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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: 11
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
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bitterbill
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%

I got this bottle in a trade with Nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

2007 Vintage

This pours a very very dark brown with just a bit of reddish hues showing when held up to the light. The head of foam tan is a good +1 finger and there's plenty of sticky lacing.

The smell has lots of things going on. I get oak, vanilla, dark fruit, and sweet malty goodness. Little bit of booze here as well.

The taste is quite sweet with lots of caramel malt and vanilla, light chocolate, some toffee, some oak(that one's growing on me) and a very light bitterness in the background that shines in the finish. Nice job there of not letting tyhis puppy get too sweet.

This on the upper end of medium bodied and it is fairly well carbonated. Very nice sipping brew.

Drinkability? It sure is tasty and has a very good mouthfeel so I'm going to say...very good. Maybe a bit stronger alcohol wise than the numbers say but that's not much of a gripe.

Thanks again to Alan for the chance to try another Baltic Porter and this is certainly an excellent one.

Bitterbill, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of tavernjef
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%

Unpolished black with barely a brownness peeking at the bottom. Small tanned, evenly foamy top. Collar stays thin and tight with a broken skim once the top creeps away. Not much lacing, a bit of low ended sheeting and skragly, boney fingered strings.

Aroma is deeply whiskey-fied with modest maple and vanilla sweetness hovering with very light roasted chocolate. Perhaps a bit understated and uncomplexing, but man do I like it.

Same goes for the taste. Deeply whiskey toned and warming with a nice inlay of vanilla tossed in. Dark and deceptive. Intriguingly layered in depth with the whiskey; first the vanilla, very open and soaking, then some maple, a thin peel of sweet banana, and ends with a puff of chocolate resonating under the heat late after the finish. A nice little roasty effect is also evident as it begins to peak interest, but the chocolate puff and fluff is the mainstay once the warming begin to set in. A tender pull of dark vanilla sweetness is left soaking into the cheeks as the warmth sits firmly in the throat, belly, and mind. Quite nice.

Feel is left with a middle grounding of mediumish body, leaving the warmth do alot of the work and not so much the body or flavor. Perhaps a tad to whiskey-like. The front is the most empty, gains then fades, then gains again, and as already stated, mostly in warmth and not so much in thickness.But all the flavors inside the warmth do keep it interesting enough to persue more sippage.

And that is what you'll do with this big warming brew, sip and sip and sip, through and through and through. Quite nice overall really. Impressionable, yes, but could use more stature and thickness compared to other, more complexing Porters. Whiskey Oak-aged or not. Still...a very solid Porter worth checking out.

tavernjef, Jun 07, 2006
Photo of bengore
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

bengore, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of smcolw
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Thick, dense beige head. It leaves plentiful chunky lace. The color is dark, ruby brown where the faintest of light shines through.

Cocoa and a mild iron aroma. There is some notable alcohol in the nose as well.

Strong milk chocolate flavor; leans on the sweet side. The 12% abv is notable but not dominating. Rich body (slightly oily from the alcohol content) with a low level of carbonation. There's a nice balancing hop that shows up in the swallow.

Another superior beer from Arcadia. This is one of my favorite breweries. I cannot understand why their beers are not far more popular in the northeast.

smcolw, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of Fishman007
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

I poured the beer from a 12 oz bottle with red wax on the cap quite quickly into a pint glass and the head still remained considerably small. I would say this beer does a great job of hiding the 12% alcohol content. The beer is very drinkable and I drank it relatively fast while typing this review. The bourbon taste is present, but not overwhelming. There are notes of chocolate that make the after taste feel comfortable and ready for the next sip.

Fishman007, May 17, 2012
Photo of I_BYE_MI_BEER
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

I_BYE_MI_BEER, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of BlissJunkie
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

BlissJunkie, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of TastyTaste
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%

Appearance: Poured into a Sam Smith Tulip, huge 2" head, slow fading, billowy, atop a coal black body that allows no light.

Smell: The rich wood scentss are immediately evident, smoke, coffee, chocolate, many stout qualities here, but maybe that is because I have never had a barrel aged porter.

Taste: At first it is a little bewildering. The flavors all mix together and take a little while to work through. I do like the beer, though, the barrel realyl adds charachter and bite to the beer. The porter flavors are a little more subdued that a stout in it's place, but it stands up well to pairing with charred oak. The alcohol is strong, but is is a good beer voerall.

Drinkability-Mouthfeel: A little bit thinner than you would expect, creamy and lightly carbonated. I hope Arcadia continues this line, I appreciate them branching out.

TastyTaste, May 20, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

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 Gaisgeil
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

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.

Slàinte!

Gaisgeil, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of Dotcubed
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

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.

Dotcubed, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of lamarr04
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

2007 vintage poured into a pint glass

A: Very dark brown/almost black with creamy tan head

S: wo, it smells as if i walked into a bourbon barrel, very bourbony and oaky. next thing i smell is vanilla, sweetness, and smokiness

T: bitterness attacks the pallet followed by a malty sweetness with vanilla and carmel overtones. some heat from the alcohol as the beer warms on the tongue. again the oak barrel aging comes through strongly on the taste...i like that.

M: medium to heavy body, creamy mouthfeel with mild carbonation, finish is on the slicker side.

D: this beer is a wonderfully complex brew but one or two glasses is going to be more than enough for me

Notes: working my way through their big beer series and now having tried this and their hopmouth I am excited to get to the rest of their big beer line-up

lamarr04, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

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.

SaCkErZ9, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

"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 jdhilt
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

jdhilt, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of TwoHeartedMale
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

TwoHeartedMale, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of ultralarry2006
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

ultralarry2006, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of matjack85
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

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.

matjack85, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of DavidEddie
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

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 CortexBomb
4.08/5  rDev +6%

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 scruffwhor
4.08/5  rDev +6%

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.

scruffwhor, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of mroberts1204
4.08/5  rDev +6%

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.

mroberts1204, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of Cresant
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%

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.

Cresant, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%

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 lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

lordofthewiens, Jan 24, 2010
Arcadia Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.