Known for producing rustic, unfiltered and unpasteurized beers, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, was founded in Dexter, Michigan in 2004 by Ron Jeffries, AKA Brewmaster Spooky, AKA Captain Ron. The name Jolly Pumpkin was one in a long list of possibilities, but it was the one Jeffries kept coming back to because it made him laugh. "Jolly Pumpkin" also embodies some of his favorite things: Halloween, pirates, and the tropics.Jolly Pumpkin takes great care in maturing their beers. Each brew is fermented in open air tanks and aged in oak casks. The beers are then further matured in the bottle with the addition of more yeast, also known as bottle re-fermentation. This process creates a beer that ages extremely well as the yeast continue to consume the sugars in the bottle, changing flavors, producing alcohol and causing natural carbonation.
As part of the Baudelaire Series, named after the French poet, iO Saison is one in a limited series of beers in collaboration with graphic designer Adam Forman. The original plan was to release the beers along with a graphic novel, but the project has since been put on hold. But that doesn't make iO Saison any less delicious. Brewed with rose hips, rose petals and hibiscus, iO pours hazy and darker than expected with a subtle pink tint. The nose is of tart, sour berries, pineapple and is slightly floral. The flavor is not as tart as the aroma would lead you to believe. iO tastes dry like champagne and has a soft rose mouthfeel.
Translating to "The Firefly," Luciérnaga pours a hazy golden orange with a quickly dissipating head of fine carbonation. The smell is woody with hints of mint and tea. The sour flavor that is present is more lactic than fruity. Luciérnaga has a subtle, woody taste all around.
True to its name, La Roja is a red amber in color and has very fine carbonation with almost no head. Aromas of woody oak, vanilla and hints of alcohol are present. The flavor follows the nose and is very oaky and full-bodied with a hard cider finish. Very earthy in smell and taste.
Despite its name, Bam Noire pours slightly lighter than expected, closer to a walnut brown than the "noire" as advertised. Also present is a small head and fine lacing. Smelling sweetly of chocolate and charred wood, the taste is light and malty. Overall, a pleasant flavor but a little thin.
Fuego del Otoño translates to "Autunm Fire" and true to its name pours a hazy burnt, golden color. Smelling of mint, spice and slightly of tobacco, the taste follows the nose and is minty with a citrusy lemon finish.
Translating to "Dark Dawn," Madrugada Obscura pours nearly black with beautiful dark bubbles. Smelling sweetly of alcohol, cherries, molasses and chocolate, the flavor is reminiscent of Mexican chocolate, bitter with a hint of spice at the end.