Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you 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.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck PorterBourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

310 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 310
Hads: 946
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 9.47%
Wants: 149
Gots: 337 | FT: 40
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 310 | Hads: 946
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. Very dark pour with a thin layer of brown head and decent retention for a barrel-aged beer. Notes of toasted oak, dark fruit, vanilla, and bourbon on the nose.

Full body with a velvety feel. Lots of bourbon and a hint of boozy warmth, but still retains a good amount of roast and is identifiable as a porter. Up front are coffee grounds, dark chocolate, and caramel. These give way to bourbon and dark fruit. Even after several months in the bottle, the bourbon notes are still a bit harsh.

Overall, a nice beer, but not a ``top shelf'' bourbon-barrel-aged beer. Too harsh and the flavors don't meld together as harmoniously as they do in the better examples.

 706 characters

Photo of Gaddabble
2.47/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.25

Appearance is expected dark brown with very little head. Smell is of booze, slight bourbon, and red-wine. Taste follows smell, but very harsh booze and unflattering red wine. None of the typical rich chocolate flavors one might expect from the style. Only positive note on the tasting was some vanilla, but otherwise difficult to drink. Smooth, velvety mouth feel, but carbonation was too low. Personally, I hold barrel-aged beers to a higher standard than non-barrel-aged beers as, even if it is marginally well-done, barrel-aged beers typically have a lot to offer. I can say unequivocally that this is one of the worst barrel-aged beers I have had.

 658 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip glass. It pours a dark mahogany, nearly black, with a rather thin, khaki-colored head and lacing. It smells of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, and faint caramel. The taste features bourbon, roasted malt, burnt coffee, chocolate, and a faint caramel sweetness throughout. The flavors blend very well. This porter is medium-bodied, lightly carbonated, and has a real kick with its 12% ABV. Notwithstanding the alcohol burn, it is quite smooth and easy to drink, although it is definitely a sipper. Overall, this is one of the best Baltic Porters I've tasted. I generally prefer Imperial Stouts over Porters but this one is truly world class.

 660 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 FLUID OUNCE bottle
Served in a snifter
2012 vintage

This beer pours black and is topped with a short-lived tan head that leaves little lacing.

The bourbon has morphed into sweet caramel and vanilla. It smells like dessert. There is still some bourbon that compliments the sweet aromas.

I immediately taste caramel and some roasted malt. Then bourbon cascades over my taste buds. The finish is sweet with caramel and vanilla.

Full mouthfeel and velvety smooth

This beer has aged wonderfully. It is delicious and has almost became a dessert beer. There is enough bourbon flavor remaining to cut some of the sweetness.

 625 characters

Photo of KillerJigger
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my first porters ive liked in a long time. Great flavor that masks the high ABV. Looking to get another. Would recommend this to someone who doesnt like porters.

 171 characters

Photo of CowsandBeer
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle with thick red wax poured into a Sierra Nevada snifter. 2015 bottle.

Appearance: Pours a thin cap of khaki color head which quickly reduces itself to a bubbly ring with a center film. Nice shiny black body.
Aroma: Upfront mildly sweet whiskey, light brown sugar, coconut oil and toasted oak. The porter brings notes of cream, cherry, and chocolate.
Taste: More of that sweet whiskey held up by a chocolatey porter base. The porter tastes of char, malted milk balls, some baltic porter sweetness, and cream. Very nice malt finish and soft whiskey barrel. The whiskey comes off as a tart sweetness with a coconuty finish. Not as much dept as something like BCBS in terms of barrel depth but still unique enough to stand on its own.
Mf: Low carbonation with a slick, medium/full feel. High drinkability for what it is.
Overall: As the beer warms it tastes like a strawberry chocolate milk cocktail. I’m curious as to what kind of barrel they used to age this beer as it adds a really nice spiced wood/sweet bourbon character. The base beer on its own it seems to be a sweeter, maltier base that works quite well with the barrel. More of roasty char and port like sweetness come out of the porter as it warms. Having only had Arcadia’s barleywine before this is another welcome surprise. Highly recommended.

 1,345 characters

Photo of hardysf
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a rating based on style only. The beer tastes good but definitely not worth the 7.99. This is the 2015 version with wax cap. Not much carb and what there is goes away immediately. Smell is a bit bland but some notes of vanilla shines through. Some roastiness and some chocolate. Well balanced. Not much bourbon flavor at all. Smooth to drink, but cost prohibitive when there are so many other better BBA beers for cheaper.

 438 characters

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter at Sheffields. Huge bourbon on the nose and palate throughout. Didn't seem to change much as it warmed. Feel is thinner than expected for a 12% beer. Nice chocolate notes as it warms.

 205 characters

Photo of K-Dog
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice jet black color and great bourbon smell and taste. This was aged for about 2 years. I will say that I remember this being better after one year of aging. It has lost a little of its flavor after 2 years bit still a pretty darn good brew bur in the future wouldn't age more than a year.

 291 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.
The body is very dark red brown and clear but nearly opaque in the glass.

Aroma: Almost completely dominated by bourbon and bourbon barrel aromatics. Very woody and boozy.

Flavor: also dominated by the bourbon barrels. The woody aromas were very strong, these didn't much impair the aroma; but I normally find even less barrel flavor to detract from beers. Not so here. Still, this is a beer only for those who like low ABV aged bourbons. Of course, for a beer this is quite boozy, although the 12% alcohol is partially hidden in tasting.

 586 characters

Photo of wcu80
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I nearly sliced off my finger trying to get the wax off and open the bottle. Even had that happened, it would've been worth it to get at what's inside the bottle. A REALLY nice BB Baltic that I wish I had more of. The 12% ABV was nowhere to be found and the barrel notes were incredible. Highly recommended.

 307 characters

Photo of Qbdoo
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark with a somewhat weak head. Aroma is fantastic though, with chocolate, vanilla, molasses and of course bourbon. The taste is similar with a slight but not overwhelming alcohol burn. It's just a tad. And though the feel is medium thin, the texture is smooth and creamy. I hadn't been blown away by Arcadia in the past but this is a great beer.

 351 characters

Photo of mjpolzin
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this during a bottle share with a buddy. He picked it up on a work trip in Michigan. I have to admit I had never heard of this before I tried it. But now I want to get more. This beer was incredibly well balanced but the bourbon flavor was sweet, strong and smooth. So you had a beer where the bourbon was the main flavor but not so much that you couldn't get other elements in the taste.

 392 characters

Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz, dated '09/16/' I bought it in early October, and the label looks frayed on the edges, so my guess is this not this years vintage (bottled in September every year). Pours a very dark brown, with a nice beige-colored head that mostly dissipates yet leaves a nice ring of bubbles around the glass; very nice effects and small amounts lacing when swirled (as one reviewer mentioned, it looks somewhat like an old ale--but clearly darker). Aroma is strongly of bourbon, with some vanilla, dark fruits, and, oh baby, I can sssmmmeeelllllll the booze! It tastes basically the same as it smells: bourbon, dark malts, dark fruits, with a bit of alcohol burn and some sweetness in the finish. Mouth-feel is light to medium, but not what I would call thin--as other reviews have mentioned, and it is certainly smooth, with a nice warming finish.

I'm not certain what a Baltic porter is supposed to look, smell and taste like, but I really like everything about this beer. It is beautiful, has an amazing aroma, and there is a lot going on in the flavor. I hope to enjoy my next one with a friend, as this is definitely worth sharing.

 1,130 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is jet black, with no head. Nose of booze, vanilla, molasses, and subtle chocolate. Flavors are sweet, with forward notes of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, booze, and woody highlights. Smooth, creamy body, with a bourbon and chocolate aftertaste. The finish is smooth, rich, and velvety. Good beer.

 341 characters

Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours nearly jet black except for for some reddish brown slightly showing thru when held to the light,a thin beige head atop.Bourbon,butteriness, and dark fruit dominates the nose,quite strong indeed.Very smooth feel with not much carbonation,it goes down very easy.Vanilla and butter up front on the palate,almost dessert-like,the alcohol hits in the back end but also some drying earthiness to keep everything in somewhat balance.Arcadia is an old school MI. brewery,some clunkers but this is pretty good.

 507 characters

Photo of Dactrius
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

More carbonation than on a lot of BB beers but a look that's not quite as nice as some others. Taste and feel are both solid with the baltic porter flavor coming through nicely. Unfortunately it is quite thin. Many of its "shortcomings" I probably shouldn't be taking issue with since it's a porter and not a stout. It seems overpriced at $8 for a bottle but considering that I think $15 for a BB bomber is reasonable I guess it's not so bad. So I guess after all that, I do recommend it and wish I had bought another bottle to cellar.

 540 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into shaker
$ 8.99/12moz bottle at Oppermann’s
Aroma – slight bourbon aroma
Head average (3.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to four mm ring and layer
Lacing excellent – complete wide rings of tiny to small bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor – very much of bourbon, slightly sweet and oaky, followed by a slight bitterness with alcohol coming through; no hops, no diacetyl
Palate – full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, aroma 4.5, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5

 551 characters

Photo of vic21234
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled date is not listed but I assume it is 2015 Vintage as it was just released at my local shop.

A- Pours a fairly thin black, with a large amount of khaki head that slowly fades.

S- Very nice smelling beer, with aromas of chocolate, oak, and plenty of bourbon.

T- Tons of bourbon and oak takes over each sip, with some notes of chocolate and dark malts.

M- Medium bodied, bourbon forward, great sipping beer.

I was thoroughly impressed with this one. Must grab a few more to age.

 530 characters

Photo of darktronica
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage. Pours a very thin layer of tan foam that dissipates over several minutes, leaving a ring of head around the rim of the glass and some modest lacing. The entire experience is extremely smooth and well-integrated, a wonderful example of a vinous Baltic porter. Aromas and flavors are both quite complex and balanced, with no particular element dominating the others. Raisin, black currant, dark chocolate, port, raw cacao, cherry, and hazelnut are all present, creating a deeply rewarding experience. Easy to drink this too quickly, given that the 12% alcohol is very well-hidden.

 592 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks nice. Light tan head.

Smells really nice. vanilla, toffee, chocolate, and other sweet breads.

Tastes falls a little short but still very nice. Less pronounced vanilla and toffee although the whiskey comes through more and there is a little heat but it's 12% so what do you expect.

Mouth feel is thin but this is overall a nice stab at a BA Baltic Porter.

 365 characters

Photo of Scottyg33
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Over priced but a pretty good beer. Strong bourbon smell and flavor, over powers any other flavors in it but I like bourbon so im good with that. I would buy more if it was a little more reasonable.

 198 characters

Photo of chefbrady
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pleasantly surprised. I think this beer is under rated. Appearance is that of an old ale- not very dark. Aroma is fantastic- root beer, vanilla, much bourbon. Taste luckily follows the nose to the T. Nice bourbon presence, smooth at 12% overall a world class BA Baltic.

 269 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flute from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Dark thin black-brown with medium bubbles on the body. Tan head with a vigorous pour is about a notch below a finger's length.

Smell: Hard whiskey scent, feels like it was blended with dessert wine and chocolate.

Taste: Heavy whiskey taste with a light milk chocolate feel. Little sweet but not bad.

Mouth: Medium carbonation and very sticky, like gum on the bottom of your shoe. Pairing it with some crackers and I still feel the heavy bourbon after-taste.

Overall: Not bad at all. There are some better porters out there especially when you factor how much you're paying for each bottle. Better paired with some dessert, like your side of fries to your burger. Salud!

 730 characters

Photo of OGShotzy
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: No head retained at all. Sporadic light tan bubbles cling to the glass, but the middle is an opaque, black swamp.

S: Some barrel. Some licorice. Also, caramel.

T: first sip is a lot of barrel. As it warms, the flavors come out to say hello. Caramel, toffee, maybe even some dark licorice, which adds some welcomed bitterness.

F: perfect for a BA porter. Almost stout-like, but I am drinking this in mid-July, and it's not nearly as thick.

 444 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.