Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter - Arcadia Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck PorterBourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter

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868 Ratings
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Ratings: 868
Reviews: 284
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 146
Gots: 312 | FT: 37
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: jale on 02-01-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 868 | Reviews: 284
Reviews by shuajw:
More User Reviews:
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a very thin tan head. Light amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate.

T - The flavor follows the aroma with bourbon, vanilla, and dark chocolate upfront. There are some dark roasted malts and oak that really show up midpalate. Light alcohol warmth in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

O - Very tasty beer. Lots of rich flavors throughout. This is a delicious sipper.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

huge fan of the style, i say that a lot, but this bourbon barrel edition has to be one of the most decadent beverages going. at 12% abv and with enough boozy sweetness to render its lager yeast past a distant memory. a half shade lighter than shiny black shoe polish, the head surges near the rim of the glass on the pour, and only relaxes slowly. it smells incredible, dry fruity must, the wood is very very prominent, and the lack of bitterness in the malt base means the sweetness of the bourbon is high. they may have overshot the grain bill just a bit, as this beastly bodied brew has enough sugar to keep on going up. good bourbon barrels i suspect, as there are no weird thin fusel notes on this, and the charcoal aspect is there all the way. ashy almost burnt malt flavor in the middle, before it gives way to traces of rum, licorice, and espresso. potting soil earthiness to it as well before the sugars come on. the alcohol is very strong, no denying that, i wonder what lager yeast they used to get it here. the science is as interesting as the final product. a bold but elegant brew on the whole, my first form arcadia. maybe not my favorite baltic porter, as the thing that makes that style awesome is paved over a bit here, but the beer is of astounding quality. id like to cellar one awhile. thanks to thebrewo for opening this one with me!

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Almost hard to open wax was so thick!

Pours nice, very dark brown almost black.
Not much head and is surprisingly white not brown.
Great smell, vanilla, oak.
Good up front taste, a little creaminess, bitter finish.
Very thin mouthfeel.

Overall a very good beer. Not quite as good as a BB stout but worth a try.

Photo of tectactoe
3.37/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage. Pours a very dark brown, almost black color as it sits in the glass. A light-ish, tan colored head perches on the top of the beer at a little less than a quarter-inch, but grows significantly when the glass is swirled.

One whiff of this and there's no doubt that this baby spent quite a while inside of an old bourbon barrel. Bourbon is probably the heaviest smell up front, along with some mild oak and a soothing vanilla aroma. It's obviously malt heavy but still a little sweeter than I would have imagined. Very syrupy and molasses-like with lots of melted brown sugar around the edges. Very light oak and wood aromas join in at the tail end, but don't impeded or stick around for too long.

Much like the aroma, the taste is very bourbon heavy as well. Very, very hot at first, almost akin to the burn from taking a sip of straight-up scotch or whiskey alone. Wow, did they forget to empty the barrels when they aged this stuff? There's a huge oak and wet, musty wood flavor that pops through in spurts between the blanket of heavy booze. Light vanilla and coconut notes travel through the profile but again, they're not match for the heavy bourbon. Despite the heavy booze, the beer is still extremely sweet, almost cloyingly so, and it has a strange soy-sauce like flavor heavy in the aftertaste. Medium-heavy body, slick and oily with medium carbonation.

Eh, I was definitely let down a bit by this one. A little too sweet, way too bourbon heavy, and has some strange flavors that didn't mesh well. Maybe it's the 2011 version? I've heard later releases have toned down the bourbon quite a bit, but this one was a little too much.

Photo of warnerry
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Early 2011 release. Notes form 3/2/11

A - Pours deep brown with some reddish hues and two fingers of thick, creamy head that has very good retention.

S - Vanilla, bourbon and a bit of oak. Also some subtle toffee and chocolate.

T - Similar to smell with more roasted malts coming through than in the aroma. Alcohol somewhat apparent. A bit of black cherry and also a faint cola taste.

M - A bit on the thin side but not watery. Medium mouthfeel overall.

O - A nice night capper. Alcohol a bit too apparent, but this is still pretty young. I look forward to trying again after letting it sit for awhile.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. This is the 2011 edition and has the red wax top on it.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of bourbon and chocolate, with some nice maple and a hint of oak thrown in. The flavor is even more complex than the aroma and is very nice. I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt, as well as some whiskey, maple and vanilla. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I've had Shipwreck Porter a few times, but I've never really cared for it and never even put my thoughts down on it. Here goes a 12 ounce of the Barrel Aged 12% version. Pours a pitch black hue with a thicket of tan head dwindles slow and leaves chunks of scattered lacing. Aroma has a full on bourbon nose, with hints of caramel/vanilla creaminess. Dark roasted malts provide a touch of black chocolate but is pretty much overshadowed by the bourbon barrel aging. Touch of oak and strong sweet bourbon notes, I'm thinking you really have to love bourbon to drink this beer. To compare this to KBS is unfair, two totally different types of BBA beers. Flavor is full of intense booze and bourbon flavors, that 12 percent is packing some heat instead of abv I feel like I should be talking what proof this is. The base porter doesn't stand up to the barrel, it totally absorbs all of the bourbon barreal effects inlcuding toasted/charred oak, sweet bourbon, hints of vanilla/caramelized dark sugars. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is low, I'm sure alot is lost during barrel aging. Head formed nicely though I'm not calling this flat in anyway. A warming effect with each sip from the 12 percent abv or 24 proof. Overall you better like you some bourbon or your not going to care for this particular beer, I could give a non bourbon drinker a KBS but if I gave this one to them they may be a bit offended by the straight up bourbon character if their not used to it.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Mark – thanks!

Pours black with a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate and slightly smaller amounts of vanilla.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as smooth. Slightly dry roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by smooth vanilla flavors. Mild amounts of rich dark chocolate come into play midway through the sip, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was impressed with this beer after not expecting a whole lot based on previous experiences with Arcadia. A well done beer that’s worth a shot.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.14/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to mikesgroove for this one.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a small, beige colored head on top. Nice head retention but sporadic and thin lacing.

S: Rather sweet and rich with a nice bourbon aroma, wood, vanilla, and some roasted malt. Very inviting.

T: Wow, lots of vanilla and bourbon in the flavor profile, mixed with some dark chocolate and a little bit of coffee. Really bursting with flavor, with a nice warming in my stomach.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, very creamy and smooth.

O: Really nice, for 12% the alcohol was held in check very nicely and the bourbon added some nice depth.

Photo of king75
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- dark chocolaty silky brown in color. Small toffee colored head that does not stay around for very long but does leave a nice lacing around the entire rim of the glass.

Smell- Has a light vanilla whiskey node but not to the extent of most barrel aged beers. Can pick up hints of black strap molasses, dark chocolate, cocoa nibs and hints of toffee.

Taste and mouthfeel- a light crisp toasty chocolate flavor is the most prevalent flavor profile that hits and permeates the palate. The whiskey barrel flavor is barely present when cold so I will let it warm up some...after reaching room temperature the whiskey flavors start to come through but are much more mellow than most barrel aged beers. The barrel primarily adds a nice vanilla node and toffee flavor profile to this beer which help to balance out the sweetness of the dark chocolate flavors. Lacks the bitter bite one would expect with most beers that have been barrel aged or have a dark chocolate profile. This one is extremely smooth and balance from beginning to end. The one big knock against this beer is the mouthfeel is rather light, lacking the heavier body that one would expect with this style.

Overall, the best beer I have ever had from Arcadia and restores my faith in this brewery. An exceptionally well balance barrel aged beer that could be enjoyed by a novice or a connoisseur. Worth trying and is one beer that I plan to revisit in the future

Photo of Magpie14
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brew pub

A: cloudy chestnut brown and deep orange tones with plenty of darkness, no seeing through this one. The head, or lack-there-of, is a fuzzy ring and mocha in color. Token lacing

S: heavy malts, caramel, soft oak bourbon notes with hints of vanilla and chocolate. Nose is well behaved looks promising

T: malts hold strong and alcohol is creeping up. Vanilla, cocoa, and coffee all interplay nicely. Things get bitter from the coffee and slightly earthy at the tail end of each sip. I find this brew much like the nose in that it is well behaved and friendly. Nothing too huge going on. Overall, the richness and chunkiness of the malts prop this brew up

M: slick and creamy. For what is going on in the array of flavors you could not ask for much more. Very nice

O: very easy to drink. Gonna get a few bottles before I leave today. Well put together and would serve as an excellent example of the style. Or in another vein, a great introductory beer for a newcomer to the barrel aged style...very accessible

Photo of nkersten
3.05/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into Darkness tulip. Black with brown edges and a tiny brown cap that fades quickly to a collar. Smell is cheap bourbon, sweet oak, artificial fruit flavored candy, some dark roasted malts. Taste is much different, slightly brash oak flavor at first, vanilla, toasted oak, alcohol, bourbon, finishing with a hot burn. Mouthfeel is medium to thin with a medium carbonation. Overall not a terrible beer but certainly not worth $7 for a 12oz bottle. Definitley a bit hot and overcaronated, maybe this will get better with a little time.

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think this is a fantastic example of this particular style of beer.
Perhaps a bit extreme in some respects but overall a pretty awesome brew.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Delivers a big beer with rich bourbon. Aged and that added to richness. Black, thick head, fuller mouthfeel. Solid porter, and drinkable, but too big a beer to have on a regular basis. Chocolate and understated roast.A spot of wood and coffee.Worth a try.

Photo of plfahey
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep, dark brown color with slight ruby highlights. It is so dark that it's difficult to ascertain clarity, but it appears moderately clear. Moderate brown head has fair retention at best, and dissipates to a thin lace.

Aroma-Smells fantastic-Lots of oak, moderate, smoky bourbon, sweet molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and just the faintest trace of alcohol heat. Light notes of chocolate, caramel, and faint dark fruit (plums/raisins) present as well.

Flavor-Sweet molasses up front, with loads of bourbon and oak in the mid-palate. In the finish, the porter character shows through, with notes of caramel and chocolate, with bourbon, smoke, and wood carrying through into the drawn out finish. Slight vanilla tones emerge on the palate with time. Malt sweetness is balanced by high alcohol a moderate hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body with moderate carbonation. Verges on being hot, but manages to be pleasantly (albeit substantially) warming. Leaves the tongue and entire mouth feeling a little bit numbed by the high alcohol.

I'm generally not a fan of bourbon-barrel aged beers, because they often end up being too bourbony. This one manages to bring a fair amount of bourbon character while still maintaining its integrity as a porter. If it had anymore bourbon character, it would probably be too much for me, but as it stands it's pretty damn tasty. A little hot right now, but in a year or two I imagine this would be drinking perfectly.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is about a year old, aged half it's cellar life in a fridge at 45 degrees.

pours cola black, with a similar body. light creamy head, little to no lacing and retention. slight oily resin.

big on the bourbon, lots of smooth vanilla and sweet dark candy. light bourbon and chocolate in the back.

some dark chocolate up at first, then quickly the bourbon comes out and really dominates. the porter style is sweet and lightly roasted, but the BA really completes this.

pretty smooth with a mild carbonation. body feels kind of thin for 12%

overall, pretty good. excellent BA flavors.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into an Ithaca Excelsior! tulip.

Appearance - Almost black with a small khaki head. Retains well for what it has. Nice lacing also.

Smell - Bourbon and a ton of oak. Grainy corn kind of bourbon. Strong oak. Vanilla is secondary. Coffee back there too.

Taste - Much more boozy alcohol up front. Coffee stronger. Milk chocolate all over. Thin body with a coffee finish. Oaky as hell again.

Mouthfeel - Rather thin. Not as boozy in the finish, but the barrel is hot.

Overall - The porter has difficulty standing up to the barrel, but it all tastes good. I don't get how a 12% porter feels too weak for the barrel, but it does.

Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 3 fingers of mocha head. Very good lacing & above average lacing

S: Bourbon, dark fruit, loads of cherries & figs

T: Follows the nose, big fig notes, some cherry, a touch of boozeyness. Some earthy hops, & boozey figs as this warms, the bourbon part fades, but oakyness is still fairly assertive. Finishes fruitty, woody, some what hoppy (herbal hops mostly) & dry with a nice cherry flourish

MF: Medium bodied, fairly assertive carbonation, fairly warming

A decent barrel aged porter, started stronger than it finished. Drinks a bit slow

Photo of NavyGoat
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just tried this Porter and I would drink again; probably paid too much for this 12 oz bottle but what the heck. Very nice smell of oak bourbon barrels and great look. The taste is yummy but does have a slight bite.

Photo of output01x
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. wax sealed bottle into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a nearly 2-finger tan head sitting on a pitch black body. Even when held to light, no traces seem to get through. The head recedes after a few moments leaving only a thin covering. Lacing is moderate.

You can smell the bourbon from across the room as this beer is poured. Upon closer inspection, the bourbon aroma mingles with dark mocha.

Milk chocolate, coffee, caramel, and roasted malt flavors dance together happilly. A slight bourbon warmth pushes the aforementioned flavors away as it dominates at the back of the tongue. Hazelnut comes in after a minute or two as an aftertaste.

Heavy bodied but also heavily carbonated. Somewhat sticky, each sip fizzles in your mouth then coats every inch. Less carbonation would have been preferred as experiencing more of the beginning flavors would make for a more enjoyable tasting.

Photo of trappistlover
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

(12oz bottle courtesy of jcnd9803!!). Pours near balck with thin khaki head. Aroma has lots of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and some wood. Taste is semi-sweet-not as much as the nose-and it has some roasty bitterness. The flavors are complex with wood, vanilla, dark pit fruit and some coffee stealing the show. The bourbon is not as pronounced as I would have thought through the aroma. Medium bodied with a dry, woody finish. This is a really nice beer

Photo of CruisaC
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up for $5.99 each (I think) at PartyTown in NKY

Pours a dark coffee with edges of espresso. A fairly thin, fleeting head comes and goes without much in the way of lacing

Smells of roasted coffee beans soaked in bourbon. Overall fairly subtle, especially when compared to some other cousins, namely BCBS

Tastes of roasted malts, coffee, with some bourbon and alcohol on the finish

Mouthfeel is a little thin compared to the body and taste of the beer

It is enjoyable and something I would revisit. At $6 a 12oz bottle and 12% it is a sipper but overall a solid offering. I've got another couple bottles that will be interesting to taste down the road

Photo of SpdKilz
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Kevin (kzoobrew) for sending me this great beer. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my badass Darkness Tulip with a completely opaque black. About a finger of mocha colored head is achieved with a moderate pour. The head dissipates slowly leaving slight lacing.

Smell - Wow, massive amazing vanilla aroma up front. This is then overtaken by the oak, coffee, and bourbon. A great chocolatey scent comes through followed by an uncanny butterscotch candy smell (the ones in the shiny gold wrappers that your grandma used to give you). I kid you not, my mouth is salivating.

Taste - So the rumors are true. What a great beer. As I was told by kzoobrew, this does have similar characteristics to BBXXI, however, I do feel the vanilla is more prominent. The flavors are just incredible. As previously mentioned, there is a great real vanilla flavor (let me emphasize this; I've encountered breweries who obviously use fake vanilla extract and believe me, you can tell - it's nasty tasting) that slowly fades to bourbon and oak. Not as much chocolate characteristics as expected but honestly a perfect amount to make that specific flavor meld with the others. Slight coffee bitterness, roasted malts, and just a hint of alcohol. .

Mouthfeel - Velvety smooth, creamy, lower carbonation.

Drinkability - Just a hint of alcohol warmth on the way down, and even less in the flavor. This beer was just sent to me and I can't imagine what a year or two on it would do. It is already practically quaffable for how strong it is. I was hoping not to be let down by this, being a porter lover, and I was most definitely not. I would seek this out in the future for sure. This beer is just SO smooth...I just took a few minute break before posting this to let it warm up even more and my god does it keep getting better as it warms and with every sip. Fantastic.

Photo of Bung
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz, red wax.
The usual suspects, black with brown hints. Sturdy looking. Quite thin layer of light tan head. Retains very well though.

Aroma has caramel, oak, chocolate. Very light peat, bourbon, vanilla.

Taste, very well blended caramel, vanilla, bourbon-oak. Fades to more chocolate, roast. Finishes with cocoa, roast malt, faint coffee.

Very smooth lighter side of medium body. Coats nicely. Creamy, warming a little bit. Just a tad thin.

One of the better Baltics I've had in a while. Only drawback is that it is a bit warm yet. This should age pretty well I'd guess.

Photo of emerge077
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a snifter it pours out a reddish brown, no foam at first but later a thin cap of tan foam materializes. Soon it dwindles to a thin ring around the edge, no lacing. Still and glassy surface.

Brown sugar, vanilla, roast and earthy chocolate notes in the nose, seemingly dry and subdued even when at room temperature.

Flavors are similarly muted, drowned out by a steamrolling astringency and a deadening alcoholic presence. Some vague vanilla, roasty malt, and boozy barrel elements. Body is oddly thin and boozy also. Seems like the alcohol got a little too rampant, the barrel obliterated the nuances of the original Porter. Wafting heat rises off the palate, leaving a bone dry finish with some lingering roast malt in the aftertaste, but it lacks nuance and depth. Not something i'd revisit, or consider all that successful overall. More body and less alcohol would definitely improve things...

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 868 ratings.