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La Parcela

Judges Rating: 
18 / 24
5 / 6
30 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

Another intriguing entry into the world of pumpkin beer, La Parcela, from Dexter, Michigan’s Jolly Pumpkin Artisanal Ales, deftly straddles the line between tradition and quirkiness. It blends pumpkin and spices with old school oak barrel aging. Rife with lush, sweet notes of plums and peaches, capped off with faintly smoky cinnamon, an admittedly complex nose seems to lack basic “beeriness.” While enjoying the rich custardy notes of banana and nectarine, Rick was a bit put off by a “detracting lactic sourness” wedged in among the beer’s other aromas. He likened the nose to “a dose of pumpkin pie spices without the pumpkin.” La Parcela fills the glass a hazy, yellowish-orange, topped by a towering head of dense, creamy off-white bubbles. Tim found the same spiciness tartness from the nose playing a key role in the flavor, yet he did find “earthy notes of squash and roasted pumpkin mid-palate.” He enjoyed the finish, describing it as “nutmeg, cloves and warm bread, reminiscent of pumpkin pie dough.” Pete found a touch more balance between malt and spices, but felt the “pervasive lactic sourness” muddled the flavors. Each of the judges felt the recipe was obviously well-conceived, but that La Parcela may have suffered from handling between the brew kettle and the time it hit the table. Worth seeking out as an accompaniment to desserts, La Parcel holds true to traditional roots yet still pushes style parameters enough to keep things interesting.