Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Arcadia Shipwreck Porter - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Shipwreck PorterArcadia Shipwreck Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

99 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 99
Hads: 136
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 12
Gots: 7 | 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:
Beer added by: ypsifly on 04-15-2006

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 99 | Hads: 136
Photo of ADR
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out an opaque black Stout color with a decent head of cream with lots of big bubbles on top. Laces in patches and smaller marks. Aroma has Irish coffee elements, some reminders of red wine and oak from the barrel conditioning. Mouthfeel is nice to begin with, creamy with subdued carbonation. Flavor features lots of bitter dark chocolate with a snap of vinous raisins and current and highlighting the bourbon casks. It also has good persistance, but perhaps the carbonation (initially smooth) seems a little too active at the end. Plenty of aftertaste, perhaps with a small touch of hops re-inforcing the roasty bittering of the brew, along with some smokey whiskey flavors. Arcadia has a wide range of beers to my tastes, this one works for me.

 752 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I haven't seen this one on the shelves for some time now, so I'm guessing this is the 2008 vintage. Review is from notes taken on 12/12/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is the standard deep dark brown/near black, like coffee, but it has some dark ruby and chestnut highlights near the edges and at the very bottom of the glass; starts with a 1/2 finger creamy tan head that fades immediately to a thin wisp of a skim and an uneven milky ring around the surface; body is nearly opaque, with the exception of the highlights mentioned above; only a couple strands and spots of lacing are left behind as an oily residue makes it slide back into the drink.

Smell: A lot of vanilla right up front, which is awesome, I love picking up on vanilla and just a touch of caramel; some earthy roast in there; a bit of barrel as well; not quite as robust as I would like, but I really like the sweet vanilla that comes out

Taste: Pretty impressive -- a good array of flavors that are well blended -- the sweet and oaky vanilla blends with the earthy roast; a definite presence of dark fruit that is just a little tart (cherry, perhaps?) and just a bit of caramel; an aged presence of alcohol as well that is pretty mellow, but still effective in the set of flavors.

Mouthfeel: Body is just a bit lighter than medium and the carbonation is there, but nearly a non-presence as it is "just" prickly and then fades to a smooth, near flat body (not awful for a 12% porter though, as I wouldn't expect it to be overly carbonated; a moderately thick and dry sticky coating is left all over the palate; for being 12%, the alcohol really creates no burn at all, but the belly is left just a little warm.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper, but a tasty one. I like the well-rounded set of flavors, but do wish the body was a bit thicker (I guess not every porter can be as viscous as Black Butte XX, which may have unfortunately set the bar a little too high for me); ABV is definitely a factor in this being limited to a 22 oz. bottle by myself, and demands that I enjoy it over the course of at least 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours.

 2,134 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to czoch75 for this one, thanks Clint!

Pours mahogany with 3+ fingers of rocky mocha head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Bourbon notes & dark fruit

T: Sour mash, dryness & oakyness up front. More of the same, with some oaky & coca-cola vanilla notes & more sour mash & some dark chcolate as this warms. Finishes sour with vanilla sweetness 8 a bit of a booze kiss

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation, smooth & sticky

Drinks prety easy, a pretty good crack at the style, needs more chocolate or dark fruit to make me happy. If you don't like sour mash you may want to avoid this one

 603 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown, nearly black beer with a thick cafe au lait head. A bit of lace. Sweet chocolate aroma, and noticeable whiskey. Mostly tasted of sweet chocolate, some vanilla. A bit of espresso late. I could also taste the alcohol in the background. Pretty smooth beer. Would buy it again.

 292 characters

Photo of Reneejane
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For starters, I don't have a lot of experience with Baltic porters, I don't think I've had more than one before this. The beer was black with a white head. Definite roasty aroma but with a hint of hoppiness. Taste was roasty but with more hop taste! Some chocolate and coffe hints through the roast. I have to say I'm surprised with the hoppiness that come through the robust malt flavors. What an enjoyable experience! The mouthfeel was nice and thicker than many other porters *yay* I get a little sick of watery porters.

 523 characters

Photo of granger10
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mohagany black color with a cappucino brown head. Settles to a layer of foam atop the liquid. Aroma is strong on the bourbon barrel notes. Lots of vanilla sweetness and woody esters along with a twinge of alcohol. It's all a bit sharp with some roastiness. It really comes out at you. Taste is also on the strong side. Honestly there's not a whole lot of porter in this beer. The bourbon barrel aging really dominates. And I'm not a big time whiskey fan esp. for beers but this one is quite good. It's more of a vanilla/oak flavor rather than whiskey, which just seems to compliment. Not a whole lot of depth or subtlety but I really enjoyed this beer and that's what it's all about in the end. Different, give it a try.

 720 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top bomber with nice label; 2008 vintage

Appearance: Somewhat hazy, dark brown (nearly black) beer with a medium tan head with decent retention.

Smell: Lots of sweet dark chocolate and a pleasant (mild) dark fruity booziness as well. Sweet dark malt as well. Not a large burnt or roasted malt presence. A really nice toasted nut presence emerges as this warms. This is vibrant and pretty mellow at the same time.

Taste: Lots of boozy dark fruit up front, with some mild burnt grain and a hint of toasty wood in the background as well. Ends medium-bitter and slightly burnt. It's not a complicated flavor profile, but it's pleasant nonetheles.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, nice level of carbonation

Drinkability: Pretty high

Conclusion: This is really a pretty ncie Baltic Porter. The wood notes are restrained but clearly preasent (which I like) and though the beer doesn't have a ton of depth, it's tasty and well-crafted. At $4.99 it's an absolute steal. At the regular $9.99 it's still a pretty good deal.

 1,049 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shows 2007 vintage on label, however label does not confirm abv. Listed here @ 7.8 2008 vintage is at 11%. I can say there is alcohol in the beer but just not how much.

Pours nearly black with a coffee two cream colored head. Retention is quite decent with some lacing left.

Oak character is quite strong but not overstated. Good amount of vanilla aroma. Roasted malt and a slight smokiness rounds out the smell quite nicely.

Once again the oak is very noticeable in the taste as it was in the nose. Coffee and maybe slight chocolate taste appear under the woodiness. Light vanilla flavor as well. Alcohol is slightly warming.

Medium to just shy of full bodied. Drinks very smooth. Lower carbonation but well suited.

Rather enjoyable and easy to drink. Though I would not want more than a bottle.

 808 characters

Photo of doppelmeup
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a rich dark chocolate color with a light cocoa colored head. No light shines through at all. The head was not real thick, but lingered on top and left spotty lacing on the sides.

The aroma is really intriguing. I smell more of an oaky, Bourbon smell then a "beer" smell. There is just a slight, sweet maltiness in the background. The Bourbon aroma is not overpowering, but was surprising.

The flavor is really a melding of bourbon and porter, with neither flavor overpowering the other, but rather complementing the other. There is a bit of a chocolate maltiness under the bourbon flavor. The bourbon aspects do give this beer a bit of a sharpness and brightness.

The beer is medium bodied, but does leave a very dry finish, sucking the moisture right out the mouth.

Overall, this is a nice beer, definitely unique. I find that the oaky, bourbony flavors tend to overpower the "beer" flavors, but not necessarily in a bad way, given the intent of the brewers to create an oak-barrel aged beer. As far as oak-aged beers go, this is one of the better ones I have had, but that doesn't mean it is my favorite style. I also found that this beer was quite expensive at about $12 a bomber. I am glad I tried this, but wouldn't purchase another, especially at this price.

 1,280 characters

Photo of Brian700
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber with a picture of a shipwreck. Hmmm...I wonder why that ship wrecked, they probably had to much of this stuff on board. It bours black with a brown head that sits low and creamy.

The aroma is all Whisky man, after it warms a bit the Whisky aroma starts to smell a little like maple syrup in the end.

The flavor is an abundance of whisky flavor with some roasted malt and chocolate flavor. The flavor is good but the whisky is a little bit too much. I think I am going to pick up a few bottles of this to let every thing mellow out a bit and then try it again, it seems like it would be good with some age on it.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation.

The drinkability is o.k. but not great because the whisky flavor is so over the top. Try aging this and the drinkability could improve.

 828 characters

Photo of CortexBomb
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 976 characters

Photo of Cresant
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Sierra Nevada hops glass. 2007 vintage. The body was dark brown/black. Clear of sediment with a creamy, uniform head. A cap remained throughout.

Smell was woody and chocolatey. Hints of brown sugar. Aroma of a drawer full of screws.

Taste was woody. There was a nice initial tartness followed by a lingering light sweetness. Hints of molasses, but not much. Well balanced and flavorful. Very well hidden alcohol. Drying in the end.

Mouthfeel was medium to light in body. Adequate carbonation with a smooth silkiness. Overall a nice porter.

 582 characters

Photo of Greggy
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light black color with dark ruby highlights. The head is big and fluffy and tan in color. Some HUGE thick lacing is present.

S- Big chocolate aromas, cream, some buttery oaky aromas, some bourbon, some dark fruit is also evident.

T- Starts out a bit tart and almost sour, then moves into notes of chocolate, some bourbon and some oakiness. The finish has some coffee notes and is relatively dry.

M- The tart/sour initial twang is a little off-putting, but as it warms, it lessens. Carbonation is appropriate.

D- The initial slightly tart/sour note is a touch off-putting but this is a pretty nice bourbon aged porter.

 635 characters

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.

 1,187 characters

Photo of mroberts1204
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights at the edges and a tan head that never completely dissipates. Glorious! Decent lacing.

Smell: Oak, whiskey and sweet chocolate (in that order). Restrained roastiness and unripe plums.

Taste: Follows the nose but falls a bit short. The depth and complexity of this beer isn't there. Nice whiskey flavors without the alcohol. Sweet chocolate and very mild roastiness follows the immediate oak and whiskey. Sweet, bitter plum flavors linger throughout but never come into the forefront.

Mouthfeel: A little thin. The carbonation is good. Warming alcohol but nothing out of the ordinary.

Drinkability: This thing finishes a little dry allowing you to drink up. Getting through an entire bomber solo may be the only difficulty.

This is a well crafted beer. And a big porter without coffee!! Is that possible?? Yes, yes it is. Tasty stuff.

 904 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage.

Has the liquid consistancy of a viscous brandy. Only a little head after the pour, but nothing at all after that. Light black to dark brown with brownie colored highlights. Nice color. Smells cacao mixed with blended whiskey, toasty oak and with jst a light splash of milk. Not to mention the alcohol you get with the whiskey smell. The taste carries more creamy notes. Marshmellows and vanilla. The blended whiskey comes in about halfway through. With toasted wood, and chocolate covered coffee beans in a smooth finish. Great cream and warming whiskey notes. Great to sip and pay close attention to while watching an episode of Miss Marple with my girlfriend.

 677 characters

Photo of matjack85
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found this 22oz brown bomber bottle at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL for $7.99.
2007 vintage opened in 2010.

The beer pours a dark brown, almost black color, with a touch of ruby red highlights when held to light. It made a huge 4-finger fast rising light brown head, so be careful with the pour. The head lasts several minutes and leaves tons of thick lacing - resembling a root beer float.

Nice whiskey/raisin smell along with some wood, cocoa, and faint coffee aromas.

The whiskey/raisin taste dominates, but there are plenty of other flavors in here as well. Roasted and even burnt malts provide balance along with some vanilla and cocoa for sweetness. Hop bitterness is low but there is some in here. A very tasty porter with a whiskry/alcohl kick.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a warming alcohol feel to it The low to moderate carbonation is a bit odd for a porter, but it seems to work well here.

At 12% alcohol you would think this one would be a sipper, but I had no trouble quaffing down a few big gulps.

 1,031 characters

Photo of TwoHeartedMale
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Very dark black, no light gets through. Thick white head
that was reduced to a thin layer.

S- Sweetness of the coco followed by richness of roasted malt, followed by the lush spice of bourbon.

T- Smooth creamy chocolate followed by smoky spice of bourbon. a hint of oak.

M- A lot lighter than I expected. Very creamy and smooth with the sweetness of coco. I got the aftertaste of vanilla and oak.

D- This beer is much more smooth than expected. They did a great job of balancing the coco and the bourbon. This if one of the smoothest and easy drinking 12% beers.

 573 characters

Photo of DavidEddie
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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!

 472 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger light tan head that leaves a good lace. Totally black color, no highlights. Oak nose. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Flavor is smooth, some sweetness, with a good oak sharpness. Decent porter. 2008 vintage, $10.20 for a 22 oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

 293 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves one finger of an espresso-foam colored head, and it has excellent retention, and it leaves very good lacing. Body is the deepest brown possible, almost black.

Smell - rather simple, but mouthwatering nonetheless. There is vanilla, roasted malt, raisins, prunes, and some spicy alcohol.

Taste - exactly as promised by the smell. Vanilla, roasted malt, and dried dark fruits like raisins and plums, all flooding the tongue. There is yet more roasted malt on the finish and the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - full-bodied, and semi-dry at times.

Drinkability - this is an excellent ale. It is just a little high in abv to be sessionable, but if you excersize caution, it might just be so.

 717 characters

Photo of Dotcubed
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was looking forward to this as it was warming up on my coffee table for like an hour. I walked the dog for half an hour, came in opened it and it gushed over onto the carpet, some bills, and a nice long trail into the kitchen. Not sure why, maybe overly re-fermented in the bottle I think this one's like 2 years old. Maybe older. The label has a little fold over the "b", no idea what that means.

Super big foam. Smells really good. Woody, intense vanilla.

Tastes Sour, burning matches? Brett. Interesting. Some bitter vanilla. Some dry cocoa powder hints and maybe palm sugar.
I'm more annoyed that I lost like a quarter to a third of it. A good temperature, cool not cold. I waited long enough to open it but I think I needed a bigger glass to catch the fountain of deliciousness. Makes for a good drinking bottle but a sticky clean up. Surprising since it's not sweet.

While I'd drink it again, I'm not sure if I'd age another bottle for such a short time. I'd go older of drink much younger.

 1,003 characters

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

If you don't like bourbon, I highly recommend you stay clear of this one. Pours a deep, almost black brown in color with a thin wispy tan head that left a crown all throughout. Nose is distinctly bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, old wood. Taste is very much the same, initially the bourbon hits followed by a dose of vanilla, bittersweet chocolate and roast. The finish has a lot of vanilla. I quite like this, but the bourbon really dominates which I don't really like, I prefer when it takes a backseat in a beer, but alas, it is what it is.

I liked this a lot though overall.


 588 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

 728 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Pours from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Burnt caramel color beer with dark, glazed carrot colored highlights. Tan colored head, about half finger in size. No lacing, head disappears somewhat slowly.

This one certainly smells like a bourbon barrel aged porter. Bourbon aromas, vanilla, oakiness, plenty of sweetness. Smells fantastic.

More bourbon tastes. Almost too much bourbon but in my opinion, the perfect amount. Slightly alcoholic tasting though the alcohol warmth is missing, or atleast subdued.

Medium to full bodied, perfect carbonation. I really liked this one. I feel too many people may be turned off by the strong bourbon flavors and aromas but it was right up my alley. A smooth sipper.

 752 characters

Arcadia Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.