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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.

299 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 299
Hads: 916
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 147
Gots: 321 | FT: 38
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 299 | Hads: 916
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar but very dark brownish red near the edges of the glass when held up to a bright light. It poured with a short white that quickly died down, leaving only wispy lacing on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of bourbon and associated vanilla are present in the smell.
T: The taste follows the smell and has moderately strong flavors of vanilla and bourbon. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and finishes a little thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Slight bits of warming from the alcohol are perceptible.
O: This beer tastes nothing like a 12% abv beer and is incredible drinkable because the alcohol is very well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
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!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The ever-steady Shipwreck porter goes under the knife, or at least under the barrel for an extreme make-over that hardly resembles the original robust porter. This bourbon infused taste is extreme in its bourbon character and savory because of its added age.

The Bourbon Barrel Shipwreck is the common deep and ominously dark brown, hinging on black although brazenly tawny at its extreme margins. As the nose hovers over its dainty creme-like froth, the strong booze of bourbon is obvious, along with its oak, charred fruit and roasted grain. To taste, its the malty-sweet molasses, chocolate and caramel to coat the palate first.

Those sweeter malt tendencies saturates the mouth deeply and provides a buffer for the intensity of bourbon to come. Burnt toast, espresso and an nutty taste transitions from sweet to earth while the booze soaked flavor grows. Grilled cherry, berry and currant lurk in the background while the barrel's caramel, vanilla and oak presence dominates the finish.

Full to taste but dry and roasty,the porter carries a dry, semi-ash, semi-powdery tannic character in mouthfeel. With the coffee-like bitterness balancing the sweetness and facilitating dryness, its the palate numbing bourbon that shapes the final impressions and turns this otherwise somber and drinkable porter into a slow sipping affair, easily replacing sherry or cognac as an after dinner digestive.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle done side-by-side with the regular version courtesy of rmalinowski4. Thanks as well to jale for gifting me a bottle to cellar. Served in a snifter.

Pours black with a very, very thin light tan head. A few spots of lacing on the way down, though they don't stick. Half a cap as well. The nose carries a nice, smooth bourbon presence along with some chocolate and roast. Touch of coffee along with some light oak and vanilla. Uber-smooth. The barrel character really shines in the flavor, and carries a good amount of vanilla and light chocolate with it. Good moderate roast in the background, and a bit of oak and accompanying tannin on the backend and through the finish. Medium, chewy body with low carbonation and a really nice creaminess. Barrel-aging well done, Arcadia. Solid brew that I'd love to have ready access to.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Eric!

Appearance: Pours a dark but clear brown. A finger of light tan head forms and then quickly recedes to a thin collar.

Smell: Straight fucking bourbon. It isn't boozy, surprisingly enough, but the barrel is overwhelming. I let it warm up a bit expecting more porter to come through more, and eventually I detect a hint of chocolate and roasted malt, but it remains ridiculously barrel forward. Still, it's enjoyable if you like a lot of bourbon character in your -bal aged beer (as I do).

Taste & mouthfeel: Bourbon, caramel, chocolate, bourbon, whiskey, oak. Did they just pour a shot of bourbon into each bottle? It's one-dimensional but enjoyable. The body is medium-full and there's a touch of dark fruit in the finish.

Overall: Bourbon.

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Photo of emerge077
3.4/5  rDev -17.7%
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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Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cola-brown color with a small, light brown head. It left no lacing at all.

S - It smelled like a barrel aged brew should - bourbon, oak, vanilla and toasty malts.

T - The flavor deliver way more bourbon than the aroma did. Mild vanilla and oak. Somewhere in the background is the malt-bomb that is Shipwreck.

M - It was smooth and medium bodied.

D - This could use some age. Tons of bourbon flavor that I would like to see mellow out in time.

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Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cracked this bad boy open as my night cap after a long day of hobo tasting at the railroad tracks. served into a pint glass while i watched tv.

poured out black as night with a thick oil like look to it and a big tan head that left streaks of lace all throughout the glass, really a damn near perfect look with a wonderful settling.

aroma is deep bourbon, oak, vanilla, hints of dark roasted malts, coffee, bitter ark chocolate and a rich and roasty profile that is cut with a slight touch of alcohol, really very well done here. each sip was better then the one before as the thick liquid coated the tongue and left no room for an error. boozy bourbon and vanilla creep across the palate with hints of molasses and chocolate, chewy at times with a bit of heat left in the finish as well. warming brings out a hint of dark fruit notes that gently graze the palate. smooth and strong finish leaves a long taste that lingers forever.

overall a fantastic beer that you really need to seek out. one of the best i have had in a long time. i would have to really, really recommend this one.

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Photo of oline73
3.69/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had this bottle in the cellar since last Dark Lord Day. Poured into a Hunahpu's snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color. There is a very little bit of off white head that leaves a small ring around the pour.

Smell: This one smells like it is going to have some heat to it. I'm getting some bourbon and roasted malt along with a dark fruit sweetness. The warmth is rather nice.

Taste: The flavor of this one isn't as full as I would have thought given the smell. There is a very strong bourbon flavor, but the rest of the taste pales a bit in comparison. I'm getting some peppery notes from the bourbon along with a strong roasted malt presence. The finish is bitter and full of roast. Chocolate and dark fruit notes are there, but they're really overshadowed.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thin side of what I would have wanted for this beer. The carbonation is very thick and smooth with a dry finish. I really need more body here.

Overall: I would say that I thought this beer was a bit underwhelming. I needed a more full flavor and a thicker body. I don't think I need any more in the future.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to both Mike and Derek for hooking me up with bottles of this beer.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with notes of red and a finger of off-white head.

S: Smells like vanilla with notes of bourbon and milk chocolate. A very mild roastiness, some notes of dark fruits. Really quite smooth with a pleasant nose.

T: A nice bourbon bite on the front end with plenty of smooth vanilla. A little bit of cocoa and dark chocolate. Light roasted flavors with just a hint of bitterness.

M: Medium in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Really heavy on the barrel, but nice flavor and mouthfeel.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.67/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Bruery snifter.

Never thought I'd see this on the shelf at my local stores, much less in relative abundance. It pours a nearly onyx black-brown topped by a minor bit of dirty ash foam. The nose comprises bourbon, oak, light roasted malts, and a dusting of cocoa powder. There's some minor heat in the background, but not enough to warm the nose uncomfortably. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some dark chocolate, light molasses, and a distinctive heavy touch of licorice. The licorice detracts a bit with its strength (rather than helping things by blending in better with the rest of the flavors). The body is a hefty medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a solid beer, but it doesn't really come all the way together for me.

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Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 7/15/2013. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, raisin, caramel, toast, toffee, dark bread, vanilla, bourbon, oak, clove, coconut, and roasted/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, raisin, vanilla, toast, caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, clove, dark bread, light coconut, and roasted/oak earthiness. Light earthy/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, raisin, toast, toffee, caramel, dark bread, bourbon, oak, clove, and roasted/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible depth, complexity, and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with and awesome malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding barrel aged porter! All around awesome depth and complexity of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 08/21/11 notes. Big thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing this one and knocking off another Want. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with one inch of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, caramel malts, and vanilla. Lots of bourbon and vanilla, but the bourbon isn't overpowering. Amazing smell to it.

t - Tastes of bourbon, caramel malts toffee, roasted malts, alcohol, and chocolate. A little more alcohol than the nose, but I still enjoyed it a lot.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, super smooth and creamy. Considering it is 12% ABV it's pretty easy to drink, and the smooth body helps a lot.

o - Overall I thought this was a great barrel aged beer. Nice bourbon comes through but doesn't overpower, and plenty of vanilla and caramel to it as well. Would love to get some more bottles of this one.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Pours with a dime of tan foam that settles to a few wisps and some spotty lace. Near-black body, with some light brown transparency at the fringes.

S - Oak, vanilla, chocolate, and perhaps a faint hint of alcohol as it warms up. You can tell this was in barrels a long time due to the dominance of the oak and vanilla flavors - only ild overt whiskey. Base beer is largely nebulous sweetness, and comes across as more of an American Imperial Porter rather than a Baltic one.

T - Smooth roasted malts, vanilla, and chocolate. Oaky and lightly charred finish. Quite enjoyable, and well-integrated. Alcohol is better hidden here.

M - Medium-full body, with low carbonation. Not much alcohol heat, even with the high ABV. Smooth texture with some oily viscosity.

D - Definitely the best beer I've had from Arcadia. I'd be curious to try this beer at earlier stages in the barrel-aging to see how much bourbon presence there was initially. A nice 12oz treat that's perfect for a nightcap.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle annoyingly cover in this stuff rubbery wax. Takes several minutes to get inside. Poured into some snifter. Beer is black with a thin brown head. Some lacing moderate retention. Low carbonation.

Aroma is boooze. Alcohol and booze. Strong.

Beer is 12% and it let's you know. Very strong. Aggressive. Thick up front. Sweet very sweet. Finish thins but isn't dry. It is a little too boozy for me but it is a fine beer. I probably won't have it again.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Final beer of the mini-tasting with mdaschaf, thanks dude! 12 ounce waxed bottle poured into a snifter. Very nice presentation.

A: Very deep dark brown, hell I'd probably call this black in dim lighting with a rich, creamy off-white head forming. The retention is rather nice for the high alcohol content, but the lacing could use some work. Not entirely surprised though given the stats - good looking beer.

S: Bourbon but it's sweet in nature. It's not that harsh liquor smelling aroma, instead there's a rich sweet mature element to it. Good amounts of wood, plenty of dark roasted malts and a touch of vanilla in the background. Everything seems to blend well together giving this a nicely balanced aroma.

T: Front of the palate are the roasted chocolate malts and the slightest hint of dark coffee. The bourbon and vanilla are the center of attention, giving a very sweet and tingly feel across the tongue. Back of the mouth is some caramel notes and perhaps a hint of smoke? Whoa, very flavorful and certainly a big surprise for me.

M: Creamy, lower on the carbonation but enough to keep the beer lively especially for the 12% ABV. Nice feel, somewhat dry in the linger.

This was a very nice surprise especially considering bourbon barrel aged beers can have anywhere from a lot of bourbon to not enough. Shipwreck achieves a great balance with plenty of other flavors coming through. Thanks again, Matt!

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Photo of stakem
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12oz twist off cap that was dipped in red wax. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a very dark brown to black color with a thin layering of bubbles that rise to the surface and pop. Some bubbles collect around the wall of the glass. Some faint clarity shows through the sides but when held to the light, some ruby coloration is seen. A swirl revives a quick fading tan head.

The smell of this brew is sweet with a solid presence of tangy whisky. Barrel contributions of toasted coconut meets cocoa, vanilla, licorice and dark fruits somewhat like raisins. A touch of alcohol burn evolves as the brew gets warmer. Very big and enjoyable barrel influence in this brew.

The taste includes coconut mixed with whiskey that is lightly tangy. Lots of herbal hop character is present to balance out the sweet smoothness of the barrel aging. Faint aftertaste of licorice mixes with fruit like raisins and semisweet chocolate. A lightly medicinal quality is present in this brew when you focus on the hops, fruity element and alcohol.

This is a medium bodied brew with a low level of carbonation that somehow is strangely prickly on the tongue. Big alcohol influence and lots of flavoring in this. For 12% abv, it is integrated quite nice. A mighty fine sipper that I really enjoyed. I picked through the flavors of this beer and it was complex enough that I feel that I still missed out on some nuances because of how much I enjoyed and concentrated on the barrel aging characteristics. If I see this around, I plan on buying it again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Chaney. Thanks Brandon!

The beer is dark brown, with a finger of beige head that hangs out indefinitely, leaving some nice lacing on the snifter. The aroma brings vanilla, oak, roast, and booze. The flavor is quite nice, with vanilla, oak, and bourbon blending beautifully. Soft on the palate, this beer goes down smoothly. Easy to drink, with alcohol presence less than expected for a 12% brew. Overall, a terrific beer that I would love to have again. I definitely recommend it.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Conti Inn snifter glass.

Arcadia Barrel Aged Shipwrecked Porter pours out very brown and very black, ending up black in the glass. The bubbles were weak and barely nothing, faint skim of beige color. It is 12%, I can't fault that.

Smell is a very bourbon infused scent with some vanilla tones. Wood/staves, some roasted character. Don't really pick up any old world porter from the scent under the bourbon.

Taste of the base beer is under the bourbon, I hear this was aged for a while. Bourbon over some vanilla and oak with the smallest amount of porter quality. The roast, English appeal is lost. Im not really sure if the base is all that anyway.

Feel is kinda cool and Im second guessing if this is 12%, the alcohol is masked well in smell, taste, and feel, this is not hot at all. Body is a bit flimsy and is not on the thick side, not baltic. Carb is very tame.

This beer is weird. I figured the Baltic in this porter would be bigger, instead, this taste like a regular porter with bourbon, without the alcohol in taste and scent. I don't know, but at 7 beans a bottle, not again for me. Glad to try it.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.