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Jolly Roger Imperial Stout | Otto's Pub and Brewery

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Jolly Roger Imperial StoutJolly Roger Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Otto's Pub and Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ski271 on 06-20-2006

For Trade:
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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 154
Photo of sadman64
2.12/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Stouts are one of my favorite beer styles, but this beer is not very good. The initial taste is typical of a stout, smokey and burnt, however, the overall flavor of this beer is almost offensive. The mouthfeel is rather odd, and doesn't help my rating for this beer. There are alot of better stouts out there.

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Photo of jpaltan
3.11/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a solid black with a nice creamy head on it. The head slowly fades into gentle bubbles that cling to the top of the beer. The smell is boozy with dark roasted malts taking precedence over coffee and chocolate notes. Wish the smell was a bit more pronounced. Slight hint of band aids or some other medicinal smell. Beer is creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Some band aid taste throughout. Notes of chocolate and coffee. can't get past the medicinal taste though. overall, I'm not sure if the bottle is expected, but I really had much higher expectation for this beer.

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Photo of beckje01
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A deep black color with some brown head on the top. No activity a very still beer.

S- Good malty nose some sweetness then also the alcohol comes through, it's nice.

T- Good taste but not so powerful. A slight kick of the sweet and alcohol tastes good but its just too easy on you for a RIS.

M- Good thickness and nice activity or lack of it fits the flavors.

D- Good easy to drink and it's just not up to snuff as a RIS it's a tasty beer but not as strong as it should be for the style

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Photo of DIM
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This beer is perfectly black. It pours with a minimal brown head that quickly fades to a ring around the glass.

s: Smells faintly of charred wood and thats it. Where is the smell on this one?

t: Oh well, at least this has it where it counts the most. While not very complex, this is very pleasntly chocolaty and has a bit of coffee bitterness. The alcohol is well masked.

m: Plenty thick with a nice oily quality.

d: This is a pretty nice impy stout, but I'll stick to ones I like a bit more.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.61/5  rDev -13%
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.

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Photo of JDV
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with Fly, Dewbrewer, Humulone_Red and others. Thanks guys!
Last beer of a long list of beers. Definitely would like to re-rate this beer. Black pour with a light tan head. Sweet rich dark malt smell and a touch of alcohol. A touch thin and and flavors of dark sweet roast flavor. Either not as good as I expected or my taste buds were shot at this point. Deserving of a re-rate.

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Photo of throwitallaway
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to akorsak for this brew! Decanted from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark color with a brown, one finger head, that fizzles away into a thin layer of foam. Aroma is big on chocolate and not much else. Taste is much more interesting than the aroma. It starts with chocolate, transitions to roasted malt, and then finishes with a little bitterness from the malt, some sweetness, and a touch of hops. The mouthfeel is on the thin side of a medium. Drinkability is fairly high for the style. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, I just wish the aroma was a little more complex, and the mouthfeel thicker.

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Photo of SacoDeToro
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to metallitone1 for sharing a bottle at Lost Abbey.

The beer poured a deep coal black with a nice dark brown head.

The aroma of the beer was full of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and ash. Some tobacco in the aroma as well.

The flavor of the beer was focussed on roasty malts to the point of being slightly ashen. Mid-palate could've used a little more molasses/dark fruit sweetness. The hops seemed slightly citrusy and pretty up front. The finish had a faint tobacco note as well.

The mouthfeel was full, but was not too heavy. It finished pretty dry for a RIS. The carbonation seemed dialed in well.

This beer is good, but overhyped IMO. There are much better imperial stouts out there that eclipse Darkness in both complexity and drinkability. KtG, DL, and BCS are few that come out ahead IMO.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with nice tan head with vigorous pour into large snifter. Smells a little one dimensional. Lots of cocoa & some lite grassy hop notes. Not sure how old the bottle was since there was no bottled on date. Tastes of vanilla & chocolate. Doesn't feel like 10% ABV whatsoever. Seems like 6%. Good amount of bitterness present. A very nice beer. Would like to see a little more complexity.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of joepais
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tiklmelmo for sending this brew my way. I split it with my Bro in law who just retired from the Navy. The bottle poured into snifters produced a nice short lived two finger tan head, that slipped of to a nice lace. The body of the brew was dark as night.

The aromas' was nice and toasty. Yes, toasty. I got some nice roasted malts aromas'(chocolate, coffee) but also a slight smoke to it. The flavor was really good for a RIS some nice coffee notes with some chocolate thrown in. The funny thing was a got a slight hint of bourbon on this one as well but, didn't see that it was barrel aged. The mouthfeel was good with slight carbonation.

A great way to finish of my BBQ we sipped at the glasses for some time and were left wanting for more. A must try unique RIS in my book.

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Photo of krisandajt
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another tasty brew courtesy of mymrnngjckt, a truly world class BA. Cheers Kevin!

Appearance: An easy pour into my DFH Off-Centered Ale glass, the beer is a deep, dark black. Briefly sitting atop this fine looking brew is a thin layer of rich, foamy, coffee colored head. Within moments, however, the head fades away to nothing but a thin ring of bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell: A mild dose of coffee with some bitter chocolate mixed in. A little mild for an Imperial Stout IMO, but tempting nonetheless.

Taste: Mostly a bitter chocolate with a bit of hop bite. There's even a slight candied fruit kind of flavor to it. No one flavor really dominates, it all kinda blends together. This beer is an interesting mix of balance and complexity. It's a tasty stout.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with a nice medium- to full-body. Pretty spot on for an RIS.

Drinkability: No doubt about it, this is a pretty big beer, so while it is pretty tasty I don't think it's an all-night drinking kinda beer. Still, I'm enjoying what I've got and I can definitely see myself enjoying this beer again.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 rate.

Enjoyed at the brewpup on nitro. The nitro is an interesting idea for this beer, it results in a really delightfully soft, bubbly mouthfeel, but cuts down too much on the carbonation, which loses a point for it in my book. The flavors are pretty big but mellowed out, roasty, chocolate, vanilla, some anise and spices. Very good.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Black int he glass but brown when pouring, one ginger off white head that tries to leave some lacing.

S-Lots of roasted malt, burnt notes, come dark chocolate and coffee.

T-Roast and burnt notes, almost smoked. Dark chocolate, very slight coffee.

M-Some alcohol head, slightly watery, not much carbonation.

O- For 10% the alcohol was hidden rather well, but still showed up. More coffee and chocolate notes would have been better.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall pint glass: color is black, solid black; head is tan with fine bubbles and presents about 1/2 inch thick, then some nice lacing on the glass sides.

Smell is moderate roast and coffee/espresso, then heavy fruitiness that is wiped away by strong booze with a near raw/white whiskey like note.

Taste is follows a similar pattern from the aroma: quick but strong roast and coffee, then some raisiny fruitiness and a huge contribution from the alcohol/ester which is even more raw and strong than the aroma. The booziness is a bit strong, and detracts from the underlying malt flavors, but it is still a unique taste.

Mouthfeel is near cloying, but with the malt backbone of this brew its where you might expect, big malt sweetness, some burn from the booziness, and moderate carbonation.

Overall this is no doubt a strong stout, big malt and espresso notes, some lighter chocolate but an impressive dose of ester booziness. A sipper for sure, or maybe one to let age just a bit more.

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Photo of mscott1975
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been on BA for a few years now and after many 'hads' this is my first review.

Picked up today at the brewery. I was told this beer was bottled just a few days ago.

From a bomber into a snifter. I let this beer warm up quite a bit before pouring it. A rather aggressive pour yields a beer that is almost completely black with some brown highlights around the edges. A thin khaki head that recedes pretty quickly producing very little lacing, however this seems to be a common trait wit 10% abv RIS's. Not the greatest looking RIS I've ever seen but an attractive beer nonetheless.

The nose is quite strong. I get quite a bit of smoke, black licorice , burntness and some booze. Not exactly what I'm used to with RIS's. I give them credit for trying something a little different with this one.

The taste follows the nose. Smoke & licorice with some bitter, alcohol bite at the end. The smoke is especially present on my palate. While I'm not usually a fan of smoked beers, this isn't overwhelming. Some RIS's are too sweet for me but this one never goes too far in that direction. I found myself wanting to take another sip pretty quickly early on in the bomber.

The mouthfeel is smooth and not too heavy, but not thin either. The carbonation seems to be spot on for the style. It's actually pretty easy to drink given how strong it is.

I have 2 more bottles I'll sit on for awhile. I think this beer is put together very well. I don't mind the smokey flavor, but I also don't prefer it. I'll see what some age does to it. This beer reminded me a little of Stone Smoked Porter.

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Photo of number1bum
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a very dark brown, nearly black, but not quite opaque. A vigorous pour produces one finger of very dark tan head, which settles pretty quickly but keeps a full lace. Not much stick on the sides but the lacing is nice.

Smell is very bold and enticing, with big roasted malt and dark chocolate aromas, plus some coffee and smoke, and a bit of dark fruit too.

Taste also has a good amount of roasted malt and some bold coffee flavor as well. Hhas a smokiness to it like the nose did. It's maybe a tad overly roasted to the point of being slightly charred, however, and although there is some chocolate and molasses sweetness the deep roast flavor really dominates them. Some dark fruit pokes through in the finish, like maybe black currant, with lingering roastiness left on the palate as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and pretty creamy, although the big roastiness gives it a bit of a biting astringency. Otherwise it is relatively smooth.

Even though the roasted malt is a bit overdone, there is still some really good flavor here; I just wish it were a bit more balanced, in which case it would go from being quite good to more elite company. A really nice local imperial stout nonetheless.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.97/5  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.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to erikkoppin for this one.

poured cold from the bottle a deep dark oily black to a surly darkness 12oz snifter with a full finger, fluffy, dark mocha head leaving a blanket of lace to the rim after each sip.

aroma of black coffee and dark chocolate.

creamy, bitter coffee up front, semi sweet chocolate and a bit of smoke in the wayback. hot.

medium bodied, slick almost oily, heat, medium bitter.

very nice stout, abv hidden, just right sweet.

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Photo of jifigz
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pitch black in color with a nice head of tan that lingers for a substantial amount of time leaving nice lacing.

S: Raspberry, coffee, and burnt leaves dominated the aroma.

T: The raspberry and coffee are very evident in the flavor. Smoke and a burnt flavor is also there with the booze rounding out the flavor.

M: A pretty thick and viscous brew. I like it. It fits the style extremely well.

O: A very solid beer from a tiny brewery. This is one of the best Imperial stouts I have ever had. Good stuff and a great winter beer for sure.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber, procured at the source.

Pours into a shaker pint straight black, getting only some crimson highlights around the very edges. Finger of mocha head.

Smell is rich & on the sharp side: rich like raisins, dark chocolate, cocoa powder; sharp with a bourbon-like alcohol presence. Or rum-like, with those sugars. Subtle vanilla.

Taste is molasses up front, an earthy kind of sugar sweetness, then backed up by dark chocolatey malts, cooked dark fruit, & booze. This is just a little on the creamy side, has a lot more alcohol bite & some acidity to it. Not very bitter at all -- no notable hop presence, & more surprisingly no real roasty flavor. That really helps the mouthfeel: foamy without being creamy, but ends relatively clean with no cling or a huge impact on the palate. Later on I pick up a slight rauch/bacon-y flavor.

Definitely a heavy hitter -- the alcohol seems a little too prominent, both in the taste & on sobriety. Oddly enough, the mouthfeel is a big plus -- very flavorful, but recedes enough afterward that each sip is a renewal & not just layering on more of the same.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Taken from notes last night)

Currently, I'm hanging out in the backyard of my friend Rusty's house by the fire pit. It's a cool night tonight, perfect for a Russian Imperial Stout.

Pours a thick, blackish brown with a dark brown espresso head. Can't see anything through it. Thick, viscous and nasty - his is what I like to see in a Russian Imp Stout.

Smells of rich, black cherry, espresso chocolate, vanilla. Very sweet with dark, sweet scents.

This is a medium to full flavored beer with tastes of cherry, smoke, char, blackened malts, molasses and bitterness. Great combination of flavors in this medium to full boded beer.

Very nice example, recommended. Thanks for the GREAT trade, treyrab!!!

2nd tasting 1/26/2009:

Shared this tasty oilslick with DrewOSU. I decided to crack this one because it's Monday and I HATE Monday's... So, here's my gift. Oh, thanks got out to my man, treyrab for the opportunity to try another RIS!!!

22 ounce brown bomber with a neat pirate theme on the label. No freshness date...

Poured into a cab glass a rich dark brown to black with a 1 inch medium to dark brown head. As the foam realized, the edges of my glass were darker brown, like molasses in color. Good dead retention with no lacing after the head faded.

The nose went through an intense variety of scents in the first five minutes. It started with heavily roasted/blackened coffee grounds and chocolate malts. After the beer sat a bit, I got a burnt, sweet red cherry flavor with dark chocolate truffle. Very nice, a lot going on...

Cherry comes out of the gates with vanilla, burnt chocolate, coffee, oatmeal and floral sweets. There is a lot of hops in this one and it's seen in the puckering bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is wet & sweet with medium to full body and full flavor. This is a pretty complex beer in the flavor department. At times, it reminded me of a fresh Expedition stout because of the hops presence but not dry like Expedition....

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Photo of seaoflament
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to acrdz (formerly known as mj) for this bottle.

Not as dark as can be but a nice dark maple color with a slow start on building some foam so I poured aggressively and well over two inches quickly amassed. Very good retention.

This beer has a nice mocha aroma. Sweet milk chocolate and lightly roasted coffee upfront with the roasted and chocolate malts in the background. Some bitterness and cocoa comes far back on the nose and some hop presence builds up slightly. There are also some notes of milk chocolate, condensed milk, and brown sugar.

Tastes very chocolaty at first but then the roasted barley comes in and some alcohol in the finish. Coffee being to play more of a role after a few sips and there is also some flavors of chocolate covered strawberries. There is some roasted bitterness in the finish of the taste but somehow it doesn't play too much part in the mouth-feel. Hints of berry fruits in the aftertaste. A mixture of dark fruits begins to come out later on, after the 2nd half of the bomber, and wraps nicely with the mocha flavors.

Mouth-feel is really smooth and creamy.

Over all, this is a very nice imperial stout that's right up my alley. It is thick on the palate but not overly sweet and has a nice mocha flavor with hints of roasted malts and just a touch of bitterness to keep you interested.

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Jolly Roger Imperial Stout from Otto's Pub and Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 154 ratings.
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