Sunday, February 17, 2013

Drake's Brewing - Jolly Rodger 2012

Arrrrrgh! It be good, matey!

You know, you slap a skull and crossbones on somethin' and I'm probably going to drink it. I was immediately drawn to this bomber of Drake's 2012 Jolly Rodger because the label called to me from the cold case. "I'm dangerous! Drink me!" Hell, I'm up to the challenge! Not even the $8 price tag was going to put me off. I had a sawbuck in my pocket. (Kids, a sawbuck is an old person term for a ten dollar bill. It refers to the "X" that is created by the crossing 2X4's in a sawhorse. What's a sawhorse? Oh, nevermind.)

Apparently Drake's makes a different brew with the "Jolly Rodger" moniker every year. The brew for 2012 was an American Barleywine Ale. ABV 9.6%. IBU's 72.

The beer poured into my glass a semi-cloudy, deep amber color with a finger thick, fluffy, tan head. The head dissipated at a moderate pace and left a thin layer of lacing from rim to rim.

Aroma is resinous pine with sweet malt and brown sugar in the background. There's a nice sugary scent that seems more pronounced as the beer warms up.

Taste is big bitter citrus and piney hops right up front. Merry the Wonder Beagle came running and the drool started immediately. (Her typical reaction to big West Coast hops.) Delicious caramel malt flavor is left on the palate after the hoppiness starts to fade a bit--although it never quite goes away during the drink. Wow, this stuff is awesome. No booze sting that I could discern. Lots of tasty complexity. Peppery, spicy notes. Warm but no alcohol bite.

Medium mouthfeel with a light creaminess. Not at all syrupy or tonsil coating like some barleywines I've tried. 

This is one fantastic brew and I'm giving it a PERFECT score of 4 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie.


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