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Bambic | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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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 Ryan011235
3.37/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 12/29/11

Blend 1; Bottled 12/01/10

Lazy-eyed golden sunset in color. Lots of clinging and rising bubbles. A fizzy, bubbling head dissipates and compresses to about 1/4th inch layer. Good retention for the style. Minimal lace is scattered about, never managing to hold much.

Tangy and funky aromas jolt the nose; haven't had one of these in a while but both attributes seem more prominent than when fresh. Perhaps the damp barrel notions are picking up steam? Notes of rain-drenched lemon grass and overly ripe, fermenting tart apple. Suggestions of stinky cheese. Calmer fruit esters and mild yeast spices linger underneath. The aroma opens up to reveal a rather clean bouquet. Very nice.

One sip is telling - quite sour and tart with a moderate funk presence. Cheese, cobweb, scathingly sour apple, termite-augered oak, barnyard hay and straw. The finish is dry and has all sorts of barnyard recollections drifting to and fro. The flavors seem much more aggressive than when I had a fresh bottle earlier this year - it had a cleaner, lemon and grass flavor. Thankfully the sour lessens over time (or as my palate acclimates); at this point musty barrels take hold.

The feel is light, edging into watery, but a resilient crispness-in-spite-of the-funkiness keeps the body from dipping too low in the deep end. Carbonation kicks too much upfront, what with the sourness and all, but simmers over time.

Bambic is a decent enough beer, but I don't know as that I'm on board with [what was, at the time] the fuss and price of entry. Plus, I liked it better fresh. I reckon I'll factor in a few of my recollections to give it the benefit of the doubt. Regardless, it isn't bad.

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

Blend 2, bottle from schwaeh, thanks Steve.

Live review poured into my Ephemere tulip.

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow, small white head, leaves little lacing, settled into a small cap. Some small yeast particles floating about. Not bad.

S: Sour, funk, and oak dominate. Light lemon, cracker like dry malt behind the main notes. Slightly floral. Very nice.

T: Taste follows the aroma. A little cheesy funk and powdery yeast thrown in. Dry finish. Lightly puckering, but not nearly as bad as some I've had.

M: Lightly carbonated, lighter body, thin on the palate, sucks the moisture out of your mouth on the finish.

O: Not a bad sour. Actually, pretty good. I'd drink it again. Price and availability might hurt that though.

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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 billshmeinke
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Generously shared by Bman1113VR.

Poured into a wine glass. Pours a clear honey golden. One finger of frothy white head. Lacing and retention are both quite good.

The nose is tart and fruity with hints of oaky tannins. White grape, plumbs, and figs come to mind. Rustic funk characteristics and oak.

Taste follows smell. Lots of white grape, funk, light horse blanket, licht acetic and lactic sourness, finishes with nice round oaky notes.

Mouthfeel is light and spritzy. Mid range tartness. Finish is quite clean consisting mostly of a mild funkiness.

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

Batch 1 and Batch 2 tasted side by side. Thanks to readbaron for bringing the batch 1 over. Reviews are an average of the two.

Appearance: The pour is a golden yellow color with a small white froth on top. Decent retention and a bit of lace down the glass.

Smell: The aroma has light biscuity malt up front, with a light lemon zest and grapefruit rind. A bit of perfume haunts the aroma of the batch 2.

Taste: The flavor is fairly sour from start to finish, a kind of smooth and consistent flavor. Lemon juice and grapefruit zest bring out the sour, with a lasting crackery malt with a bit of spice. The finish has some perfume in batch 2 that I don't really care for.

Mouthfeel: Slightly tart, acidic, and acetic, which leaves my mouth salivating with some residue behind. The carbonation is mostly creamy, with a light to medium body.

Overall: The batch 1 is clearly better than batch 2. Whether it is the 4 months of age or a different blend that makes it better I don't know, but batch 1 was way better.

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Photo of hippityhops85
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Blend 2 Bottled 3-15-2011. Poured into my Russian River -tion glass.

Pours an every-so-slightly hazy orange/tangerine with absolutely no head. Minimal active carbonation seen in the glass. Nice looking.

The nose has tons of oak, funk, and acidic armoas. Total funkiness and barnyard going on here. The oak is pretty dominating as well.

The taste is full of funk, oak, lactic acid, and a slight butteriness on the end palate. The flavor does die pretty quickly after a sip. Take your tums with this one.

The mouth feel is quite prickly and relatively thin bodied. Very refreshing.

I'm very happy to have tried this brew and would love to taste it again with a few years on it.

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Photo of Caterwaul
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nearly opaque peachy orange. Looks very pretty in my flute glass(I really oughtta get a tulip glass one of these days…).

S: Faint. I’m getting some citrus(grapefruit stands out) and funk, but not too much else.

T/M: Sweet, sour, and vinous with lots of citrus and tropical fruit, particularly grapefruit, lemon, passion fruit, and pineapple. Finishes with bitter pink grapefruit and oaky funk. Dry as a bone.

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Photo of KAP1356
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found some bottles at the Winking Lizard in Independence, OH when I was there for a wedding. From Blend 2, bottled 3/15/2011. Poured into a pint glass...

A - Poured a hazy, pale golden-yellow color. A big, billowy white head forms about 2.5 fingers thick. Retention is quite good.

S - Funky, musty, old basement smell. The horse blanket smell is certainly there. Fruity as well with lemon zest, orange and some oak. A slight cheese like quality is also there.

T - Funky, musty brett right up front. Cheese rind flavors mixed with bright fruit flavors of lemon zest, orange and some grapefruit. Really nice earthiness to the flavor which adds nicely. Dry finish with that awesome musty blanket aftertaste.

M - Light to medium bodied beer; more ofa lighter medium to me. Moderate cabonation giving it a nice bite. Dry finish providing a nice tart and acidic feel.

O - I was pretty stoked to randomly come upon this beer. It was worth trying as well. Pretty standard wild that I could enjoy again for sure.

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Photo of PorterLover83
3.04/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this bottle from my wifes friend. Reads blend 2 bottled on 3-15-2011. Pours a faint yellow with some pretty good lacing. Smells like wine. Kinda sourish smell that follows with the taste. Bitter aftertaste that has a little grapefruit taste to it. Not a bad beer. I'm not really a fan of these types of beers but ill pick one up every once in awhile.

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

Blend 1. 12oz bottle from the overly generous AleWatcher. Huge thanks for this one Jeff!

A- Hazy golden color with a finger of tight white head. The foam subsides quickly to a small ring around the outside of the glass. Decent lacing.

S- Heavy barnyard funk and citrus. Acidic lemon shines through waves of wet horse blanket and musty hay.

T- Mirrors the nose as it opens with big notes of barnyard funk. Wet earth and damp straw give way to tart, acidic lemon which imparts a mild puckering effect. There's a bit of oak in here, as well. The finish is dry and clean with a bit of tartness which doesn't linger.

M- The body is medium to light with a nice fizzy leel of carbonation.

O- I enjoyed this one. A nicely tart, funky brew that's easy drinking and refreshing. I'd have it again given the chance.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2 and batch 1. Pour a lightly hazed gold, b1 was a bit darker. Nose is barn-heavy, lightly hopped, Lambicus really comes out as it opens with that manure, urine, super funky quality. Flavor lightly bitter, raw, grainy, fairly bretty, a good amount of that wicked Lambicus funk. Batch 1 is more integrated and pungent. Decent.

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Photo of shortbus7
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A hazy yellowish orange. Can not see through it. No head formed upon pour.

S: Lemon, sour, tart, and barn yard.

T: Loads of lemon and grapefruit. Quite sour. Much better than the smell.

M: Tart and tangy.

O: A decent sour, nothing to seek out but definitely worth trying at least once.

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Photo of alexgash
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle. Blend 1, bottled 12-1-10.

Mostly cloudy, brassy orange body. Three fingers of whipped, meringue-like head. Great lacing up the side of the tulip. Lots of horse blanket on the nose. Acidic citrus (tart orange and lemon), a hint of vinegar, and a little cheesy funk.

Bright, tart, acidic citrus flavors up front. Grapefruit rind is prominent. Faint tropical fruit sweetness can't do much to cover up the tart acidity. Light horse blanket and wild funky notes. Finish is dry, with lots of lingering grapefruit. Moderate body, with a slightly oily feel, before the dryer finish. Very appetizing and refreshingly bright and tart. Another winner from JP!

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

Blend 2, Bottled 3-15-2011. Poured into a tulip.

4.0 A: Hazed yellowish brown color. Three fingers of dense white froth. Retention is good and plenty of semi-regular lacing is left behind.

4.0 S: Musty basement, horsey musk, bleu cheese, peach, orange rind, and lemon. More funky than acidic, but there is some tanginess from the lactic acid. No acetic acid. Oak and some vanilla. Straw and neutral wheatiness.

4.0 T: Musty and musky again and lots of it. The brett contributes much to this. Again, bleu cheese with peach and lemony fruitiness. There's a lot more oak in the taste and there's a moderate tannic astringency as well. Vanilla is mild, though very detectable. Tangy peachy lactic acid and no acetic acid. The pucker factor on this is extremely low. Wet straw and wheat.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation that is lightly spritzy. Light creaminess and very smooth.

4.0 D: I think this is pretty solid. Good flavors and a good mouthfeel. Nothing really impresses me, but I'll drink this again.

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Photo of Florida9
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blend 2

A: Slightly cloudy pastel-like yellow. Forms a thin patchy surface coating of head.

S: Strongly acidic: vinegar and lemon.

T: Unsurprisingly sour. Lemon, white wine vinegar, and unripe pineapple. There is a moderate bitterness and particular dry, grassy quality on the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium. Appropriate carbonation. Rather acidic.

O: A very sour beer. Rather tart and acidic. Drinkability is a bit tough for those of us who don't do sours on a regular basis.

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

Blend 2- bottled 3/15/11

A: Pours a light yellow color, almost like a yellow jolly rancher. The pour yields a dense 1 finger white head. This has some heavy carbonation. Some light lacing.

S: Smells phenomenal, like very tart lemons just bursting with wild yeast. I'm very surprised at how much this smells like a lambic and not so much Bam. This is as wild as any lambic I've smelled before. The aroma is very soft while remaining fresh, vibrant, and funky.

T: Ok, I get more Bam here but the lambic still plays an important role. It starts off with some nice tart lemon, green apple/pear, stinky cheese, and sweat sock funk. The finish is the snappy dry finish that Bam Biere provides from all of that brettanomyces. Some sourness washes over the back of my tongue for a brief moment. Although the finish is very abrupt a fair amount of funkiness remains in your mouth afterwards.

M: Very dry, Very highly carbonated.

O: A good case of aroma over flavor but overall this wins out anyway. I wish they were a little more generous with the amount of lambic used in this, I would hate to see the price then but it would really benefit this brew. This is a nice beer for people that enjoy Jolly Pumpkin, it really has their signature flavor.

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Photo of Wadsey
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours lightly hazy pale gold with a white creamy head that is diminutive for a Jolly Pumpkin beer. Wild effervescence. Good foamy streamers stuck to glass. 

S: Lactic acid, musty basement, barnyard, and popcorn, a note I've found before in a seven-year-old Cantillon Gueuze.  I detect additional aromas of cheese rind, freshly cut oak, lemons, and a hint of butter. 

T:  Not as complicated as smell, but all characteristics are present, but if in different proportions. Lactic acid and lemons seem stronger than brettanomyces and its countrymen. Additional flavors include black pepper and spices. 

M: Medium-light body and medium-heavy carbonation. Lively mouthfeel, which works well with taste. 

O: If memory serves, Bambic has earned a B+ on Beeradvocate, meaning it is terrible. I agree with the rating, meaning it is very good. 

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

330ml bottle---Blend 2 (bottled 3/15/11). Poured into my Rodenbach snifter.

Pours cloudy straw color with an inch of white head. Fairly standard for the style.

Smells of some straw, white wine, slight funk

Taste is pleasant. Slightly tart but nowhere near puckering. Some lemon, dry white wine, orange peel towards the end. Not actually that funky on the tongue and I don't get much oak bitterness. Actually backs off flavor-wise on the end.

Carbonation is medium, not bad. Fairly smooth actually. If you like more tart and mouth-drying, this is not your sour.

Overall glad I was able to try this and pick several up; Had been wanting to try this for a while.

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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 rye726
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another great sour from jolly pumpkin. Not sure on nthe price for this one. I believe around $8 for the 333ml bottle. Enjoyed in a snifter. Nice blend of sour and funky flavors here. Comes off a bit dull, but still pretty drinkable. Nice refreshing sour.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was shared by funkydelic with beeruser, StayWhatYouAre2, 67couple, others, and myself at a recent tasting graciously hosted by beeruser! Blend 1! Bottle 12-01-10! 330 mL bottle. Served from bottle into a Duvel Parra tulip. Poured golden yellow with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, massive funk, tart cherry, sour, and pineapple. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, big funk, and citrus. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. Did I really just get pineapple on the nose of this one and citrus in the flavor!? Nice... The nose on this one was excellent as was the flavor. Everything on this brew worked really well together at complimenting each other and not leaving any component 'out to dry'. A must try for any sour fan out there that has not done so already...

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

Blend 1

A - Pours light gold with a slight haze. The fluffy white head tops out at just over an inch and sticks around for a minute or so before ending up as a respectable layer capping off the brew. Carbonation looks to be out of control at first but starts to die down after a while.

S - It's tart and fruity up front. Apple, lemon and pear come through nicely. Mustiness shows up midway and sticks around to the very end. Some hay and honey come and go toward the end.

T - Very fruity in the flavor as well. Mostly getting green apple with lemon and lime providing a mouth puckering backdrop. There is some funkiness but it seems to be muted in the flavor. Notes of grass and curing tobacco are both present. Could be some wood in there too but it's hard to pick out as oak. More fruit finishes it up - lemon and pear.

M - Lighter bodied with a very active carbonation. Finish is tart but doesn't hang on to the palate the way I like.

O - Overall this is a really good brew. The ample fruit notes work out well. I would have liked more on the tail end of the flavor but that's just a minor issue. I'd definitely have this brew again if given the chance. Just another good brew in a long line of good brews from the folks at Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Tyler for this 330ml bottle, Blend 1 bottled 12-1-10.

Pours a lively golden amber with the bubbles feeding a huge fluffy white head that recedes very slowly and leaves sheets of lacing on the sides.

Aroma is packed with tart citrus with lemons leading the way with plenty of acidic sourness and barnyard funk, though the brett seems to be a little less pronounced than the tart fruits and lactic acid. There is also a healthy dose of oaky tannins.

The taste starts with the same lemon notes and seems to have even more oak and barrel than the aroma. I'm also picking up some spiciness from the Bam Biere, some coriander and Belgian yeast. Very dry and spritzy finish.

Mouthfeel is lively and, as mentioned early, almost spritzy. Dry and not overly sour or funky.

I really enjoyed this beer and actually prefer it to Lambicus honestly. I know it's a completely different style, but this beer is very drinkable and I'm glad my bottle was good as it seems like there is some variability on this beer.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A couple bottles shared back from 6/25/11 notes. Have to say thanks to some random guy at Dark Lord day who left these beers in our cooler.

A: Looks nice, great hazy saison type look with a bright straw to gold color and some nice lacing. Ring of fluffy white head.

S: Very fresh tart farmhouse dirty yeast smell with some pear and citrus grapefruit rind notes in it. Almost a white wine grape smell too. Spicy farmhouse malt and maybe even some fresh basil.

T: Weaker taste than I expected from the smell but still there is a nice rush of wild yeast/brett and champagne grapes and some other ripe fruits. Touch of peppery grapefruit, maybe that basil flavor is also hidden in there. Just a bit tart.

M: Dry and crisp, pretty good carbonation. Nice feel at the back.

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Photo of markalansmall
4.85/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review of blend 1 & 2. Both from bottle to pint.

Blend 1 bottled 12/1/10 special oak aged sour ale for 25th anniversary of WLT.  11.2 oz bottle.  Appears hazy golden orange with large foam head that creates good lacing. Smell 38/40 hint of fruit lemon/lime, slight straw and oak. Taste 45/50 tart lemon/lime small hint of straw and oak but more of sweet-tart taste. I find it taste great. Mouthfeel 10/10 high co2, tart with strong dry finish. Total 93/100

Blend 2. Bottled 3/15/2011. Appears the same in looks. Maybe a slight bit mellow, but I wood score the same.

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