Noel De Calabaza
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Noel De CalabazaNoel De Calabaza
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Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States
Wild Ale
Ranked #712
Ranked #9,454
4.03 | pDev: 11.41%
Feb 14, 2022
Oct 21, 2007
Noel De CalabazaNoel De Calabaza
Notes: Wild Dark Strong Holiday Ale

22 IBU
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
3.84 by EdFed from Illinois on Feb 14, 2022
Photo of Franziskaner
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Franziskaner from Missouri

Dark amber colored with a quarter inch of beige on top. The aroma is of brettanomyces, oak, and nutmeg. I’m tasting cherries, oak, and nutmeg with a lingering tartness. The mouth is heavily carbonated and very crisp and dry.

Jan 29, 2022
3.83 by QuintusHorace from California on Dec 10, 2021
Photo of BigIronH
2.52/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5
by BigIronH from Michigan

Pours a dark amber with a finger of caramel head reducing to a ring. Smell is sour and oak. Taste is so absolutely sour and tart nothing else is distinguishable. Is is very crisp feeling, but hard to drink. I took a few drinks and dumped it.

Aug 21, 2021
4.04 by Jcarriglio from Florida on Mar 18, 2021
Photo of BB1313
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by BB1313 from Ohio

16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a very dark brown/amber; off-white head that fades leaving nice retention and lacing. The aromas have a nice amount of funk and vinegar leading the way. Hints of cherries and dark fruits. Yeasts and malts do their thing. The flavors follow the nose. They're tart and sour. More vinegar and funk. More cherries and dark fruits. Some raisins in the mix. Hints of oak. It's sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. Zero bitterness. Yeasts and malts do their thing. Alcohol is ultimately well hidden for the most part. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's full-bodied with active carbonation. It's sharp but soft. It's fluffy, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice brew. It definitely seems more like a "sour" than a traditional "Belgian Dark Strong Ale", for what it's worth. Either way it's enjoyable stuff and fun to drink. The craftsmanship is on point. Well done. I like it.

Jan 12, 2021
Photo of WunderLlama
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by WunderLlama from Massachusetts

Beer received in bif12.5 from @whyteboar

Pours a deep ruby cola brown into a chalice thin taupe island immediately evaporates , no visible carbonation

Aroma is red grapes, Pinot noir , barley wine perhaps

Taste is red grape, wine , tart cherries

Low sudsing, small fizzy bubbles, dry finish , tart , quenching , abv is well hidden

Dec 27, 2020
Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by DefenCorps from Oregon

Can, 2020 vintage, from Uptown Market.

A clear, dark mahogany with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and lacing, this looks great. The nose is classic dark sour, a blend of dark malts, mild nuttiness, dried cherries, a touch of cocoa, a moderate, meaty, lactic bite, a kiss of oak and vanilla, burnt sugar, a touch of sharpness thats a little yogurt-like. Candied orange peel and nutmeg are also noticeable. The palate opens with a blend of sweetness and tartness, a blend of dark brown sugar, honey, dark caramel, toffee, lactic acid, a tart, bright yogurt character, a light lemon sharpness. The mid palate has oak, vanilla, and a mellow funk, earthy, dusty and classic JP with a delicate spicy horseblanket. A touch sweet on the finish with a lingering acidity. Excellent.

Dec 19, 2020
Photo of Beginner2
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Beginner2 from Illinois

Carried my can to the curb from Beermiscuous. (Now called "Noel" no Calabaza. The label has the same Santa pumpkin.)
Any brewer of tart ales should use this as their standard when brewing a BDSA. While this Noel is tarter than this sweet style, its tart is respectful.

Noel opens invitingly, but the barrel/tart/yeast differences take away the style's typical foam. Smells of oak, then tart fruits, then holiday spices then traces of malt and alcohol. Tastes also are balanced; a nice tart that merely dries out at the finish. Pleasant in the mouth, enough bubbles to work through the holiday fats in the appetizers.

This is my tenth from Jolly Pumpkin. I am not a big fan of how they brew (I'm a traditional malthead.) I have rated nine below the BA average. But, I like JP because they are among America's masters of tart and represent the epitome of diversity in the Belgian tradition. Cheers and A Votre Sante'.

Dec 14, 2020
Photo of Junior
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Junior from Michigan

L - Dark amber brown with a thin tan head.
S - Candied fruit and spice. This smell fantastic.
T - Candied fruit and bread malt, slightly tart.
F - Full bodies and heavily carbonated.
O - Great beer, very complex and well crafted.

Nov 22, 2020
4.25 by paulish from New York on Jul 26, 2020
4.25 by RiceOwls27 from Texas on Apr 16, 2020
4.31 by Scottsbeer from Florida on Feb 05, 2020
4.06 by Valdez_Mescalito from Michigan on Dec 27, 2019
3.94 by Gemini6 from Michigan on Dec 23, 2019
4.64 by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona on Oct 22, 2019
Photo of robotic_being
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by robotic_being from Florida

2014 Reserve bottle drank on 4th of July, 2019. Delicious 5 year old 'Oud Bruin' Belgian sour.

Jul 05, 2019
Photo of Tsar_Riga
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Tsar_Riga from Indiana

A - Dark copper body, transparent, light tan head, and minimal lacing.

S - Pungent acidic hit, sour and biting, with a undercurrent of wood.

T - Follows the nose, with a bright wooden acidity, a mild spice note, and a general fruit aspect, suggesting tart cherries and plums, including the tanic bite of the skin.

M - Brisk, with some carbonation, light feel, and a lingering acidic finish.

O - Delicious and powerful, with great fruits, pungent without being taxing.

Jan 16, 2019
4 by Hellpop65 from Kansas on Dec 31, 2018
3.98 by CantankerousCaveBear from Canada (ON) on Dec 24, 2018
4.23 by bluehende from Delaware on Dec 02, 2018
4.18 by howardnss from Pennsylvania on Nov 06, 2018
Photo of BurtStL6
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by BurtStL6 from Missouri

Lucky to have found a 2014 version at a store that ran out of room in their cellar.

-Dark brown with a very long standing tannish white foamy head
-surprisingly noticeable okay smell
-great sour and oak flavor

Another great by Jolly Pumpkin

Sep 09, 2018
Photo of Ristaccia
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Ristaccia from Nebraska

Vintage Reserve 2014

Apr 07, 2018
Photo of robotnewyork
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by robotnewyork from Michigan

Sour and very earthy, woodsy, oaky

Mar 14, 2018
3.99 by Jonathan-Morgan from Florida on Mar 13, 2018
Photo of Bitterbill
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Bitterbill from Wyoming

Bottled September 25th, 2015, bought at Liquor Shed.

I popped the cap and saw a slow rise of foam that had to be stopped. I poured some into my glass but the slow rising continued. I spent the next few minutes sucking on the bottle to lower the foam. It finally stopped.

It looks dark brown, semi clear, impressive head of off white foam.

The smell is of dark fruits, tartness in a tannins like/venous way. I get some woody notes from the oak.

The taste matches the smell with an additional vanilla flavour that seems to come and go. I reckon that there are some spices in the taste but they're rather subdued.

Medium body, with the carbonation surprisingly moderate considering what I had to go through.

With the alcohol being hidden well, I will enjoy sipping this for quite the while. Good stuff.

Jan 20, 2018
Photo of Bluecrow
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Bluecrow from New York

-dark pour with minimal visible carbonation. Nose is vinigar and figs. The flavor profile is complex with raisins, dried apricot and toffee. Oak and vinous notes dominate. The acidity is only moderate. This is a pleasure

Jan 06, 2018
Photo of Cylinsier
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Cylinsier from Pennsylvania


Pours dark opaque brown, almost black. Head is off white, fine, firm. Retains well at an inch thick.

Smells of sour apple, citrus, wine grape and sourdough bread.

Tastes of biscuit, sourdough bread, wine grape, oak, and berry.

Medium to full body, light velvet tingly carbonation on the tongue.

Big, rich sour ale, tinges of bitter fruit balance the tartness. Slow drinking but very smooth. Worth trying for a more bitter spin on a sour brew.

Dec 29, 2017
4 by Drinkalot from Pennsylvania on Dec 15, 2017
Photo of hman43
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by hman43 from North Carolina

Look: It pours brown with a tan head. Head retention is moderately high.

Smell: The aroma is initially strong with raisins, wine like elements, and a bit of tartness. There are background notes of chocolate, toast, and spice.

Taste: The flavors are highlighted with moderate sourness. There is an oak character mixed in with raisin, vinous elements, and spices. There are background notes of toast.

Feel: It has a moderately full body. The finish is tart and dry.

Overall, this has a complex blend of various flavor elements, but it's tartness makes it finish more like a sour than a Belgian Strong.

Dec 11, 2017
4.24 by WormGod from New York on Dec 01, 2017
Photo of GoneARye
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by GoneARye from Washington

2015. Bottle. Pours a deep reddish brown with light head. Dark in the glass but not murky. Smells of rich oak and mahagony flavors. Light fruitiness too, maybe hints of tart cherry. Taste is wonderfully oaky with warming fruit. Big warm notes of the wood with very mild vanilla compared to some
Fruitiness and malt is almost raisiny but not overly sweet, as if the fruit just wants to say "hi, I'm here" in a casual way. Tartness finishes out the taste. Funk is mild and never assertive. Light carbonation. Great bottle especially after 2 years.

Nov 25, 2017
4 by dcmchew from Romania on Sep 12, 2017
4.34 by DavidHume from Virginia on Feb 20, 2017
3.75 by Noelito76 from New York on Feb 02, 2017
3.75 by ClavisAurea from New York on Feb 01, 2017
4.06 by Gkruszewski from New York on Jan 25, 2017
3.98 by BarryMFBurton from Indiana on Jan 22, 2017
Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by TX-Badger from Texas

Pours a cloudy dark reddish brown/coppery color with off-white head. Funk, tartness, dark fruits, cherries, yeast, and some oak on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with funk and tartness with some dark fruit.

Jan 04, 2017
Noel De Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1053 ratings