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Drake's Jolly Rodger 2013 Imperial American Black Ale - Drake's Brewing Co.

Drake's Jolly Rodger 2013 Imperial American Black AleDrake's Jolly Rodger 2013 Imperial American Black Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

64 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 64
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.48%


Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: spark3148857 on 11-09-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 | Reviews: 14 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by crhea89:
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crhea89

California

4.25/5  rDev +6%

11-14-2013 08:17:22 | More by crhea89
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03-17-2014 00:28:39 | More by Beermasterjarrett
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Booner818

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4/5  rDev -0.2%

03-13-2014 06:25:56 | More by Booner818
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magictacosinus

California

3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Split with others. Bottling date was "11/24/13," and this was consumed about a month later.

Pours a pretty darkened black ale - almost opaque, save for the brownish tinges that round up the sides of the glass when held against the light. Contains an off-khaki head that gives this the appearance of some heavily viscous porter, or something similar. The lacing on this is tremendous given the hilariously high ABV, and, perhaps due to the expected dank dry hopping this beer apparently has, leaves behind some sticky foam at the sides of the glass in a pretty remarkable way. This is definitely up there with some of the more memorable looking American black ales I've had to date, to be honest. Then again, it's a relatively untapped style, so it's good to see Drake's try it out exaggeratedly!

Sweet Jesus! This is really intense. Granted, I should have expected nothing less from Drake's at this point, but this is really not your typical black ale, as indicated by the aroma. Huge dank pine, minty notes, coated with caramel, roasted chocolate notes, as well as raisins, figs, molasses, and anise. Contains a spicy, herbal profile here in addition to the pine and anise, containing peppercorns, green pepper, flower stems, black tea, and slightly charred elements that you'd normally find in barrel aged beers, yet still comes through in a similarly tannic manner. Aggressive and unforgiving, and it doesn't help that it's slightly boozy at the nose as well. It's one of the most complex black ales I've ever whiffed upon, but it's really oppressive in the same manner a fresh American barleywine is.

And with one sip, I find my palate battered and numbed with an intense bitterness, roasted character, and intensity of herbal spices that I'm pretty much convinced that this is the very first "black barleywine," if that is to be a style, that I've ever tasted. Huge roasted grainy notes, with charred dark chocolate, coffee, black tea, as well as prunes and molasses coated with licorice, pine, and mint. Peppery at the finish, yet mostly bitter and assertive, with dried orange rinds that are charred and simultaneously caramelized. Finishes spectacularly bitter, with huge grainy notes, as well as tons of heat from the alcohol and a strong prevailing earthiness. This is seriously crazy stuff. Very astringent and intensely flavored - I'm seriously glad that I split this, because more that 6-8oz would seriously be too much.

Wow, this really pushes the boundaries for what Drake's has made in the past - complex, flavorful, but very, very difficult to wade through due to its huge bitterness and booziness. I didn't mind it, and I'll praise it for its unique qualities, but I have no clue what to do with it. It's very bitter, herbal, and soapy as a fresh barleywine, but laying it down may cut off all of the herbal and citrus qualities I'm enjoying it for. Wish I would have gotten an extra bottle to test it out, but I was glad to be part of the experience!

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 02:44:35 | More by magictacosinus
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Mightykingmalard

California

4/5  rDev -0.2%

02-27-2014 16:54:06 | More by Mightykingmalard
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02-14-2014 06:42:58 | More by sloelco
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3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

02-14-2014 02:28:59 | More by greymalkin
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Kmlund

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -0.2%

02-10-2014 16:34:13 | More by Kmlund
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Davepoolesque

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +6%

02-08-2014 19:12:55 | More by Davepoolesque
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jakecattleco

California

4.25/5  rDev +6%

02-08-2014 06:11:08 | More by jakecattleco
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jbuckley1972

California

4/5  rDev -0.2%

02-07-2014 04:26:19 | More by jbuckley1972
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PHBoiler

Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I must say that this beer shocked me. Drake's have been hit or miss for me. I don't think they're always in balance. This beer poured a thick black with a pillowy brown head in the glass. Very little roast on the nose as the juicy citrus hops took over. Very intrigued already. The taste was so well balanced it was confounding. Still little roast as the darkness converted into a more chocolately taste that was then left to the side as the juicy hops kicked through. The mix of hops sounded delicious and they delivered. Floral, citrus, and a bit grassy. I got the Mosaic in all of its glory and the backbone was so interesting. My only complaint is the booziness. I really enjoyed this beer and only made it through half the bottle due to the ABV. Cheers to this monster of a Black IPA. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 16:49:24 | More by PHBoiler
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Alieniloquium

Florida

3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black, some transparency. Big khaki head. Sticky lacing and a thin collar.

Smell - It's pretty boozy. Citrus hops. Orange more than grapefruit. Chocolate malts.

Taste - Citrus hops right up front. Sweet. Dark chocolate. A bit of nuttiness. Boozy and bitter in the finish. Lingering hop flavor.

Mouthfeel - Boozy. Medium heavy body. The aftertaste of booze, chocolate, and hop bitterness makes it a little rough.

Overall - All things considered, this is a very good beer. Too big, in my opinion, but well made for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 22:56:18 | More by Alieniloquium
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wiltznucs

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

01-29-2014 19:40:22 | More by wiltznucs
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jermy

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

01-29-2014 05:40:38 | More by jermy
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kaseydad

California

4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Finally bought this year's version.

Pours a very nice black ale with a foamy beige head with big lacing and ring around the glass with slight film.

The aroma has a big hoppy smell. The late addition hop addition really kick this up a notch. Alcohol is nicely present. Chocolate and roasted malt. Tires/rubber is very present as well. Really good whiffs here each and every time. Pine.

The taste starts out as dark and malty, smooth chocolate and a long bitterness on the swallow. The aftertaste stays for awhile. The booze is definitely present as well but that's to be expected on an 11.5% ale. Some black coffee and orange/grapefruit rind is also noticeable. Much going on here. Spicy.

Smooth and almost creamy mouthfeel.

Overall this is a big-time beer. Boozy and warm but the sips come pretty easy. Flavor does not get tiresome though this beer will catch up with you quickly. Another great Jolly Rodger brew from the San Leandro crew. Can be found pretty easy and not overly heavy on the wallet. Looking for a buzz? Just check the label. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 02:52:06 | More by kaseydad
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justinbrown

California

4/5  rDev -0.2%

01-13-2014 04:50:23 | More by justinbrown
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BucannonXC5

California

4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss pint glass
From: Whole Foods in Hillcrest (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $6.99
Purchased: Jan. 4, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 11, 2014
Misc.: 2013 batch

Poured a pitch black color with 5-to-6 fingers of frothy tan head. I should have known when I poured it that every Drake’s bottled beer I’ve had the head has been huge. A very good amount of semi-layered foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. Great retention on the top of the glass all the way down.

First smell was spicy dark malts, backed by hops. Got spicy cocoa nibs, toffee, caramel, chocolate fudge brownies, brown sugar, sharp citrus hops and some other unknown hops. Very good.

Tasted even darker than the smell. Spicy cocoa nibs really dominate here. Also chocolate, caramel, toffee, wood fire, citrus hops and dirty hops. Very tasty. Alcohol is well hidden, definitely not 11.5 percent.

Medium body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, spicy finish.

Just a fantastic black ale. Would love to try it again. Each sip had me wanting more.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 05:44:00 | More by BucannonXC5
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MDDMD

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown color with a light tan head and some lacing

S-dark malt, pine, hint of coffee and citrus

T-Dark roasted malt, light coffee, citrus, hint of molasses, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-decent black ale, old flavor

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 01:50:02 | More by MDDMD
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knchngchn

California

4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

01-10-2014 02:26:14 | More by knchngchn
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lordofstarside

Nevada

4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to a snifter, bottle date is smudged but should be close with when the beer was added- ~2 months ago

Pours pitch black with a finger and a half of mocha colored foam. Mild carbonation on the sides, good retention and lacing. Great looking beer

Smell is a hop bomb for sure, strong piney grapefruit and citrus hops, chocolate and coffee notes, and a sweet bready malt finishing with a nice splash of alcohol. Really pungent, reminds me a lot of Stone's SSR

Taste is with the nose for the most part- strong upfront pine, grapefruit, and a bunch of floral citrus undertones, cocoa and espresso nuances with a sweet malt and a nice splash of alcohol. Delish !

Feel is a stick and creamy thick body. Alcohol is definitely present, drinks a little warm. Very bitter and drinkable

Overall one of the better bipas I've ever had. On par and very similar to Sublimely Self Righteous

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 07:24:41 | More by lordofstarside
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Drake's Jolly Rodger 2013 Imperial American Black Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.