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 #21,236
3.83 | pDev: 14.1%
Maritime Pacific Brewing Company
Washington, United States
Very Good
Jolly Roger Christmas AleJolly Roger Christmas Ale
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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 174
Photo of Higravity
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a bottle from 2004.

Lovely turbid pour yeilding an amber with a slight tan head. The smell is muted like I am smelling a candle in the next room. Some fruit esters and sweet maltiness with lingering hop characters. The taste is very good but I am sure different than fresh. The hop presence is grassy but most only bittering. The malt dominates and that is alright because this tastes somewhat like belgian yeast was put to work. Fruity cherry and currants delicately hide around the corner while a yeast flavor hangs out with the malt like brown sugar. Good mouthfeel and very drinkable wish I had plenty fresh and aged.

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Photo of ReebShorts
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kind of a murky brown color, thin, sparkly, swirly white head, laced edges.

Abundant aroma smells foremost of Caramel Malt, than raspberry, cherry, brown sugar, and fig maybe. smells like a tasty enough concoction.

Ahh, very pleasant. I was afraid this might be rather sweet tasting, but acually there is some hops present to squash that, also alcohol is noticeable, both on the pallete on the finish followed by a gentle warming.

Drinkability must be very good, as I'm looking forward to gobbling the other 5 this evening.

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Photo of numenor1
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2004 edition, aged one year. From my secret santa

Pours a deep coppery amber with absolute minimal head. Aroma is none too light on its feet, but hints at supreme maltiness. Upfront there's a few fruity esters then lots of malty bready brown sugar sweetness, though by no means overkill, just enough. Intermixed is lots more fruitiness, definite cherries, banana and spice. I won't hazard a guess as to which. Just enough hops to balance. It's very full and creamy in the mouth, with medium low carbonation. Runs all around the palate well after swallowing. Drinks like a beauty. Simply marvelous.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
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 czechsaaz
2.52/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Aroma is sweet and malty but with a very high level of diacetyl. (comes off as butterscotch.) Very low hop aroma.

Nice amber color, very clear. Small and quickly fading head.

Diacetyl whacks me over the head here. In the flavor, it's like someone melted some butter into my beer. There's a malty backbone behind it. Hop Bitterness is pretty low. Hop flavor is non-existant. Each sip is so overly diacetyl that it's hard to concentrate on any other flavors. It's like someone melted a pad of butter into my glass.

Medium full bodied, somewhat creamy.

I really couldn't finish this one. A little diacetyl can add a hint of richness or depth, but too much, and it stops tasting like beer and instead is like liquid popcorn.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red-brown, a perfect color for late autumn early winter. Especially since it seems extra cold this Seattle winter. I don't even need to try--- I can smell rich diacetyl and caramel, with some fruit lurking just beneath the surface. I never would have said it the first time I tried this, but all I can think of is an English ESB on steroids, which to me is a good thing as I love English beers. The taste is more caramel with hints of diacetyl and muted fruit, almost a pear taste. Mouthfeel is every bit as great as a beer straight from London! If you impulsively grabbed a sixer of this, you won't be sad that after drinking one, you'll still have 5 more to go. This beer is defintely a winner. Thank you Maritime for being creative in your brewing and giving me something to think about!

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Photo of mnapier
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Glassware, 12 ounce tulip. Serving Temperature, 50 degrees.

This burgundy and clear ale pours a strong white foamy head that leaves behind a sheen of lace inside the glass.
The nose is of nutmeg, cinnamon, along with earthy grass like tones.
Sipping this I detect roasted-ness, cherry, slight tannins, along with cinnamon, medium alcohol burn and a bit or orange citrus hoppi-ness.
The mouthfeel is noticeably medium.

Overall a good Winter Warmer, that would pair well with some smoked ham or a nice slice of cheese.


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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
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 gbontrag
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

cool color: Red orange and fuzzy. Frothy tam that just covers the top.
Smells like golden syrup and day old biscuits.
Sugar cookie dough, bubblegum. Boiled collards and dandelion greens. Chewy. Lots of malt liquor -- like cooking greens in a malt broth. Burnt sugar cookies, and spice nodules. It's like, ping-ping-ping on the spice jar lids.

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Photo of BrewMaster
2.67/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Served from a 12 oz bottle aquired in trade. No freshness markings on the bottle. The beer pours dark, cloudy amber with an off white head that thins quickly to a ring on the top. This beer has lots of sediment in it. I don't know if it was intended to be that way, but alas, it is.

Smell: Notes of brown sugar, dry tannins, and fresh berries.

Taste: Sour and tart, yet some sweetness is there as well. Burnt toast with some dryness along with a bitter middle and a sweet malty end. The flavor is rather convuluted. No flavors really seperate themselves to be noticed. It tastes like a mish-mash of other beers.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied despite the cloudiness and sediment. Rather uncomfortable in my mouth.

Drinkability: Perhaps I got a bad bottle, perhaps not. I don't really want another bottle of this beer. The flavor needs to be refined to and I just don't see it happening from this beer. My advice would be to toss this recipe and start over.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 64oz growler straight from the source.

I like things that bite back, and this brew does! Oh my, what a great beer this is!

First off, I've got to say... Um, 8 percent!?! Yeah, maybe cubed! I'm a fairly hearty lad and three gave me a good and solid buzz!

Anyway, this one pours an absolutely beautiful dark crimson in color with a thin and wispy off white head to compliment. Nose is complex enough, wafts of pine sap, stewed fruit and heavy on the spices, what those spice are, I haven't a clue. There is so much going on in this glass I'm not even sure where the floor is anymore. The taste is explosive and multi-layered, notes of fruit (cherries, figs, apricots) with spices all throughout, very powerful and full, truly a grand experience. Finish has a nice alcohol kick and the balancing notes of pine and a decent tinge of carbonation. This one gets infinately better as it warms, smoother and a bit more delicate with a bit more of the hops, which balances and soothes it a bit, very nice.

God himself wouldn't be ashamed to sip this fine brew, truly very nice and well balanced. This definatly lives up to it's style, very warming and filling. It's a beautiful thing. Seriously, get some... now. Like RIGHT now.

Maybe I'll move to Seattle just so I can have better access to this one.

Many thanks to Skyhand for this brew, you're a beautiful human being!


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Photo of zacharius
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a dark brown with a minimal head, held up to the light, wasn't quite crystal clear but a little hazy. Aroma is malty and estery, nothing to write home about. Taste is big and malty sweet yet perfectly balanced with citrusy hops. Nice syurpy body yet quite drinkable especially for the abv.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pune juice color with dark streaks, the head was tan and delicious looking, smell was of deep roasted oak and nuts, metallic hint, a ground almost grassy hint, the taste just didn't seem right, I might have to give this one another try, almost a burnt crisp sweetness, a slight hop was out of place dont' like hints of citrus in my winter warmer, thick bodied like syrup, could only handle one of these in a sitting.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
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 RoyalT
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
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 beerguy101
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty, fruity and slightly sweet. Rich roasted malts, slightly hoppy. Rich and full bodied. Smooth taste. Nice flavor. Good hop/malt balance. Mouthfeel is round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty, slightly bitter

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Photo of DrewBeechum
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled in a 16 oz pint at the Brewery Tap Room (Jolly Rogers)

Beer pours a dense amber red with a light haze that catches the light and reflects the glow. Absolutely no head on this pour.

Aroma is a deep black cherry with a mix of mulled ale spices and alcohol.

Flavor is a cherry spiced malt front with hints of old chewed leather.

A finish of slight hop bitterness with a barely sour note leading into a strong warm alcohol finish.

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Photo of Zraly
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This Christmas ale pours a nice, tan head. The color of the beer itself is a rich amber eye-pleasing ruby-orange. In essence, it smells like a heavy, hoppy ale.

The predominant flavor is a malt-chocolate, alcohol taste. The sharp hops finish wonderfully, lingering for a bit and then come back for a moment on the tongue to bite back. A bit playful.

For a brief second, I get the essence of a mellow scotch coming through on the finish as well. And ultimately, this is a flavor that grows as it is sipped.

I recommend this as a sipper to go along with a Macanudo as puffing material.

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Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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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Jolly Roger Christmas Ale from Maritime Pacific Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 174 ratings