Maritime Pacific Jolly Roger Christmas Ale | Maritime Pacific Brewing Company

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Maritime Pacific Jolly Roger Christmas AleMaritime Pacific Jolly Roger Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Maritime Pacific Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-25-2002

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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 166
Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a bubbly head that retains and laces nicely

Smell: Burnt caramel, some "C" hops, cinnamon, vanilla and more burnt caramel

Taste: Opens with a rich toffee flavor that builds with vanilla and cinnamon elements while moving in a bitter hoppy direction, simultaneously, by mid-palate; after the swallow, all hell breaks loose on my palate, like a Winter Warmer meets West Coast IPA meets Barleywine; an odd cocoa powder element appears at the very end

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth after the swallow

Drinkability: All I can say is "wow" that is one bizarre beer; the brewers must have been shooting for a "pangea" of beer styles in a single bottle; a fascinating experiment and I'm glad I tried it but I don't think I could drink more than one of these

Thanks, mikeale, for the opportunity

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Photo of mactrail
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Clear copper-colored brew in the Ciney snifter with plenty of suds in the mouth, but short-lived head in the glass. Aroma of herbal hops. Rich, rather sweet concoction with a spicy edge and an insistent malted milk taste. The flavor of slightly burnt raisin toast comes to mind.

This stuff just stays sweet from start to finish. It's a pleasant grainy, malty brew with an over-abundance of caramel. Some bitterish hops emerge for the finish. Rather leafy and a little dank for a winter brew. I had a Sierra Nevada Celebration on tap yesterday, which sets a better standard with more aromatic hops and less sugar.

From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Wine World and Spirits in north Seattle.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Swampy dark orange-caramel, on average. The beer at the bottom of the glass leans more toward orangish tawny and, as the eye travels upward, the color gradually darkens to dark caramel-brown just below the head. The whole is almost imperceptably infused with a reddish tint. Fabulous. The head is small and is golden caramel in color. It makes up for a lack of size by being densely creamy and by slathering the glass with a thick, opaque blanket of lace.

Unfortunately, there's a lack of power in the nose. Here's hoping that it asserts itself (avast ye scurvy dogs!) as it warms. I can appreciate butterscotchy malt, cherries macerated in cherry brandy and a wee whiff of hops. There are no real spices, at least to my nose. Not bad, just too weak.

The flavor is much better than the nose suggested it would be. My first impression is of a mega-malty DIPA with a Yuletide flair. For all I know, that's what the Maritime folks were shooting for. The malt backbone is massive and brings to mind thick slabs of heavily toasted dark bread soaked in melted caramels. Second in line is the same cherry brandy flavor that I appreciated in the nose. It's a bit cough syrup-like, but not so much that it's off-putting.

While I can tell that hops are present, they don't contribute much to the flavor. There's an underlying earthy-herbal character, as well as a bitterness that increases progressively within each mouthful that lets me know that my friends the hops are hiding just below the surface. A little more (or a lot more) hoppiness would improve things substantially.

The mouthfeel is noticeably thickening with warming and is morphing from medium to full as I reach the middle of the second glass. The carbonation is also finding its groove, going from 'too much' to 'just right'.

Jolly Roger Christmas Ale is a swashbuckler of a winter warmer (I was amazed to discover that it's available in April; on-tap no less). I've had better, but that fact doesn't diminish this beer one iota. It doesn't quite fire on all cylinders for me, but it's still an excellent sipper that is deepening, and improving, as it warms.

The 8.0% ABV is beginning to scimitar my ass, so I'll end this thing while I can still type. A big Thank You to the right honorable RoyalT for this growler and the two that preceded it. If I can manage to find the bottom tonight, I will not have had a finer 192 consecutive ounces of beer in my entire life.

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Photo of russpowell
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
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 feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brazen crimson color, nearly bronze, slight haze, with a thin coating of beige foam above.
Lovely aromatics, dark fruits, cherries, sherry, a bit of plums and port, hoppy, rich and warm. Very inviting, and I can't wait to taste her! (him?)
Snappy, brisk, fully flavorful entry on the palate, comes crashing in the door loaded with flavor, abundantly hoppy, juicy, spicy flavors...spiced with what, exactly, I don't know. Junipers? Cloves? Cinnamon?
Big, fresh, sparkling flavor, fruity, dynamic, ...sings with the sort of zest I enjoy in many a delicious Belgian ale. Bright, vibrant, and very tasty. Yum, yum, yum, I say it three times, so it must be true
This is a winter brew with real cohones! (And can be easily enjoyed in late June, as well!)

thanks go, again, to the mighty weefisheads for this!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 11/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a rich red amber with a very thin head and slight lacing. Malt, dark fruit and hop aroma. Very malty with spice, some caramel. Finishes dry and oaky with some hop bite. Has the dry malt flavor that reminds me of Mad River's barley wine. Unusual. The finish bitterness is not well balanced, but otherwise interesting and fun to drink.

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Photo of tempest
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
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 plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky dark copper hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a heavy cereal grain, some vanilla and alcohol.

The taste was upfront malty, with some vanilla and spice. There was a noticable alcohol warming. Some earthy yeast esters as well.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side and mildly chewy.

Overall a complex and unique winter warmer. A bit too sweet for my taste however.

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Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
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 barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a caramel color, a cloudier on tap and seems to be much heavier. Nose is sweet and pretty malty. Taste is nice and spicy but goes down so smooth. Hops amd malt are perfect. Well balanced. Notice a little spice but its all nice and this is why the Maritime has it right on EVERYTHING.

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Photo of beertunes
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a rich ruby-brown color with just a thin cap of tan head that dissipated quickly leaving minimal lacing.

The aroma was the sweet and spicy mix typical of winter ales, although the spice notes seem to have faded during aging. The flavors were also typical of the style, with this being sweeter than usual, again perhaps due to aging.

The body was very good, full and thick, without being heavy. A nice taste lingers on the tongue and extends the enjoyment. Drinkability is also very good, but caution must be used due to the strength of this tasty brew. Overall, this is probably my favorite beer from this brewery and I look forward to it's release every year.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the almost clear orangey amber brew. Head is quickly down to a swirly layer of itty bitty bubbles, and lacing is average. Aroma is a bit syrupy, with piney hop notes. Taste is intense upfront, with everything coming at once. The sweetness and hops are both right there, and the rest of the experience is the tsunami roiling and the receding. Mouthfeel is nice once things settle down, and drinkability is quite good for the style and the abv. A winter warmer I wouldn't mind wintering with.

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Photo of glid02
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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 Gusler
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour a hazy, dusky bruin, light chocolate moderate head, modest lace, both dissipate rather quickly. Nose is malt, caramel, and the aroma of the Cascade and Chinook hops are also present. Front is malt sweet, the middle moderate, the finish has a hefty hop spicy bite, the carbonation pleasant, dryish, along with the high ABV, makes for a nice "Winter Warmer.

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Photo of ccrida
2.42/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at the Parkway Tavern, Jolly Rodger Christmas is a murky chestnut with a small, creamy off-white head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell is super soft, as served cold, nothing really until it warmed a bit and smelled like rubbing alcohol.

Taste is a generally mish-mashy strong ale, doesn't strike me as to well crafted honestly. There is a sharpness from the malt and fusels that reminds me a bit of a malt extract homebrew, a firm bitterness that contributes to the drying of the alcohol. I kept waiting for more flavors to develop as I worked though it, but all that came was pain.

Mouthfeel is very dry, but on the heavier side.

Drinkability is not to high, this was a subpar beer, and I'm not impressed. Less fusels and more maltiness, or basically any other character and they might have pulled it off, but as it stands, I really don't see much of a leg to stand on!

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Photo of dirtylou
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
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 twiggamortis420
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle of the 2011 vintage (courtesy of Libbey) pours a caramel color with a pretty nice beige head. Lacing is awesome.

Nose is oxidized caramel with some hazel-nuttiness and maybe some brown sugar. Light touch of plum pudding adds a nice fruity touch.

The velvety smoothness comes to mind first, very impressive. It manages to be sweet but not sticky with some toast and toffee to go along with a mild floral hop bitterness. It has some sherry notes usually found in a nice, aged barleywine. I like how it straddles the line between sweet and toasty, never really leaning one way or the other. Fun beer, Id put at least a few of these away each year come wintertime. This would be a great beer to quaff after a long day on the slopes.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep reddish orange color, semi-smeared, thin ivory topping; keeps a good skim and collar present throughout the session. Stringy rings of lace coat the glass.

Aroma is juicy with berries, jam, and caramel with a touch of Ameretto.

Taste plays out with what the aroma gives out, and quite nicely too. Fruity and jelly-like with some purple grape, apple, cherry, and berries, all mingling within a marmalade-like threshold and caramel smoothness. Sliding warm finishing quality with the caramel and floral hop notes.

Semi-sticky and cloying with malty sweet action and silky smoothness. Body is mediumish with a light carbonation that tends to build slightly into the finish. Nice little warming hints gradually gain hold as you go. A nice beer; perfect for helping warm up the winter.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
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 Reagan1984
2.15/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured with almost no head. I poured until I saw the sediment being disturbed and left a bit in the bottom of the bottle. Dark amber in color with mostly brown highlights. A touch of visible carbonation.

The aroma is all grains and a little harsh. Not "bad" but you can tell it's all about gritty grains with a hint of alcohol.

Flavor is sharp up front and gritty. Not sure how else to describe it. Some caramel sweetness, but the alcohol is really present. In fact as you lick your lips after, it's as if you did a shot. The sharp finish is of the alcohol. Wow, NOT a fan...

Mouth feel is a bit hot and the alcohol is ruling the roost.

Not very drinkable. Have to be honest, on a Friday evening, I'm not going to waste my time with this beer. Moving on. You should too.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This muscular, super-hopped winter warmer has been keeping me happy for years. I look forward to it annually as the days grow shorter and the beers get bigger. Jolly Roger has a sugar frosted flavor with a fierce undercurrent of hop spice. It's built on rock-solid bittering with gleeful elements of cinnamon, spearmint, nutmeg, and black pepper that converge in skilled synchrony like a great jazz combo.

Jolly is a big-bodied ale with compelling drinkability. It is brandy colored with sketchy lace and a sugar-water aroma tinged with a few agreeable phenols.

I'm willing to concede that I have something of a personal attachment to this beer that may color my perceptions. After spending as many holiday seasons with JR as I have, I've grown to expect that it just wouldn't be winter without it. I've got an almost child-like emotional attachment to it that I can't separate from the experience of Christmas itself. You know, like "visions of sugarplums danced in their heads." That sort of thing. Only now that I'm all grown up, it ain't sugarplums. It's big winter ales like this one.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this brew from cannabanaceae. Thanks Marty!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - murky amber color with a small beige head that left a little lacing.

S - sweet malty aroma with a hint of spices.

T - sweet malty flavors with a spiced bitterness, nice warming from the alcohol.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel.

D - a nice warmer upper.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12 oz. bottle at Vancouver's 'By the Bottle' recently. 2+ weeks past December 25th, yet still seems plenty appropriate to have a 'Christmas Ale'; a skull wearing a Santa hat seems perfectly festive to me.

'Yo-Ho-Ho!' screams the label (cute), then continues 'Brewed in the Northwest with Imagination'. The missing FIFTH ingredient in beer!

A: Pours a deep reddish-brown, filled with faint sediment and capped with a healthy head of creamy khaki, rising to just about a finger. Modest carbonation shows through the glass. A speckled lace coats in wide bands.

S: Mundane hops and lackluster spice. i expected a noseful of 'winter warmer' and instead got mild citrus hops and a vague sweet caramel. Not bad, just nothing impressive.

T: Roasted, nutty malt immediately hits with a candied sweetness; citrus-filled hops follow in waves. Oranges and mild nutmeg/cinnamon spices blanket this with 'holiday' notes. Odd notes of cherries and a mildly tannic woodiness.

M: Coating, medium mouthfeel. Creamy and subdued/pleasant carbonation with an alcohol warmth.

D: I liked this beer overall and would have it again. I wished that it had a more enticing aroma, but it's otherwise a good, drinkable warmer. Worth a try.

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Photo of harrymel
1.43/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

$2 for 12oz bottle @ Rocket Market in Spokane, WA
Poured to NB tulip.

A: Pours amber and thick. Little/no visible head or lacing despite hard pour.

S: Pine, copper and aluminum. This is horrid and not making me want to drink it.

F: Sweet, alcoholic, not much here. Lightly bitter, hint of crystal malt in background. Boring.

M: Slicks the tongue with fine, low carbonation.

D: This recipe should be tossed out of the lexicon for what is normally a great brewery.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a cloudy dark amber with almost no head. Little carbonation. Slow. Smell is very nice...malty and spicy. Smells like Christmas.

Taste is sweet and caramelly with pleasant spices. Very malty.

Mouthfeel is thick and a little sticky. Overall, I'm pretty impressed. It's nice.

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Maritime Pacific Jolly Roger Christmas Ale from Maritime Pacific Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 166 ratings.
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