Shipyard XXXX IPA (Pugsley's Signature Series) - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard XXXX IPA (Pugsley's Signature Series)Shipyard XXXX IPA (Pugsley's Signature Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

280 Reviews
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Reviews: 280
Hads: 674
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 23.58%
Wants: 14
Gots: 73 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.25% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-20-2009

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 280 | Hads: 674
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strange Brew bartender: You want our cask, it just came on. A: Yes, whatever it is. This is the experience: Orange colour with a lot of lace already in a huge snifter (that's what he gave me). Aroma there is abundant and pleasing hops. Wickedly tasty balance,above average and creamy mouthfeel. I savoured every sip, as my wife stood by my side ever reminding me of our impending flight.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour shared at DarthKostrizer’s place.

Pours a clear orange with a bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of herbal hops, brown sugar, and some alcohol aromas. Taste is pretty sweet with some herbal hops and brown sugar up front and a malty finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good but quite sweet DIPA.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: amber and clear

S: mild grapefruit, some hops

T: bittersweet hops, sweet on the front end and finishes dry. Little pine.

M: moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

Overall: the flavors in this one are very variable. Its hard to grasp one flavor before the next enters which defines this complex hoppy beer. I like this ones complexity though the taste is a little off for me.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down, leaving thick lacing on the surface, a collar around the edge, and webs of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of biscuit and caramel malts are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the overall taste is mostly dominated by flavors of biscuity and caramel malts. There is just a slight amount of bitterness, but the hops mostly serve to mask any associated sweetness from the malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes like an Imperial English India Pale Ale, if there was such a style since it isn't very hoppy. It is rather drinkable as it hides any traces of alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out as a nice golden color. The head was thick and white in color. The lacing sticks pretty well to my glass. The smell of the beer had a pretty good hoppy aroma to it, very inviting. The taste of the beer has a solid malt backbone with some citrusy & floral hops. The mouthfeel is very drinkable, with a good carbonation. Overall I found this beer to be pretty impressive, I would eventually like to revisit this one again. I'd say it's worthy of trying.

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Photo of brentk56
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Magnificent looking, with a thick, foamy head sitting atop the clear amber liquid; copious lacing left behind

Smell: Butterscotch and hops; reminiscent of butter pecan ice cream

Taste: Butterscotch, up front, with a growing herbacious bitterness by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavor swings to the malty side, with just enough bitterness to keep the malt in check; the bitter flavors do return in the aftertaste, however

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I understand the Shipyard style and this is a good example of making a DIPA to conform to that approach; I just prefer a more attenuated IPA with less diacetyl

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep golden color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of cascade hops with loads of citrus and pine notes is dominant. Taste is also dominated by loads of citrus and pine notes with a dry caramel malt base. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A bit too Cascade-centric for my own taste but well brewed and better then expected.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.51/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle, the last part of the mixed case of IPAs from Shipyard.

This beer pours a clear, medium copper amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and slightly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some decent frothing ocean swell lace around the glass as it slowly subsides.

It smells of sharp fresh pine needles, creamy, yet still bitter orange and grapefruit citrus, rather sweet caramel and toffee malt, and leafy, weedy, and well-perfumed hops, the alcohol bristling at the gate. The taste is more doughy, sweet caramel malt, one fairly enveloped in booze, a generic bitterness that is hard to parse into either green flora or citrus hop notes, and a more specific leafy, over-perfumed character.

The carbonation is fairly understated in its basically frothy demeanour, the body a decently solid medium weight, and more or less smooth, the alcohol trumping the hops for interference rights. It finishes off-dry, with a strengthening trend to the hoppy bitterness and drying booze esters.

Not a particularly enjoyable DIPA, it seems like once again, somebody on the East Coast tried to imperialize an English-style IPA, and you get this - a perfumed, acrid morass of a beer. It's not bad, but it is missing all the good things that make the American DIPA, well, good, and for that, I doubt that I would ever want to revisit this one.

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Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, April 2011 BBD.

Rich jewel tone amber, reddish orange. Decent skim at first, fading to a ring. Speckles of spotty lacing at its edges.

Deep malty aroma, very floral, dried orange peel. Not getting much else.

Warm malt blanket, receding bitterness, again floral and vaguely citrusy in the aftertaste. Drying in the finish, to be expected for 9.25%. Thick and rich feel, bursting with perfumed citrus hop notes, and a beast of a malt backbone. Sticky on the lips. Resiny dry finish. Going to try and finish this one, but it's not the easiest drinking DIPA. A bomber sounds like a chore...

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oriole orange with crystalline clarity and butterscotch borders. The upper one third of the glass is filled with a good looking lid of golden beige that features a softly dimpled surface and is no slouch at laying down lace.

The nose is strangely subdued with respect to hops. Oh, they're present all right, but not to the extent they should be in a DIPA. There's plenty of butter caramel, which probably means the flavor will follow suit.

Shipyard calls XXXX IPA 'a non-traditional American IPA'. Hey guys, could you be a little more traditional next time? This is not my preferred take on the style, given the flavor focus on malt rather than hops. The alcohol could be masked a little better too.

Too much toasted malt and butter caramel muddy up what might have been a big, bright, juicy hop fest. The grapefruitiness of Cascade (Warrior, Summit and Glacier were used as well) is barely appreciated. This stuff is almost as much American barleywine as DIPA.

There's still enough hop flavor and bitterness to earn above average scores for both taste and drinkability. Such will definitely not be the case when the 'best by' date of February 2011 has arrived. Waaay too optimistic. This strikes me as one of those ales that will go downhill fast... which is okay if you prefer sweetness.

The mouthfeel barely earns the 3.5. The first half of each mouthful is seamlessly smooth and creamy. The second half loses its mojo in a hurry and feels thinner than it should for the ABV.

Imperial Porter is the best of the three Pugsley's Signature Series beers that I've had so far. XXXX IPA might fit your preferred flavor profile for the style, but it doesn't fit mine. Still, when relatively fresh, this is reasonably enjoyable beer.

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

Another new one for me I decided to pop open last night to try. This was the second big IPA of the night and really thought it held up quite well, served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/31/2009.

The pour was more then decent with a light amber color and nice carbonation bubbling up towards the surface. Good bit of head on top reached a height of around two inches before settling back down to earth. Nice lacing on the sides. Aroma was lots of pine, bitter hops with a nice mix of light grain and a touch of bready malts coming through as it warms. Crisp, clean flavor here, with a body that was a touch lighter then I would have thought but the carbonation really seems to work quite well I believe. Clean hop notes come through up front very nicely with the first sip. Warming adds a nice touch of grassy flavor as well as bit of bready malt slicing through before it fades back into a nice and lightly dry finish that leaves me looking for more.

Overall very solid, drinks very well for the style and the abv is very well hidden letting it sip almost like a single ipa. Impressed with shipyard here.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best Enjoyed Before: February 2011.

Appearance: Dispenses a clear, orange-amber body with a large, billowing, yellow-tinged head.

Smell: Largely fruity hop notes of passion fruit, pink grapefruit, and tangelos, with a light backing of fresh florals. Sweetish malty accents of hard butterscotch candies and honey-brushed bread.

Taste: Moderately sweet beginning of caramel, honey, and luscious butterscotch with a bready maltiness. Floral, tropical American hop character, boldly bitter, and with a minute spiciness. The firm maltiness revisits before the swallow. Touch of alcohol warmth on the bittersweet finish, though the sweetness drops out leaving the bitterness to endure in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Smooth, lightly chewy, lightly oily mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Fairly easy to drink all things considered. I found it to be a pleasant surprise from Shipyard, but for those preferring a more slackened malt profile and seeking a harder, harsher hoppiness might be disappointed with this.

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Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one and a half fingers of off white foam on top of a clear, copper-brown body. The head settles at an average rate and leaves light lace.

S - Caramel malt and toffee with some spicy, pine hops. Classic IPA aroma.

T - Toffee and biscuit malt notes up front with some sharp citrus and pine hop flavor. Some acidic caramel in the middle with moderate, sharp bitterness. The beer finishes with lots of pine and grapefruit hop flavor as well as dry caramel and toast.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not bad at all, it reminds me of SN Celebration in that it has a lot of pine flavor and pungent bitterness without the fruity, complex hop aromas that I think of as characteristic of modern IPAs. The aroma comes together quite nicely with good doses of both hop and malt that balance each other and leave the malt slightly more dominant. The flavor qualities are somewhat less successful, though it is still a drinkable beer. Bitterness is at the front of the experience with rich, but dry malt character backing it up. The dryness keeps the malt from ever really managing to balance out the bitterness though, and while there is accompanying grapefruit and pine flavor, bitterness is really the dominant characteristic. Good, but I will take a modern hop flavor/aroma oriented IPA over this any day.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

Does Shipyard's "X" system correspond to that used on old-timey moonshine jugs? I sure as hell hope so! *slaps knee like old-timey hillbilly stereotype* ..ahem... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear rusty amber topped by a finger of relatively short-lived off-white foam. The nose comprises spicy greens, dry pine needles, light grass, lighter biscuit, and rich caramel underneath it all. The taste seems to focus on the spicy greens and pine needles, which have somehow regained their former luster since last we interacted. A small rush of dry toffee comes in near the end, but it just doesn't get its job done: the hops go uncut and run amok. (Note: This is occasionally a good thing, but this is more bland riot than organized revolution...if that makes sense...) The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry, sticky finish. Overall, an okay DIPA, but the hops don't really bite as much as they bludgeon. Frankly, I prefer to be bitten...

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Photo of jlindros
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Sea Dog pub in northborough, MA.

Pours a big fluffy 1.5 finger head fades slowly with lacing over copper reddish orange hazy beer.

Nose has earthy hops, hints of citrus fruit and other fruity hops, some malts as well chewy syrupy reddish malts, caramel, toffee, etc, and some candy citrus earthy hops.

Taste comes on bitter and strong, earthy chewy almost candy hops, a flavor like hop extract, spicy hops but no real fruit this time. Then malts, sweet and a bit syrupy, candy, syrupy malts with a reddish copper and chewy malt flavor. Booze is masked by the sweetness and bitterness fairly decently at this point. Finishes still fairly sweet chewy and spicy hops and pretty bitter, little sticky, long lingering bitterness. Nice bitter earthy bite on the finish, bit of grassy herbal hops, and booze comes out some on the finish

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, decent carb, just a hint of booze until it warms and then the booze kicks in a bit.

Overall not bad, lots of malts and hops but not a lot of hop flavor, booze is hidden well, no off or bad flavors.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweet with strong flavors of caramel and citrus that are quickly followed by a significant alcohol sting. Then a mild hops bitterness for the style comes in along with a hearty malt character to provide some balance. The after-taste is sweet.

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

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, this is described on the label by the brewer as "anon-traditional American IPA" and it certainly lives up to that. While it has all of the 2IPA qualities, it's the blend of those qualities that makes this beer a bit different than others in the style. Overall, it's a good beer that is worth drinking for a while, just don't expect a typical 2IPA hop-bomb.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up as part of a mix-a-six, enjoyed chilled from a willybecker.

The color is deeply hazed amber verging on copper with a quick to fall pale beige cap with overall avg bead and thin lace sticks. The smell is both fruity and herbal with moderately strong sweet scent of malt with slightly caramel essence with moderate alcohol in the nose. The feel is sweet and boozy for the most part with spicy and mildly bitter hop texture with moderate carbonation and warming semi-bitter and semi-dry finish.

The flavor has mild pine from the hops up front with light bitterness and herbal flavors with subtle fruity yeast taste that comes off as a light apricot with pear accent and subtle grapefruit fades in toward the middle with a citrus zest and sweet malt combination with mild caramel element and some dark sugar perhaps. The malt has a mellow toast quality with pepper and tangelo adding contrast, the alcohol finishes out the flavor in a not so mild way with light fusel and astringent hop tinge. The taste also seems strange with a prune/dried fruit element after the swallow. Overall it strikes me more as an English double IPA than American style with more malt and yeast that try to balance the hop bitterness and hop flavor is not as in focus. This is a good beer, but I would not seek it out.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap covered in gold foil served into a N'Ice Chouffe stem beerflute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Acquired at a Ralph's market nearby. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Paired with honey wheat pretzel braids. Served refrigerator cold but allowed to warm over time.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Colour is a light semitransparent amber with copper hues. Interesting for the style in that it's not just a clear copper. I'm sufficiently intrigued. No visible yeast particles.

Sm: Bittering and floral hop notes. Some cream. Butterscotch (diacetyl?). Toasted malts round out the character nicely. Very English IPA esque, mixed with the toasted malt body of a light winter warmer. I suspect Fuggles were used. (Consulting the label, I discover I'm wrong.) A clean, mild strength aroma.

T: Hoppy, with the bitterness coming through in the third act untamed by other notes. The climax holds the cream and floral hop notes, with the toasted malt occupying the beer from open to midpoint, filling out the body. The third act is comparitively empty. Some cream on the open, accompanied by a hint of straw. More like an English IPA than an American. I get a bit of grapefruit, but only hints. No alcohol comes through. No yeast (not that there should be). Some light caramelized malt. Both flavourfully and structurally imbalanced, but decently built. I enjoy it in a general sense. It's certainly neither unique nor special.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream after the midpoint (texture-wise). A biteen overcarbonated. Too thick. Suits the flavours only generally.

Dr: Drinkable but not special or unique. I wouldn't have it again. A below average example of the style, largely due to its inability to balance the bittering hops of the climax and third act. IPAs are not about a hop or IBU competition; balance is still integral. Fans of the style will likely find something to like about it.


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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I would have never bought a bomber of this but to roll the dice on a 12 ounce beer from a brewery that I typically can't stand doesn't seem so wrong especially when it's a style of beer that I really like. Appears a glowing ruby copper color with a light beige khaki head forming thick with fine even lacing as it dwindles. Aroma has upfront citrus and earthy hop accents going on...not bad at the first few smells. The flavor howevery is soapy with hops and ringwood yeast notes, citrus pith with a blinding bitterness and hop pellet explosion. The tart Pugsley open fermentation system doesn't do it for me and this beer has an astringent perfume like finish about it. Mouthfeel the bitterness doesn't leave us, the carbonation is mellow and even definitely the best of the Shipyard lineup...Overall I have no need to revisit this beer.

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Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Impressive head that starts five fingers thick. Recedes in a rocky fashion slowly leaving ample chunky lace markings on the glass. Attractive copper colored liquid with the slightly amount of haze.

Mild hop nose given that it is DIPA. Kudos for the balance. Attractive pine hop plug aroma with some crystal malt sweetness in the background.

Brief round, sweet malt flavor that is immediately driven away by the hop to be expected. Above average body with decent carbonation. The malt shows up again in the swallow, followed by another blast of hop bitterness. True to style, form and taste; on the edge of extreme.

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Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best before Jan. 2013 served in a pint glass. Pours a deep copper-amber with a tiny and fragile tan head.
Perhaps the most appealing aroma of any DIPA I've sampled, this XXXX ale has strong notes of vanilla and caramel that compete with the spice and citrus notes from the hops. The flavor reflects these notes and starts quite sweet, but the hop load quickly comes to the fore. From mid-taste on, there's no mistaking this for the dessert beer your nose leads you to expect. By the finish the flavor is at least moderately bitter with some grapefruit rind, although sweet caramel and vanilla linger on.

O: a fun DIPA in that there's a real contrast between the aroma and the flavor. Easy drinking for a DIPA, but the malt/hop ration will be too high for some hop heads.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Beer is orange with a mild haze, a big off white head, small bubbles, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is mildly hoppy, a little sweet, some butterscotch comes through.

Beer is light to medium in body, pretty butterscotchy, a little sweet, a little dry on the finish, moderate bitterness, it was too buttery for me to finish the bomber, I won't be repeating this.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass

A: Pours a hazy dark amber/copper color. Half finger head, off white in color. Decent lacing down the glass.

S: Nice hop aroma, citrus fruits - mostly grapefruit. Also some pine. Get a lot more malt than expected.

T: Very earthy flavor, typical hop characteristics and citrus fruits. On the back end, lots of malt though. Heavy on the caramel and toffee.

M/D: Medium bodied, but a bit on the thinner side for the style. Nice carbonation and a nice bitter finish. I liked it, but might not have pegged it for a DIPA.

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Photo of stakem
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber orange color with a finger of yellow stained foam for a head. Fair amount of lacing on the glass. Nose is a very sweet smelling candy/fruity mixture of hops and malt. The malt aroma comes across as being caramel and something very similar to cotton candy. Hop aroma is hidden behind the malt but it comes through minorly as cascade's identifiable grapefruit scent. Taste is malty sweet up front and slightly caramel-like with a nice lingering bitterness from the hops. The alcohol pokes through into the finish of the flavor as well, it is slightly astringent. Medium feel and low carb. Overall it's not bad but I wish there was some date on the bottle so I could know how fresh this was and if it's age is the reason for the lack of hops in the nose.

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Photo of WesWes
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt scent along with a very nice hop bouquet and that fruity yeast aroma. It's warm and rich with some caramel malt sweetness. The taste is good as well. It has a stiff hop bitterness along with a rich pale and crystal malt flavor. It goes down slow with a good deal of warmth in the finish. The hop character is well pronounced. The esters are present, but the hops eliminate most of them. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good beer. Shipyard is producing some fine ales. The Pugsley Series is the cream of the crop.

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Shipyard XXXX IPA (Pugsley's Signature Series) from Shipyard Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.