E. S. Bam | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

E. S. BamE. S. Bam
Liked This Beer
3.79 w/ 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 451 |  Reviews: 240
Photo of ThirstyBird
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle batch 267,268

poured a hazy bronzed amber a pretty beer with a thick, lumpy off white that slowly turned into an eighth inch covering.

I smelled some mustiness, fruit and some malt sweetness.

Front end hoppiness with a sour and dry finish. I feel that this beer is not well balanced and the hop flavor takes control but not in a good way.

This beer was quite fizzy yet fairly smooth with a light/medium body.

I could only drink my 6 oz. pour and didn't want more.

 495 characters

Photo of champ103
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an amber/orange color. A small head forms and recedes to leave some patchy lace.
S: Funky barnyard and malty biscuit aromas. Some citrus and nice hop bitterness that is well balanced. Enjoyable.
T: Follows the nose. Funky biscuit malt. A bit tart. Very light citrus hops.
M/D: Medium bodied that is well carbonated. Kind of thin and watery. Not really a session beer for me, but it is not hard to drink at all.

A good saison. One I enjoyed and would recommend.

 470 characters

Photo of benito
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice reinterpretation of Bam Biere from Jolly Pumpkin, much better than the other efforts (Weizen Bam, Bam Noire) in that the malt presence and floral hops really mesh well with that hint of sourness/classic JP funk (a little leather, a little barnyard).

It's a hazy, dark amber with a long-lasting head and moderate carbonation. The lemon-vinegar-leather dominates the bouquet, but on the tongue, the brett flavors give way to a sweet, almost malty middle and a long-lasting tea-driven finish. They got the flavoring hops right on for this one.

Good mouthfeel and just light enough to match well with a summer salad and vegetable risotto for a great dinner. This is the most accessible beer I've had from JP other than Oro de Calabaza. This is a winner.

On a side note, this should probably not be listed as a saison, but rather a Belgian IPA (though done with British hops) or an American wild ale (think a slightly funky ESB).

 934 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at biegamans Summer Saison tasting, thanks to MDS for bringing this one.

Pours a hazy brownish amber, thin off white head forms, quickly drops to a thin ring, some lace spots on the glass. Smell is caramelized, some herbal hopping, floral, light citrus, bit of bready spiciness, tart fruit, nice, some light roasty malts. Taste is similar, caramel, some wood, herbal and lightly fruited, very toasty middle, a bit astringent and bitter in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, big bitterness, but very solid and drinkable. Thanks Mike!

 577 characters

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

Labeled Batch 278, 750ml poured to tulip glass, pours a foamy highly carbonated deep reddish peachy brown shade with creamy tan head - looks good :D

smells of funk, apples, sweet, yeastiness, hops

tastes just like the other bam lineup but with hops thrown in the mix, not a bad thing, but i just kinda hoped for something different and nothing extremely new/unique - but regardless that doesn't effect the score for me. Carbonation makes everything pop, good malts, hop usage is enough to let you know they're there but don't outstage the rest of the party. Love the balance, as the hops linger but don't disrupt anything, very very nicely played ron jefferies.
sweet, bitter, sour, tart, funk, yum, most likely my favorite bam so far :D

mouthfeel is crisp from carbonation, great head and retention, nice subtle lingering bitterness, great beer!

 849 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

07/23/08- Purcahsed at City Beer in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with no freshness info found. Poured into my Trout Slayer weizen glass.

Appearance- Deep golden in color, if not approaching a light amber color. Yeast infused with small and larger floaties. Head becomes quite large upon pour...one inch plus very easily. Large bubbled, frothy, lightly creamy looking. Lacing is exceptional with chunks, streaks and spotting all over the glass.

Smell- Definite hops. Grapefruit pith rather than the juice or peel. Quite bitter in the nose. Also a decent amount of white pepper in the mix.

Taste- Hoppy for sure. Very bitter with a slight touch of sweetness upon the swallow which fades quickly. White pepper abounds as well. Seems like a one hop brew as it's very straight forward. Would have liked more sweetness. The hops carry the show, but seems like a one trick pony.

Mouthfeel- Very crisp, but also a very heavy carbonation level. Slightly drying mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I like my hoppy saisons and tripels, but his one seems a bit too hoppy with nothing really to back it up in the flavor sense. It's not a bad beer, in fact is was good for what it was, just needs something else.

 1,210 characters

Photo of israel
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into my ommegang tulip

A- pours a darker than expected(for this style) amber with a two finger head that hangs around for the whole show. Lots of little bubbles racing to the surface along with some chunky yeast falling to the bottom.

S - initial fruitiness along with an earthy aroma is perceived but nothing truly recognizable is in the foreground and its difficult to really pick out any familiar aromas

T - the "standard" jolly pumpkin funk is in the foreground and there is a bitter hop finish to it, but then everything is wiped from the palate by a dryness that leaves you wanting another sip.

M- uber dry and a nice carbonation makes the mouthfeel kinda enjoyable.

D - one bottle did me just fine but I am glad that I have another bottle in my cellar waiting for the right time..

 799 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 288/289, poured into a Foothills pint glass.

The bomber dumps a dark amber body stratified with sizable chunks of yeast. A buff-colored head builds to a decent half inch and slowly drops to a wisp of foam. The aroma on this thing was sublime: funky wooden earth paired with yeasty esthers and a citrusy, spicy hop note.

Like most of Jolly Pumpkin's brews, the flavor of ES Bam had that signature "sourness" to it. I can't say I was wildly impressed with the way this one tasted, but it certainlyw as intersting: Wooden oakiness, sour notes of lime and cherry, and a backbone of biscuity, toffe malt. Mouthfeel was on the high side of medium bodied and with a dry, sour wood finish. Although I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each JP beer I come across, I have yet to find one that really hits it out of the park form me. Maybe I'm just not a sour beer lover :(

 880 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber, almost opaque. A thick, frothy three finger head forms from a gentle pour. JP beers always have fantastic head retention and this one is no exception.

Smell: Earthy, herbal hops with a slightly metallic undertone. This is pretty subtle in aroma, and it's very homogenous; I can't really pick out anything specific.

Taste & mouthfeel: Flavors of spice and savory herb (rosemary, sage) greet the palate immediately, leading to a hint of bitter lemon peel and tobacco. The mouthfeel is incredibly light, almost watery, and bone-dry. This is almost lambic-like in its dryness. The finish brings out an herbal hop note with a pleasant lingering bitterness. This is definitely hoppy for the style, though still pretty tame in the grand scheme of things.

Notes: Really nice stuff, I'm glad I decided to pick up a bottle of this.

 848 characters

Photo of Onibubba
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always thrilled to try a new Pumpkin. No gushing problems, this poured a thick looking dark amber into a Duvel. Tawny highlights. Much darker than I was expecting. Nice off beige head. Not picking up much in the aroma, other than a familiar JP smell. Once again, I drank this too soon. I've found most of the JP beers improve dramatically by letting them set a while after opening. Initial mouthfeel is somehwat sharp, high on the tongue. This relaxes into a smooth draught after a bit of a rest and a swirl. Not picking up a lot of hops, and more reminicent of Bam Noire than Bam. Drinkability is excellent as putting away this bomber was not a problem. All in all, not bad, but not a repeat purchase, and by no means a classic Saison.

 736 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, batch 278. Pours a murky golden brown with a lively, rocky white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is yeast funk, spices, pepper, wood and some slightly tart fruits.

The flavor is yeast, some tart fruits, with some grassy bitter hops and some almost cola flavors at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with very lively sharp carbonation that becomes velvety as it sits.

Overall, a nice solid session beer.

 450 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog. Batch 267, 268.

Appears a semi-transparent amber with a small white head that slowly fades out. Tons of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of funky farmhouse, earthy notes, citrusy hops, and ripe fruit.
Taste is hoppy, earthy, rubbery, citrusy, with mild apple coming through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, fruity, hoppy, with citrus lingering along the palate in the swallow.

 425 characters

Photo of Lupe
3.01/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Just a beautiful looking beer. Pours a hazy bronzed amber - much darker than expected. Huge fluffy white head caps the liquid and takes a while to recede. This puppy has some serious staying power and leave behind sheets of lace.

Pretty unusual and interesting aroma. Some mustiness, light malt sweetness with caramel, toffee, and golden raisins. Next the hops kick in with a with strong spicy punch. Different, but not surprising considering the crossing of styles.

Hops completely dominate the flavor with only traces of biscuity malt coming through. No sweetness, very light funk, and tons of noble hop spice and bitterness. I could tell this is well crafted, but definitely not my thing. Perhaps if the hops build up instead of smacking you in the mouth. I would also have liked if there was a peppery character like other Saisons. After letting it warm up to see if that would bring out some subtleties, I found that was a mistake - just about undrinkable for me when warm.

Medium bodied, bone dry and overly carbonated. Crisp and a little thin without being light. Was not a fan of the flavors of this beer and could only muster half a glass before dumping.

 1,168 characters

Photo of ccrida
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle (batch 280/281). Poured into my Meantime snifter, E.S. Bam is a hazy bronzed amber with a large bone colored head that is super tight and dense. Very slow to settle, the carbonation forms a mountain of foam rising up above the rest of the large head in the middle, lasting through the settling to the last sip. Very heavy lace. Wow, damn impressive! I was really worried this one would be a gusher. The first bottle I grabbed at the shop promptly burst (the glass broke with a muted dink) when I laid it on it's side in shop's the plastic hand held basket! I assumed the bugs had built up to strong, but this one didn't gush, or pour with excess froth...weird.

Smell is musty, slightly sweet caramel, toffee and raisins, with strong, spicy hop backbone. Not to bad, but very unusual for the style. Blindly, I'd guess English style IPA.

Taste is bone dry, not sweet, light funk and huge noble hop spice, with a bitter finish. I like the concept (I homebrew hoppy saisons myself), but I'm not in love with the hops they used here, which overpower the saison's underlying subtleties. Not bad, but not very exciting either, something about it just doesn't quite work out...much like Bam Noire, it pales to the original Bam.

Mouthfeel is is bubbly, but the specialty malts keep the body from being as thin and dry as regular Bam, although it's still very light and crisp.

Drinkability is ok, it's an easy drinker that's light in the belly and low in ABV. But the taste isn't that interesting, and gets a bit astringent after awhile.

 1,549 characters

Photo of demitriustown
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a Tulip glass. Aroma is Sour apple, yeast, tart, some malts in the backing, and nice and rounded light floral hop aroma. Pours a cloudy amber with a milk tan head that lingers. Taste is got more of a hop presence than other JP beers then melds into the classic belgian tastes that I'm used to from Jolly Pumpkin. With the sours apple, yeast, and a slight amount of roasted malts intermingled. Palate is bubbly and lively on the tongue with an aftertaste of slight tartness. Overall, A really enjoyable session brew in my opinion. Cheers!

 555 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 288/289

Appearance: Pours a cherry-tinged cloudy amber color with a bountiful rocky head that won't quit and leaves all kinds of interesting lace patterns

Smell: Funky farmhouse, sour green apples, juicy fruit gum and lemony citrus

Taste: Opens with a distinct nod to the sour flavors, with a growing sourness compounded by bitter citrus and green apples; underlying hint of juicy fruit, to add balance; the sourness moderates after the swallow as the yeast elements move forward and join the malt into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation; prickly sourness

Drinkability: An interesting experiment, but I am not crazy about the combination of the hoppy bitterness and the sourness; I guess I like one of the other but not both in tandem

 778 characters

Photo of BMoney575
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 6-8-08
Batch 267,268

Pours a slightly hazy orange/brown color, with a thick, creamy off-white head that lasts for ages.

Smell is clean and sour, with maybe a touch of fruity hops.

Taste is very sour and earthy, super tart with a nice bitter finish. Very strong yet not cloying or harsh.

Mouthfeel is what you'd expect, light but creamy.

Drinkability is very good for such a sour beer.

Overall, a solid and highly drinkable saison without the barnyard character.

 478 characters

Photo of GRPunk
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap poured into a wine glass.

A- It was very dark. I would say almost black with some brown at the edges. Medium carbonation was apparent. It had about a 1-1/2 finger tan head.

S- It was a little subdued compared to some of the other JP beers I've sampled, but definitely had the funk that I'd expect.

T- It had some of the sour apple flavor brought on by the funk that left a clean, dry finish.

M- Medium carbonation. Dry feel from the sour flavor.

D- Definately a sipper, but I could see drinker more than 1 in a sitting.

Overall- True to form, JP bends the style guidelines with their interpretation. It was listed as an ESB (thus the ESBam) on the menu. It's hard to say that it fits that descriptor, but it's what I've come to expect (and enjoy) from JP.

 768 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, dark copper with a ruby tinge.
A massive four-inch head swelled up to the brim with a gentle pour.
The dense, bone-colored foam slowly receded to a rocky mass, and eventually to a solid skim coat. Lacework aplenty throughout, with loads of ripped sheets and clingy webbing.

Aromatics lead off with tart fruit, grassy hops, biscuity malt, and earthy funk. Cherries smashed on cut grass in a farmyard.
Menthol-like brett follows through along with mature cheesecloth.

Medium bodied, creamy with a crispish edge. Drying and tart.

Dried fruits, wet hay, and earthy hops start off the pallet. Lemon pith, grapefruit zest, and green straw.
Some bone-dry malt follows through along with a mild peppery note and lingering earthiness.

Finishes with a firm bitterness, drying funk, and fading tart fruits.

Less tart and intense than most of the other JP beers, but it's got a great balance. Certainly subdued in the hops though.

 937 characters

Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass a medium brown with a bit of deep orange tint a creamy slight off white head atop leaving broken lace behind s it never completely settled.A mix of herbal and earthy hop mixed with juicy fruit and just a touch of wet grainy funk,flavors are a mix of hops,somewhat earthy and medicinal with an underlying sourness all up against a hard slighty sweet maltbase.I liked this brew more than the regular Bam, much more hop complexity.

 464 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml. Pours a dark copper to amber color. Off-white rocky head holds together very well for a while, and leaves a great amount of lace. Lots of tiny bubbles streaming from the bottom.

A bit of funk, fruit, floral and perfume aroma in the nose. Some earthy spices near the end. Hints of caramel. Nice aroma.

A bit of caramel with earthy spices, along with just a bit of funky flavor. Not as much funk as I expected. Good dose of earthy and floral hops.

Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol very well hidden. This was enjoyable.

 549 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint at Beachwood BBQ from the handpump for seven dollars today, had never even heard of this brew from Jolly Pumpkin, do not know the ABV either

A-Came out of the pump a lot darker than I thought it would be, light brown, 3/4 fluffy white head, went away pretty fast though, not much retention, only minimal lacing at the beginning

S-Smell was all over the place and that was not necessarily a good or bad thing, lots of earthy tones, saltine crackers, floral hops, lemons, grapefruit, green apples, a variety of spices but black pepper stuck out, cherries, a little wine, tiny bit of funk, and herbs

T-Started off chewy to my surprise, then had some signs of brettanomyces in the middle, finish was slightly sweet and sour with a bit of dryness, lots of spice later on, more fruity accents came out as it warmed as well, beer went down really easy throughout, could taste a hint of apple in the finish by the end, mostly faint cherries, bready malt, and pepper, nice variety and complexity mixed well, very enjoyable

M-Slighty sweet and sour mouthfeel, also fruity and bready, light regardless, medium bodied, not much carbonation because of the serving type but this probably would have changed a lot if was cold and full of bubbles

D-Could drink a few pints of this, light on the stomach, flavor is complex and keeps you coming back for more, alcohol percentage did not seem too high, smooth

Not as funky as other JP beers but the cask could be to blame for that, nice refreshing beer though which is surprising because it was served at room temperature, would have liked to be more tarty but that would have changed it entirely and made it less of a farmhouse ale, would drink again, recommended

 1,706 characters

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

sampled may 24/08 as part of biegaman's annual summer saison tasting, with a mix of BA/RB represented. mike/MDS shared this one, so thanks mike!

750ml bottle. batch 267,268.

pours light brown with a small very fine off-white head. the head drops fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. big fresh hoppy blast. grapefruit. bit of orange. light alcohol. crackers and white bread. just a hint of funk creeping in at the edges.

taste is good. medium-high bitterness level. grapefruit. bit of orange. bready malt. slightly toasty. caramel. bit of yeast. hint of alcohol.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. light body.

drinkability is great. nice balance. good malty base. makes me think ESB more than saison, but good.

 737 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 278

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a dark brown color with hints of amber with a huge light tan head that has amazing retention. The aroma is bit sour with malt, oak, spices, leather, funk and yeast. The taste features malt, oak and peppery spices and an earthy almost leather like flavors with a bone dry and hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, E.S. Bam is another solid beer from Jolly Pumpkin. Recommended.

 483 characters

Photo of bort11
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love my wife. She brought this home to me just because. This is my first Jolly Pumpkin beer and I am looking forward to more now that they are available to the area.

750 ml bottle, batch 288/289, poured into a Boulevard Smokestack goblet. Medium light tan head with a thick creamy consistency. Lace paint the walls of the glass with each sip. Color is a dark polished wood. Amber highlights when held to the light.

Smell is a rich earthy and medicinal herbal quality. Hints of caramel malts sneak in around the edges. Taste has more more caramel malt flavor, but is held in check by herbal hop flowers. A bit of orange peel and tea.

Mouthfeel is light but has a creamy texture. Very nice introduction to Jolly Pumpkin.

 723 characters

E. S. Bam from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 66.3% out of 100 with 451 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.