharp vinegar, musty and sour cherry and oak. Red grape and a touch of dark fruit too. Lots of lacto. Shares a quality that I can't put my finger on with the Crooked Stave Cognac Sentience I had last week. 4.25/5

Taste: Super tart. Sour cherry, vinegar, lacto-ey greek yogurt and oak (in that order). Hints of dark fruit in the finish too. Lingering lacto-infused cherry, but clean otherwise. No funk. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Just shy of medium bodied, minimal carbonation. Super tart, dries out the cheeks. 4.5/5

Overall: A delicious American wild ale. Blows regular La Roja out of the water. Sour cherry and lacto without being medicinal. Glad I have another in the cellar!

Cost: $10 for an 11.2 oz (330 ml) stubby bottle.

Jun 13, 2013
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Alieniloquium from Florida

2.99/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch 438/439. Bottled 7/25/2011.

Appearance - Almost flat, deep reddish amber. A few stray bubbles.

Smell - Oaky and slightly acetic. Lots of malt. Kind of uninspired.

Taste - Much more acidic here, at least. Not too acetic, but that's the sourness that lingers. Grassy vegetal flavor. Malty and oaky as well.

Mouthfeel - Not too intense of a sour. Very low carbonation.

Overall - I prefer regular La Roja. This is no improvement as the oak doesn't seem to add anything and the sourness is less complex.

Jun 10, 2013
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scottfrie from California

3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle bottled 3/2012. Thanks jbck109!

A: Pours a murky dark cranberry juice color with a minimal off-white head that faded into a bubbly collar that left a few spots of soapy lace down the glass.
S: Musty barrel notes meet red fruits. I get hints of apple vinegar, cherry skins, woody oak tannins, cranberry juice and acetone.
T: Tart and slightly acidic notes of red wine vinegar, apple vinegar, sour cherry juice, cranberry juice, gritty dry oak, leather and damp musty basement. The finish has a hint of sweetness and the aftertaste is full of sour lemon peel and dry cherry skin tannins.
M: Rather thick body, greasy, slick, tart, and dry mouthfeel, with very low splashy carbonation and an acidic/acetone bite. Dry but not crazy.
O: I thought the flavors were good and smoothed out by the oak. An enjoyable sour from JP but not my favorite from their lineup. Thanks again Jay.

Jun 10, 2013
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tectactoe from Michigan

4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Mike for sharing this bottle - enjoyed side by side along with Biere de Mars Grand Reserve. The La Roja version pours a ruby-tinted, dingy copper color; opaque nearly everywhere except for the very edges where translucency is still fairly low. The off-white, gray-tinted head fades almost quickly to even be called a head. It's more of a dinky skin that coats the surface of the beer, leaving very small bits of lacing behind.

La Roja Grand Reserve has a killer aroma - a huge step up from the original La Roja. I believe the difference is just a much, much longer time in barrels, right? Cherry skins, apples, lots of vinegar, and big-time vinous notes just pour out of this one. Not much funk to be had, save for a mild mildew-y aroma, but there's tons of barrel notes; heavy on the tannin, tart, fruity, sharp and searing with crazy acidity. It's the kind of smell that makes your mouth water before you even bring the brew to your lips.

Then when you finally do, everything that was promised to you by the aroma - the tart, the barrel, the acidity - is delivered in full. Extremely tart and puckering up front, carrying the flavor of ripe cherries, sour green apples, tart grape skins, and again, an enormous vinous character, complete with wet oak, white wine, and heavy vinegar. Much like in the aroma, the funk is almost unnoticed, to the point where I'm wondering if there's any at all?

The wonderful tartness of La Roja Grand Reserve is strong almost all the way throughout, until the very end when it finally starts to recess and it transfers into a delicate fruity sweetness that's outlined with warm oak. Despite my love for all things sour and tart, this beer would be sure to give you a nice stomach ulcer if enjoyed in large quantities, so the six ounces I had were perfect. The mouth feel is clean, crisp, and overall pretty thin; heavily carbonated for that nice, snappy, dry finish.

Another great brew from the guys and gals over at Jolly Pumpkin. Similar in a lot of ways to the Biere de Mars Grand Reserve, maybe slightly less tart, although this one seemed to affect my stomach a bit more. Would have liked to see a bit more funk, but I'm not surprised by its absence. A wonderfully tart and puckering brew that's sure to please any sour fanatic, and a very nice step up from the original La Roja (which is already a great brew).

May 28, 2013
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ThePorterSorter from Oregon

4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled March 2012 (> 1 yr old now), Batch 454 & 469, Review #700 in a bad ass fantome glass

The beer pours a murky, rusty brown with a centimeter of off-white head that dissipates into a thin halo with little lacing and some sediment. The nose is relatively mild with notes of tart cherries, vinous grapes, and a touch of nail polish. I remember the regular la roja being quite astringent, but this drinks a lot smoother with rounded fruit flavors, malt sweetness, good oak, and less acetone. The mouthfeel is initially molassesy sweet and fruity with a non-bitter, dry, acetone/fruity finish. This is definitely a better beer compared to the regular and is worth trying at least once, but I wish it was more available and at a lower price point.

May 22, 2013
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bonkers from New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was excited to get this in the sours for dummies BIF, bottled 3/12. Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a snifter, ruddy amber pour, slight white head. The aroma has sour cherries, apple cider vinegar. The flavors have lots of sour fruit, oak, very tart and very drying. The body is light, slight carbonation. IMO a good flanders red, very glad to have tried it.

Mar 01, 2013
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BMMillsy from Florida

3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from trade. Batch 438/439. 7-25-2011 bottle date. Poured 2-20-13. Pours cloudy red with no head at all. Smells like the regular La Roja with a bit more vinegar. Bit of dry oak present for sure. Sour cherries. Bit of paint thinner. Mellow mouthfeel explodes into strong but smooth sour notes. Cherry vinegar that finishes very dry. A nice beer, very low carbonation. Not sure if the oak did all that much here.

Feb 21, 2013
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StaEva from Pennsylvania

3.37/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

lots of acetone, vinegar, ugly raisin sweetness. not the best showing by JP. lots of oxidation in the bottle, possibly not purged before filling? I'd rather drink BamBier all day everyday.

don't go out of your way to get a hold of this, as it was not yet ready to be consumed.

Jan 16, 2013
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cfrances33 from Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2011 bottle, poured into a teku glass.

Pour: A copper, rusty body. Absolutely no carbonation, and is dead flat. A couple bubbles on the rim. This is an ugly beer.

Smell: Some nice sour cherries up front, along with a burnt caramel and a light oak. Some vanilla comes through as well.

Taste: Starts off with a big tartness up front, characterized by tart cherries and vinegar. I'm honestly getting a little bit of oxidation, and the flavors are quite dull, despite the strong sourness. A caramel sweetness comes on the back, and the most redeeming quality is a nice oak and vanilla on the finish. I would describe the overall taste as stale.

Mouthfeel: Horribly flat, which sometimes is okay, but is NOT here. Muddles the flavors, and makes each sip difficult. Finishes dry, which is nice.

Overall: If someone poured me this beer, and I didn't see it go right from the bottle into the glass, I would be convinced is got left out overnight, put in the fridge to cool, and then served to me. Very disappointed.

Dec 06, 2012
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mikecharley from Pennsylvania

4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 2012 stubby bottle into my new favorite glass: my Tripel Karmeliet tulip

Pours a semi-ruddy amber/ruby/copper/reddish hue with a small ring of head. Looks much like a light-ish oude bruin. It is kinda dull looking, really, but it is hard to majorly ding a beer this good for the looks, so I give it a 4.

The nose is OUT OF THIS WORLD for this beer. So much going on. Musty Cherries. Oak. Apple. Apple Cider Vinegar. Funk. More Vinegar. 4.5

Taste does one better, which is not very common for any beer. Usually it is unfortunately the other way around. The taste is such a soft vinegar. The malt is present, but not assertive. Some semi-sweet notes from the malt. Sourness does not over-power in any way. Cherries come through nicely in the flavor. One of the better beers I've sipped in a long time. 5

M/O The feel is medium, with a light amount of carbonation. I personally think it fits this style very well 4.5 Overall, one of the better beers I've had the pleasure of drinking in quite some time, and will be doing my best to seek some more out, however unlikely this success is... 4.5

Nov 08, 2012
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BigShel from New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I have had this brew on my personal wish list for quite some time. I am happy to say it was well worth the wait.

Taste- Sour but not sweet like some fruit lambics can be. Lightly fruity with some apple and cherry. A good amount of vinegar but not so much to be off putting. Toasty with caramel and vanilla on the finish. The flavor really develops as the beer warms.

Appearance- Rusty reddish brown with a decent lacy head. It most resembles a raw cider. Plenty or carbonation, enough to rattle my 4 oz stopper placed on top to preserve the taste. The head was off white and persistent more than I expected for this type of brew.

Nose- Bourbon, Honey, Vanilla, Vinegar, fruit, Light spice.

Overall I give this beauty 4.5 out of 5.0

Oct 22, 2012
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trxxpaxxs from New York

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed this blind, thanks to abraxel...

A: Pours a cloudy red/purple/brown with very little head. The foam that does show up is off-white and lines the edges of the glass. There is no lacing as it drinks.

S: This is sour. I get sour cherries, raspberries, apple cider vinegar, and funk. It’s just a sour mess.

T: Mmm. This is nice. It starts with a great mix of sweet and sour. I get a lot of fruit up front (cherries, raspberries, apricot). There is a vinegar tartness that cuts through this beer from start to finish, but it’s just right. It’s not overpowering, as I would have expected form the nose. The finish reminds me of plums mixed with sour patch kids.

M: Medium bodied beer. It’s sour but drinkable. Everything mixes well together on the palate even before the lingering tartness takes hold.

O: Really solid. I’d drink this beer again. I really enjoyed how the fruit sweetness maintained a presence through all that sour. I’ve wanted to try this beer for quite some time. Glad I was just recently gifted another bottle. Can’t wait to see how it develops. Thanks abraxel!

Oct 21, 2012
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Etan from Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle sent by Zaphog. Thanks! Label says, "454 &469. Bottled 3-13-2012".

A: Pours a murky reddish brown with a small off-white head.

S: Smooth lactic notes over pungent sourness (a little vinegar), some vanilla and coconut sweetness from the bourbon barrel.

T: Slightly puckering sourness - vinegar, lemon zest, cherry skin. Some woody spiced notes, vanilla, caramel from the barrel.

M: Light-bodied with very light carbonation.

O: Interesting beer. It doesn't seem quite as complex as regular LR but the bourbon presence is definitely amplified from the extended aging.

Oct 20, 2012
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BlackBelt5112203 from Michigan

4.71/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330 mL bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature. The bottle spewed foam upon popping the cap – just like ordinary La Roja did for me. Luckily, this time I saved it by letting the foam spill out into the glass instead of all over the counter, floor, and sink.

L – Hazy ruby-tinged amber-brown color with a 2-finger frothy tan head. Great retention and nice lacing. Extremely surprising head characteristics for a sour beer.

S – Red wine, dark cherries, musty oak, and a strong dose of vinegar acidity. Just like regular La Roja except with a little more vinegary perceived sourness and perhaps a bit more oak.

T – Wow. This is where this beer soars above ordinary La Roja. It starts off sweet with dark cherries and red grapes but almost immediately plunges into a wonderful puckering sour abyss. When the sourness finally begins to subside, a nice red wine and musty oak dryness appears at the finish.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sharp and puckering mouthfeel, and a very sour and dry finish. Sour cherry and grape flavors as well as some oak dryness linger for a great amount of time.

O – This is an outstanding sour beer. I was impressed right off the bat with the fantastic amount of head formation and retention. I haven’t seen many sour beers with good heads on them. The aroma was fairly similar to ordinary La Roja, but the taste absolutely blew me away. It is leaps and bounds more sour than the regular stuff. Also, the time in the oak barrels gives the beer a pleasantly woody and dry finish that complements the puckering sourness very well. I’m so glad I happened to be in Ann Arbor when this was released. Phenomenal beer from Jolly Pumpkin.

Sep 25, 2012
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SaisonRichBiere from Michigan

4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the release in Ann Arbor, 9-22-2012. Batch 454 & 469. Bottled 3-13-2012

Poured from an 11.2 oz. stubby bottle into a goblet glass.

Appearance- murky reddish copper with only a few bubbles. No head to speak of, very minimal carbonation. Very surprising from a Jolly Pumpkin brew.

Smell- Strong buttery carmel notes, cinnamon, nutmeg, with a funky, tart cherry and red wine vibe with a big oak presence. Very reminiscent of a barrel warehouse in Kentucky.

Taste- Strong sour cherry draw, plums, black grapes, fruit acidity, followed by big, dry, buttery merlot notes, dry oaky finish. Finishes remarkably dry for how tart it begins. Very complex.

Mouthfeel- very soft, almost no carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall- A great beer. Drastically more complex than the standard La Roja release. The taste stands out in this one. I'm very glad I was able to get a few of these. Will be a great one to have in the cellar, and during the winter.

Sep 23, 2012
Photo of warnerry
warnerry from Michigan

4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 438/439; bottled 7/25/11

A - Pours a murky red/orange with no head. Very little, if any, carbonation.

S - Nice amount of oak on top of a quite a prominent red vine vinegar aroma. Good funk presence, with a lot of funky cheese. Still some malt coming though as well.

T - Nice acetic sourness, with a vinous character. A bit of sour apple, nice earthy funk, and a pleasant oak.

M - Medium/light mouthfeel with essentially no carbonation, which doesn't seem to distract in this case.

O - This is definitely a tasty sour that I would have again, but I'm not convinced it is that much better than La Roja (one of my favorites from JP), making the price a little harder to swallow.

Sep 22, 2012
La Roja - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 229 ratings