Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Special


Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial Special Brown Ale, Ale Brewed with Cacao and Spices, Brewed and Bottled by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Dexter, MI.

Appearance: Deep, dark brown, with a plummy tint. Large, light cocoa-tan head, looking good.

Aroma: Gorgeous! Cocoa and spice leap out in the nose, accompanied by special Belgian yeast character. Alcohol lurks below. A beautiful panoply of flavors brimming up, molasses, dark rum, dates, raisin, plum, …mmmm.

Taste: It's bigger, spicier, and boozier hitting the palate (though it's not terribly strong, at 7.5%), …I'm getting the feeling of a Belgian strong dark ale or a dubbel, with a lighter body than I'd expect from such an ale. Medium bodied, when I'm wanting fuller bodied, and richer. But you know what I've got to do? Turn around my expectations, and enjoy what I've got for what it is. And once that is done, I'm really liking this one. All those flavors in the nose arrive on the palate, and the dark fruit, cocoa, and spice…tasty, tasty stuff. Sweetness gets kicked out of bed when sour knocks on the door. Plenty of Belgian-style funk in here. Lots of deliciousness, lasts long in the mouth, spreading nothing but happiness.

Let's see what Maracaibo's label tells us… "A rich brown ale inspired by the enigmatic monastic brews of Belgium and the mysterious mist shrouded jungles of the tropics. Brewed with the real cacao and spiced with cinnamon and sweet orange peel for a sensual delight. A brew to be sipped, savored, and enjoyed!"
Well, I'm doing that. I still think it was a little short of "rich".

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