Bam Noire | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

very good
350 Reviews
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Bam NoireBam Noire

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by FightingEntropy on 09-01-2007

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Reviews: 350 | Ratings: 866
Photo of llikkrad
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured a 2009 release of this bam noire into a burgundy wine glass made by Riedel. The bottle reads batch 403.

Appearance: Dark brown with hints of dark purple and dark red. Pours an inch of light frothy tiny champagne like bubbles. When swirled, the bubbles create small walls with fading patterns as they slide down the fine crystal. The beer is slightly hazy with a touch of unsettled sediment. It is close to opaque, very difficult to see through the beverage.

Smell: Dark blackberry, medium malty nose, Black cherry, Cognac and Vanilla.

Taste: The same flavors follow through on the pallette. There is a medium minus hop bitterness. Dark berry fruit with subtle power starts and is joined by subtle piny hops flavor with a touch of chocolate malty flavors. Creamy cocoa with edges of Dark cassis and Fig finish wiht a lingering quality of vanilla and dark berries. Baking spices dance in the background of all of these other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium weight moves into refreshing acidity and edgy bubbles. Bubbles party in your mouth at this point cleansing all the surfaces touched by the beverage. This is so refreshing but still has a light richness and finishes clean with subtle dark berry flavors lingering.

Drinkability: This beer is incredibly well balanced and refreshing. It has dark flavors and has the most impressive acidity with well integrated hop profiles. The levels of malt are subtle and the beer finishes dry. This beer would be an impecable pairing for pulled pork or fresh bacon.

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Photo of STLbeerwriter
4.77/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 426. My goodness. Brett at its finest. I like this better than ES Bam or Bam Biere, and I like them both very much.

A: This isn't where the beer shines. It's a dark-copper, brown color. Not as pillowy of a head as Bam Biere (which I've had explode on me), this one is pretty controllable and reduces to a nice thick fingernail of lace.

S: Beautiful, sour, funky, barnyardy. In a blind test, I don't think I'd be able to tell this apart from other funky Jolly Pumpkin beers.

T: Well carbonated, funky, yeasty, barnyardy. It is sour with some dark fruit, but mostly a deeper version of the Bam or EB Bam. Love.

M: Prickly carbonation, smooth. Nice.

D: 4.3%? Highly drinkable, even in 750 ml format. Have it with a cheese plate. Be jolly.

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Photo of Risser09
4.77/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured into a crystal tulip - fridge - 2010 Batch 446/447

Appearance: Pours a great brown color with orange and yellow highlights. The head is a huge 3" at it's inception, with that trademarked JP finely carbonated look. It shows great retention and tons of lace sticks to the glass. Wonderful.

Smell: Funky fermentation, barnyard, brett, a little bit of darker malt in the background. Intoxicating. Some wood. Nougat, nuttiness.

Taste: An odd pairing of a brown saison with the funk that Jolly Pumpkin always produces. Malt, acidic brett and barnyard notes. Acidulated malt. Awesome and complex.

Mouthfeel: Perfect. Medium body with that Jolly Pumpkin effervescence that takes over your mouth. Funky, acidity, tartness and even some nice, sugary malt behind it all. Not a trace of alcohol.

Drinkability: This is exactly what a drinkable beer is for me at this point in my craft beer appreciation. Sour, funky, malty, carbonated, and low in alcohol for generous, continuous consumption. Near perfect.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.75/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this was truely a unique beer. this beer tastes more like a wine than a beer. it smells more like wine as well. for a wine enthusiast i would recommend this beer

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Photo of goethean
4.65/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a champagne-style bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Aroma of sour, almost rancid grapes. has that classic Belgian lambic funk. If blindfolded, I would have guessed that this was an imported lambic.

A bolt of intense tartness is my first impression. thin body. tartness is balanced by a smooth, mellow maltiness. fruity but not cherry-like. oxidized, musty finish, with a detectable hops bitterness.

This is nothing like the refreshing Bam Biere, but is of the very highest quality, which is what I have come to expect from Jolly Pumpkin. Demands that the consumer has acquired a palate for funky, sour, complex, weird ales.

Here is my wife's review: "first, I felt bitterness on the back of my tongue. then this nasty funkiness, like a dog that hadn't taken a bath for a while. was awful."

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Photo of despainmakesbeer
4.62/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear brownish red color. Tan head, thinish but very lacey. Moderate to mild carbonation. Intense smoky aroma, combined with powerful musty, woody, leathery aromas. Very Earthy. Flavor starts out smoky and toasted, as drink goes down, smokiness fades to tartness and soured flavors. Delicious contradicting flavors in one drink. Amazing how flavors transition in your mouth. The ending tartness of the drink causes it to feel heavy when first on the tongue, but turns into a light refreshing finish. And over all awesome beer with amazing qualities. A very delicious, drinkable beer.

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Photo of Mudpuppet
4.57/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Riedel sniffer. Pours a medium brown with good clarity.

S- Great nose. Dark malt but fruity notes from the yeast.

T- Some nice sweet malt at the onset moving towards darker coffees and almost leathery taste. This is very good!

M- As always with JP good carbonation. I think the natural carbonation makes a difference in the mouthfeel.

D- I could drink a 6 pack of this no problem. I like the flavor and it goes down very easy. Without knowing the ABV I would say it is a good session beer. If you can get enough to make a session out of.

Thanks to kryptic for the chance to try this!

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Photo of augustgarage
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 462. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip.

Light soapy wheat head recedes from four fingers to one, covering the burnt umber body which glows rufous and rust when pierced through by the sunlight. Ornate delicate lacing. Good retention.

Cedar, sourdough, wild yeast tartness/funk, chamomile, toasty malt, and faint generalized spiciness in the nose.

Ginger, pepper, corander, bitter melon, and lots of citrus create a complex mixture for the palate. Moderately bitter grapefruit and Japanese citrus notes from the hops intermingle with the sour yeast flavors beautifully. The finish is bright, yet dry and somewhat earthy, nutty, and phenolic as well. Subtle, and well balanced.

Medium-light bodied, effervescent, and somewhat puckering mouthfeel. I was concerned the low ABV would reduce the body somewhat, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Refreshing and sessionable without sacrificing any depth of flavor (on the contrary!). A unique dark saison, and one of the few domestic examples that I find similar to some of Fantôme's offerings. Quietly top tier, this.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 340/341

A - Deep coffee-brown in hue, and capped with a prodigious khaki head.

S - Patented JP funk, of a darker variety; huge band-aid aroma, along with spicy ginger, orchard fruit and red grape juice. The brew is exquisitely aromatic and intricately nuanced.

T - The gustatory follows the olfactory with this brew. It does not taste 'brown' or 'dark', i.e. there is not really any roasted character nor residual caramelized sugar, instead it is very dry up front, with a lot of sharp medicinal Brett flavor, and then it segues into ginger-root and orchard fruits like apple, grape and nectarine, finishing with a slight herbal hoppiness. Very well-balanced, sublime, and, again, intricately nuanced.

M - Lighter than medium, creamy and effervescent; enhancing.

O - Jolly Pumpkin is the Cantillon of America.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a dark, dark brown with a massive head, I mean inches, with loose clingy bubbles that stay around, leaving traces all along the side of the glass. The color is not very traditional, but I can't help but think this one is beautiful. The smell is fairly straightforwardly funky, but what else would you expect from JP? You can't exactly smell the dark malts underneath, but you notice it when you taste. I fell in love with this beer from the first sip. You notice this brilliant caramel sweetness, almost backed with a bit of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and almost vanilla. And it finishes wonderfully tart. The perfect balance so that the tartness, sweetness, and dark malts never come unbalanced. You know what I think this tastes like? Tamarind. I think this will be one of my 'subjective' score beers, since I've never seen anything like it. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but never unpleasantly so. That's about all I can complain about. And at 4.3%, I could drink this forever.

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Photo of Katahdin
4.54/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A wonderful farmhouse ale. Pours a darker color than most farmhouses and exudes a fruity (plum, raisins?) smell upon first whiff. Full bodied with a nice crisp head. Taste is very smooth with hint of lemongrass lingering on the palate. Goes down smooth and light.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.51/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brown with red hues. Smells of caramel, chocolate, light fruit, light funk, and toasty malts. Flavor is tart and dry. Lots of toasty and roasty malts with a definite Jolly Pumpkin house taste. Fruity and crisp. Caramel. Carbonation is lively, and the body is light. Pretty perfect as a compliment to the flavor profile. This beer packs tons of flavor for such a low abv. Delicious. Probably my favorite "Bam."

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Photo of jfitzbrew
4.49/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How do these beers sit on shelves at beer stores? Deep red with nice pinkish white head and good retention. Incredibly funky, sour cherry, spicy honey, and citrus notes in the aroma. Equal if not more complex flavor. Slight tarness, lots o barnyard funk in a beautiful way, clove, toffee, yeast, sour cherry. vVery full feel. Awesome interpretation of a dark farmhouse ale

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Photo of Angus703
4.48/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml, Batch 340/341, into a tulip
first glass pretty cold, second glass after the bottle sat for a while

A - Poured dark cola color and reddish. good head on it, light tan, leaves some nice lacing

S - Funky, and a little tart, light fruit

T - Sour (obviously) apple

M - Light, slightly tart aftertaste that you can feel in your cheek. Maybe not as much carbonation as I have had with other Saison styles, but compared to Bam Bière (the other JP farmhouse) it fits in well and is very satisfying.

D - Very

Great beer, as anyone would come to expect from Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1130 - Bottled 7-9-12. Dregs went into homebrew porter...
Poured from bottle into Chouffe tulip.
Pours a barely seethrough deep brown with huge tan bubbley head; actually started slowly erupting from the bottle. This brew smells awesome!
Really funky woody sour malts...some ever so slight hop aroma. wow...smells so good. Super woody malty funk. Some nice sweet malt backbone and bright saison farmouse light finish. Its nicely dry and slightly tart.
This brew is just awesome...closest thing to Fantome ive ever had. Deff recommend this brew to anyone who likes a funky tart sour.
Opened a bottle - Batch 340/341. I emailed JP to find out the bottling date, with a (very quick) response of October or November of 2008! 5 years in the bottle this was fantastic...all flavors really shine through, with a nice surprise of dried fruit added. Super lactic and funky but just extremely well balanced. Well worth holding on to this brew for a while!!!

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Photo of Treborofmoria
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap in the Jolly Pumpkin Brewpub just north of Traverse City. I would agree with most reviewers that it is definitely an aquired taste, as are all JP beers. This is belgian in style and contains plenty of funk. This beer is high in carbonation and has a wonderful brown color. The tartness could be unpleasant if it is unexpected. I would have no problem using this as a session beer. The lighter mouthfeel is fine for summer, even though the color says fall. Keep up the good work, Ron.

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Photo of colts9016
4.44/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A two finger head with good retention. The head off white creamy and foamy with some lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is reddish copper with some orange brown hues. The clarity of the beer is fairly clear.

N: a nice tart lactic acid note with cherries, honey, caramel, phenolic clove, spicy note, floral, citrus, yeasty, and some earthy note.

T: Phenolic cloves, a subtle spicy hop note, citrus, yeasty caramel, toffee, tart lactic acid, floral, yeast and some earthy

M: Carbonated. medium light body, some acidity, and a dry finish.

O: Actually this the first saison that i have enjoyed. Often the other ones I have tried so far are super spicy like a belgium or heavier in the body. A nice balance in the beer. I did enjoy very much.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Goblet

A - Poured a very deep dark maroonish colored brown. Almost a garnet color with lots of hints of reddish tones around the outside and bottom. Nearly opague as well. A large tan head of about three fingers high rose up and settled reluctantly down into a thin film across the top leaving behind more then adequate sticky side glass lace.

S - The aroma was very thick. Lots of musty wild yeast and a touch of some earthy and woody like smells as well. Very hard to describe, but as others have noted, almost a salty or briney like smell to it. It was very odd, very full and very good. Some light fruit notes way in the back but they were pretty much obscured.

T - The flavor was extremely full as well. Lots of deep musty bread like tones mingled in with a very big presence of yeast. Some strange things going on here as it morphed into a smokey robust flavor that ended in a slightly spicy earthy finish. Nothing like I have ever had before.

M - Nice medium body had alot of carbonation which led to a very nice creamy feel. Great follow through and really no slickness here at all. This was very good.

D - This again was unlike anything I had ever had, and how it is under 5% abv is simply beyond me. This was just great and I could have easily had another and then another after that.

Overall this was actually my first offering from Jolly Pumpkin and it will be no means be my last. This was simply too unique and too good to pass up. I would love to have this in the fridge to hit whenever. It was in a word, great!

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Photo of n811
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 340/341, 750mL bottle.

Poured into a wide-top champagne-type glass. Head was very fine bubbles, as usual with JP beers, but it collapsed quicker than many of their varieties.

Smell was 100% JP, with that great sweet-sour-appley-funky thing going on. Something about JP beers always makes my mouth absolutely water in anticipation of the first sip.

Taste was as expected from the smell, with a faint sweet nuttiness on the aftertaste. A lighter sourness than some of their other beers, but still enough to satisfy. This is one of their lower ABV varieties, so drinkability is pretty high for a JP - this is one I could drink several of and be happy, not on the floor.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of ElizabethCraig
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Hopcat

A very dark brown beer, almost completely opaque. The head was white and dissipated quickly. I always love the contrast between the beer and head, so I watched this one a little bit =)

The smell.. Ohh! Sour grape! That's always how my nose perceives sour beers. Scent should build anticipation for drinking, and ohh it did!

Taste: Medium carbonation, but with a sour you can't really tell where the carbonation begins and ends due to the sour characteristic of the beer itself.

No fruit in the taste, at least to my palate. Just beautiful sour wild yeasts, my favorite kind! Medium sour grain taste, very tingly on the tongue.

This reminded me of how a really really advanced slightly-boozy sourdough starter tastes. Tingly on the tongue, bit of sour grapes in the nose. Especially with rye, that's how you know your starter will bring great taste to your bread.

If you also love sour beers, I think you'll also be pleased with this one.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity. Batch #250.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" light tan head over the cloudy reddish amber brew. Head lasts tremendously, with heavy frothy lacing. Aroma is spicy and tart. Taste balances the spices with the moderate tart, an intricate tightrope act that JP has mastered here. Mouthfeel is smooth but a little too bubbly, maybe, with nice drinkability as well. Another good thing from the barrels of JP.

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Photo of 11thFloorBrewing
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a muddy dark amber, lots of carbonation, getting a lot of little bubbles, thick fluffy khaki colored head about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick that lasts forever, thick foam clings to the glass as I drink

Smell - sour apple, stone fruits, light alcohol, cherry, overall the aroma is very subtle

Taste - oh wow this is much lighter in flavor than expected, a wonderful balance of toasty malt, sour apple, definitely a farmhouse but the funk is nicely restrained, the finish is dry with a slight sourness

Mouthfeel - very strong carbonation, lots of bubbles on the tongue, overall very light

Drinkability - I expected this to have a very strong flavor with lots of funk and was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite. Very well balanced, light and refreshing. I am a huge fan and will definitely pick up more bottles soon.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

had in september '10 at the restuarant in ann arbor

pour is amber murky with a head of about 2 fingers. tight nested over a murky head. nose is straw and lemon grass with a funky bacterial qualities hiding somewhere in the back. palate is one of the best saison table beers i've had. quality of floral hop blended with lemon grass and a mineral sour qaulity that was very subtle and not dominating on the palate. the malt was the kicker with a interesting very distinct but gentle roastiness. the feel was perfectly meaty with the mineral sour and floral brisk leaving a very dry feeling on the tongue. a clean earthy bitter that was not at all strong. very easy to drink. fantome caliber.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.36/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The dark farmhouse ale. Poured into an unbranded tulip - characteristic Jolly Pumpkin high carbonation. Lots of lacing. Very dark red with hints of brown. As usual, it looks great. Exceptional, even.

Aroma is fairly tangy and robust, especially for a 4% beer. Tart black cherries and a sense of wood. Flowery, almost a Nag Champa-scent at times. Hell, it smells more than a bit like a lambic.

One sip, and this you will tastes exactly like Jolly Pumpkin. Tart, bordering on slightly sour. Sharp grassy hop bite and perhaps a bit of pulverized aspirin taste provide the bitterness. This actually *is* a pretty bitter beer. Obviously, not in a DIPA high-IBU sense - but I think the sense of grass and sharp ultra-dry finish lends it a bitterness all its own. Cherry was in the nose, almost leading me to believe that this was actually a lambic, not a farmhouse ale. Not much fruit on the palate beyond some light stonefruit, though. As for funkiness, maybe I've become very inured to the idea of "funk," because I don't taste any. Pretty clear Brett in that it can be somewhat medicinal, and it is very dry...and some lacto tartness, but not really much horseblanket funk.

Jolly Pumpkin has a reputation for over-carbonation. While I've had a couple bottles from them that were over-carbonated, this one isn't. The carbonation *is* high, as it should be - but in this bottle at least, it didn't cross that line. It is light-bodied, refreshing, and quite crisp on the palate. I can't knock it too much for being thin, as it is only 4%.

Now that it's back to warmer saison-type weather here in formerly-frozen Florida, this is an excellent choice. I have no problem with lower-ABV saisons at all. Better than the regular Bam Biere by a lot, per my reckoning.

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Photo of Toomanybarrels
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 475 bottled 11/05/2014

Look: brown to dark red with off white head.

Smell: funky with tannins. Hints at stone fruit. Underlying malty saison essence

Taste: delicious. Complex with out being overpowering. I could drink this all night. Hints of oak. Perfectly smooth.

Mouthfeel: thinner than you would expect for the amount of flavor you get. Every bit a saison.

Overall: late summer in a glass. Slow roast some pork and have a case of this on hand to marinate you and share splashes with the meat.

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Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.77 out of 5 based on 866 ratings.
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