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 treyrab
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this beer if phenomenal from the bottle, but from cask it is in a whole different world!

A: Pours a pitch black...this is Darkness black, Dark Lord black, Expedition black...with absolutely no brown around the edges. Has a luscious, creamy 2 finger dark khaki head that lasts the whole time!

S: The smell is ridiculous. Creamy chocolate milk, graham cracker sweetness, chocolate oats, and bitter roast. It does not get much better than this.

T: The taste is out of this universe! This is remarkable creamy like a chocolate milk shake. The carbonation is low and is exceptionally creamy. Tons of bitter chocolate, creamy caramel, creamy graham cracker, oats, and cocoa. This is in my top 3 favorite stouts, perhaps up there with the big boys.

Overall, this is remarkable. A great representation of the style!

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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 CoolJosh
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Pours a dark creamy black, with a chestnut brown head, 1 finger head. No light comes through around the edges. No lacing..

S Very little coming through in the nose. Most prevalent is chocolate followed by riper dark fruits.. plums, dark cherries... but not enough is coming through here.

T Awesome. Thick as oil, and very creamy, definitely a fair amount of oats in here. I had this at its release and remember the fruit tastes being very ripe, but they seem a lot more mellow, and only a month later. Nice sweet chocolate tastes matched along side some vanilla, some coffee roasts coming through with a smooth bitterness, and some dark cherries, and ends with a nice touch of plum.

This is a gem, and if you can get your hands on it by any means do so. I threw a few my cellar upon its release , really can't wait to see how they turn.

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

Thanks to the owner, Roger, for the opportunity to try this one.

The beer pours a dark, black color with a thick frothy brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great!. It has a complex aroma of black patent, chocolate, and peated malts. The smoked malt was done on premise and really takes the aroma up a notch. The taste is great also. It has a dry earthy black malt flavor that is enhanced with the smoked malt character. It goes down silky smooth with a warm and somewhat chocolatey finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous IS. It's warm and earthy, but I really enjoyed the smokey content. Cheers to Roger and the boys down at Otto's for a job well done!!

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass the liquid is black with ok carbonation. The head is one finger, mocha brown and leaves some lace.

The smell is nice rich coffee and chocolate.

The taste is a mellow smooth coffee, dark chocolate alcohol bomb. Hoppiness is not real big over all the dark malt, really an Imp Stout lovers brew.

The mouthfel is great, smooth and creamy, very nice body and good carbonation

The drinkability is very good, I am so glad a got another.

Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-Rate: 22 Oz Bottle
Subtle salted caramel and oak aroma, backed with Amaretto truffles, candied Orange peel, Virginia Burley, and heavy molasses. A little low, but there. Pours a seductive deep black, rimmed with a tanned froth of creamy soap, lacing nicely. Flavor is a dense and intense creamy malt, with luxurious sugars backed by flourishes of coffee bean, noir chocolate, touches of brandy and nice bourbon character. Dryness arising from coffee grounds, roast malt, and caramelization. Nice solid flavor profile with all the expected nuances. Palate suffers just a touch, losing that irreplaceable cask character and forming more density, which works too. Drys out in hickory, charcoal and oats. Hops percolate a little leafy essence to the smack. Nice and pretty close to cask. TOTAL=4.1

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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 mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this bottle in a BIF sometime ago and just got around to trying it last night. I decided to split the bottle with my mother in law while we were hanging out last night. Nice pirate flag on the front, and this 22oz bomber was served at cellar temperature and poured into an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance - The pour was deep, dark, and black as night. Very thick looking liquid getting poured into the glass here. Just the slightest bit of light peaking in through the sides. A nice two finger high head of chocolate colored lace then rose up slowly out of the blackness. It reached its zenith and then sat there for a while, just kind of hanging out with a good amount of retention. Decent side glass lacing kept it looking very nice throughout.

Smell - The aroma was rich with a roasted malt, and mocha like smell. Lots of hints of chocolate in here, and this were already starting to come across very sweet. Some bitter hops could not be picked up as well, and it was really starting to get a nice deep profile to it. A good touch of bourbon like alcohol came through initially but was quickly drowned out.

Taste - The flavor was very full. A rich blend of coffee and deep roasted malts started off the show. Once you let this roll around for a little while, it was quickly replaced by a delicate touch of chocolate, very sweet like a milk chocolate flavor that blended well with a touch of alcohol and a hint of vanilla. Good overall balance to it and a lovely profile. The finish started out very nice, with a good amount of bitter taste to it which caused it to significantly dry out the finish and really give it a good it of bite at the end. Nice long lingering flavor of vanilla and coffee really rounded it out nicely.

Mouthfeel - The feel on this was good, coming across very nice, rich and creamy. It had a fait amount of carbonation to it, which kept it feeling a touch lighter then some of the others in the class, but overall it was very nice and I enjoyed the way it rolled across the tongue.

Drinkability - A very good sipper, this was your classic big stout. Coming in at 9% it was not too hard to put down. And what was there in the alcohol department was very well hidden. Nice carbonation and smooth profile made it even easier to enjoy.

Overall I thought this was an excellent stout. Not quite up there with the big boy but it could hold its own any day. I would love to try this one again, especially with some of the other more well known side by side. Definitely an excellent example of the style.

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

Got in a trade from akorsak, thanks man.

Poured into a 32 oz Stine.

A- The pour was an aggressive pour with very little head, about a finger width. However, there was nice lacing and a nice head slick over the top of the beer. The color is very black, true to form of a RIS.

S- Smell is good, sweet, anise smells, with an oak smell as well.

T- Very balanced and smooth. The maltyness seems to give a very good balance. Very true to form of an RIS, very tasty.

M- Smooth on the tongue and throat.

D- Easy to drink, nice and smooth and very delicious. Too bad it isn't more available.

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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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Photo of NCSUdo
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle

A: Deep black under a fingers worth of brown head. Some decent lace and retention.

S: Molasses, chocolate, hint of coffee, sweet and roasted malt, slight hint of fruit.

T: Pretty sweet up front, finishing in a bitter roasted malt, mixed with some chocolate. Bittersweetness sticks around, only slight warming from alcohol and even slighter dry hint. Surprised at the sweetness. Very good.

M/D: Full bodied, a little slick, a little creamy, carbonation felt, drinkability decent for a big beer. At 9% it isn't going to hurt as much to indulge, but it's still on the sipping side of things. Excellent beer all around.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to adrian910ss from RB for this bottle.

a - pour a deep, dark, thick-looking black, minimal medium brown head with retention around the edges and modest lacing

s - really "bright" smelling for a stout, lots of dark fruits, black cherry, plums, strong hoppiness as well, along with the dark roasted chocolate, coffee, and a significant smoke component, can't pick up on much alcohol

t - bittersweet chocolate and mocha up front, the dark fruits, dominated by dark cherry, are prominent on the midpalate, quite a bit of hoppiness for a stout as well, finish is lingering fruitiness mixed with dark, bitter chocolate, wisps of alcohol, chocolate covered fruit lingers for awhile along with some mocha, very complex and interesting

m - full-bodied, low carbonation, nicely balanced finish though slightly dry, nice alcohol warming effect

d - fairly drinkable for the style, not overly harsh on the palate and the alcohol isn't overwhelming at all

I was very pleasantly surprised by this easily exceeded my expectations. Very unique taste with the amount of hoppiness and fruit flavors in an RIS. Well worth seeking out a bottle.

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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 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 MmmIPA
4.79/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick,motor oil viscosity type body,small tan head that fell fast.Swirls of patches in the beer.

Chocolate,coffee,dark fruits.Smells very fresh.

Coffee,bitter chocolate,sweet malts.Semi hop finish.

Slick mouthful,very easy carbonation.Cant taste the abv.

Very tastyy beer,well worth it.Cheers to Capones and Otto's

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

Pours a pitch black with 1 inch of creamy maple-tan head, good retention and good lacing. Smells of chocolate, coffee, roast malt, a slight smokiness, and some floral hops. Tastes of chocolate are quickly overrun by a burnt coffee flavor. Dark fruits like raisins come in along with a nice caramel sweetness, a hint of leather, and a brief hop finish. Semi-syrupy medium-full in body with some alcohol presence, but not too heavy. Good balance of flavors. A very impressive RIS from the folks at Otto's, very drinkable, especially during the colder months.

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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 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 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 IgnatiusReilly
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz. bomber to snifter at home.

Pours pitch black, decent-sized, deep tan head about a finger thick. I always love the way imperial stouts pour. A little bit of lace on my Duvel snifter, but not too much, and the head thins out pretty quickly.

Aroma is strikingly sweet, cocoa and coffee, some fruity raisin scents, with the slightest hint of citrus hops. Taste is huge, with chocolate and roasted coffee hitting the palate first, along with a very sweet kick, plums and raisins, some caramel as well, finishing with a small hoppy bite and alcohol coolness. Too sweet to be considered dry, but it wants to lean that way towards the end. Full syrup and chewy mouthfeel, very slick going down. Very drinkable.

This is an excellent imperial stout. I'd like to taste this next to the Stone Russian Imperial Stout and see how they compare/contrast. I'm really glad Otto's has started bottling.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A victory bottle for having bested Ryan at fantasy baseball this past summer...charcoal black body with a brown quarter-inch head in a snifter ...wonderful lacing as it drinks down...toasted malt with coffee and caramel notes...creamy and warm mouthfeel...a hint of alcohol (9.5%!?) and a lot of chocolate or syrup, in a good way...smooth and steady...the burn of alcohol leaves after three sips, replaced by a pleasant warmth...too smooth to be believed...I was pleased by their pilsner on draft (and the burger matched) but this indeed was a beer worth singular sipping...I'll have to defeat Ryan more often...

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Photo of sirpsycho
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask, in a snfter at Otto’s. Oily, thick, brownish-black with a beautiful firm, tan head. Chocolate, coffee, caramel, slight smoke in the nose. Flavor lives up to what the aroma promises, more of the same, chocolate, coffee, caramel, etc. Smooth beer, kind of spoils you once you drink it, cause that’s all I want to drink right now. This is a well made Imperial Stout. Bought some bottles of this while I was there and will rate one in the near future.

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Photo of Deuane
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark as night with a lovely finger thick tan colored head which stay full throughout.

S - Rich chocolate scent with some roasted undertones. Also some alcohol "heat" comes thru in the nose.

T/M - Rich and roasty with a lovely chocolate aftertaste. Thick and viscous with a full mouthfeel. Alcohol present but not overwhelming. Very nice.

D - A solid RIS that is actually very drinkable, could be dangerous! A very nice offering from Otto's...the fact that it is served on cask with regularity is a BIG plus.

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Photo of jdg204
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a proud PSU alum I was thrilled to finally have my first trip to Otto's and wow what a place. Found a great cask beer and a great place which I'll definetly be visting again. Very cool being served in a snifter.

Appearance - Lovely, thick black color with a beautiful finger thick coffee colored head which stuck around for the ride.

Smell - Very nice rich chocolatey scent with a nice roasted undertone.

Taste - This guy has some oomph, rich mocha taste with a very well balanced roasted, hopped undertone.

Mouthfeel - Definetly a sipping beer with the power and the texture gets a touch thin but still very satisfying.

Drinkability - Extremely impressed with Otto's, definetly have to check out more of their offerings. This was a fantastic RIS which was actually fairly easy to drink. The fact it was on cask and in a snifter was almost an unfair advantage and helped make this a fantastic brew.

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Photo of weeare138
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kramer 17801 at the Kennett after party. I missed the 1st bottle he opened. Luckily, he had a second one with him...
Appears an opaque black with a small tan head that fades into a mild film and collar. Fairly fizzy. Spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, and caramel.
Taste is of teh mentioned stout bases, along with some roasted nuts, ripened fruit, blackberries, and black grapes.
Mouthfeel is smooth, medium-full bodied, and warming with a touch of bitter hops in the swallow.

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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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