E. S. Bam | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

very good
451 Ratings
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E. S. BamE. S. Bam

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
E.S. Bam - Extra Special Farmhouse Ale
A Bam celebration of excess. More malt, more hops, same vivacious personality.

Seasonal released in April
4.7% Alc./Vol.

Added by Big78CJ on 02-14-2008

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 451 |  Reviews: 240
Photo of ArrogantB
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

$9.99 750ml bottle. I gave this a shot based upon good experience with bam biere and a disappointing experience with bam noire. This was the best bam in my opinion. Nice vinegar and dill smell. My friend said it smelled like pickle juice, nice! The flavor was grassy, oddly funky but not sour at all. It was very zesty and refreshing without really being spicy. I really couldn't discern the hop flavors but this was a very good beer. I went back a couple days later and bought another bottle which I promptly drank. This is good beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is the kind of wild ale i would drink all day every day. the best of the bam incarnations i think, more hoppy, reminds me of mikkeller ak alive, that funky, so darn good. only lightly hazy amber color liquid with more than an inch of pearly white head as light as a feather and lasting for the whole drink. on tap at hops and pie, i love their beer program. aromas of farmhouse funk and citrusy hops, its a really cool and uncommon combination. flavors of brett in all its glory mingle with the hops, which only add a little bitterness but a ton of oomph to a beer as sessionable as this one. the yeast and funk combo here is pure glory, light and bright, and the mouthfeel is incredibly dry, with some peppery spice and a gorgeous hop bouquet mixing with the brett. complex and supremely drinkable at under 5% abv. i wish i had a mainline of this, i would never get bored. some of the most impressive stuff in a beautiful catalog from jolly pumpkin.

edit: claystation was kind enough to share a 2012 bottle with me last night, some three years old now. its matured really well, i think it may now literally be the driest beer i have ever had, so explosive on the carbonation and flavorful and then bam! (pun intended), its gone. the hops have held up remarkably well too. this is a very special beer, and i no longer care if jolly pumpkin stays underrated, more for me!

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ecstatic to see this on-tap at Datz Deli in Tampa

A - It pours (is served) an amber hue and hazy with a huge white head and streaky, splattered lace.

S - The aroma is tart JP funk, pale grain and herbal-floral hop; also saucy tomato notes. As it airs out, the hop becomes more prevalent. Very interesting and complex.

T - The taste is excellent; a great balance of hoppy and tart-funky. Like a funked-out Belgian IPA. Dry and tart; guava and exotic fruit flavors are available, and they meld with the tropical-fruity hops.

M - Feels thinner, refreshing and dry, perhaps loses carbonation a bit too quickly.

D - I wish that I always knew where some JP was on-tap, this stuff is a great luxury.

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Photo of bsp77
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Murky orange with a giant dollop of head and fantastic lacing.

Smell: Very musty and dry, with barnyard funk, tea, toast, pepper, and light citrus.

Taste: Extremely musty, with wet blanket, dirt, wood, burnt toast, tea, pepper and other spiciness. That sounds terrible, but certainly is not. Fairly bitter finish, with a light tartness throughout.

Feel: Light, refreshing body with high carbonation. Bone wrenchingly dry.

Overall: This refuses to be placed in a style, with elements of a Saison, a Bitter, and a Wild Ale. What it is is extremely refreshing and delicious. And it is under 5%? Wow!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 267, 268 (a blend I guess); Sampled April 2008
Definitely on the hoppy side, as I pour this beer an aroma of earthy, berry-like hop character wafts to my nose. The beer is extremely well carbonated as a careful pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a five finger thick crown of cream colored froth that is a half finger above the rim of my glass. The head actually forms a very interesting, lofted mesa of foam as it slowly recedes all the while leaving lots of fragile lace on the sides of my glass. The beer is a dark plum color, but shows a chill hazed (it was brilliantly clear when I put it into the beer-fridge yesterday), bright cherry color when held up to the light. A deeper inspection of the aroma yields a very earthy nose that is more from funk & fermentation character than from the hops. Aromatic notes of black pepper, loam, savory, slight sage, some thyme, fresh cut hay. Also a soft underlying fruitiness contributes aromas of plum, orange zest, bright-berry hop notes, . The spiciness contributes a very savory, rich aroma that is quite appetizing. Interestingly enough the hop character, while very noticeable as I poured this brew, plays a secondary role here in the aroma, at times it can even be overpowered by the fermentation character, but it is quite persistent and refuses to play anything but a significant role here in the nose.

Very light feeling, with almost no body to it at all. As this suggests this beer is quite dry with no perceived sweetness. This has a savory, rich earthiness to it just like the aroma suggested, but there is also a herbal component; flavors of earthy coriander, sage, thyme, some green tobacco in the finish and a grassiness. The hops provide a nice, biting bitterness that is found throughout the flavor profile, it almost doesn't seem as noticeable as it should be, because of all the other complex flavor avenues that one feels the need to explore. The mouthfeel of this beer has a certain tannic quality to it that helps to boost the very light body into something with just a touch of texture. The bright berry-like hop character of the nose is much muted in the flavor, which is not surprising given how dry this beer is; a slight note of orange peel comes through, with perhaps just a hint of black currant flavor as well. There is a presence here of caramelized malt (just not sweet) as well as some dry, biscuit-like notes and a whole-grain breadiness.

For my second pour I did not spend an extended period smelling the beer and so the beer almost explodes as it first hits my mouth; an excessive, rustic carbonation turns this beer to a froth, luckily a quick swirl reduces this to merely a well carbonated beer. The second pour is a bit more chunky, which doesn't effect the flavor much, but does add some rustic yeast-aromatics to the nose. This is a very quaffable brew, I am having no problem finishing this 750ml bottle.

The appearance of this beer is just a perfect example of a Farmhouse Ale; an epic head, appetizing color and even a rustic light haziness, you really can't ask for more in this type of beer. This is a fantastic beer, though it falls just short of the greatness that is regular Bam Bier. I really do like how savory this beer is though, this really helps to offset the light body of this brew, which is darn near water in heft.

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Photo of onewetpaw
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my JP tulip glass.

A- Funk predominates. Gentle fruity notes reminding me of belgian yeast esters are present. I don't detect a hop nose.

A- Dark golden slightly hazy. Brilliant large white head.

F- Awesome dry drinkable wild beer. Complex brett character along with a strong sourness. Fruit notes echoing the nose are present.

M- Highly carbonated. Dry and cleansing on the palate. Drinkable without being overly thin.

O- Love this one. The JP house flavor is there in spades. I've brewed a clone that approximates this, but the original remains elusive.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.36/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a big 750ml bottle into a wine goblet.
Deep, cloudy apricot in color, with a super-thick, rocky head of foam. Beautiful.
Aroma-Herbal, spicy yeast
Taste-Big onrush of herbal hops, earthy spices. Complex, herbaceous flavor. Incredible character for what could be described as "session" Farmhouse ale due to the only 4.7ABV. Lacking only in the sour/tart flavor that is JP's signature, this offering is a pleasant diversion.

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Photo of STLbeerwriter
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 280/281.

A: Lively bubbles come up the neck of the bottle once the cap is off, but they don't froth over or explode like with the Bam Biere, E.S.Bam's less-hoppy cousin. A gentle pour into a 12-ounce chalice brings a two-inch pillowy head that sticks around awhile and leaves lacing throughout the drink. Dark orange to hazy amber/copper color, almost opaque.

S: Earthy, barnyard funk with some sour, yeasty notes.

T: More barnyard funk and grass, but not as sour as Bam Biere -- this one's hoppier and more dry. Very nice. A perfect pairing with a similarly barnyardy cheese, like Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Wisconsin.

M: There are those active bubbles again -- tiny, but omnipresent on the tongue. Pleasant and again helps to keep the finish dry.

D: Highly drinkable, with low enough ABV to knock through the 750 ml without being down for the county. I would come back to this again and again, especially with a well-paired cheese plate or light meal.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

prototypic hooked me up with this one, thanks man.

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Batch 267, 268.

Pours a dark brown/ruby hue with a chunky two finger off-white head that slowly falls to a thin layer of bubbles. Spotty lacing on the sides of the glass, nice looking beer. Slightly funky aroma with vegetables, earthy hops, and pears. Some spice in the nose as well with splash of lemongrass. A tiny bit of malt aroma as well that adds to the complex smell, light and funky. Very quick citrus sweetness on the tongue followed by yeast and fresh flowers. Faint ground pepper and earthy hops midway with a mild cherry and grape aftertaste. An enjoyable balancing malt flavor plays well throughout which adds to this complex tasting brew. Very enjoyable feel, crisp and refreshing. Pillowy body with a steady but appropriate carbonation. I'm not typically a fan of saisons, but with summer approaching I need to start drinking lighter beers. Lots of flavor and a great texture, very nice twist on the style. JP likes to barrel age their stuff right? Hmmm...

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Photo of danielharper
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Beer tasted on 12/7/2009. Notes transcribed verbatim below.)

A: Orange-brown body, hazy, nearly opaque. Thick, foamy white head like a root beer float.

S: Strong farmhouse yeastiness, very funky. Crisp floral hops underneath. Slight citrus notes. Hints of bready malt.

T: Strong high-alpha acid hops up front, tickling the tongue. (Perhaps Centennial or Cascade?) Some Belgian funk & barnyard flavors. Finishes somewhat sweet with malt.

M: Thin to moderate thickness. High hops. (Obviously.)

D: Not as sour as expected. Overall quite drinkable, although it may be a bit too hoppy for saison purists.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jolly Pumpkin : E.S. Bam

25oz bottle. Hazy, deep golden orange. Soapy white head with good staying power. Provides an abundance of brussels lace. In the smell, nice barnyard and hay elements. Also smells a bit funky and sour. In the taste, tart, sour, wheat, earthy hops and wild yeast funk. There is also a touch of citrus. Finishes with a nice hoppy bitterness with vague suggestions of pine. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, with prickly carbonation. Overall, a very good sour with a hint of hops. Dig it.

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Photo of ILiveOffHops
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this bottle at the Good Beer Store in Fryeburg, ME, after the 1st weekend of the Belgian Beer Fest @ Ebenezer's. "Orval on steroids" according to the menu at Ebenezer's.

Pours into my Ebenezer's 7th annual Belgian Beer Fest tulip a deep, murky orange with a huge chunky head leaving behind some thick sticky lacing. The high carbonation really gives the foam time to hang like dense spiderwebs on the glass. Leaves a beautiful glass behind.

The first sip is of barnyard funk and prickly carbonation. The funk is really intense. Lemongrass, phenols, Brett. If you like Orval you will love this. Really one you can savor, let warm, and try again. I would drink this again in a second for $12 / 750 ml.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into tulip. Batch 1037/1038, bottled 3/6/12.

A - Pours an apple cider color with a huge pillow of off-white head that towers above the rim of the glass. Lacing paints the glass.

S - Smells of citrus, coriander, and some serious grassy hops. Just enough funk to round it out.

T - Lime up front combines with the funk to give a very tart flavor. Grass and bitterness on the finish, but the aftertaste is clean. Doesn't leave the strong grass flavor in my mouth that other hoppy saisons/blondes do. Impressive.

M - Intense carbonation and a light body. Refreshing.

O - This was the perfect beer for such a hot day. Surprisingly tart with a great hop bite. Great combination of two of my favorite styles: saison and hops. A little bit pricey for a low alcohol beer, but I thought it was fantastic.

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Photo of philipquarles
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to rmasen for this one.

Batch 267, 268. Pours a ruddy dark brown with a towering beige head. I feel like i need a spoon to dig down to the beer. It does eventually die after a few minutes to leave a small cap and a lot of lacing. Some sediment. The JP signature smell is immediately evident: grassy farmhouse funk with some acetic berry/ character. Floral hop presence and some citrus in the back. Really interesting taste. Toasted malts are huge in this, giving it some toffee character that I wouldn't have expected in a Bam Biere--nice surprise though. Tart funk is the next thing noticeable, along with a ton of earthiness. Herbal notes and citrus throughout. Nice hop bitterness at the end, giving it a dry finish. Really digging this one. Lighter mouthfeel seems a bit out of place in such a dark beer, but it works well being a properly carbonated saison. Another great JP beer.

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Photo of imbibehour
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso DC into a tumbler.

Big super foamy bubbles formed for an off white head. Sits on a dark amber brown/orange body that's kind of cloudy but lighter towards the bottom. Not much lacing while drinking.

First initial bouquet is sour, then extremely hoppy and spicy with a touch of salt. A big strange yeast bent is present with hints of almost bubbling acid/sulfurous sense. It does feel like an amped up Bam Biere.

Taste is quite unique, a very big hop bitterness and yeast, but the swallow is all so bretty like, with this sense of crisp acid. Swallow and closure is a feel of sourdough bread and salt. Really unique interesting taste on this brew.

Overall this is a real neat and fun beer, very complex palate and nose, lots of fun to go around.

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Photo of JizackFH
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this the other day while BA was down for maintenance.
Review taken from notes.

A - This beer pours a nice orangish copper color. It has a big 3-finger white head on it. The head has awesome retention, and it leaves behind a lot of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It has a nice floral hop smell up front, as well as some barnyard hay and spices. There is also a little bit of fruit and some yeastiness.

T - The tastes starts off with some nice somewhat sweet maltiness. There is a very nice hop presence , spices, and a little bit of barnyard funkiness to it. There is also a nice earthy quality to it. The finish left some lingering spice and hop bitterness in the mouth.

M - This has a medium body and medium carbonation. It goes down very easy, and has an awesome creamy feel to it. It is just so velvety and smooth. It is also earthy and has some hop bitterness to it, as well as bit of tingly spiciness. I found this to be quit refreshing.

O - This has great drinkability. It was hard to put the glass down. Overall, I thought this was a great beer, and a good representation of the style. This is a great anytime beer, but I especially think it goes well in warm weather. I definitely recommend trying it.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Super bubbly, nice light brown color. Big bold head and nice clarity.

S: This really smells like a farm. I got some hay, some wheat, malt, dirt, pine, fruity. It pretty much smells like a state fair where you get that mix of like animal, produce, and foodstall smells all blend together. I mean I think it's unique and I love it.

T: interesting taste... very dirty and earthy. That pine really comes through. The hops are musty but hit pretty directly. I guess I don't know what to think. Truely unique but maybe a little too earthy for me.

M: A little bubbly and a little light but not bad.

This beer is a great example of why I love Jolly Pumpkin beers in that this is something like I have never tasted before. The problem is it's just too earthy for me. A lot of unique notes and they blend well together but there's just something about it I can't put my finger on that I don't care for.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours hazy amber under a 2” white foam cap that grips the side of the glass.
S: Has a lemony, tart, light funk aroma that reminds me of Orval.
T: Big lemony citrusy tartness balanced by an assertive hop bitter emphasis. The hop bitterness masks some of the barnyard funk.
F: Soft in the mouth yet tart, medium light body and medium high carbonation.
O: Tart, dry and refreshing with an assertive bitterness.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 521/522. Bottled 3/11/10.

750 mL bottle served cool into my Watou glass.

E.S. Bam is a beautiful beer. It has a golden amber color with great clarity and thick head that fits the glass perfectly. It settles slowly leaving a sheet of lace behind.

Aroma is wonderful and complex. There is sweet fruit and floral notes, slight farmhouse funk, and fresh hoppy goodness.

Flavor is equally complex if not quite as enjoyable as the aroma. It has a pleasant grassy hop overlying the earthy/funky farmhouse ale body. It's actually very well done in terms of variety and balance of flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and well-carbonated. It's sweet to begin and bitter/dry on the finish.

Overall a fantastically flavorful and complex beer. Expensive, yes, but worth a try.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of jivex5k
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of C-Dog
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of schteve825
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of aasher
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of cwxc818
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

E. S. Bam from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.81 out of 5 based on 451 ratings.
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