Review: Jolly Pumpkin La Roja

Jolly Pumpkin is one of my favorite breweries.  I would drink it more often if not for the prohibitive cost.  Obviously their sours can not compare to Cantillon or Drie Fonteinen, but they are no joke either.  This beer is a Flanders Red, which is not supposed to be as cloyingly sour as a kriek, gueuze or lambic.  JP refers to this beer as an "Artisan Amber Ale Aged in Oak Barrels."  The bacteria and yeast are added to the barrel and then aged for awhile, at a certain point in time, multiple barrels are blended and then bottled individually.

This beer is a beautiful dark red color.  I poured it into my Leffe chalice, and a small, quickly dissipating head.  The smell is very complex and inviting, and has the typical vinegary (in a good way) smell that you expect in a "sour" beer.  Taste is equally complex.  Not extremely sour, but the funky Jolly Pumpkin essence is there.  The dark ruddy red colour so typical of Flanders Reds like Rodenbach is my favorite aspect of this beer.  It is 7.5% alcohol, and as such is not a beer you want to pound.  I sipped it over an hour while watching the Colbert Report and Daily Show.  Great beer for a Thursday night.

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