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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 shadow1961
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arcadia Ales Shipwreck Porter pours a stiff brown head over
an inky black brew. The nose is amazing- fruit, mocha, wood,
and alcohol- almost a port or madeira quality to it. The flavor
is likewise complex- big malt flavors, wood, dark fruits, tannin
from the oak barrels this stuff was stored in, and a bit of tartness
from that environment as well. Mouthfeel is full and round, with
a very long dry finish to it. Alchohol is a constant, if well modulated
presence, but it's only obvious as a warming effect. The bottle does
not list the alcohol by volume, but I would advise anyone trying this
to plan on staying in that night. This fine brew is not to be taken lightly!

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a light brown head with some decent retention. Initial smell is large on sugary vanilla, also has some bourbony alcohol and roastiness. As i get further into it, the smoky roasty aroma and alcohol aroma become stronger. Taste starts with a nice roasted malt flavor, then a sweet creamy vanilla and cola-y flavor followed up by some nice alcohol presence and more roastiness with a little tang. This beer is fairly creamy on the palette with a decent size body and also a fair but proportionate amount of spicy alcohol and a large amount of acidic tanginess. I enjoy this beer, it definitely seems bigger than 7.8 abv and may be too rich to sample too much of but 22 oz is perfect tonight.

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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.

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Photo of Neffbeer
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle marked 2008 vintage
Poured into an Oerbier tulip

A: Jet black with a good looking off white two finger head. It shows pretty good retention and leaves bits of lacing behind.

S: The oak barrels stand out with a twinge of vinous like sourness. After the wave of oak there is chocolate, vanilla, ash, and a hint of berries.

T: Barrel forward with a nice dose of chocolate and black malt. The vinous notes from the notes show in the flavor with a slightly sour twinge. The finish is a bit dry with some lingering chalkiness.

M: A bit thin overall for my liking, but the interesting flavor keeps this level. Absolutely no detection of the 12% abv, really smooth in that sense.

O: I enjoyed this beer very much, but overall I felt it lacked that certain something to make it really good. I like the sour notes, but I could see how that would be off-putting for some.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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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.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't get detailed notes on this one from the Goose Island Beer Academy tasting on October 28, 2009 but this didn't really impress compared to other offerings. It comes across as a solid Baltic style Porter, the barrel aging is minimal, deep chocolate malts and roastiness, but as a special offering it falls a bit short for my tastes. Underperforms most of the Tyranena offerings, my favorite for Imperial porters.

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Photo of beerman207
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this on the shelf of a small beer store. I think it's an 08.

A: Light brown and a small head to go along with it.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, a little booze

T: Whiskey, burnt sugars, vanilla, some creme - very nice

M: Light carbonation and a really good texture

D: Really enjoyed this one. Can't see having it very often with how big it was but a unique offering that was impressive.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of xav33
4.49/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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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.


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Photo of jale
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark brown with a finger of brown head. Lacing last just briefly.

S: Slight chocolate followed by some roasted malt and just a hint of bourbon.

T: Taste is close to the smell. Slight sweet chocolate, roasted malt and a just a hint of bourbon. Just a tad alcohol burn. Finish is slightly acidic like a baltic.

M: Good carbonation. A little thin.

D: Decent, but I would like a little thicker body.

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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.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. 03/24/08. 2007 version.

Pours a deep brownish black, with around three fingers of tan head which dropped quickly. Not much lacing. Aromas of chocolate, raisin / plum, and whiskey. Also has kind of a sour smell to it.

Taste is surprisingly sour. There was a hint of it in the aroma, but I wasn't expecting this much. Lots of dark fruits, raisin, plum, date, fig. Some molasses. Tons of whiskey flavor. It isn't too overwhelming, but rather nice. If only it weren't sour.

Mouthfeel is decent, a bit thin though. Tastes like it should be a lot thicker. Leaves the back of my tongue sticky. Drinkability is decent also. Pretty easy to drink, despite the sourness and the tongue-stickiness.

Decent and worth a try if you like whiskey, but won't get this again.

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Photo of lou91
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought the pour the beer looked a bit thin as I’m used to Russian Imperial Stouts barrel aged. It looked good – dark with a light brown head. The nose was slightly sour with definite whiskey on the nose. To like this beer you must like whiskey and weak porters. The beer is not bad only that it can not hold up to the whiskey aging. Worth a try but not a repeat for me.

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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.

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Photo of techfed87
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard English pint glass. Pours a dark dark brown, with a cocoa head to it. Has a distinctive bourbon scent to it that comes from it's aging. Very distinct in that sense. Has a slightly licorice scent to it as well.

This is my first barrel aged porter, so I'm not sure exactly what to expect. Taste is very colorful, with bourbony notes mixing and interacting with the rich, chocolate flavors of the porter.

Most of my experience in barrel aged ales have come in the form of very heavy stouts, all of which I've enjoyed immensely. However, aged Imp. Stouts are, to put it lightly, very intimidating to the pallet. This beer takes everything I enjoy from those brews and makes it more drinkable. Definitely worth a try.

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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.

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Photo of busterthecat
4.59/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 2008 vintage for $6. Bought it blind. Kept at ~55 degrees for a few months then poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle says "Ale aged in Oak Barrels", so a little confusion on my part on which beer listing this is, but the label looks like this one.

A- Pours a semi-transparent dark brown, sits a very dark brown in the glass. A nice khaki head forms and a good capping lingers for a while. Slight lacing,

S- Wow! the aroma of this beer is unlike any that I have yet encountered. It is a bold sweet chocolate covered cherry surprise. It has a tanginess that melds with the sweetness of cocoa. Bourbon and vanilla also present. It has some booze to it, but definitely expected at its ABV. Very nice, original & complex. I probably have smelled this beer for 5 min before taking a sip.

T- Again, Chocolate and tangy cherries take center stage. Softly roasted malts, vanilla, bourbon and strawberries are also in the mix. Very interesting and different. Quite refreshing.

M- Full bodied yet not heavy on the palate. Starts wet and calmly dries. The cherries really linger on the tongue and the memory of sweetness is retained. Not overpowering at all. Slight booze warmness felt on back of throat, but rather enjoyable on this cold rainy night.

O- A very different and well done baltic porter. I can't remember tasting anything like this before. A steal at $6. I just hope I can find more bottles of this. Reminds me of the holiday season.

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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!

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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.

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Photo of B33R501
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this was just ok for me. not alot of barrel aged experience, the only porter i can compare this to is williamsburg bourbon barrel, and that was alot better, as in one of my favorite beers last year.

black, good head, pretty beer. smells and tastes chocolate, vanilla, some bourbon. smooth and easy drinking considering 12% abv, certainly hides the alcohol well.

reasonable price but will not be a repeat purchase. maybe this one is too refined, i really enjoy the killer booziness of williamsburg's version, which i did not get here.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bomber, purchased at Cloverleaf.
Poured into a pint glass.

First off, this beer is all about the bourbon!!!!
Average appearance, half inch head that fades quickly. Leaves a thin cream colored line around the edges. Black in color with some brown highlights. Fantastic smell, a great combination of bourbon and chocolate, some roasted malts. Taste is mostly bourbon, like almost doing a shot. After the bourbon fades, you can pick out some dark chocolate, wood and roasted malt. This has a much greater bourbon taste than Founder's Kentucky Breakfast. On the verge of maybe too much, but personally, I love it!!! Velvety smooth as easy too drink. I have no clue what the abv is. A nice sipping brew to have after dinner. Very enjoyable and a definite winner from Arcadia. Limited release!!!

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