Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza

Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza

I hate the cold weather. And don’t give me that “if you don’t like the cold, move somewhere warm” garbage. My wife and I have family up here that we can’t move away from. It doesn’t change the fact that each time winter comes around I dislike it more than the previous year.

This morning it was 11 degrees when I walked the dog. At least 0 degrees with the wind-chill. When walking the dog (below) I get all bundled up to make sure I stay as warm as possible….I don’t care if my neighbors think I’m burglar/ninja.

You know what else pisses me off? Back zits. I’ve got one right now.

Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza

The only thing that will dull my bitterness this evening is a good Christmas beer. Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza came highly recommended, so I’m giving it a go.

Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza

At first I thought the beer had gone bad. It gushed a little bit on me and smelled sour. A short Google later and I felt dumb. It’s a Belgian strong ale that has sour characteristics.

Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza

Noel de Calabaza tastes like a sour plum to me. The sour, while completely noticeable, isn’t overpowering. This is probably a good thing given that I’m only starting to get into sour beers.

It’s also got a hint of spice, or possibly clove. Whatever I’m picking up is ever so subtle, mostly hidden by the sour flavors, and hard to describe.

Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza

This is tasty beer. The sour notes make the beer unique as far as my winter/Christmas beer experience has been over the last couple of years.

A good beer here – One I can’t fully appreciate or evaluate due to my inexperience with sours.

While I work on polishing off the bottle, Brady and I will be watching the Bruins.


Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.

6 thoughts on “Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza”

  1. Thanks for the review, I was curious about this beer. The Jolly Pumpkin beers can be very hit or miss for me, but I love when they hit cause delicious, slightly sour beers are hard to find.

    By the way, what’s your general sentiment about holiday season beers? A general fan or not a fan? We reviewed two over at FIWK today, the Affligem Noel and the St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, and both made me VERY glad it’s winter release season.

    Try to stay warm buddy… I am going to slink away now without mentioning how the weather has been in our SoCal winter…

    1. Royce:

      I’m a HUGE fan of the spicy winter warmers. Everything else labeled “winter” is just an excuse to put a seasonal label on a beer. Lots of good beers that fall into that category mind you. That’s just my personal opinion. I might review the St. Bernardus tonight!


  2. I think most Jolly Pumpkin beers have a sour note to them. That’s their thing. I’ve liked everything I’ve had from them so far, which is only a couple different beers.

    There are different levels of “sour” when it comes to beer. You’ve got your serious lambics and wild ales (like the Russian River sours) and then you’ve got beers that have some sour notes, like the Jolly Pumpkin beers or Orval. It’s a hint of funk a hint of tartness, but nothing that makes you pucker. And then there’s everything in between. Let me know if you want some recommendations to ease your way into them. Normally, I recommend jumping right in, but because of their price and how “offensive” some can be, it’s better to ease your way in. Sours are some of my favorite beers, though I don’t drink them often because they tend to be pricey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *