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 ElGrecoVerde
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Quite a unique offering, and I will have to try out some other beers from this brewery after this one. Orange-red color with a massive off white head. I mean massive.

A nice blend of flavors, from citrus to light fruits, some light spices, but most notably a heavy floral taste. The floral tastes become a bit overwhelming making it hard to drink alone.

Beautiful mouthfeel with great carbonation. But I would only ever get it again if I'm sharing.

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Photo of DoktorZee
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip. The bottle is labeled as batch 1037/1038 and bottled 3/6/2012. This one foamed up pretty seriously even though it wasn't agitated prior to opening. Had to wait a while to get a proper pour to check out.

A - HUGE, fluffy head, almost sculptural in its density and structure; lots of dry, caked lacing on the sides of the glass. Orange/copper in color, cloudy and lots of obvious effervescence.

S - strong sour and Belgian yeast notes: sour apple and funk. Some lemon peel and earthy spice, but it's definitely in the background.

T - extremely sharp, crisp drinking beer with a very dry finish. Moderate initial bitterness driven by a very earthy/spicy hop presence, and bitter through to the finish. Some mild acidity and funk throughout, but these are a lot less intense than the nose would suggest.

M - body is light-medium to medium, with high, effervescent carbonation. No booziness and a SUPER dry finish.

Sadly my experience with this bottle was marred somewhat by a relative foam explosion, but when I got it all under control it was still really tasty. I'm a little surprised just how dry and clean it is in the finish and how it was less funky/sour than the nose suggested. Ultimately it was pretty much what the name suggested: a hoppy farmhouse ale that was pretty solid for the category.

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Photo of Lolli1315
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Copper brown in color with little visibility through the body. Two to three finger head that is slightly darker in color than white, edging into the tan territory. Top of the head is rough, almost rocky as the head retains very well. Lace is apparent all over the glass.

S- Head is full of the funky smell you would expect from a Jolly Pumpkin beer. Some hops available in the nose, but it is quickly washed away with the funky smell once again.

T- Funky taste comes into play immediately blending into a slight sweet and hoppy flavor towards the middle of the beer. The funky taste returns with some sourness to finish out the beer, almost a band aid like taste is the best description. Mild amounts of funk and bitterness add to the aftertaste. Certainly only a taste for the brave.

M- Lower end of a medium body with moderate carbonation. Dry mouthfeel with a certain sharp funk that attacks the mouth.

D- Nice beer, the funk can make this one a little difficult to drink a lot of, but still not hard to drink.

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Photo of claminat420
1.61/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

A- poured a heavy amber color cloudy with stuff floating around. extremely foamy.

S- a weird clove hint. kinda reminds me of dark horse's trip ale.

T- to much going on i don't know where to begin. i taste the hops but also a weird wood flavor. has a sour aftertaste.

M- light bodied. low carbonation. prolly the best quality of this beer.

D- i'm just gonna say i'm glad i only have a 750ml bottle of this which will be the last time i drink.

Overall- i know jolly pump-a-dump keeps their beers aged in oak barrels or whatever but i'm good. maybe the high price and the big "differences" get people to think they're sophisticated or something?? i get why brewers try to go all crazy by adding different stuff or brewing in some different way which usually doesn't work out. and if it does it's a rarity that should be honored. this whole company reminds me of the south park episode "smug" about the people in san francisco who smell their own farts. please don't think of me as a "bud guy" but i would take a stone ipa or something just in the ballpark.

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Photo of ruckzuck
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a deep amber with lots of lovely red highlights when held up to light. MASSIVE frothy head. Seriously, this thing rules, and the shape it's as it dissipates making is totally wacky. I seriously can't get over the foam sculptures this thing is making. In fact, here is a picture: http://i33.tinypic.com/2rhtpw9.jpg

S - woah. Some of that bitter/tart barnyard funk came to town tonight. I'm also getting some fruitiness, mainly apples, out of the nose from the hops and hints of yeast and spice

T - wow, again, massive bitter/tart fruity funk. Awesome. I like this taste. Sour apples somewhat? Very similar to the nose anyway

M - Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Some dryness to the mouthfeel as well

D - well, I like this beer. Wasn't sure what I wanted to drink tonight, and this is really hitting the spot. Would totally recommend if you like sours with some extra hoppiness. Good work, Jolly Pumpkin. Drinkability may be a bit limited by the flavor, but like I said it, I like it

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Photo of techfed87
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 521/522, Bottled 3-11-2010.

Pours a very big, frothy head. Color is a cloudy amber. Smell is a bit sour.

First sip is a bit more earthy than what I expected it to be. The foam has a completely different quality of hops than what exists in the beer. Then again, the head didn't have any of the wild characteristics that the body does.

A wild, hoppy beer. Me gusta.

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Photo of mikem0487
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750mL bottle poured into Tired Hands saison glass. Bottled on 03/06/12

A-This thing poured a crazy huge thick head. Almost a hands width of white dense foam. I know its bottled conditioned like all their beers so this guy was just waiting to be opened. Foam is literally coming out of the top of the bottle as I type this haha. Other than the over carbonation within the bottle the beer looks good. An unfiltered burnt brown/orange body takes place of the huge head after some time. Nice lacing as I drink it.

S-Smell is full of different aromas. Burnt carmelized sugar, hop resin, tangerine/orange rind and a funkyness that gives off the aroma of some brettanomyces. Citrus notes are in the back end mixed in with some black pepper.

T-The taste is not as interesting as the nose. Caramel, bitter orange rind, citrus fruits, bready malts, pepper and some tartness at the finish. Has flavor but not as pronounced as they are in the nose.

M-After the initial pour(s) the carbonation is actually really nice. Medium mouthfeel with dry finish.

O-A good farmhouse saison that lacks in the flavor department. Expected more with the nose offering up alot of unique flavors but definitely do not shine through with the taste. Maybe a fresh one would change all that?

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

750ml bottle with a 04/2011 dating.

A: Murky rust brown to orange. Big light tan head that's quite frothy. Carbonation bubbles are present and adequate.

S: Belgian funk typical of a saison with fruit of apple, pear, grape, and some underlying vinegar. No hoppiness really present in the nose.

T: Surprisingly bitter. Grassy hoppiness up front, which must be quite fresh because it doesn't hold back. The funk is more of a base underneath to this, with some slight grainy qualities.

M: Medium body, with a light amount of dryness.

O: Quite hoppy Saison. The grassy qualities are strong, and mix well with the earthiness of the saison. Maybe it should have set for awhile to give it a little more balance.

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Photo of semibaked
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Label on the back says Batch 514 and Bottled 3-5-10.

A - Pours a orange-brown with a big marshmallow flush type head, large amounts of carbonation and yeast floaties all over the place. Amazing lacing comes after every drink.

S - Sourness come through immediately, then funky yeast, straw, also some slight lemon too.

T - Big time bitterness from the hops and yeast, not overwhelming but definitely high on the bitterness. Lemon, sourness, maybe some floral hops too.

M - Very light bodied with oiliness.

D - Definitely good for a hot day, I like the sourness and got used to the bitterness after awhile, Not my favorite from Jolly Pumpkin but glad I tried it.

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Photo of jbonapar
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

INtersting bottle, love the label!

Poured into a nice belgan beer glass on XMASS 2011.

Aroma is pure funk. Since my cat is sitting next to me, i'll say a bit of wet-cat in there with some hoppiness. Minimal, but present malt.

Taste, funk, sour cherries, some piney and floral hops. Craziness. Reminds me a bit of Orval, but less complex and balanced.

Interesting beer nontheless, i think it'll age well and perhaps improve with time. I'd give it another year or so if I Had another.

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Photo of wschmit
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 754, bottled 3-18-2011, into a Duvel tulip. Enough time for some bottle conditioning, but not a foamer at all, as occasionally happens with these guys. Anyways...

A: A sloppy pour yield a large, vaguely golden, fine head that sticks a-plenty as it recedes. It tops a deep, copper body with just a touch of haze (so far, i'm sure some yeasties will appear later). Very pretty.

S: A soft, warming hop glow emanates, mingling with a citric funk usual to JP. There's a bit of mustiness in the end, too, once the other scents fade in my nose. It reminds me quite a bit of Orval, one of which I have handy to follow this up with.

T: It has, mercifully, a great deal of the flavor profile of Orval as well--a bit of rock candy and orange peel, a distinct hop bite, and noticeable but utterly pleasant brett character. It's definitely hoppier than Orval, and maybe shouldn't be compared, but I'm very happy with this.

M: A bit on the thin side. Much of the carbonation blew itself out in the head, it seems. A quick topping off helps this problem. Still, a thin body with very fine carbonation.

O: Quite pleased with it. At ten bucks for 750mL, this is on the low end price-wise for a JP beer, and yet I'm more pleased with it than some of their beers (for the price--nearly everything they brew is still quite good). A hoppier, thinner Orval--a nice alternative to that, for sure. I'll be back to this one.

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Photo of b3shine
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml. to tulip. Looks good; dark and hoppy for a sour. Bouquet is good, with both the hops and sour present. Taste is it's best attribute. You get both the hoppiness and the flavor of a sour, which I admit, is a combination I'm both unfamiliar with and impressed by. Overall, a good beer that I'll be having again.

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Photo of cvaypai
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
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 Mudpuppet
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a 6oz tumbler at the Manhattan Cask Fest. Pours a hazy amber color with no head.

S- A mildly hoppy nose with a mild JP funk to it. Not an overpowering nose.

T- The hops in the beer leave a bit of a resiny residue in your mouth as you drink this. There is only a mild JP funk/sour in the beginning but as it warms you get less hops and more funk and sourness.

M- Nice feel for this. Obviously a cask beer so low carb but it lets the beer shine through.

D- A nice drinker as it warms up. But even with a cask room temp beer it was a bit too cold for the right flavors to come through.

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Photo of Big78CJ
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This cask was tapped five minutes ago at Trappeze Pub in Athens. It poured a nice brownish color with a little auburn highlights in the light. Kind of murky glow with very little head. It smells very acidy and sour, typical of a Jolly Pumpkin. Flavor is much more subdued than the aroma, however, with a mild sour taste. The carbonation is nice and low with a flavorful wood (sherry cask?) taste that ends nicely. Mouthfeel is light and easy. I can't wait until this beer hits bottle!

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Photo of midnite2sixman
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brown raisin type color with a nice head almost an inch and a half thick.

First smell is a blast of sour and maltiness.

Taste is sour up front. Funky. Then sweet and a dash of hops for good measure. Definitely a wild beer from a brewery known for its eccentricities.

Not sure if the nailed this one or not, but I won't say it isn't worth trying. The balance of the sour and funk doesn't necessarily match up with the hops in my opinion.

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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 brc
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Half was frothy white head which stays billowy and cavernous for many minutes. Beautiful. Cloudy amber liquid with some orange color.

Smells of lemongrass, fruits and flowers - a wisp of springtime.

Tastes fairly mild for its name, though it's complex. Piney and herbal with a slightly bitter kick, with some sweetness underneath. Slightly lemony.

Dry and very filling mouthfeel.

A lovely find.

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Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 267/268.

Poured a nice dark amber with a large white head and orange highlights when held to the light. Smells sour and slightly soapy. Tastes sour but surprisingly less than most Jolly Pumpkin offerings I've had, a little hoppier as well. Light, well carbonated, and dry.

Like Bam Noire this is amazing and worth picking up.

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Photo of dakid618
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle batch 288/289 poured into pint glass. Pours a deep hazy reddish brown with TONS of head. Smell is sweet with hints of banana, clove, and raisins. Taste is the same with a strong hop presence as a backbone. Medium refreshing mouthfeel. Good mouthfeel. My first offering from Jolly Pumpkin and I'm not disappointed. Overall a very solid beer.

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Photo of sarahspat
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 374/375

A pour into an over-sized wine glass results in a half an inch of white head atop an "iced tea" brown liquid. The head falls fast but leaves a few good-looking wisps of lacing.

Smells: horse blanket funk and nail polish remover. Not too strong, though. Smells good to me, but I do wish there was a bit more going on here and/or that the nose was more forceful.

Tastes strongly of citrus peel, red grapefruit, light funk, Bing cherries, and some vegetables like celery show up in the background.

This medium-bodied brew comes across very bitter: mouth-dryingly so. Much more bitter than I was expecting, even considering the word "hoppy", which is prominently displayed on the label. I don't think I would feel like drinking more than one glass of this at once. There is a passable amount of complexity, but none of the flavors really captivate me. All in all, it's not spectacular but not bad either.

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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 SPThirtyThree
2.95/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Murky orange-brown with two finger off-white head that collapses down to a cluster of bubbles.

S: Funk. Sour. Watermelon. Vanilla. Oak. Sweat.

T: Dry, puckering, and sour. Not much to taste.

M: Heavy carbonation, but dry and crisp.

D: Medium-low. Leaves a little to be desired on taste.

Overall, this beer smelled fantastic, but then didn't have the taste to back it up. Interestingly, it made me drink it faster, as each sip was a quest to taste the flavors that I was smelling.

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