Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged Double ESB - Shipyard Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 6 | Display Reviews Only:
3.53/5 rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
"Hey, we could make a proper British Extra Special Bitter. Or.. we could imperialize it... and put it in a bourbon barrel. Make it twelve-percent alcohol. Yea, let's do that instead" I can see how that conversation goes all across the landscape of Recipe & Development rooms inside brew houses.
And that "why not" spirit comes to mind as the ale pours a dark honey, medium amber hue. Somewhat dense and rich to the eye, its hazy appearance allows for a soft dimly lit glow. As a patient sheet of ivory-white foam amounts, the froth is tightly woven as the ale speckles the glass with random lace. As with many strong ale, the foam eventually succumbs to its power and prefers port-like appearances.
It aromas are caramel-sweet and backed by fruit flavors of apple, orange, cherry and grape. The bourbon influence piles on with unmistakable drunken oak, coconut, vanilla and maple. Giving the ale a candied scent of hard maple candy and marzipan.
To taste, any notion of ESB is lost on the palate. However more Barleywine flavors coat the palate with shortbread and caramel. Hedging on toffee, its maple, honey and marmalade flavors saturate the sweet tooth, especially when the fruit flavors of orange, peach, apple and grape complement the mix. Its slow-fading sweetness is sliced by all those barrel contributions of wood spice, vanilla and coconut.
The beer's rich body is unwavering as its dense bready texture lingers on. Its lacking dryness extends indefinitely with butter rum, pecan, maple and bourbon. Warm in its finish, the ale is a welcome after dinner sipper.
Where any beer of such immense alcohol content and malt balances would easily classify as a Barleywine, its only glimmers of ESB are its biscuity sweetness and body and its estery fruit contributions. I would like to see the ale back off to about eight percent and better demonstrate those classic ESB flavors.
Serving type: bottle
02-21-2014 19:29:58 | More by BEERchitect
Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged Double ESB from Shipyard Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.