Noel De Calabaza | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Noel De CalabazaNoel De Calabaza
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States
jollypumpkin.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Belgian Christmas Ale aged in oak barrels."

Added by BeerBeing on 10-21-2007

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,020
Reviews:
425
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.39%
 
 
Wants:
79
Gots:
181
For Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,020 |  Reviews: 425
Photo of Sammy
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful version of oaking, aged an extra year in my cellar. Reddish colour, Belgian Flemish sour aroma. Medium plus mouthfeel. Delicious,cherry-ish, good integration of oak in flavour. Very drinkable, smooth and satisfying.Carbonation appropriate, brings out the bold flavour.

 278 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Batch 890.

Bottled on 9/21/11.

Pours a murky dark brown with a 2 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random splotches of lace stick to the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is pretty funky/sour with some dark fruit, unknown spices, and woody aromas. Taste is also funky/sour with dark fruits, sour berries, earthy wood, and very subtle spices. The aftertaste is funky and earthy and sits right on top of the tongue. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but extremely dry mouthfeel. After each sip I feel like I need a sip of water. Overall, this is a good beer but it reminds me much more of a sour than a BSDA. The only real negative is the drying quality this beer has on my mouth.

 746 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

on tap at hops and pie, and absolutely world class establishment. a semi sour holiday brown here, not quite in the oud bruin tradition, but certainly on that block. hazy brick red to brown in color, lasting white head half in inch high. smells like lactic acid, lemon zest, chocolate malt, and something asian. its a very strange combination, but its cohesive and it works. there is a little more grounding in the taste, with the brown ale type malt bill and the souring fermentation goodies taking center stage, but it does have some dried cherry sweetness in the finish, as well as a subtle spice that may well be from the yeast or some rye malt. lots going on here, and it all fits together rather well. i like jolly pumpkins holiday or seasonal beers, they are all so well thought out and unique. there really isnt much like this on the market. tart and sour in the finish, but drinkable still at 9% abv. the feel is a little off for me though, it sort of curdles in the stomach, and as such is a slow sipper. maybe its the acid, maybe its the sugar, but its a little harsh once its down. medium body, maybe more, and excellent carbonation, it still feels slightly heavy. jolly pumpkin can do no wrong for me though, and this is even more far out than the bam stuff, its really different and well done.

 1,306 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours out as a deep color with a tan colored head that had a decent retention to it. The smell of the beer is a mix of sour ale and winter spices. The taste of the beer is t too bad, I expected this one to be really sour but it turned out to have a pretty good balance of spice in there to even things out. This beer isn't typically one I'd pick up around the holiday but it was worth trying.

 402 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half-finger high off white head and has excellent retention properties; a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There are light to moderate sour aromas in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has notes of cherries with little if any tartness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
O: This is very easy to drink for a sour beer as it’s not neither too sour nor too tart.

 586 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Who says that all Christmas ales have to be rich, heavy, and overly spiced? Not the artisans of Jolly Pumpkin- their holiday ale is sour, spice, and everything nice.

Dark brown in color, the beer shares rusty orange and red hues. Hazy to the point of nearly opaqueness, the beer is adorned with a dainty skirt of foam that clings to the edges and laces lightly- a far cry from most Belgian influenced ales.

Funky fresh aromas rise from the glass with the scent of caramel, grape candy, and acute red wine. Early spices of pepper, peat, and light medicine balance the nose just as stronger cidery notes latch hold. Delicate cinnamon spice keeps the complexities revealing themselves with each return to the glass.

Tart berries, green apples, and sour grapes are the prominant features of the beer in taste. With just enough toasty malt sweetness to support the acidity, the beer balances out beautifully with simple musty wood notes and saddle leather wafting about. Peppercorn and cinnamon add a spicy complement to the beer in absence of any meaninful hop flavor. Finishing with a tinge of red wine vinegar, the beer has the tendency to make you pucker up.

At first the beer is sharp on the tongue, but then smooth and lightly creamy at middle palate. But a late dryness of alcohol, tannin, and acidity attacks the mouth once more to close the session. Its light carbonation gives a pang to the mouthfeel but keeps the beer dry and lightly creamy.

Where I often feel that Jolly Pumpkin ales are tilted too much toward the phenolic peppery and medicinal side, Noel De Calabaza balances out wonderfull and does so in the vein of stronger Belgian oude bruins.

 1,662 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.36/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: Solid label art. Pry-off pressure cap. Brown glass. Bomber format.

Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a saison per the label. Expectations are high given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~1.5 inches wide. Foamy and frothy. Adequately creamy. Good consistency. Nice complexion. Leaves light lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes. Retention is good - ~4-5 minutes.

BODY: Dark deep ruby of average vibrance. No yeast or hop sediment is visible.

Looks nice for the style. Not unique or special.

AROMA: Faint oak. Caramalt. Winter spice. Amber malts. Sweet and malty, but not too heavy on the candi sugar. Has a mulled character. Very wintery. Hints of dark fruit - plum & date. Maybe some light raisin.

Has no overt hop profile or off-character. Slightly boozy.

Aromatic intensity is average.

Suggests a heavy thick beer with a malty taste and an undisguised ABV.

I do wish the oak was more prominent.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Malty and spicy, with some mint family spicing. Deep amber malts and Belgian dark malts lend it a robust malty sweetness. Sugary, with some candied fruit notes; I'd guess plum and date, but they're so well integrated that they don't ring distinct.

On the sweeter side, sure, but that's to style. Slightly sticky. Definitely too thick and even a bit syrupy. Unrefreshing. Full-bodied.

Quite the malt-bomb, but complex enough. The dark fruit brings some subtlety, and overall this is a pleasing beer for the style, but its depth of flavour is merely average and it isn't quite gestalt. Well-put together for what it is, with a satisfactory build for a dark ale.

Above average flavour duration. Average flavour intensity.

Lacks a harmony of texture to taste, or a harmony of oak barrel to base. Somewhat dry, to its detriment - parching the palate a bit. Smooth, though.

OVERALL: She's kind of a sipper, and the ABV isn't well disguised. This isn't on par with the quality of Jolly Pumpkins saisons and sours, but it's a nice beer in its style - especially considering it's American-brewed. Worth trying and maybe even cellaring, but not a beer I'd buy again. I expected better given the brewery, but it's a nice beer for what it is - and is definitely well above average.

B-

 2,303 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blend 3, 2007

Appearance: Pours a murky russet color with a modest head that diasppears quickly but dots the chalice while it lasts

Smell: Funky sour aroma dominates, but underneath there are some fruit (grape and cranberry) and woody elements

Taste: Starts out pleasantly tart (green apple dominates), with the lactic sour flavors building to a crescendo by mid-palate; after the swallow, some sweet elements (grape and pecans) join to balance into the oaky finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and silky smooth; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really complex sour beer that encourages you to get to know it better

Update: Blend 3, 2012

Just as good as I remembered it but there is a very intriguing maple and mint flavor on the finish that I am really enjoying

 769 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared with others, maybe a 6-8 oz. sample. Allowed the bottle to warm up out of the fridge for 20 min. or so. Edit: 2nd time around, having a bottle to myself...

Deep mahogany brown with reddish highlights, generous dollop of creamy tan foam. Tiny streams are visible through the slight murk. Spindly, irregular webs of lace.

Aromas of wood, tart dried cherry/cranberry, and a spicy undercurrent. Slightly mysterious.

Tart fruit and a blend of earthy & woody, but mild spice. Brown sugar and rum, but not too boozy. Well carbonated but not to a distracting level. Elements of Maracaibo and Oud Bruin, certainly. Tobacco, with a rich earthy aftertaste.

I'll be seeking more of this, too bad it was such a limited release, After sampling from the barrel of this at FOBAB in Chicago, I was a little apprehensive...that one was very farmy and unpleasant. No complaints with the bottle version!

 895 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep reddish/brown color ale with a large foamy head with great retention and great lacing. Aroma of oak with some tart notes and maybe light cherry notes as well though that may originate from the oak. Taste is very complex and is dominated by some oak notes with some tart and sour notes also easily detectable. Full body with great carbonation and no trace of alcohol could be detected. This beer was very well done by one of the best US brewer of sour beers.

 479 characters

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on Christmas night 2011.

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a two-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left sudsy sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried dark fruits with some spicy/yeasty notes. Some biscuity malt aromas, too.

T - It tasted fruity with dried green apple, plum, currants and raisin. Bready malt with a nice spicy bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This is a really great ale. Jolly Pumpkin never disappoints.

 518 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Noel De Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
4.04 out of 5 based on 1,020 ratings.
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