SevenPack Beer Blog
Ben - August 24, 2008

Jolly Pumpkin “Bam” Farmhouse Ale

Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere LabelYou folks may have noticed that I reviewed the E.S. Bam a couple of weeks ago. For those of you who want to be privy to acronyms, that E.S. stands for “Extra Special” – in the case of the E.S. Bam, that meant more hops and more malt than the original Bam. So, tonight, I’m basically drinking the less ‘special’ version of that same farmhouse ale.

The pour of the Bam is a fairly light and medium cloudy golden color with a very persistent stark white head made up of tons of dense bubbles, leaving streaks of spiderwebbing all down the sides of the glass. The aroma of this beer is super sour with lots of citrus, giving us a nice burn in the nose. There is also a reasonable amount of malt presence here, lending this a slight sweetness in the scent. In the mouth, this beer is again super sour. It has some lemony tints and just a hint of sweetness, all the while making you pucker up from that sour blast. This has a lot in common with the flavor of one of those sour lemon candies, except that the sweetness isn’t nearly as pronounced. And, sadly, I kinda wish it was. To me, this beer leans a bit too strongly on the primary distinguishing feature of a saison – the sourness. This certainly has sourness in spades, but it forgets a bit about the drinkability and appeal of the beer. If one really wants to know what makes a saison a saison, then this beer would be a good lesson by virtue of it’s sheer sourness. However, if one is looking for a saison that will be tasty, refreshing, and make you want to keep drinking, then I don’t think this is the one. Just a bit more of a malt backbone would balance the citric sourness and perhaps make this a very drinkable beer. However, this omission instead makes this beer a bit harsh and a tough beer for me to recommend. I know that Jolly Pumpkin makes a great beer, and I don’t think they did something they didn’t mean to do here – they are consistently fastidious with their beers, and I’m sure this is just how Jolly Pumpkin wanted this to taste. However, to my tastebuds, it isn’t too high on my Farmhouse Ale Scale.