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Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged Prelude - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged Prelude
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very good

28 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 6
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.52%

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Davepoolesque on 02-04-2013)
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 6 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Damian


4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz. corked and caged bottle purchased at CT Beverage Mart, Newington, CT
Limited edition 2012
Bottle No 02045
Served in a snifter

Thanks to my dad for this gift.

Slightly hazed, crimson-amber color. The liquid was topped by a small, bubbly, ecru colored crown that quickly faded to a flimsy ring.

The aroma was amazingly unique and complex. Good dose of English malts. Strong raisin and plum notes. Lots of brown sugar-like sweetness. Sticky toffee pudding came to mind. Light bourbon and oaky notes. There was also a wine-y/grape-y quality that was totally unexpected but worked remarkably well. All in all, really interesting and dynamic.

The flavor profile was also fantastic. English malts appeared on the front end. Loads of brown sugar and toffee. Strong plum and raisin notes. Bourbon came through a bit more on the palate than in the nose. Light oak. Semi-tart, red wine-like notes appeared on the back end. The finish was intriguing. It reminded me a lot of a heavily oaked red wine and contained a noticeable amount of tannins. Moderately boozy, but in a good way.

The mouthfeel was the only mediocre aspect of this beer. It was thinner bodied with a crisp, large bubbled effervescence. Overall, the liquid was much lighter than I anticipated.

Shipyard Brewing often gets a bad wrap with craft beer enthusiasts, but this oak-aged offering really blew me away. This is one of the more unique and complex beers I have tried in a while. I will definitely make a point to sample their barrel-aged releases from now on.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 23:33:43 | More by Damian
Photo of lordofthewiens


4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Prelude is one of the few Shipyard beers I like. When I saw this bourbon barrel aged version at Gary's in Portsmouth, I had to try it.

This was the 2012 version, bottle 02843. In a snifter it was a dark brown color with no head.

It had a bourbon aroma mostly. Also some caramel and dark fruit.

Mostly bourbon taste. Caramel/toffee. Raisins.

The boozy taste predominates, but not in a bad way. This was an enjoyable sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 19:33:30 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Dope


3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 edition, bottle 02784

A: Pours a hazy mahogany. Good sized dense and fizzy tan head. Fades quite slowly with excellent head retention. Nice frothy chunks of lacing all over the glass.

S: Nice bourbon with toffee and caramel. Toasted malt is prominent too and mixes well. Quite oaky. There is another element that I can't quite place. Almost like pine sap but kinda fruity... but not exactly. Maybe the taste will reveal more.

T: Lots of bourbon again but not overpowering. It's mainly toffee with some caramel. There is a decent amount of apple up front interestingly enough. It's even tart into the middle in fact. Finish is lots of oak and toffee. A hint of tobacco and even leather. The oak is drying and lingers for quite a bit between sips.

M: Medium bodied, kinda sticky.

O: A very strange beer. I'm not sure how to classify it. It has tart apple that kind of reminds me of a funky tripel or saison or something. Bourbon isn't as sweet and caramel drenched as most are - it's lots of toffee and drying oak. It's got a decent variety of flavors and the balance is quite nice too. It's just that the flavors aren't that hot and seem like an odd combination. I'm almost wondering if they aren't unintentional in a way, especially after reading that this is a bourbon barrel winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 03:44:25 | More by Dope
Photo of DrinkCraftBrews


4.78/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This Beer is one of the best beers to come out of this brewery yet. Great nose of carmel, tobacco and malt, with a brilliant deep tan or amber hue. Huge notes of malt and sweetness followed by a strong yet perfectly balanced taste of Kentucky Bourbon. If you like prelude, or ANYTHING in a barrel this beer is an absolute must to try...

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2013 15:56:51 | More by DrinkCraftBrews
Photo of jondeelee


4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Prelude opens to a pungent, fruity aroma that is part raisin, part sour apple, part Flemish sour, part vanilla caramel cream, and part bourbon. The mixture is very strange, and this is one of the more unique aromas on the market, but it works well, coming across somewhat like a tawny port with heavy cream and caramel mixed in, poured over whole bean rich vanilla ice cream. After the beer sits for a while, it begins to smell a bit more like a wine than a port, with rich grape and cherry notes rising to the surface. Still, there’s a lovely grainy thread of caramel, cream, and floury baguette that runs beneath everything, reminding that this is in fact a beer, and the slight vanilla and oak overtone from the barrel aging adds an intoxicating silky smooth overtone. This is not the kind of bourbon barrel aging that results the beer tasting more like bourbon than anything else; here, it simply adds a lovely and fantastically complementary set of aromas to what is already a very nice beer. As a whole, this literally screams to be sipped, and it’s difficult to imagine a better blend of aromas coming forth from a bottle.

On the tongue, the opening notes are very wine-like, heavy on grape and cherry fruit esters, with bits of berry, orange, raisin, and nectarine mixed in, but these combine with the barrel aging to produce an unexpected kick to the wine notes, as if small portions of a very fruity but highly alcoholic cocktail had been poured in with the wine. Bits of citrusy grapefruit, grapefruit rind, and lemon from the hops add further fruitiness, but also provide a bitter balance. The alcohol in here, though only 9.7%, is very noticeable, but not at all overpowering; instead, it blends nicely with the fruits, emphasizing their sweetness. There are also huge hits of oaky vanilla just beneath, as well as floury baguettes. The alcohol does come on stronger late in the mouthful, and is especially present in the aftertaste, which lingers in boozy, fruity, raisiny goodness on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is a dry medium, and carbonation is medium-low to medium.

Overall, this is excellent fare. The beer is very nicely balanced, providing an excellent range of fruit esters, sugars, hops, and barrel aging to produce a beer that, while alcoholic, glides across the tongue. The alcohol is perhaps a bit much, and the raisiny finish is somewhat strange, but for the most part this is very much worth trying, and I have a feeling that a year's worth of aging would bring out a fantastic mellow tawny port overtone that would even make it better.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 00:36:33 | More by jondeelee
Photo of Davepoolesque


3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours hazy mahogany into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip. Tan head with little retention recedes quickly.
S: Toffee, vanilla and oak aromas.
T: Sweet, a little oak, some booze and spices in the finish.
M: A little thin for the mouthfeel.
O: Not too bad, pretty good in fact. It's not as full flavored as other BBA beers out there, but it's not terrible either. Definitely aging another one to see if the flavors meld together some more.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 21:44:35 | More by Davepoolesque
Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged Prelude from Shipyard Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.