Name: Oro De Calabaza
Brewery: Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Dexter, Michigan
Style: Bière de Garde
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8.0%
First Brewed: 2004
Aptly named, Oro de Calabaza pours a pale gold in color. Reminiscent of champagne, a tingly effervescence dances in the mouth, emphasizing a pleasant, slightly sour apple and pear tang that is heightened by generous spicy and peppery aromas and flavors.
This is a big bottle. I like big bottles. That means more beer. A big bottle will produce nearly two pints for us… and depending on what type of day I have had, might be a good thing! Most of these beers come in big bottles. This weekend, Jake came over and we drank a few beers. He was saying that the bigger bottles, because it’s a single bottle, cost more on average. He’s right. I don’t get that… a 4- or 6-pack will have more beer and cost less. Go figure!
In the Glass: In the glass, it looks like a wheat. It’s thick, cloudy, and reminds me of a good German wheat beer. The head is also fluffy and white. I picture myself at a German bar drinking a German beer… eating a German sausage! (Not sure why this beer makes me think of sausage.)
Nose: I could smell this thing as I was pouring it out. It has a VERY strong nose. It smells like a mixture of booze, flowers, and a touch of citrus. Considering how it smelled when pouring it out of the bottle, it doesn’t smell that great in the glass.
Flavor: The flavor is intense. It’s got a ton of carbonation, and is almost sour. The beer is quick to hit the tongue, explode with the fruity flavors that you got in the nose, and then is gone as fast as it showed up. It doesn’t stick around, and the aftertaste (which we will get to) is very faint. It’s a good flavor though, and the carbonation doesn’t even make me think beer.
Mouthfeel: Did I say it was carbonated? It is. The book said it was compared to champagne. I have had some pretty bubbly champagne, but this is one of the most carbonated beers I have ever had. The entire tongue is slammed with bubbles, and even as you swallow you are left with that “bubble” flavor. It’s not a bad flavor, but the bubbles are the most important feature of this beer.
Aftertaste: What aftertaste? There really isn’t one. It’s faint, at best. Even the burp is weak compared to the flavors that are present when you swallow. I don’t really want an aftertaste though. I want to go back in for another drink!
The beer is good, and while the book tells me to compare it to a champagne, the bubbles aren’t that obvious. They are there, but not compared to the forced burp that a good glass of champagne will bring you. I do like the nose, and the florals just take over as you smell your way to a sip. I think this beer would taste better outside on a hot summer day. Bottoms up people!
Tonight, along with our beers, we are also munching on beer bread. I had a mix and decided to make it today. The beer we used in it was Negro Modelo – pretty much the only “regular” beer we had in the fridge. Ricky’s reply to that was that he thought the beer bread wasn’t necessarily meant to be made with good beer. Well… we don’t really ever have any “bad” beer in our fridge, so… there’s that. At any rate, the beer bread turned out pretty good and we are snacking on it along with our beers tonight.
This one was a big bottle. It poured out with a little bit of white head, and it’s a very lemony yellow beer. It almost reminds me of a lemon wheat, other than the fact that it has about a million tiny little bubbles in it. Yep, this beer is very carbonated, I can tell just by looking. It’s also got a lot of sediment (at least that’s what it looks like) floating around in it. Even though it looks like lemon, the smell is anything but. It actually has kind of a musty smell to it.
With the first taste, you can tell that the head, while not that thick, does not dissipate easily. It’s a thin head, but you can still taste it. And… wow, this beer is TART. That lemon look, while not there in the smell, is definitely present in the taste. It’s a very sour taste, not something I normally look for in my beer. Very different from the barleywine we just drank. I’m not sure exactly what I think of this beer. Not top of my list, but it might appeal to some. It’s like drinking a lemon Jolly Rancher, and to me tastes more like a malt beverage (did someone swap my beer with Mike’s Hard Lemonade?) than most beers. But it’s unique, I will give it that.
934 bottles of beer on the wall…