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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

161 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 161
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 9
Gots: 7 | 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)
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Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2008 13:10:21 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No light getting through on this one at all, really quite opaque. A large three finger high head of chocolate colored foam then rose up over the top of it with tremendous retention

Lots of notes of chocolate, almost completely dominated by it to be honest. Once you moved past that, there were some nice hints of sugary caramel and a touch of roasted coffee coming through in the smell now. Some nice roasted malts, a touch of smoke maybe, and definitely a hint of vanilla.Full on chocolate malt assault as the first wave of flavor came over my tongue. Big notes here of dark chocolate mixed in with a touch of coffee as well. Very dark and complex, hints of vanilla, caramel, and lactose,

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2011 01:39:56 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2008 17:37:10 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

By far my favorite beer from Shipyard,pours a deep ruby with a light but sticky head,aroma is nice malty sweet and chocolaty.Taste is right up my alley with a nice malty flavor with some sweetness with some roated flavors its a real warmer.Liked it much better on cask than in the bottle.Would like to have again on cask..

Serving type: cask

10-18-2003 22:47:19 | More by oberon
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: single finger tan thick head on a very deep amber/dark brown clear body.

S: molasses, cinnamon, roasted malts, caramel and brown sugar.

T: spices, dark chocolate, roasted malts, hint of espresso, earthy hops. Mild bitterness to the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: complex, flavorful and probably the best beer I have had from Shipyard which doesnt say a whole lot but this is certainly a good one.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 23:47:16 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brown body with a light reddish cast and deep mahogany highlights. It's two-fingered, frothy, light-tan head slowly drops to a quarter-inch of creamy surface covering amongst some very nice lace. A pleasing nose expresses caramel, toffee, mild butterscotch, and a berry-like/apple fruitiness. The body is firm with a fine, moderate carbonation that gently caresses the tongue before becoming creamy and smooth across the palate. In the mouth, rich notes of caramelized sugar and butterscotch are tempered by a mild chocolate character and roasty edge. Some almost-tropical fruitiness appears at the outset, and then again midway through the mouth after the sweetness and buttery notes have passed, but gives way to a drying roasty cusp and bold (but balanced) bitterness. Some alcohol is clearly present, but it works well within the blanket of malt and seems more warming/comforting than intrusive. It finishes dry with some mild lingering caramel and bitterness. This is an exceptionally well-rounded winter beer that seems to straddle several styles and I love it for it's individuality and uniqueness. It has the unobtrusive bitterness and buttery diacetyl note of a brown ale; the fuller chocolatey/caramel note of a porter; and the rich maltiness of a Scotch ale. It's not so strong or full, however, that it needs to be set aside as an after-dinner drink; and it's surely a winter gem that could grace any festive table. Well worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2003 18:02:46 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Three fingers of medium brown head on an opaque black body. The head settles slowly and leaves thick lace.

S - Spicy notes of cinnamon and allspice with caramel malt, fruity english yeast and a hint of musty hops.

T - Lots of sweet, toffee malt up front with light coffee and chocolate notes. Some fruity red apple yeast notes in the middle that fade to dark malt for the finish. Lingering notes of chocolate with a hint of roast and light malt bitterness.

M - A slightly oily, medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable with a good combination of malt and spice complexity. This is the best beer I have had from shipyard, though it doesn't take all that much to beat their usual fare.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2009 03:55:35 | More by nickfl
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. brown long neck. Faded violet label with a head pic of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. No freshness date.

Appearance: Dark ruby with a very light tan frothy head.

Smell: Esters, ripe fruit and butterscotch perfume from this brew.

Taste: Hints of roasted, light chocolate and ripe fruit up front, then a slightly assertive hop bitterness, touch of butter, faint smoke/charcoal and a warming alcohol presence. In the after is some caramel and lingering hop bitterness that finishes quite nice.

Notes: Very much like a porter with some scotch ale qualities, quite a big ale ... beautiful for dismal winter days of snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, hail, slush and so on.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2002 16:57:57 | More by Jason
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown body, reddish 'round the edges, under a fizzy, cocoa-colored head that slips down to size with a quickness.
Aroma, dark fruits, nuts, nuts, some spices, a bit cola-esque, but it gets better through time, opens up and becomes more awake and alive, feels like a snootful of a dank pine forest and all that comes with it...
Taste: quite interesting, dark, spicy, malty, but mellow, and I taste further things now, maple, rum, molasses, more than I can't exactly finger, though more able, adept minds surely could. Feels more complex of an ale the more I sip into it, and instantly qualifies as the best brew from Shipyard I've sampled so far. Rich flavor, sometimes fruity, sometimes treacly continues to delight, and altogether this brew is a worthy ale to close a night in freezy mid-January Minnesota. If I had further samples at my side, this is one winter brew I could really get comfortable with!
Cheers to another fine Maine brew, and to rabidawg for sending it my way!

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2003 10:01:55 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

05-26-2013 19:46:16 | More by Slatetank
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 19:16:42 | More by WesWes
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 01:23:26 | More by jlindros
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this one from SpeedwayJim in Round 4 of the 666 BIF; thanks Jum! Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a deep dark brown color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for a minute and leaves an inch throughout drinking it. Also leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, sweet dark fruits, light vanilla, and light caramel malts/toffee. Chocolate and roasted malts dominate the nose up front, but as it warms up some caramel ande fruit shines through. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, bitter coffee, caramel malts, toasted and burnt malts, and very light sweet fruit. Again, dominated by the bitter chocolate and roasted malts. The taste also had a lot of toasted and burnt notes. Good, but a little bit of a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a nice porter that is dominated by bitter chocolate and coffee notes, as well as roasted malts. The nose had a little bit more going for it and was more complex than the taste, and it was pretty easy to drink. Would have it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 20:10:11 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2005 04:20:21 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +3.4%

11-27-2011 15:55:02 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

09-12-2013 22:02:04 | More by beernads
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber bottle without any freshness indication on the labels. Pours typical porter like dark almond/honey amber. Light tan head, leaves fine stringy lacing. nose of plums and sweet malts. Pleasant and drinkable brew, notes of caramel, maple sugars and some lightly toasted malts and darker burnt malt notes. Lingering finish with another hint of plums. Nice, drinkable wintery brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 18:07:35 | More by Billolick
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

4/5  rDev +3.4%

12-07-2011 02:10:49 | More by rab53
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

01-23-2013 07:02:58 | More by Kelp
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle (2012) served in a Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours deep, dark, clear mahogany with a small and fragile tan head. Decent lacing is left on the glass. ]

The spice level is near perfect and well-balanced. While evident in the nose [4.25] and obvious up front upon tasting, the spicing slowly fades after the finish eventually leaving a chocolate malt to dominate the aftertaste. Sweet and bitter largely in balance, but a tad too sour. No burnt flavors, but a hint of smoke in the finish. High complexity and good balance make every sip seem a little different than the one before. At various times, dark fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, English hops and several other flavors make appearances. Plenty of dark chocolate in the nose and flavor.

M: near full body with rather lively carbonation. I suspect I'd prefer a bit less carbonation; a suspicion supported by the fact that the mouth feel improves after the beer has been in the glass for a while. Semi-dry finish.

O: outstanding, and unusually low ABV, winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 23:32:06 | More by chinchill
Photo of bark
bark

Sweden

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2007 21:24:24 | More by bark
Photo of Evil_Pidde
Evil_Pidde

Sweden

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 17:52:38 | More by Evil_Pidde
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this cask ale at the Sea Dog Brewpub in South Portland, Maine. It was a very dark brown black color with a goodly tan, big bubbled head and modest signs of lace. The aroma says flowery fruit nougat and juniper malt and brown bread. Very interesting. The flavor brings a bit of what the nose detected but with more of the sweet coffee and light charcoal bitterness. The body is near medium with a pretty low carbonation aqueous feel. It’s got plenty of character, a little grassy hop edge. Medium drinkability and a very nice cask offering.

Serving type: cask

06-03-2011 03:50:52 | More by Durge
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of June 2014. Sampled on December 7, 2013.

It is mainly brown in color with a modest off-white head that lingers briefly. Moderate lacing.

The aroma is Shipyard's Ringwood yeasts and then everything else. The everything else includes dark caramel malts but little to no hop or spice note (for a Winter).

The body is light to medium but overall very smooth.

The taste has a mild sweetness at first followed by a low bitterness. This does not have the coffee esters one comes to expect from today's Porter's but I bet this is the way the English brewed it way back when.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 23:05:36 | More by puboflyons
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage courtesy of the belgianator. Poured cola brown with the merest skim of a head. Nose was cocoa, molasses and prunes. Taste was muted, pruney, bready and malty, with a slight cocoa quality that comes out in the back. Mouthfeel was medium-light with a pleasant background carbonation. I liked this beer, but didn't love it. I found the nose to be somewhat inconsistent with the flavor profile; however, worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 01:45:28 | More by Jwale73
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Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.