A few months ago I brewed a clone of Maritime’s Jolly Roger Christmas Ale, my favorite Christmas beer. This year’s version was just released and I got a 6-pack just as the keg of my cloned version of it ran out.
The one on the left is the real thing and mine is on the right. This was literally the last of the keg, a half-pint was all that was left after CHUGfest, a local homebrew club’s 1st annual beer festival, where I served it. Because it’s the bottom of the keg, it’s cloudier than normal and clearly cloudier than the original. But the taste was very close! Mine has a more pronounced hop aroma and flavor, I think I just added a bit too much hops in the boil and dry-hopped. I think if I tone down the hops a bit, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two.
For lunch today, Gay and I went to Maritime’s (new) Jolly Roger taproom for more of the real thing, but on tap instead of in the bottle. I found out yesterday afternoon that last night they were serving 2012’s Jolly Roger, 2010’s Jolly Roger, Jolly Roger aged in a rum barrel (appropriate for the pirate theme) and Jolly Roger aged with cherries in a brandy barrel. It was too short a notice for me to get there last night, but they still had them on tap today so we got a sampler and I had a full pint of 2012’s version.
The keg version is more hoppy than the bottled version but still not as hoppy as mine. The 2010 aged well and tastes more sweet, towards a barleywine. The rum barrel version was slightly more sweet but didn’t have the expected oak flavor and the cherry/brandy version was similar but had a little bit of a tart taste. All were very good. Lunch was good too.