1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  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
Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tonyfugere
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After receiving this beer from a Beer of the Month subscription with Amazing Clubs a few months ago, I finally cracked one open.

I am a fan of darker beers and this one is exceptionally tasty. The nutty aroma, wonderful porter taste, smooth drinkability, and hoppy finish makes it a 4.5 across the board for me. Being a fan of the darker beers, I enjoyed the pouring. The color and slightly frothy head really excited me. A deep breath in through the nose before the first sip alerted my senses to the drinking enjoyment that was to come. I highly recommend this beer to any porter fan!

I am holding back on giving it the full 5.0 because it does seem to miss a few of my taste buds, personally. I try to compare this beer's experience with previous porters and it is missing something that other ones have done for me.

However, keep in mind that this was bottled and in a box traveling across the US to Albuquerque, NM via UPS. The bottle's best by date is not marked either. I am not familiar with how Amazing Clubs works in terms of logistics. It could have been sitting on a shelf with them for an extended period of time. I imagine that finding this on tap or freshly bottled in Maine would make this beer a 5.0.

tonyfugere, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of tpd975
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another brew from the SeaBass.

A: Pours a light nutty brown hue with a whispy head and spotty lace.

S: Tons of sweet caramel malt, molasses, dark fruit, nuts, smoke and a touch of chocolate.

T: Like like the aroma. Molasses covered dark friuts, nutty toffee, chocolate, with a touch of smoke.

M: Medium in body smooth.

D: The best shipyard brew I have ever tasted. Solid brew, tasty, and pretty damn drinkable.

tpd975, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of simonjohansson
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smell: nice aroma of toffee, chocolate, some nougat maybe? - butter, almonds. Smell is great.

Taste: lots of roasted malt, notes of coffee, chocolate, some butter and nuts. Taste is not as rich as the smell. However, there is a nice balance between burnt notes and soft, sweet ones.

Overall: nice beer, I like it, and I'll probably buy it next winter too, if possible.

simonjohansson, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Coasters in Melbourne, FL.

Pours black with a thick and dark tan head. The head is rich and creamy. The nose on the beer is chocolate, toffee, caramel and roasted malts. The taste is much like the nose, chocolate, toffee, caramel and roasted malts. Some of the other reviews said it had a lot of carbonation. I thought it was light in carbonation, no doubt helped by the beer engine. This beer goes down smooth, almost like an oatmeal stout.

This is a nice smooth porter that I highly recommend

FLBeerGuy, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of albern
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice porter, a little on the lighter side, a little on the sharp side, but not a bad find at all. The beer pours a very dark mahogany with some ruby tints, but largely impenetrable to light. The head is tannish, a bit creamy and foamy, but it settles down quickly. There is a tad bit of lacing. The nose on the beer is ringwood yeast, chocolate, toffee, caramel, and roasted malts. Pretty good.

The taste is somewhat indicative of the nose on the beer. In addition to the chocolate, toffee, caramel malts, there is a slight smokiness to the beer once it settles a bit. There is definitely some scotch type ale in this beer, but it has to settle way down before some of the finer background qualities emerge. There is a buttery taste to the beer, but on the whole, the hop character adds a nice bite and sharpness to the beer, that takes away any creaminess that may have been present. As the beer settles, the sharpness segues slightly into the more smokey scotch ale character. The beer is decently carbonated, not flat or syrupy, with a slightly charred malt and dark chocolate aftertaste.

albern, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of andylipp
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from a mixed Shipyard 12 pack. Poured into a tulip at about 50F.

Appearance -A brown/ruby red pour with 1 inch of fizzy head with fairly low retention. A swirl reveals just a bit of lace with a bit more head.

Smell -Fruity esters with a bit of butterscotch. A little roasty, too.

Taste -The roasted bitterness is quite pronounced. The dark fruit and buttery Ringwood character is apparent in the center and a relatively long roasty finish follows. The acrid bitterness subsides in subsequent sips.

Mouthfeel -Pretty highly carbonated with a light viscosity.

Drinkability- Went down pretty easily! Relatively low ABV for a winter warmer spells sessionability.

Comments- I hadn't had this brew in years, but now remember why I used to like it so much. Shipyard's offerings have not been my first choice over the years, but this is one I'll seek out again.

andylipp, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of tmoneyba
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at Cock and Bull.

Poured a clear dark brown color with an average frothy off-white head that was mostly lasting and had good lacing. Good malt and citrus hoppy aroma. Medium body with a slick & smooth texture. Moderate to heavy well balanced smooth flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration.

Solid drinkable brew.

tmoneyba, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of Asgeirr
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Shipyard Brewing Co's Longfellow Winter Ale pours a dark maroon-to-bistre colour along with a very tall (2 ½ to 3 ½ fingers!) and solid light brown crown which gradually dimishes in a slow pace and leaves plenty of lacing.

Smell: Intense sensations of roasted, caramelly malts. Rye bread (or sour dough) comes to mind.

Taste: Somewhat sweet in a almost milk/cream stout-ish way (namely vanilla) combined with a tad of bitterness, a subtile acidic sensation can also be hinted. The aftertaste, however, is overall that of the roasted malts and chocolate, with hints of bitterness (and happens to be the taste part with greatest longevity).

Mouthfeel: Medium full, very smooth and low in carbonation.

Drinkability: The resonance between the smell and the taste experience tell of a beer that has been produced in such a way that the results are so satisfying that it must be enjoyed on more then one occation.

(Served from a 22 oz bottle)

Asgeirr, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear brown color ale with a good size foamy head with some good retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma consists of strong caramel malt with some notes of toffee also discernable. Taste is also a nice mix between some roasted malt with distinctive notes of caramel malt with some toffee notes also discernable. Full body with good carbonation and no discernable alcohol. I know winter ale is not a style per say but this is what I consider a winter ale but still very enjoyable during hot summer days.

Phyl21ca, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of almychristopher
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

looks like a beautiful porter to me, poured with a nice thick tan head over the very clear, yet very dark brew, the red highlights and now lacey head have a nice fruity roasted character, and while the chocolate malts are there in the taste there are a lot of other flavors at work as well. The hops are mild and in the background. the lower carbonation in this beer kind of lets the malts take it in the mouthfeel department... but still goes down pretty smoothly and I'd say it's a nice drinkable porter. thanks for the beer there weswes.

almychristopher, Jun 15, 2008
Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of roasted and crystal mlats along with a fruity Ringwood yeast aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a sweet caramel malt feel in the beginning followed by a dry roasted malt finish. The yeast gives it a slightly fruity character and although the finish is dry there is quite a bit of residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a highly drinkable porter. It's got good malt character and a smooth quaffability.

WesWes, May 21, 2008
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 Walken
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shipyard: Longfellow, Winter Ale, Porter (Tasted 03/17/08)
22 oz. Bottle: Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours out black with a mountainous, foamy, pale mocha head that doesn't die down quickly. The beer appears opaque until held up to the light, when the blood red & brown hues appear.
Odor: Roasted caramel, faint coffee, some barley and buttery aroma.
Consistency: Full bodied, but not completely hearty. Theres a mild syrup like element to the mouthfeel of this beer & a dry, powdery element reminiscent of cardboard that's kind of offsetting, though not out of place for the style.
Taste: Big currant & cherry up front, with some milk chocolate & coffee flavors moving in, rum comes to mind as the alcohol becomes apparent. There's a firm but faint hop bitterness there that is accentuated well by the sharp butterscotch flavor & roasted malt. Hops become much more apparent in the finish, as the roasted flavors die out.

Can't say I'd pick this one up too often, but that's why it's a seasonal. I'm sure next winter, the craving will set in once.

Walken, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the pint glass the beer presented itself a very dark brown, almost black, with a 1/2" head. Lacing was left as the head receded. Smells of roasted malt, and slightly of coffee. Tastes of sweet malt, a little coffee, and maybe some dark fruit flavors. Some hop presence in the background, finishes dry. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side. Smooth with crisp carbonation. Easy to drink. Very tastey brew.

KOPBeerDrinker, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby hue. Its dark enough to be a porter that is for sure, I wasn't actually sure what to expect until it came out of the bottle. I know I am a little late for this winter beer considering that next week marks the first day of spring, but better late than never. Anyways, the head is thin but stays well. This one has that familiar Ringwood smell along with roasted malt and a little bit of chocolate.

I read that this is beer is sort of a cross between a porter and a Scottish ale so I was definitely intrigued as to what it would taste like. After a couple sips I would have to say that this reminds me most of an English Winter Warmer. It definitely has the strong malt character of a Scottish ale and the roasted malt flavor of a porter. Its got a rather complex taste actually, kind of like one taste melding into another with a bitter finish. I am pretty impressed by this one. I've never had it before and didn't know Shipyard even brewed a beer of this style. This is a solid beer.

indiapaleale, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of joepais
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into my pint glass was a plum color when held to the light with a nice tan head that lasted

Aromas of butter cream, toasted malts and coffee fill your nose

Flavors of malts, coffee as well as hops a good Porter in all

Nice full mouthfeel good carbonation

A good drinking beer it would be a great session beer as well

joepais, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A nice dark brown body. Almost no head on mine, probably because it was poured from the tap by a waitress? Who knows.

I detect a malty, bread type of odor coupled with some sweet, fruitiness.

Up front sugary sweetness with notes of fruit and caramel, followed with some big earthy, bready, malty flavors. Finishes with a coffee type of taste/aftertaste.

Really a good mouthfeel. Well carbonated and balanced for its sweetness.

A little sweet and a little thick for me to drink too many, but an interesting brew that is worth a try.

Hojaminbag, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber bottle into an Erdinger weizen glass.

A: Poured a rich brown with vibrant ruby highlights when held to the light. The head wound up reducing to a fine layer of tan foam. I don't know if it was the pour or the glass, but the carbonation was so fierce, it poured almost as nothing but foam at first. Aggressive!

S: Smells of faint roasted caramel and charcoal, with a slight buttery citrus fruit smell, like grapefruit.

T: Taste is sweet and fruity malts up front, with a fairly sharp hop bitterness through the middle, before finishing with a rich, soft coffee or cappuccino bean aftertaste. Very much a porter, but with a very nice hop presence also.

M: Mouthfeel is robust and lively, given the nature of the carbonation and sweet mellow earthy flavors of the brew.

D: The warming alcohol effect makes the roasted malts and coffee flavors quite nice with the fruity alcohol esters. A great taste makes it easy to enjoy this one.

This is a really great winter sipper. Split a couple of bombers between friends on a snowy night and you'll have pure enjoyment at hand. Very good.

Gambrinus1184, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with red hues when held up to the light. Some head that fades fast.

Smell isn't too strong but can make out the roasted malt/coffee aroma and a dash of hops.

Taste is rich of coffee and malt. Not terribly sweet though, has a dry taste and follows up with a bitterness. Bit buttery in the mouth, but a good amount.

deltatauhobbit, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of mountdew1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22oz to a standard pint glass. Poured a nice dark brown, almost black with a slight head. The head quickly disappeared and left a ring that lasted the whole glass. Aroma was strong. Had hints of chocolate cake with plenty of spicing. Tasted the same, plenty of spicing, appropriate for a winter ale. Went down very easy, and felt good in the mouth. Slight carbonation, but nothing enough to detract from the beer. A great winter warmer, look forward to having again.

mountdew1, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of Hibernator
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a deep dark brown. Almost black in appearance with ruby highlights. Puffy head on top leaving nice trails of sticky lace.

A buttery nose with whiffs of roasted coffee and sweet cream. A touch of spicy hops in the background.

Rich dark malts, roasted barley, juicy caramel and toffee. A creamy butterscotch flavor peaks the backbone with a biting hop finish. Nicely malty and robust at the same time. A touch of chocolate with that distinct Shipyard diacetyl flair under the right control.

Solid. Probably one of the best brews Shipyard has to offer. I really enjoyed this one.

Hibernator, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of kingchowchowwoof
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pitch black with a dark tan head about 1/2 an inch thick. Head slowly faded but did not stick around for the entire glass. Rich molasses smell with slight dark fruit and coffee. Taste is nice and dry upfront developing a bit of spice in the middle then a sharp sweet alcoholic bite and dry finish that disapates off the palate. Light to medium carbonation slightly slick mouthfeel, very nice drinkability. Very nice version of the style, having a bit richer flavor than most others I have tried.

kingchowchowwoof, Jan 29, 2007
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 bark
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What better way to celebrate an autumn hurricane in January than with a big (650 ml) bottle of an American Winter Warmer (English Porter? No way).?

The colour is deep amber-brown, the liquid is clear. The gigantic, slowly sinking foam is pale brown (probably one of the darkest heads I have seen). It pours very smooth, more like warm syrup than beer.

The strong smell is very roasted and bitter with citric notes, some alcohol and a hint of liquorice and rubber. A quite demanding aroma.

The taste is dry and bitter. Of course there is a distinct citric-sour hoppy flavour. The malt is roughly roasted (without getting black) giving a salty liquorice flavour, full bodied. There are also some yeasty flavours of gravy and dough. The aftertaste is bitter with a fruity-roasted-bitter flavour. The bitterness becomes the dominating note after a while and it lasts a very long time.


The carbonation is medium strong, small bubbles. The liquid is smooth.

bark, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of JanM
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured with a dark brown, almost tar-like color, and with two fingers of thick, good foam. It was looking very inviting. The smell was of toffee, roasted malts and strong coffee notes. The taste was "bittersweet" with lots of coffee and some chocolate too. Inside is a fruitiness of maybe oranges, at least some citrus. All and all a well-balance beer and a fine porter.

JanM, Dec 06, 2006
Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.