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Drake's Jolly Rodger | Drake's Brewing Co.

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Drake's Jolly RodgerDrake's Jolly Rodger
36 Ratings
Drake's Jolly RodgerDrake's Jolly Rodger

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
For 2009 and earlier vintages.

Added by kbub6f on 08-05-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of NickThePyro
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Adamostella
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of BlueEyedAlien
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of yoitsarch
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of elNopalero
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A barrel-aged version of the 09 Jolly Roger? How can I say no?

This poured a dark, ruddy brown color. There’s a just-shy of being tart aroma to this, with a flavor that is a kiss of tartness on the lips. Some bourbon coconut notes, perhaps from being barrel-aged, with no noticeable hop presence. More tart than bitter, and an interesting experience.

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Photo of shelby415
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of dwilson01
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass, the body is an orange caramel color, very clear with nice carbonation rising throughout. The head is a healthy two fingers of tan creamyness, reminds me of the golden-brown color of a perfectly roasted marshmellow.

The smell is quite hoppy, the distinguished sweet orange floral part due to the cascade and the more pungent wooded bitterness from the chinook, what a great hop combination. The malt scents linger in the background bringing up aromas of brown sugar, and a nice toasted hazelnut.

The taste is great, full, and with multiple stages. It starts off nice with the floral aroma hops going all out for a nice refresher to the palate. This is followed by a growing malty flavor of thick honey maple syrup combined with buttered rye toast. After the first two stages have lulled you into a sense of security you discover your folly and get a nice wallop of bitter chinook hops to the taste buds. The bitterness comes from a nice planty, piney, spicey type of taste, it doesn't remind me of anything in particular though.

The mouthfeel is solid, just about the only thing that lets you know that this guy is an 8.0%er. Thick maltyness combines with mild carbonation to produce something very smooth, creamy, and refreshing.

Extremely drinkable, each bitter aftertaste lingers on and entices you to the next sip, I keep trying to define that bitterness in there but am unable to do so.

Perfect name on this guy also, it lulls you into thinking your safe just like a pirate ship with a fake flag up on it so it can get close. Then all of a sudden you're taken by surprise when you get a nice hop-smack in the face just like when the pirates lower the fake flag and fly the real one.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber/orange with a nice dense white head with a multitude of different sized bubbles. Smells like pungent earthy wilderness greenery. Nice bit of pine, and a slight hint of a fruity malt profile.
Tastes great. Very good way to wind down after a crazy day at work. Unlike the nose, malt comes first, and in a big way. Its followed by a spicy, herb infused hop bomb with a shit ton of bitterness lingering in the background.
Has a full body, and at 8% who'da though otherwise? The finish is dominated by hops, even tropical flavors, which did not appear on the nose, but overall, a damn fine DIPA.
Pretty apparent 8%er but its raining, I walked about a quarter mile from work to my truck and the last thing I want is a beer I can't feel! CHEERS DRAKE!

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Photo of peacebone116
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 2010 Jolly Rodger Imperial Red into an over-sized wine glass.

A: Dark copper. Big tan colored head with strong lacing.

N: Pine and grapefruit.

T/M: Spicy piny, earthy, citrusy. Carbonation is nice on the tongue. Thick and chewy. light malt backbone, which becomes more prominent as the beer warms (as does the alcohol), but always remains in the background; this beer is almost more like an IPA except that there the malt has a much more caramelized flavor to it.

EXCELLENT beer! I may have to contact the brewery to see if I can get a keg!

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Photo of vince4953529
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, the cute-looking label indicates the 2010 version to be an imperial red ale; 8% abv.

Poured into my Stone RIS snifter, color looks a very dark ruby red, a lovely head surfaced as well. Lacing braced against the side of glass like continuous images from the Rorschach test.

Smells full of hop, a bit musty.

The taste is very hoppy, very much like an IPA. I did not detect much of the "red" aspect, minimal malt support actually. This could pass for a DIPA anytime.

I love the taste, and drinks very smooth. But the taste should be bit malty for an imperial red even though the color differs. But that's a minor complaint because it's very delicious.

 670 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle, this beer presents with a dense, foamy head and a dark, amber/red color. The beer has a sweet caramel and molasses smell, with a nice undertone of scotch (hence the name). The beer carries a rich, malty taste, with hints of fruit in the aftertaste. Flavors similar to some barleywines. Very drinkable in moderation, and we found that it actually tastes more full and flavorful at room temperature.

 419 characters

Photo of augustgarage
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse. Served in a generic wide-mouth tulip.

Liquid is a very dark burgandy with ruby highlights, topped by thick cream-tinged ivory foam - leaving soapy lacing in its wake.

Rich caramel malt and peat smoke aromatics. Light toast, and a hint of raisins.

Tobacco, figs, prunes, lots of floral notes, rich buttery caramel on the palate. Heavy malts balanced nicely by lightly bitter zesty hops. Finishes relatively dry with a touch of bitterness and grass.

Medium-light bodied, well carbonated, and warming.

A very good example of the style, though lacking a little character compared to the best Wee Heavies.

 640 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

ontap, Rogue Alehouse in San Francisco

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint, amber hued mahogany body, creamy tan head

smell: chocolatey, caramel, milk chocolate, roasted malt, figs, toffee

taste: really nice beer from Drake's - creamy caramel, toffee, big roasted malts, spruce and citrus peel hops, layers and layers of flavor

mouthfeel: creamy, sweet, and big bodied

drinkability: good

 411 characters

Photo of berkey
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Hopyard in San Ramon. Served in a pint glass. From notes 12/08/09.

Body is a very dark but clean brown color with ruby tones at the edges. Forms a very small tan head of loose bubbles that fades fairly quickly leaving only a small ring of foam along the sides of the glass.

Nose puts off tons of roasted malt and chocolate and an unexpectedly vinous dessert wine character. There's also a fairly healthy dose of hops for the style, which is pretty typical of this brewer. They seem to really love the aroma hops.

Flavor follows with a nice dose of sweet fruity esters but I'm not entirely sure I can identify which fruits for some reason, seems to lean slightly toward the citrus more than the dark fruits you might expect. There are hints of alcohol and an interesting slightly spicy herbal finish which compliments the still very present roasted malt character well.

This pour had medium to low carbonation. You can tell you're drinking a bigger beer due to the minor heat in the feel but it's not enough to be distracting. Even so, I find myself really taking awhile finishing this one glass. Obviously not a session beer.

Very interesting brew. While not exactly the best Wee Heavy I've tried it was very well done and a nice alternative to the usual Winter Warmer many brewers do for a seasonal this time of year. I found this highly enjoyable as an after work beer on this unusually cold day. If it wasn't for the high importance of appearance on this site my score would be even higher.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 edition on-tap at Barclay's for their Christmas in July celebration. Pours reddish brown with a thin, tight head that fades to a thin cap that leaves some lacing. Smells quite malty with some piney hops tossed in and some light maple and soy notes in the finish. The taste is similar. This tastes a good deal like an old ale, which is no surprise given its strength and its being aged for a year, with a still firm malt backbone, some sherry notes, but still quite hoppy with some pine notes. Very well integrated by this point, and not at all tired. Quite good.

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Photo of bbothen
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red/copper color with a small bubbly off white head that quickly dissipates into a few bubbles rimming the glass.

The smell of this brew is awesome. I was not expecting the epic battle between hops & sweet malt here. The hops come strong with pine, spruce, tropical aromas. Malt aint no joke either with some sweet toffee & fruitiness. Bravo. I could put my nose in this glass all night.

Sweet caramel maltiness up front, nice citric hoppiness, fruity, tropical, faint smokiness, all these flavors balance nicely for a really tasty brew. Yeah.

Medium to full, moderate carbonation, warming booze, lingering great taste.

A big & flavorfull brew. A couple pints is a good serving for one sitting.

I really enjoy this beer. Unique, well made, & really tasty.

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Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared courtesy of jasonmech77. Poured a medium orange color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of caraml, grapefruit skins, oranges, and some pine. Tastes of caramel, grapefruit, oranges and melons. Light alcohol in the finish.

Notes from 3/2/07

 266 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 250 ml, $11 bottle. Bold scotch taste, creamy mouthfeel. Strong stuff, no weaknesses. Wonder what it would be aged. Carmel ball, a wee toasted. Good example of style, but is it worth the wee heavy pricetag? Certainly warming alcohol, a good winter warmer.

 257 characters

Photo of jwolfie70
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at the Englander in San Leandro. Pour is dark brown with no head remaining when it reached my table. Smell is of dark fruits and roasted malt. Taste is of prunes, molasses and some alcohol peaking through. A true malt bomb, but not cloying. I enjoyed this beer, but couldnt see myself drinking too many in a night.

 339 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz.

10 oz pour. Body is a very dark brown. Head is 1 finger tall and a creamy beige. Very nice lacing.

Aroma is chocolatey with a bit of smoke and dark fruit.

Flavor consists of chocolate and fig, with molasses and smoke notes.

Body is full enough to support the richness of flavor here. A little overcarbonated however.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.15/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

on tap @ Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA

A- deep copper brew under 1 finger of off white foam, good retention, film lacing

S- toffee, malt sweetness, alcohol

T- scent betrays what lies here, hop are quite aggressive throughout, mostly grassy hop, toasted grains, candied caramel, toffee and alcohol(stars in finish)

M- full body that is hot and coarse at finish

D- smells great but not easily drinkable (in my opinion), alcohol is too harsh and the flavors before it to not make battling the alcohol worth it

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Photo of Floydster
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pint at Pizza Port Carlsbad for about five dollars, they listed this at 9.75% and called it a double red rather than a scotch ale

Color was a very dark red, almost brown, I could barely see through the body when held up to the light, impressive appearance, small off white head that settled rather quickly, not much retention but some nice sticky lacing

Smell was extremely hoppy, similar to dry IPA, also got hints of dark fruit, particularly raisins, dried berries, some toffee and caramel malt, somewhat floral hoppiness as well

Taste was not like any other wee heavy style beer I have had if it really is one, most similar thing I have had to this is Ballast Point's Tongue Buckler and this was much better than I remember that being, some piney hoppiness right up front with a big malty finish that is rather chewy, some sweet malty flavors came about once it warmed, not as much fruit in the taste than there was in the smell, nicely balanced overall and the bitterness really made this one stand out

Body was super thick and had just the right amount of carbonation, just wish the taste would have lasted longer, especially when it had as dry of a finish that it did

Could not drink too much of this mainly because of how filling it is, it is rather strong too and right around ten percent alcohol, another pint might have been pushing this, can taste the alcohol during the last few sips as well

This had been on my wants list since I joined the site and I was very excited to see it as one of the guest taps here during my quick stop, best beer I have tasted from Drake's yet, will pick some of this up in the future if I come across some bottles, would be interesting to see what this would do with some age while the hops mellowed out, highly recommended

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Photo of jackorain
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Main Street Brewing Company in Pleasanton, CA as a guest beer.

A-dark amber color, slight chill haze that cleared up as it warmed up, full pint wiht no head, bartender did this

S-malty carmel and biscuit, green and pney hops, alcohol esters carry dried fruits like raisons and prunes

T-very malty and sweet carmel malts are domonant, biscuit malts also ghere. pine and green hops come through ion the middle. Hoppier than I expect for a wee haevy but it is welcome.

M-medium body. a little thin, given the strong malt presence. nice even carbonation

D-I could have two but the ABV will become an issue after that

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Drake's Jolly Rodger from Drake's Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 36 ratings
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