Bam Noire | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Bam NoireBam Noire
Very Good
892 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 892 |  Reviews: 359
Photo of albern
1.88/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Sorry all, but this beer is dreadful. I bought this a few weeks ago, tried it, and thought surely this was just a bad batch and I should try again. Well I bought another bottle over the weekend and the second time the beer is consistent with the first, so statistically it is very unlikely that I have two bad bottles. The taste is vinegar, really potent yeast, and just undrinkable. I'm getting nothing but really strong, pungent, astringent vinegar. Malt, caramel, warming notes, I don't detect anything of the sort. I liked the other Jolly Pumpkins I just don't know what in the world the brewmaster was trying to get at with this awful concoction. Down the drain it goes, it's just too bad I spent $12 to do it.

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Photo of funkel81
2/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of Overlord
2/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Dark brown with ruby highlights. Big pale tan head. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin yet viscuous, if those two make sense together.

Taste Sour, with figs, raisins, and something else. This beer gave me a headache halfway through the bottle, but I won't review it on that basis, as I can't be sure without sampling more than one.

It smells pleasant enough, with dark roasted fruits (cherry?), but this just did not come out as anticipated.

**Confirmed from Buckeyenation, this beer causes headaches!

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Photo of Jdecarol
2.11/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Looks like a dunkleweiss but with more head that never dissipates and stays like drinking a guiness draught. Looks like a mud soup.

Smells peppery, lemony with some spiciness going on. TONS OF CARBONATION tickles the nose.

Taste isn't doing it for me. For such a dark and malty look, it doesn't taste like it. I'm getting such an acidic twang I can't really pull much out of the flavor other.

It feels like I'm drinking carbonated seltzer water. Its taken me about 7 minutes to finish half of it and the carbonation is still flying out of it like I just poured it.

I could displace all of the oxygen in my living room with the CO2 in this bottle and I'll be burping for years to come.

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Photo of Nicole_Wyman
2.12/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It's an ok decent beer

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Photo of duceswild
2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of Nashvillain
2.26/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 327/328

Pours a dark ruby-brown into my Unibroue tulip. Even a gentle pour produces a very robust head, which lingers for quite a while before settling into a more manageable rocky pillow on top of my beer.

Smell is both tart and sweet with a brightness to it that really contrasts with the darkness of the liquid producing it. The smell reminds me of some of the other golden-hued JP beers as opposed to the dark sour produced by the Madrugada.

Taste is a complete surprise, and not in a good way. There's definitely something off here. A faint, fleeting tartness up front followed by an uninhabited void of flavor. This beer is a black hole, there's just nothing there. The body is more like a corpse. I've held onto this one for a few months but don't see how that should matter. Finish is metallic and leaves a terrible taste in your mouth. After warming the tart beginning gains a little ground, but there's still that vacant middle and finish that reminds me of the iron taste when you bite your tongue and it starts bleeding.

I really like JP beers and this one won't discourage me from trying others, but I honestly hope there was just something wrong here.

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Photo of BitterPachyderm
2.39/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was unexpectedly...downright bad.

I got this in a BIF from an unknown source...batch 327/328, no other freshness markings noted.

Poured into an oversized wine glass. It seemed to have a deep dark nutty brown body with some ruby highlights. My pour created an inch of pecan cream head with some lasting bubbles; not a whole lot of lacing going on in the glass.

Whew! Tart cherries, some pineapple, sour apples, plastic, and some funk. I could smell it immediately as I capped it. It was very winy, with a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Sourness and dirt dominate the pallete here. This is a one dimensional monster of a beer. At times it seems to develop in the glass but the development is an improvement...later in the sitting I notice some burnt plastic lingering in my mouth.

There's something off with this seems way too carbonated, which might be the root of the problem. This is my first Jolly Pumpkin beer and I can't even finish it. It's a sour little bitch with no real qualities that can be enjoyed, other than the aroma. Epic fail in my opinion. I'll just pray that I had a bad bottle, but by judging from some other reviews, it seems unlikely.

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Photo of batty
2.42/5  rDev -36%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

bought and drank in cambridge, ma. october 09.

dark, almost black with slightly off-white head, thick and nice on the head.. rocky and dense, good lace. brown tinge as i hold it up to the light

pretty weak, really. farmhouse-y smell, but minimal else. touch of chocolate and roasty malts

not impressed, honestly. taste is a bit watery, tiny bit of spritz, decent farmhouse taste, but no backing to speak of. tiniest bit of roasty malts on the end, and finishes pretty clean, w/ just a slight after-taste of the farm.

mouthfeel is smooth, but thin, slightly watery, enough carbonation to be spritzy, but overall doesn't work well

easy to drink, but boring.

overall pretty disappointing. i felt like there could be so much more, such great potential in the idea of this beer, but really poor follow through, at least in this bottle.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
2.42/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of RBorsato
2.49/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Photo of Jackp_43
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of bundy462
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of StArnoldFan
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of fredmugs
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of rderedin
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of OSUBeerStudent
2.52/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 10/18/2011, into a Lost Abbey glass.

A - pretty nice if not spectacular. Fairly thick head on pour, sticks around reasonably well but only a thin layer. Nondescript dark brown body.

S - faint. Smell is some light lactic/acetic acid, very tiny bit of funk. Nothing at all from malts or hops. Slight bit of grass in the background. Mediocre at best.

T - acidity, again a bit of funk in the taste. Again basically no hop/malt presence at all. Overwhelming impression is dry and slightly acidic, with very little else. It's just not very pleasant.

M - extremely dry, highly carbonated. Bone-dry. The carbonation is too high for it to be easy to drink, though.

Overall, this is not a very good beer. It has little to no complexity, little/no malt presence to play with the acidity, light funk even after being a year old, pretty one-note acidity. Disappointing.

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Photo of Soonami
2.56/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bam Noire is not the beer that I signed up for when I drank it. It is a dark saison, which is unusual, but sounded interesting to me. However, as I am realizing with many JP beers, it tastes very much like all of the other beers they make that are barrel-aged, they just have a weird funk, with just a tinge of tartness. Bam Noire though was not good. I suspect the base beer before barrel treatment was probably very phenolic and plastic tasting from fermentation that ran too hot, because the finished beer is just not good. I can taste the fermentation flaws and combined with the barrel, it tastes like old water passed through a sun soaked plastic hose that is run through an old leather glove. I spent a fair bit of money on this beer and most people that drank it agreed that it was not good. One of the few occasions that I have drain poured a beer.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
2.56/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz. into a tulip/ Batch 403

P: Deep plum with a light tan head of frothy foam that shows a decent amount of firmness and density. Shows good retention before it settles to a thick sheet of bubbles on the surface while leaving some nice lace behind.

A: Smells like rotten fruits, with notes of green apples, lemons, and sour cherries being the strongest of the bunch. Some toasted malt is there, too, along with some Bretty funk, vanilla, brown sugar, and a little bit of cocoa powder. It smells like nothing I have ever come across before, that's for sure!

T: The first thing I notice upon the first sip is the grape skin-like astringency that is plaguing this brew on the backhalf of the mouthful. The second thing I notice is that they must have pulled the reins back on the Bretty funk, because it's nowhere near as funky as others have mentioned when I compare my notes to theirs. What is there is a band aid-like medicinal flavor along with a slight barnyard funkiness and a fruity presence (similar to the nose) that tastes like it was pureed in a blender and battered in cocoa powder. The toasted grains bring some caramel with them, but they don't even make their presence felt until the finish, which only contributes to the fact that the body seems to overload the malt foundation. This is just not coinciding with me and my palate at any point along the journey. I was expecting much, much more from this beer, damn it!

M: Bam Noire is a medium-light bodied beer with a very airy, almost watery feel that is way too thin to provide any depth of character, whatsoever. Furthermore, the very soft carbonation never even takes a jab at the tongue and leaves me with an impression of a still, boring beer that just does nothing for me.

Notes: Well, I could tell from the nose that this beer wasn't going to provide enough funk to satisfy me, but the lack of Brett on my palate was ridiculous. Add to that the bitter astringency, the lack of interesting flavors, the absence of good carbonation, and the thin, watery feel, and you've got yourself a beer that utterly fails to impress me. I'm quite disappointed with this offering from Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of bditty187
2.57/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Garnet-ruby brown in hue, seems to be fairly clear (at least on the first pour); it is a lovely color. Massive beige head, of course the Duvel glass I poured this into has something to do with the head size. The head did not move, it looked like meringue... I am impressed. After a long white the foam slid back to a fluffy cap. Subsequent lacing was widespread. Honestly, this is a good looking beer.

The nose reminds me why I have a love/hate relationship with Jolly Pumpkin. When JB offers a truly great beer it is uniquely funky but all their other offerings are just "JB funky." It is possible I am not sophisticated to figure out the nuances. I am a simpleton. Brett dominates the nose. No maltiness. No "dark" fruitiness. Nothing that says anything noteworthy... nothing that Saison for that matter. Bottom-line, it is simply (literally) funky. Moderate potency; the nose is pleasant but not noteworthy.

One hit wonder. I am literally bored by the second sip. A trace of maltiness backs up the Brett driven palate. Nothing about this beer reminds me of a Saison. Nothing about it is particular dark. Empty finish. Almost no aftertaste which is nothing I want in a fine Belgian ale. I guess, all in all, this is not a fine Belgian Ale. Sadly, I taste so little and I have nothing else to add to the description.

Light in body, very thin and watery; the mouthfeel is quite poor.

So, I take over a month off from reviewing beers and this is what I am welcomed back with. Goody me. I don't quite recall where I bought this bottle at. Chicago? Kansas City? I know it wasn't Omaha because I am boycotting carrying JPs at Beertopia at the moment. I hope that changes. While I am not crazy about most of their beers a good number of people are. I respect JB. I "get" their beers. I understand their niche. I don't understand this beer. Major dud. Avoid.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.59/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown with light tan head-nice looking

Light simple sour nose.

Thin citrus mouth.

Light citrus simple sour flavors. Not much of anything for this one. A pleasant, light, simple citrus brew but not worthy of Jolly Pumpkin. Best thing about this one is the cool label. By the way, it's not really bad; it's just not good. It tastes sort of like a lightly spiced, lightly sour "less sweet" 7Up.

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Photo of facesnorth
2.65/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Massively overflowing head, despite a slow pour. Color is a dark amber. Smells dry like sundried grass. Tastes dry. Flavor builds as I take more sips. Really bad first impression, though. Tastes like fermented grass. Aftertaste is dry. Little reward in this one. Bummer as really enjoyed Jolly's Oro de Calabaza the other night. Huge saison lover. Haven't tried regular Bam yet, though I do hear it's better.

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Photo of cokes
2.68/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Muddied dark tan with some glints of auburn. The beige head is short lived and leaves minor lacing.
Roasty nose, in a broad, ill-defined way, somewhere among grains, weak coffee, and woodchips. Light sourness peeks in, but flits off just as quick.
Roasted grain appears initially across the tongue. It never develops a deeper sense of maltiness. Then it turns blisteringly dry. It's like throwing in a chaw of sawdust. Yeast exacerbates the acrid dryness. With no real sour or sweet counterparts, this is a one-sided affair. An a pretty brutal one.
It's a bit mushy in feel, starting effervescent, and growing gradually flatter.
It can't overcome the overwhelming, crushing sense of dryness. There's some promise here (and I like the original Bam), but nothing steps up flavor-wise to complete it.

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Photo of klewis
2.7/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 528, bottled 4/1/10 in a 11.2oz stubby

A: Pours a murky brown with two fingers of frothy foam. Good retention and lacing.

S: A moderate dose of brett funk with citrus and mild spice aromas.

T: Some burnt, roasted flavors on the back of the tongue, but oddly almost no other flavor whatsoever - nearly like soda water (and this on a clean palate).

M: Light-bodied with fizzy carbonation.

D: I normally love JP beers, but this one seems to be quite off in the taste department. Not offensive, but really no reason to drink it.

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Photo of IdentityAles
2.74/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard wine glass from a 750ml bottle at around ~40 F.

Aroma: Sour notes, dirty celery, some funk, spice, clove and maybe a hint of anise.

Appearance: A nice looking color of dark brown with red hues but all hints of a proper head disappeared within a couple of seconds.

Flavor: sour apples, a hint of dark malts, but nothing else. Very disappointed with the flavor, nothing close to the complexity of other Jolly Pumpkin beers I've tried.

Mouthfeel: Watered down water. Not Good!

Overall: This is the first Jolly Pumpkin beer I'm really disappointed with. I didn't even finish the $10.00 bottle. The aroma was the best part but everything else was a let down. I'm not a huge fan of the regular Bam Bier either, so I guess this isn't a huge surprise for me, but none the less I'm a little dissapointed.

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Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 892 ratings