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Shipyard Winter Ale (Special Brew) - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Winter Ale (Special Brew)Shipyard Winter Ale (Special Brew)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

105 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 14.44%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-30-2000)
View: Beers (41) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by karengarys:
Photo of karengarys


4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well well well. My this is a good brew!

Pours hazy brown, with a slight red hue. Some head, but it dissipates, and leaves a ring of foam and a tuft on the top. Looks really good.

Smells good, with notes of rich malt mostly, slightly sweet.

Tastes very good. Rich with no edgy bite. Nice and hoppy, but dry, and rich. Mostly malt, maybe licorice. I can't describe it, but it is smooth.

Mouthfeel is great. Creamy. It lasts.

Finish is very good, but there is a bit of an aftertaste.

I think this is my favorite winter brew. I wasn't going to review this, but after starting it I just couldn't help it! Try it if you can find it!

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2004 03:27:32 | More by karengarys
More User Reviews:
Photo of JJChrist


3/5  rDev -18.3%

06-21-2014 21:50:33 | More by JJChrist
Photo of harpus


3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

04-09-2014 15:05:43 | More by harpus
Photo of buzzy


3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

02-26-2014 00:27:36 | More by buzzy
Photo of ejimhof


3/5  rDev -18.3%

10-05-2013 20:14:17 | More by ejimhof
Photo of Kelp

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

04-27-2013 20:13:21 | More by Kelp
Photo of jda007


3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

07-20-2012 01:36:17 | More by jda007
Photo of Sailracer

1.5/5  rDev -59.1%

03-24-2012 14:02:34 | More by Sailracer
Photo of LukeONeill

3/5  rDev -18.3%

02-27-2012 04:39:39 | More by LukeONeill
Photo of tclapper

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +9%

12-17-2011 05:16:53 | More by tclapper
Photo of rab53


4/5  rDev +9%

12-07-2011 02:14:46 | More by rab53
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +9%

11-28-2011 19:57:53 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the pour was a wonderful shade of amber with a good level of carbonation that was easily visible through the glass. nice head of white that comes up to around two inches and settles own with a moderate amount of lacing.

aroma of nicely rounded hops, light citrus mixed with a caramel sweetness that is simply sublime. near perfection here with every whiff. taking the first sip only reinforces this as each sip is better then the next. really just clean, crisp notes of citrus hops, caramel, bready malts, and a touch of apple like tartness cross the palate and leave a clean, sparkling finish that begs you to drink more.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2011 01:35:48 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of birchstick


3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured a reddish copper / brown with a nice one finger head that dissipates quickly

S - smells of caramelly malts, spices, and some spruce

T - tastes starts with buttery caramel malts that are quickly pushed aside by a lot of spices, most notabely some nutmeg. Next, I got some piney resin with some spruce. This tastes like it could be an Anchor Steam Our Special Ale, which is a good thing.

M - full bodied with light carbonation, pretty good

D - this is a pretty good Christmas Ale. I don't really know how this fits into the ESB category, but whatever, it is a good beer. I would recommend this drink to share with others at Christmas.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 01:21:52 | More by birchstick
Photo of changeup45


3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color topped with a medium head and a little bit of lace. Better balanced than many other Shipyad brews I've had. Caramel malty taste, some spices with a small bitter hop note at the end. Nothing too outstanding, but not bad either and solid for the winter season.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 21:08:57 | More by changeup45
Photo of Durge


4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a nice copper-red color with a thick off-white tan head and good lace. I detect a sprite aroma of raspberry, cinnamon and chocolate malt. The first note on the palate suggests a light red wine and chocolate. It's evenly carbonated and shows a little pine hoppiness and brown sugar. It seems fairly heavy at first but is really smooth and quite drinkable for the style. I find it to be somewhat creamy with a little alcohol noted. Surprisingly enjoyable from Shipyard, a great holiday option that is interesting without being overstated.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 03:27:04 | More by Durge
Photo of KOPBeerDrinker

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Copper in coloring, short head left no lacing as it receded. Smells of sweet malt and bread, but very subtle. Tastes of sweet malt, well balanced. Medium in body with good carbonation. Relatively easy to drink, overall a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2008 02:08:48 | More by KOPBeerDrinker
Photo of deltatauhobbit


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with some orange tints.

Smell is quite sweet, caramel coming through the most and a fruity hint too.

The caramel comes through in the taste as well, with a couple other spices like citrus. Hops present a decent bitter aftertaste.

The beer tends to be a little buttery and leaves a slickness afterwards, bit too much diacetyl.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2007 04:09:07 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of matty


3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great microbrew....I have recently been drinking more micros than macros and I have to say this is one of the top 5.Kind of has a roasted caramel taste to it.It has no heavy carbonation to it and the aftertaste is nice right down to the bottom of the bottle.Definetly recommend!!

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2007 03:03:21 | More by matty
Photo of jettjon


3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle marked “best before June 07” into my Sam Adams glass (thanks, guys!). Consumed on 8/8/07. Pale amber to ruby clear color with good carbonation streams. Thick brownish cap that fades slowly down to a thin sheet and ring, along with decent clingy lacing. Nose of toasted malt, faint buttery toffee, caramel, and sweet malt. Interesting nose yet muted. Tastes of toasted caramel malt with a good bitter hops backbone. Semi-sweet malt balances nicely, finishing clean and coffee-bitter. Mouth a bit on the thin side with light carbonation. Wet and thirst-quenching. Drinkability is OK; at 5.3% and lightly bitter, I can see me drinking a few of these.

Overall: A decent ESB, though perhaps the nose and taste could have been a bit more pronounced. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2007 23:15:40 | More by jettjon
Photo of barefootbrewer


3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice clear copper color with a decent head. The smell was faint of malt. The taste is malty with a nice balance of hops. There is a slight bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. The balance of flavors and mouthfeel make this a quite drinkable brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2007 22:29:50 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of BuckSpin


3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: tap version in an classic conical pint glass

Nose was litely spiced, some burnt sugars, malts, peek of some tannins, oily citrus-orange hops. As it warmed some stale bread was noticable. Speaking of orange, this could have easily been a Halloween seasonal. The most intense, bright brassy orange hue in color, clear, some mild carbonination rising & clinging. While I usually enjoy a beer with a nice color, this was almost food dye orange and did nothing for me. Head was a nice pinky's worth of mixed, warm ivory foam that faded in a few minutes to a film covering, but was able to be agitated back and did, initially, lace stubbornly but eventually those curtains fell.

Initially its a bit sharp, the bitter aspect of the ESB taking the point over a soft, faint malt creaminess. Its a little rough around the edges, some of those citrus qualities, a little bittersweet, nothing major of note. The tastes meld on the tongue with more of the bitter quality and more earthy malt tones. The finish is fresh, cool, creamy, slight spice peep and a bittersweet aftertaste that lightly coated the mouth.

Its OK, but I have had far better winter ales and ESBs. The color was downright freaky. If you like a rough, raw bitteresque brew you will probably like this but I'll pass on this in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2007 00:13:24 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark amber color, either it was the glass or I poured it wrong but it poured over the glass, large foamy head all over the place.

Smell - Sweet smell of winter ale.

Taste - Sweet spicey, not bad, one of my tops winter ales.

Mouthfeel - Nice balance with the carbination.

Drinkability - My 2nd shipyard and last beer of the day. Going to bed.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2007 02:09:54 | More by auxiliary
Photo of number1bum


4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish color with a 1" foamy tan head. A bit of sticky lacing and not much retention. Smell is sweet, carmel malts and a hint of spice; I don't detect much hop presence. Taste is sweet malts up front, carmel and a touch of roasted flavor, finishing smooth and buttery on the palate. Nicely balanced and refreshing, medium bodied and easy drinking, this is a fine winter ale that won't fill you up.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2007 21:29:50 | More by number1bum
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber-red body with a half an inch of off-white head. Smells like caramel malt and diacetyl. Tastes of caramel malt, diacetyl, fruit. No real hop character to speak of. Flavor is a bit weaker and watery on-tap than it was from the bottle. Mouthfeel is medium-to-full. Pretty good, but I think I like it a bit better from the bottle oddly. Still tasty and satisfying, and by far one of Shipyard's best offerings.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2007 03:53:05 | More by MrHurmateeowish
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Shipyard Winter Ale (Special Brew) from Shipyard Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.