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 UCLABrewN84
4.06/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Batch 676/677. Bottled 3/4/13.

Pours a hazy dark orange-brown with a foamy beige head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with malt, fruit, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is really tasty but has a much better sour presence in the aroma.

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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 largadeer
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by chswimmer. Thanks, Craig.

Cloudy chestnut colored body, lightly carbonated. A slow pour leaves me with half an inch of head that quickly recedes to a ring.

Fruity and vinous aroma, tart, musty, oaky, lightly acetic. It brings to mind rhubarb and strawberries. This is wonderfully balanced and deep, slightly funky but leaning more toward the rich dark fruit and vinous barrel notes.

Cherries, tart red grapes, tannic red wine - there's a lot going on in this one. The barrel character is substantial, lending a big tannic backbone that melds nicely with the vinous qualities. There's a touch of malt in the mid-palate that drops off again near the finish, replaced by tart cherries and raisins. The finish is bready and surprisingly brief - it ends on a clean, slightly lactic note. This is another winner from JP.

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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 Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dirty cloudy beige color ale with s mall bubbly head with limited retention and not much lacing. Aroma consists of sour and tart notes with light oak notes. Taste is quiet sour with some light oak and light funky yeast notes with a mild acidity level. Body is quite full with low carbonation. I tasted more funk then bourbon to be honest but very enjoyable beer from one of my favourite brewery.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish copper with an off white head and a good amount of lacing as it goes down. Nose is incredibly complex. I get tart green apples, ripe cherries, brown sugar, hints of caramel, a bit of vinegar, and maybe a little bit of lemon. Taste draws all the flavors together quite well and adds a bit of extra funk. Mouthfeel comes from both acetic and lactic sourness. Quite drinkable, although maybe a bit over the top in any relatively large quantity.

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Photo of mothman
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 346/348. Bottled 2-19-10z

Very little head. Color is copper amber.

Flavor profile is very complex. Reminds me of a sour Flanders red. Cherries, oak, tannins, red apple skins, light acidity. A little bit of malt.

Mouthfeel: tart but not over the top. Lighter bodied. Nice amount of sour.

Overall, a very nice sour beer. Very easy to drink. I wish this wasn't so hard to find.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Rediscovered" in the cellar. Bottled 2-19-10. Batch 346/348. Finally time to open this from a very long time ago trade.

Poured from a 330ml stubby bottle a dirty amberish copper with nearly 200 white bubbles around the rim and leaving a few spots of lace. Aroma is oak tannins, dark fruit skins, mild funk/barnyard, earthy and acetic. Flavor is mellow and mildly tart, oak corked wood, some oxidation as would be expected but not as much as I thought it might be. Semi-medium body and very light carbonation. Finishes tart and faintly fruity and tannic. Perhaps a shadow of its former self, but still very enjoyable.

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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 womencantsail
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Derek and his never ending generosity for this one. Enjoyed as a brief respite from the absolutely excessive heat the last two days.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a head that dies quickly and becomes a thin ring of off-white head.

S: The oak and lactic acidity are quite evident on the nose. A bit of sweet caramel and vanilla, as well as some light funkiness. Some hints of sour cherries and vinegar, as well.

T: Oak is dominant throughout and provides a tannic quality to the beer. Some light vinegar and and cherries, but not overly sour or tart. There's a distinct earthiness to this beer which I find enjoyable.

M: The body is medium with a soft carbonation and lightly dry finish.

D: Like most of Jolly Pumpkin's beers, this is a good one. I haven't had the regular Biere de Mars, but this has inspired me to pick one up at some point.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 06/25/11 notes. 2 330ml bottles shared by ahalloin; thanks Tony, always interested in trying new JP beers. Poured into my Bruery tulip. Batch 346/348, dated 02/19/10.

a - Pours a murky dark brown color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Spotty lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of that distinct Jolly Pumpkin yeast and funk, oak, horse blanket, and light fruit. Very funky and enjoyable; really like the nose.

t - Tastes of funk, light fruity, yeast, that barnyard funk/horse blanket taste, and light oak.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty creamy body, and not as carbonated as I expected.

o - Overall a really good beer from Jolly Pumpkin beer. If you like their style this is acan't miss. Would like to have it again.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transcribed from undated notes. I remember that someone (BeerGestapo (?)) had noted my love of Jolly Pumpkin beers in my Profile Beer Thoughts and brought some by, but when that may have been is lost in the ether.

The pour produced two fingers' worth of thick, foamy, creamy yellowish-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity and a high level of effervescence. Nose had notes of green apple, cider and cheddar cheese. Mouthfeel was medium with a slightly sour cherry taste, but not so sour as to be off-putting. Finish had a very cherry-like flavor, macerated cherries in liqueur as one person put it or kirsch, another way. Mmm.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with Mike and Matt. Served side by side with Biere de Mars.

The beer appears a slightly darker brown than the Biere de Mars, with a bit less head and lace. The aroma is funky, with a strong lactic, acetic presence. It smells similar to Russian River Consecration, which is definitely a good thing. Oak, slight vinegar, tart, Brettanomyces, acetic. Definitely worth a try if you are a fan of funky, sour beers.

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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 drabmuh
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Huhzubendah in a side by side with the "regular" version of this. Served in a Fantom glass, and oh yeah AT THE TIME OF THIS REVIEW this is the #1, NUMERO UNO, the quitessential, the top dog Biere de Garde on the best of lists on Thanks for sharing this Matt.

Beer is brown and mostly clear, darker than the regular version but only slightly. The head is wispy and white, tiny bubbles. Carbonation is low, no real lacing, looks pretty good.

The aroma on this beer is stronger than the regular, more acetic, more "burn" a little acetone flavors in the nose. The lactic and wood are still there, mild tannic, some Brett character obviously.

Beer is not as harsh as it smells. I don't mean to say that it smelled bad but the acetic character on the palate was more subdued than I assumed it would be when I originally smelled the beer. There is definitely an acetic character, but it more brightens the beer than makes it dry or harsh. The beer is sour but not tart on the finish. A little dry on the ending and a lactic creaminess with a nice bouquet of yeast on the midpalate. I am not sure which one I liked better, I think this one suffers from a solvency, but the flavor is better. I'd have it again.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

Batch 346/348. The beer pours light brown with a white head. The aroma is tart with some lemons, yeast and oak. The flavor is brown sugar, lemon, brett funk and oak. The tartness lingers and makes the beer very drinkable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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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 John_M
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of my "winning bid" from the last on-line auction with Liquid Solutions.

The beer pours a brownish amber color with good head retention and OK lacing. While the beer doesn't look particularly unusual or special, that thought was quickly dispensed once I breathed in the aroma. The nose on this beer is quite distinct, consisting of vanilla, prunes, sour cherry and light funk. Not sure what the regular JP beire de mars is like, but I'm impressed by how dialed down the funk and sour component is on this version. The added vanilla component really helps IMHO, and I found the nose on this beer quite enticing. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, though they were a bit more muted then I was expecting. Also, the beer was surprisingly dry, with no more then some light sourness on the finish. Otherwise, the beer has some nice vanilla and citrus to it. Not entirely sure that extended barrel aging has benefited this beer all that much, though it was still quite enjoyable to drink. Mouthfeel is fairly light, but with a long, drawn out finish, and drinkability is exceptional. The alcohol is very well disguised, and with the no more then light sour component, this is probably one of the most drinkable beers I've had from JP. Nice stuff.

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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 weeare138
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for opening this...
Appears a hazy, sediment laden, copper color with a small white head that quickly fades away. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of wild yeast, oaky, vanilla, tart fruit, light citrus, and light spices.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with the oaky funk jumping out like a sore thumb and drawing all of the light flavors into a treat to savor.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, wild, with the oaky tannins and tartness coming together before the swallow.

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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 sweemzander
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375mL sized bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 03-04-2013. Thanks Matt for sharing!

(A)- Pours a ruby reddish chestnut brown color. Some good white froth formed as well.

(S)- A nice earthy cherried oak component. Slight dirt and leather meets a great acidity and vinegar. Nicely complex and engaging for me.

(T)- Fairly similar to the smell. Great acidity and oak meets a slightly earthy yet fruity profile. Not quite as dynamic as the smell was, but the oak presence really drives this home for me.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level meets a nice oaky acidity. Again, not overly complex but very well balanced, if not a touch more sour overall than what I was expecting.

(O)- I really look forward to when these Grand Reserves come out. Possibly my favorite one to date, however we did have an older regular base Biere de Garde along side this, and we actually all agreed we preferred that over this which was interesting.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown color with ruby highlights. Poured a half-finger off-white head that dissipated to random bubbles. Spotty lacing.

S: Apple vinegar. Dark fruity Belgian yeast; plum and raisin. Clove and cinnamon spices. Earthy foundation.

T: Sharp vinegar flavor up front. Sour green apple and cherry. Definite wild funk and maybe a little wet wood. Low, even bitter in the finish.

M: Light to medium body. Ample fizzy carbonation. Dry finish with warming alcohol.

D: Cornucopia of flavors; very complex. Drinkable for sure, but definitely a sipper.

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of kryptic. No distinguishing batch information, although it was aged in oak for 16 months.

A: The BdG is a dark ruddy color that verges on brown at times. Only the narrow base of the glass routinely shows off the red highlights. A small head doesn't get very big, nor does it last long.

S: Surprising for JP, the ale offers more barrel than funk, thanks to those 16 months. Sweet, woody oak barely stands out over the critters. That funk is gamey, more wild than tart.

T: Plenty of malt upfront, reminding that this is a BdG. Fast on its tail, the oak shines through with vanilla. The funk isn't as strong as some reviewers note. Instead the barrel has really mellowed the ale out. What little funkiness is there is acetic, a small dose of vinegar and apples. The oak with just a thin undercurrent of funk is interesting and delicious. The funk intensifies a bit as time passes but the vinegary flavors never overtake the oak.

M: The tartness increases over time, gradually moving into the limelight. I really like the oak, the subtle twang of wood and vanilla.

D: The exchange of oak and funk is interesting, especially for a JP beer. The crescendo of the funk, it's really coming close to edging out the barrel, is amazing.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a dense 1/2" beige head over the cloudy red brew. Lacing is heavy and coating. Aroma is fruity and tart. Taste is lightly malty upfront, mildly tart in the middle, with an oaky close. Sounds simple, but it all comes together so nicely... Mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent, with the wood perhaps offsetting the sometimes over-the-top tartness. Very nice one here.

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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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