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Shipyard Prelude Special Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Prelude Special AleShipyard Prelude Special Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

479 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 479
Reviews: 278
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 14.13%
Wants: 10
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: taez555 on 02-27-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shipyard Prelude Special Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 479 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sailracer
1.5/5  rDev -60%

Sailracer, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of pmcadamis
1.78/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A - A big old three finger tan head sits prettily above a deep garnet brew that looks shadowy and mysterious. A good deal of lace is left on the sides of my Rochefort chalice, and the head looks pitted and foamy...like that tan stuff on top of a meringue pie.

S - Dates, raisins, and dried cranberries (Craisins). Some strawberry-like notes are there too, along with a fruitcake malt base.

T - Again, dried fruits and yogurt covered raisins. This reminds me of a type of cereal breakfast bar that my fiance likes...it's basically oatmeal studded with dried strawberries and covered with a hard sugary yogurt topping. Oddball flavors abound, and the unfocused nature of this brew is throwing me off.

M - Medium bodied, slick, and oily with moderate carbonation and a funky rotten-fruit finish.

D - Poor. I really don't like this one at all...it's way off base.

pmcadamis, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of sachie23
2/5  rDev -46.7%

sachie23, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of Brad007
2/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a ruby-reddish color with a thin head. Aroma is mostly malty and a bit sweet with spices. Taste is somewhat bitter upfront like a pale ale and there's not much spice or anything else showing through. Kind of rough around the edges as well. As it warms up a bit, it softens somewhat. However, I just don't think I could drink another bottle of this beer. I've had better winter warmers.

Brad007, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of chris1919
2/5  rDev -46.7%

chris1919, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of Fettpopps
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Fettpopps, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of Nichols33
2.25/5  rDev -40%

Nichols33, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of Pintofbrown
2.35/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had the Prelude in a shaker pint.

Appearance- Slight width of off-white foam. It is pretty puffy and barely covers the cap. The body is a standard and transparent amber.

Smell- There are some big bread malt aromas and slight herbal notes. There is also a little bit of spice, maybe cinnamon and coriander. However, all the flavors coming together are not that appetizing.

Taste- There is more of that strange mix of herbal and spiciness at the front of the drink. It has notes of band-aid, charcoal, and black dirt. There is some grassy hop thrown in for good measure. The bread malt base is fine, now if only the spices were more appetizing.

Mouth feel- This is a light to medium body, watery and under carbonated. It does not help that the after taste is so terrible.

Overall- I would not drink this bready, spicy mess again. The malt base is fine, I had no problem with that. Just those spices are not helping at all.

And of course the beer may have been easier to drink had it been either a little more sparkling, or creamy.

Pintofbrown, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of rhino54
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

rhino54, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of erlenmeyer
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

erlenmeyer, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of Perilousleigh
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Perilousleigh, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of rderedin
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

rderedin, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of DogFood11
2.58/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Single 12oz brown bottle. Highly filtered clarity and is a mild ruby red color. Head is modest and fades quickly.

Slightly tinny smell is squashed by a nice malt bill. Its not enough. Maple syrup makes an appearance. Not much on the spice end. Aftertaste lingers a bit.

Notes: I can't get past the metallic twinge. Pass.

DogFood11, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of BB1313
2.6/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a transparent auburn with a fluffy off-white head and very sticky lacing. Great looking beer here. The aromas are full of diacetyl. Warm butter blended with some caramel malts. There's a nuttiness going on in the aromas and flavors as well. Also some hints of cocoa powder and chocolate malts. There's a nice subtle bitterness in the flavors. Lots of dark fruits like raisins and plums. There's some toffee in the mix as well. Flavors aren't horrible, but it's all one note and there's not too much complexity going on. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's light, somewhat watery, but still has a solid body to it. The carbonation is spot on making this an easy drinking beer. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

Boring beer for the most part. This was my first time having it and I highly doubt I'd seek it out again.

BB1313, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of jaswilson2
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

jaswilson2, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of nheinzie57
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

nheinzie57, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of billab914
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

billab914, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of Dizzy242
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

Dizzy242, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of RBorsato
2.78/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Nice copper color with a low beige head and light carbonation. Subdued buttery diacetyl aroma and flavor; overall this beer is just too funky assuming from the use of Ringwood Yeast that Shipyard frequently uses... not a fan. Medium bodied and smooth with a yucky butter finish.

Not one I'd recommend...

Per BOM notes: 6.6% ABV & 45 IBU.
Malts: Pale Ale, Crystal, Chocolate
Hops: Cascade, Tettnang, Fuggles, East Kent Golding

Best Before: Dec '07 (notched)
Tasted: 04/09/07

RBorsato, May 11, 2007
Photo of jdhilt
2.78/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a two-fingered off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Light - medium carbonation. Deep clear amber color. Nose is soapy??. Starts with hops and malts; finishes with a hoppy/soapy overtone. Medium bodied. The ABV is currently 6.8%. $2.89 for a 22oz bottle.

jdhilt, Dec 25, 2003
Photo of viverlee
2.8/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

There’s no way it’s just 6.7% ABV. I won’t believe it.

Here’s a simple rule, for Winter Warmers, Doubles, Imperials and other Strong Ales: Beer shouldn’t sear your nostrils or your mouth. What’s really at fault here are my expectations and the thought that here’s supposed to be a warming booziness. Instead for some reason it’s cold. Real cold that shoots straight from the glass up the nose and doesn’t improve with the first or second sip.

Toffee, pomegranate juice and rubbing alcohol mix awkwardly in a fine mahogany glaze.

It’s Chimay Première without the distribution or the flavor.

Beeradvocate Rating: 85

ratebeer Rating: 73

Hayward Abbey Rating: 72

viverlee, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.83/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My first time with Prelude, found at local Hannaford Market. Pours a dark clear brown color, little bit of head that fades quickly. Smells of malt and some kind of christmas popurri. Tastes quite sweet with spices, buttery, a bit of citrus and back to the popurri again, kind of odd. Average mouthfeel, fizzy. Overall not that impressed, the flavors don't do it for me. It's not horrible but not something that I can really enjoy. Shipyard can do better.

Manosbeeroffate, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of rev3rb
2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottom Line Up Front: This winter ale is a malty ale and is a unique beer within it's style.

Decanted 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: I loved how this ale looked. Dark amber ale with a pillow white head that has nice lacing around the glass.

Smell: Aromas of bread and dark fruit (raisins). Almost smells a bit sweet.

Taste: My first (and continued) impression is that I immediately notice a buttery diacetyl taste. I'm assuming this is on purpose, otherwise I got a bad 6-pack if this wasn't supposed to be the case. Once past the buttery taste there is some malt sweetness and some caramel. If there were hops they were masked by the malty and buttery character of the beer.

Mouthfeel: It has the right amount of carbonation for this style. This beer coated my mouth and left a lingering aftertaste. It has a medium body.

Overall: The appearance of the beer drew me in, but there wasn't really anything in this beer that kept me interested. The buttery taste for me was not a positive characteristic of this beer. I think it's worth buying once to experience as I'm sure other people would find this beer good.

rev3rb, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of sacredduck
2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A wholly unremarkable beer. As a lover of Maine beers (where I went to college), even this one doesn't excite me. The darkness in color is surprising considering the taste, which is light. Smokiness dominates the taste, which is pleasant, but far from complex. The smell is almost non-existent. I can smell that there is malt and hops present, but that's about the end. The drinkability is average. I happened to pick up this 12-pack on sale for $8, which is a steal. I would never pay full price for this beer. There is nothing unpleasant about this beer except for its complete boringness.

I'm no fan of special ales, but I've had many that are better than this.

sacredduck, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of changeup45
2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chalk up another average beer for Shipyard. Pours a dark brown color with minimal head. Malty with some sugar spicy flavor in there and slightly sour in the finish. It's decent and warming but nothing too great. It was however $5 for a six pack so the price was very good.

changeup45, Aug 24, 2008
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Shipyard Prelude Special Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 479 ratings.