Bambic | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

very good
102 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
1560 bottles [330 ml]
180 bottles [750 ml]

Added by womencantsail on 01-25-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 204
Photo of cpetrone84
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pour is bright golden amber with a right white head. Nose is heavy brett, leather, dusty earthy. Notes of lacto and a touch acetic. Stinging carbonation, sour on the edges, light hint of lacto. Dusty brett, touch of acetic acid with some golden fruits finishing highly carbonated and earthy. Body is very light an refreshing.

 325 characters

Photo of rudzud
3.39/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Received this as an extra in a trade a long while ago. Blend 4, bottled 12/23/2011. This is Bam and a lambic blended.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice crystal clear golden hue with a thin one finger head that fades rather quickly to leave light wisps and a thin halo.

S - Aromas of old saison remnants combined with fun brett, tart and funky and taking a hay ride through an orchard. Liked the nose quite a bit until I gave it a hard swirl, then it became more "stale barnyard" old horse stall.

T - Taste is an insane amount of brett. I gotta agree with my man jegross2 on just about everything here. like sweat without the salt, loads of oak, super super funky. I do get a ton of yogurt aspect here though. I'm not sure if this would have been better fresh (I imagine it would have). The amount of yogurt/funky brett here is mind blowing.

M - Mouthfeel has pretty nice carbonation, crisp, light, clean, slightly tart.

O - What on earth happened here. I had been hesitant to open this over the past 2 years, wishing I had. This flavour profile may be amazing for some people, but for me its just waaaay too much aggressive brett.

 1,164 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blind BIF Beer #5

About this time we were hankering for an IPA, stout, barleywine. Something to mix things up from the sour barrage.

Weird 12oz bottle, similar to Green Flash, but this is not Green Flash.

It's sour. Feel the pain. Enjoy the pain.

Honestly, we were a little sour fatigued at this point. My already not very detailed notes became even less detailed.

Smell is old but not unpleasant. Taste is bland but not unpleasant.

I had absolutely no idea what this was, but as soon as the reveal was jolly pumpkin we saw the telltale jolly pumpkin signs we had missed.

 578 characters

Photo of jegross2
3.27/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Reviewing the beer Bambic from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales out of Dexter, Michigan.

Score: 80

Batch 4, bottled 12/23/2011. Consumed 05/07/13 using an Upland snifter. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange color with virtually no head. Minimal lacing, minimal retention. 3/5

Smell: The aroma is loaded with medicinal brett notes and yogurty funk. You know the smell of old wet wood that is left in the heat? There is some of that too mixed with spice and oak. The nose is certainly interesting, but I do not love it. 3.5/5

Taste: Tons of "sweat"-smelling funk in finish. Oak too. Substantially less yogurt quality, but more funk than the nose. Seriously, tons and tons of bretty funk here. Has a sharp, but not very strong, sharpness with a little lemon character. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: Light-plus bodied, minimal carbon. Decent tartness. Modestly dry. 3/5

Overall: A harsh, aggressively flavored funky beer. I see the flavor profile as polarizing, and its not something I prefer.

Cost: $10 for a 11.2 oz stubby bottle.

 1,043 characters

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

750ml bottle.

Hazy golden-yellow pour with a small bubbly white head that receded to a thin layer, leaving spots of lacing on the glass. Aroma was funky and tart, ripe orchard fruit, citrus, hay. Taste followed the smell, notes of lemon, green apple, wet hay, wood, a bit of an acetic bite bringing in a moderate sourness, general JP house taste, which I have no problem with. Not entirely unique, but definitely a good drinker. Medium body, crisp, prickly carbonation. Very enjoyable overall.

 494 characters

Photo of jeonseh
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75


A - Dark golden hazy beer with a small white head

S - Tart, white vinegar, lactic acid and oak. Really tart in the nose that makes you almost want to back off while smelling it

T - Tart vinegar with lactic acid but not as tart as it smells. Slightly metallic, lemon peel and a small amount of funk to it

MF - Light carbonation with a creamy mouthfeel overall.

O - Decent Lambic but not as good as the Belgians. Soft sourness to it but not much funk to it. I think this would be better if it was as tart as it smelled

 528 characters

Photo of homebrew311
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a cloudy pale yellow with minimal head and virtually no lacing. Not the most appetizing in appearance, but is not out of the realm for a Wild to look like this. The nose start with lactic acid, a bit of funk that I can't quite describe beyond using the word "funk", and some dank woody qualities. The taste is puckering up front with a big wave of acidity in the form of white grapes, tannins. This is followed by a gentle sweetness that makes for a nice refreshing balance. The carbonation is rather high with a medium body. This is a nice flavorful sour with plenty of character for the taste buds to enjoy.

 637 characters

Photo of axeman9182
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle, generously included by radio2525 in the Barrel Aged BIF. It was taken out of the fridge a bit early, and then poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Bambic pours a mostly hazy goldenrod, with minimal visibility through the glass. Maybe a finger of white foam crowns the beer, but it fades relatively quickly and quietly. The nose is almost gueuze-like, with wet hay centric funk and bright lemon acidity coming together and battling for aromatic supremacy. The flavor manages to add a bit of depth. That same wet hay brett character leads things off, before being interrupted by a somewhat sharp citric tartness. The finish has plenty of mellow oak, supported by a subtle flash of black pepper. The mouthfeel is pretty nice, with a well dried out body. The carbonation falls just short of being lively enough to be truly great though. I've enjoyed most of the beers I've had by Jolly Pumpkin, but Bambic has to be one of my favorites.

 950 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass -- 375 oz batch 1, courtesy of lurchingbeast. Thanks, Frank!

A: Pours a hazy golden-straw body with a pinky finger of off-white head.

S: Lemon tartness -- the first whiff suggests brett, but thereafter I only find sour and tart notes, so maybe it was just a temporary thing. Kaffir lime, green apples, oak, pepper.

T: The taste reveals more of the brett character that the nose dropped -- barnyard funk mixes well with kaffir lime and lemon tartness / sourness; oak, green apples, vanilla, pepper -- this reminds me a lot of Temptation. Sorry to compare Jolly Pumpkin to another brewery and rob it of the chance to establish its own identity, but this was my very first, and unshaken, thought regarding the beer: "early Temptation."

M: Light-medium-bodied; carbonation is on the low end, so it's not a perceived mouthfeel, just a genuine thin-ness. Not a deal-breaker, but it's worth noting.

O: Surprisingly good, especially after the Lambicus Dexterius earlier in the evening, which has faded out to nothingness.

 1,050 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a lightly hazy yellow color with a small white head. In the aroma, sweet peaches, sweet yeast, and a note of funky cheese. In the taste, sour peach skins, and just a touch acidic, but WOW, is this tasty! A sour bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dryer sour peach skin in the aftertaste. Sour all day, dry peach skins, and not too overly acidic.

 358 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perhaps mellow after 2 years but still the foamer. Dark brown, with initially lots of foam. Neutral aroma. A wild ale, some acidity, but not that sour. How shall I say it, dish soap soapy residue aftertaste? Good drinkability, though just OK. Thanks for the rarer one in these parts, Steve.

 290 characters

Photo of SalMineo
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ron Jeffries hit the nail on the head once again for this beer. I absolutely loved it.

Pour-Had that beautiful hazy clouded tinged yellowish golden color to it. It had a bit of nice white head on it. The carbonation was perfect.

Smell-Does anything smell as good as lambic that's been sitting for awhile and fermenting? I detected brett, lemon grass, citrus,spice and tropical fruits. Of course I usually received that beautiful punch in the nose aroma of sour funkiness mixed with Oak.

Taste-The most enjoyable part of this beer. Very acidic and enough tartness to make you want to pucker. I love it. I got some earthy notes from the taste as well as some tropical fruits citrus and lemon. Finishes with tartness that put Jolly Pumpkin on the map.

Mouthfeel-As always the case with his beers. The feel is very crisp. Full mouthfeel and a long finish.

Overall I loved this beer. Ron Jeffries really hit a home run with this beer. Excellent sour beer. It is true that it is a bit tamer than the traditional lambics such as Hansens and Drie Fontein or Cantillon but I don't it's meant to compete with those. I wish I could my hands on some more of this stuff. This beer to me is a perfect example of why Ron Jeffries can put along side Vinnie Cilurzo as the best sour brewers in the United States.

 1,303 characters

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

Hazed golden yellow

Very sour for jp. Lemon acidity. Lots of fruitiness. Kinda of funky and bretty. A slight medicinal flavor in the end. Solid.

Light bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends pretty clean.

Overall,  a very tasty offering. Very sour and funky. I dig this one.

Blend 2

 306 characters

Photo of Sean9689
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to jale!

A - Pours a yellow/orange color, white head, spotty lace.

S - Fruity sweetness, lactic tartness, light funk, and oak.

T - Sweet tarts, lactic tartness, buttery, funky, and oak. There's a nice pucker, but this wild isn't overly sour like Beatification. It's an easy-drinking wild and finishes tart and oaky.

M - Light body, refreshing, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - A nice wild that's very easy to drink and enjoyable. I was able to crush the 12oz bottle with little problem at all and I'm already looking forward to finishing off the 3 remaining bottles I have. Good stuff.

 611 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Brad. Beer is yellow and hazy with a soft white head of small bubbles. No lacing moderate retention, interesting beer.

Aroma is tart and sour with hints of brett and some lactic / acetic character.

Beer is light and sort of tastes like temptation, that is to say it tastes good. Beer has a nice finish. I'd have this again, a very agreeable sour.

 355 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

The beer appears straw yellow colored with 3/4" white head which leaves a thick sheet of sticky lacing slowly cascading down the snifter.

The aroma is delightful. Sour, funk, grass, lemons, lemon zest, pepper.

The flavor is equally enjoyable. Complex and well balanced. Loads of funk with a floral hop finish. Lemons and a hint of assorted citrus. Really drinkable. I would love to have more of this. One of the most delicious beers I have had from Jolly Pumpkin.

 499 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood II,

A: Pours a somewhat hazy gold with a medium white head, good head retention and lace.

S: Farmhouse funk, lemon zest, green apple peel, citrus.

T: Has a definite saison quality, white pepper, coriander, yeast with a lot of lemon. Some solid lactic character as well, nice mix of styles.

M: Light-bodied, crisp, easy drinking, refreshing, tart.

O: A quality wild ale, a hybrid of styles. Glad I got to try this one.

 442 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I cant get over the grape smell in the air around the freshly poured bottle. Cloudy yellow with a fizzy white head. Apple vinegar, and a harsh lactic sourness up front. Green grape skin and a nice touch of oak barrel. All of which are highly characteristic of Jolly Pumpkin brews. If it were Belgian, I would call it a gueuze.

Nice sour lactic presence, but nothing special. Maybe its more of a lambic. Slight acidic sour presence is there, but its not anything rediculous. Cantillon Classic type sourness, but mellowed out.

Feels almost spicy in its tartness. Different than other Belgian Brett infested beers, and its not a bad thing. Finish is dominated by that grape type flavor from the smell.

 701 characters

Photo of
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Jolly Pumpkin pub in Ann Arbor.

Served in straight sided tumbler, just like straight lambic would be served in a Brussels cafe. It pretty much tastes like straight lambic from Brussels, too. This is not an aggressive beer, it is gently sour and vinous, with flavors of white wine, lemon, green grapes, and a wheat-like softness. The subtle funk is very well-integrated and blends seemlessly with the other complex flavours.

 438 characters

Photo of Stigs
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pours with a very short lived loose, white film. settles to a thin ring. the beer is almost crystal clear, pale yellow in color...odd for a sour/wild.

S - nice mix of sour/funk, with prominent green apple, farm fields, lemon rind and a pleasant grassiness. smells very much Belgian and authentic.

T - begins with a flash of sweet, almost corny and wheaty malt flavors. turns towards slightly lactic sourness, bringing along some pear, green apple, and a slight funk.

M - lightly bodied with crisp carbonation. finishes extremely dry yet nicely balanced between sweet, sour, and funky. very well put together, thirst quenching, yet not overpowering in any way.

O - solid beer all around, very happy to have picked this up at an Ohio store recently. great balance, though nothing spectacular. would love to try again, if it can be found.

 845 characters

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

Another one from schwaeh, thanks man!

Bambic Winking Lizard, 25th Anniversary Oak Aged Sour Ale, Blend #2, 3/15/2011.

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Hazy gold, fizzy white head with surprisingly decent retention. Looks refreshing.

S: Tart sourness, lemon peel, touch of citrus rind, hints of apple cider vinegar & wet hay. Not much oak here.

T: Lemon, sour white wine, tart grapes, juicy tart fruit, and a bit of grassy funk. Again, having a tough time pulling out the oak.

MF: Tart medium-light mouthfeel, thinner body. Good carbonation.

O: Not the most puckering or tart, but right up my alley. Solid and drinkable, the best sour I've had. Thanks Steve!

 672 characters

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

bottle poured into tulip

Pours a hazy golden color with a frothy white head resting on top. Retains nicely with patches of lacing left along the glass.

Funky and tart in the nose with some hints of citrus. Straw and grassy hops with faint bitterness. Oak and lemon peel with some sourness.

Starts off with a saison-type funkiness and some slight tart hints. Oak with lemon peel and sour notes build up throughout the profile. Straw and horse blanket notes fill the senses. Finishes sour and dry.

Medium body, decent carbonation, pretty creamy and smooth on the tongue. A nicely done wild ale with some tasty sour and citrus notes.

 637 characters

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

Thanks, Derek!

The pour is a slightly cloudy golden color with a rather tall white head. A nice tartness on the nose. Plenty of lemony notes as well as a bit of peach and green apple. Some mild funk to it like straw and grass, too. The flavor has a touch of cereal sweetness, but otherwise it's mostly tart apple and lemon flavors with a little bit of grassy funk. The oak is subtle, but definitely there. A medium body with high carbonation and long finish.

 459 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the December iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Pours a pale orange with a white head. Aroma: diet Beatification. Flavor: diet Beatification. Enjoy the crippling sourness of Russian River’s gueuze-esque magnum opus with half the calories! Seriously though this is a less intense Beatification: lemon/unripe citrus sourness coupled with an arid dryness.

 380 characters

Photo of jcartamdg
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy gold color with a cloud like head. Aroma of funk and vinegar. Taste follows with sour pucker up front and funk in the back. Lighter than most wilds, easy to drink. I like this beer, it's not very complex but it's a nice beer. I'm glad I had the chance to try it.

 275 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bambic from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.97 out of 5 based on 204 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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