Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales - Noel de Calabaza [2015 Vintage]
- ABV: 9%
- Serving Temperature: 48–55° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Chalice, Snifter, or Pinot Glass
We love watching this beer develop over time—and many, many moons ago we featured it fresh as one of our Rare Beer Club featured selections. As our members likely know by now, we’re pretty tight with Ron and the crew over at Jolly Pumpkin, and we were given the unique opportunity to pick our favorite vintage to highlight in this special offer. The 2015 vintage is NdC at its finest: an intriguing balance of bright acidity and deft spicing, and even with significantly older vintages on the table—the 2015 is this beer at its best.
This pours deep, hazy brown with golden edges, a modest tan head atop things. The aroma of this vintage kept us coming back: an intricate mix of floral notes and botanicals, notes of fresh mint to cracked black pepper, and a lean channel of citrusy acidity that keeps this with a streamlined feel overall. It’s mouthwatering, refreshing, and perfect beside that roasted turkey.
Jolly Pumpkin’s beers develop so much over time, and it’s often a challenge of the dedicated cellarperson to figure out exactly when each release is hitting its proper stride. This one just expanded in a massive way for us, bringing in notes of fresh red apple and cinnamon on one hand, tart lemons and a hint of grapefruit rind on the other. A subtle edging of oak lines just about everything still: firm and almond-tinged in its impact, lightly toasty, and with a notable tannic edge keeping things right in line. Bright red fruit and acidity; refreshing, funky, citrus.
We think this is drinking perfectly right now, arguably the best balance of citrusy tartness and delicate spice in the spectrum, but don’t be afraid to set some bottles aside if you’re looking for more acidity. Evidence suggests this will get nice and tart with an additional year. There’s a fruity and peppery edge here that conjures dessert pairings of cheesecake or entree pairings of roasted turkey or pork. It’s quite dry at this point—definitely on the more versatile side.
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