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

Not Rated.
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

77 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: spark3148857 on 11-09-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of Piddmeista
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of Tom-Peters
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of dertyd
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Beermasterjarrett
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Madskill
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Rick778
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of KevT
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of davegray
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of nygannon
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of lsummers
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of wiltznucs
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Fitze
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of hollywood_15063
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of greymalkin
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of SixPack6
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Beerswag
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap pangea cafe ..sacramento, CA

Dark black full bodied looking, tannish-brown head, 1/2" reduced to no head immediately..smells of pine, pear, molasses, honey, grapefruit. Taste is much like an imperial IPA, with some roasted malts and slight coffee undertones. Pine and resin of sour-deiesel is present, with a little warmth on the finish. Smooth for an 11,4%er. Overall good not great.

Photo of Dope
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2013 batch (duh).

A: Dark dark brown pour but not black. Big, tall and effervescent medium brown head. Great head retention and even better lacing. Thick and fluffy chunks and streaks everywhere.

S: Big piney, resinous and garlicky hops up front. Mild roasted malt character with a little chocolate and char. Surprisingly mild beyond the hops, despite the 11.5% ABV.

T: Hoppy up front like the aroma. Again with the resinous pine and some garlic. There is a big, big, BIG sweet roasted malt character here now though and it takes over quickly. Very sweet and very chocolatey. Roasted malt dominates except at the very beginning and very end. Lingering in the aftertaste is a decent wave of bitterness (but obscured mostly by the sweet malts still) and some mild resinous pine. Again with bits of garlic, probably the Mosaic.

M: Heavy and smooth. No booze.

O: Hmph, it's an attempt at a big big black IPA but it falls a bit short. Hops are overshadowed by the huge sweet malts. It tastes more like a mildly hoppy imperial porter. It's not a big hoppy in-your-face IPA and it's also not very balanced either so it falls short everywhere. Pine, resin and garlic hops don't seem to work well with all that sweet chocolate either. It's tasty enough but it's sorta a mess as a result. Just doesn't work for me. Not a bad beer but it's not hitting me quite right. Maybe a lighter malt bill and lower ABV would have worked better.

Photo of magictacosinus
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
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!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Field Of Drafts held at The Hanger in Lancaster, CA.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and slight cocoa flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Drake's Jolly Rodger 2013 Imperial American Black Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.