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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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 154
Photo of morimech
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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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 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 BeerBelcher
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Quite solid. Black, boozy, silky, chocolate-y, and smokey.

A big thanks to JaBier for bringing this one back from his travels.

Pours black with a small head. Aroma is dark roast, chocolate, and coffee. Flavor is same but with a significant amount of smokiness which surprised me. The smokiness is discernible, but by no means overwhelming and is quite complimentary to some other elements in the flavor. Mouthfeel is thick, slick, and persistent.

A big beer, but a good one.

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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 ClockworkOrange
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the brewpub in State College for around $4. Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into my Adnams Imperial pint glass. The stout appears an opaque deep black color with about two fingers of creamy dark ecru colored foam. Nose and flavors consist of rich roasted malts some of which were nicely smoked, blackberries and raspberries, molasses, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, cocoa, mocha. The complexity cannot be beat considering the price. Still a bit of alcohol heat after over a year in the bottle. The stout is approaching full bodied with ample carbonation. A really nice Imperial stout worth tracking down.

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Photo of nkersten
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown/black with a thin, quickly dissipating mocha head.
S - Smell is great... Light roasted malts, cherries, a little bit of booze.
T- Taste is dark chocolate, some burnt sugar, dried cherries and a slight hop bitterness. Surprisingly balanced for a big stout. Not to sweet, not too bitter.
M- This is exactly what an imperial stout should be like. Thick but not coating with minimal carbonation. A tiny bit of alcohol burn adds to the enjoyment.
D- I could drink this one all night. One of the better imperial stouts I have had, highly recommended.

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Photo of illidurit
4.37/5  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.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.32/5  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!

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Photo of maximum12
4.44/5  rDev +7%
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!

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this at an epic tasting hosted by EinWeizenbitte. Thanks a ton Todd!

~4oz. sample poured into a small tulip.

Appearance: Pours out thick and brownish black in color with a dark brown, creamy head sitting on top. Red shades flash at the edges. Great head retention and very nice lacing.

Smell: Perfumy hops, dark fruits, roasted malt, smoke, some dark chocolate, and a few more indiscernible sweet components.

Taste: Molasses, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and sweet smokiness. Maybe some coffee as well (my notes are a little hard to read). Finishes a bit dry, but that dryness snowballs in the aftertaste. Coffee, dark fruit, ash, and smoke can also be found in the aftertaste. Nice progression of flavors.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick and creamy with a low carbonation that IMO suits it well. Leaves a sticky residue on the lips. Once again, finishes dry.

Drinkability: The aftertaste can be a bit harsh, but otherwise this is a very good RIS. Wish it had a few more unique attributes to help it really stand out as I'm struggling to remember much about it two days afterward. Hopefully I'll get to try it again someday.

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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 brdc
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks clockworkorange for this one. Large capped bottle poured into a snifter.

Pitch black, dark tan head, decent retention.
Aroma is more chocolate than anything else, but roasted malts, coffee, some fruits make their way into the mix.
Nearly full bodied, easy to drink, it is well balanced with a slight predominance of sweet tastes, always balanced by a bitterness that comes more from charred malts than anything else. Coffee, milk, minimal fruitiness make an appearance.
A very nice RIS, on the lower end of the ABV spectrum, highly drinkable.

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Photo of bbothen
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a small snifter type glass.

Pours out a deep brown/coffee color with a tiny tan colroed head that quickly dissolves into a small ring of bubbles aroun dthe glass. Almost no lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, toasted coffee beans, chocolate, burnt aromas, dark fruit, smoke. Nice.

Sweet roasted maltiness, sweet fruitiness, plum, fig, burnt bitterness, nice smokiness, chocolate, coffee, faint alcohol. Tastes great.

Full bodied, low carbonation, chewy, creamy, great.

Drinks great. Wish I had access to this all the time. A winner for me.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.42/5  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!

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Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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.

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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 drgonzo3705
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Very nice deep black color with a thin mocha head that retains reasonably well and leaves just a bit of lacing.

S: Rich dark chocolate and what smells like some sugar cookie dough. Very pleasant to the nose.

T: Again with the dark chocolate along with some smokiness as well. Still even taste a bit of that sugar cookie dough (I'm not complaining)

M: Thick and creamy just how I like it. Leaves a nice oiliness in your mouth too.

D: For how big this stout is and that it is 9% is a huge plus for me. Most stouts that are on par with this are a little higher ABV, so yes this is very drinkable!

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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 jgap
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received in a trade with jac5084. It seems Josh, Esq. is really making a name for himself- awesome guy and great trader. Pours jet black into a stone 12th glass with a fairly large, mocha head. Great retention. Smell is of strong coca and hints of coffee. Taste is huge, thick molasses. Solid brew, literally it's like malt-O-meal. Milk chocolate fades to a thick malty sweetness then leads to a light, lingering coffee. Very easy to drink, it's like chocolate milk. The alcohol is hardly detectable at all.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
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

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.37/5  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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.4/5  rDev +6%
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 ┬╝ 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.

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