Bambic | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

very good
204 Ratings
no score
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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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Ratings: 204 |  Reviews: 102
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 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 drink1121
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a wine glass

A- Hazy, pale straw with a creamy white head all the way down with sticky lacing

S- Funky. Sweet malt with melon, light strawberry, sour apple and lemon. Buttery, vanilla oak in the background.

T- Sweet but not overly sweet. Tart apples and citrus. The taste isn't nearly as complex as the smell. It kind of dies out a bit.

M- great creaminess and good consistency

D- I could drink this alll night. This is one beer that I would prefer a bomber of

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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 SpdKilz
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First of all, a huge thanks to both sirotan and GuruDel for hooking me up with a couple bottles of this amazing beer from JP. Thanks again and cheers!

Second of all, I just do not understand why the Chicago crowd (I'm from Chicago...) absolutely ripped this a new one. I understand everyone is entitled to their own opinions but something doesn't add up here...oh well, not my problem.

Split with my brother-in-law in memory of my grandfather. We miss and love you!

Appearance - Pours into a Ladyface Tulip with a hazy golden straw color. About a finger of fizzy white head is achieved with a careful pour (read this may be a gusher - no such case here - perfect amount of carbonation). The head dissipates slowly and leaves nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Damn is that a potent aroma. More funk than I can remember in most JP beers, lactic sourness, slight wood (not so much rotting as others have mentioned), barnyard, wet hay, and some nice strawberry and banana aromas along with Belgian spice/yeast.

Taste - Thankfully similar to the nose. Acidic and nice tartness up front. More tart than any JP beers I can think of off the top of my head (that I've tried). More so lemon and green apple peel tart flavors emerge as the beer warms, the typical and even more so than average barnyard funk midway through, and finishes dry and spicy with a hint of vanilla and oak.

Mouthfeel - Lighter bodied, decent carbonation, finishes a hint dry.

Drinkability - Immensely so. One of my favorite JP beers. I find it different than the "normal" line up of JP beers which makes it so intriguing to me...because it IS out of the ordinary of their typical beer. Absolutely can't wait to have this again and am SO thankful to my fellow BA's for hooking me up with this beer. Downright tasty.

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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 fastpass17
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Mike!
Blend 1, Bottled 12/1/10

A: Cloudy in appearance, golden yellow in color, white head lasts the drink.

S: Funk followed slight horse blanket comes through first followed by banana, spice, vanilla and, oak.

T: Creamy malt sweetness, mixed fruit, followed by a nice sour, lemon zesty tartness, the drink finish with vanilla.

M,D: Very refreshing in the mouth, it cleanses the palate. Please make more of this it is delicious.

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Photo of Spider889
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review from notes, I was inspired to finally post this up after the recent thread concerning the beer. A decent number of people are hating on this beer for some reason, time to get up a good review of it.

Purchased at the Crosswoods Winking Lizard. Batch 1, bottled on 12/01/10.

Served in a traditional squat JP 330ml bottle. Love the label.

Pours a hazy copper orange rind color, with a small grayish head. The gray color certainly lends to the feeling that is is an old blend of oak aged lambic. I like it. The head slowly recedes to a powdering floating at the top. Not much lace.

Smells immediately of gueuze upon opening the bottle (before I even began pouring). Lots of dry hay and attic dust in there, with some fruitier Belgian yeast peppering the aroma here and there.

The taste is acidic, with a tart funkiness (I wouldn't say outright sour, though this is only 30% lambic). There's some mild sweetness. I got some apple skins and dank, but not quite wet, oak.

Fairly light bodied, higher carbonation for the style.

This was really drinkable, one of the best offerings at Winking Lizard this year so far (bottle or tap imo). I'd be buying this constantly if it weren't for the $10 price tag.

Finally, I think it is important to note the style, it's a wild ale, not a lambic. Just because there's lambic in it, some people seem to be expecting a sour bomb. If you consider the beer on its own merits, it's a very successful blend of two great beers.

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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 Bay01
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had out of Duvel style bottle bought from the brewery

A: Straw yellow with about one finger creamy head that sticks around

S: Smells fruity, barnyard, and a little acedic

T: I think this has a great balance of fruity belgiany esters and sourness. The sourness is definitely noticable but is not overpowering. Delicious

M: Good carbonation, not sticky or over or undercarbonated.

D: Very drinkable for a beer blended with lambic, wish I could have gotten more of these.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Birra del Borgo tulip. Big thanks to Dan for opening this one up, and for hosting the incredible tasting!

A: Cloudy yellow-orange body with a thin, creamy white head. Persistent cap and spotty lace. Ok.

S: Big, intense attack of cleanly acidic funk. Lemon zest, barnyard, and tart apples. Excellent.

T: Starts out with a wave of spicy, intense sourness, but then dies away in light fruity sweetness. Not as complex as the nose promised, as the funk doesn't really join the straight sour fruit. Zero aftertaste, which is weird. Nothing unpleasant at all, and what's there is extremely tasty, just a little lacking.

M: Light, lively body with low carbonation.

D: Very easy to drink - too easy.

Notes: This reminded me a lot of Perseguidor 5 in the lack of coordination between an aroma and flavor. Both beers smell amazing, but then just die on the palate. P5 died a lot harder, though, and I greatly preferred Bambic. Maybe Lambicus Dexterius doesn't fade away on the finish - maybe.


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Photo of Jesse13713
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Blend 1 - Bottled 12-01-10

Appearance - Pours a cloudy, mystical and sickly orange. Less than half a finger of head presents itself and then dissipates into an acidic foam. Fairly average lacing here. This looks like some kind of potion.

Smell - Definitely the most sour Jolly Pumpkin I've smelled. The tart smell overpowers the hints of light malts. A very lemon-like smell with granny-smith apple present as well. Very funky smelling.

Taste - The most acidic tasting beer I've ever tasted. This tastes like it has ten freshly squeezed lemons in it. Very tart and bitter. The aftertaste gives me that slight chest burn I get from drinking straight lemon juice. It is very refreshing, however. And there are multiple layers of taste that are slighly difficult to unmask. A slight yeast undertone with light malts. As in the smell, reminds me of some sort of magic elixir.

Drinkability - Mouthfeel - Very carbonated and sour. A nice bitter mouthfeel thats acidity becomes almost unbearable as I hold it in my mouth. A very addictive beer that quenches my thirst.

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Photo of nickd717
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, big thanks to Ryan011235 for this.

Hazy golden in color with a small bu lasting off-white head.

Nice wild aroma, lambic-like, funky, oaky, and lemony. I like it.

The flavor is big on the lemon with considerable -bal notes, oak and bourbon. Some barnyard funk.

Medium body with less sourness than i expected, but hey, sourness is overrated. Mostly hype if you ask me.

Pretty solid beer overall.

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Photo of miketd
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle purchased at Winking Lizard. Blend 1, bottled on 12-1-10. Pours copper with a small head. Big lemon aroma with a touch of barnyard and Belgian yeast. Flavor is really lemony with some tart funk and a crisp finish. This beer is awesome and extremely drinkable. Not as bracingly sour as Lambicus and a bit more interesting than Bam... the best of both. I see a lot of negative reviews here, and I guess if you're not a sour fan I can see the point. But if you like sours, this is a really good beer... although the price is fairly insane.

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Photo of WhyBeNormal
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just in case you didn't know, Bambic is a blend of JP's Saison-style Bam Bière and batches 2 & 4 of their Gueuze-style Lambicus Dexterius. And Lambicus Dexterius itself is a blend of 4, 3.5, and 2 year old 100% spontaneously fermented Lambic-style wild ales.

Had at a certain restaurant ... hmm, I'll be damned if I can remember where ... :p

Bambic has a citrusy/zesty spice ester sweetness to it, with a lactic sourness, bit of musty funk (especially along the side palate), and some earthy spiciness. Really really fucking good.

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Photo of backfat
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super bowl tasting. We had quite a few tasty brews this night. I did not expect for people to bring out such heavy hitters for a random tasting. Awesome night and this by far was the highlight. A big Thanks to a great BA, TurdFurgison for this treat.

The pour is a muddled honey yellow, hazy and fizzed. No gushing. whew, I was a bit worried about this. The reviews of this beer have been all over the place, and I have noticed a pattern that the negative reviews and warnings of this beer being bad often coincided with gushers. Great lace and nice retention.

The aroma is dominated by sour hay. Mint, brett, and funky, funky, FUNK!, sour apples, vinegar, and pear. It is quite spicy and herbal. This beer smells amazing. I often would catch people smelling the empty bottle long after the beer was gone.

Stingily sour. sharp, acidic, bright, and tart, full of lemon and lime zest and topped off with about 14 pounds of lovely bleu cheese. Mineral and malt as it warms. The only flaw is that the lemon characteristic (that I find in a lot of JP beers) becomes a bit overwhelming as this beer gets up to room temp. Nothing terrible, just slightly astringent and mouth puckering.

Carbonation was nice, appropriate, and noticeable.
This was the beer of the night for me. I want more.

I have noticed ever since I began reviewing again that I have become a bit of a hater rater. not to say that I have been purposely rating low, but I tend to stop and really think about each score before I give it. I have definitely been following a C average guideline and not cutting too much slack when it comes to composing my opinions on beer. It was hard to find flaws in this particular case. I hope the bottle you get is delicious as this one, cheers!

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was cautious about opening a gusher so I chilled this one down in my freezer before opening. JP dregs going back into suspension can sometimes mess up a beer. Especially something delicate like this.

Opaque/murky golden body with a fluffy white head. Great lacing sticks to the sides.

I can already smell this funky beast as I'm pouring it. First whiff I get that amazing horsey funk I found in Lambicus. Acidity, wheat flour and an herbal/earthy note to round out the nose.

This beer has a dry/bitter brett flavor (maybe also picking up on some hopping) that cuts through the vinegary sourness that is left to slightly burn the back of your throat. Gorgonzola cheese, gum base, fresh flowers, and extremely dry on the finish. So dry that it makes you salivate. Green apple, vinegar and sweet tarts really start to open up as it warms.

If you don't like JP's funk then this beer isn't for you since it dominates the flavor. This is like all the funk of something you'd expect from a big american wild but packed into something you could session which is sort of what Bam Biere was.

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Photo of Dan3279
3.12/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I made a special trip over to the Winking Lizzard in Mentor to give this brew a try. I can see both sides of the hype and hate for the brew. This beer definatly isn't for everyone.

Personally I didn't hate the beer but at the same time I wasn't crazy about it either. I liked the appearance poured into the glass and I liked the fruity smell. On the other hand the beer itself was extremely too sour and tart. When taking small sips of the beer it wasn't too overwhelming but taking a normal drink/gulp it was too over powering.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.77/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the cafe last night. I killed the keg and Lindsey, the sexy dreaded waitress, was as kind as could be about it.

A slightly hazy yellow, sitting next to a fresh Bam Biere is is noticeably different. A tart aroma with hints of work booty leather and foot. The beer came in a strait sided pint glass with no head but it still smells strong.

Taste is great, tart and fruity. It slides down with an oily texture and a light carbonation cutting the aftertaste down to a mild funk and sour. Awesome all around, a super great brew from JP.

I think of this more as a tart wild ale built for speed, made for consumption. I wouldn't save a 12 oz bottle for three years and sip with my pinky out. I would pour it by the pint with friends, eat truffle fries and wonder about the girls with the big dreadlocks.

Jolly Pumpkin- Will you be my girl?

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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 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 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 AgentZero
2.31/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Big thanks(?) to TurdFurgison for dropping by Chi-town and lugging this seemingly new whale with him.

A - We have a 330 ml fat bottle gusher! That was a bit strange. Hazy/cloudy golden yellow color with a bit of lacing. Not beautiful, but above average.

T - This beer stinks of rotten apple cores with brett, a bit of hay, and a seeming indecision on whether or not it is a saison or a sour. There is some barynard funk, but it smells more like moldy hay than cozy farm.

T - I have no idea why people have been trying to get this. It tastes a saisony sour that has had it's tart notes removed and replaced with rotting (not good) apples. It tastes of rot (which is funk gone bad) and a bad sweetness that reminds me a little bit of trash. I don't know what this beer is trying to accomplish, although I do get some brett taste gone bad here. This is not good. Some rind and citrus come through on the back end, but aren't enough to save it. Slight bitterness on the end that sitcks out and doesn't blend with the rest of the beer.

M - Fairly crisp, decent carbonation, a slight stickyness.

D - No. I don't like this beer (and I mean bordering on hate here) and can't bring myself to drink it again.

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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 jale
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the release at J.P.

A: Pours a hazy yellow-gold with three inches of white head.

S: tart lemon. a little earth and some oak. Nice brett funkiness.

T: Slightly sweet citrus fruit, and little oak. Mild brett sourness. Not as sour as expected.

M: Great carbonation.

D: One is enough

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