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 weeare138
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of Lupe
3.01/5  rDev -21%
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.

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Photo of ccrida
3.34/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of demitriustown
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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!

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Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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

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Photo of BMoney575
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Floydster
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
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

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Photo of grub
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of cjgator3
4/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of bort11
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml brown bottle. Batch 267,268.

Pours into my glass a dark auburn, red with almost a brown hue to it. A big, thick creamy, rocky eggshell head sits atop the brew and leaves thick lacing as it falls. Aromas of roasty, somewhat toasted grain malts along with a ribbon of caramel as well. Spicy notes that move into earthy, herbal hop tones. Tea-like in a way as well. Fruity tones mix in along with yeast and a slight woody scent. Rather mellow overall though.

First sip brings a crisp, toasty grain malt upfront that moves into herbal, fruity notes with a touch of caramel. Tea flavors along with a mild woody aspect. Earthy, herbal hops move in and bring a slight bitterness. Quite dry on the way down, the overall flavor is mellow as well. Mild sourness on the finish as well. Kinda boring.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess from the fast moving, lively carbonation in the brew. Goes down quite easily overall. In the end though, this one fails to really grab me. The flavors seem somewhat muted and it doesn't keep me coming back for more. I'll be interested to thy the Bam Noire I have in the cellar, but for now the normal Bam Biere is my choice.

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Photo of atsprings
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Being a hophead that also loves Saisons, I wasted no time picking up a bottle when I saw it on the shelf. Pours a deep amber, almost brown with a decent off-white head that was lasting and left decent lacing. Aroma is a nice balance of biscuity malts and nice floral hops. The taste is an interesting blend of hoppiness and Belgian spice, there was even some wild yeast funkiness. The beer was light and crisp with low carbonation. This was an enjoyable unique beer to say the least.

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

Batch 267, 268

A- Absolutely stunning. A crystal ball effect going with some nice reddish hues. The white head is massive and creamy and dimples the top of the liquid.

S- Lots of biscuits, some funk, and some cherries.

T- Biscuits, sour cherries, peppery funk, and oak. Good, but not great. The flavor seemed to improve the more of it I drank.

M- Creamy and smooth. A little dryness and sourness on the end. The carbonation level is very nice.

D- A different beer, but doesn't really blow my doors off like other Jolly Pumpkin offerings.

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

Pours a dark ruby brown in color with no a nice quarter inch head. Smell is spicy funk. Dare I say that I'm getting a sense of pickles in the nose?!
Taste is the much beloved Jolly Pumpkin funk! Again, I'm getting some kind of a pickle flavor. Don't know. Taste is much the same. Creamy on the mouthfeel. Another good offering from JP.

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very deep amber tone, hazy and murky. Fluffy foam, not as carbonated as the standard Bam. Bits of irregular lace here and there.

Sweet and bready malt aroma, floral hops, and trace amounts of wet stone that seems to sometimes be attributed to wild yeasts.

Malty body, light and ever-bubbly carbonation, mild floral and bitterness from the extra hops. They are more of the grassy/leafy variety. Some mild fruity pear also that comes and goes. Tasty and approachable, seems that it would definitely pair well with many dishes.

Although I still prefer the standard Bam Biére, this is a close 2nd, with Noire in 3rd.

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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 quasimoto
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color topped off with a nice light off-white head, that would have stuck around had I not swirled the glass so much.
The aromas of oak, bread, pine, earthy horseblanket, some sugary candy, almost a cumin/garam masala flavor, start off the nose,
The taste is woodsy, caramelish sweet malts, light pear-ish, maybe. with the flowery taste of the hops. The finish is of a light peppery note that cleans off the palette.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied and pseudo-dry. Lightly carbonated.
Overall a very easy drinking farmhouse style ale. A great one at that.

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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 Georgiabeer
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks great with a dark chestnut color and a fantastic head that sticks around and leaves some great lacing, but fundamentally I think this beer is ill conceived. I'm a fan of Jolly Pumpkin, and I also like quite a few of the hoppy Belgian beers. What I don't like in this beer is the pronounced hops with the sour flavors. They would work well seperately, but together they clash and compete with one another. Typical sour aromas are nice enough and the hops are more of a spicy note in the background that works. It's the taste that is a bit jarring with sourness and bitter, earthy hops. Moutfeel is a bit light for the hops. My least favorite Jolly Pumpkin by far.

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

Pours a beautiful looking deep, hazy, orange-ruby amber color, with a large and rocky light tan fuzz.

Smells very lightly sweet of blueberries and floral hops. Fresh, tart, citrus and orchard fruits quickly take over, as overtones of pleasant grassy-earth funkiness round out a nice scent.

Lots of fuzzy, effervescent, carbonation fills a soft light-medium body. Light toasted and crystal malt flavors are quickly overtaken by tart peaches and apples. There is a light citrus rind bitterness with that pleasant grassy funkiness. Finishes lightly crisp and clean.

Another very nice one from JP but not quite the better of the original bam.

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