Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales - Lúpulo de Hielo

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales - Lúpulo de Hielo

Beer Club featured in Rare Beer Club

Style:

Oaked-Aged Spiced Sour Ale Blend

Country:

United States

Alcohol by Volume:

6.0% (approximate)

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales - Lúpulo de Hielo

  • Alcohol by Volume: 6.0% (approximate)
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Goblet or Tulip
Lúpulo de Hielo pours a hazy brassy amber color, topped with a luscious off white head. The aroma instantly pops with the snap of wild fermentation. Some say you can’t “smell” tartness, but we disagree—you can tell there’s going to be some acidity to this hoppy sour ale, just like you know by its scent that a lime is sour. In fact, there is a pretty clear note of lime emerging from this brew, which is a blend of a hoppy sour ale that was aged in oak for about a year, then blended with Jolly Pumpkin’s famed sour white, Calabaza Blanca. Brewed with cacao—must be chocolaty, right? At full warmth, you can just start to pick up notes of cacao in the midst of a fully opened floral bouquet, but not before the beer has really warmed up. Expect a slight creaminess, along with suggestions of ginger and honey, and, oh yes, hops. The hoppy notes don’t escape as cleanly as they would in a non-sour beer—the tartness weighs them down a bit, drenching some of the pine and mint notes in a heavy, funkified cloak. So, what will the sensation of bitter and sour be like? Let’s find out shall we. Smack—the palate takes a quick jab as the sourness instantly strikes. But there’s something more. Hoppy bitterness seems to quench the tartness rather quickly, giving more of an upfront flash of acidity rather than a lingering pucker-inducing character that we expected based on the initial impact. Our brains struggle to process what’s going on—taste buds are exploding on opposite regions of the tongue, trying to take it all in—what in nature tastes sour and bitter? Well, biting into an unpeeled lime—which most of us have learned one way or another not to do, as bitter AND sour tend to be an unpleasant collision of flavors. But brewer and master blender Ron Jeffries has somehow pulled off a tasty blend that works remarkably well. Notes of lime are prominent on the palate, both the citrusy character and the tartness. We don’t detect any prominent notes of pumpkin, per se, but keep in mind that real pumpkins are quite neutral in flavor. There’s a subtle melon-rind flavor (not unlike the green/white edges of a watermelon slice), which is the pumpkin’s influence pulling through (don’t expect the nutmeg or cinnamon spiced pumpkin pie flavors, however). Notes of oak are present as well, but not as woody as one might expect from a year in the barrel. They arise more in the form of a suggestion of dark cherries, and will pick up quite a bit once the beer has warmed. A bready backbone persists throughout the flavor profile, helping to ground things. Look for a subtle note of alcohol and bubblegum. Finishes with a white wine like acidity as the backdrop of minty, spruce- and pine-like hops melts atop a base of green tea. This beer is intense, but for all its unusual constituents (spices, pumpkin, cacao), these emerge in very subtle fashion. Lúpulo de Hielo will not crush you with its bite, nor gouge you with its claws, but like a tamed wild beast, you’ll be aware of them. Domesticated? No, that word implies a docility that isn’t quite accurate here. This beer is more like a well fed predator—you know it could crush you if you weren’t careful, or its belly not full. It allows you to partake, retaining its wildness. Respect this beer and enjoy this truly rare opportunity. The beer will hold up beyond a year for sure, but for maximum sourness impact, crack your bottles in under 8-months. If you enjoy the subtle candied character that develops in Jolly Pumpkin’s beers after deeper oxidation, check back in 12-to-18 months down the line.

And guys, remember to get yourselves a PSA test (ladies—get after your men to have a PSA test, especially if they are 40 or older). Many insurance policies don’t cover the test before a certain age (typically 50), but for a test that could save your life, the minor out of pocket cost is worth it. Shop around—many places offer testing in the $75 range, even without any insurance at all.
For the second year in a row, we at The Rare Beer Club are truly thrilled to bring you another one-of-a-kind beer brewed by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. Lúpulo de Hielo (or “ice hop”) is a one-off, single-batch brew which, once gone, will be gone forever, and, lucky you, membership in this club is just about the only way to get it (other than a couple cases at a Denver rare beer tasting, or a few cases and a lone keg onsite at Jolly Pumpkin locations in Michigan). But wait, there’s more! Proceeds from its sale support more than one good cause: prostate cancer awareness, and, craft-brewed beer. Clearly, as a member of the club, you regularly support and advocate for the latter. But this month you can add prostate cancer awareness to your philanthropy—and if you were a member last year when we ran our first benefit brew, Jolly Pumpkin’s Bière de Goord, you know this one’s sure to please. OK, time for a reality check: according to the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer will kill more than 33,500 men in America in 2011. Few people realize that there will be more than 200,000 prostate cancer cases diagnosed this year, or maybe even more alarmingly, that one out of six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Or the fact that prostate cancer is 33 percent more common in men than breast cancer is in women! But with early detection and proper treatment, prostate cancer has a survival rate of nearly 100 percent. Clearly, these sorts of statistics scream that awareness and early detection are critical—so why don’t more people pay attention? As a better beer fan, you may be familiar with the writings of Rick Lyke. As a respected drinks journalist, he’s written regularly for All About Beer magazine and contributes to various other publications, including DRAFT, on all things beer, wine and spirits. His blog, Lyke2Drink.com, is another great daily read—both fun and informative. Our friend Rick got a frightening reality check a few years back. At the urging of a good friend who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, Rick saw his primary care physician to get tested. The doc told him he didn’t need a PSA test until age 50 (he was 47) and since he presented with no symptoms and did not have an enlarged prostate, his doctor said there was simply no need for the blood test. Rick pressed to have it performed anyway, even though insurance wouldn’t cover it. That $75 test revealed that Rick had prostate cancer, but it was caught early, led Rick to have surgery, and saved the man’s life. It’s as simple as that folks. Realizing the general lack of awareness about prostate cancer, and the fact that guys typically avoid talking about their health, Rick created the Pints for Prostates campaign in 2008 to reach men through the universal language of beer with an important health message: silence on this issue is costing men their lives. Get aware, get talking, and if you’re 40 or older, get tested. As a nonprofit campaign, Pints for Prostates gets the word out in various online and print publications, and conducts various activities to fundraise for the Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, a 501(c)3 charity that works to support, educate and advocate for men with prostate cancer and their families. One of those activities was partnering with the renowned Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, The Rare Beer Club, and beer distributors/importers extraordinaire Shelton Brothers to create a rare, one-of-a-kind beer to be featured in The Rare Beer Club and in very limited quantities at a Denver Rare Beer Tasting this past September in honor of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. The beer features the Pints for Prostates logo on its label, which includes the blue ribbon to remind people of the ongoing search for a cure, and a donation of $1 from every 750 milliliter bottle of Lúpulo de Hielo sold will be made to the Pints for Prostates campaign through The Rare Beer Club. The recipe was developed by Jolly Pumpkin. President & Brewmaster Ron Jeffries has expressed his excitement at being involved in the project, and for the second year in a row has created a world class benefit beer that people are clamoring for. We couldn’t think of a better place to develop this intriguing recipe, where the alchemy of unusual ingredients, extended oak barrel aging and beer blending are deployed with an almost mystical excellence. Set foot inside Jolly Pumpkin’s small brewery and you’ll see this magic at work; not only will you find shiny brewing equipment, you’ll encounter row upon row of wooden barrels in which beer of various ages, blends and funk-levels is maturing. The brewery performs barrel aging on ALL of its beers. The time, labor and expense required to age every ounce of beer they make in traditional wooden barrels, is, some would say, madness. But it’s what breeds their awesome array of truly distinctive beers. Well, that and open fermentation, where the yeast are left to work their magic in a container that’s left wide open—instead of being inside a closed stainless steel tank. This means that any wild yeast floating about in the air can get into the beer and apply a bit of their own “natural funk” to the flavor of the beer. If brewing is a harnessing of nature, Jolly Pumpkin’s brand of beer making is the nth level. The results are truly something special—so we’ll let you get to it. Raise a glass of beer to your health and really mean it! Check out www.jollypumpkin.com for more information about this impressive little brewery from Michigan, including what’s behind their unusual name. Visit www.PintsForProstates.com to learn more about their important campaign and their ongoing activities (lots of good beer events to attend!). And do pay a visit to our partners in philanthropy, Shelton Brothers, who have donated their services to this effort. They’re distributing some of the best beers in the world and are playing an active role in improving the quality of beer available in the US today, regularly selecting rare beers and even sole survivors within traditional styles on the verge of extinction. www.sheltonbrothers.com.
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