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Shipyard Imperial Porter (Pugsley's Signature Series) - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Imperial Porter (Pugsley's Signature Series)Shipyard Imperial Porter (Pugsley's Signature Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

260 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 260
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 9
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 11-16-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 260 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lerxst
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a very dark brown with a one finger khaki colored head that has average retention and leaves a few wisps of lace.

S-The nose is nice, but tame and subdued. A more prominent nose would enhance the experience. Roasted malt and dark chocolate, hints of coffee, brown sugar and molasses.

T-Somewhat rich and sweet malt, toffee, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and molasses. Its good.

M-Medium body, somewhat creamy, relatively low carb level.

D-Goes down easy. More than one wouldn't be a problem.

Not the best porter I've ever had, but its no slouch either.

Lerxst, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Imperial porter brought back from Vermont. Pours dark brown with soapy head. A nice roast,puff of smoke, strong licorice above all,a bit of chocolate, licorice anise mostly.A tad below average mouthfeel.Warrior, English Fuggles, and East Kent Goldings Hops

Sammy, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of Gosox8787
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: On tap poured into a pint glass at a local bar.

Appearance: Dark brown to almost black in color. Not much head to speak of at all and it quickly recedes into nothing.

Aroma: Bitter dark chocolate and espresso dominate the nose. Some caramel and toffee balance it out.

Taste: Much like the aroma, espresso notes dominate with some dark chocolate mixed in. The flavor profile tastes like a coffee beer to me more than an Imperial Porter. Coffee bean bitter takes over where usually there would be some fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied mouthfeel, especially for a porter. Dry finish as well. Some pretty noticable carbonation here as well, which makes this beer seem crisp.

Drinkability: The ABV is well hidden and the flavors are balanced and complimentary for the most part. I would have no problem finishing a couple glasses of this.

Overall, a nice porter that has more of the flavor profile of a coffee porter than a Baltic porter. Definitely the best offering I've ever had from Shipyard as well. Worth a try, especially on tap.

Gosox8787, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of grub
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle topped with gold foil. sampled aug 2/2010.

pours black and opaque with a huge fluffy brown head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves plenty of spotty lace as it falls.

aroma is nice. anise. caramel and toffee. alcohol. dark and milk chocolate. toasted whole wheat bread. bit of biscuit and cracker. a touch fruity. earthy.

taste is nice. caramel and anise. bit of toffee. light alcohol. dark and milk chocolate. toasted whole wheat bread. biscuit. earthy. bit of coffee. a bit fruity. medium-low bitterness level, mostly chocolate and coffee.

mouthfeel is nice. medium body. just over medium carbonation level, which feels a touch high.

drinkability is good. pretty well balanced. a fairly nice porter.

grub, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours an opaque dark orange/brown, almost black away from the light, medium sized tan head forms and settles down to a medium ring around the glass and a thin layer, some decent chunks of lace stick.

Smell is alright, very sweet, brown sugar/corn syrup, raisin, very fruity, raisin/dates, a bit of floral hoppiness, caramel, light chocolate, pretty sugary, a bit of oak, some port/currant, quite rich/old ale sweetness.

Taste is similar, pretty sweet and fruity, very malty, caramel/brown sugar, sticky toffee pudding, fruity, raisin/dates, some port, floral, sugary, very light biscuit/wafer toastiness but not a lot of chocolate/roast.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. A bit of warmth going down. Solid beer but not very porter like. Thanks Russ!

Viggo, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, let's see if Maine can redeem the East Coast...Pours a wicked super-dark mahogany - near to black. Head is a beautiful tan, persistent, leaves awesome lace. Really robust aroma, tons of dark chocolate, maybe some cinnamon, a little raspberry...complex and yummy smelling. Flavor is intense - deep, tangy bites of the chocolate roast hit you right away, and with an excellent, full mouth of flavor. VERY robust and delicious. Strong hop character on the finish, with some sour fruit rolling around in there. Outstanding beer, really delicious. $5.99/bomber though so it's not cheap, but it is worth every penny.

SolomonGrundy, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of jera1350
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up for $1.99, couldn't pass it up.

Huge hiss upon cracking the lid. Pours about 3/4 of fluffy tan foam. Hmm, can I have some beer with my head? The little body is black in color.

Has a sweet, candy-like nose with some lightly roasted malts. Kind of a chocolate bar and sweet tart mix.

Pretty uneventful tasting. Malty with a light roast, bit of dark chocolate, and a hint of bitter coffee. There is a little citrus presence to add some brightness.

The carbonation is a too high and a little harsh. Doesn't quite reach full body as advertised.

Not exactly what I was hoping for, but it's not bad. Their is definitely a carbonation issue which leads to a healthy amount of burping. I would pass on this one next time.

jera1350, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of NorthbayStout
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pint glass allows enough light in to show the beer's deeper brown character at the edges, and it ends up almost black in the center. Many people find the skunky, angry nose unpleasant, but given the style I think it's an exceptionally interesting character. One does not drink this beer expecting calm and pleasant. The slick, almost sticky mouthfeel wasn't my favorite aspect, but the robust, almost chewy chocolaty flavor redeems the mouth coating thickness. Good for a single pint though I can't imagine the pallet that can handle more than that. A good closer for a night of tasting.

NorthbayStout, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter.

Pours a very dark black with a HUGE brown head that slowly fades away to some really nice fine lacing. Nose is gross, it smells like vomit or bad chocolate, bleh.

Taste is decent, lots of roasted chocolate and burnt coffee, it's got a very nice mouthfeel though, it's really creamy with nice carbonation, but that's the highlight of this beer. It's decent and I got it cheap but don't pay more than $3-4 for a bomber.

kingcrowing, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of lou50rp
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It is very dark, almost black, with a slight head with a light brown color. Not a bad start. The smell was of dark roasted coffee. A nice clean smell. The taste matched the smell with a little bitterness at the end. A good taste for a porter, but nothing spectacular. It has a good mouth feel with little carbonation. What I expect from a porter. It was an average drink. Not worth buying again, especially at the price.
Seems like Shipyard was trying to overcome mediocrity with high ABV.

lou50rp, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of dwilson01
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass, extremely dark brown but not quite to black yet. You can still see a small glow when held up to the light. Minimal amount of head, mocha tan coloring on it.

My initial whiff on the nose picks up mainly roasted and crystal malts. It's a clean scent and the roast reminds me somewhat of coffee though not overly so. Pick up a small amount of sweeter molasses type aromas as well as some alcohol esters. Overall the aromas are great, very strong and bold...just hope it delivers on flavor!

The malt flavors are prominent, toasted, roasted, chocolate, and crystal malts from what I can tell. I didn't think bread right off the bat but I'm picking up some which reminds me of the darker types (rye, pumpernickel, dark wheat). Sweet flavors abound as well, molasses, maple, vanilla, and definitely chocolate. The roasted malt gives it a coffee-ish hint. All of those flavors seemed to combine very well for a full bodied smooth character with not much alcohol present.

Balanced mouthfeel, it's not gnarly thick but most definitely not a chugger either. It keeps you wanting more while also satisfying you at the same time. Great brew in my opinion although it's not overly notable on the whole of all the beers I've tried.

dwilson01, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bomber bottle (that I needed for brewing purposes!) this beer was an almost completely opaque, dark brown color with one finger of tan head. The retention was pretty good, especially as a skim and the lacing in broken bands. The aroma was of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate malt, bittersweet chocolate and baking cocoa. The flavors were similarly slanted towards the dark/roasty side but with little complexity beyond that. I tasted sweet caramel and chocolate malt up front with some light molasses notes as well followed by the coffee, roasted malt and alcohol heat. The hops did give enough bitterness to balance the malt elements especially towards the end. Slightly nutty and maybe slightly spicy but otherwise straight forward; sweet malt, dark malt, bitter finish. The mouthfeel was average, perhaps a little oily, the body full and the carbonation a little high and frothy especially at first.

thekevlarkid, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of Mdog
2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Very dark brown, huge head, have to wait to pour it in my big pint glass.

Smell: Roasted aroma, some sweetness.

Taste: Starts sweet and gets sweeter. It mostly reminds me of mocha coffee with one or two too many sugar packets added. Slight roasted flavor buried in there too.

Drinkability: Too sweet to recommend.

This was marked down to really cheap so I picked one up. Way too sweet for my taste buds, not enough body or roasted flavors. I suppose you get what you pay for, glad I didn't pay full price.

Mdog, May 31, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a very dark brown with a half finger tan head and decent sticky lacing on the glass.

S: toffee molasses aromas with sugar sweetness hints of dark fruits and raisins.

T: a boozy molasses flavor with raisin sweetness invades the palate at first with a mild bitterness at the end.

M: medium body with light carbonation and a bitter finish.

D: over all a pretty decent offering from shipyard. Probably would not drink a whole one due to the sweetness in the beer.

Gobzilla, May 22, 2010
Photo of jlindros
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

<Sigh> another beer from Shipyard, most of them are very bland, boring, and nothing to write home about. The Pugsly Series is a little better mostly, but nothing spectacular. The brew pub up in Portland (if I'm not confusing it with someone else) is actually pretty good. But since this is all I can get down here in MA, here comes another one.

A: A semi dark rich 1 finger head rises up and fades semi quickly over very dark, but not black color, just hints of light coming through around the sides.

N: At least it's aromatic, as I could smell from the pour. Eh, pretty bland again, mostly syrupy sweetness, some extract like syrup aromas, a touch of crystal malt, even less touch of roast, little chewy malts, and a little porter like nose. Very bleh!

T: Meh, a little better than the nose but not quite. Again a fake syrupy sweet taste, like corn syrup or extract. A slight roasty flavor with some roasted malt earthy bitterness. A vague reminiscence of chocolate malt even, as if they waved the chocolate malt over the top of the fermenting syrup (notice syrup and not beer). Semi sweet, but a little dry at the same time. A little bit of that over roasted stale coffee bean flavor too.

M: Med to light body, pretty syrupy, and decent carbnonation.

F: Semi bitter with more roasted malt earthy bitterness and even a hint of earthy minerality, and a hint of earth hop (yes hop) bitterness. A touch of lingering roast fades quickly and leaves that syrupy extract sweetness that just sticks around, despite the beer being pretty dry at this point. It's sticky sweet, and the bitterness is not the most pleasant, but somewhat... what's the word I'm looking for, oh yeah, unpleasant. Again a touch of stale over roasted coffee beans. Actually, the only nice taste on the finish is the earthy lingering bitter hops that pan out, it took me a while to find them below the depths of tar, but low and behold, there they are. (that rhymed, awesome!)

I think you can figure out my thoughts on this beer. Very bland, stale, extract and syrupy tasting, somewhat unpleasant bitter bland beer. I'm really starting to think the Shipyard people have either been on vacation for the past 2 years and robots are making their beer, or they just don't give a f*ck http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wS5xOZ7Rq8
Shipyard, you guys used to be cool. Wtf happened?

jlindros, May 21, 2010
Photo of ccrida
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a decent strong porter, but there was nothing particularly unique about it. Nice head and lace, smell was a bit acrid, the taste had a bit of diacetyl but was otherwise nice, decent chocolate. Medium bodied mouthfeel, the drinkability was good, as I finished it before I realized to really type the review a few minutes ago while working on something else! Wouldn't go out of my way to seek out though, the packaging makes it look more special then it is....

ccrida, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of PorterLambic
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black liquid. A decent head with ok retention. A film is the result.
Smell is malty, hops,smoked oak, a resinous note that is not hops related, a slight medicinal note, as well.
Taste is smoked malt, light hops, alcohol, slight dark fruit, coffee.
Somewhat dry especially at the finish. Pretty good but nothing great. While the smell and taste are good and reasonably complex, they don't really line up well together.

PorterLambic, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of Daktyls
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep dark brown, with very little tan head which dissipated to a fine lace fairly quickly.

S: Some sour notes are present, with hints of chocolate and coffee.

T: A slightly metallic, sour taste started off and become slightly chocolately with a hint of coffee. A bit of hops was present at the end.

M: A slight amount of carbonation gives way to a very clean feeling, but not a whole lot of flavor was apparent when allowed to sit in the mouth for a while.

D: Overall, this was a "meh" experience. No strong feelings one way or the other. If someone gave me one, I wouldn't complain about drinking it.

Daktyls, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of sprucetip
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown with faint highlights, thin tan head but some film and ring remain throughout. Patchy lacing. Attractive. Good start.

Boozy, molasses, vanilla and chocolate are prominent early. The booze is strongest, however, and I would have probably upped the score a bit were it not. Some slight roast and just barely sweet malt underneath.

Not as interesting as the nose, especially early. Roasty, mild hoppy bitterness, and coffee hints in the late middle. But the malty body is not as assertive or as sweet as I feel it ought to be to bring this into balance. ...Later it becomes more complex with some chocolate and vanilla, but it is still omewhat off the mark, out of blance, and just too dry for my taste.

A bit too tingly and the warming is quite strong. Medium body, but thinner than expected for a beer of this size. Pretty dry overall, but especially in the finish.

In some ways it comes close to being something special, especially in the nose. But it falls short in other ways. Some interesting influences don't quite gel and balance, unfortunately, as well as I'd like them to. A good but not great beer, and one I doubt I'll reach for often if at all, considering the other options.

sprucetip, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of CharlatanSin
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a super dark brown with mahogany around the edges. That's all fine, but the beer pours with an explosion of a tan head. My girlfriend poured first and she got half foam. I thought she messed up the pour (as she is wont to do) and so I poured extremely carefully, with more or less the same result. Once it settled down it looked okay.

S: Very roasty. The expected chocolate and light coffee, with a little more dark fruit than usual. Not too bad.

T/M: A letdown. It's got all of the normal tastes for the style, namely roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. Some dark fruit too. But the bitterness does not work with the rest of the taste at all. I've had some hoppy imperial porters and stouts that have been great (Long Trail's comes to mind), but the bitterness here is overly astringent, which combines with the roasted coffee to unfortunately evoke coffee grounds. This is made even worse by the excessively dry mouthfeel. This is the first beer I've had where "chalky" is the primary characteristic that comes to mind.

Overall: It just didn't work. I had it the same day as the Pugsley's Series Imperial IPA (both being delayed birthday presents from a good friend), which was actually quite good, which made me all the more disappointed with this one.

CharlatanSin, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of manahansf
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours visibly thick and has a light and clear dark brown color crowned with a light and tan creamy head. The nose is sweet with hints of robust coffee and sweet chocolate. The flavor however, is more focused on the coffee. Very robust and warming coffee flavors flow well through the heavy body with low carbonation. The finish begins to fade with a slightly vinous flavor and fades slowly before it ends cleanly.

manahansf, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a rocky beige head that leaves a bit of clumpy lace

Smell: The charred roast elements dominate but there are hints of bubblegum, chocolate and coffee

Taste: Black bread, up front, with a developing burnt fruit flavor that tends to overwhelm some of the more subtle elements; after the swallow, the chocolate and dark fruit emerge somewhat but remain in the background of charred roast

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; surprisingly watery

Drinkability: With a change to the malt bill that would elinate the char and a bit more of a fuller body, this might be a keeper

brentk56, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of ocbears
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Murphy's in Hanover. Served in an Imperial Pint glass.

A: Dark brown, near black. Small, tan head.

S: Mostly dark chocolate and roasted, almost burnt malt.

T: Pretty much the same as the aroma but with an ever so slight hop kick at the end. The alcohol is noticeable but doesn't detract from the overall flavor.

M: Quite thin and watery. I was most disappointed with this aspect of the beer.

D: Not all that bad I guess but I don't think I would want more than one of these.

Notes: Just an extremely average brew.

ocbears, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of sweetbrew82
2.5/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. into a snifter

P: Dark brown with a khaki-colored head of frothy foam. Showed good retention before retreating to a thick collar with webs of lace in its wake.

A: The malt bill smells like half was deeply roasted and the other half was burnt to a crisp. There is some chocolate and hops in there, but the smell of charred grain, black coffee, and booze isn't particularly appetizing for me. In fact, the more I smell it the more hesitant I become to take the first sip...

T: ...and rightfully so. The first thing I notice is a weird metallic flavor, and some notes that remind me of blood. M'm M'm good! Aside from that, the malts are deeply roasted up front and much more charred on the back end. The bottle says they used black patent, chocolate, and crystal; and it tastes like this is the order of strength in which they appear on the palate. Cocoa powder, licorice, and coffee flavors are there, but the first half of each mouthful is marred by the taste of seltzer water. Unfortunately, the back half of each mouthful is equally disastrous from the charred sour malt that combines with the earthy hops to leave a nasty astringent bitterness that just won't quit.

M: Helping the flavor become even more of a train wreck is the body. Imperial Porter? Only in name! This just barely even qualifies as medium-light bodied, by just a hair. It's thin and watery, has no depth or roundness to it, and doesn't even offer a smidgen of creaminess or chewiness to it.

Notes: To tell you the truth, I've had a handful of regular American Porters that offered fuller bodies and bolder flavor profiles than this "Imperial." The body indicates that this is way under-malted, while the flavor says it's overly burnt. This is just not a very good beer in my own humble opinion. I want my $7.99 back!

sweetbrew82, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of froghop
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours black with a red tint when held to the light, a small khaki head, and good lacing.

smell is of sour malt, and chocolate.

taste is of sour malt, cocoa, some hops in the back, and a touch of vanilla, ends a little sour, and dry.

overall an average porter.

froghop, Jan 22, 2010
Shipyard Imperial Porter (Pugsley's Signature Series) from Shipyard Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.