1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Arcadia Shipwreck Porter - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Shipwreck PorterArcadia Shipwreck Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

134 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.25%
Wants: 10
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

The second in a limited edition, 22oz bottled Brew Crew Big Beer Series. This beer was aged in 10-year old whiskey barrels.

(Beer added by: ypsifly on 04-15-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morimech
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark creamy brown with a solid two-fingered head. Retention is very good eventually receding to a thick cap with solid lacing left in its wake that quickly rejoins the cap.

The smell is very boozy. Bourbon and alcohol are right out front assaulting the nose. If I didn't know better I would say this is some sort of liqueur. Just a touch of dark malt and cherries can be detected hiding behind the booze.

This beer took on too much of the flavor of the bourbon barrel. Hardly tastes like a beer at all. If you don't like whiskey, stay far away from this beer. It is strongly flavored of whiskey. Some of the more background flavors are chocolate malt and a roasted, smokey flavor. It finishes sweet until the alcohol warming takes affect. Feels medium body and has a creamy, coating quality.

I would consider this a beer based liqueur by the intense whiskey aroma and taste. Just too much for me to consider drinking this again. The ABV is lower than the taste would lead you to believe. Knock the whiskey qualities in half and this would be more my thing.

morimech, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of CortexBomb
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Undated bottle.

Pour is standard porter black with a 1 inch tan head on it. Nose is odd, almost chalky with sour aspects and oak, not at all what I was expecting. The barrel aging is clearly affecting the smell in a big way.

The flavour starts out oakey as well, exceptionally so, which is accompanied by bourbon, a slight alcohol warming, some sourness, and the vaguest hints of chocolate. Finish has hints of coffee and roasted malts. Quite a brew.

Mouthfeel is adequate, though not remarkable, Somewhat thin for the flavour, which tastes like it should be motor oil. A shade above average for the style though. Drinkability is good, easy to drink, and a unique, tasty beer at an affordable price.

The bottom line: I have become a bigger and bigger fan of Arcadia as time has gone by. While many of their standard brews (beyond Whitsun and Scotch Ale) are only so-so, the big beer series is almost across the board solid, and Shipwreck Porter is another example of that.

CortexBomb, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of DavidEddie
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage.
Black in appearance with a dense tan head. Lots of lacing. Aromas of oak, vanilla, cherries, maple syrup, and a hint of coffee. You can notice the bourbon, but it’s not overpowering in anyway. Tastes as it smells, but with some soft bitter citrus hops mixed in there as well. Nice alcohol warming as it goes down. Mouth feel is slightly creamy and medium bodied. Overall drinkability was good for being slightly boozy. Definitely a slow sipper. Recommended!

DavidEddie, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks like a case or two of these showed up at HyVee in Columbia recently.

A - Poured out a jet black color with a bubbly, light brown, four-finger head. It was very bubbly and left some big rings of sticky lace.

S - It smelled of malt, vanilla and oak.

T - It tasted malty. There was also a vanilla and nutmeg taste, too. As it warmed up it realy began to taste like bourbon or whiskey.

M - It was soft and smooth. A heavy-bodied beer.

D - Taste is great, but it is just so heavy that it was hard to finish the 22oz bottle.

zeff80, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up at Merchant's in Dearborn ten days ago. Poured black, opaque with red-brown edges when held under a bright light. The head was modest and tan in colour, small bubble carbonation that was slow and steady. Some lacing. Smells of roast coffee, bitter dark chocolate, licorice. There is a sharp, bitter dark chocolate taste as well, with an aggressive mouthfeel and a snappy, whiskey-sour taste that lingers. Unfortunately, I found an alcohol presence detracted from the drinkability factor and inspired a more sour finish than was desirable. This is worth a try and could be much better if the recipe was tinkered with just a bit. As it stands, I'll manage to finish this large bottle but wouldn't think of haviing another.

ThatWineGuy, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.93/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark, almost black, brown with a large head that lingers for minutes, then leaves clumps of lacing clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - Slight molasses, alcohol, prune and coffee (faint).

T - Sour, too sour, alcohol, molasses, raisins, coffee, oak, faint bourbon - a sharp ascerbic sour is present before the shift to the citric acid sour and coffee bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Smooth, thin, a bit acidic, harsh after the swallow, a bit astringent, thirst quenching at least.

D - Somehow not too bad. I don't think I will have this again, but the entire bomber went down easily. Many better beers of this style are out there, but, in spite of the sourness, this pulled off enjoyable.

mrasskicktastic, Sep 21, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods."

--Albert Einstein

Chocolate-covered charred chestnut with ruby and amber highlights. I was worried about the incredibly loud escape of carbonation on crown cracking, but no foam has exited the bottle and there looks to be nothing amiss on the pour. The caramel nougat colored cap is attractive, but is only passable when it comes to lace deposition. This is still good looking beer.

If you like big porters and bourbon whiskey, then Shipwreck's nose will be as enjoyable to you as it is to me. It looks like this big porter received quite a boost from the Evan Williams bourbon barrels that it spent an undisclosed amount of time in. Roasted barley and chocolate share the spotlight with the caramelized sugar and vanilla notes of a nicely oaked whiskey.

Although this 'Brew Crew Big Beer Series' offering is tasty, the flavor profile can't match the magnificence of the aroma. I didn't think it was possible, but the typical Arcadia sourness is on display in this beer as well. There's enough else going on (and a certain dark fruity tartness isn't that out of place for the style) that I won't judge it too harshly.

I like the amount of bourbon that has made its way into the final product. It isn't subtle and it isn't overpowering... it's juuust right. Each mouthful results in a controlled burst of molasses, dark brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, unripe figs, vanilla and charred oak. And bourbon too, but I figured that was too obvious to mention. It's hard to get my mind around the concept of a whiskey-soaked Baltic porter. I do believe the brewery has pulled it off.

Given the flavor profile, the style and the ABV, the mouthfeel is right on the money. Sure, bigger and more viscous would have been great, but things are fine the way they are. Be aware that the less-than-chewy mouthfeel allows one to gulp more quickly than is advisable.

Shipwreck Porter isn't my favorite Arcadia beer, but it isn't that far off either. Without the whiskey, this would be an also-ran. With it, it's pretty close to being a Cutty Sark. I'm now entering the bottom half of the bomber and see nothing but smooth sailing ahead.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Took me about 2 hours to choke this beer down last night. Not that it was bad, it was just chalked full of flavors, textures, and alcohols. Smells very rich withe typical nutty-coffee and semi-sweet chocolate, barley malt; and atypical sour-mash, whisky notes. All this flows overy a dense appearance of dark brown brew and moderately creamy head retention that laced well, for a while. Late, the proteins fell apart along with any head retention at all. The flavors are very sweet and bold with the same coffee, cocoa characteristics found in the nose, but quickly overcome with a sweet, alcoholic whisky flavor that dominated the beers flavor, body, boldness, textures, and impression thereafter. The booze-ey flavors do remain sweet, but also take on a fusal, harshness that sacrifices the drinkability. The body although medium cannot give the weight that is needed for the other flavors and textures, so the beer falls a bit flat. Remains malty, chocolatey, and coffee into the aftertaste, but only behind the whisky. No carbonation late. Interesting brew, just aggressive for agressive's sake.

BEERchitect, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 Oz Bottle. Rich bourbon vanilla, oak, bourbon browned malt sugars and nips of candied licorice. Warm, creamy and rich. Pours dark brown-black with creamy tan head. Flavor starts very warm, with lots of barrel char, some scotch alcohols, nips of fusels, a run of burnt coffee and a hot hand of 77% dark chocolate. Moves into a mingling of hops and fragrant malt character. A touch hot, but a fairly decent melding of barrel and beer. Higher hopping enjoyable, and working well with oak dryness. Could use a touch more density and creaminess, but overall a well-done. Bits of salty sea oats. Thanks Sean!

CharlesDarwin, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Vancer for this brew.

22oz. Bomber The Brew Crew Big Beer Series

Pours a nice clean black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, lots of creamy sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, nice bourbon scent, and lots of toffee/caramel. The taste is malty, big hit of bourbon, nice touch of toffee/caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very nice brew from Arcadia, glad to have had a chance to try it out.

Wasatch, Jul 18, 2007
Photo of lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice deep brown color-slight cocoa colored head on top. Very oakey and whiskey like aroma. Good flavor-some roasted malt against a huge whiskey flavor. Tends to be over done for my own personal liking. Oak flavor is way up front as well. Decent level of lactic sweetness-comes across as a sweet stout in spots. Nice body-very smooth and the sweet stout quality balances the overdone oakiness and whiskey. Quite drinkable though not my thing all around. Enjoyable-I would recommend in small doses for sure.

lackenhauser, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber bottle, no freshness info offered. Pours darkest brown with orangy light shining through the edges of the glass, dark tan, middle of the road head and minor lacing. Nose of vanilla, and smoke. Intense flavors here of wood, burnt grains and smoke. Decent enough porter, perhaps a little thin, went well with some bread cheese and nuts. Not my favorite offering from Arcadia, but worth a try anyway

Billolick, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks mughugger for sharing this fine ale
A - An eye appealing dark brown cascade into deep brown with garnet highlights as the finely beaded tan head creeps upward. The microfoam leaves relatively little lacing behind.

S - Scents of woody bourbon are dominant in the nose. Subtle fruity esters, mineral and hop scents follow behind meekly.

M - The warmth of bourbon and woody dryness are felt primarily. Next, a sweet caramelized malt that is slightly on the molasses side w/ a tinge of hop spice and tickle of cinnamon distract from the initial taste. A light body for a strong porter.

T - A big woody presence that seems to push the fruity dark Imperial porter flavor into a deeper realm. I find it tasty since it has the Bourbon aging assisting the ale flavors, but I wonder if maybe it is using the conditioning in bourbon casks as a boost. It is fruity, sweet and mildly bitter with vinous qualities. I am a fan of wood flavor in dark ales or I might be turned off to this Porter slightly.

D - A tasty brew that benefits from wood aging. Meant to be shared imo with above average abv in bomber packaging. Worth a taste, certainly, but I probably wouldn't seek it out.

Slatetank, May 25, 2007
Photo of Vancer
4.63/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

These big beers aged in whiskey barrels just kick me in the sack, in a pleasant way. If ya luv bourbon, like Jim Beam, this is the brew for you. (Can’t wait to try the local O’Fallon BASP).

A big ol’ brew, poured jet black with cola brown edges. Nice tan head and laces.

Then, WHOO, the enticing aroma of Jim Beam sour mash bubbles up through the chocolate coffee vapors. Superb. The taste was just top notch of the sour mash mixing with the porter malt backbone. Raisins, cherries also make an appearance. Just a hint of alcohol, nicely presenting itself.

How this rated below a 3 for some is beyond my feeble mind. Man! Wish I had cellared a couple of these critters.

Vancer, May 24, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great night of porters thanks to mughugger for bringing this beer. After the Gonzo it seemed a tad lack-luster certainly a terrific beer. Thanks Karen.

Appearance: Pours a dark almost black color with a chocolaty brown head that has great retention and leaves loads of lacings in the glass.

Smell: Chocolate malt, boozy vinous alcohol, port, roasty coffee.

Taste: Dark port chocolate grape flavor with a roasted malt a espresso feel on the cheeks, and a splash of vanilla and toffee. The best attribute is the warm alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Light (for a BP) and roasty, with a pleasant dry feel.

Drinkability: This is a very easy drinker that won't fill you up too quickly.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, May 21, 2007
Photo of akorsak
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 22 oz bomber purchased at Joe Canal's.

A: The porter is a dark brown color that has ruby red highlights. The head is quite large, thick and sponge, measuring in near 3 fingers. The lace is extensive in the glass.

S: The nose has the unique yeasty nose of a baltic porter with an underlying bourbon edge.

T: This is a rare beer that has a bourbon element without overdoing it. The chocolatey caramel body of the baltic porter comes through cleanly, creating a sweet body that is a strong conduit for the bourbon. Said bourbon is oaky, sweet with some vanilla and alcohol warmth. The bourbon manages to compliment the sweeter body of the porter without completely overtaking it.

M: The sweet bourbon and porter mix well together, creating a very nice body, delicious even.

D: I am extremely imrpessed with the beer. The bourbon element is great without making things too strong. This is up there with Curieux and KBS in terms of bourbon beers.

akorsak, May 14, 2007
Photo of marcobrau
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown with a a nice bit of tan foam and an aroma of bourbon and cocoa. The head settles slowly leaving some lace. This is a good looking beer. The first sip yields raisin, fig and cocoa flavors, plus something mysteriious I can't quite pin down...ah, that would be bourbon! A lactic note accents these flavors, which adds compexity, but accentuates the sweetness a bit too much for me. The finish is warming and rather boozy, with the malt and hops pretty much in balance. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth, but the body is quite thin. In some respects, this is how I imagine porter might have tasted 150 years ago back in England; strong with lots "dark" fruity flavors. Overall, this is pretty enjoyable, but it needs more body and a little less alcohol.

marcobrau, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of KarlHungus
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Once I popped the cap of this beer a torrent of foam gushed out. This wasn't too surpising, because it seems to be the case with most of Arcadia's beers. It was still annoying, none the less. The beer poured an opaque black color with a large, creamy, light tan head. The aroma is very boozy, chocolate, coffee, and malt are also present, but overpowered by the whiskey. The taste is slightly more balanced than the aroma, but still too boozy for my liking. This beer certainly tastes hotter than 7.8% ABV. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, but seems a little lighter due to excessive carbonation. Overall, this beer is a close miss. The whiskey aspect of it reminds me a lot of Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout, but Shipwreck seems to lack the massive amounts of malt to balance out all that whiskey.

KarlHungus, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
2.38/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Quite the "pop" when I open this bitch up. Then it actually starts foaming out a little right before I pour. My thought is that maybe this is an over-charged "off" edition of this beer. We'll see...

Dark, dark brown appearance. Big and airy brown head. Lace eventually comes in sporadic rings as I drink. Aroma is vanilla, oak, bourbon and roasted malts. While this beer isn't as over-charged as I had originally thought, it doesn't really feel that good. Or taste that good. The body is light and the mouthfeel is just a bit airy and gaseous. Flavor is weak for the style. The main player here is the oak and whiskey. The porter base is pretty weak. Otherwise, the porter characteristics are ghostly. This is a disappointment.

I'm looking at the rest of my beer in the bomber and the bomber is half full of beer and half full of head. Not a good sign. And not a good beer.

Bighuge, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a dark black color with a tan colored 1" head. The head slowly recedes. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: the aroma is full of roasted malts, dark chocolates, and a touch of alcohol.

Taste: roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, mild bitterness, and a soft background hint of bourbon. Alcohol level is mildly noticeable. Roasted malts and chocolates are up front, but the other flavors are a bit behind.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp at the start, smoother towards the finish. Aftertaste is long on the flavors.

Drinkability: a decent version of a baltic porter, but personally this didn't overly excite me. This would go nicely with some smokey BBQ. Worth a try as personal mileage may vary.

Gavage, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of xav33
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arcadia Shipwreck Porter
22 oz bomber
Moderate pour in an English pint
Recent bottling, wrecked 11/06

Poured black, with clear ruddy brown highlights, with a light brown frothy mostly lasting head.

Smelt of strong bourbon, charred wood, burnt sugar, dark coffee roast, light vanilla.

Taste was upfront strong bitter sweet burnt wood and light sweet dark chocolate and vanilla followed by harsh burnt wood and moderate sweet molasses on a moderate ashy finish. Palate was medium to full bodied, lively carbonated, oily, and moderately astringent.

Overall, this porter carries the taste of bourbon wood exquisitely. The strong taste does hide other subtle notes, though.

xav33, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice black colour,good aroma of the bourbon. I think this was aged in a bourbon barrel and would have liked it not to be. It was woody and I tasted the corn sweetner. We Canadians are not so oy-yoy-yoy on bourbon. I also found the mouthfeel to be a tad on the thin side.

Sammy, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of Blybloke
1.55/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Wow! What a disappointment. I enjoy porters very much but this was way too overdone.

It pours a nice enough color, deep brown with a two finger tan head. That is where the niceties end however. The nose is complete whiskey. I don't like whiskey. I don't drink whiskey. And that's basically all I can smell. There may have been a little coffee or chocolate in there, but I couldn't tell due to the boozy smell to this sucker.

The taste is complete whiskey. I don't like whiskey. I don't drink whiskey. And that's basically all I can taste. You get the idea.

The mouthfeel was underwhelming, but a little better than the nose and the taste. It was full with a touch of alcohol sting.

I could only handle about 5 smallish sips before I had to dump this one out, which is something that I very rarely do. I'm all for breweries trying to do new things with porters, but Arcadia went too far here in my opinion. Yikes. I need a brillo pad to scrub off my tongue.

Oh well.

Blybloke, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of clvand0
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I didn't realize that this was a whiskey barrel aged beer before I tried it - so that first sip was a shocker. It pours a very dark color with a moderate head that falls quickly and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of dark malt character with chocolate, but the whiskey comes through as well to create a complex combination. Quite sweet and flavorful flavor with plenty of dark roasted malts combining with a very strong whiskey/bourbon flavor. The body is medium and the drinkability is ok considering the extremely strong flavor of the whiskey.

clvand0, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" brown head the opaque dark brown brew. Head lasts nicely, with heavy sticky lace. Aroma is dark grains with strong alcohol imput. Taste is chocolatey malts upfront, but quickly overpowered by the bourbony alcohol first seen in the nose. Mouthfeel is just limited by the alcohol, and drinkability is apulled down by same. I think if this one turned it down just a notch, it would be great.

ppoitras, Oct 21, 2006
Arcadia Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.