Bière De Mars - Grand Reserve | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Bière De Mars - Grand ReserveBière De Mars - Grand Reserve

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-22-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 219
Photo of AleWatcher
4.97/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a kickass JP tasting a while back... finally getting my notes typed up.

I'm going to preface this review with this statement:
The Biere De Mars is my favorite JP beer I had ever had. I am going into this beer with VERY high expectations.

This is a 2008 bottling-- brewed in 06?
This is an orangey red color. Minimal head and lacing, but the legs are thick and oily looking.
The nose is apple cider vinegar and oak with a nice tartness coming through. The nose leads nicely into the taste, and they are both fantastic.

A great strong sour presence with just an incredible flavor. Lots of oak and vinegar... a near complete loss of any spices.

I love this beer.
We opened this side-by-side with the 2010 bottling, and while the 10 is good, the 08 DESTROYS it. I love the regular BdM, but the 2010 GR kills it... and the 08 GDM rapes the 2010. You do the math!

I want more of the GR here. I will be aging any of these for 2 or 3 years!

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Photo of brentk56
4.89/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 release, aged 16 months in oak

Appearance: Pours a burnt sienna with a modest cap that fades quickly but leaves quite a bit of lace before it goes

Smell: A lot going on, with tart/sour fruit, oak, bourbon, vanilla and Brett

Taste: Opens very mellow, with the oak and vaniila flavors hiding what is to come; before long, however, there is a blast of tart/sour green apple and cherry flavor followed by a Bretty funk that builds to a crescendo by mid-palate; after the swallow, the vanilla and woody flavors return to put the sour and funk flavors in a balanced perspective; the bourbon becomes most apparent in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: What an incredible achievement; so much complexity, yet so enjoyable

Thanks, brewdan, for the opportunity

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.79/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. Bottled 2-19-10...A tad bit over 2 year old. Pours an almost-clear, ruby-amber color with a hint of brown. Very minimal white head. Scent is...out of this world! Such a great smelling beer. JP always has a distinct aroma to them...that lovely barnyard funk they specialize in...with just the slightest tart aroma. This is that same scent, but kicked up a notch. A huge amount of oak with some sweet bourbon (I'm not sure if the Grand Reserve edition is aged in bourbon barrels, but I get a hint of it). Sweet cherries and some acidic notes. A bit of spice as well. Very lovely and complex. Taste is just as complex... Sour cherries up front. Followed by lovely wood/oak flavors and some lingering bourbon sweetness. ABV is so well hidden, it's ridiculous. Not as acidic as the nose is, but definitely leaves a sticky feeling on the gums and teeth. Mouthfeel is very dry with a sticky finish. Drinkability is very high. I could sip on this beer all night. Overall, this was such a great experience. It should be a crime to bottle this fantastic beer in such small bottles. This one is meant to be in 750ml and shared amongst friends. Amazing beer.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.78/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a stubby 11.2 oz bottle into a Jolly Pumpkin snifter.

Appearance- Pours a dark, cloudy reddish-brown with only enough bubbles to rise, and disperse to the edge of the glass. Looks very aged for a beer.

Smell- Tangy pungent sour fruit followed by robust oak, caramel, allspice, burnt Santo Marron wood, candied figs, red currant jam. Very complex aromas akin to a very long oak-aged spirit.

Taste- Tart citric acid blasts the palate- like sour candy. Followed up with cherry wine, sweet grapes, prune, tobacco, maple sugar, oaky tannins, earthy cinnamon and cardamom. This finishes quite dry for how tart it starts off.

Mouthfeel- Very dense and smooth with very little carbonation.

Overall- A very unique brew that has complexity written all over it. Justifiably so, given its lengthy aging. Reminiscent of a tawny port, or a fine cognac in all of its complex character. Not to be missed if you are afforded the rare opportunity to try this. I will look forward to future bottlings if they do them again.

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Photo of knight84
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 65, aged 27 months in oak, bottled in March 2008 from a single oak barrel. This batch made 12 cases of 12oz bottles.

Pours a rich murky mahogany with a very light but lumpy cork colored head with little to no lacing. Yeast sediment is visible in the bottom of the bottle. Nose is tart cherries and sour raspberries. Oak dust and slight lime citrus are also present.

Young under-ripe cherries and old sour raspberry mash overwhelm the palate with tartness and sourness. As the flavors develop I get more oak dust and something reminiscent of old attic. The finish is lime citrus and then a little surprise of banana at the end. It feels moderately thick and leaves a residue coating the mouth which helps the flavors to persist and develop. There is a light but biting carbonation as well.

Overall this was really a great beer. The complexity alone would make this one to sip rather than drink. I already had a high regard for Jolly Pumpkin's beer but Ron has really outdone himself with this one and surpassed the already high standard his brews have set. It's just too bad that this was such a limited release, but I guess that's the price of this level of quality.

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Photo of organicbrewer
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 346/348 Bottled 2-19-2010
Thank you Keith for picking this up for me.

A-Rubyish brown. Low tan head, almost non-existent. Slightly cloudy.

S-Lots of oak. Typical JP funk. Slight medicial phenols. Cherry pie.

T-Malty and carmelly along with a good bit of tart. No hops. Nice woody flavor. Tartness balances well with the carmelly malt. If you told me this was an oud bruin, I'd say "SPOT ON"

M-low carbonation. slight wood tannin which is nice. Tartness doesn't get in the way.

D-Another great beer from JP. Perfectly balanced tart and malt. I wish I had more of these. If I had to nit pick, I'd say a hair more carbonation would bring out more of the aroma. But whatever, this is near perfect.

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Photo of biga7346
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 poured into JP snifter

A - Really deep chestnut color, oil soaked wood like wood stain, firm like most JP beers, relatively flat.

N - Gourd or pumpkin, grape skin, wet cement, white peppercorn and spices like cinnamon, very vinous, tart apple, lemon juice and lemon zest, tanginess; as it warms there's some phenol-like, medicinal notes, wet hay, some nutty cheese.

T - Wonderful finish of soaked wood and tart grape skin, healthy punch of acidity, fresh citrus, more oily and acidic than La Roja GR; subtle floral notes, rose hips, dirt, soda water, oak barrel. Mouthfeel is dense, chewy for a JP beer, good carbonation after more than year in the bottle.

D - Great complexity, the color alone is one of the most unique I've seen.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 346/348; Bottled 2/19/10

Pours a hazy deep amber to brown in color with a small light tan head. In the aroma, big sour, nice big tart white grape smells. In the taste, tart white grape, starting sour to a nice yeasty dryness in the end. A smooth and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, tart fruit in the aftertaste. Nice big tartness, mellow body, I love you Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of emerge077
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011: Gravity pour at GTMW... super sour stonefruit, sharp acidity, one dimensional almost. Not as good as the 16 month aged batch reviewed in '09. Maybe bottle conditioning time would improve.

2009 edition, aged 16 months:
Big whiff of quality bourbon in the nose, never got the bourbon barrel from one of these before. Brown sugar, oak, complex wild nose. Tart with plenty of leathery Brett. Soft, restrained, lots of wood. Subtly different from last year, less fruit, more oaky with the slight bourbon inflection. Thanks makdeco & tyee!

2008 release, aged 27 months in oak. Served at cellar temperature, around 55º.

Color is a light reddish-orange brown. Small head at first, that settles to a constant ring at the edge. With a little swirl, some spotty lace clings to the edge.

Huge cidery aroma of apple cider vinegar, wet wood, with a restrained wild funk underneath.

Tart cherry skins, oak, succulent berries, underripe tart strawberry, and lime zest. Long aftertaste, plenty of fruit and woody traces that linger. Muted oak tannin, never overpowers or becomes too dry. Once the initial tartness passes, it has a sublime smoothness. Carbonation is pretty light.

This stuff is too damn delicious, i'm glad I got the chance to taste it. It ranks up there with Oerbier Reserva and Supplication to me, and stands apart with it's own distinctive character. All the best qualities of Flanders sour ales are here, with the unique JP twist.

Huge thanks to TheBlackMallard!

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle dated batch 472/473, 3/22/2011

I received this in an incredible box from my friend AleWatcher. Thanks Jeff!

The beer pours a beautiful ruby hued, mahogany color. Little to no head. The nose is a mélange of oak, sour cherries and funk. The taste starts out incredibly tart. Sour cherries predominate up front. An intense puckering quality manifests itself mid-palate with oak and wet horse blanket at play in the background. The finish is dry with a sweet, tart aftertaste which lingers. The beer is light bodied with an evervescent level of carbonation that really adds to the experience. Overall this is a great beer. Probably one of the best sours I've had to date. The tart, sweet, funky characteristics flow from one to another flawlessly making for a supremely enjoyable experience. Wish I had a couple of more of these. Recommended.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for this beer! Poured from an 11.2oz. bottle labeled Batch 346/348 bottled on 2/19/10 into a small snifter.

A: Glowing ruby-brown with little to no head; just a few bubbles, but noticeably carbonated.

S: Perfect! Cherries, oak, and just the right amount of funk.

T: Perfect! Tart cherries and oak dominate with a funky finish. A little bit of leather lurks in the background. This has the perfect amount of funkiness to fruitiness ratio.

M: Surprising amount of carbonation (considering what Lambicus Dexterius was like) and finishes superbly dry.

D: The alcohol is not present at all, but some people may be turned off by the tartness of this beer.

Overall, an exceptional beer for my 100th review. By far my favorite Jolly Pumpkin offering so far.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Sephiroth for this bottle. Batch 65.

a - pours a deep rusty brown with red highlights, smallish ivory head with decent retention for a sour, slight lacing, pretty cloudy

s - wow, incredibly complex aroma, one of the best I've ever found in a beer, sour grape and cherry, apple cider, lots of funkiness, dirty socks come to mind, lots of oak and some bourbon, interesting hints of eucalyptus, a bit of caramel as well

t - granny smith apple, under ripe grape, and sour cherry give a sour and tart shot up front, midpalate is a little lingering fruity sourness smoothed out by lots of oak, caramel and a little bourbon, finish has more oak and some leather, lingering sourness with some pear and grape flavors along with some tartness on the edge of the palate, alcohol not really evident

m - medium-bodied, good amount of carbonation, somewhat dry on the finish but nicely balanced for a sour ale

d - certainly a sipper because of the intensity and complexity of the flavors, you want to really enjoy this one and try to decipher it, pretty easy on the palate for a sour because of the balance

Stellar beer all around. Incredibly complex on the nose and palate, I can't do the aroma and flavor justice with words. Kudos to JP on investing in making this beer...27 months in oak is a long time. Too bad this is so rare and this is my only bottle. Thanks again Hans!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Starting the vacation off with a bang, the cooler I brought with me to folly for the next 4 days is just insane. After polishing off the growler of twigs this afternoon I cracked this one after dinner. Served chilled in a snifter, this one was consumed on 08/07/2010.

What a gorgeous beer! Dark amber pour reveals tons of cloudiness and a one finger head of off white foam that has incredible retention. Streaks of lacing that are just dripping down the sides of the glass are hallmarks here.

Aroma is horse funk. Deep tart apples, hints of sour that tingle the nose. Apple vinegar and a deep, earthiness that blends well, grounding it and keeping it from being a huge sour monster. Warming brings out the cherries, hints of a brown sugary sweetness and touches of sour apples that show their form. So damn sharp at the taste, bitter as hell with a wincing factor that was off the charts. Mellows mid palate bringing back some of that lovely earthiness that keeps it nice and calm until all moisture is sapped from your mouth an long, dry, sour finish seals the deal.

Overall, wow. A stunning example of the style and a stunning beer in general. Really glad I brought this one with me.

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Photo of jampics2
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask @ the release on 4/12. Enjoyed after getting my bottles, nice to have the company of hotpipes29 (Eric) and his wife Erin. I went up there on a whim and it was worth it. This beer rocks the house - absolutely phenominal!!

Pour off the cask was a work of art. A dark brown liquid with cherry edges sits in my snifter with three fingers of fluffy head. Lovely stuff!

Smell was of sweet and sour funk, wood, leather, and cherry. Very wine-like.

Taste is absolutely exceptional. Had I not been fortunate enough to have P4, this would be the best sour I've had in terms of taste. Funky JP-ness, sour grapes and cherry, leather, and a touch of vinegar. Substantial enough malt backbone. Tons of oak. Really, really good!

Mouthfeel is great, a touch thin on the cask w/o the sparkle.

Overall, one of JP's best. And they're the Daniel San of the beer world, the underdog that kicks the Cobra Kai's ass. Ron and crew, you're the best around, no one's gonna ever keep you down :)

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First off, a huge thanks to DrDoitchbig and ThomasHardy for this beer (I received one from each and since I can only review it once, props to both!). I have been saving this beer for my 300th review for a long time. Cheers!

Batch 346/348

Appearance - Pours into my Russian River Tulip with a surprisingly dark chocolate color. Held up to the fading sunlight, hints of ruby red light shine through the glass. With a vigorous pour, less than half a finger of head is achieved that surprisingly stays around for a while, leaving slight lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Ahh, the signature JP aroma. Funk, heavy tart green apples, sour cherries, slight vinegar, and a nice amount of oak from the barrel aging.

Taste - As my mouth puckers in anticipation, the most prominent flavor is tart, sour (no doubt) Michigan cherries. My God this just transported me back to Michigan when I was there this summer (and so many prior) on vacation. After the initial wave there is the classic barnyard funk, oak, vanilla (a new taste for me in a JP beer to be honest), and just a hint of leather. This is the most complex JP beer I have had yet. The fact that the barnyard funk is almost downplayed and replaced by the sourness/tartness of cherry fruit is also a new experience. I have read where people state there is a heavier vinegar flavor, however, I am not picking it up for the most part - there is a slight undertone, however, it is by no means distracting or the dominant flavor. There is a hint of sweetness, but again, it takes the form of fruit and is not overpowering in the sense that the tartness from the fruit offsets it to create a happy medium. Delectable.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lower carbonation (though there is - I was worried because it took quite a hard pour to obtain even a little head). Finishes quite dry.

Drinkability - Nonexistent alcohol, clean, crisp, and refreshing. I have another one of these in my cellar and can't wait to try it with a year on it. This is my favorite JP experience yet due to the complexities of this beer I have not found in other JP offerings (yet I still consider them relatively complex so that is saying something). A perfect beer for my 300th review. Cheers all!

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Photo of aforbes10
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

picked up for me by kkulacki in March and held until now (only because he shared a bottle with me 3 months ago, meaning i wasn't foaming at the mouth to taste it. Can't wait any longer though! Reddish, terra cotta color. Little whitish film of bubbles with a ring around the glass. Smells madly sour, malty, hints of vanilla. Big sour blast, but tempered by the oak, with nice vanilla tones and a creamy malt backbone. Gooseberry, raspberry and tart cherry fruit flavors, as well as lactic acid sourness and a hint of Brett. Oak flavor grows and really complements the tartness. This is a delicious beer. Tremendously smooth and tasty...a real treat. Way to go JP!

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Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

'10 Vintage.

Pours a rich mahognay with a silky tan head. Excellent lacing.

Nose has oak, sour apples, red wine grapes, vanilla, musty funk, manure and horse blanket. Quite acidic.

Taste has tart fruits and Bretty funk up front followed by a bready malt profile, wood, vanilla, red wine and more earthy malts.

Clean, crisp body. Lasting sour finish.

Another great sour from JP. Seems to lack the bourbon presence found in earlier batches, but still an outstanding beer.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 65, aged 27 months in oak. Poured into my Lost Abbey tulip, the beer is a hazy orange kissed brown with a small fizzy white head that disappears quickly.

The aroma is remarkable. It's sweet and tart, reminiscent of a jolly rancher. Sour cherries, tart raspberries, tart cranberries, lactic acid, a low level of vinegar, and some oak are all present. No alcohol is noticeable in the nose. The bourbon is in the background of the beer and does not play a major part in the aroma, but it does add a nice touch. The flavor has a high level of tartness that is solid throughout. Sweet and tart comes to mind once again. Sour cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and cranberries make up the fruit flavors. Some lactic acid and vinegar are present. I don't notice any bourbon in the flavor, but some oak is present. The alcohol is at a low level. The dry finish is sour fruitiness with a tartness that lingers at the back of my tongue for a long time.

The beer is medium bodied with a low level of prickly carbonation and a dry mouthfeel.

Of all the Jolly Pumpkin Grand Reserves I prefer this one.

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Photo of alexgash
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

March 2008 bottling. "27 months in oak."

Impenetrably hazy dark orange copper. Small, gauzy, clumpy, lacy, khaki brown head. Big sour fruit and musty barn aromas up front. Tart cherries, lime, faint vinegar, vanilla, oak, and fruit punch all mix together layer upon layer amazingly well. Great complexity.

Starts with plenty of acidity and sour fruits. Marmalade on toast comes through, along with smooth oak. Slightly moldy, tart raspberries take over the palate. Some acidic, metallic, citric puckering around the edges. Finish features lingering raspberry tartness, aged balsamic vinegar, and vanilla. Medium-full body with enough prickly carbonation to lift the acidic tartness off the tongue. Wow. I've had most of Ron's released JP beers, and I would say that this is the sourest I've had. Still has great complexity though.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 65; Sampled April 2008
A vigorous pour produces only a half finger thick head that quickly disappears. The beer is a ruddy, dark cherry color that shows a hazy, cranberry stained, amber color. The aroma is interesting and funky & oh so characterful. Tart, vinous, with a touch of sour-cherry, spicy oak, light balsamic, a touch of hot alcohol, lightly funky ripe cheese and barrel character that is quite reserved but plays a significant role. The barrel character provides notes of spicy wood, buttery oak, and touches of very light bourbon aromatics (that hot alcohol mentioned earlier). It is so easy to just keep smelling this beer for quite some time, but I feel I need to drink this before it loses all of its light carbonation.

Quite sour tasting, but tastes surprisingly distinctly of sour-cherries. The carbonation is quite light, but adds a nice soft prickle to the tongue, just enough to perk up the texture. The bourbon adds a bit of character to the finish, a touch of warming and some spiciness without being overwhelming. Speaking of which, I am quite pleased by how soft of an impact the bourbon has here; I was worried that the bourbon would overwhelm this beer, but it is held well in check (I hope this is a trend that continues, over bourbon'd beers have been a bit overbearing lately for me). Oak character provides mouth coating tannins and oak-heft that just make the texture feel so soft and inviting. While quite tart, the sourness melds so well with the other flavors that it is not nearly as noticeable as it might be. The tartness really accentuates a deep, tart, fruit character that is a mix of tannic cherries, rich plums and a touch tamarind. As the beer warms up it picks up a phantom sweetness that accentuates the fruit character even that much more.

This is very nice, I was really expecting the Bourbon to be too much here, but instead it adds a bit more complexity without being over-bearing. Too soon this beer is gone, a 12oz bottle was just not enough of this one.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to heliosphann for picking this up before DLD. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip. This is the 16 month (bourbon) version.

A - Pours with a couple fingers of light tan foam that dissipates to a solid cap, but leaves minimal lacing. Orange-red transparent body - almost like a dark version of Cranbic. Compared to the flat Bon-Chien Bière de Gardes I've recently this is quite attractive.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, oak, lactic sourness, acetic acid, fruity funk, red wine vinegar, sour cherries & raspberries, and a touch of spice. Mellow, balanced, funky, sour - delicious, but could have "popped" a tiny bit more.

T - There's a lot of bourbon and barrel in the taste - vanilla, spicy oak, slightly sour and tannic finish. The other biggest carryover from the nose is red wine vinegar. A lot of the sweeter notes are pushed to periphery and I think complexity and balance suffers a bit for it. Still, it's quite excellent.

M - Low carbonation with only a slight tingle, perhaps a bit thin for 7%. Smooth body, minimal heat, and a fairly clean aftertaste with a touch of dryness to it.

D - This is probably my favorite Jolly Pumpkin brew. Easy drinking, rich in flavor, with no palate destroying flavors. I wish it released more often, but I suppose you can rush all those months in the barrel. Can't wait to see what the next release brings.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, ruddy reddish pour with minimal head. It pours almost still with what ends up being a thin white rim around the glass of a head. Some mild swirls of stray bubbles at the surface of the beer. Strong sour component to the aroma. Wet wood, cherries, citrus, and tart funk. Some mild yogurt and vanilla. Flavor is tart and funky, like sour ales should be. Lot’s of Vanilla, oak, mild smoke. Notes of tart cherries, sweaty funk, blackberries. As well as some dark fruit. Finishes tart with a rush of bourbon. Slick mouthfeel. Wonderful, wonderful beer.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Zero head comes from the caramel colored brew. Kinda boring. But it has nice clarity.

Spicy apple vinegar. Slight kick of peach. Black tea has a bit of a presence too.

Sour, but not as much as it's little brother... Very smooth and flat. Very few bubbles. Not sure I like BdM GR without carbonation. Very wet.

For what I expected, BdM GR let me down... I was expecting amazing-ness and it was only mildly great. JP nailed it, but it needs more carbonation and a bigger bottle ;) Overall-4.38

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Photo of koopa
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Batch # 65 (bottle at the beginning of 2008 I believe). Gold sticker on the upper neck says Grand Reserve 27 months in oak. Bottle received in a trade with leedhill who was more than generous thanks!

Appearance: Pours a murky amber to an iced tea/burnt sienna with a 1 finger white crown that displays little retention or lace.

Smell: Nice cherry tartness, some vinous notes, a touch of barrel, and a whisper of leather.

Taste: A really nice mix of tart cherries, hints of lemon, a slight vinous note, and minimal alcohol presence. I'm digging this!

Mouthfeel: On the thin side of medium bodied and a bit lacking in carbonation, but not offensively so.

Drinkability: Very high.

I didn't like this as much as the original vintage Luciernaga Grand Reserve, but they are both high up on my list! So far, Jolly Pumpkin is 2 for 2 with me when it comes to the Reserve Series! Top Notch!

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Photo of tectactoe
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor for the '13 Biere de Mars Grand Reserve release. It pours a cloudy mix of deep copper that cascades from a dense and red-tinted brown at the bottom to a lighter, nearly amber color at the top. The thin, grey-hinted head is small, most likely due to the pour, but it still leaves some nice, wet, dripping lace in its path. Very interesting gradient of color, especially when held up in front of a light.

One whiff and mmm.... You can immediately smell the tartness of the beer. A good amount of acidity jumps out at the nostrils, attached with plenty of hearty vinegar notes all around. The vinous aromas with this one are strong, too; tons of grapes, oak, and tannin. Successive whiffs draw out more fruit aside from grapes; cherries and apple skins are relevant as well. There's a mild, horsey and barnyard aroma that prances in eventually, revealing a mild funk amongst the tart brigade. I would've like the aroma to "pop" just a little more than it did, but it still did a fine job of getting my taste buds excited to finally bring it to my lips.

The first sip stings the taste buds and gets the saliva glands working - quite sour, with a heavy initial tartness; it has got me puckering and smacking my lips right away. Vinous notes are even heavier on the palate with plenty of oak and barrel flavors, tannin, grapes, and a mild hint of alcohol. Vinegar is almost equal in strength as it comes charging in right away, contributing to the brash tartness of the brew. Acidic to the core while remaining devastatingly drinkable.

Just like with the aroma, allowing this beer to open up reveals some more complexity and more fruits; cherries, sour lemon juice, tart green apples. The problem is, I finished this one pretty quickly - very easy to put down. The tail end reveals some moderate funk; wet hay, soaked wood, and a slight musty barnyard, but it's safe to say that this beer is more heavily pronounced on the sour side rather than the funky side. Thin-medium bodied, lively with carbonation, giving an almost crispy mouth feel. The finish is bone dry, ending with a sharp tartness, lightly vinous oik, and very tame funk.

Phenomenal brew from Jolly Pumpkin. Excellent sour. I was sad to look down at my glass and find that it was empty so quickly. I couldn't keep this stuff away from my mouth. It's exceedingly sour and tart, but still to a highly drinkable degree - you won't have to worry about it burning a hole into your stomach. Light funk is a welcomed accompaniment to the complex tart and fruity flavor profile. The vinous and vinegar notes were lovely. I wish this was released more often, but I heard it spends 24 months in barrels... I guess you can't really argue with that.

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Bière De Mars - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
4.34 out of 5 based on 219 ratings.
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