Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial

The Maracaibo Especial is a spicy special brown ale brewed by Jolly Pumpkin in Dexter, Michigan. The small brewery specializes in using open fermentation, oak aging and bottle conditioning to create some seriously awesome brews. I sat down with this one and enjoyed myself quite a bit:

The Maracaibo Especial with the always sweet artwork pours from the 750ml bottle a deep, murky crimson color with hints of brown as well. A creamy, bubbly khaki head appears and leaves some splotchy lacing on the side of the glass. Looks good to me! Aromas begin with rich caramel and chocolate tones along with a dark baked bread. There's a nice spiciness that's a bit peppery with hints of cinammon along with loads of dark fruitiness. Earthy yeast and mellow woody notes collide. The real cacao really shines through here. Quite enjoyable.

First sip brings a sweet melding of caramelly, brown sugar and mellow cacao. Spicy cinammon and light peppery flavors meld in with a side of baked bread. Big fruity esters run wild all over the place mid palate. Yeasty along with a flash of dry woodiness as the brew flows down the mouth. It finishes with a lingering cacao and a sweet fruitiness as well. I haven't had too many dubbels to compare this to, but it's a damn tasty beer!

Mouthfeel is good with a slight creaminess and smoothness from the laid back carbonation. Being not overly heavy it makes it quite easy to drink and each sip has me coming back for more. I think I could drink this damn near all day! Another winner from Capt. Spooky and JP. Easily one of my favorite Michigan breweries..check this out if given the opportunity! Kudos to marburg for the treat.

Overall I gave this brew a 4.3 out of 5. Tasty stuff.

Vist Jolly Pumpkin online by surfing over to www.jollypumpkin.com