La Roja Du Kriek | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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La Roja Du KriekLa Roja Du Kriek

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
La Roja du Kriek – Sour Amber Ale with Michigan Cherry Juice. This is what happens when 3100 gallons of 2013 La Roja meets 50 gallons of Michigan tart cherry juice, aged in oak barrels and bottle conditioned – a perfect blend of sour and tart joie de vivre!

Added by mothman on 07-30-2010

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 174
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

awesome beer right here, but im not sure its better than the original roja. the cherry juice has a very different effect than i have seen whole fruit have in similar beers, and the end result is fantastic, but its not all that cherry forward, and its not as dry as it could be. there is a lot of wood on this, curious color too, almost brown, murky, and real active, but not red and lighter like one would expect. the aroma is a little tart from the fruit, but more wild than anything else, funky and farmy and rustic and wild, somewhat sweet from the fruit and the malt too, oddly less mature than the base beer ever seems. the cherries add a thin acidity to the taste, a very true cherry flavor, and just a little bit more fermentable sugar, this seems stronger than i remember the base being, although its far from boozy. red wine notes and chocolate malt oddly enough is what i taste towards the finish. thank goodness for the robust carbonation, it clears away some of the dusty wood and yeast notes in here. from the tap, but it tastes sort of old to me. an interesting brew, but not quite as good as i had it built up in my head to be. id like to compare this to the bottled format...

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Photo of LAp
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It's almost not fair to review this beer given that its tasting companion that night was Rodenbach Alexander. La Roja Du Kriek is a far sharper, more American beer, that nonetheless takes its influence from the Flanders Red tradition. Its amber and "red" notes bite, but there's a softer belgian hiding somewhere underneath.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an Ommegang stemmed glass.

A- Pours a semi-hazy reddish medium brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well.

S- Great tart cherry aroma with a moderate amount of funk. Also some toasty malt character.

T- Lots of oak in this as the tart cherry and funk combine and play off the big tannins. Moderately sour, there's more Brett character here and it's more of that astringent Brett versus the rustic barnyard-y Brett. After multiple sips, a green olive note comes through, once again a result of the Brett.

M- Dry with a relatively mild amount of pucker and acidity. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Nice cherry flavor, good Brett presence. My only nitpick is that I wish it was a bit more tart. I'm not usually one to want more sourness in a beer but the other qualities were so light that I feel it needed a bit of extra umph. But, again, this is my only criticism of an otherwise tasty wild ale.

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Photo of stevoj
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle thanks to Eric. Cloudy orange/brown pour, smallish beige airy head. Cherries as expected in the aroma, along with some candy elements, and a bit of wood. Taste adds some vanilla to the cherries, as well as additional barrel notes, a bit dusty and musty.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip. Blend 2, bottled 4/8/15.

A: Pours a deep caramel/maroon with a finger of light tan head that faded into a soft and fuzzy film. A few wisps of thin lace were left down the glass.
S: Tart and acidic nose full of musty apple cider vinegar, slight balsamic vinegar, musty cherry pits, and a touch of caramel.
T: Tart blast of lactic and acetic acid up front followed by flavors of amber notes of caramel, leather, slight raisin, and a touch of musty earth. The finish is full of variety of cherry flavors including tart cherry skins, tannic cherry pits, and a kiss of juicy semisweet cherry juice. The aftertaste has a hint of vanilla and peppery spice. There is an earthy mustiness throughout, and maybe just a touch of cola as the beer warms.
M: Medium body, tart and bright mouthfeel with a touch of sourness in the middle. The finish is dry and slightly gritty. Tingly and fuzzy carbonation.
O: A very nice take on a Flanders red that is both delicious and fairly smooth. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the original, but this tastes very similar to how I remember. I suppose maybe there is more of a cherry presence, but I’d have to have them side by side. Either way, if you’re a fan of the style, this one is worth checking out.

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Photo of jzlyo
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is cherries and sour/very lambic. The flavor is cherries, fruit, slight earthiness, malts and a mix of funk, tart and somewhat dry in the finish.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

$ 12.59/750 mL bottle ($ 0.456/oz) at Oppermann’s Cork ‘N’ Ale, Saginaw, MI
Bottle dated 2/2/16 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma – cherries
Head – average (Maximum three cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to three mm ring and thin partial layer
Lacing fair – partial rings of tiny bubbles
Body – light brown, opaque
Flavor – woody, hint of cherry; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, soft carbonation

An easy drinking, enjoyable beer – can either be quaffed and savored or slammed down, an excellent use of Michigan (I hope) cherries. I would definitely purchase this again!

Appearance – 4.25, Aroma 4.5, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.25

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle into a Surly teku. Shared with schen9303.

Super funky. Hints of barnyard, tart cherry juice, acetone and bathroom cleaner. Aromatic but strange. Flavor is peppercorn, cherry juice and pit, cobwebs, peat, wet wood and Brett funk. A foamy bitterness in the end. Dry and aggressive in the mouth and goes down dry with a filmy, sparkling finish.

A solid beer overall but you have to know what to expect. A fruited funk bomb. Not sour but good complexity and a nice feel.

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Photo of Faroveryonder
2.61/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This was not what I expected. Hopefully I had a bad bottle for the beers sake. It was a nice rose red. Smelled of awful feet and was a gusher. Taste was unbearable. Drain poor

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Photo of stompilator
4.77/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip.

A - Pours a super cloudy amber, pillowy beige head.

S - Lacto, oak funk, cherries, dried plums.

T - A sharp, lactic sourness hits the tongue from the start, not unlike regular La Roja. However, the sharpness climaxes earlier than expected as a wave of sweet cherry flavor balances it out. The cherrylike flavors from the base beer and the kriek blur incredibly well, creating an incredible depth to the beer. Sherrylike oaky flavors become more present throughout the palate, and finishes with a moderate sourness.

M - Medium-full body, slightly drying from the sourness.

O - Took an already outstanding beer to another level.

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Photo of justinp444
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass it has a hazy amber with a half inch off white head. Smell of cherry, vinegar, floral, olive juice?, and bread. Taste is tart cherry, cranberry, slight vinegar, green apple, lemon, slight slight oak, and earth. Mouth feel is moderate as well as body. Too much vinegar and off flavors, maybe I just got a bad one.

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Photo of metter98
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is relatively clear reddish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short head that quickly died down, leaving a collar around the edge and some lacing on the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sour cherries are present in the nose along with some hints of oak.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of sour cherries and notes of oak, but without any of the vanilla flavors that you might normally expect. No sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and quite tart on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very sour and tart, but the cherry flavors lend a little complexity.

Note: Blend 2, Bottled 4/8/2015
Serving type: bottle

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Photo of dar482
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer offers tart cherries, candy pitted fruits, a medium tart quality and medium body along with the beer. Funk qualities come out as well as the beer has a theme of cherry juice and candy flavors. The barrel slightly dry out the beer.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; blend 2, bottled 4/8/2015. Pours slightly hazy reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big sweet/tart cherry, cranberry, lemon, green apple, plum, red grape, brown sugar, toasted oak, peppercorn, light red wine vinegar, hay, straw, leather, musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, cherry juice, oak, and moderate malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big sweet/tart cherry, cranberry, lemon, green apple, plum, red grape, brown sugar, toasted oak, peppercorn, light red wine vinegar, hay, straw, leather, musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Moderate amount of fruity/earthy tartness and spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, cranberry, lemon, green apple, plum, red grape, brown sugar, toasted oak, peppercorn, light vinegar, leather, hay, straw, leather, musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, cherry juicy, oak, and moderate malt flavors; with a great malt/tartness/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately acidic/tannic mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome fruited sour red ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, cherry juice, oak, and moderate malt flavors; and very smooth to drink with the moderate acidity. This was pretty much identical in complexity to regular La Roja; but you get stronger sweet/tart cherry flavors, that are still well balanced with the rest of the beer. A highly enjoyable offering as expected.

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Photo of Moose90
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from 750ml bottle

A — Pours a reddish tinged dark amber hue into the glass, there is a billowy off-white colored head that forms and leaves a bit of spotty lacing around.

S — Smells incredibly fresh, vibrant, funky, tart, and juicy. Big sour cherry character comes through here in a great way, just fresh sour cherry, no unnecessary medicinal nonsense. Little bit of a dry oak balance as well.

T — Tastes much like the nose, though it is much more sour than anticipated, this thing really builds up to a huge sour punch, just fantastic. Great notes of fresh cherry, tart lacto, and sweet oak.

M — Dry, tart, puckering finish, long lasting finish.

O — Very very nice and much better than expected, this is a fantastic sour.

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Photo of champ103
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a cloudy, dark amber red color. A one finger white head forms, and recedes quickly with patchy lace.
S: The nose is exceptional. Tart cherry juice that is really vibrant. Then that great musty basement like funk with oak overflows from the glass. Love it.
T: At first the acidic and puckering sourness is to much. I really have to get acclimated to it, but once I do this opens up much better. Acidic and pithy cherries. Very juicy as I would expect. Big wood/oak flavors. Even some vanilla, and plenty of that Jolly Pumpkin, musty funky yeast.
M/O: A light to medium body that is effervescent. Champagne like carbonation. A bit pithy, and tannin like as well. With the acidic sourness, this is a slow sipper which takes its toll. Though once I get use to the sour intensity this is pretty enjoyable.

I was honestly hoping for this to be an actual Kriek, instead of just cherry juice added. Though it does work. Big cherry juiciness, big sourness, substantial oak and funk. Exactly as advertised, and a good one. Even if it does wear on me a little, still very enjoyable.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy garnet hue with a loose head that dissipates towards the edges leaving a soapy slick. Nose expresses tart cherries and medicinal notes. Taste consistent with nose - slightly acetic with medicinal notes somewhat reminiscent of cherry Sucrets and a light toasted oak quality. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a mild, even carbonation that leaves a slight pucker between quaffs. Overall, I thought this beer was quite good; however, I definitely see it becoming more vinegary with time - not something I would recommend for extended cellaring.

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Photo of cryptichead
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a really sour sour. A little too unsubtle in how sour this one is, while at the same time being slightly disappointing in the lack of cherries coming through in the flavor. Overall, still a pretty decent sour.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a cloudy, leathery reddish amber. Barely there head. Toasted malt, wood, lactic acid, cherries in the nose. Good sour amber base in the flavor. Very dry with a firm sourness in the finish. Cherry is subtle and really comes out in the aftertaste. Weight of the beer is moderate, with a relaxed carbonation. Acid stings the tongue. I enjoyed this, but I was let down a bit. I don't know. I kind of prefer the regular Roja.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Well done. Bright cherry tone, a bit of a sunset orange tone at the edges. Head that fades fairly quickly. Lots of tart cherry and a distinctive Jolly Pumpkin funk note that's herbal, dry, hay, white pepper. Moderate acidity but easy drinking.

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Photo of Tiernan
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy deep amber with a rusty red peeking through with the light.
Smells like sweet cherries and hibiscuis.
Tastes sweet upfront but gets more and more tart and funky as it hits the back of the tongue.
Mmmmm... cherries.

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Photo of Myotus
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured very gently due to the settling layer of yeast in the bottom of the 750ml bottle (Batch #2 - 08Apr15) into a tulip.
LOOK: Pours with a finger's worth of off-white foam that shrinks down to a line within 30 seconds. Rising bubbles hardly exist. Amber in color, but is the most hazy beer that I have seen so far. Lacing is as almost non-existent as the rising bubbles.
SMELL: Very strong sour yeast aromas immediately hit my nose. Beneath that overpowering aromas, lies strong earthy yeast and sour cherry aromas along with mild green apple and oak. This smells like a Flanders Red Ale, by the way. I swear there is a hint of cinnamon in there, too. Might be just me.
TASTE: Intial taste consists of strong sour yeast (they smell way stronger than they taste) and mild oak flavors. But hold up! The most delicious of sour cherry flavors enter instantaneously after the initial taste. These strong flavors dwarf the the sour yeast and oak, decreasing both of them in intensity. Two seconds after the cherry flavors dominate, mild earthy yeast and green apple flavors enter as all previous flavors persist. Now on to mouth feel... Just kidding! As you think the flavor symphony finishes, that hint of cinnamon enters the palate. This tastes like a Flanders Red Ale.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. Finish is extremely tart and dry. I really need water right now. The sourness somewhat agitates the tongue, but at this point after drinking so many sours, I don't think my opinion on sour feel would relate to any people who aren't accustomed to sours. But yeah, where's that water?
NOTE: This is listed as an American Wild Ale, but from my experience, this is a Flanders Red Ale. I treated it as such.

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Photo of larryi86
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle blend 2, 4/8/15, poured into a flute

A- A hazy red with a brown tint and a two finger off white head.

S- Sour, tart cherries, apples, lemons, earthy funk, oak, hints of vanilla.

T- Sour and sweet cherries, lemons, earthy funk, oak, hints of vanilla.

M- Smooth, crisp, light to medium body.

O- A nicely done sour, was hoping it would be more cherry forward. Jolly Pumpkin doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

While the Dexter brewers churn out some of the most clever, intriguing and quality sour example, there's little that they can do to top their La Roja. That's unless of course those classic Belgianesque cherries find their way into the acidic mix.

Beyond the hazy and toasted amber shades, its creamy and spritzy head cast a tangy scent that entice the nose with strong overtones of cherry, but also of a host of citrus, brine and musty tones. Its soft and toasty flavors are slight of fructose and savory crust before being quickly overtaken with sourness.

Its blossoming middle palate comes alive as vinous and earthy flavors outweigh any sweetness or maltiness, celebrating everything from crabapple, sour white grape, lime, lemon, and of course- tart cherries. Behind the fruit, there hides the dry crustiness that create its reddish hues, providing a backdrop of peanut skins, toast and pecan.

As sourness intensifies, the light-bodied ale dries to the bone before leaving behind a finish of cinnamon, rose wine, fresh-cracked peppercorn and the faintest medicinal note. Its earthy aftertaste showcases damp hay, saddle leather and weathered oak.

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Photo of barczar
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tart acetic aroma, with big cherry presence. Slightly acetone.

Flavor is acetic and lactic, with Pickering sourness balanced by cherry character and a slightly sweet toasted, caramel malt backbone. The cherry really carries through.

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La Roja Du Kriek from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
90 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.
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