Drake's Jolly Rodger 2011 | Drake's Brewing Co.

very good
21 Reviews
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Drake's Jolly Rodger 2011Drake's Jolly Rodger 2011

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.75%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ngeunit1 on 11-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 50
Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly to a halo around the edges. The nose is slightly alcoholic with big notes of chocolate and earthy hops. The taste follows with a medium malty body, upfront sweetness and a slightly bitter finish. The hops are relatively earthy and compliment more than overpower the chocolaty malts. This beer is pretty tasty, but I would have liked a lot more hops in the nose.

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Photo of bbHOP
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into Sam Adams Turbolator

A: Pours a very dark brown (very nearly black) with a healthy, tan 3-finger head... thick, and not going anywhere - settling into a creamy biscuit in the center of my glass... sticky lacing

S: Big time hops - resiny pine and grapefruit rind... dank and pungent for sure... some light roasted malt notes, but pretty much all hops - beautiful!

T: Like the nose - very hop forward. pine resin, citrus rind, and a tad of tropical fruit... some rye maltiness and toasted caramel notes mixed in, but the taste is really dominated by the hop character.

F: Medium mouth-feel with nice smoothness... remains fairly creamy throughout. Dry / bitter finish, but hop flavor continues on through the end.

Overall: Really - one of my recent faves. I love how hop forward this beer is, paired with the roasted malt character it has for a backbone. Just a really enjoyable beer that combines a creamy feel with incredible hop aroma and flavor.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright! Another year, another Jolly Rodger!

Pours mostly black with dark brown around the edges. Starts with a good inch and a half of head that leaves layer upon layer of lace behind. Excellent look.

The smell starts with a bit of chocolate malt and finishes with some earthy and citrus hops.

The taste pops it back up to interesting. Both bittersweet and dark chocolate mingle with some very nice pine,'earthy and grapefruit tasting hops. Very smooth on the way down. Very nice dark chocolate aftertaste.

It would be a tie between this and Old Dubee from Utah for top ABA so far. Give it a go, mmm mmm good!

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Photo of hiku7
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I admit it. I'm a sucker for black IPAs. Something about the over the top IPA hop profile and the over the top roastiness is wonderful together. And load it with alcohol, and I'm an even bigger sucker.

Aroma is west coast hops, grapefruit citrus, pine, herbal, and grassy. big caramel and roast malt flavor too. Some alcohol as it warms comes through.

Pours opaque black with a stable long-lasting beige head that sits there like pond scum. Very nice.

Flavor is the same hop profile as the aroma plus a spicy assertive bitterness that is wonderfully even throughout each swig and afterward. Roasted malt flavor is balanced by sweetness that persists to the end to provide a bit of stickiness on the lips, which seems to be par for the course for these beers.

Full bodied with medium carbonation.

I can't help myself. I love it.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 pint, 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at Trader Joe's earlier today and reviewed live. Expectations are average. A 'dark IPA'? Interesting, but I'm cautious. I don't think I've had anything from Drake's before; maybe a collaboration beer.

Presentation: Served into a Brouwerij De Molen beer flute in low altitude Los Angeles, California, at me gaff downtown.

A: Pours a two finger head of very very light tan colour, good cream lacing, good thickness, and great retention - especially for the ABV. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Quite hoppy, with some cream and caramel. Generally appealing. I could be mistaken, but I detect some nuts. It's hard to separate them from the hop aroma.

T: Hoppy, with some caramel and light nuts in the third act. Sufficiently creamy, mostly on the open. It's rather balanced all around. I enjoy it. The bitterness of the hops never comes through, saving it from one of the pitfalls of most (bad) IPAs. It's a bit timid, and it's not particularly inspired, but I find it pleasant. It isn't refreshing, but I imagine most dark IPAs aren't.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A touch too thick considering the flavours it's backing.

Dr: Drinkable for the ABV, and all around pleasant for what it is. I like it, but it isn't good enough for me to consider getting again. It just isn't my preferred type of beer.


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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Bruery chalice, body is black with a 1 inch head of pillowy tan foam, looking like a stout. Has good head retention, dissipates to a ring of pancake bubbles and lots of sticky lacing on the glass.

This also smells a little like a stout, with deep sweet malt notes, chocolate, coffee, overlaid by west coast style IPA orange and earthy hops.

The taste however is quite brash in a good way, richly flavored with sweet dark roasted malt, toast, chocolate, orange in the forward to mid-plate palate followed by a strong liquorice note and orange rind and earthy hops on the back palate. The licorice note is especially noticeable in the long finish. This is a black IPA.

Body is medium, quite a bit lighter in body than a stout, but a little heavier than a typical IPA. With lightly fizzy carbonation, it has a slightly creamy mouthfeel. It's brash and produces some burning and numbness on the tongue, from the hops--there's 90 IBUs on this at least.

I haven't yet caught on to the black IPA thing, but I am really enjoying this imperial black IPA. It has tons of flavor and with some lightness of body, it is a really drinkable beer. I'd say this is the best tasting Black IPA/American Black Ale I've had. It is Imperial and the flavors are strong and stick through my whole taste experience; there is never a dull moment with this beer. It is big on west coast hops, but I am liking the roasted sweet malt backbone which balances the hop acidity. Blame it on the holiday season, but this is one nice fruitcake of an IPA. I think I might develop a taste for the Imperial Black IPA/American Black Ale over the Imperial IPA. Although it is moderate in body and very drinkable, the 8.8% ABV will probably nail you if you don't pace.

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Photo of brotherloco
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. 2011 Edition. Served in a tulip.

Pours solid black with a big two finger head of beige foam. Tiny dense bubbles make things pillowy and leave a lot of lacing.

Aroma of bright west-coast piney, citrusy, and herbal hops. Right behind that you get sweet and roasted malt with a prominent licorice note and some soy sauce.

Flavor is sharply bitter right from the start. Roasted malt emerges in the middle with a coffee-like bitterness, a twinge metallic. Malt carries a touch of sweetness and a distinct spiciness, perhaps from the rye in this beer. Soy sauce note is there as well. Things finish up with a lingering bitterness that is more felt than tasted, and the fairly big ABV emerges with fusel alcohol notes. There's a lot going on in this flavor, but it's not as well integrated as I'd like.

Body is medium but feels a touch thin, carbonation is decent and medium-smooth.

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Photo of mactrail
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hugely aromatic, highly hoppy. Drinkability is not bad, considering the cutlass held to your throat. Tarry dark malt flavors, burnt sugar, molasses, and something like orange-flavored chocolate. This really is more like a dark bitter chocolate bar than any beer I've had. Even cocoa doesn't do it like this. Medium body with a sharpish mouthfeel. Plenty of malt held hostage somewhere below decks. Amazing aromatics. Gets a little bitter and hot after a while, like any harsh mistress.

After trying the new Aroma Coma last August, I was impressed with Drake's way with hops. Here's another one, and I am not remotely a black IPA fan.

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Photo of litheum94
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Near pitch black, with a hint of brown on the edges. A big, tan colored head billows out. Slowly settling to a dense and sticky cover with great lacing.

A nice mélange of hops, with aromas of juicy citrus, spice and some pine. Rich, toasted, almond malts. Some burnt toast.

Citra hops present themselves, with juicy citrus sweetness. Light hop spicing, with some herbal leafiness. Roasted, slightly burnt tasting malts, bready and nutty. Finish has a good amount of bitterness, with flavors of coffee and pine.

Not the best CDA I've had, but another damn fine beer from Drake's.

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Photo of Zorro
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black colored ale with a tall light brown colored head.

Lots of C Hop with scents of grapefruit and pine intermingled with patent malt. Chocolate and smoke with toasted bread. Slight onion aroma.

Starts out bittersweet with lots of patent malt. Taste slightly salty and the bitterness really hits the front of the tongue. Savory taste of onions in this one.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall too much onion taste.

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Photo of tony223366
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Extremely dark brown with basically no light coming through my allagash glass. 2+ fingers of light tan foam. Lots of action in this beer and I'm seeing tons of small bubbles, which bodes well for this beer. Great retention on this impressive head. Also now that I'm halfway through my glass I can verify that there is some amazing lacing going on.

S: Getting huge roasted aromas, even a little bit of bacon or maybe a really smoky coffee. Huge amount of hops that smell incredibly aggressive. Piney and citrus. Delicious and interesting.

T: Huge hop profile. Some huge bitter citrus flavors along with some earthy spiciness. This is followed by a huge chocolaty malty flavor. But for me this didn't last long and it turned into a really smoky maltiness, not all that different than a Rauchbier.

M: The mouthfeel is pretty much perfect for this one. Great carbonation, great body and it's extremely creamy. Exactly how I want my Black IPA to feel.

O: I can totally appreciate what they were going for here. I love Drake's so it's no surprise that this beer is on the money. Now do I want my black IPA to taste quite this roasted? Probably not but it's excellent.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


This pours dark and stormy, er, foamy, with a great whale of an aroma. Spicy, zesty, hoppy. Tastes of sharp cloves and orange peel, a squeeze of grapefruit to ward away the scurvy. Reminds me of a dark IPA. It’s hoppy, bitter, festively spiced but not overpoweringly so. Big but not boozy. Great hop profile—Drake’s keeps hitting it out of the park. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to try it.

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Photo of Ratman197
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Drakes Barrel House poured a clear dark reddish brown with a small lingering tan head. Aromas of roastiness, charcoal, grapefruit and a hint of pine. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and smooth with a dry finish. Flavors of charcoal, roasted malt, grapefruit and light pine with a smooth dry lingering bitter roasty finish.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drake's Jolly Rodger 2011 is an almost black beer with a thin, tan head that has awesome retention. It smells like citrus, flowers, roast and chocolate. In the mouth, it's very smooth and pretty full bodied. The finish is clean and dry with a little grit. It tastes like bitter citrus peel and dark chocolate. It's a little dry and... awesome. This was from the first keg of Jolly Roger at the Trappist in Oakland, CA.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle served in a nonic.

Black color with light tan head. Fades to a thin crown and film, little lacing. Citrus and herbal hops in the nose with strong malt and chocolate aroma. Flavor is much more roast and malt dominant than the aroma with only a mild citrus bitterness in the finish. Medium thick body with medium carbonation. A nice, forgettable black IPA.

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Photo of flexabull
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black color with a nice off white head. Nice lacing too.

Aromas are of resin, pine, light chocolate, and citrus.

Taste is malty, with light chocolate, and some dark creamy fruit and grain flavors. Finish has an earthy and pine like hop note, and some alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with good body.

Overall, this is a nice Black IPA. The balance between the malts and hops is pretty well done. This is another solid beer from Drakes.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost pure black, with a thick light mocha head, almost no lacing.

Smells of hops up front, with malty undertones.

Tastes citrusy hops right up front, but quickly balanced out by chocolaty malts, with sweet malt aftertaste.

Texture is warm and smooth, good amount of booze feel.

I like this beer, but I must say, I dislike the whole "Dark IPA" thing. The p in IPA stands for Pale, and I like my IPAs to be just that, a hops explosion. By adding the malts, it takes away from the hops experience, and this category of Dark IPA should have it's own classification, one that does not say IPA.

That being said, this is an excellent beer overall, good flavor and texture.


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Photo of 100floods
4.77/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's Drake's. It's a Black Ale. This beer had me at 'hello'. Today I am sitting face to face with a new style of beer from one of my favorite breweries.

This pup pours a nice deep, murky dark brown with some reddish tints when held up to the light. A dirty-tan white head lingers even after the beer has settled. Huge citrus aromas back by some hints of resin and roasted malt, which seem to come out more after the first sip. The hop bill carries the currently trendy Citra, Chinook and CTZ and boy can you smell 'em.

Drinking this is exciting. Having several Black Ales before, and holding Drake's to a high hop standard, this year's Jolly Roger takes the crown. Each sip starts with a smooth, fruity, but big hop flavor which is followed quickly by a nice mild dark, chocolate malt bill. Hints of rye, as advertised help lift the hops over the maltier notes, but not in a way that the flavors work against each other. In short, this beer is perfectly balanced.

I've had Black Ales in the past that have had nice hop and malt features, but they haven't come together as nicely as this beer displays. The flavors melt into each other rather than stand side by side. There are less notes of resin and more roasted notes. Each sip ends with notes of citrus and a coffee-like acidity that at times seems to open up the beer's hoppier aspects even more.

I've been really embracing this style of beer, as more and more awesome versions are coming out. Drake's is a brewery that I've always loved for its use of hops and its balance. This beer showcases both in trophy form.

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Photo of snpub540
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark almost black hue into my tulip glass with some sticky light brown lacing stuck to the side of the glass. left sheets of lace the whole drink down.

Aromas were great of this this one. Piney, citrus nose with a faintly sweet and roastiness in the background.

Taste was great. Mostly hop forward but there was enough sweet caramel malt and slight roast to balance things out. Hop flavors were piney and grassy.

Mouthfeel was a creamy, velvety texture that was very nice and surprising. Drinkability is good as the alcohol isn't a factor in the flavor department and the balance isn't really out of proportion for a Double IPA style.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black in color with a big khaki head. A nice citrus and pine hop nose, some strong herbal notes to it as well. It's somewhat roasty and chocolatey, maybe a bit of smoke. The flavor is more malty than expected: lots of roast and chocolate. Still a nice herbal and piney hop flavor. Medium in body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a hint of brown and a finger of frothy tan-brown head. Head fades slowly with some lacing.

S - Big earthy and citrus hops with lots of roasted and slightly burnt chocolate and caramel malts.

T - Citrus and earthy hops with some nice bitterness and roasted chcocolate malts. Through the middle more burnt malts flavor comes through with some more bitterness. Finish is a mix of deep roasted malt with sine citrus hop and bitterness.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a slightly warming and dry mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable. Nice big roasted and hop flavor. Feels a touch of balanced but still very tasty.

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Drake's Jolly Rodger 2011 from Drake's Brewing Co.
4.03 out of 5 based on 50 ratings.
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