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Drake's Jolly Rodger - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's Jolly RodgerDrake's Jolly Rodger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

34 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 7.52%
Wants: 9
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For 2009 and earlier vintages.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 08-05-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of peacebone116


4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 2010 Jolly Rodger Imperial Red into an over-sized wine glass.

A: Dark copper. Big tan colored head with strong lacing.

N: Pine and grapefruit.

T/M: Spicy piny, earthy, citrusy. Carbonation is nice on the tongue. Thick and chewy. light malt backbone, which becomes more prominent as the beer warms (as does the alcohol), but always remains in the background; this beer is almost more like an IPA except that there the malt has a much more caramelized flavor to it.

EXCELLENT beer! I may have to contact the brewery to see if I can get a keg!

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 23:24:43 | More by peacebone116
Photo of shelby415


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

02-25-2012 06:51:30 | More by shelby415
Photo of elNopalero


4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A barrel-aged version of the 09 Jolly Roger? How can I say no?

This poured a dark, ruddy brown color. There’s a just-shy of being tart aroma to this, with a flavor that is a kiss of tartness on the lips. Some bourbon coconut notes, perhaps from being barrel-aged, with no noticeable hop presence. More tart than bitter, and an interesting experience.

Serving type: on-tap

02-29-2012 19:32:16 | More by elNopalero
Photo of Mark


4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange amber color was semi clear. Head was well formed but disapated fairly quickly, lacing was scarce. Wow what a wonderful aroma this beer had. Fresh piney nose is so inviting, some citrus notes too. Same piney hops are on the palate along with grapefruit and a little orange. A decadent beer that needs to be nursed. it's very strong but very drinkable. Suzanne kept stealing some sips from my pint. Very nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2007 05:08:25 | More by Mark
Photo of dwilson01


4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass, the body is an orange caramel color, very clear with nice carbonation rising throughout. The head is a healthy two fingers of tan creamyness, reminds me of the golden-brown color of a perfectly roasted marshmellow.

The smell is quite hoppy, the distinguished sweet orange floral part due to the cascade and the more pungent wooded bitterness from the chinook, what a great hop combination. The malt scents linger in the background bringing up aromas of brown sugar, and a nice toasted hazelnut.

The taste is great, full, and with multiple stages. It starts off nice with the floral aroma hops going all out for a nice refresher to the palate. This is followed by a growing malty flavor of thick honey maple syrup combined with buttered rye toast. After the first two stages have lulled you into a sense of security you discover your folly and get a nice wallop of bitter chinook hops to the taste buds. The bitterness comes from a nice planty, piney, spicey type of taste, it doesn't remind me of anything in particular though.

The mouthfeel is solid, just about the only thing that lets you know that this guy is an 8.0%er. Thick maltyness combines with mild carbonation to produce something very smooth, creamy, and refreshing.

Extremely drinkable, each bitter aftertaste lingers on and entices you to the next sip, I keep trying to define that bitterness in there but am unable to do so.

Perfect name on this guy also, it lulls you into thinking your safe just like a pirate ship with a fake flag up on it so it can get close. Then all of a sudden you're taken by surprise when you get a nice hop-smack in the face just like when the pirates lower the fake flag and fly the real one.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 04:58:06 | More by dwilson01
Photo of vince4953529


4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, the cute-looking label indicates the 2010 version to be an imperial red ale; 8% abv.

Poured into my Stone RIS snifter, color looks a very dark ruby red, a lovely head surfaced as well. Lacing braced against the side of glass like continuous images from the Rorschach test.

Smells full of hop, a bit musty.

The taste is very hoppy, very much like an IPA. I did not detect much of the "red" aspect, minimal malt support actually. This could pass for a DIPA anytime.

I love the taste, and drinks very smooth. But the taste should be bit malty for an imperial red even though the color differs. But that's a minor complaint because it's very delicious.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2010 19:14:14 | More by vince4953529
Photo of Troyone


4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark translucent root beer color with a slight amber hue, has minimal carb action, and little or no head.

Has a heavy cookie, roasted, nutty, molasses malt smell with pine, resin, grapefruit and orange hops aroma.

A heavy sweet and moderately bitter taste that resembles the smell with an almost burnt nutty molasses malt and more pronounced resin and orange hops.

Has a full body, dry almost syrupy texture, lively soft carbonation, and a metallic and slighty alcoholic finish.

Very drinkable for the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2005 09:51:15 | More by Troyone
Photo of Vancer


4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

SOLID ! A hammer ! Two or three of these would make for trouble. But anyway, only nitpick item was a quickly dying tan head. Other than that – great scotch ale.

Deep clear mahogany brown. Chocolate malt in the aroma. Quaff had these and notes of anise, and bourbon malts, just plain tasty. Very rich and robust brew – almost creamy. GREAT sippin frosty, just some subtle hints of alcohol behind the taste curtain. Again, excellent.

Thanks be to lou91 for the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2006 13:00:52 | More by Vancer
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear, rich ruby red color. It only forms a wispy, pale, tan colored head that just forms a ring around the glass. The aroma is definitely on the hoppy side of things; sharp with lots of pine-like notes, but ultimately it is dominated by citrus notes such as grapefruit and sweet orange as well as fruit notes of apricot, and lychee. Surprisingly enough I don't get any notes of alcohol; this is just a smooth, hopaliciously aromatic brew.

The taste is sweetish, and definitely viscous as it lays across my tongue. Reminds me a bit of an orange creamcicle; it is sweet and has an intense candied citrus character that reminds me of a mix of vanilla and orange. The finish is lightly bitter, actually it is fairly bitter, but the ample malt and citrus hop character drowns out a lot of the bitterness. The finish does have a linger bitterness to it that just balances out the sweetness found up front. Somehow this beer is not all that heavy, it somehow maintains a deceiving drinkability despite the beer's strength.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2006 04:30:24 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of SeanChouffe

New Mexico

4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep dark mahogany with some noticeable co2. The head dies rapidly and leaves a sticky lace. Aroma is malty and of caramel with some roasty notes. A true Scotch Ale not loaded with hops. Flavor is sweet with a light hop bite (almost tart) finish. Nothing complex, but a good representation the style. Palate is medium bodied with a roasted grain presence. I found this to be one of the better Scotch Ales (that I have tried) brewed in the US. Well balanced and full of the malt flavors that make this style great.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2005 06:10:40 | More by SeanChouffe
Photo of dirtylou


4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

ontap, Rogue Alehouse in San Francisco

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint, amber hued mahogany body, creamy tan head

smell: chocolatey, caramel, milk chocolate, roasted malt, figs, toffee

taste: really nice beer from Drake's - creamy caramel, toffee, big roasted malts, spruce and citrus peel hops, layers and layers of flavor

mouthfeel: creamy, sweet, and big bodied

drinkability: good

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2010 00:30:05 | More by dirtylou
Photo of rkhaze


4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with reddish hues. Medium sized creamy tan head.
Smells of sweet malt, caramel, a little fruit and alcohol. A whiff of smoke as well.
Big semi sweet smoky malt flavor. Caramel, brown sugar and a spicy hop bitterness. Finshes bittersweet and fruity with an alcohol presence that is well integrated but warms the stomach. Nice subdued sweetness for a Scoth Ale. Their was really no peat noticeable until this warmed a bit. Sooo..let it warm a bit.
Medium to full bodied with a rich tangy mouthfeel and good carbonation.
Good drinkability for a 9% beer. Good beer, I liked the fact that the sweetness was low key for the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2004 00:08:13 | More by rkhaze
Photo of lou91


4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cherry coke color which is what this beer should look like. Solid smells of malts and sublte sweetness. As it warmed in my hands the nose was calling out to take a drink and this is an excellent take on this rare style. Rich, thick malty with a maple, smokiness with hops playing a minor role as you would expect. Very well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2006 06:10:54 | More by lou91
Photo of yoitsarch


4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

11-19-2012 17:58:46 | More by yoitsarch
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 edition on-tap at Barclay's for their Christmas in July celebration. Pours reddish brown with a thin, tight head that fades to a thin cap that leaves some lacing. Smells quite malty with some piney hops tossed in and some light maple and soy notes in the finish. The taste is similar. This tastes a good deal like an old ale, which is no surprise given its strength and its being aged for a year, with a still firm malt backbone, some sherry notes, but still quite hoppy with some pine notes. Very well integrated by this point, and not at all tired. Quite good.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2009 21:15:39 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Zorro


4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a Coca-Cola colored clear brew.

Smell is very roasty and citrus hops too. Fair scent of smoke and malt and sweet chocolate. Fruity smell of plum and cherry scents. Alcohol is easily detectable but that is OK as it smells like cherry brandy. VERY Fragrant brew here!

Taste is very sweet and malty and aggressive. Lots of fruity flavors at the start the cherries team up with a chocolate flavor. Alcohol is very detectable as a chest warming sensation. After you get past the sweetness there is a noticeable acidity here that heighten the sensation of the fruit. Mild scotch like smokiness.

Mouthfeel is good and thick enough but you aren't going to be chugging this! This is a sipping brew!

Very smooth and drinkable brew but not all-purpose. This is a big warming beer probably not what you would want to drink on a hot day but a GREAT brew for winter and cold weather.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2005 02:36:00 | More by Zorro
Photo of kbub6f

New York

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle says "Jolly Rodger" (with a "d"), whereas the drinkdrakes.com website spells it "Jolly Roger" (without the "d"). But the website also says the beer is only available in kegs, and I have the bottle right here in front of me, so I'll go with the bottle. It reads:

"Drake's Jolly Rodger is based on a 19th century Scotch Ale recipe. Brewed to be exported, batches start with a much higher Original Gravity to allow the beer to be more shelf stable on it's [sic] voyage. Drake's Jolly Rodger is lightly hopped with East Kent Golding hops for a slight bitterness to counterbalance the sweet malt taste. Limited Release"

The beer is a dark, dark red-brown with a small, beige, noisy, bubbly head that leaves runny spots of lacing. The nose is sweet molasses, grapes and a little chocolate. Sweet, fermented grapes, butter and a tangy toffee in front lead to a sweet, molasses, buttery, thick, sweet syrupy (but not too sweet) middle. It finishes with tangy fruit, some chocolate, a touch roasty and quite nicely, lightly bitter. There is a pleasant, warming alcohol effect. This is a thick, rich, buttery, tangy, fruity beer. Bread puddingy. More cream and chocolate develop with temperature, but it stays quite tangy and bitter. The sweetness never steals the show. I like it a lot!

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2004 00:03:04 | More by kbub6f
Photo of slayer3604


4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber/orange with a nice dense white head with a multitude of different sized bubbles. Smells like pungent earthy wilderness greenery. Nice bit of pine, and a slight hint of a fruity malt profile.
Tastes great. Very good way to wind down after a crazy day at work. Unlike the nose, malt comes first, and in a big way. Its followed by a spicy, herb infused hop bomb with a shit ton of bitterness lingering in the background.
Has a full body, and at 8% who'da though otherwise? The finish is dominated by hops, even tropical flavors, which did not appear on the nose, but overall, a damn fine DIPA.
Pretty apparent 8%er but its raining, I walked about a quarter mile from work to my truck and the last thing I want is a beer I can't feel! CHEERS DRAKE!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 07:18:18 | More by slayer3604
Photo of augustgarage


4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse. Served in a generic wide-mouth tulip.

Liquid is a very dark burgandy with ruby highlights, topped by thick cream-tinged ivory foam - leaving soapy lacing in its wake.

Rich caramel malt and peat smoke aromatics. Light toast, and a hint of raisins.

Tobacco, figs, prunes, lots of floral notes, rich buttery caramel on the palate. Heavy malts balanced nicely by lightly bitter zesty hops. Finishes relatively dry with a touch of bitterness and grass.

Medium-light bodied, well carbonated, and warming.

A very good example of the style, though lacking a little character compared to the best Wee Heavies.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2010 06:27:42 | More by augustgarage
Photo of jwolfie70


4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at the Englander in San Leandro. Pour is dark brown with no head remaining when it reached my table. Smell is of dark fruits and roasted malt. Taste is of prunes, molasses and some alcohol peaking through. A true malt bomb, but not cloying. I enjoyed this beer, but couldnt see myself drinking too many in a night.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2008 19:15:08 | More by jwolfie70
Photo of bbothen


4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red/copper color with a small bubbly off white head that quickly dissipates into a few bubbles rimming the glass.

The smell of this brew is awesome. I was not expecting the epic battle between hops & sweet malt here. The hops come strong with pine, spruce, tropical aromas. Malt aint no joke either with some sweet toffee & fruitiness. Bravo. I could put my nose in this glass all night.

Sweet caramel maltiness up front, nice citric hoppiness, fruity, tropical, faint smokiness, all these flavors balance nicely for a really tasty brew. Yeah.

Medium to full, moderate carbonation, warming booze, lingering great taste.

A big & flavorfull brew. A couple pints is a good serving for one sitting.

I really enjoy this beer. Unique, well made, & really tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2009 01:35:48 | More by bbothen
Photo of illidurit


4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz.

10 oz pour. Body is a very dark brown. Head is 1 finger tall and a creamy beige. Very nice lacing.

Aroma is chocolatey with a bit of smoke and dark fruit.

Flavor consists of chocolate and fig, with molasses and smoke notes.

Body is full enough to support the richness of flavor here. A little overcarbonated however.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2008 22:03:58 | More by illidurit
Photo of berkey


4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Hopyard in San Ramon. Served in a pint glass. From notes 12/08/09.

Body is a very dark but clean brown color with ruby tones at the edges. Forms a very small tan head of loose bubbles that fades fairly quickly leaving only a small ring of foam along the sides of the glass.

Nose puts off tons of roasted malt and chocolate and an unexpectedly vinous dessert wine character. There's also a fairly healthy dose of hops for the style, which is pretty typical of this brewer. They seem to really love the aroma hops.

Flavor follows with a nice dose of sweet fruity esters but I'm not entirely sure I can identify which fruits for some reason, seems to lean slightly toward the citrus more than the dark fruits you might expect. There are hints of alcohol and an interesting slightly spicy herbal finish which compliments the still very present roasted malt character well.

This pour had medium to low carbonation. You can tell you're drinking a bigger beer due to the minor heat in the feel but it's not enough to be distracting. Even so, I find myself really taking awhile finishing this one glass. Obviously not a session beer.

Very interesting brew. While not exactly the best Wee Heavy I've tried it was very well done and a nice alternative to the usual Winter Warmer many brewers do for a seasonal this time of year. I found this highly enjoyable as an after work beer on this unusually cold day. If it wasn't for the high importance of appearance on this site my score would be even higher.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2009 21:41:24 | More by berkey
Photo of poluti


4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You'll have to excuse the fact that I am a hop nut. I tried to be objective as possible and to be honest, this Wee Heavy I truly enjoyed.
It pours dark-brown almost black. When held to the light it has amber tones. The head is a little tan but minimal, typical of Scottish ales, but make no mistake, this is a Wee-Heavy. There is a pervasive scent of heavy alcohol, however, when overcome, it smells a tad chocolate, a tad fruity, and a tad like Kent Goldings (I might be reaching but I try to smell for the hops as well as the malt). Its initial taste was rich and chocolatey, very malty. Mid-glass the hops content came through... a tad smoky bitter sensation and then it went bitter malty towards the end. The unfermentable sugars come through in a big way in the initial sips. The malt is almost sourish but roasted. The mouthfeel is pleasant almost syrupy. It's a bit of a challenge. As stated earlier it has that taste of being pervasively alcohol, however the tip of the tongue is tinged and sweetened significantly like chocolate, while the sides of the tongue have a sour note. I know there were hops present in that the sides of my mouth kicked in as they usually do with a hoppy beer. However this wasn't enough to overcome the malt bill in this bad boy. I would highly recommend this one to people who love malt structure and especially Wee-heavies. I wouldn't recommend it to your average Scottish ale fan or hop guy like me. However, it is a Wee-Heavy and should be consumed like one.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2005 01:31:50 | More by poluti
Photo of hopdog


4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared courtesy of jasonmech77. Poured a medium orange color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of caraml, grapefruit skins, oranges, and some pine. Tastes of caramel, grapefruit, oranges and melons. Light alcohol in the finish.

Notes from 3/2/07

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2008 14:20:28 | More by hopdog
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Drake's Jolly Rodger from Drake's Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.