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 YonderWanderer
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An E.S....saison? An intriguing offer from Jolly Pumpkin, and one that doesn't have me turning away after the first sip as *some* of their beers have. I'm not a huge fan of saisons to begin with, but I'm intrigued enough by this one. It's got that trademark Jolly Pumpkin funk smell and taste to it, but is added to by a nice grassy hop flavor, and a nice big hit of maltiness. This is a fairly well-balanced, and unique saison. The mouthfeel is a bit dry, but okay overall. It's not something I'm likely to go back to again, but it's definitely worth giving a try.

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Photo of israel
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
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..

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Crowned 750 ml; Batch 288/289.

In a shaker pint glass, E.S. Bam is pale brownish amber with a glint of orange and a storm of fine internal carbonation feeding a huge, pillowy off-white head. As the cap reduces, it consolidates fine, pearly bubbles into large soapy ones at the periphery, leaving the center portion of foam drifted up in rocky, craggy fashion and large 3-D hunks of lacing scattered about the glass.

The smell is sweet and fruity with mild caramel, toffee, plus orange rind oil, a touch of muddy funk, and a whiff of apple cidery, lemony zing. Mild brown malt toastiness underlays the aroma profile, not really taking up a lot of space, but growing in stature as the drink progresses.

The taste is mild and malty with the merest toasty drizzle of sweetened vinegar and a soft mineral steeliness that dries the finish. As I'm looking for descriptors and finding the words "mild", "mere", and "soft", I realize that no matter how much I want this brew to be more than it is, it just isn't all that flavorful, instead presenting itself almost like a pretty good beer cut with a shot or three of mineral water. The funky-steel flavor and vinegary zing gain purchase in the warming drink, but the notes are left unbalanced by any significant malt backbone, leaving the finish quite dry with a little pucker. Only as the bottom of the bottle close at hand does a note of wheat straw and strawberries sweeten and freshen the drink just a tad.

The drink is light-bodied and underpowered with a fine sizzle of carbonation. The brew is quite drinkable, but only because of its uncanny similarity to the water it's brewed from. A big swing and a miss from a brewer I expect much better beer from.

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Photo of daledeee
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been trying the Jolly Pumpkin line. This is another 750 ml bottle.

It poured a dark cloudy orange with a wonderful fluffy white head that absolutely does not go away.

Nose is fruit, hops, earthy.

Taste is pretty strong with Belgian hops intensity. The funk is not as apparent as others. Citrus rind is around too.

Mouth feel is nice and carbonated.

I was a tad disappointed with this one. I think it is what they intended to do but not to my taste for the style. Could be personal.

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Photo of wrycon
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 753. Bottled 3-17-11.

Prior to tasting I opened the bottle and went upstairs. Came back down and a white snake of foam was creeping out the top. Never known that to be a good thing

Primarily gold with some slight amber hues. A bit muddled- looking. Some slight floral hops notes mixed with some yeasty funkiness. Not much nose. Initially pretty tame and seemingly sweet. Lots of carbonation up front with some lightly toasted malt. Midway, the signature JP funk presents itself, adding an always welcome element. The hops dominate the back end with a pronounced bitter jab and linger long afterward. It's a unique take on the pale style. Seems a bit over-carbonated, hence the creeping bottle foam. Not sure if that's s product of it aging 8 months.

Like it? Yes, But Not Bowled Over

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Photo of DaveJanssen
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
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 VaTechHopHead
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a slightly unfiltered dark orange, redish, brown color with a HUGE controllable light tan head. Lots of cascading carbonation and a little sediment on the bottom. Tons of lacing to go alone also.

S - Initially it smells like I just walked onto an apple orchard during harvest time. Hints of white grapes and lots of sour yeast esters as well. Not too tart on the aroma and has a pleasant sour fruit aroma.

T - Doesn't mimic the aroma much because there are a lot more sour notes in it. Apples and pears come to mind at first, with the sourness of both being the majority. Then there's a little hay flavor from the malts mixed in with the slightest pineapple and sour citral notes. Very complex and leaves a pretty dry aftertaste with flavors of lingering malts.

M/D - Light body with an explosion of "small" carbonation bubbles. No warming sensation from the alcohol (relatively low ABV) and easy to sip on b/c of the sourness and dry characteristics.

I would say this one is more on the "farmhouse" side of this beer style due to the amount of sour notes and complex yeast products. Overall good and would enjoy this style on occasion.

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Photo of eljefe21
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A beautiful copper brown color fills the bottom half of the glass topped by a frothy off white head. Head sticks around while more foam slowly rises from the bottom of the unfinished bottle.

S: A floral hay aroma with hints of spice, lemon and other smells. Dry, even on the nose.

T: Earthy straw like flavors grate on the tongue. The flavors intensify once the liquid is gone. A wild mix of flavors that I'm not so wild about.

M: Puckering and dry with a smooth medium-light body. Dryness lingers and a bit harsh.

D: I like my Jolly Pumpkins and wouldn't turn this one down if someone offered, but I just don't like this one enough to seek it out on its own again. It was nice with my pesto pizza, but I'd feel odd drinking it without food.

Served: in a cervoise glass.

Review from notes taken on: 12/4/09.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Polished persimmon with crystalline clarity. The mad rush of miniscule bubbles immediately after the pour slows down to a more sedate pace within several minutes, but not before creating one of the stickiest, rockiest crowns this side of the Belgian countryside. The pint glass is coated with everything from small scraps of lace to large chunks of foam. I love it!

Like all JPAA beer, this one contains critters. The telltale aroma of wild yeast emanates from the glass with even a casual sniff. The good thing is that funk doesn't completely overwhelm everything else. This should be interesting beer. It might even be good beer.

I'm not impressed. There isn't as much malt as expected and complexity suffers as a result. E.S. Bam might have more malt (and more hops) than Bam Biere, but how much barley can any brewer pack into a saison that's only 4.7%. Even though hop flavor has surely faded in the nearly one year since the release, there's still a good bit of bitterness to be had.

My biggest gripe with most Jolly Pumpkin beer is that it's overattenuated. It isn't a flaw since that's the way it was brewed, but I don't have to like it. A few malt sugars would be great right about now. Some dry, crisp saisons are fantastic and are insanely drinkable. This isn't one of them.

There isn't much to the flavor profile. The beer tastes like a malt-deficient wild ale that has a modest amount of funk and more lemongrassy bitterness than fruity tartness. It's okay and is growing on me a little, but it isn't E(xtra) S(pecial) by any stretch of the imagination.

Part of the problem is a mouthfeel that's too light (no matter the ABV) and is too sharply carbonated. The bubbles hit hard and fast, then fade quickly, so there's no trace of creaminess on the swallow.

Granted, this was almost certainly better beer when fresh (batch 267, 268). Then again, any saison that can't go 11-12 months in the bottle doesn't deserve to be called a saison. Those who love everything Jolly Pumpkin will probably love E.S. Bam. Those who want a world-class version should look elsewhere.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jolly Pumpkin E.S.Bam
750 ml / batch 374 /375

Appearance: A massive head of antique-white foam rises up as it's poured. A mostly clear chestnut brown body teems with life as tiny bubbles rise from below. Good head retention, very good lacing.

Aroma: Brettanomcyes is clearly evident... some fruitiness, caramelish malt, leafy hops, and a mild peppery/woody/patchouli-like/orange/herbal spiciness..

Taste: A bold bitterness comes through straight out. It's brash, and it never really settles, even as the beer warms. Brett character surrounds a thin caramel-dipped maltiness, which is nice. It reminds me of a caramel covered apple. The fruitiness is there, but not the sweetness; and it's spiked with leafy and grassy hops and spice that take on a bit of a herbaceous character. It's dry and earthy with suggestions of fruitiness and tartness. Lots of bitterness lingers in the finish along with a bit of wood and earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied and just slightly creamy smooth as the very-fine-bubbled natural carbonation is released as it warms.

Drinkability: A lack of balance between the dense bitterness and thin maltiness leaves it a bit lackluster. There's just not enough sweetness to support it, and it becomes muddled in a way - it seems to lack focus. The spicing could be nice, but without support from a solid malt base it seems almost like dust in the wind.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Ridiculous and annoying overflow carbonation, hazy orange, mountain of head and lacing
S - Spicy, sour citrus, musty, light perfume
T - Pepper and stale sour citrus, funky yeast, sharp pale grain
M - Light and over the top carbonated, musty dry finisg
O - Tasty enough but the funky mustiness of it is a bit heavy, still tasty though and worth a purchase

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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 GJ40
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a DFH snifter.

A - Amber in color with a cherry hue and a huge off-white head. Good lacing.

S - A tart and floral aroma with lots of green apple.

T - Starts with a nice sour, tart flavor but that fades quickly and becomes a bit dry and a little hoppy. An interesting combination. I wasn't a huge fan after the first few sips but it grew on my as I went on.

M - The carbonation and consistency are about right for the style.

D - A decent American attempt at a farmhouse but it's a tough style to reproduce.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to Kkulacki for this. pours with a brown walnut colored body, hazy. puffy cloud-like head. odor is sour smelling with lemony hops. brett funk on nose too. Taste is a punch of grassy, lemon flavor with terrific sour malt underneath. Focus is slightly more on the hops, with the funkiness lingering beneath. lemon flavor sort of overtakes the rest of the beer though, which i could do without. medium bodied to light. Another good JP beer, though one i might not revisit since i like the regular and noire bams better without all the hops.

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Photo of uturn
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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 FanofHefe
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4-15-2011. Poured into a Duvel tulip. Cloudy, amber body with a huge 4-finger white, fluffy head -- massive carbonation. The head retains well and leaves good lacing.

Definitely has the aroma of a Saison - funky yeast is prominent with some tart apple following. Just a hint of sweet malt and a bit of hops.

Again, the flavor is typical of a saison with the expected funky yeast flavor, but a little bit of hoppiness changes the landscape a little. A bit of tart light fruit blends into the flavor.

Light to medium mouthfeel. Not my favorite JP beer, but an interesting experience nonetheless.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured orangish brown in color with brown highlights and had a dense 2 finger head leaving plenty of frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront was really citrusy with some tart notes, hop character but did have some brett aroma as well. after a few whiffs I was able to sniff out some spice notes.

T: The tart flavor was more prominent on the palate alongside spice, bretty, citrusy, hoppy notes and a touch of caramel on the backend.

M: The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had spice, bretty, citrusy, mild hoppy, tart and slight bitter dry finish.

D: it was very easy to drink considering it was an ESB but was not as hoppy as anticipated but was still decent.

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Photo of Onibubba
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of ohmybock
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I paid $10 for this 750ml bottle. Great label...I love the stylistically-drawn dog! By the way, this is batch 278.

When I popped the cap, foam rose up inside the bottle and started coming out the top. Sometimes that's a cause for alarm, but with this beer it ultimately wasn't. A huge head formed as I poured this beer. That's not surprising considering the hefty carbonation in this one. I like the aroma a lot. It reminds me of a quality Berliner Weisse with a sharp lemon zest aroma. From the initial aroma, you know this beer is going to have some sourness. Sure enough, the flavor has a similar character as the aroma....moderately sour with a bit of funk. The beer is light and spritzy with a hint of maltiness that quickly turns to a spicy, clean-ish?, sourness. This all culminates in a dry finish with a bit of bitterness kicking in near the end. To be honest, I usually like less bitterness in a sour beer such as this. Don't get me wrong, I love some of the ultra-hoppy American brews that are out there. However, with this type of beer, I feel a less hoppy brew works better. I haven't had the regular Bam or the Noire, but I have had the Weizen Bam. The Weizen and ES are similar, but I think the Weizen Bam has a better balance of flavors. Even though I like the two Bam beers I've had, I don't think they're worth the $10 price tags. If they were $5 per bottle, I would be tempted to buy more. As it is, these are pretty much one-time purchases for me.

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Photo of dlmccabe1
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on draft from a Chimay tulip.

Appearance is a nice light amber color with some cloudiness. Pours with a decent head but it dissipated rather quickly. I really like the aromas here with a nice barnyard-y funk to it. Hints of hay earth, not a lot of fruitiness in my opinion.

Those aromas follow through on the palate. It finishes nice and dry with more bitterness than a typical saison, which I suppose is what this beer is trying to do. The brett comes through strongly on the finish and lingers. Nice use of it here.

Medium body coats the mouth and lingers. Overall this is an interesting beer. I like the dryness and the bitterness from the hops, but the brett characteristics overwhelm the finish slightly, which dropped it down a bit for me. Very interesting and worth a try.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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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 andrewinski1
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Nice light amber color with a touch of haze. The head is about 2 inches and leaves a lot of sticky lacing.

The aroma is slightly sweet and malty with a heavy dose of lemongrass from the extra hops and the signature Jolly Pumpkin Yeast.

The taste is full of nice peppery hoppy zestyness. The funky yeast flavor is very subdued relative to other Jolly Pumpkin beers.

This is light and crisp. This is quite refreshing on this warm summer night.

I like this one. The hops are noticeable and well integrated. Drink fresh.

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Photo of philbe311
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers worth of densely packed cloud like white colored head with a bit of a rocky top... Excellent retention... A lot of small bubbled very rapid paced swirling carbonation... The color is a pale golden copper... A bit of lacing clings tot he sides of the glass...

S - Fresh apples... Golden raisins... Pears... A slight vinegar component... A little bit of funk... A little bit of Belgian yeast... Bread pudding... Very pleasant and fairly complex aroma...

T - Surprisingly bitter and tart... Lots of grassy notes.. A bit of Belgian yeast... Some farmhouse funk... Some light tannins... Some lemon zest...

M - Medium bodied... Slightly lush... Limited carbonation... The finish is a touch dry... Very interesting mouthfeel and as complex as I've encountered...

D - The whole doesn't quite equal the sum of the parts... There's lots of good going on, but the it doesn't quite come together in a coherent fashion... Is it a sour beer... Is it a Saison... I'm quite not sure and that takes away from the overall experience...

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a murky dark mahogany with a hint of gold. On top rests a rich chunky beige head that will not fade.

Aroma is typical Jolly Pumpkin with a sour, yeasty, funk to it. Though this one does have more hoppiness going on. The sour notes are an interesting combination of green apple, raspberry, lemon, and antiseptic. Very interesting, indeed.

Tastes of sour raspberries, green apple, lemon, antiseptic, and licorice. A very light maltiness in the finish.

Light-to-medium bodied, tart and dry, and moderately carbonated.

A very unique play on a saison. I like it...but I'm not sure how much. 750 ml is probably too much. Twelve ounces would be about right.

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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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