Jolly Pumpkin Cask-Conditioned Porter

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Dexter, Michigan
Cask-conditioned Porter
?? % ABV
Cask into tulip glass

Jolly Pumpkin recently opened a trendy new restaurant and taproom in Ann Arbor. They’ve taught their waiters just enough beer lingo to sound foolish. On my last visit, my server enthusiastically described his favorite beer on the line-up as “Christmas-y”. The beer was called Bam Noël. Another server called the stout “dark” and the IPA “bitter.” Thanks for the heads up.

Sometimes the servers’ descriptors pass from obvious to inaccurate. As a result, I’m not sure what I drank the other night; my server described it as “a cask-conditioned ale made from a dark porter fused with a light porter and finished (of course) with cranberry.” Maybe I’m the ignorant one, since I don’t know what it means to fuse two beers, I’ve never seen a light porter (unless you count a brown ale), and there wasn’t the slightest hint of cranberry in this beer. Server chatter aside, this was a damn good beer.

It was served relatively warm with only a small amount of head. As a Jolly Pumkin waiter would say, it had a good, solid, porter-y smell. There was a lot of chocolate in the smell and taste, as well as some burnt raisin. There was a surprising juniper aftertaste. Overall, a lot of low, wonderful notes. The fine bubbles added a voluptuous mouth sensation. It was really, really good. I think you would have loved it.


~ by nininja on January 2, 2010.

5 Responses to “Jolly Pumpkin Cask-Conditioned Porter”

  1. perhaps it would have shown more clarity if served on a gently and naturally arched wooden plank.

    but glad to hear the beer outshines its official descriptions. i liked it too.

  2. I remember that about the Jolly Pumpkin waiter! When we had lunch there he was so attentive as to be creepy…

  3. Ah. Got there last night. Liked the food, bored/horrified by the beer. At overrated Jolly Pumpkin we tasted Bam Biere and Diabolical IPA and both were mehh. We were fortunate that the Olympic games were being broadcast at this high-end sports bar when we were there. Our waitron’s interest was turned to women’s curling–Denmark vs Canada–rather than to giving us nonexplantory explanations of the beer. Or “biere”, since JP is, um:
    Pretentious and artisanal?
    Said waitron did try to explain to us the rules of curling, which looked like assisted shuffleboard. “They push that thing to the circle, and the sweepers go for it in a major way.”

    An important note: any brewing institution that has *Artisan Ales* in ts name has got a lot of explaining to do, and not just explaining their manatee ale (!) as having been “brewed with chestnuts, tapioca, sorghum, agave nectar and loads of the freshest hops money can buy.” That’s just disgusting.

  4. […] to give it the benefit of the doubt…again and again. The wordy waiters I complained about before were not a problem last night; when I ordered a pitcher of Bog Beast, I was told absolutely nothing […]

  5. B.D., You should return it to them as the even more bacteria-rich brew you turned it into. Too many decent breweries here to let this one trick us into thinking it’s not just Arcadia or Grizzly Peak in fancier clothes.

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