Bambic | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

very good
102 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 204
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.

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Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Matt. 64 oz growler.

Appearance: Hazy amber with no head, very little visible carbonation.

Smell: Quite a bit of funk on this. Fruity acetic notes, lactic sourness, rotting wood and soil. Strawberry and sour peach fruitiness.

Taste & mouthfeel: Mildly sour, but quite funky. Juicy acetic strawberry notes, lighter lactic sourness. Great backbone of oak and funk. Little white wine vinegar, a touch of acetone. Almost no carbonation. Finishes tannic, almost spicy. Pretty nice stuff, highly quaffable.

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Photo of emerge077
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Dave for busting out this 750, it's been on the radar for awhile!
Review from written notes.

Into a small tulip glass it pours a peachy opaque orange, a wispy skim across the surface after it settles down relatively quickly to other JP beers. Spotty lace all around the glass.

Acidic, tart fruits, lychee, passion fruit, grapefruit. Lactic tartness alternating with a slight natural fruit sweetness later on as it warms.

Pink grapefruit, peach, lychee... the fruity tropical citrus flavors dominate. Intensely fruity, tart, and dry. Tannic oak dries out the finish, cidery with a slight stickiness on the lips. Effervescent and lush with juicy fruit flavors. I could easily drink this all day and would never tire of it. Super fruit forward, not intensely sour, and very quenching. What's not to like?

Note to Jolly Pumpkin: Please put this into regular distribution! TIA

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear bright golden color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of tart and sour notes is quite pleasant. Taste is a very nice mix between some tart notes with some sourness and some medium barnyard notes. Acidity is quite low and sourness level is maybe more present then in the usual JP beers. Body is about average with good carbonation. Another well brewed beer though not necessarily my favourite from this brewer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of ChrisPro in Blind BIF #4. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a bright golden color. Single-finger white head with some spotty lacing. Nose is quite acidic with a bit of funk. Good way to end this BIF. Nice funkiness and a touch of light lactic presence. Some tart lemons in there as well. Also a faint hint of dry wheat. The flavor is quite nice with a bit of lemon juice and remind plus some very mild funk alongside of a good lactic presence. The feel is pretty light with low carbonation and some pretty good acidity. No real funk there. Drinkability is quite good as well. Really nice example of the style.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into my New Belgium globe. Received in the birthday BIF from MbpBugeye; thanks Seth! This one looks pretty cool and was brewed for the Winking Lizard's 25th Anniversary. Bottled on 12/01/10, consumed on 03/06/11. Was a tiny bit of a gusher when I popped the cap, but I had a glass ready so didn't lose any beer.

a - Pours a hazy orange yellow color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for two to three minutes with an inch hanging around for the whole drink. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass as well.

s - Smells of funky, tart fruits, tart lemon, oak, grassy notes, vinegar/acedic notes, and that barnyard funk that JP beers have. Smells really funky and tart; smells amazing.

t - Tastes of tart lemons, barnyard funk, oak, spice, yeast, and some lactic notes. Nice and enjoyable, but a major step down from the noser. It was still tart, but not nearly as tart as it smelled.

m - Medium body and high carbonation.

d - Overall I thought this was a very good beer from Jolly Pompkin. I think the highlight of the beer was the smell. It was very tart and sour, which I loved. While the taste was very good, it was nowhere near as sour/tart as the smell. Would like to have this one again sometime.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to hannydawg for generously cracking this bottle!

Blend 2, bottled 3/15/11. Heard good things about this guy and thought I'd never really see one. Imagine my surprise... Anyway, it pours a cloudy pale straw topped by a finger of relatively short-lived off-white foam. The nose comprises sour white grapes, white vinegar, sour lemon, Brett, and a sort of buttery caramel in the back. The taste holds notes of tart lemon, tart orange, light white vinegar, tart pineapple, and a decent amount of wheat, which vainly tries to cut the tartness (though it does provide a nice bit of variation on the tongue). The body is a rather light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a dry, sticky finish. Overall, a very enjoyable brew, one that showcases a lush garden of tart fruits. Good times.

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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.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TurdFurgison for sharing. A blend of Bam Biere and Lambicus Dexterius - what could go wrong?

A - We have a gusher! Pours with a finger of foam that dissipates to a thin cap and thick collar, leaving behind splotches of lace. Hazy blonde body.

S - Lots of orange citrus, oak, vanilla, spicy wood, black pepper, and some floral notes. As it warms up more funky brett comes out.

T - Taste is more smoothed out, with citrus pulp, unmalted grain, spicy wood. It's a little bit bland actually.

M - The feel is my least favorite thing about this beer. Grainy and extremely tannic medium-light body, with medium-low carbonation.

D - It goes down easy enough, but it's not particularly exciting. I didn't dislike this, but I wouldn't go out of my way to try it again. I think I prefer Lambicus and Bam Bière on their own.

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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.

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Photo of aasher
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Major props to my buddy Matt for bringing me three of these from Cleveland. He picked it up from the Cleveland Heights Winking Lizard. This beer pours a muddied Purdue gold (awesome by the way) with a funky looking, lumpy off white head which laced the glass. It looks beautiful. It smells great too. It smells of dry cider, pears, hibiscus, and lactic acid. It's sharp and pungent when it hits the nose. The flavor it top notch as well. It reminds me of a stronger tasting Fleur (the way it's drinking some 8 months after bottling). It's floral, acidic, full of granny smith apples and has a sour that is near perfect, not too light and not too sour. This beer melts in your mouth. That's the easiest way of saying it but it drinks light and just dissolves into your palate. It doesn't leave you squirming with the aftertaste and leaves you wanting more. I don't know why the last couple of reviews have been so negative. This beer is excellent. I'm looking forward to trying this after I sit on it for a couple years.

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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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Bottle thanks to Ed (OHLRangers). Poured into a Lost Abbey Patron Sinner glass. Blend 1 (Bottled on 12/01/2010).

A: The cap opens with a vicious hiss and foam begins a slow ascent. Without further delay, I pour. The beer is hazy yellowish orange with a fizzy white cap that quickly recedes. A little scattered lacing is left on the sides of the glass and a small lingering froth is visible.

S: A light barnyard mustiness accompanies wet leather, oak, and cheese. I detect lemon, Chardonnay, apricot, apple, and peach, with an upper moderate tartness. All aspects exist in balance.

T: Upper moderate tartness with a moderate citric acidity. Somewhat brackish. Oak is drying on the palate. Funk is earthy and musty. Fruit notes are of lemon (primarily), apple, and peach. There's a light lactic sourness. The finish exhibits an increase in citric acidity with lingering lemon and oak. The oak quality reminds me of Chardonnay.

M: Dry, lightly tannic, and spritzy. Light in body with high carbonation.

Overall: A well rounded and enjoyable sour. Highly drinkable. Recommended.

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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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.61/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Blend 1, Bottled 12-01-10 on the back. Thanks to bay01 for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a cloudy golden orange color that produced a beautiful white fluffy head with superb retention behind it. Lots of lacing once it finally started to dissipate.

(S)- A bone dry earthy funk with hints at an acidic lemon, grapefruit, and white grape fruit background.

(T)- Similar to the smell in some ways. A superb sour and acidic bite up front mixed with a brett-heavy earthy funk and super tart lemon and grapefruit notes. Finishes bone dry too with more acidity.

(M)- A nice crisp carbonation level with a great balance of flavors: sour, fruits, and funk. Lots of clay-like earth with the brett aspect really drives this home with the heavy acidity.

(D)- One of Jolly Pumpkins best beers I have had to date in my opinion. A great wild ale with everything you could and should expect from the style. A great sour kick and brett-funk driven beer.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle, Blend 2, bottled 3-15-2011. Served in a Unibroue tulip glass, the beer pours a cloudy gold color with about a half inch white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is lemon and orange peel, white grapes, tart apples, funk and oak. The taste is similar to the aroma, the brew tastes like lemon peel, funk, oak, bready malt, white grapes and light tropical fruit. It's somewhat tart, but the tartness isn't very strong and it doesn't linger around for long in the finish, either. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and creamy with good carbonation. I think it's a decent brew, but I was hoping the tartness would have a little more kick to it. Hopefully it will get better with age, but right now there's nothing that impresses me about this beer. I expected more from Jolly Pumpkin with this brew. For $8.99 a bottle, my money could have been spent on something better. It's still worth a try if you're never had it before.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.51/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The hype train can stop, sanity has arrived, thanks again, Chicago. Eric has some nerve bringing this all the way to Chicago for us! Just playing ninja, thanks a ton for this! 330ml bottle poured into a tulip at our dinner tasting...This is a gusher, beware. Pours a medium gold, good looking. The head has some good retention, a great cap forms, strong lacing...The aroma is pedestrian, the typical Jolly Pumpkin starter kit yeast with oak. This is very musky with lots of lemons, lemony brett. This isn't bad, just familiar, nothing new...The taste is just down right terrible, its harsh and chemical and very hard to drink. Lemons, black pepper, oak, and the always welcome notes of cleaning solvent. This is well below average, a wild ale that you should not even bother tasting.


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Photo of TurdFurgison
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Squat fat bottle, purchased at the Winking Lizard in Lakewood for $10 and opened at an impromptu tasting in Chicago. Surprisingly this little bottle was a gusher, I guess I've never seen that in a tiny bottle before.

It pours a pale golden color, murky and cloudy, with a big poof (no surprise with the gushing). Mild bret notes, VERY mild, a somewhat muted Belgian Pale Ale character overall. Only 30% lambic from what I read, 70% Bam, but really the Bam dominates the nose and taste for me.

The taste didn't do it for me, not sour at all, just a little funky, and worst of all a strong bitterness that marred the aftertaste. I was pretty let down, I love a few from the JP line-up but not this one. I think "Lambam" would be a more interesting concept (70% Lambicus and 30% Bam), but possibly that would result in much lower yield.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz stubby bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. "Blend 1" Bottled 12-01-10.

Generositywolf77 strikes again!

A - GUSHER! All the sediment was stirred up resulting in a cloudy golden brew topped, briefly, by a white head. Nice lace adorns the glass.

S - Awesome barnyard nose of horse-blanket and wild yeast. Lambic aroma with lactic sourness and complimentary Brett additions too. Tart acid sourness is inviting and mouthwatering as low fruit hints linger in the back and give it some depth.

T - A weird second-hand cigarette smoke thing hit me for a millisecond on my first sip. Odd. Sweet pale malts fall to the back with a sharp Brett and lactic acid combination funk to the flavor. Barnyard city!

M - Crisp and brisk carbonation is refreshing with a smooth light-medium body and a gorgeous tart sour acidity to the finish.

D - Great drinkability for a wild that could go down like a potent, funky session ale. Very nice brew!

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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.

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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.

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Bambic from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.97 out of 5 based on 204 ratings.
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