Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jolly Pumpkin Luciernaga - The Firefly

I've come to love the beers of Jolly Pumpkin over the last year or so. Prior to that, they were not distributed to CT and they never made the cut when I travelled to bottle shops outside of CT. They make artisan ales bottled in beautiful 750 ml bottles. All of their beers defy conventional styles, though most of them can be placed broadly in the Belgian family of styles. Many of them have sour notes, but usually not overwhelmingly so. Complexity is the key with Jolly Pumpkin beers and I usually spend a long time drinking each bottle.

I purchased my bottle of Luciernaga at my favorite bottle shop in Hartford County, Manchester Wine & Liquors, which probably deserves its own post sometime. At the time I had just randomly selected two bottles that I hadn't tried before, unaware of what either was exactly. Last week I was browsing beeradvocate and came across Luciernaga and thought about how much I would like to try it and also that I didn't remember seeing it in CT stores. It was a pleasant surprise when I looked in my fridge that night and realized that not only do stores carry it, I had a bottle in my fridge!

Here are the technical details direct from the brewery:

Luciernaga "The Firefly" – An artisan pale ale brewed in the Grand Cru tradition. Enjoy its golden effervescence and gentle hop aroma. Coriander and Grains of Paradise round out the spicy palate, melting o so softly into a silken finish of hoppiness and bliss! Make any season a celebration!

Seasonal released in June 6.5% Alc./Vol.750ml bottles - 12 case

Tasting notes:

Pours an orange-y amber with a thick white head. The nose is filled with a tart brettiness and a spicy note, most likely from the coriander the bottle advertises. The taste is incredibly complex. The first impression is a wonderful brett tartness that never crosses the line to sour. The tartness melds into a spiciness full of coriander and the more traditional yeastiness. As these flavors sit in your mouth, they quickly begin to wrap around the tongue as you experience an almost bracing dryness leaving your taste buds feeling drained. This beer has so much going on, it's really something you need to take time to ponder. It's truly a style-defying beer and at 6.5% it won't leave you completely wasted. Very, very recommended.

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