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E. S. Bam | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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E. S. BamE. S. Bam
Very Good
451 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 451 |  Reviews: 240
Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a somewhat light gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, with light clove, honey, orange citrus and a hint of vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but with a light sour component I wasn't expecting. The beer is pretty dry, with no more than a light honey flavor along with the light clove, vanilla and sour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crisp, slightly bitter finish. Drinkability is pretty good, as you would expect with this level of alcohol.

Nothing earth shattering here, but this is still pretty solid.

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Photo of uturn
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml capped bottle poured into a Kastaar tulip.

Batch 288/289

A: This beer poured a deep opaque brown/copper with a 2 finger tan head which left a fairly thin lacing on the glass.

S: The nose was mildly funky, earthy and of dried grass.

T: In the initial taste I got hit with lightly smoked wood and a very mild funkiness , then a mild malt sweetness which ended dry with some mild bitterness of the hops. The underlining theme was light & mild.

M: The mouthfeel was thin with a medium to high level of carbonation.

D: The drinkability was excellent and refreshing.

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Photo of vgarneth
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Farmhouse Ale has a nice nose and taste. Just enjoyed with a good friend while watching Super Bowl XLV. (Pumped the Packers won, but my Bears should've been there) Great Saison; however, poured head heavy. Overall, this beer calmed down and turned out to be beautiful.

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Photo of Heman36
2.21/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A. A beautiful heady pour. High in carbonation. Being a bottle conditioned beer, just as I expected. Creamy, long lasting head that was as large as the pour.

S. Earthy,sour barnyard straw with acid overtones.

T. Wow! Feels like I am breathing in the Lancaster air on a Spring day(the same day they are spreading the winter manure).

M. Dry, thin like boiled hay.

D. This is one of the few beers that my Father-In-Law and I could not finish easily. Felt like I was riding too closely behind an Amish buggy.

Overall this was an amazing beer, able to capture the essence of my days shoveling manure for my organic garden. Unfortunately, it was not a flavor that I was looking for in a beer.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 750ml bottle. Batch 288/289.

A - Pours a strong and hazy amber color with strong copper edges and a nice 1 inch foamy and dense head. The color is slightly off-shite like ecru.

S - Strong funk and nice tart aromas. There is some nice bread malt and almost toasted notes. There is also a nice faint grassy and citrus laced aroma from the hops. The nose even though nice could be a bit stronger and more present.

T & M - The funk is way turned up on this one. High barnyard and horse blanket and husk and any other descriptor of the kind. It is quite dry and carbonated as well. There is some tartness in there as well with some lemon peel but it is quite subtle. After giving it some time and a couple of swirls you can kind off get some nice bread hints beneath the carbonation. The slight grassy hops are also perceived. It is a crisp and dry finishing beer maybe a bit too carbonated but still good.

D - Drinkability is good because it is lower in ABV and has some good flavors if you get past the high CO2.

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Photo of dfillius
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Aggressive "pffft" when opened. 2 fingers of head from a gentle pour, great retention of off-white foam. Hazy reddish amber liquid. Good looking!
S: Bright citrus hops, some funky aspirin character. Smells like my homebrewed Hop Two Wet. Faint biscuit
T: Fairly modest funkiness up front with Brett medicinal taste. More hops, malt, less funk please. Slight pineapple, bread.
M: A bit too carbonated and astringent.
D: Okay. I wouldn't order another or buy again. One to share, and I'm alone.

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Photo of david18
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had a sixteen ounce glass of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Well the main thing I can say about this beer is carbonation, carbonation, carbonation. Maybe it was this batch but any time I asked for a glass it was a ten to fifteen minute process.

Color was light with, as I said, a very pronounced head. Aroma is very yeasty/bready and nice. Flavor is a little weak, just not a lot going on. Light malt, a little yeast, no hops to speak of.

It's drinkable at 4.7 percent but I'm not sure that i'm a big fan of this beer. I will try it again and post again to give it another chance.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capones for a saison event, this is from old notes.

A- A copper, honey gold with some white stickage on the glass. Islands of foam.

S- An oak bomb, I guess this stayed in the barrels for a long time. Oak is number 1 with some vanilla, funk, brett and some dark fruits.

T- It's not all that sour, slightly tart, but oaky as hell. A bit to much for me. I like the vanilla coming from the wood but the amount of oak drowns out other flavors here.

M- Rich and malty, above medium, nicely carbed, a big aftertaste.

D- This is huge on flavor, but not a mix that im digging so much, i'll take regular bam all day everyday.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

05/24/10- Had this one on-tap at Bodega.
A: Burnt orange with a good cream film/collar/lace.
S: Tart brett funk, oaky, blackberry, juniper, and spice.
T: Dry brett funk, slightly tart, underripe apples with their cores, very bitter.
M: Slightly syrupy, dry, and slightly frothy.
D: Only OK. I didn't order another one, and not because of the price.

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Photo of cvaypai
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 750ml to Saison Dupont glass. Bottled 3-11-10.

Appearance - Pours a golden orangey amber color, completely translucent with a 2 finger frothy white head that lasts a long time and leaves a very thick coating of lacing.

Smell - Barnyard funk comes flying out of this one tons of brett, sweaty socks, old hay, you name it. A bit of grassy hops come through on the end and mix with what might be a bit of sweet malt. There is sour fruit in there, I wish I could discern the funk better.

Taste - Lots of the funk comes through to the taste, very farmhousey and grassy, lots of spices and some grassy earthy hops at the end. The beer is a bit sour, maybe tart but it wraps together wonderfully. Some light fruits come through, pinpointing them eludes me. Maybe a bit of grape.

Mouthfeel - This one is really light, almost effervescent. Spritzy on the tongue and has a bit of a sticky quality to it. The taste lingers forever. This beer is very dry.

Drinkability - This bottle will be a chore. One 12 oz? No problem, but this isn't one you sit around and drink all day, that's for sure.

My second from Jolly Pumpkin, different, but enjoyable.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 374/5, stored in cellar for about a year. Split a 750 two ways. Poured into tulips. Reviewed 6/2/2010.

Ar: Mmm, tart, cherries, green apple, light acidity/sour, light apple cider vinegar, nutty malt, earthy with brett, fruit down in intensity with time, light floral, *delicate, *caramel

Ap: Light tan very large coarse chunky head, lace, clear light amber, rocky head, best head retention i've seen

T: brett earthiness, light vegetative, brett bitterness, tart hints, herbal spicy hop, nutty/crackery malt, fruity hints (peach, light tropical fruit, cherry), long dry complex brett and hop bitter end, green apples (light) assertive but not aggressive, clean (crisp) medium caramel, woody spices

M: dry lasting brett bitterness, lightly astringent, medium/high fine carbonation, *resin

O: good, brett rather bitter, complex and clean, would like more sour in taste, would like it less vegetative, *darker than expected, *a strange beer, not really a full brett character, not sour, aroma and appearence are the best parts, *appearance is flawless

*= ideas of fellow taster

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours an amber color with one inch of white head.

s - Smells of brett and sour fruit.

t - Tastes of sour fruits, a bit of funk, and grain.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A pretty enjoyable saison. Would like to try again.

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Photo of drpimento
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmm, interesting idea: cross an esb with a tart saison. Technically well crafted, aesthetically doesn't quite work for me. Poured with fabulous huge, foamy, frothy, thick, cream colored head that just sits there and lots of lace. Color is an almost clear amber brown. Aroma is floral, yeast, hops, malt, sour. Flavor is like nose, but no sweetness at all, completely dry, sour/bitter. Body is good and carbonation for the style - I'm not sure. Finish is like flavor except has flash of nuttiness that helps and is fairly long. I'll finish this but don't want any more

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Photo of GilGarp
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
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 beerthulhu
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 514. Bottled 3-5-10. Consumed 6-20-10.

A: As with most of their beers the wild Belgian yeast is evident upon the pour producing a glass consuming head that was tusk ivory in color. Retention was time consuming due to its initial size, as the head calved and pitted leaving cavenous voids. As it fell, it left a huge, speckled, glass coating lacing that was densely packed together and spongey in character. Substantial pours projected an ice-berg like structures rising and breaching the glass rim. A dark tawny brownish orange color with a thick misty haze is observed once the head settled from the bottom up revealing an extremely light effervesce factor that produced only a few random bubbles being released at any given moment. I absolutely loved the humongous rocky head which outlasted my patience to start drinking and sniffing.

S: A decent offering of wild Belgian yeast exists on the nose, musky with scents of cobwebs and cellar like atmosphere were to be had. The strength was light however with hardly a trace of hops to be found.

T: Toasted grains with yeasty attributes of cobwebs and musky fruit of oranges and melons could be found on the initial sip. There is a good deal of maltiness here, especially per style and on the swallow which showcased a silty and powdery coating and character. Musky whole hop cones, both citrusy and of green leafy hints could be detected with a medium sense of delivery. Slightly tart orange grinds are also present rounding things out in an otherwise good show flavor-wise but nothing that takes it to an A level.

M: The mouthful is light, very smooth filled with a tart fruitiness of melons upon the swallow. Dry with hardly a trace of effervesce makes this sit pretty lifeless on the tongue.

D: Good drinkability per style, with enough character to be respectable yet still light enough to be manageable for the novice per style. A bomber sits well with me, decent, but nothing that made me go wow.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer appears a hazy, light brown with a nice, big head. Nice retention and lacing. Hops and brett aromas are very inviting. Some nice earthy notes as well. Distinctive Jolly pumpkin funkiness with a pleasant, sour finish. Smooth mouthfeel with a nice balance of carbonation / creaminess. Another tasty offering from Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is served up a beautiful orange amber color. It is full of bubbles that no doubt add to a magnificent, towering, fluffy and rocky head that is world class. The aroma is a bit funky and tart, as well as slightly citrusy, peppery, slightly malty and a bit herbal. All of the flavors seem fairly well integrated. Slightly sweet pale malt, herbal hops, spice and a citrusy tart tang. Very nice and quite enjoyable. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium and full of bubbles, perhaps a bit too many of them, but it finishes nicely. A very drinkable beer that I enjoyed more than I expected I would.

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Photo of GregoryVII
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

E.S. Bam was glowing brown, almost like a nice sparkling apple cider, with a good, fluffy light brown head on top. Hop sediment could be noted floating in the glass, and no, I didn't drain the dregs. The aromas were incredibly complex, mixing sour apple and olives with grass and pine from the hops with cider vinegar and a touch of must along for the ride. The flavor had notes of olive and cider vinegar, grassy hops, and a sweet and savory end note. The carbonation was medium, the mouthfeel was full and I drank faster than I wanted to.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 288/289.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is brett, leather and some light citrus. The flavor is very leathery, I guess from the brettanomyces. I also get some citrus as well as dark fruits with low to medium hop bitterness. As the beer warms I get more caramel and toffee malts. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at American Craft in Brookline, Ma.

Poured from the tap into a stemmed glass,

The color is a dark copper with about two fingers of off-white head and some lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a little bit like silly putty. The bitterness was present but did not overpower some of the sweet malt flavor with some herbal spicy flavor.

The taste is pretty bitter at first. There is a rubbery vegetable flavor that makes me think of cucumbers. This flavor lessons to let out a nice spicy, peppery feel. There is a touch of some fruits in here but hard to place them with some slight yeast tartness in the end of the sip.

The feel of this beer is medium with a good amount of carbonation. It is a medium bodied beer as well and is a little thick when going down. A good ESB but is a bit of a mouthful.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
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 drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a saison? Really?

Beer is brown and hazy with a broken white head with large and medium bubbles.

Beer is really musky and sour in the nose. Like an bruin.

Beer is quite sour, acetic and musky. Beer is thin and very strong. Tartness ends up in the back and clears the palate. Pretty good for a Flanders.

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Photo of Pahn
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Whole Foods Beer Room - Bowery. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Calm pour down the side of the glass leaves a one inch, fluffy off-white head that dissipates slowly. Occasional spots or islands of lacing that don't last very long.

Smell: Cake, greens, spice, herbal notes, grass, and some very mild funk. Nothing shouts at you, but the aroma is very interesting and very pleasing.

Taste: At first, it's way too bitter. The flavor up front is mild, then eaten up entirely by the bitter finish. However, after a short time, some of that beautiful freshness from the smell makes its way into the flavor. There's a faint brett tanginess; more of a suggestion of it than anything. It's kind of clear right away that this beer should be aged more before drinking it (hops are overwhelming most of the flavor and the wild yeast notes are good but extremely faint).

Halfway through the glass, I started eating some sourdough bread. It tames some of the bitterness, and the spicy notes from the nose come through a bit stronger in the taste, as do some of the rich cake-like notes. There's some lemony flavor and a very light soapiness as well.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated. Too watery.

Drinkability: The more of this I drink, the more little subtle flavors I find, and the more pleased I am by the ones I've found already. However, the funk is a tease.

In the end, I like this beer very much. However, I would love to give it a try after a year or so of aging. It's satisfying and light now, but I think it would be bolder and better once the wild yeast has some time to do its thing. Also, while the whole idea seems to be hopping up a saison, in this case that doesn't seem to be that great an idea. These flavors are too good (and too subtle) to brutalize with a lot of (rather characterless) hop bitterness.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bodega. This one was a surprise to see in a keg.

A- A nice hazy burnt orange. The head is small but strong with lots of white lace.

S- It has that classic Jolly Pumpkin smell. A little bit of sourness with grassy and lemony hops.

T- This is very interesting. It starts on the sour/biting/saison side then finishes very hoppy and bitter. Lots of grass, lemon and lime.

M- Crisp, light, biting, dry and prickly.

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Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 374/375, a capped 750 mL bottle.

A: The ale is a dark coppery brown color, an old used penny from the bottle of the piggy bank. A reddish glow emerges when light is shined through it. A slow, bubbling ooze of eggshell white foam slowly creeped out of the bottle. In the glass, it measured just under three fingers (because it ran out of room) that laced extensively as it receded. The second (and third) pours generated just as much head.

S: The wild saison has the lemony crispness that Jolly Pumpkin is known for. The tartness is acidic, no traces of the vinegar that I so despise. Sorry though, I'm not getting much hop-wise.

T: The hops, while dormant in the nose, make an appearance at the tail-end of each sip, a leafy bitterness that seems to have lost a step or two. Before that bitterness, the wild funk, citric and tart, puts on a good show. It's lemony zest, a sharp flavor on the palate, quickly builds before ceding to the hops. Seems like the heftier hop load has muted the tartness a bit. Definitely, the more I get into it, the more the hop profile tamps down the tartness. Too bad the hops have aged a bit though, it could have been a great show.

M: The mouthfeel has multiple things worth mentioning. First, the acidic tartness isn't as intense as other JP beers. Second, the hoppiness really stands out. Third, the excessive carbonation upfront really settled the ale down.

D: Another ridiculously low abv ale from JP. The complexity of a wild ale in such a small beer is amazing. I'll be heading to the Ann Arbor brewpub in a few weeks and can't wait.

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E. S. Bam from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 451 ratings
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