PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Drake’s BrewingBarleywine, BeerNot specifiedNot specified

Drakes Jolly Rodger 2012

Drake’s Jolly Rodger 2012, originally conceived as a festive creation that would win over the hearts of Drake’s brewers, stands out in the realm of holiday brews. Unlike many in its class, it avoids the cloying dominance of seasonal pie spices, opting instead for the bold embrace of malt and alcohol, coupled with a hearty dose of Northwest American hops. The 2012 edition of Jolly Rodger impresses with its full-bodied character, boasting rich caramel malt undertones and a subtle biscuit malt essence. The judicious addition of West Coast hops introduces a delightful balance, infusing pine needle aromatics and a gratifying bitterness.


Poured into a pint glass from a 22 oz. bottle, the 2012 Jolly Rodger exhibits a semi-clear dark amber hue. A generous initial frothy head gradually gives way to a thin, persistent cap of tan.


The aroma of this vintage mirrors the Imperial Red from 2010, exuding resinous piney hops, along with notes of brown sugar and burnt sugar-like malt sweetness. Its aromatic potency is discernible even from a distance.


A symphony of flavors unfolds on the palate, featuring prominent bitter and citrusy hops intertwined with burnt toasty and caramel malts. A subtle hint of dark chocolate adds depth, culminating in a long-lasting, robust dry bitterness that lingers well beyond each sip. Despite the absence of a boozy quality, the overt hop profile might deceive one into perceiving the beer as young or ‘hot.’


The beer presents a full-bodied experience, complemented by lively carbonation that enhances its overall liveliness.

Overall Impression

In summary, Drake’s Jolly Rodger 2012 emerges as a delicious, substantial, and hop-forward brew. Striking similarities to both its 2010 counterpart and the fresh Sierra Nevada Bigfoot are noted, establishing its place among formidable contenders. While it merits admiration, the recommendation leans towards enjoying this brew in its freshest state to fully appreciate its bold and vibrant profile.