Monday, June 12, 2006

Jolly Pumpkin Fuego Del Otono - Autumn Fire

Ron Jeffries heads up Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, which is located in Dexter, Michigan. The small brewery specializes in Belgian style beers brewed with care in small batches. Using age old techniques of open fermentation, oak barrel aging and bottle conditioning, they produce beers that truly have a hand crafted feel. Due to these processes, the beers can have some variation from bottle to bottle, making it all the more exciting every time you pop the cap on a fresh bottle. They have recently began bottling the Calabaza Blanca and the Bam Biere in 12oz bottles, avaiable in six packs. The rest of their lineup can be found in 750ml bottles. Today I'm sampling the Fuego Del Otono, which falls into the realm of a Biere de Garde.

What could be better than a new bottle of Jolly Pumpkin on a Sunday evening?? The Fuego Del Otono pours from the 750ml bottle a deep auburn hue with a nice two finger cap of fluffly white foam that has great staying power. Aromas of toasty, mildly bready malts swimming in a sea of spiciness. Cloves, cinammon, chestnut and pepper come to mind. Sour fruitiness in the background, apple specifically. The final waft is yeasty with a touch of wood. Good stuff, albiet a bit on the subtle side.

First sip brings a sour fruity flavor upfront that is quickly met by a mix of spices. Cloves, pepper, cinammon and more I can't pick out. A very mellow sweet caramel alongside a touch of yeastiness. Faint nuttiness comes in as the brew finishes off with a touch of dry woodiness. Overall, a tasty brew but it just doesn't have the complexity of some of the other JP brews.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with plenty of fast moving bubbles that race across the tongue. Rather smooth and easy going, would make a good summer brew as well. An interesting brew to be had here, but not my favorite of the JP offerings. Still, I always seem to have an easy time downing these 750's and this one is no exception. Give it a try and decide for yourself! (Pairs well with some mild cheddar also.)

Overall I gave this beer a 4.1 out of 5. Quite a tasty one.

Check out more about Jolly Pumpkin by surfing over to


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