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Shipyard Blue Fin Stout - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Blue Fin StoutShipyard Blue Fin Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

419 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 419
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.8%

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-23-2001)
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Ratings: 419 | Reviews: 235 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of hopfacebrew


2.65/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On nitro tap at Vine Street Pub for Stout Month 2011. The beer was served in an 8oz milkshake pilsner glass.

A - A very very dark brown color, though not quite black. Amber/brown on the edges. A thin 1/4" creamy tan nitro head with little retention and almost no lacing.

S - A light sweet chocolate roasted malt character on the nose. Pretty average for an Irish Dry Stout.

T/M - The beer from the get go tastes light and thin and watery. Very little roasted malt character on the front. The middle brings a mild bitterness. The beer finishes very light and watery with a hint of roasted malt. Lightly carbonated and light/medium bodied.

D - Meh. A coworker of mine rejected it back to the server.

Overall, I was extremely disappointed in this beer. My 2 co-workers who also tried it said the same thing: thin, water, and reminded us of fish! Not recommended, I will not be back. Maybe we got a bad batch but this was not pleasant.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: nitro-tap

Reviewed on: 02-11-2011 20:09:33

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-27-2012 15:10:21 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of washburnkid

New York

3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

About a finger of frothy beige head over a pitch black. Absolutely no color coming thru, not even at the edges. Aromas and flavors are massive roasted malt. Coffee just absolutely dominates. The aroma is predominantly burnt notes. Mouthfeel is what every nitro beer has to offer...thin and low carbonation. But at least this one is flavorful!

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-10-2011 19:15:09 | More by washburnkid
Photo of StaveHooks


4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a jet black with firm and dense tan head that stays at 1/4 inch throughout the beer. It leaves a solid half sheet of lace on the glass.

S - Milk chocolate smokey malt, coffee, sweet roasted barley,

T - Follows the nose. Creamy muted chocolate malt. Hints of smoke and roasted nuts. It turns to acidic fruit towards the finish. Dry smokey finish.

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It was spot on for the style. Nice dry smokiness with a rich of sweet to balance it out. Smooth and

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-06-2010 20:07:07 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of plaid75

New York

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On nitro at The Inn on Peaks Island, Portland, Maine.

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger frothy off white head. There was very good retention and good lacing.

The smell featured roasted barley and a touch of caramel.

The taste consisted of roasted and crystal malts, coffee and some light charcoal.

The mouthfeel was full for the style.

Overall a good and complex IDS.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-21-2010 13:28:25 | More by plaid75
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Off the nitro-tap at the Maine brewery this beer was a opaque black color. The tan head retained excellently as a cap and left outstanding, Guinness-like lacing. The aroma was... where? Hints of dry roasted malt was the most I got. The flavors were better but still unimpressive. Roasted malt, hints of coffee and a touch of sourness. Dry and rather one-dimensional. The mouthfeel was watery, the body full and the carbonation delicate. Putting it on nitro-tap surely made it better but having tried this before I was much less impressed with it this time.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-06-2009 21:04:54 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On the 12th of March I had the bottle bomber version and on the 22nd the same place put it on Nitro-tap for their upcoming beer dinner. It's amazing how the same beer can be sooo different from bottle to tap, that's why it's important to keep multiple serving types available.

a nice full 16 0z's in a standard pint glass looks heavy and thick right off, totally black with a very creamy, dense and tight mocha-brown head. The head even looks thicker and creamier than when it came from the bottle. The nitro-fed tap adds a robust smooth quality. The head is retained to perfection, infact, it never really dissipates to a big extent.

I can't say the nitro tap version has added any aroma to this stout, it's still a big roasty malt scent, slightly smokey with oats and grains. The aroma even seems to be a bit subdued compared to the bottle.

I'm going to combine flavor and feel for this one because the effect of the nitro tap has added a silky-smooth, Guiness or Boddington's-like effect when they come from the nitro can. Heavy, full body, ultra smooth and thick feel which in turn adds a milk-chocolate effect to the flavor. The flavor is still dominated by a roasty oats, semi bitter malt but perhaps with a bigger cream-like taste.

This is a heavy and smooth session beer, 4.7 % means you can kick back a few without being dragged out of the bar by your buddies!! Pair with any chocolate desert or smoked meats.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-24-2008 20:33:14 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of mshallah

New Hampshire

4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Federal Jack's in Kennebunkport Maine. Nitro into a 16oz standard pint glass. Arrived at the table still cascading with a half inch of thick dense creamy head. Aroma has a hint of the ringwood yeast which is of caramel and a little banana. Taste is more of the same with a perfect blend of aromatic and bittering hops. There are the usual coffee mocha dark chocolate flavors that keep this stout true to style. Blue Fin is a must try on nitro tap and Federal Jack's does a great job of serving this beer. If it seems a little cold, enjoy it while holding the glass and it will warm nicely to open up deeper mocha flavors as well as summon the complex blend of bittering and aroma hops. A great New England stout that doesn't quite achieve in the bottle(big bubble soda-like carbonation) what it does from a nitro tap(creamy fine bubbles with a luscious mouthfeel).

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-31-2007 02:12:10 | More by mshallah
Photo of moulefrite


4.43/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what an appearance! Perfect for the style-nearly black with an awesome, luxuriously creamy, light brown head that stayed at the 1/2 inch mark throughout, the first sip imparting a creamy stout stache. The lace was a work of art. Aromas were tough to get hold of as they were blocked by the fine head, but soft espresso and roasted bean were present. The mouthfeel was perfect-full-bodied yet soft and very creamy. The carbonation was very fine and subtle. The taste was fantastic! Creamy, milky chocolate and bittersweet mocha-like the freshest, richest cream added to a very fine coffee. Long and roasted in the mouth, it don't get much better-Guiness Schminess!!

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-27-2003 01:51:42 | More by moulefrite
Photo of UnionMade


4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an opaque black, with a thick nitro creamy tan head. Light lacing, particularly towards the bottom ogf the glass. A dollop of head remains after the beer is finished.
Aroma is subdued, probably from the nitro, with a strong roasted malt presence, pronounced chocolate, and rather agressive aroma hopping for a stout.
The flavor starts out with roasted malts, coupled with a dark bittersweet bakers chocolate flavor, traveling into some coffee and a touch of black cherry, finishing with a moderately dry hoppiness. Hops are earthy and somewhat herbal. The chocolate flavor is strong, providing a bitterness up front, which melds into the hopping, keeping a light bitterness throughout the sip. A smooth, slightly tingly nitro carbonation. A strong coffee bean flavor in the aftertaste, which persists long after the sip.
A faithful and flavorful dry irish stout. I'd take this one over many others.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-28-2003 02:33:51 | More by UnionMade
Photo of Loki

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on nitro-tap at Florida Tap Room. I'd like to try it without the nitro.

Served a pitch black with a beige head that left spotty lacing. Not good lacing for a stout at all.

Aromas of rasberry?, malt, and hints of semi-sweet chocolate and coffee. Are you sure this isn't a porter?

Tasted very thin and creamy. Tastes of malt, semi-sweet chocolate, and nitro. Why do they think they have to nitro a stout? Very light for a stout. The nitro give it a light, fluffy, creamy texture. I think it takes away from it, but I've never tasted it without it so I don't know for sure. Not a bad stout, but I've had better. Much, much better.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-24-2003 03:03:30 | More by Loki
Photo of 8stringfan

District of Columbia

2.68/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Popping the top on this one I was surprised at the “poof” of air and slight sizzle of carbonation and unsurprisingly, poured straight into a large tulip I didn’t get a quarter of the way through the beer before a thick four finger head stopped just short of overflowing the rim of the glass. I’m not lying - it took nearly 15 minutes of letting the head die down and pouring a tiny bit more before the whole bottle was in the glass. Umm...maybe a bit over-carbonated, particularly for a style that tends towards lower levels of carbonation? Eventually things settle down into a tan one finger head with zero lacing. Color is almost entirely black (39), with perhaps just a hint of dark brown amber. Nose is moderately strong and essentially all about dark roasty notes, dark chocolate, espresso beans, and perhaps a touch of hazelnut. Sip is sweet dark chocolate up front with coffee notes all over the midpalate. Back of the tongue is somewhat thin and both tastes and feels a bit like club soda. Now may be as good as any time to point out that the massive carbonation in the pour is apparent in the taste and mouthfeel - Blue Fin Stout is vastly over-carbonated, much to its detriment, both for the style and for the overall effect on flavor. Subsequent sips see a slightly more nutty presence, but as a whole this is pretty one-dimensional and actually quite thin, both in flavor and mouthfeel. Finish is bitter dark chocolate and coffee. All in all, this is a pretty unimpressive stout which I would neither recommend nor pick up again. Furthermore, along with their IPA (which had some odd blueberry notes) this is a second beer from Shipyard that has left with unimpressed. (4-18-14)

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 22:43:11 | More by 8stringfan
Photo of charlatan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

2.76/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

From 355ml bottle with freshness date six months away. It has a pretty dark colour (certainly can't see through it) and a fairly borwn head which mostly dissipated to the rim before I began drinking. It has a roasted malt nose: dark chocolate and coffee. I hope it doesn't taste of coffee.

Hmmm....it's riding the coffee line for me, although I'm not the best judge since I've avoided the evil stuff for more than the last 50% of my life. It starts quite sweetly and chocolatey but then as the hops kick in and it becomes more bitter it tends towards coffee. After a couple of sips I'm glad I let the wife have half of the bottle, but trying to be objective I can see this is fairly well done, just not my, er, cup of tea.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 20:40:32 | More by charlatan
Photo of RhinoBrew


4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A decent stout for a very good price. I have had several times without being disappointed. I get it in the large bottles and have tried in on tap. I still think the Breakfast Stout is the best available in New Englnd, but we can not get it in NH due to laws of kids being on the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 02:31:09 | More by RhinoBrew
Photo of ptarmigan98

Manitoba (Canada)

1.25/5  rDev -65.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Got two bottles via beer of the month club but both were a bust. Inside of the cap had a sticky gunk. Both bottles totally foamed out as they were poured. Came back after the foam settled and tried tasting them. Never had an opportunity to truly evaluate them and felt like I wasted money.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 02:44:08 | More by ptarmigan98
Photo of scotorum


3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick

a: Dense black. Huge tan head receded to heavy even surface foam and a little fading lacing.

s: Dark chocolate.

t: Dark smoky malt with chocolate and some hop balance. A little bitterness and smoke lingers but mostly a dry finish.

m: Medium, maybe a bit light for a stout but close.

o: A good fairly solid stout. If you buy or order this wanting a dry stout you will be pretty well satisfied.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 23:59:23 | More by scotorum
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.14/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

355ml Bottle: poured into a Gordon's thistle shaped glass at home on 26th Nov 13. An American brewed Stout bought in rural Shropshire from a national supermarket, something that would have been unheard of only two years ago.

The glass suited the beer: the black body and tanned head looked majestic, sadly the head faded very quickly into a thin wisp and collar, what a pity.

Burnt dark chocolate notes hit my nose, closely followed by black coffee pot boiling on an open wood fire.

The taste followed the aroma nicely: slightly smoked coffee and dark chocolate flavours with a dry mildly bitter finish.

Thought the body a bit thin for a Dry Stout but otherwise not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 16:41:38 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of Omnium


3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a rich black color, one finger of tan head, no lacing.
S - Big full roasty malt some chocolates, a little nutty quality.
T - Nice roasted malt flavor, some smoked traits too, nutty, and light chocolate.
M - Creamy and smooth.
O - Excellent sessionable stout, lots of flavor, not big on alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 22:43:21 | More by Omnium
Photo of flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

355ml bottle from Morrison's Supermarket (£1.50):
Black with a thick looking, quite creamy head that is a dark shade of tan brown in colour and holds well at about a centimetre tall.

Dark roasted malts & some chocolate upfront with some sweet notes that follow this. There is some milky chocolate and a dark fruit smell that is pretty standard for the style before finishing with some earthy tones.

Earthy & roasted malts kick things off with a sweetness that is coupled with some dried fruit and darker flavours such as dates and prunes. There is a bitter chocolate taste that follows this with some roasted barley and a little coffee too.

Light medium body and seemed more watery than I had expected. There was definitely evidence of stronger than average carbonation but this died down some as the beer settled.

A disappointment as far as I'm concerned, a beer that was a little thin and definitely lacked in both flavour and smell. A run-of-the-mill stout which is a shame because I was looking forward to this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 13:28:35 | More by flyingpig
Photo of BeerWithMike


4.11/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, actually black with the aroma of chocolate, dark roast coffee and roasted malts. Not much of a head with very little lacing around the glass actually. Tastes like the smell would suggest with a slight dry finish. Overall pretty good and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2013 20:36:02 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

[Suggested Glassware: Nonic Pint]

The pour was a deep dark black with an average (1-2 finger) creamy khaki colored head that reduced down to a thin film with a medium collar and had good streaky lacing.

The aroma was of roasted chocolate malts and an earthy yeast with notes of milk chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruit (prunes and black cherry) and a wisp of smoke.

The taste was lightly sweet with a smooth milky chocolate note and a roasty malt presence from the get go, progressing with a decent coffee bitterness and a slight smoky fruitiness at the end. The flavor lasted an average time after the swallow, with a mildly bitter coffee taste left lying on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was just below medium in body with a thin watery texture and a soft carbonation.

Overall I found this to be a little thin for a Stout, although it did posses and nice mild fruitiness which along with the light bitterness and the low ABV makes this a nice and tasty session beer for all us dark beer lovers....


Serving type: bottle

07-09-2013 15:39:31 | More by KajII
Photo of SouljaSaia17


3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I bought this as a single since it was fairly cheap and I havent seen this before, the label caught my eye but also expect it to be quality despite the ABV!

A: Pours a dark motor oil black, with a thin mocha colored head and not much lacing to speak of but there is some.

S: Aroma gives off some dark roasted malts, chocolate notes, and a blend of coffee and caramel. Awesome smell to this beer and especially sweeter than bitter.

T: Strong coffee flavor, mixed with hints of caramel is what I get in the initial flavor. Beer blends into a sweet chocolate and dark fruit combination that finishes with a dry, bread or nutty dryness.

M: Mouth has a sweet texture and not overly bitter. All the components for a good stout are there.

O: This is a session stout and is delicious at that. Lacks the ABV of a trophy type stout, but it doesnt matter because now instead of having 2 glasses of a bomber, you can have 6 beers of this and be straight!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2013 03:48:16 | More by SouljaSaia17
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color that's moderately opaque. The head is a one finger khaki color with lacking retention. At least lacing is nice.

S: Roasted barley, nuts, chocolate, licorice, and a hint of coffee. Actually a bit more interesting than I anticipated - though considering the beer I had before this, just about anything will be an improvement.

T: The opening flavors are pleasantly roasty. A bit buttery in the midtaste, though it works to a partial extent in this. The finish goes back to the roasted barley and coffee, with even a bit of char. A slight floral note appears on the aftertaste, suggesting a pseudo-healthy hop profile. Nothing pops out in the grand scheme of things, but it's fine.

M: The first sip seems overcarbonated, but it smooths out nicely after sip #2. Shipyard actually did a decent job of nailing the clean dryness of a good Irish stout, except for a lingering chalkiness on the aftertaste. Gotta clean that one up, guys...

O: Good, not great. Very easy to drink and noob friendly, at least. I won't get a six pack of it, but it would be a good one to try on tap.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 23:13:44 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from the bottle (with a twist-off cap) into a pint glass. Dark pour makes it look pretty thick. In the glass the body is black with a small (maybe a half-finger) light brown head.

S: Roasted barley and a bit of black licorice.

T: Bitterness is the overall impression - not sure if it's from the roasted malt or the hops. At times I think it's gotta be the roasted grains, but sometimes I'm not so sure. Really nothing more going on besides that roastiness, though after a few sips and my palate adjusts to it, I think I get a bit of roasted coffee beans as well as just generic roast.

M: Way too carbonated. A sharp, active carbonation doesn't help things here, as it makes the bitterness more pronounced on the palate. Heft is lightish.

O: I used to have a co-worker who owned a place in Maine not too far from Kennebunkport and the Shipyard brewpub. He used to rave about this beer back in the mid-to-late 90s, and I remember having it back then and kind of liking it. Either it's gotten worse or my taste buds have improved; this is nothing I would ever get again.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2012 23:43:38 | More by Kendo
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark sherry color upon the pour sits a dense pitch black in the chalice accompanied by a 1.5 finger mocha colored head that sits well but hardly pays its respect in the lacing department.

S: Burnt sweet grains, dark roast, moderate in strength. Dark fruit of plums with burnt chocolate.

T: Flavor is alcohol laced, chocolate and roast, dark fruit of prunes, black cherries, sweet burnt grains. Malty, worty, roasty with a sweet mention of alcohol and a touch of roasted fruitiness.

M: Mouthful leans on the light side per style, silky, roasty, with an oily feel. Not much carbonation detection, leaves a powdery roastiness coating on the tongue.

O: Overall a generally good stout, won't blow you away, but shouldn't disappoint as a casual example.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2012 00:07:19 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 22 oz. bomber. Sampled on August 25, 2012.

The pour is a deep dark brown with a handsome looking tan, fluffy head that settles down after a few moments.

The aroma is full of dark toasted malts, coffee and the Shipyard yeast strain.

The body is near medium and somewhat smooth.

The taste has a moderate to high bitterness but not hoppy. The ending is dry but it does not linger.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2012 00:06:23 | More by puboflyons
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Shipyard Blue Fin Stout from Shipyard Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 419 ratings.