Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Drake's 2016 Jolly Rodger "Translatlantic Winter Warmer"


In mid November, Drake's Brewing Co., in San Leandro (CA), released its 2016 edition of their Jolly Rodger Ale, and I was lucky enough to be sent a sample bottle.

For over two decades, Drake’s has held to their tradition of brewing a totally new beer every year for Jolly Rodger. This year’s version --which should be available through January-- is described as a "Transatlantic Winter Warmer."  It is made with the addition of dark candi sugar and a Belgian ale yeast, which account, I suppose for the "trans-Atlantic" part.

In the glass, the 2016 Jolly Rodger Ale is a lovely-looking beer. Dark copper-colored, almost red -thanks, to a great extent, I expect, to the candi sugar.  The head is not long-lasting, but the beer is nicely carbonated, even effervescent upon first tasting. 

It is malty, and spicy --not in a pumpkin pie-kind of way, but to my mind, more reminiscent of ginger bread or spice cake--- but not overpoweringly so.  The Belgian yest character is evident right up front, as is the candi sugar, but in the background there are notes of dried fruits --maybe of  dark cherries, maybe of prunes or raisins.

Both, in terms of flavor, and of alcohol (10% abv), it is indeed a warmer, but it is not a heavy beer.  With how cold it is tonight, I'm indeed glad I decided to pop open the bottle..


Further stats:  31 IBU | 10.0% ABV | 21.0° Plato O.G. | 4.5° Plato F.G.





No comments: