E. S. Bam | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

very good
240 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 240 | Ratings: 451
Photo of TMoney2591
2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a chalice at Local Option.

This thing sounds like it's a Mah-Jong tile... Anyway, it pours a clear wan adobe topped by a finger or so of off-white foam. The nose comprises lightly funky earth, flowers, grass, light green apple peel, light clove, and a touch of vague sweetness way in the background (though this may have been my imagination). The taste delivers a strong sense of chlorophyll-laced bitterness that drowns out most everything else. Shards of clove, wheat, and coriander come into view every now and again, but these sightings are fleeting at best. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, this thing is just too bitter for its own good, keeping out most of the usual farmhouse characters and any semblance of Jolly Pumpkin-style sourness.

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Photo of SaisonFest
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle that was bottled 223 days ago. Batch 1049.

Body is pretty hazy, lots of sticky lacing, huge cap that only lets me pour a third a glass at a time. all things i like to see in a saison personally.

The aroma is funk prominent, with fresh cut lawn, fragrant lilac and roses, and subtle citrus juice.

Flavors are more subdued in the funk department, higher in the floral ester arena, the hops are not strong, so the 200 days probably mellowed them out but that is not a bad thing with this beer, let the funk grow. If i had more bottles of this i would probably let them sit longer actually.

mouthfeel is medium for the style.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into tulip 14/10/12

A hazy golden peach with a a hands width of foam, I got about a 1 to 3 ration of liquid to foam, I still have more foam at the bottom of the glass then I had liquid when I poured it. the massive soapy head ends up as a pencil top eraser like island that pivots like a bobble bead doll when I tilt the glass.

Edit- I'm bumping this one up to perfect, my third pour left me with what can only be understood by someone who's gone down the Great Ocean Road outside Melbourne and seen London Bridge before it fell into the sea. my first bridge of foam crossing from one side of the glass to the other, NEAT!!

S holy funk batman, some tea bag herbal notes with some citric and leafy hops but the Brett is firmly in charge and I didn't see it coming, Beers this funky normally have a little more going on other then the funk, don't get me wrong though I'm enjoying this one

T more of the same really, funky herbal notes and leafy almost grassy dried hay come out, I want to say soapy but it just might be all the foam filling my mind with suds

M a small sip explodes instantly upon entering the mouth, pretty lively even for the style, very airy and foamy with a little grittiness left behind with a herbal tea leaf funk aftertaste

O for some reason I wasn't expecting a a funk bomb and I'm surprised how simple but funky this one is. I'm amazed this one didn't explode when I opened it with how carbonated it is, respectable beer though don't get me wrong

Unexpected qualities, mostly a good thing, something you could easily session but you might win a burping contest along the way. very funky and heavily carbonated low alc% brew, worth a shot for sure

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Photo of Danny1217
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled April 2011. A bit iffy. Let's see what happens.
The bottle gushes immediately upon opening. It won't seem to stop gushing, so I pour it.
Huge fluffy white head. Could eat this with a spoon, it's so thick. Cloudy orange color. Looks delicious.
Smell is rather funky. This beer does have some wild yeasts in it, so that is expected. A bit bready, some herbs. Can definitely smell the brett in it. It's not a particularly good or bad smell.
Taste is quite interesting. There is practically no carbonation, probably due to it gushing when I opened it. It tastes funky and almost lambic like. Lots of brett character. A bit funky and slightly fruity. Some apple and pear flavor, caramel, slight citrus. Not a lot of hop character, unfortunately. Medium body, somewhat smooth.

I doubt this is the ideal age for this beer at a year and a half, and I doubt that it's very much at all like the original beer. However, it is quite interesting and still pretty tasty.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
1.57/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours a very dark, cloudy brownish orangeish with a puffy offwhite head that fades quickly. Meh. Whatever. Beer itself looks hideous

S- light aroma of funk, a little bit of citrus. Eh, not a lot going on here

T- vinegar. The hops and saisonish funk have apparently combined to create a disgusting offspring that is absolutely unpalatable

M- paper thin

O- pass on this one. "Extra hoppy saisons" are a style that should never, ever happen

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Photo of biboergosum
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. What does the 'E.S'. stand for? Is this a farmhouse take on the ESB, maybe? Cute eponymous mutt on the label, too.

This beer pours a hazy, cloudy medium golden amber hue, with a feisty amount of thick, foamy, dense whipped-cream head, which leaves broad chunks of 'lace' around the glass as it very lazily settles. It looks like a damned dessert.

It smells prominently of earthy, herbal funk - thank you, Mr. Brett - some edgy, acidic citrus fruit, dry yeast, muscat wine, a bit of white vinegar, and soft floral hops. The taste is edgy, grainy, and a tad biscuity malt, moderate earthy funk, some faint yeast, a strong leafy hoppiness, and a kind of isolated grassy bitterness.

The carbonation is quite reserved, but well structured, the body on the lee side of medium weight, and so-so in the smoothness realm. It finishes fairly dry, the graininess, yeasty funk, and bitter, grassy hops lingering so much the cops have taken an interest.

A nice, hoppy farmhouse ale, with a bitterness that may well qualify it as a bitter, were these types of beers made in Great Britain. Anyways, tasty, complex, and definitely not in a place where one might plead 'needs more dog'...

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Photo of mattsander
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Gushed upon opening, MASSIVE carbonation. Hazy orange-mahogany with huge, dense meringue-like head that lasts forever.

S: Soft earthy brett, herbacious skunky noble type hops, spicy yeast phenolics, smells nice.

T: Brett character dominates the flavor for me, soft & mushroomy with some wet cotton. More yeast character at the back of my palate.

M: I really wish this hadn't of gushed, I feel like the beer lost a fair bit of its spritzy character.

A quite funky, highly refreshing Saison.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap and served in a tall thin stemmed glass at Lord Hobo.

E.S. Bam pours a burnt orange, with a few tangerine highlights and a decent bit of clarity. There's roughly two fingers of white foam crowning the beer. Head retention is outstanding, and thick rings of lacing are left behind. Truly a gorgeous looking beer. The nose doesn't really leap out at you, but close inspection reveals aromas of oak and earthy funk, with light pepper serving as a complementary note. The flavor is nicely varied, if a little unbalanced. There's a strong bready malt presence right off the back. What follows is a wonderful blend of oak, yeast, and hops. It's earthy, oaky, and there's a little bit of pepper there as well. It's hard to tell what's coming from the yeast, the barrel aging, and the hops respectively. All in all though, I do find myself wishing the beer was a little bit less overtly malty and had a little more phenolic spice to it. The carbonation is lively, just as it should be, but I find the body to be a little bit too full and substantial for the style. E.S. Bam is another very good beer from Jolly Pumpkin, and an impressive blend of flavorful and sessionable.

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Photo of pixieskid
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My first experience with Jolly Pumpkin, been meaning to try some of their beers for a while...finally getting around to it.

Picked this out knowing that it was a spring/summer seasonal; figured that the hops would fade away a bit and that the potentially funky yeast characteristics would present themselves over the time since bottling in March.

Pours a mahogany hue with a strong white head, tiny bubbles about 2 in head with some staying power for sure.

Nose: as it warms up, gets much more funky. Earthy, yeast, woodiness, slightly acidic, with floral hop overtones.

Taste: pretty simplistic overall. A touch of floral hops, some grassy, hay like flavors, a tad of acidity and a lingering dry bitterness.

Mouthfeel: on the watery side, very much so, with a club soda like bitterness/carbonation in the finish (a terrible characteristic imo, along the cardboard lines...)

Overall: decent at best. I didnt hate it, but for the money it was quite lack-luster. I had been "waiting" to give Jolly Pumkin's beers a shot, for one reason or another; guess I should have kept waiting...

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Photo of Brenden
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a thick burnished copper, hazy and opaque. An off-white head is nearly two fingers tall and holds its form for a good while. Lacing is left on the glass in patches with plenty of consistency and quantity.
This is a pretty raw beer. Lots of earthiness and a spicy bite set the tone along with a pithiness to the lightly bitter element but also seeming to stem a bit from the funkiness and the tart elements. There's enough caramel to add some balance from sweetness along with a bit of citrus. There's lots green apple skin and some vinous, more grape-like character. Going into the flavor, the finish brings out some interesting notes, with something almost smoky but also a little metallic and slightly charred riding off the crackery-dry malts. Maybe a touch of a medicinal note lingering there?
The feel is pretty good but shifts a lot in an odd way. The crispness is tingly but comes in and out a bit, though smoothness, while not exactly creamy, is consistent. This is an extremely interesting beer and a unique take on Saisons.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour is a dark hazy copper. Head is fluffy off white and lace left behind. The nose is nice, decent hop presence, citrusy and fruity with a nice citrusy Brett presence. The flavor falls of a bit, hops aren't quite there as much, Brett is still citrusy and nice but a hint of oxidation. Body is light and good carbonation.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with an enormous, pillowy white head.

S: Aromas of lactic yeast, oak, must, pickle brine, unripened grapes, unripened pineapple, lemon rind, lime zest, and grapefruit fill the nose.

T: Notes of unripened pineapple, carambola, unripened grapes, green apple, lemon rind, grapefruit pith, and lime zest are underscored by notes of biscuit, oak, must, pickle brine, cider vinegar, sea salt, white pepper, chalk, and talc. The finish is extremely dry, crisp, and acidic with notes of citrus, biscuit, chalk, and vinegar.

M: Light-to-medium in body, chewy, and very dry. Carbonation is fairly intense. This ale is very drinkable, at least at first, but tends to dry out one's mouth completely.

O: This is an interesting ale that displays a ton of depth and complexity, but at the same time, it lacks drinkability and balance. For me, there is a point where sour ales simply become too vinegary, and this beer has more than reached that threshold. I can't say I wholeheartedly dislike E.S. Bam, but I also can't say that I would ever come back to it. In the end, this is not Jolly Pumpkin's best effort, but it is interesting nonetheless.

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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 kjyost
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 1050, bottled 03-20-2012. Acquired at Bridgeview Liquorsbin Moorhead, MN Served fridge cold into a tulip.

Pours a hazy copper with a large white fluffy head that caps and laces wonderfully. Nose has barnyard Brett. Fruity notes and a deep earthy hop. Quite nice. The body has much the same as the nose along with a nice rich nutty malt backbone, yet the bitterness builds and doesn't seem to pair well with the earthy body and the Brett notes. Disappointing actually and I would have much preferred the original Bam to this guy...

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1060
Bottled on 4-6-2012

P:  A cavernous mountain of off white orange tinted head that seems to dissolve into itself leaving behind cotton candy lacing.  The body I nice and hazy with vigorous bubbles in a sea of golden apricot.  Retention is great and leaves the glass looking like a melted ice cream float. 

S:  Vibrant fruity esters, apricot, pineapple, saw dust, coriander, typical JP vinegar funky yeast, herbal and timid citrus hops. 

T/M:  Taste starts of earthy and smooth with a sting of carbonation on the tongue and backdrop of apples, and timid farmhouse yeast. Then the dry hops join the party on the palate with herbs and pine oil. A similar bitterness of unsweet iced tea with lemon, toasted grains, hints of honey, and citrus. Body I'd medium and zesty and finishes dry, salty and woody bitterness. 

O:  A nice hopped up version on the Bam. Hopped saisons are great but sometimes the hop counterbalances the subtlety of the delicate flavors. This is border line but still a good beer that I would never refuse. So far I'm a big fan of Jolly Pumpkin and eager to continue partaking of their offerings. 

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml served in a Duvel tulip.
Batch 1063/1064 Bottled: 04-05-2012

A - Murky brown body with 3 fingers of moundy head slowly collapses into several different textures of foam. Excellent retention with minimal lacing.

S - Fresh fruity esters, green apple, watermelon, lemon, green grass, dry funky yeast, earthy and spicy herbal aromas. Salty wood and white balsamic come out as it warms.

T - Moderate grassy and zesty citrus hops add aggressive bitterness that pushes against a mild grain malt. Hints of berry fruit and tannins coat the back of the tongue. Salty and woody with a dry bitter finish.

M - Moderate prickly carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

Well it's definitely hoppy. More so in the flavor than the nose. Very complex nose though. Crunchy herbal dryness. The hops are right on the edge of choking all other flavors out. I haven't had the original so I can't compare the two. If you feel like a hopped up Saison this should feed your craving well.

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Photo of bump8628
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazed amber with a huge cap of foam that climbs over the lip of the glass despite a gentle pour.

Nice lemony tartness, coarse grassy bitterness, slightly salty sea air aroma, brett funk, leather. Firmly bitter.

Despite the "more malt, more hops" claim, I find regular Bam more expressive. However, this is still a serious farmhouse ale and the amount of flavor packed into a sub 5% beer is pretty remarkable.

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Photo of claspada
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy medium copper with some orange tints. Initially a massive khaki-colored head that slowly settles down into a small foam cap and leaves a decent amount of lacing behind.

Aromas begin with some earthy, floral and citrus hops reminiscent of orange pith. Alongside this comes a good amount of rustic Farmhouse funk. Some toasted pale and bready malt in the background emerges as it warms.

The tastes follow the nose with the hops being a little little less pronounced. Main flavors are earth, Farmhouse yeast spice and funk and a bit of toasted Enlgish style bready malt.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high amounts of carbonation. Finish has a solid dryness accompanying the funk, with a substantial body for much a low ABV beer; something I always greatly appreciate.

Overall this was very flavorful and complex; a lot going on and certainly enough to keep me occupied for half the bottle that I split with a friend during our Sushi BYO dinner.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somehow, I feel like I've been taken back hundreds of years as the first sip of this beer takes on the character that I'd expect in those early versions: Raw rustic yeast elements, strong hop character, and moderate strength; yet not lacking complexity.

Muddy copper in color, the rusticity begins with the eye. Opaque with its yeasty haze, the beer builds a rocky eggshell white head that's as creamy, firm, and withstanding as you'd ever want it to be. It's a true Belgian ale appearance through and through.

Weedy and acidic hops work over the nose with the scent of grapefruit pith, lemon, muddled grasses, and under ripened grapes. An underlying brine of sea air, saddle leather, burnt plastics, and horse hair character create complexity and intrigue that extends well into taste.

Where the most terse of malt character was claimed in the aromas, the taste starts off with a cracker-ish taste of bread crust and baked barley before turning dry and giving the flavors over to the hops and yeast. Acidic flavors limes, grapefruit skins and pith, fresh cut straw bridge the taste of hops to the taste of fruit-forward esters and spicy yeast phenols. The plastic taste approaches almost-smoke and medicinal notes before steering toward the brine of mussel shells and iron-like snap. Turning from fruity to sharply acidic bitterness in finish, the beer closes with fleeting malt taste and spicy hop aftertaste.

Medium-light in body, the light malt presence allows the carbonation to play out on the palate with a semi-creamed, but mostly prickle feel. But the finish ushers in slight woody dryness, resinous dryness, and minty alcohol warmth. Only the bitterness of hops and a memory of brine last into an extended finish.

With so much earthen character and unrestrained mineral and wild yeast character, I appreciate the value that Jolly Pumpkin places on the raw taste of Saison- done the upper Midwest way.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1058. Bottled on 04-02-2012.

A: Pours a very hazy to cloudy dark golden yellow to orange to copper in color. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to an inch thick cap towards the center of the beer - this beer has great head retention properties. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There is a light to moderate amount of earthiness along with yeast spiciness and some notes of sour. The strength of the sourness in the aroma gets much stronger as the beer warms.

T: The taste starts out earthy with quite a bit of yeast spiciness. After that the sour notes set in, and persist through the finish. The sour flavors are stronger than those in the smell and also strengthen as the beer warms. Light hints of some grainy/wheaty malts.

M: Just heavier than light bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Very dry, especially in the finish.

O: This beer is delicious and refreshing - the spices, sourness, and dry finish make this beer a very easy drinking beer. While it is a big bottle, the low ABV and easy drinking feel make this one no problem to put away.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at whole foods. Pours a hazy orange with generous amount of fluffy white head. Tons of lacing. The aroma is somewhat subdued featuring waves of clove spice along with some earthiness and funk. The taste is more pronounced with waves of tart citrus and spIcy cloves. The body is light with high carbonation. Overall, a nice and refreshing Saison with a moderate funk level.

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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 tobelerone
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange - copper with a massive white head that settles slowly. Decent lacing sticks to the glass. Complex aroma of grass and citrus, light hay and mustiness, pepper and floral notes.

The flavor is somewhat less attractive than the nose and is overwhelmed by bitterness; some pithy citrus and floral hops; subtle hay and grass. Hints of tartness and funk, pepper and other spices, but bitterness dominates and leaves things feeling a little bland and one dimensional.

Medium light bodied with assertive carbonation. Clean drinking, crisp, with a dry finish. Not bad butb ultimately, not tremendously interesting.

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

A: pours a nice shade of hazed bronze with an ample fluffy and rocky slightly off white head with excellent retention in a duvel tulip
S: smells of citrus, green apple skin, some funk and a bit of spice
T: bready malt, funk, peppery spice slight citric hop kick, some floral notes, and a bit of lemon zest. swallow brings more citrus hop and spice plus a soft tartness.
M: light with soft but prevalent carb, sightly drying buy some juicy hop prevents it from being overwhelming
O: another tasty offering from Jolly Pumpkin. just enough funk to keep things lively without making you think that you're sucking on a horse blanket. not a lot of malt after the initial hit but enough to keep everything else from taking over. Definitely meant to be drank fresh with the extra hops but I guess you could give this one a bit of time to let the hops die down a bit.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a capped bomber into a tulip- pours a murky amber/brown color with an HUGE head (more head than beer when pouring for me). I got a couple ounces into the tulip before the head was already at three fingers. Good retention just very strange- dissipates quicker in the middle while leaving a concave wall of lacing.

Smells pretty funky and hoppy. Nice combination.

Taste is consistent with smell- hard to believe this is below 5 abv. Tartness up front, followed by a nice light malt sweetness, then some piney hops, finishing semi-tart and kinda dry. I like it.

Mouthfeel is great- light body, full carbonation. If you're not into bold funky flavors, stay away. Otherwise, go for it!

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