Jolly Roger Christmas Ale | Maritime Pacific Brewing Company

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Jolly Roger Christmas AleJolly Roger Christmas Ale
Very Good
172 Ratings
Jolly Roger Christmas AleJolly Roger Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Maritime Pacific Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-25-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 172 |  Reviews: 94
Reviews by hawks10:
Photo of hawks10
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ScreamForMe for this one...

12oz. bottle poured into FFF's pint glass...

Slightly hazy bright bronze color with a thin one finger tan head that dissipates rather quickly leaving a little lacing...

Smells of sweet bready malt and not much else, slight spice but pretty one dimensional...

Taste is much of the same, sweet malt up front, a slight bitterness peeks out followed by a little spice. For some reason I just find it kind of boring...

Mouthfeel is typical winter/christmas ale, chewy from the abundant malt, warming and nice. Could definitely have one of these after Christmas dinner...

Drinkability is decent, but with the somewhat boring nose/taste I couldn't see myself drinking more than one...

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More User Reviews:
Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap the Parkway tavern the other night. They had both the 2011 and 2010 version on tap, but I believe had run out of the 2011. I would have gone with the 2010 version given a choice anyway...

The beer pours a slightly dark, copper amber color with good head retention and considerable lacing. On the nose, this really comes across as a hoppy barleywine, as there is a huge presence of sweet malt, pine and dry citrus. On the palate, it's just more of the same, with the massive malt backbone more than compensated for by the huge blast of hoppy bitterness. In combination, I get something of a caramel, butterscotch, toffee and candyapple flavor that marries well with the considerable hoppy bitterness. The 2010 version wasn't quite as raw as this beer sometimes is when fresh, and I found this beer to be quite smooth and surprisingly drinkable for it's abv. and huge flavor profile.

Not the sort of beer I'd want to drink any other time or any other place than in the NW during winter. However, drinking this beer in Tacoma in December is just an absolute treat, but one I'll probably have to wait another year for to sample again.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This was just gorgeous. It poured a deep, dark brown with a beautiful slightly-tanned head that showed lots of retention and left a nice lacing film on the inside of my glass.

Smell – Big, juicy malts with heavy spicing lead the way here. This is a Christmas winter ale for sure. It is spiked with some very dark spices. I can’t even begin to name them, but the clove is the most prominent.

The malts are huge here as well. They are sweet and luscious. There’s a rich, deep caramel and sugar aroma that waters the mouth.

Taste – The malts are laden with a cane sugar type of sweetness, and the spices make things all that much better. There’s even a dry kind of hoppy balance to this beer. You can drink this all night; it is that good.

Mouthfeel – This is medium to full in the body with a wonderful sugary sweetness, strong malt backbone, balancing dry hoppiness, and a completely unnoticeable 9.0 ABV.

Drinkability – Are you kidding me? This is one of the most drinkable “big beers” that I’ve ever had.

Update – The ’04 seasonal was a bit bitterer at the finish then it was in ’03 and maybe a tad lighter in the mouth. This really is my favorite Winter Warmer year after year.

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Photo of erikjon
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow... had this with dinner at a steakhouse in downtown Seattle. This could have been a meal in and of itself. After two (before dinner came), I was feeling it. I hadn't eaten anything all day, but I was still a little surprised at how it hit me... it wasn't until I got home and looked it up and found that the alcohol content was 9% that it all made sense. Anyway, on to the beer... great color and smell... I couldn't wait to jump right in. Lots of malt and hops with a great full bodied caramel flavor. The first one went down so easily, I hardly remembered the transition into the second! At 9%, its definitely not for the weak hearted, and being a winter brew, this will keep you warm on the cold, damp nights in the Pacific Northwest. I would highly recommend this one.

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Photo of Seattle_Suds
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of glid02
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received via trade with barleywinefiend – thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of muted pale and caramel malts with very slight hints of toastiness. Also present are earthy and leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Slightly dry caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by moderate amounts of leafy and lightly herbal hops. Midway through the sip the flavor profile dries out further with mild amounts of toasted malts. The toasted malts and leafy hops carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass without a problem however I’m not sure about another.

Overall this seemed like a run of the mill amber ale with hints of darker malts. Not a bad beer but not worth seeking out either.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IntriqKen
4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another amazing brew received from skyhand. Thank you.
Medium crystal clear amber with a half finger head that takes a verylong time to finally settle into a top coating lace of sticky foam.
Aromas are simply sweet malt...I can't notice anything else there. Malts are definately toasted in aroma, however.
Flavor, however is very complex and very, very wonderful. Sweet toasted amber malts, caramel, definate pine resin hops and alcohol. Honestly there is much more to the complex flavor but I can't identify it individually because it is very well balanced and blended,
I can feel the 8% ABV advertised and it is pleasant.
Aftertaste is also very pleasant...nothing cloying although the brew was sweet enough...nothing bitter, although it was amply hopped. Just dry and pleasant.
Good...perhaps great, winter warmer. 8% helps...a winter warmer should be stronger.
Thanks again to skyhand...especially thanks for two bottles...I will love the second even more than the first since I will do so merely for pleasure and not to review.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of mchen
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ElGordo
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A longtime customer brought this in to the store for me to try the other day. Thanks Jack for the gift...
Pours a nice-looking orange-amber hue, topped by a small, short-lived flourish of creamy white head. Head diminishes to thin, wispy coating in under a minute. Aroma of piney hops along with some roasted caramel malt. Notes of spruce and a light smokiness are detectable through the generous whiff of alcohol.
Palate is a complex blend of piney hops that are somewhat subdued by the lightly sweet, sticky malt. The bitterness comes through on the finish, with a good bit of spruce emerging on the aftertaste. Body is smooth and more than a little creamy, an unexpected pleasure in a winter warmer. The ample alcohol makes this one you'll probably want to drink in moderation, but overall a very tasty brew. I'll have to explore more of this brewery's offerings next time I'm in Seattle.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, leftover from the 2011 batch. Ballard beer.

appearance: served in an oversized snifter, lovely body really - ruby, garnet, brown, light foamy beige head

smell: earthy, pale malts, toasted nut

taste: A slightly above average winter warmer - vanilla, booze, nuts, creme, caramel, toasted malt, herbal hops. Improved with age, but the cheapest 2010 bombers i have seen are an ASTRONOMICAL $8.99 at ballard market - Are you serious?

mouthfeel: mild bitterness, creamy medium-light body

overall: good, not great

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Photo of tempest
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Matt K. for bringing this one back from Seattle. It's a hazy orange in my glass with little head or lacing. Basically it's a red ale with decent hops to it. I also get some very slight cocoa along with the smooth and roasted caramel flavors. Not a bad beer, but nothing new or inspiring.

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Photo of scootpolute
4.9/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

P: 12 oz bottle poured into a cone pint glass.

A: Deep brownish garnet color with a good clarity, light tan lace adorns the top ... a product of densely frothed head.

S: Sweet and earthy with a big hand of caramel, candied fruit and mineral. Hops are soft in the aroma with a leafy character.

M: Nice flush full body, smooth and crisp in the mouth. Malt character is very broad with a bitter-sweet start and a chocolaty finish with hints of lightly roasted coffee. Alcohol warms quite well. Fruity of the dark ripened variety, fig or prune in the mix? Hop bitterness cuts through the malt and leaves a trail of flavor that gets lost before the after taste. A triple fold of alcohol spiciness, heavy leftover hops and the mild chocolaty finish rush for the finish line. Pleasant and complex after taste.

O: Always a winter beer fav....Bottom line, drink this one with care...This has been only beer where after a mere 6 pk, I found myself the next morning face down, next to the fridge and late for take caution, this one can get you in the 'woo-woo!!'

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Photo of jmccraney
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of bdchristiansen
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of russpowell
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to googzoid10 for this, cheers Greg!

Pours an effervescent caramel with a pinky of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Slight breadyness & dark fruit

T: Cakeyness, toffee, honey, leafy & herbal hops & brown sugar up front. Woody hops & dark fruit (figs mostly & a little cherry ) dominate as this warms, plus oaky dryness & more brown sugar. Finishes dry with brown sugar, & leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, plus good balance

Pretty drinkable, ABV is well hidden, not bad, not mind blowing either

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Photo of DOCRW
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of bum732
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy copper red. Not much head, not much lacing. Smells of peach, apricot, malty sweetness, nice piney hop profile near the end. Tastes of a moderate bready maltness countered by a huge piney and earthy hop bitterness. Alcohol is definitely present. Finishes fairly sweet.

Not a bad beer, tastes and smells like a barleywine, but much hoppier. Not a bad beer, but thick and powerful to dry and drink more than one.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Maritime Pacific's Jolly Roger pours up nicely with a moderate carbonation that creates a compact tannish head that neatly tops the bright reddish amber body. The light spicy nose has an abundant caramel maltiness with a perfect touch of earthiness, fruitiness (orange cream) & alcohol warmth. Pleasant. The flavor starts off with some brown sugary maltiness then leads into layered caramel which is eventually undersored by a firm, lingering earthy bitterness that brings about a deceptively warming finish. This one surprised me, as I wasn't expecting anything nearly this good when I reached into the fridge & plucked this one from the backhole. Jolly Roger will have Santa singing "Yo-Ho-Ho!" & keep his cheeks rosy for sure!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of Superheatnsubcool
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first impression was that it tasted like a doppelbock or maibock; malty lager with a hint of booze and a crisp finish. I was surprised to see that the brewer classifies it as an English Strong Ale. I was even more surprised to see that they use Chinook, Cascade and Amarillo hops, to the tune of 42 IBU. Can’t taste ‘em. It doesn’t taste like the 9.5% ABV listed on their website, but my buzz after chugging a bottle confirms that it’s a hefty brew.

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Photo of serebeerdrinker
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of redleg64
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kevlee722
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Ajlvt
4/5  rDev +5.3%

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Jolly Roger Christmas Ale from Maritime Pacific Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 172 ratings