Jolly Roger Christmas Ale
Maritime Pacific Brewing Company

Jolly Roger Christmas AleJolly Roger Christmas Ale
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English Strong Ale
Ranked #17
Ranked #21,213
3.83 | pDev: 14.1%
Maritime Pacific Brewing Company
Washington, United States
Very Good
Jolly Roger Christmas AleJolly Roger Christmas Ale
Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 174
Photo of ChrisPro
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. summer 2010 release, thanks to northwestmark, served in a snifter

A - Pours a burnt umber that took head forever to form, but once it showed up, it didn't go away. Great lacing and a little bubble eggshell head.

S - Aroma of caramel, honey and fig

T - little sweet molasses and caramel, and then a beautiful slightly dry roasted chestnut finish. My mind may be playing tricks on me, but this is a great sweet/dry nutty finish. Little weird estery flavor that lingers, though.

M - Drinks pretty full-bodied with very sharp carbonation, which was unexpected. A little oily, but doesn't really take away from it for the style.

D - A bit hot right now. At 8%, you really taste the booze as it leaves a little burning in the cheeks and back of the throat after the finish. Sitting in front of a fire, I'd love this, but I think this could really benefit from age. Great for the style and I regret not cellaring some of this when I lived in Seattle.

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Photo of grittybrews
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark toffee brown with traces of orange into a tulip with a finger of fluffy eggshell head. Sweet caramel malt aroma with just a hint of citrus hops.

Moderate carbonation and a smooth, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Very sweet up front with lots of brown sugar, vanilla, and toffee. Finish balances the sweetness somewhat with some grapefruit and spicy hop notes.

On the sweet side, but still an easy sipper with a gently warming alcohol presence.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahhh, every year I await you, you saucy devil, for your return from the high seas! Every year, you come back with a bounty worthy of a pillow made of spun alpaca pubic hair!
A bountiful reddish brown with big malty sexiness. Caramel and toffee, some chocolate and brown sugar, a bit of earthiness. It is erotic and filling. The malt slides down easily with a coaxing bitterness. Hop aroma and flavor is minimal, allowing the big malts to play their games with my tongue. Always sexy, never boring.
One of the finest winter ales Washington has to offer.

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Photo of olmatty
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Pours a crystalline deep ruby brown beer with a pillowy beige head.

Smell-Light amber malts, a hint of honey sweetness and a touch of spice.

Taste-A low aroma does nothing to announce the HUGE flavor hidden within. Big, honey and biscuit malts with a substantial sherry wine presence, similar to some barleywines. Hops contribute perfumey and spicy layers to the flavor.

Mouthfeel-Quite thick bodied, with a significant amount of residual sugar.

Drinkability-High ABV limits drinkability, but the deliciousness boosts it too. Brilliantly huge.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type - Bottle

A - Pours a rich, mahogany hue, with a large, 2-3 finger tan head with good head retention and lacing.

S - Smell is of of toffee, pine, oranges, some spices (that I can't quite put my finger on) and some caramel.

T - Taste is of rich, bready toffee-malts, with a moderate pine/coffee bitterness, and hints of orange peel. A bit boozy on the finish, but within reason of course.

M - Mouthfeel is full-bodied, with moderate carbonation, and a creamy texture overall.

D - A bit too strong/heavy to session, but definitely above sipper status. The drinkability here is just right for the style.

Overall - A very solid winter warmer, which I must say, is hitting the spot perfectly after, fittingly enough, a snowy day! Good thing this stuff is local, I'll probably be having a bit more of it while it's around.

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Photo of enki
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle that was stored in the fridge for a year (purchased xmas 2009 from McHales taphouse in Bellingham).

I am a bit surprised by some of the lower reviews for this beer.

Poured out coppery and obviously thick from the bottle. A bit of lacing but nothing out of the ordinary. Some sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Smells like hops, spices, caramel, and a hint of wood. Tastes much the same, with a thick (but not cloying) mouthfeel, plenty of maltiness, and some oaky flavors in the background. This is a very well executed Xmas ale. Hops are strong, but not overbearing, and are well balanced with the malty, caramely flavor.

I just couldn't wait for Xmas :)

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

im sick of wine so let's have a beer. it pours like a porter, bubbles are wispy and anemic. smells like sourdough gingerbread, if such a thing were to exist. the taste is something quite special, evoking a primal flavor of fermentation.. something that harkens back to some early memories of stronger esb-style beers. chocolate flavors without being chocolatey, roast flavors without being overly ashy.. y'know.

it's drinkable, and somewhat of an anomaly for the typical pacnw beers that i encounter from day-to-day. when i stop and think about it, this beer caught me off guard with its lack of hops, booze, and stars-and-stripes attitude.

i would recommend it, if for nothing more than a history lesson to other northwesterners.. to let them know that there's more than just what we normally see out there in the beer world.

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Photo of hawks10
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
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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Photo of russpowell
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
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 beertunes
3.56/5  rDev -7%
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 Beertracker
4.25/5  rDev +11%
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 barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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 tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by ajsdad.

Poured clear brown color with medium off-white fizzy head that mostly with good lacing. Medium roasted malt aroma with a hoppy tone. Medium to full body with a smoth texture. Medium to heavy flavor of roasted malt with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Good interesting solid brew.

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

12oz bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours dark copper with a ruby-amber hue. A half inch head of off white fell fairly quick to a partial skim coat on the surface. A few smeared dots of lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with crisp malt, an earthy mineralness, and ripe fruit. Very British-forward with notes of a solid gypsum-like bitterness, a hint of butterscotch and biscuity malt.

Medium bodied with a crisp edge. A slightly tacky mouthfeel.

Biscuity malt, earthy hops, and ripe fruit start the palate. An almost stinging, warming bitterness quickly steps forward along with a touch of butterscotch and gypsum.

Finishes with a lingering, crisp bitterness, plump malt, and chipped toffee.

Tasty and hugely British-esque. Warming and malty, and I could see several of these sneaking up on you easily.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
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 Reagan1984
2.15/5  rDev -43.9%
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 ccrida
2.42/5  rDev -36.8%
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 bum732
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
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 craytonic
2.61/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Murky caramel-orange.

Smell: Not much - caramel, hops, malt

Taste: Something is seriously off. Big malt backbone, but it tastes moldy. Some cough syrup flavors. Alcohol is up front. Maybe a little amaretto.

Mouthfeel: Does have a nice, full mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Not good at all; I possibly got a bad bottle

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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 hellbilly
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

bottle courtesy of riversideAK.

slightly hazed pale ruby brown with a creamy toasted almond colored head. some drippy lacing is present.

lots of caramel on the nose mixed with earthy warm spices, toffee, grass, red apples and faint piny leafy hops.

sugar is a non issue thanks to the ample hop content... flavors of caramel/toffee/butterscotch, toasted nuts, earthy spice/cinnamon, pine, mild bitterness and lots of dry leafy hoppiness on the finish. the hops carry through into the aftertaste where they keep parching my mouth. medium body. bitterness and hops keep it really enjoyable.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Split three ways w/ dkachur and proteus93, w/ my portion poured into a brandy snifter.

Appearance: An slightly hazy, bright amber with a fast-fading off-white head that leaves splotchy, runny lacing. No carbonation of which to speak.

Aroma: Faint herbal hops and slightly buttery, roasted malts are pretty much all there is here. The hops are slightly minty, earthy, slightly tobacco-esque, which seem a little out of place ... or perhaps I just don't care for it too much.

Taste: Very bready and spicy. The doughyness is heavily roasted, faintly toasted even, and fairly sweet, with flourishes of coffee. Spiciness is subtle and earthy, and there are flourishes of fruit, too. It's pretty flavorful.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and even, with a fairly thick body. A slight prickle from the spiciness, earthy hops.

Drinkability: A solid winter warmer, perhaps with a little too much reliance on herbal hops to achieve what it wants, but nonetheless pretty decent.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served a little hazed - some time in the freezer... oops! Fortunately, it didn't freeze, but needs some time to warm up.

A: A rather minimal white head... foamy, over an orange-brown hazy body.

S: Cinnamon and nutmeg - well sweetened and blended well with the malts.

T: Quite a bitter flavour... the spices seem a bit jumbled, and the alcohol is a bit strong

M + D: Easy does it... the alcohol is a bit on the hefty side. Medium body, minimal carbonation. Not one of my favourites, but glad to have tried it.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby brown color with a short head and nice lacing.

Scent of oats, spices, bubble gum, and chocolate. A little odd for the style from my experience, but good nonetheless.

Taste of malts, some peppermint and oats. Doesn't quite hold up to the scent, but still a pretty tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth.

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Photo of erikm25
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Darkened amber with a caramel brown body and garnet highlights. Head is fluffy and two fingered. Lacing sticks around the glass and plasters all the way to the bottom. Looks nice and is typical of this style.

S: Scents of cinnamon, roasted nuts, and ginger. Brown sugar with ground up candy canes, berries, and peppers. As this warms the aromas are even more candied and balanced with some subtle citrus hops.

T: Tastes like cherries, apples, and dates splashed with spices and whiskey. Flowery with a caramel and toffee warmness. Slight wine tang. A stellar malt backbone with an earthy and plum quality. Butterscotch with raisin undertones towards the back. Nutmeg and smoked alcohol make this spicy and warming in the finsish.

M: Light carbonation with a light to medium body.

D: This is a quality winter warmer and almost drinks like a barley wine. For the price I could see myself with a case of this as a staple through the 2008 holiday season.

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Jolly Roger Christmas Ale from Maritime Pacific Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 174 ratings