When I lived in Illinois I made several treks to St. Louis to explore some of the better craft beer stores. Missouri can get several beers from breweries that I couldn’t get in Illinois. Generally you could only get core beers from Odell, who are located in Fort Collins, CO. However, where I was located (BFE, southern Illinois), you could never find Jolly Russian. The Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton, Missouri luckily would get some but by the time I would get there, this beer would always be sold out. However, now that my son-in-law is stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, he made the trip down to Fort Collins recently and was able secure me a couple bottles of last year’s batch. So, let’s check it out, finally!
Jolly Russian is a Rum Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout. It pours black with a thin tan head. Swirling the beer in the tulip creates a nice frothiness. I had to let this beer warm a bit since it was quite metallic at first on the back end.
Aroma is vanilla and oak with a splash of rum. It smells quite boozy. Jolly Russian is a full-bodied stout with notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and molasses. Generally, I’m not a fan of rum or Rum BA beers, but this one is quite interesting. It’s bitter, like a Russian Imperial Stout should be, but there’s a lot of barrel and vanilla sweetness as well. There’s dark fruit on the back end, which adds a bit of an earthy character. In years past, I probably would have hated this stout, but I find myself oddly enjoying this. Isn’t it interesting how palates change and mature over time?
Jolly Russian is an excellent BA Russian Imperial Stout from Odell Brewing. My daughter loved one of their core sour beers (Sippin’ Pretty), which I’ve had as well, and it was quite good. I must say, four years ago I wasn’t much of a fan of Odell, but now, as time passes, I’ve learned to appreciate the nuances of their beers. They’re a bigger micro brewery, but they sure are pumping out quality beer.
My wife and I are planning a trip to Wyoming in February, hopefully we’ll get a chance to enjoy some of Colorado’s finest on tap while we’re there. Cheers!
- ABV: 13.3%
- IBU: 45
- Untappd Rating: 4.12
- # of Ratings: 3,171