Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Fuego del Otoño – Bière de Garde at 6.1% ABV

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Fuego del Otoño Bière de Garde at 6.1% ABV (US$12.99 at Total Wines & More, Henderson NV, 750 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 1-Jun-2015, reviewed 15-Jan-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of fluffy ivory head, moderate retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: vinegar, oak, light berry and stone fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet and tart, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body tending light, moderate carbonation, dry tart and warming finish. (4/5)

Can’t say there’s a lot of chestnut character here, nor are the spices particularly emphatic. The fact that this is JP notwithstanding, given the name and the tag line (“Autumn Fire” and “Ale brewed with chestnuts & spices”) I was expecting something occupying a space somewhere between “pumpkin spice” and “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”. Instead, what I got was very much a (light, admittedly, yet decent) Flanders-style Brown/Red. As a Bière de Garde, it’s a bit of a “huh”? As a JP, it’s a bit more precisely what one might expect: a sour. Dunno that me cellaring it for a couple of years changed it, but in my defence, if it’s a “beer for keeping”, well, I done went and kept it, din’t I? Is it good? Sure. Great? Nah. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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