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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Welcome to Fall Seasonals: A closer look at Jolly Pumpkin Fuego del Otono

It is time to launch into fall seasonals. This is actually our first go at these, last year's contribution was posted before the schedule had really been thought out. Our kickoff candidate is Jolly Pumpkin Fuego del Otono, Autumn Fire. Interestingly enough this actual beer is older than JGF having been bottled on October 7, 2011, Batch 899/900.

Since Jolly Pumpkin does not distribute to Virginia, I picked this up on the way home from vacation from Florida in August at Hop City in Atlanta, and it has been sitting vertically in the cool, dark of the cellar ever since.

This poured a hazy, burnt orange color, very reminiscent of autumn and falling leaves. It looks quite pleasing in the glass. It had a decent carbonation to it, but it had faded a bit with time. It should be foamy on the pour, but this dissipated very quickly on my model.
Jolly Pumpkin labels are some of my favorites!

On the first taste this beer roars at you with it's big tangy, tart taste, which covers up a lot of the nuance that exists in this beer. That is a reoccurring characteristic I have noticed in several Jolly Pumpkin beers I have sampled over the last few months but not quite as forward as this particular example. Once you get passed that though you can pick out the spice and the citrus. The chestnut aspect is there but it was very faint. I expected it to be a bit more upfront. It is the tanginess that rides strong throughout pushing other flavors rudely aside, finishing with a dry, flat, bitterness.

I don't know how long it was on the shelf and if it has been diminished by time and light. I would sure like to try it fresh instead of a year old. Bottom line is I will be trying this again with a more recently bottled example when I get the chance. It comes in at 6.1% ABV and would be great with sharp cheese.

Here is the "party line" on Jolly Pumpkin Fuego del Otono, Autumn Fire:
To catch a bit of soft radiance in each bottle, we wait for fall colors to begin their bright and fleeting glow before brewing this wonderful ale under their autumn fire. Gentle amber malt blend smooth caramel notes, gently lapping against a shore of distant forgotten spice. A beer to sip, contemplate and enjoy.

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