Saturday, January 26, 2008

Belgian Style - New and Old - Jolly Pumpkin and St. Bernardus

Onto my third Jolly Pumpkin beer in the last month or so. This one is named Luciérnaga, The Firefly. It is a Belgian Pale Ale brewed with coriander and grains of paradise, and of course, aged in wood barrels. The foam threatens to take over your kitchen if you're not careful while pouring, but if you are gives a nice smooth rocky head. The smell is a little fruity, a little funky, and as it warms up gives off some banana. The taste is earthy, slightly tart, and has this unique old wood sort of taste to it that is common to all the JP brews that I've had. An interesting Belgian pale ale, and pretty good. 4.2 / A-.

I can't say I've had the original St. Bernardus Witbier before, so I can't compare this specially released Pierre Celis Signature St. Bernardus Wit to it, but it stands alone as pretty great by itself. It pours a beautiful pale pale gold with a light, airy, webby head. The smell is mainly tart wheat and the taste has a lot of that too. In addition I can taste a lot of lemon with moderate acidity. As far as thirst quenching goes, I'm not sure how a witbier can get any better than this. 4.75 / A+.

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