1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Longfellow Winter AleShipyard Longfellow Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

164 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 164
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 9
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gfreed
2.35/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It's nice to know that here in New England, one can still find mediocre regional beer in large bottles for prices low enough so that when half of the bottle has been consumed, the remaining half can be dumped into the sink without guilty, why-am-I-wasting-my-money? feelings. Take Longfellow, for example. Its thin, fizzy body and citrusy tang veer more toward mild IPA territory than porter: its lack of density and depth qualify it as a summer beer, not winter, in my book. I searched hard for some kind of aroma, even after letting it get quite warm, but couldn't find anything beyond wet ropes (is that the shipyard in Shipyard?) and Coke. And the burned-lemon, burlappy aftertaste is... well, I don't know what it is (aside from icky), but it doesn't help things. Call it an ill-conceived black APA/IPA or an overcooked weak amber, but don't call it a porter. To the kitchen sink!

gfreed, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
2.4/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Aromas of faint oranges, dark malts and butterscotch waft from my glass as I pour this deep amber almost black brew. It is topped by a light brown head and shows ruby highlights when held up to the light. As I go in for a deeper sampling of the aromatics it is obvious that the butterscotch, movie popcorn, diacetyl notes dominate the nose of this beer. The taste is lightly sweet up front with a cooked corn DMS note in the finish. The taste is also dominated by diacetyl, through which a bit of roasted malt and complex maltiness has poked through, but just barely. Unfortunately for my sensitive palate the diacetyl notes dominate what otherwise could be at least a half way decent beer.

Despite my review, thanks to Pisskynights for this brew that comes from a generous sampling of brews which I know will be far better than this.

Gueuzedude, Mar 11, 2005
Photo of Brutus627
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Brutus627, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.55/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Very dark mahogony color with a nice, tan head that dissipates at a leisurely pace, leaving a nice ring at the top and generous lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell is mostly just a sweet, sickly smell. Smells alot like a brown ale. Something smells wrong with the beer. Best by date is March of 06 so it should still be fresh. Weird smell.

Weird taste as well. Very sweet. Hints of chocolate. Tones of coffee. Not very impressive. Again, that weird, sweet taste is their and I am not sure what it is. A bit bitter and astringent as well.

Tangy and pungent mouthfeel. I will pass this by in the future.

SaCkErZ9, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of J-Bonestradamus
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

J-Bonestradamus, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of beernads
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

beernads, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity."

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Roasted walnut brown that is actually dark garnet when backlit with sunshine. Following a louder than usual escape of CO2 on crown cracking, the head exploded to the top of the glass on the pour. The soft, airy foam is golden beige in color and isn't sticky enough to leave more than a few bony fingers of lace.

Shipyard describes Longfellow Winter Ale as a porter-Scottish ale hybrid with a distinctive roasted malt character. It's hard to appreciate all that in the nose. Maybe it will strike me that way on the palate. The beer has a routine dark maltiness that is much more tangy-sour than usual.

It's pretty much a wash between this beer's good characteristics and its bad ones. On the negative side, it's too thin, too fizzy, too tart, too bitter, too simple and too metallic (with the first several sips at least). On second thought, maybe the bad outweighs the good.

If one is able to get past all that, Henry Wadsworth does have a decent roasted maltiness, along with a phenolic bite that is reminiscent of Bonny Scotland. Amazingly, the Ringwood butteriness of most Shipyard brews is in short supply. It's hard to tell if this is an old bottle or not, but it's hard to believe the brewers designed it to taste and feel this way.

The mouthfeel is the source of most of the trouble. Again, it's way too light and way too fizzy. The bubbles settle down some by mid-bomber, but the body hasn't firmed up one iota. Not good.

Given some of the other reviews, it appears as though I got a less than representative bottle. I will make every effort to acquire another and will glady put Mr. Longfellow through his paces again.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of jaswilson2
3/5  rDev -22.5%

jaswilson2, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of kaelingirl
3/5  rDev -22.5%

kaelingirl, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of SenorHops
3/5  rDev -22.5%

SenorHops, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of PhatAtUT
3/5  rDev -22.5%

PhatAtUT, Thursday at 01:44 PM
Photo of jlindros
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

More and more I've been trying Shipyards and liking them less and less. I used to love the stuff from their pub, a few blocks from my friends place. But the bottles just don't seem to cut it.

A: Fluffy 2 finger head fades at a medium pace over dark roasty reddish brown color.

N: Creamy fruity malts, sweet syrup and molasses, quite a bit of syrupy aromas, malt extract aromas as well, a touch of brown sugar and a hint of bitterness.

T: Sweet malts and malt extract galore! Lots of sticky sweet low grade syrups and extract flavors, as usual from the Shipyard stuff. A little minerality and salt too, some spices, little Christmas spices, a little bitterness, very schmalty. Blech! I'm beginning to think that they have a bottling line thing, like Opa-Opa did where the bottles just tasted terrible compared to the real stuff at the brewery/growler. I'm also wondering if I get some older stuff in the bottles and its just bad by the time I get it. This was a winter brew and I got it in spring, and some of the reviews pick out a lot of stuff I didn't so perhaps I'll have to start reviewing these fresher.

M: Med body, syrupy, some carbonation.

F: Syrupy sweet still, sticky, lots more sweet malt extract and low grade syrup. A bad unpleasant bitterness comes through as well, the bitter on teh initial taste wasn't so bad, but now it just gets bad. A little smoke as well comes out.

jlindros, May 26, 2010
Photo of Damian74Shensky
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Damian74Shensky, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of Satchboogie
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Satchboogie, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of charlesjwinkler
3.25/5  rDev -16%

charlesjwinkler, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of gdrydenc
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks fantastic. Dark brown/black with a good amount of light caramel head that fades slowly and leaves a little lacing on the glass.

S - Smell is good, it's just a little faint. I can tell what they were meaning to do, but it's not all there. Malts, coffee, and a little chocolate.

T - Taste is good, but a little weak, once again. I would like to be able to actually discern each of the tastes, but they are each a little underwhelming. Malts, some coffee, and a hint of chocolate. Overall nothing outstanding.

M - Good mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation, with a slightly watery feel.

D - I could see myself drinking a few of these, which I think may be an issue. If I'm drinking a beer like this, I want it to take me a while and spend some time letting it mature. Unfortunately, this beer is not like that, I kinda just wanna finish it off.

gdrydenc, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Form a double duecer , this Winter Warmer pours a dark eggplant hue topped with an instantly settled tan thin ring with no bubbles seen in the glass.

Aroma is slightly caramel and toasted malt with a signature Ringwood aroma of buttered and pastry.

First swigs: Cola and porter. Toasted grain with a solid malt profile. Honey and toast and while warming up, a bit of waffle and buttered syrupy grain. Slight aftertaste of dark raisin and muffin.

Feel is medium bodied with a soft restrained carbonation. A bit of a tongue coater.

Last swigs: Seemed a bit like a spiced porter. Amost a dessert beer.

blitheringidiot, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of beeroclock
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle throws you off, it has an old dude on it that looks like he'd drink budweiser. I poured this into a pint glass and it came out a brown liquid with a small foamy tan/brown head. Not a spectacular looking beer, but smells of some toffee & butterscotch. Tastes not like a typical porter, but it has the coffee tones to it and is slightly sweet. Aftertaste has some bitter hints and seems thinner than the average porter as well. Goes down ok and doesn't disappoint. Shipyard seems to be putting out some good products.

beeroclock, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of akahn
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Almost black cola color with red-brown highlights. Fairly sticky brown head leaves lace.

Mildly malty aroma, with slight hop notes. Sweet flavor with chocolate notes and sugary sweetness. Until it warms, there is a subtle, complimentary hop bite. This eventually peters out, but is nice while it lasts. Smooth with mild carbonation. Thin to medium body. Tasty but lacks depth and body. Pretty accurate to style, mellow, definitely sessionable, but this could use some more oomph.

akahn, Mar 05, 2006
Photo of UnionMade
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a very dark opaque brown, nearly black. A creamy almond colored head tops the brew, lasting about halfway through the pint before dissipating enough for a patch of black to show through. Plenty of sticky lace creating rings as I sip.
The aroma is mainly a roasty maltiness, with considerable coffee. A mild ringwood nuttiness with some balancing herbal british hops. Faint fruitiness, mostly plum, and perhaps a touch of spice? I didn't think they spiced this beer, but I can smell some nutmeg and anise. A bit of chocolate and toffee. Not as complex as I remember in past years, but decent.
The flavor starts out with a pleasing coffee roastiness. A touch of chocolate, with some sweet fruity esters in the middle. Mostly a plum flavor, with a touch of apple. Roasty malt continues into the finish, with mild herbal hop bitterness and a ringwood nuttiness in the end. Definite walnut flavor. Some nuttiness and roasty coffee linger in the finish. No detectable spice. Very light body, with soft cask carbonation.
The body is considerably thinner than I remember, with a much more subdued flavor. The first time I tried this, a few years back, I couldn't finish drinking it. Too strong for my weak palate. Not bad, but I passed on another pint.

UnionMade, Jan 07, 2004
Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark brown, almost black. The pale brown head is large and really compact. Slow dissipation leaves only decent lacings.

S: Roasted, kind of candy-like sweetness to the malt. Dark dried fruits balanced with vanilla. Soy Sauce. Smell is on the milder side.

T: Roasted, a bit smoked sweet but also light malt. Dark syrup and dark dried fruits. Vanilla once again. Some bitter marmelade. Bitter hops.

M: Body is a bit lighter than I tought it would be, carbonation is aggresive, almost fizzy. Aftertaste is long and holds a balanced bitterness.

O: The carbonation is almost like in an Adjunct Lager - rich and aggresive. Otherwise it's a little to modest for my taste.

Evil_Pidde, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of RDHerm
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark brown with ruby highlights. Pours a very thick beige head that slowly thins and has very good lacing.

Very strong aroma of dark chocolate, with solid notes of coffee and roasted malts. There are also hints of yeast, dark fruits, and butterscotch.

Taste is interesting, though not as complex as the aroma would indicate. There's a certain sweetness that comes right when it hits your palate, but it gives way almost immediately to a strong flavor of bitter coffee, with a hint of roasted malt.

Medium body and carbonation level. The body is nice, but the carbonation level feels a bit much for a beer of this style. There's the bitter aftertaste to be expected from this type of beer, but without the usual feeling of palate dryness.

A solid brew overall. Not great, but not bad either, and just unique enough that it's worth giving a shot.

RDHerm, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of shaebs99
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased recently as part of a mixed 12. I was relatively unimpressed with the other three beers, but thought this one was good enough to review.

It pours a dark cola color with a decent sized head that dispels slowly. The visible carbonation on the sides of the glass continues to remind me of a cola. The smell of the last one I had (that I am using to review) is fainter than the other two I had, but it has a slightly sweet smell which continues with the taste. Tastes and smells like a porter and is quite smooth. I also enjoyed the aftertaste which I find difficult to describe. I would consider the drinkability quite good and would have another Longfellow

shaebs99, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of ryanonline
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

looks very deep black a little to black for a porter, im trying to see some of the highlights that they usually have and this one hasn't really got any. thin dissipating head.

very light nutty roasty smell. maybe some chocolate malt, not much else.

dry and slightly bitter, still kind of nutty and roasty, a skosh of chocolate. not much going on here.

kind of thin, very dry, watery but with an interesting residual sweetness.

ok drinkability.

kind of an average beer.

ryanonline, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

doremite, Mar 14, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.