Noel De Calabaza | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Noel De CalabazaNoel De Calabaza

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

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

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Ratings: 1,020 |  Reviews: 425
Photo of Parrotshake
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy brown with a monster off-white head. Held up to the light, the reddish highlights look lovely.

Going in I knew nothing about this beer so the nose is quite a surprise. Herbal biere de garde type funk. Cherry and plum, burnt brown sugar, wood. Not at all what I was expecting, and mighty appealing.

The taste is similar. All the big Belgian notes of dark and dried fruit, raisins, Christmas spices, caramel. A bit of vanilla, lemon, sour cherry. A funky tang to it. Big, big flavors. A friend of mine brought this bottle back from the States and was saving it for a special occasion, yet when he finally got around to it declared that he didn't like it and drain poured most of his glass. Myself and the other guy he was nice enough to share it with sat on ours for ages and both really enjoyed it. It's that kind of beer. Works well in smaller doses, as a sipper or probably with food. Full-on, strange and... pretty great.

Medium bodied, fairly high carbonation. Lighter than an other 9% Belgian Dark Ale I can think of, but not exactly easy to drink - really gives your palate the business. Drinkability is more like a 3.75. I'd definitely have it again if the opportunity presented, this time maybe not as a nightcap at the end of a fairly long tasting.

 1,275 characters

Photo of ScottyC54
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of BrooklynBrewers
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of HopsJunkiedotcom
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of PaBeerLover
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of WestSideAmish
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of theminutemen
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of bthomas
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of brotherloco
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Batch 890. Bottled 9-21-2011. Served in a tulip.

Pours a semi-translucent brown with ruby-red highlights. A two finger beige head forms, gets pillowy, and then settles to a thin covering. Delicate lacing dots the glass.

Aroma is lemony and tart. Some other fruit sneaks through like plums and cherries. A touch salty. Some funk is there, but doesn't dominate.

Flavor is tart start to finish, but evolves across the palate. Sweet fruit starts things out, peppery spice move in, and then things get more bitter, salty, and dry through the finish. Still getting citrus lemon notes along with some dry oak. A little sting of alcohol, but nicely blended.

Medium bodied with high natural carbonation. A very nice active mouthfeel.

A delicious and welcome sour departure from typical Christmas beers (although I love them too!)

 839 characters

Photo of runbirddrinkbeer
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, dark, reddish-brown appearance: when poured into a standard tulip glass produced a monster head. 4 to 5 inches of off white foam. Even with a softer pour on subsequent attempts from a bomber, massive carbonation persists. Sour aroma dominates. Taste is primarily sour cherries and malt. Lasting afterimage on the tongue of vinegar/acetic acid. Becomes more complex as it warms. I'm more of a hop monger but still found this very interesting.

 447 characters

Photo of LukeONeill
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of nimrod979
3.49/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottled on 10/5/11 Batch 910.
This ale pours a slightly murky mahogany with striking red hues along the sides of my Chimay chalice. Poured a quick off white head that has settled to a thin layer with some moderate lacing. I like the label too.

Aroma is tart apples and cherries. Vinegary smell. A bit of Belgian spice, and funk.

There are several nuances with the taste. Quick hint of malts before it sharply turns sour. Tart apples, cherries, dates. Slightest hint of spice.

It's a little under carbonated. Clean finish. The sourness isn't overwhelming, which is good because I'm still adjusting to this style. but this was a bit different for a "Christmas" beer and the cherry flavor adds a nice touch. A little overpriced.

 734 characters

Photo of brnavarra
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of dogfishgirl
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of cynical1027
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of bishocr
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of uvm2003
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of SHODriver
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep mahogany shade of brown with a small tan head that dissipates quickly from a standard pour
S: Smells delightfully sour with some spice notes and a bit of dark malts hiding in the background
T: Sourness and funk start things off with hints of leather and some spicy yeast flavor, a little bit of caramel malt comes forward along with a whisper of some chocolate and oak flavor. Sourness on the aftertaste with a bit of residual sweetness and spice notes
M: ample carbonation is a bit prickly but the beer still feels spot on in viscosity
O: I love sours and I enjoy what Jolly Pupmkin does with beer. This beer is very complex, nuanced and enjoyable to drink

 673 characters

Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/20/2011.I know it's a little late for a CHRISTmas season beer but I gotta good deal today on this home state beer.Poured into an Ommegang chalice a true to label deep mahogany with a thinner slight off white head atop.Oaked sherry vinegar aromas along with some sour/lactic notes,a bit of dried cherry as well.Spiced phenols and that sherry vinegar on the palate,a sharp sour bite hits in the finish.For those who like the sour biting somewhat heavy handed phenolic Belgian darks this is for you,(and there are many)but for me I respect it but don't go outta my way for it.

 587 characters

Photo of RickS95
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark, dark brown. Not the darkest, but set beneath the vibrant offwhite head, it provides a great contrast. The head is very creamy looking with moderate retention. Sadly, my words don't do the looks of this beer justice.

Smells mostly like apples, not something I've seen in beer before. Maybe a bit of cherry as well. Very unique.

The taste is slightly unique as well. Apples, raisins and a variety of spices.

A hint of sweet. A bit of tart. Dry finish. Medium bodied. Very clean and moderately easy to drink. The high ABV is well-hidden.

This was a strange beer, but it worked. A bit different than other beers of the type, something making it more American than Belgian.

 683 characters

Photo of Pencible
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Brewsed
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of SIEVS
2/5  rDev -50.5%

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