Jolly Pumpkin — Biere de Mars Grand Reserve

Biere de Mars is a seasonal release from Jolly Pumpkin.  The beer is brewed as 2 batches, one fermented with an ale yeast, the other with a lager, then blended together.  Ron Jeffries gives the run down in .  Some of it is aged longer, and released as this beer, the Grand Reserve.  Fortunately, my brother works in Ann Arbor, and is able to hit up the brewpub for these limited releases, and then gives them to me when we get together over the holidays.  This beer is from the 2011 release.

Appearance — low carbonation, clear, dark brown color.

Aroma — Malt sweetness at first, vanilla/oaky, with apple/apricot and mango.

Taste — sweet at the front, with a raisin, caramel malt flavor at first, some vanilla and oak, and finishes with a nice tart, lactic tang.   Fairly thin on the body.

Critique — like most JP beers, I really like it.  The nose is fantastic, and these fruit esters I have not noticed before in JP beers.  My first reaction was that the fruitiness was from Simcoe, it has that similar quality, but this beer is almost 10 months old, and I think it is more likely from the ale yeast.  WLP 023?  I know their primary yeast is WLP 550, so it makes sense the other yeasts would also be from White Labs.   This is just a total shot in the dark, but hey, it is fun to guess.  Anyway, it is a very nice beer, and I will seek this out again, and I will have to look around for the regular Biere de Mars in a few months.

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