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Jolly Roger Imperial Stout - Otto's Pub and Brewery

Not Rated.
Jolly Roger Imperial StoutJolly Roger Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

117 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 117
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 37
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Otto's Pub and Brewery visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ski271 on 06-20-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 117 | Reviews: 74 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, they didn't have this winner when we visited State College last summer. No worries, Captain Tom got me one between snowstorms, and sent it as..an extra. This smooth drinker was just what I needed this weekend. Pours black and thick, with good white head. The real think, one sip is a drinkable bitterness, the next a bit of roasted coffee, great malting integrated.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 02:44:17 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0


3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

12-05-2012 01:30:55 | More by t0rin0
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this bottle in a BIF sometime ago and just got around to trying it last night. I decided to split the bottle with my mother in law while we were hanging out last night. Nice pirate flag on the front, and this 22oz bomber was served at cellar temperature and poured into an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance - The pour was deep, dark, and black as night. Very thick looking liquid getting poured into the glass here. Just the slightest bit of light peaking in through the sides. A nice two finger high head of chocolate colored lace then rose up slowly out of the blackness. It reached its zenith and then sat there for a while, just kind of hanging out with a good amount of retention. Decent side glass lacing kept it looking very nice throughout.

Smell - The aroma was rich with a roasted malt, and mocha like smell. Lots of hints of chocolate in here, and this were already starting to come across very sweet. Some bitter hops could not be picked up as well, and it was really starting to get a nice deep profile to it. A good touch of bourbon like alcohol came through initially but was quickly drowned out.

Taste - The flavor was very full. A rich blend of coffee and deep roasted malts started off the show. Once you let this roll around for a little while, it was quickly replaced by a delicate touch of chocolate, very sweet like a milk chocolate flavor that blended well with a touch of alcohol and a hint of vanilla. Good overall balance to it and a lovely profile. The finish started out very nice, with a good amount of bitter taste to it which caused it to significantly dry out the finish and really give it a good it of bite at the end. Nice long lingering flavor of vanilla and coffee really rounded it out nicely.

Mouthfeel - The feel on this was good, coming across very nice, rich and creamy. It had a fait amount of carbonation to it, which kept it feeling a touch lighter then some of the others in the class, but overall it was very nice and I enjoyed the way it rolled across the tongue.

Drinkability - A very good sipper, this was your classic big stout. Coming in at 9% it was not too hard to put down. And what was there in the alcohol department was very well hidden. Nice carbonation and smooth profile made it even easier to enjoy.

Overall I thought this was an excellent stout. Not quite up there with the big boy but it could hold its own any day. I would love to try this one again, especially with some of the other more well known side by side. Definitely an excellent example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 21:23:52 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a short-lived tan head.

Smell: Roasted malt aroma with notes of coffee, chocolate, licorice, plums, and with, of course, a meaty smokiness.

Taste: Dark, sweet roasted malts with a fair amount of chocolate and coffee showing. Hint of licorice. Gobs of smoke, though. Lil' dash of fusel alcohol. Twinge of tart plum fruitiness. Earthy, roasty bitterness grows and holds through to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonaton.

Drinkability: I am not particularly trying to keep anyone in suspense, the short of it is: it's a pretty decent imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2008 19:58:54 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ygtbsm94


3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

01-12-2012 05:26:46 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drinking this while playing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Seems appropriate.

Looks great. Great nose; mild smoke with thick malts. Tastes great too. Thick malt character with molasses edges. Really nice. Feel is superb. All stouts should have this level of thickness. An excellent stout. I will go back to this in the future. It's on the level of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2014 15:49:29 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Kegatron


4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dispensed on cask via hand pump at the brewery on 12/27/08. 10 oz pour into a snifter.

Pours a dense pitch black with several fingers of massively creamy darker looking burnt mocha colored head. This settles down into a sturdy ¼ finger of retention that flares up marvelously when swirled, leaving thick swathes of lacing all down the sides of the glass. The aroma is just lush with chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, oats, a bit of smoke, and some light warmth.

The taste starts with sweet chocolate hitting the lips first, followed by a big dose of heavy oats, and then a bite of dark roasted bitterness and coffee in the back. Underneath lies a good undercurrent of dark fruit tang that lingers in the finish with some residual bitterness. The mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy with a mellower feel from the cask conditioning. There is definitely some heavy warmth in this (especially towards the bottom of the glass) but the alcohol is still kept under wraps thanks in part to the largeness of the flavors and smoothness of the body.

This is textbook RIS territory here folks that's even better via the beer engine. Powerful and complex yet the cask conditioning softens the overall profile to enable good drinkibility. I'm looking forward to several more snifters of this over the course of the winter.

Serving type: cask

01-02-2009 20:46:50 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Slatetank


4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to tenderbranson69 for this birthday beer, cellared for 2 yrs -enjoyed at Stout Tasting part deux. Enjoyed chilled in a taster.

A deep black color with thin light brown cap, lace stickage is good. The aroma is of strong cocoa with a slight coffee odor which has a mild smoke elment and hint of dark brown sugar. The feel is strong and roasted with slight caramel sweetness and semi dry finish w/ moderate carbonation throughout.

Jolly Roger is very good to my taste w/ cocoa notes from the chocolate malt presenting a balanced and roasted flavor w/ slightly smokey accent which could be black patent malt - The hops provide some spice in the taste with gentle brown sugar flavors adding to the mellow coffee notes. The beer is mildly sweet with a semi-dry overall finish pretty satisfying from fridge temp until slighly warmer. A very drinkable imperial stout. I appreciated this beer for my birthday and this was the right occasion to have it-solid beer and one I would not hesitate to pick up again.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 15:00:59 | More by Slatetank
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the owner, Roger, for the opportunity to try this one.

The beer pours a dark, black color with a thick frothy brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great!. It has a complex aroma of black patent, chocolate, and peated malts. The smoked malt was done on premise and really takes the aroma up a notch. The taste is great also. It has a dry earthy black malt flavor that is enhanced with the smoked malt character. It goes down silky smooth with a warm and somewhat chocolatey finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous IS. It's warm and earthy, but I really enjoyed the smokey content. Cheers to Roger and the boys down at Otto's for a job well done!!

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2008 12:34:30 | More by WesWes
Photo of oline73


4/5  rDev -3.8%

11-15-2011 03:41:19 | More by oline73
Photo of weeare138


4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kramer 17801 at the Kennett after party. I missed the 1st bottle he opened. Luckily, he had a second one with him...
Appears an opaque black with a small tan head that fades into a mild film and collar. Fairly fizzy. Spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, and caramel.
Taste is of teh mentioned stout bases, along with some roasted nuts, ripened fruit, blackberries, and black grapes.
Mouthfeel is smooth, medium-full bodied, and warming with a touch of bitter hops in the swallow.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2007 13:27:33 | More by weeare138
Photo of akorsak


3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle purchased at the brewpub last football season.

A: The stout pours out of the bottle like a thick oil, clumping to the glass and leaving a thick coating fo head in the top 1/3 of the glass. The head is tan and coats everything.

S: The stout has a strong rauch-like smokiness. The aroma is a little more restrained than the alder-smoked ASP, perhaps on par with a Aecht Schlenkerla rauchbier. A chocolate, roasted scent manages to sneak out past the smoke if you look for it.

T: A sip reveals a big stout body, chock full of burnt grains and bitter bakers chocolate. The flavors bite from the front of the sip and leave a bready, graham-like flavor long after the sip is gone. Dry fruits add a nice touch of sweetness. The pervasive smokiness continues, adding a chewy flavor. I'm not sure if the flavor is intended, but it is not unwelcome.

M: The mouthfeel is full, a great deal of flavor pops up throughout. The touch of smoke mixes with the fruit and chocolate to create a solid drink.

D: The abv is hidden nicely in the beer but it is high, packing a wallop without my knowledge. I wanna try this on tap to see if the smokiness persists.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 02:46:27 | More by akorsak
Photo of Zorro


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light proof black colored beer with a small brown colored head.

Fruity smelling with a strong fig aroma. Spicy gingerbread scent with a hint of anise. Chocolate and cherry scent, but no real coffee detected. Alcohol fumes carry a distinct aroma of Cherry Brandy.

Starts out sweet and bitter with a smoky aftertaste. Something like a smoked fig caramel sauce flavor. Doesn't change much taste wise Bittersweet with fruit and smoke with a big patent malt flavor.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Good flavor but a bit of a one trick pony. Bittersweet but complexity doesn't develop much.

Obtained in trade with Kegatron.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2009 03:43:08 | More by Zorro
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ottos : Jolly Roger

look: Dark brown with little off white head. Good clarity and leaves lace. As a side experiment I had a separate glass later with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Smell: dark coffee, smoke, roasted malt

Taste: coffee, nip of fruit. Mild booze, raisin, vanilla hints. This is a sweet stout. Hops are there with some earthy bitterness. Caramel drizzle. Finishes with some sugary sweetness.

FEEL: Full bodied, well carbonated, smooth and drinks easy.

Overall: The beer is a bit hot, a bit sweet, but after having this side by side a duplicate glass with a scoop of vanilla , Ive come to the conclusion that both were good (consume any ice cream laced imperial stout quickly). I would drink this again. Good, but not outstanding. A no-brainer as the best beer brewed in happy valley.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 04:26:18 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 received in trade from jac5084.. Josh is one of the most chill traders I've ever come across.. Thanks a bunch for the super bunch of dark beers that made their way to Boise.. I've been sitting on this for a while.. just waiting for a good time.. I am trying to clear out the fridge... sooo.. tonight is the night... Poured into my Chimay goblet... shared a small amount with Brenda.

Fairly significant 1" tan head .. nice cap and really a pretty good lace.. the brew is black on the pour and the glass..

Aroma is sorta mild for the style, but is still very complex.. French Roast.. and cocoa.. rich dark fruits with dried cherries and subtle prune.. a subtle smokiness as it warms..

The flavor is rich and bordering on decadent.. chocolate and roasted malts... malty sweetness is inviting and helps bind the palate together.. very smooth.. not alot of hops.. and maybe I'm going hunting for what is there.. dark cocoa as it warms.. more fruity essence comes throughout.. the warming alcohol is there for sure.. but a spicy component of the overall brew.. the smokiness is there .. but more of a background player.. nice body.. really pretty good for the style.. carbonation is adequate.. the fruity aspects begins to wear down my palate as it hits room temperature.

very nice brew.. Josh is a superb trader and very recommended.. in fact.. I should probably check in.. soon.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 08:46:45 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of dirtylou


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, by way of the secret santa bif (i believe)

appearance: poured into a snifter, very dark body with a creamy chocolate head and really nice lacing

smell: nice high roast levels, a touch of smoke, creamy chocolate, cocoa powder, a bit milky - very nice

taste: This is a very enjoyable stout - creamy and chocolatey, milky and semi-sweet, dry cocoa, a nice touch of hops and a light bitterness. Alcohol is nicely masked and this stout is well balanced without being too showy

mouthfeel: perfect - creamy and milky, silky smooth. perfect

drinkability: great

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 01:50:57 | More by dirtylou
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this from the very generous jtrockchalk, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black with a thinnish tan head that dissipates quickly. Smells of licorice, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, spicy hops and a touch of alcohol. Taste Hits first with some roast and chocolate followed by some hops and some dark dried fruits melding into a finish of roast coffee and chocolate. Thick body, creamy oily mouthfeel, low carbonation. This is a damn fine Imp stout right here. I enjoyed this one immensely. Great job Otto!

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2009 21:47:07 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of Bitterbill


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of joe1510. Thanks Joe!

My first sampling from Otto's...

A pitch black, 1 finger head of tan foam with a ton of lacing, a great start to my session with this brew.

The smell is sweet and roasty and fruity with good coffee and a light hop bitterness and a strongish nose of oak/bourbon. Hmm...didn't see anything on the label to say this was barrel aged but it sure smells like it is to me.

The taste is roasty and full of chocolate sweetness and bitterness, roasted coffee, light amount of dark fruit, more bitterness from the coffee, more sweetness and ends on a dry note. Wow. The flavour seems to constantly change, barraging you with really sweet notes then changing over to the bitter. No way I'm getting bored with what is going on here. ;^)

On the light side of medium bodied and the carbonation is lightly done. Head retention turned out to be so so but not out of the norm for the style.

Drinkability? The alcohol is definitely there so I'm not going to get fooled by another dangerously drinkable beer but... the taste keeps me literally on the edge of my seat. It's drinkable but not that drinkable, if that makes any sense. Anywho, this session was *way* enjoyable and another big thanks goes out to Joe!

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 20:45:09 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of illidurit


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy bulletrain76. Pours pitch black with the slightest of brown highlighting the edges. Light tan cap of dense foam. Lots of roastiness and dark chocolate, but the solid smoked character sets this one apart from your generic RIS. Flavor is ashy burnt malts, roasted coffee, the darkest possible chocolate, and a sweetish smokiness that complements the mild dark fruitiness. Nice complexity. Full chewy mouthfeel, very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2009 19:13:42 | More by illidurit
Photo of maximum12


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This fine bottle arrived via shipped box from the fine beerisheaven, a Master Trader if there ever was one. And an extra, to boot.

Pours black as can't-see-your-hand-waved-in-your-face black. Little evident carbonation, only a wispy ring & some hurricane patterns in the oily surface. The odor...oh my god. Expedition Stout with a touch of smoke, mimics one of my favorite brews. My mouth started watering immediately. That's a perfect score if I ever did see one.

Jolly Roger is creamy in the mouth, & apparently is seeking to create a new "summery RIS" category. Almost light in body, novel, & refreshing, I could sip this one in the heat of a Minnesota summer.

Otherwise this one has more layers that an onion-boy. The well-dressed malts are in the front row, with a smoky presence in the middle, & some dark fruits & the barest hint of coffee have snuck into the cheap seats without paying.

Damn. This is an excellent beer. Complex but not a mess, sweet without being heavy or cloying, unique without causing a riot. A finely crafted beer; thanks for sharing this one Brian!

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2009 02:16:25 | More by maximum12
Photo of Deuane


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark as night with a lovely finger thick tan colored head which stay full throughout.

S - Rich chocolate scent with some roasted undertones. Also some alcohol "heat" comes thru in the nose.

T/M - Rich and roasty with a lovely chocolate aftertaste. Thick and viscous with a full mouthfeel. Alcohol present but not overwhelming. Very nice.

D - A solid RIS that is actually very drinkable, could be dangerous! A very nice offering from Otto's...the fact that it is served on cask with regularity is a BIG plus.

Serving type: cask

11-09-2007 12:23:46 | More by Deuane
Photo of morimech


4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black color with a thin mocha colored head that settles to a thin cap. Some spotty lacing is left on the glass. Wonderful aroma of dark, roasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate, smoke, and alcohol. I thought this beer might be a little hot but the flavor did not reflect my impression of the aroma. Very roasted flavor with hints of smoke. The roasted qualities are so strong, the more subtle flavor elements are lost. Moderate bitterness which seems to come from the roast. The alcohol which seemed so apparent in the aroma is well covered up in the taste. Thick and chewy body that is just a tad overcarbonated. Otherwise it has a solid mouthfeel. Not overly sweet, bitter, or boozy. A solid Russian Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 15:34:41 | More by morimech
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured form a 22 oz. bottle into snifter.

Appearance - A nice deep black with a light brown head upon pouring that dissipated fast to a nice wispy head; clung to glass while swirled.

Smell - Strong chocolate aroma with a bit of coffee after.

Taste - A strong cocoa presence with some sweeter vanilla and some sweet raisin flavors.

Mouthfeel - A moderate body, with a very smooth texture, although maybe a bit thinner then expected for abv.

Overall - A very good brew and one I would recommend. Not quite up to snuff to the bourbon aged on tap, but a very solid brew non the less.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 02:54:03 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of jfcaa193


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

02-07-2012 00:20:29 | More by jfcaa193
Photo of srandycarter


3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours very dark, only a ring for a head. Not much lacing.

S - Sugary, cocoa centric.

T - Powdery cocoa, cookie like flavor.

M - Silky, well carbed, nice balance. Fairly this and oil like, lots of sweet balanced well with bitter.

D - For the style, very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 03:31:34 | More by srandycarter
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Jolly Roger Imperial Stout from Otto's Pub and Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.