Drake's Jolly Rodger American Barleywine 2012 | Drake's Brewing Co.

very good
24 Reviews
Drake's Jolly Rodger American Barleywine 2012Drake's Jolly Rodger American Barleywine 2012

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UCLABrewN84 on 12-02-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 109
Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a dark, tawny color with an impressive stack of ecru foam; shards and squiggles of lacing linger

Smell: Burnt caramel, tobacco, roasted pecan, pine resin and raisin

Taste: The caramel underpins the flavors, with tobacco, pine resin and somewhat burnt character developing; raisin and roasted pecan flavors, through the middle, with the resinous pine and tobacco flavors re-emerging in the finish; quite a lot of bitterness as well as licorice in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; with low to moderate carbonation; I was expecting a fuller mouthfeel

Overall: On the one hand, the 3 1/2 years in the bottle diminished the DIPA character noted by earlier reviewers but, ultimately, this beer is slightly past its prime and the flavors are fading; glad to give it a go, however

Thanks, aslamm75, for the opportunity

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. Had a 22 oz bottle poured into a chalice 7/2013.
A: Brilliant dark amber, with a 1” dense dirty white foam collar that leaves lines of lace marking each drink.
S: Resiny pine and biscuit with traces of chocolate.
T: The palate starts with cream and foam that dissolve omtp a blend of caramel malt sugars, biscuit, pine, and alcohol.
M: Big, chewy, very soft carbonation.
O: A luscious sipping beer.

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

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #72 (Jan 2013):

So much the American Barleywine that is clearly on the label and more importantly the brewers intention, an “in your face” style brew to boot. While it may not be a total palate wrecker it certainly keeps it captive for a while. Drake’s has been around since 1989, you should really check them out.

STYLE: American Barleywine
ABV: 9.6%

LOOK: Reddish orange, tiny bubble sticky lace

SMELL: Biscuity, candied fruit, citrus rind, minty, caramel, booze soaked raisins, spicy, Christmas pudding

TASTE: Creamy smooth, super malty, stodgy full-ish sized body, bitter hop, spicy resin, evergreen, grapefruit, toasty, caramel, dried grass, expressive alcohol, herbal tea, hoppy drying finish

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Photo of scottfrie
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a woody caramel color with a thick, three fingers, of dense light tan head that slowly faded into a thick and lasting film. A network of sticky lace was left down the glass.
S: Sugary sweet overall with dominating scents of caramel and candied dark fruits. I get a few hints of biscuit malt, bread crust, honey, and brown sugar as well. Hops are spicy with a hint of old pine needles. Hint of leather and cocoa, too.
T: Not as sweet as the nose but still potent and rich flavors of caramel, raisins, and candied dates. I get deeper notes of leather, chocolate, hop resin, pine sap, fudge, mead, and spicy, leafy, hops. The finish is strong with rich, boozy flavors that linger long after the swallow. The aftertaste is rough around the edges and slightly boozy.
M: Full body, thick and heavy mouthfeel with a good chew to it. Low, dense and soft carbonation that kicks up on my palate. The booze is noticeable but not especially hot. Still, it adds a sharp bite that, combined with a pretty decent hop bitterness, is a bit rough at times.
O: Deep flavors are rich and fairly complex. Drinks well despite have a few subtle flaws. I enjoyed this one and would enjoy another.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at a great little beer store in Arlon, Belgium, Miorge Mihoublon. Clear mahogany-orange pour with a two finger off-white head with great retention and crazy lacing. The nose is very malt forward with hints of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, tobacco, tangerine, pineapple, and pine resin. The taste is bold and pungent with huge piney, citrus notes up front along with hints of caramel, toffee, orange peel, biscuit, pineapple, grapefruit, tobacco, and subtle dark fruit. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and smoothly creamy with medium body and carbonation and a great tangy, bitter, slightly dry finish. Overall, the balance leans slightly more towards the double IPA side which hurts the drinkability a bit for me, and would probably mellow out with some aging. With that said, it's still a very enjoyable Barley-wine!

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Photo of Jeffo
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bomber into a snifter
2012 release
IBU: 72

APPEARANCE: Pours a three finger, medium looking, creamy, off-white head with excellent retention. Clear burnt orange with no carbonation evident. Head fades slowly to a full foamy cap and leaves lots of lacing down the glass. A half wisp and ring remain leaving lots of lacing down the glass. Good looking stuff.

SMELL: Caramel, toffee notes with lots of piney, grassy hops on the nose. Bold aromas, with some light red fruits in there as well.

TASTE: Toffee and caramel up front with pale malts and some nice piney and grassy hops at the swallow. Bold and lingering finish of bitter, piney hops, light citrus notes, spicy flavors and some sweet caramel and toffee as well. Flavorful and quite well balanced. Some bitterness lingers on the palate.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Nicely creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a touch dry. Good stuff here as well.

OVERALL: Solid, solid stuff. Went down really well while watching the girls tie it up 2-2 and then take it home in overtime. Solid malt base to this one with a really nice hop profile as balance. Equal in quality to their Drakonic Imperial Stout and pretty much equally enjoyable. Something I'd gladly drink on a regular basis if it were available to me. Recommended.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aged for 9 months. Barleywines are not usually one of my favorite styles, so I went into this with a little trepidation. However, compared to some of the absolutely overbearing, strong, in-your-face barleywines that I've had, this went over pretty well for me. The pour is a little lackluster, a mirky, dark orange with lots of sediment, and a moderate white head. I always think "appearance" is such a weird way to judge a beer, but this one falls into the "meh" category. Smell is mostly apple cider, caramel, and hops. Some mint and booze is noticeable. Taste is much more hoppy and much less sweet than I was expecting. As some others have said, it really feels more like a DIPA than a barleywine. Very noticeable alcohol which is unfortunate at only 9.6%. Mouthfeel is smooth, and not sweet-sticky like a lot of heavy hitting barleywines. Carbonation suits it. Overall, works well for me as a barleywine, but may not be as true to form for true fans of the style. Probably not something I would buy again.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Capitol Beer and Taproom in Sacramento, CA

Appearance - Fairly clear and ruby amber in color, this barleywine was served up in a 12oz snifter with an off-white finger width head. Good retention, dissipating at a fair rate and leaving a film of microbubbles across the surface. Leaves a nice lace around the glass with good stick.

Smell - Strong citrus aroma. Orange with a touch of grapefruit. Touches of pineapple. Light to moderate chocolate notes linger in the background.

Taste - Follows the nose; huge citrus character upfront and throughout. Grapefruit with the bitterness of orange pith. Moderate chocolate malt notes, with lesser caramel sitting beneath. Slight astringency near the finish, but not outside what one might expect from a barleywine.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with a creamy, near syrupy feel. Moderate carbonation. Goes down smooth and easy.

Overall - A very solid barleywine from Drake's. Lots of citrus bitterness, basically venturing into "DIPA" territory. Would likely benefit from aging, but drinks nicely as is.

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a caramel amber color with a nice 2 finger fluffly off white head. Some nice lacing on the glass, though the head dissipates quickly.

S: Not overly aromatic. Getting some caramel and slight toffee. Some hop aroma is present as well, pine needles, slighty earthy tone. That's about all I'm getting. Anything else would be a stretch.

T: Hop bitterness hits immediately. Sweet citrus coming through on the second wave. Followed by some nice malty caramel sweetness to finish out the taste.

M: Medium bodied,well carbonated. Sweet finishes and lingers.

O: I'm not the biggest Drakes fan, outside of their pale/IPA selections so I was hesitant on this. However I was rewarded o n this risk. Really interesting barleywine that is basically a DIPA with some nice caramel notes. Dont think I would think about aging this one past a yr, as the hop profile is pretty big on this.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA.

Pours a burnished amber hue, deep in colour, but perhaps only because it's a deep beer intrinsically. Body is full and satiny, holding carbonation well. Head forms a structural foamy crest, settling down to a substantial, but less structural film of off-white. Lacing is good, forming in flecked rings around the glass. Looks very good.

Lemony notes on the nose, extremely delicate, with a structure of filigreed herbal notes behind it. There's a pleasant malt character backing it up, but it stays dormant for a long while. As it warms, the malt comes a little more forward, along with the booze, which accentuates some of the other characters, but doesn't overpower. It's a very well-constructed and extremely pleasant aroma.

Taste is a little lighter than I expected, and certainly less broad on the palate, but it's exceptionally long, and it develops beautifully along its length. Initial leafy, earthy hop notes eventually fade, leaving sweet malty tones, toasted oatmeal, and a honeyed sweetness that lingers and dances with the oddly roasty tones that flare up towards the ending. Booze provides feeling: a kinaesthetic structure that guides the flavours without getting in the way.

Overall, this is good stuff. After a while, the lack of breadth on the palate means it feels a little sharp; this harms the drinkability slightly, but really, this is a beer that's meant to be savoured and sipped. The length on the palate is it's strength, and its delicacy is it's uniqueness. I've not had such a big bold beer that is so subtle and coy. It's fascinating stuff.

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Photo of ElSid
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Beers of California


Bottled Date: 2012 Vintage

A: Deep, dark mahogany with a shade of cherry. The head of stone khaki foam rises in the snifter after a firm pour, slowly fading away leaving behind a flotsam of bubbles which seek shelter at the rim.

S: Pine hop freshness which fades to a breeze of booze along with caramel and raisin sweetness. There is also wood with a char undertone which comes through more as the beer settles.

T: Begins with a nice caramel, raisin, and brown sugar sweetness. The initial malt sweetness then settles to a wood, biscuit, and bread middle. There are hints of char and vanilla that come through intermittently. The booze and piney bitterness builds from this point finishing with a dry and spicy earthiness.

M: Smooth and syrupy, this big sipper packs a medium to gargantuan feel with an ample portion of carbonation.

O: This brew lacks complexity and layers but ultimately delivers a capable American Barleywine that stays true to the style.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1712th Review on BA
Bottle to Drakes Tulip

2012 Release
Purchased for $7.99

App- This came out of the bottle about the color of a dark sunset. A nice orange color with a good clarity behind it. Nice and clear but still fairly dark for a barleywine. More head that stayed awhile and left a great amount of clings and sticky lines.

Smell- Its the american version. Much more citrus and bitter hops than a malty english version. Not bad smelling but needs a bit of balance between the deep citrus and the ABV. The ABV is sneaky on the nose.

Taste- I enjoyed this beer. Its a bit fresh to me, with a bit of the booze being very upfront and then the bitter hops blending semi-well with the malts and the citrus flavors of this hoppy barleywine. The flavor is quite large to it. The ABV is letting its presence known as you sip but doesnt dominate the flavor profile.

Mouth- A bit of a bubbly medium body with a medium smooth carbonation. The flavors are well pronounced on the residual flavors. You get the citrus, the malts, the bitter and even a little bit of honey to it.

Drink- Its a nice barleywine. Not on par with some with some of the best that there is. But a nice citrusy and hoppy barleywine with a good ABV boozy balance to it. I would like to see the BBA version of this. The balance might transform this into magic.

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Photo of brewdude1982
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drake - jolly rodger
A: reddish brown with a slight opaqueness, a head with tiny bubbles.
S: faint boozy smell other than that not much
T: malty with a sour hop taste in the finish
MF: good carbonation and full body
O: interesting especially since it is a barleywine and doesn't have that fig taste that a lot of barleywines have.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark orange with a soft, white head that has little retention

S - huge citrus, some spicy hops, peppery, alcohol

T - spicy, peppery, bready, birthday cake-like sweetness, alcohol, some herbal hop notes in the finish

M - warm, full bodied, well carbonated

This is yet another Barleywine that blurs the line between DIPA and Barleywine. This has all of the classic DIPA notes people craze. It's hoppy, bordering on intensely so. It has a sweet maltiness to edge the hops. The alcohol is noticeable, but it doesn't take away from the drinkability. I could work through a whole bomber of this myself and be satisfied. It's worth a try for any fan of big, hoppy beers.

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Photo of mactrail
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber with a fine white head in the tall Stella glass. Fabulous aroma of hop flowers and resins. Tastes sharp, and really hot rather than full-bodied. So seriously hopped-up, but with a liqueur like flavor that is powerfully alcoholic. Hoppy smells and the noseful of pine hit you with every sip. Too much of a good thing, so if you like a DIPA you'll love this.

This tastes and feels like a really hot double IPA with a touch of sugar, rather than any kind of Barley Wine. At 72 claimed IBUs it's in a different time zone, even from such big hop barley wines like SN Big Foot. It's more like Double Bastard. But anyhoo, if you want the hops this is the place.

From the 22 oz bottle.

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Photo of Philousa
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imbibed on tap at Original Gravity on 12/14/12.

Appearance is like an imperial red: ruby, clear, with a thin lace of off white head that laces well. lots of caramel in the nose with grapefruit, lemon, pine, and some dark chocolate. Aroma is mostly dank. Starting out nice. Flavor starts caramel with a hint of chocolate. Hop flavor is definitely present: piney, bitter, almost soapy and refreshing. Finish is dry with a good solid mouthfeel. This is basically a double IPA with a heaping helping of red, caramel malt. Solid.

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Photo of brycemc
2.84/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On draft at Smokeeaters in Cupertino.

In a 10oz Triple Karmeliet tulip glass.

A: Dark red/gold in color, little head, but leaves plenty of lace. A bit redder in color than a typical example of the style.

S: Alcohol dominates the nose. Slight tinge of hops, but no IPA style cirtus/pine. Very slight undercurrent of apricot or other light stone fruits. Not much there.

T: Dominated by the hops, but decently balanced. Malts are present, but not very much so. Mid pallet is very slightly metallic, but not offensively so.

M: Typcial medium body barleywine. Not oily or heavy, trending towards lighter due to alcohol in finish.

Overall: an inoffensive but underwhelming beer. Not all that impressed. Likely to not improve with a few years in a bottle, simply not sure what is left under the alochol and hops.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color was a dark amber with a reddish hue and a fair amount of white foam and some lace on the side of the glass. The smell was of piney hops and a hint of alcohol. The flavor was more of a IPA but with a little more kick. There just enough bitterness that makes this a enjoyable barleywine ale. There is a hint of citrus, hard candy, fruit and spices.

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Photo of flexabull
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with a decent white head.

Aromas are very nice. Blended notes of citrus, resin, and hard candies. It smells like a well made DIPA.

Taste is slightly grainy up front. Beer then settles into some creamy malts, hard candies, and some slight stewed fruit flavors. Finish is bitter, resiny, with some grapefruits and citrus notes as well as warmth from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with nice carbonation and good body,

Overall this is a very tasty beer. It reminds me of more of a DIPA than a barleywine, but that's not really a bad thing. This is a very good offering from the fine folks at Drakes.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. $8 at a local store. Prices going up?

A: Pours a clear, reddish amber body with a billowing, beige off-white head that rises to 3 fingers in height. It recedes slowly and leaves a few tendrils of lace in its wake. Quite nice.

S: Heavy on the pine and caramel, this is clearly an American-style barleywine. There is a small fruitiness that reminds me of apricot; is this some hop expression? If so, I wish the hop bill were reversed...

T: Caramel and pine with a little apricot, as the nose suggested. There's a small almond presence that I find interesting. Bitterness is present, but not overpowering. As it warms, I find myself enjoying the flavor profile more; the nuttiness becomes more noticeable and enjoyable. I wish the citrus were played up more, as I don't really enjoy pine hops as much, but it's definitely a solid American-style barleywine flavor.

M: Fairly creamy; the carbonation mostly dissipates on the pour, leaving a less aggressive tickle on the palate. Alcohol is well disguised. Bitterness is present, and noticeable in the aftertaste, but it isn't palate-wrecking.

O: It's solid, and worth buying one to try it, but it's outclassed by some vintages of Old Guardian, Double Bastard, Old Ruffian.... Not quite top-tier. I'm a little bummed by the price point, too. Between $6 Alpha Session bombers and $8 for this, I'm gazing with more longing at the $9 six-packs of Little Sumpin' Sumpin' sitting next to Drake's beers at the grocery store.

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Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber to a sam adams cup

A- dark reddish copper, 1 1/2" fluffy khaki head

S- dank, piny hops, mint, spices that tingle the nose

T- caramel, vanilla, alcohol, spicy, piney hop bitterness, biscuit malts

M- creamy, below average carbonation, spicy bitterness tingles the back of the throat

O- another amazing brew from Drake's. This brewery is quickly becoming one of my favorites and after only trying 3 of their beers, they have hopped into my top 5. This beer is packed with spicey, dank, piny hops both in nose and taste. Booze is ever present but melds with the flavors and never over powers it. Awesome caramel malts keep the hops in check and gives a creamy caramel, vanilla flavor. Spicy hops tingle the nose, alcohol warms the belly, caramel malts create a creamy nucleus in which the rest of the flavors/aromas support. And so i realize the designation of a Barleywine is correct, it's just an awesomely hoppy one!

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Jolly Rodger? Hell yeah I'll give it a shot.

Pours out a very transparent copper color. The head isn't bad, but neither is the ABV. Not much lace gets left behind.

The smell is strong and simple. The start, heavy caramel, pine and apricot. After this a little grain and citrus. Slight alcohol aftertaste. Light body for a Barleywine.

All in all, the perfect starter Barleywine. It's simple, not over the top, tasty and inexpensive. It doesn't add anything new to the style but I found it very easy to drink.

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Photo of SanFranJake
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from double-deuce into a snifter.
Pours a copperish color with a slight bit of tannish head which dared pretty fast.
Pretty fragrant and smells something like an DIPA more than a BW. I think the bottle says this is ratcheted up to 72 IBU, so pretty high for a barley wine.
Flavors linger after sips which us nice because I like the tastes of this. Doesn't taste like 9.6%.
Seriously, the more I drink it the more I am tricked that its a DIPA.
Regardless, this is my second bottle but it wasn't yet been on BA for me to rate after the first bottle.
I'll be buying this again and sending it out when someone wants good west coast hoppy brews, of which there are a plenty.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and herbal hops. Taste is much the same with a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but pretty strong.

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Drake's Jolly Rodger American Barleywine 2012 from Drake's Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 109 ratings.
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