Shipyard Barley Wine Style Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series) - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Barley Wine Style Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series)Shipyard Barley Wine Style Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

164 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 164
Hads: 246
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 9
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 11-12-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (48) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shipyard Barley Wine Style Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series) Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 164 | Hads: 246
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent beer, brought in to the LCBO for a decent price of $8. Not what I expect from an English barleywine, very bitter finish, dark bodied, chocolate malts. Let’s see how my aged bottle from Maine holds up over the years.Above average carbonation. Good ingredients, but Not as drinkable as it could be. (307 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear super dark brown with a 2 inch foamy khaki head that fades to a small cap. Thin rings of foamy lace cling to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, nuts, brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. There is a fruity smell that I am getting as well. Taste is of toasted malt, roasted nuts, coffee beans, and some burnt sugar flavors. I am also getting some cocoa powder as the beer warms. A medium roasty bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a nice level of carbonation with a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a great barleywine that is much darker and more roasty than I was expecting. (650 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear and very dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high tan head that died down relatively quickly, leaving a patch of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: The nose has moderately strong aromas of alcohol, raisins and toffee along with hints of chocolate.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and balances the malty sweetness and bitterness so that neither prominently stands out.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
O: The variety of the six different malts used to make this beer add some complexity to the taste and makes this a little more interesting to drink compared to others in the style. (826 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with quite a buoyant head that displays great stickage and lace

Smell: Lots of caramel malt flavors but the complexity is built with citrus pith and other fruit elements

Taste: Caramel and stone fruit, up front, with a growing brown sugar element by mid-palate; after the swallow, the earthy and pithy bitterness kicks in to balance, though the finish has the anticipate sweetness

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and somewhat slick, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Overall, a very nice effort that brings nice complexity to the style (576 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

as authentic a barleywine as you can find in the states these days. english in origin and true to character. pours darker than expected, quad colored, with a quarter inch light brown head. smell is bourbon barrel and vanilla, with some chocolate malt and booze poking through. flavor is amazingly complex on the malty front, with caramunich and chocolate malts putting the final one, two combo on you. booze creeps in slowly as it warms, tons of wood and dark red dried fruits to this as well. mouthfeel works, less carbonated than a normal brew, but more carbonated than a lot of american barleywines, tons of heavy malts in the body too. a great bomber if you are only having one. this is a true to its heritage barleywine, worthy of any fine cuisine. (753 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep clear burgundy color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some dry English hops also noticeable. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt with light biscuit notes with some dry English hops. Malts are lacking in complexity with no dry fruit or any other characteristics. Body is a bit light with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. (423 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt pecan brown with no visible highlights. To be fair, the sun has not yet risen above the horizon. A thick slice of brown sugar colored creaminess tops off the snifter in fine fashion, leaving small scraps and dots of lace as it deflates.

This might be the most chocolate-like beer of this style that I've ever sniffed. In fact, it doesn't smell like an English barleywine at all. There are subtle hints of dark fruit and no alcohol is a plus. In the end, though, it's incredibly simple and doesn't really fit the style guidelines.

Even though chocolate malt is less prominent on the palate, it still takes too much of the flavor focus. At least Shipyard BWSA tastes like a barleywine, though not an especially well-brewed one. The balancing effect of a lack of malt sweetness *and* a lack of hop bitterness doesn't do it any favors.

Flavors include dark chocolate, dark caramel, medium-dark fruit, and a sprinkling of black tea leaves. That makes it sound like a stout, but there's more barleywine-like fruitiness than stout-like roasted maltiness. On a good note, the next lowest taste score wasn't even considered. Then again, the next highest wasn't either.

The mouthfeel spins its wheels as well. It loses its so-called big beer way long before the finish, which is when slightly too sharp carbonation makes its unwelcome appearance. Time and warming help on both counts, but don't expect mouth pampering.

It looks like Imperial Porter is the best of the four Pugsley's Signature Series beers. XXXX IPA, Smashed Pumpkin, and now Barley Wine Style Ale are merely better than average. Given the $10 price tag... not recommended unless you're a big fan of the style or the brewery. (1,692 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour was decent, though a bit lifeless for me. Rich amber color, almost copper in hue with a nice touch of cloudiness to it that really gave it a very thick look, nearly opaque at times. No real head though, and it almost looked flat at first pour, not really encouraged right off the bat. The aroma was rich and sweet. Nice notes of bready malts, hints of almost honey like notes and a nice fruit touch toward the finish. The flavor though really perked me up a bit. Sweet, mellow, with all notes of ABV long gone by the wayside. Lots of biscuit like notes, a touch of faded hops and a load of grain all combined to really give quite a nice show overall. Very impressed here with the way it tasted, especially in the finish, which was again very sweet, and nearly perfectly placed. An easy sipper I almost went through this one too quickly as it had mellowed to the point of being equally rich and subtle. (910 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a semi-opaque burgundy color with some darker hues. It had a small off-white head.

S - It smelled quite floral with sweet malty notes and a hint of raisin.

T - It tasted of chocolate malts, licorice, roasted malt and tons of sweetness.

M - It was a little thin for a barleywine. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good tasting brew and relatively easy-drinking for a barleywine. (405 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a thin, bubbly, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma smelling of toasted bread crusts casually dipped in ghee with notes of caramelized grains, berries, and earthy hops.

Taste: Dark caramel and pale maltiness with a minor taste of toasted grain husks and overall medium sweetness. Surprisingly, there's only a mild buttery taste considering this is a Shipyard product. Light berry, maybe even cherry fruitiness. Earthy, spicy, faintly citrusy hops with a medium-high bitterness. Pinch of ground barley husks in the bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It just never comes together to leave me saying "man, that was some barleywine!" I'll politely say it's an acceptable barleywine. Don't wanna start the new week being a Grouch Bug, y'know. (833 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, dark fruit, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of dark fruit, caramel, licorice and bourbon. The malt character is hearty and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence that creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are better choices within the style. (736 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had as part of the Central New England BA Meetup #2, both the regular and "cellar aged" versions.

A: Light fizzy head fades semi quickly with a super dark brown raising color.

N: Sweet fruit comes first, with lots more malts and brown sugar, as well as raisin and pure sweet syrup. The aged one is more subtle with the aromas and has a lot less fruit.

T: Sweet malts, quite a bit. Semi bitter and tangy actually. Sweet syrupy flavors with brown sugar and molasses, and lots of raisin. Some caramel also comes through. Somewhat juicy and fruity as well. The aged one seems to balance these flavors more and has less contrast and peaks on all as they seem to homogenize into this consistent flavor.

M: Semi thick, semi syrupy, slight carbonation.

F: Lingering syrupy sweetness, some bitterness lingers with some fruit. A little smoke comes out on the finish as well. Pretty chewy finish too, and sticks to the mouth. (920 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at mid-town Tulsa

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 4 fingers of mocha colored head. Great lacing head retention

S: Dark fruit, vinous notes, slight tobacco hop signature, all tail off after a while

T: Follows the nose, serious fig action, herbal hoppyness that is bordering on astrigent, not a very good start so far...Smooths out a little as time goes by, hints of Baker's chocolate & coffee too. Dark fruit, a touch of booze,dryness & tannins are there as this warms, plus a touch of chocolate. Finishes dry, fruitty & with leafy/tobacco hoppyness

MF: Chewy with firm, perhaps a bit too much carbonation. Warming sensation kicks in after a while, good balance

Drinks easy once a bit of up front astringency passes. Stays true to the style, maybe the best beer from these guys I've had... (812 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impressive beige head that leaves some good chunky lace on the glass. Pours dark ruby mahogany color where light barely shines through the edge of the glass.

The aroma is fruity sweet without any overpowering alcohol aromas. Lots of darker malt smells but little hop.

This is a creamy beer. It has many of the elements of a superior English Porter. There's a dark chocolate with cherry flavor that has some notes from a barley wine. Still, this is a strong departure from the style. And I like it. I find it very drinkable without too much alcohol. (550 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a complex malt aroma that leans more to the roasted/chocolate side. It dry with a light hop aroma. The taste is decent. It has a moderate burnt toffee flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry and warm with a nice hop character. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a nice barleywine. I love the aroma and it's got pretty nice malt character. The Pugsley series is turning out to be the class of their lineup. (585 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/03/09- Purchased at Mollie Stones in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, assuming 2008 or '09 release, but no info on the bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deeper caramel colored pour. Fuller one inch head that sticks around for a bit and leaves a slight rim. Leaves very slight lacing behind.

Smell- Nice heavily roasted caramel scent. Fairly hoppy with a decent hit of alcohol.

Taste- Has an english taste, but it's overly hoppy per style and the malt base is too roasted. More of a dark chocolate flavor than milk with a burnt caramel flavor. ABV hits a lot harder than the 8.5% noted.

Mouthfeel- A bit overcarbonated per style and a pretty lasting bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Ate a full dinner and have quite a buzz after this one measley 8.5% beer. Feels like a 11% one. Feels much more like an american style B'wine than an english. Not bad by any means, just out of style. Still perfectly fine, tasty and quaffable. (956 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
2.55/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

~2009 release; Sampled October 2010
A solid pour produces a voluminous, glass filling, almost five-finger thick, lightly browned, amber-tan colored head. The beer is a deep burnt amber color that shows a clearish, dark red-amber hue when held up to the light. Hmm, another interesting yeast influenced nose; this smells slightly funky in a sort of musty, not quite cheesy, berry like chocolate leaning, moldy dried dates, sweetened tamarind, sweet red Chinese bean paste that has been slightly fermented or perhaps even like the center of a Chinese mooncake that includes a salted duck egg. The nose is quite fruity with notes of fermented prune juice, slightly tart plums and a touch of jail-house pruno. Some toasted malt notes add a whole grain note to the middle, though this is often overwhelmed by the other aromatic notes. There is clearly something else going on here, it is interesting & even fun to explore, but really not what I want in a Barley Wine.

Lightly sweet tasting up front and this gets increasingly phenolic and plastic like as the beer rolls across the tongue. By the time the beer has left my mouth it has coated my mouth in a flavor that reminds me strongly of curing plastic. Slightly medicinal and this also has some hot higher alcohols as well as notes of nail polish; this last accentuates some fruity notes of prune and raisin. I spent so long with the aroma that the excessive carbonation is not really noticeable in the flavor. This is likely quite a bit lighter than was intended, but it still has some heft to it and definitely sticks to the palate, but it is on the thin side (now at least) for a Barleywine.

While the aroma is quite interesting and enjoyable to explore, the flavor of this is just not very appealing. I wonder if a lot more age will turn this into a really funky old ale? The carbonation is already getting a bit excessive though and I would worry about the integrity of the bottle after a few more years of age. (1,967 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. The bottle has a sticker on it that says "cellar aged". Not sure if that makes it special in any way or not. Poured a darker, caramel brown color with a spotty khaki lacing mostly clinging to the sides of the glass. A very visually appealing beer for the style.

The aroma has a strong caramel malt flavor to it. Some bready, burnt toast comes through as well. Some hints of citrus, and faint fruity flavors seem to be present as well.

The taste shows some of the caramel found in the nose but also has a bit of a cocoa flavor coming through. A little more dark fruit flavor to the taste then was present in the aroma. It also has a bit of burnt toast flavor to it in the finish. A moderate bitterness keeps it from being too malty sweet.

The mouthfeel is above medium bodied but probably on the lighter side for the style. Carbonation is a bit high for my tastes in barleywines as well. Drinkability isn't bad, it had some nice flavors to it overall and was nice to sip on this evening. Decent beer overall. (1,064 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours on the darker side for a barley wine, a dark, murky mahogoney with a short head to start that fades to nothing. Smells sweet, grainy, roasty and with some piney and earthy hops. There is also a residual yeast smell that smells typically English. A bit roasty for a barley wine, but fine. The taste is less roasty, but quite a bit more hoppy with piney, earthy, and citrusy hops combined with more roastiness, some dark fruit, and quite a bit of lingering bitterness. Smooth, and somewhat thick in the mouth. Thisn wasn't bad, but it didn't really represent the barley wine style that well. I don't mind the extra hops in a barley wine, but I do want some extra sweetness to go with it, and the extra roastiness was a bit out of place. Still, it was enjoyable enough if not remarkable. (790 characters)

Photo of Kelp
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellared bottle

Poured a bit darker than caramel with a little tannish head. Very little lacing left by the beer.

Barley malts are on the forefront of the smell. Followed by toffee, chocolate and alcohol for the finish.

Has a nice slickness to it, almost oily. A bit thinner than i thought it would be but decent carbonation.

This was nice a good beer to have on occasion not my favorite BW but an enjoyable one. (416 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a really dark brown with ruby highlights when held to the light. Smallish off white head disappears quickly. Smells of chocolate, butter, caramel, toffee. Taste is chocolaty buttery hoppy. Leaves a bitter/astringent taste in my mouth. Body is medium to thin the beer finishes dry. Mouthfeel is oily, carbonation is light. I tried to enjoy this, but I could not. The color is too dark for the style, the flavor profile is all wrong. The astringent taste ruined this one for me. At 1o bucks a bottle never again! (516 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark brown colored beer with a tall light brown colored head.

Smell is sweet and spicy with melon and ginger aromas. Some butter and what I can only describe as cinnamon spiced apple. There is some brown sugar here along with prune and plum.

Starts out neural in flavor, mostly woody with a little brown sugar. Fruity with a little citrus this is mostly woody and pretty tame actually. Not a lot of subtlety here.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Good drinkability but also kind of boring. A nice mild flavored beer but it could be more exciting. (536 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.42/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Barleywinebrewer for this.
Poured a deep, deep brown with a reddish tint, light brown head, good carbonation.Nose is No real smell to it I thought. Taste was of cocoa powder, roasted malts and a rather obnoxious astringent feel. Mouthfeel is thinner bodied than I wanted. English bwine? I did not see it nor taste it. Alcohol was well hidden but I expected more, heavier, maltier and thicker. (412 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cask pour in a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, yellow-brown coloring witth a chunky, frothy, white coating of head. Aromas of biscuit, lemony sweet, rich toffee, and a wet, cedar hops presence. Smells balanced and tasty. Flavors are smooth, with a toffee and apple sweetness quickly cleaned by a bitter, dry ribbon of hops. Slight smoking and oaky character, too. Very dynamic, with a bitter, resiny aftertaste. Clean, smooth finish of a very robust bodied brew. Tasty, and surprisingly drinkable. (498 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer's complexion is deep, dark and concealing, making it very difficult to pin any particular colour to it. Whatever the case, it might as well be called black because no light makes it through anyhow. Its head may look soapy but it sticks to the glass like grease.

Neither the malts nor hops make themselves particular known to the nose; it lacks the definition and concentration that this style typically exhibits. Minor notes of raisin, plum and dried berries can be appreciated but they are far from obvious. A hint of smoke may stem from swirling, but it too is frustratingly subtle.

The flavour has a ripe, plump fig and plum taste but also offers a Darjeeling-like quality that features not only black tea bitterness but also notes of honey and meadow flowers. A sticky, port-like dried fruitiness makes for a bone-dry finish that includes roast malt and traces of peat. It, however, like the aroma, is frustratingly vague and also lacks the depth and intensity that typically characterizes the barleywine style.

On a positive note the beer is classically proportioned and features good balance. Then again, neither hops nor malt care to take the lead role. (Summit, Challenger, and Fuggles isn't exactly the sexiest hop bill anyhow.) There's also an absence of alcohol, no rough edges. Given that it lacks dynamics fresh, it promises nothing in the long term. Drink it now (or maybe don't bother buying it at all).

A barleywine that lacks the concentration and complexity of the style is simply not worth drinking. There's nothing inherently unpleasant about Shipyard Barley Wine, but the problem is that there's virtually nothing to it at all. It's far from a fine effort and given the other beers in the Pugsley's Signature Series, we know this brewery is capable of much better. (1,802 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Shipyard Barley Wine Style Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series) from Shipyard Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.