Drake’s Brewing from San Leandro, California, has been producing a special edition beer every year called Jolly Rodger. Each year (going back to 2009) there are variations on the recipe, but they’ve all tended to be strong Imperial beers. This year’s bottle is an Imperial Stout with coffee flavoring from bay area legend Blue Bottle.
The result is the kind of beer that I just love. Strong, dark, and full of character… Hmmm… sounds weird when you say that out loud. Oh well. Seriously though, like I’ve said before, these beers effectively turn up the volume on the features, flavors, characteristics that were muted for so long by the big domestic and European brewers.
Being madly in love with exactly this kind of beer, my standards are impossibly high. It didn’t quite have the complete balance of flavor that a few rare others have been able to accomplish. Still, an easy 4.5 out of 5. It’s a fantastic beer and I hope to drink it again before this year’s run is all gone.