Jolly Pumpkin, the pride of Dexter, Michigan, crafts some of the nuanced, fascinating Belgian inspired, barrel and cask aged brews this side of the monasteries of Belgium. Who doesn’t love a great hop-forward imperial ipa or a rich, creamy, not too chocolate and coffee heavy stout? It’s possibly even better when the two varieties are combined, as Jolly Pumpkin does with this beer featuring a name you’ll never be able to memorize.
At 8.1 % it’s far from a soft beer, but surprisingly quaffable despite the sound of it being a stout AND an imperial ipa. You’ll certainly be a lot more cheery after this brew than the gargoyle on the bottle. I enjoyed this excellent oak barrel aged selection on draft at San Francisco’s excellent Belgian restaurant and bar La Trappe. Jolly Pumpkin’s beers are never easy to find on draft, so pounce when the opportunity arises. Here, the combination of stone fruit to the nose, some coffee in the taste, and a very enjoyable creamy structure provides the drinker with quite the experience. Chances are, there will be a lot more brews coming out attempting to resemble this taste sensation. Another excellent Belgian style offering from Jolly Pumpkin that could easily compete with the trappists in Belgium.