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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter - Arcadia Brewing Company

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

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291 Reviews
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Reviews: 291
Hads: 896
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 150
Gots: 315 | FT: 39
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: 291 | Hads: 896
Photo of mchegash
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with hints of red along the edges of the glass. About one to two fingers of dark-tan head.

Smell - 3.75/5
Vanilla, alcohol, oak, bourbon. The aroma is slightly sweet.

Taste - 4.25/5
Vanilla, oak, bourbon. Fairly sweet. Tastes similar to Dragon's milk except much less roasty, and more alcoholic flavor. I think I prefer Dragon's Milk.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Smooth, carbonation is fairly light. Medium bodied.

Overall - 4/5
This was a fairly good Oak-bourbon-barrel-aged beer. However not my favorite. I would prefer Dragon's Milk or Backwoods Bastard any day. Also, definitely not worth the $9 I paid for a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look 9/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 34/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 19/20

Overall 88/100

Really good BA Porter, very smooth and extremely easy to drink at 12% Was also extremely pricey which will keep me from giving it a ringing endorsement, however price aside, it was a very good BA ale worth a try. No huge bourbon tones, just lots of rich dark chocolate flavors. Really not as complex as I would hoped~

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%

Review taken from notes in early 2014.
This batch was just released and the review was taken the day it arrived.

12 oz brown bottle with a cherry red wax covering the cap running down the neck. Very nice look. Black label with white and gold lettering and all the info needed letting you know this is indeed aged in bourbon barrels. Poured into a 12 oz stemmed tulip snifter.

A - black in color with shades of deep brown in the light. Head poured bigger than expected and it's dark tan color leaned toward a shade of brown. Head settles to a nice ring of lacing leaving decent stick to the walls of this tulip snifter. This also has some particles floating about its midnight black body.

S - straight from the barrel, bourbon aromas. Big vanilla, hints of chocolate, little touch of chewy caramel, and roasted malts all grab hold of the nose and take you running on a barrel of bourbon barrel aged goodness.

T - nice big bourbon flavor. Vanilla, sweet caramel, faint hits of bittersweet chocolate, big roasted malt character with the sweetness balancing the roast to near perfection. Dark fruit and fig flavor find themselves dancing among the bourbon sweetness and roasted malts as this warms. Finish has some booziness from the alcohol and big bourbon flavor, but only add to its excellent taste.

M - full bodied and flavorful. I was worried this may be a bit thin, but boy was I wrong. The texture and thickness were exactly as I want in a big bourbon barrel aged brew. It has some booze, but I found it very drinkable with a smooth, sticky, coating texture.

O - Bourbon barrel aged Shipwreck was a real treat and honestly a bit under appreciated in my view. This thing is class in a bottle and I will look for it every time a batch is bottled. It keeps true to barrel aging big brews while adding some unique character from the Michigan brewery. This put Arcadia on the map for me and opened up many other experiences for me and their offerings. Very delightful stuff.

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Photo of JefferyLaGrow
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

A: Black as night. Little head and what is there is heavy and dark

S: Lots of bourbon upfront. a little hint of vanilla, and roasty malts

T: Sweet, with a little bit of caramelized sugar in the initial taste. Dried fig. BOURBON. This puppy had some booziness to it. Almost too much.

M: Slightly rough on the tongue, followed by the heat from the alcohol. Perfect carbonation level.

O: I really like this beer. It has a great flavor, and some booze to make this a great fall sipper. It didn't seem to mellow as it warmed, and the alcohol intensified. I still enjoyed every sip...

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Wow. This is a huge brew. Really wow sums it up.

The blackness is full of booze, and you get this huge booziness in the aroma, taste and aftertaste. It overpowers all of everything else this porter has going on.

The roasty goodness that brew could be is completely overbalanced by the booziness. That said, I would still recommend this for a huge beer that does not hide it's hugeness but rather wears it proudly.

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Photo of BakaGaijin
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%

Poured from a bottle. Really difficult to get the wax off the top. Not sure how old this bottle is.

A - Pours very dark. Small head with tiny bubbles. Decent lacing.

S - Dates, caramel sweetness, bourbon

T - Nice date flavour up front, then some bourbon, then it is too bitter and astringent.

M - Fairly thin mouth and you can taste the alcohol, however, considering that this is 12% that is to be somewhat expected.

O - Not bad. Wouldn't go out of my way for another one, but it was decent.

*additional note - I drank the second half of the bottle at a colder temperature and it was more pleasant. Some chocolate notes came out and the finish was less bitter.

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Photo of emyers
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours near black with a thin beige head dissipating quickly into lacing. Leaves a slight lacing down the glass.

Smell: Bourbon up front, cocoa powder, oak, vanilla.

Taste: Similar to the smell, with bourbon leading the way balanced nicely by dark chocolate and vanilla. Some roasted malt and oak on the finish. Good bourbon presence but remains very balanced throughout. Excellent.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied. Appropriately low carbonation level. Very smooth.

Overall: Strong work from Arcadia - really nails the bourbon barrel presence without letting it take over the beer.

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Photo of Smokesnotes
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of garuda
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Black, with a brown head that has good retention and lacing.

S/T - Bourbon, oak, dark chocolate, vanilla, touch of smoke, pine hops deep in the finish.

M - Full body, but not as chewy or thick as I like for the abv. Medium carbonation. Stays smooth, coats the mouth.

O - With an abv like this, I can't help but compare to others in the same range. This is very good, but not quite THAT good.

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Photo of vishneda
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A solid porter base but the bourbon was pretty mild to me. I guess I hoped it would be a little more aggressive. Enjoyable but there are options with more personality, especially at this high abv. I like the idea of being cautious, but this 12% beer has all the character of a 9% beer. The bottle was super difficult to get open.

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Photo of dar482
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours out like oil and in a dark black color.

The aroma has huge milk chocolate, roasted malt, and a smooth hint of bourbon sweetness.

The flavor punch of bourbon in the front that smooths out the beer throughout. There's bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt, a bit of coffee with a rich dark caramel towards the back palate.

A really fantastic and underrated barrel aged brew.

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Photo of Mightykingmalard
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pitch black. Creamy white head that recedes pretty quick. Completely opaque.

S: a sweet smell of bourbon. I smell a lot of vanilla. Very nice.

T: there is a lot to this beer. Subtle bourbon taste under a very nice porter. I don't normally like porters, but this is not too sweet and has a slight smokiness to it under it all.

M: has a great warming in the mouth but doesn't stick around too long after the finish. Not as heave as a barrel aged stout, so it feels much lighter than you would expect.

O: as I said earlier, I do not normally like porters. This, however, is a very good barrel aged example. I love when beers have wax on top, so that adds to the appearance. Go try this, it is a great pour, and it is something that I rarely try. The beauty of trading.

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

A-dark brown color with a nice light brown head and some lacing

S-chocolate, brown sugar, bourbon, little oak

T-dark malt, chocolate, bourbon, little coffee, oak, caramel

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-good blend and balance of flavors, smooth and enjoyable

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Photo of amalburg
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

opened up a bottle from 2014. Smells great, looks great, but there is an off taste that I can not explain. I liked this a lot more without a year of being sat in my basement.

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Photo of did3376
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Libby stout glass. No bottle date present, assuming 2013.

A: Deep, dark brown, medium thick pour. About a finger of head that dissipates quickly, leaving just a slight covering across the surface. Mild lacing.

S: Bourbon, dark chocolate, roasted malt.

T: Fairly heavy bourbon taste up front fading to dark chocolate and a coffee finish.

M: Smooth as silk, mild carbonation. Medium heavy. No real notice of the alcohol for a 12% beer.

O: Very good. Definitely starts bourbon heavy, but some of the complexities that follow are quite enjoyable, combined with a silky smooth delivery. Certainly worth a try. It would be interesting to see what some age would do to this. Cut the wax with a sharp knife just below the cap, and had no problem.

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

What a pain to get the wax off the cap! Otherwise quite good. Guess they call this a porter at 12%. Tastes more like a stout to me. Lots of chocolate notes in the noise and north. Heavy booze taste should dissipate after some time. Pretty darn good. Excited for this to age a bit.

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

No bottling date that I can find.

A: Pours a dark brown, not quite black. Good sized and frothy medium brown head. Head fades out pretty quickly, decent thin walls of lacing though. Decent retention too.

S: Nice heavy bourbon aroma. Caramel, vanilla, toffee and oak. Toasted sugars too. Mild charry chocolate from the roasted malt but it's mostly bourbon here.

T: Heavy on the bourbon flavors up front but not too hot at the same time. Heavy toffee and caramel for sure. Oaky, very oaky. Especially in the finish, with just a touch of toasted sugar to go with it. Roasted malt is pretty mild, with some decent chocolate and some char in the middle primarily. Finish is all oak and a little char, can practically taste the pulp. Lingering oaky aftertaste with just the lightest touch of char and chocolate.

M: Heavy but not too viscous or sweet. Nice and smooth.

O: Very tasty bourbon barrel porter. The base beer seems like it has a bit of a hard time holding its own against the heavy bourbon flavors. It seems the roasted malt character just doesn't have the same strength that it would have in a similar stout, and thus gets lost a little. It's not bad, don't get me wrong, just heavy on the bourbon flavors with complimentary porter characteristics (and not the other way around, like it usually goes). Very oaky in general too, if that's your sort of thing.

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle to snifter 1finger mocha head settled nicely, dsark black like any imperial stout

Aroma - bourbon vanilla molasses dark fruits

Taste - sweetness, toffee, oak, toasted coconut, I think im even getting a faint cherry flavor, little bit of whiskey on the finish. Amazing taste

Mouthfeel - nice approacble body , quite a bit lighter than I'd expect for 12%, creamy and great smooth finish

Overall this is a fantastic BA beer. I've been hesitant to buy it given the price tag but was fortunate to score this as an extra. I will most likely pick this up in the future when I feel like splurging definitely a must try at least once

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Photo of kdahnke123
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.
A - Moderately viscous dark brown pour. A one finger head medium brown head dissipated to a long lasting lacing.
S - Up front bourbon with malt, carmel and vanilla.
T - Similar to the smell with a sharp bourbon tang up front, moderate malt and medium roast coffee in the middle and the spicy combination of alcohol and hops on the finish.
M - Moderately mouth coating, light carbonation and an astringent teeth cleaning dryness on the finish.
O - Overall a decent porter with an good smell but an overpowering amount of bourbon from a taste perspective.

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Photo of brutusmuktuk
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color with a decently foamy off-white head. Smells and tastes strongly like bourbon. Also has plenty of malts and some hints of chocolate and coffee. Has a full-bodied feel and goes down pretty smooth. A nice drink to warm you up, but it is definitely strong.

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Photo of guityler83
3.02/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: The head built in the glass just shy of a finger tall and quickly fell into the black liquid. The tan foam left some stepped lacing before it fell and a dusting on top. Although very dark and black at first glance, peaks of dark mahogany around the edges come out. And of course some of the wax fell in my glass.. it took a ridiculous amount of time to get it open even.

S: Light milk chocolate aroma with a kind of milky lactose aroma? Oak barrel character is very low and there is some earthy hop aroma present. Light overall.

T: The base beer has mild milk chocolate flavor with a chalky flavor. The bitterness comes off fairly assertive with the barrel flavors adding to the hop bitterness. The barrel flavor itself is moderate and keeps with the vanilla and caramel standards. Soy sauce character in the finish.

M: Carbonation is low to mild. Defiantly getting some alcohol warming. Body is moderate and there is a sharp bitting character that comes off as bitterness, but not the normal hop bitterness, more of a drying mouth feel from the barrel sugars? Guessing here. Also gets slightly creamy as the sips get bigger.

O: I picked this up on a trip to Michigan on a recommendation from the store owner (it's the last bottle!) but have to say this fell flat for me. If the aroma was better and some of the off flavors I was picking up (maybe it was age, or an infected bottle?) were fixed it probably would be a very solid beer. But this one.. not so much.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In review is a 2011 vintage.

A - Pours dark brown/black with a thick toffee colored ring and very thick layer of creamy foam on top.

S - Dark sweet cocoa, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon, and oak.

T - Bourbon is upfront and dominant in this beer, after that...dark cocoa malt, vanilla, caramel, light char, some dark fruit, followed by additional bourbon.

M - Medium body and lip smacking sticky with gentle carbonation that's borderline silky.

O - Nice job Arcadia, 'really held up well for being a few years old, would like another one of these but only have one. The bourbon is pretty bold so if you enjoy that type of thing this will be a beer for you.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
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 JoEBoBpr
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter from a 12oz bottle.
Purchased in the winter of 2013.

The brew pours a slightly viscous dark brown and mahogany that when in concentrated quantities looks pure black and lets not light through. There is a nice thin light tan/brown head that forms that is pretty dense but recedes very quickly.

Aroma starts off with some notes of milk and dark chocolate. This is then followed by some barrel notes of caramel and slight toffee along with some barrel wood and heat. Upon warming and further inspection the cocoa notes open up a bit more. Leading to a nice richness that is warming and welcoming. Notes of vanilla spice and wood from the Bourbon barrels compliment and finishes

Flavor is similar to nose. Nice, delicious notes of coca powder, bakers chocolate and some nice dark chocolate bitterness are present. Then some strong sweetness is present with notes of toffee and some boozy heat. The finish brings back the notes of coca and some nice clean woody notes and vanilla spice from the barrel. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I would like but its till medium. There is some nice slight roast that gives the brew a bitter coffee finish with some nice mocha hints.

This is a nice porter that rested in bourbon barrels. It is nice and chocolaty with some good coffee roast to finish. Wish it felt a bit thicker.

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Photo of rudzud
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a trade a LONG time ago. This possibly a '11 vintage, but I think its a '12. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice dark brown nearly black hue with a thin wuater inch mocha head that faded rather quickly to leave light wisps and a thin halo.

S - Aromas of Oak, vanilla, chocolate, darker fruits, faint faint alcohol. Nice whiskey notes and some faint malty sweetness.

T - Taste is very, very nice vanilla and bourbon sweetness. Caramel, nice lightly bitter coffee/char finish. Alcohol is hidden nicely but does creep. Nice chocolate notes. Drinks like chocolate bourbon, super mellow, with a light char/espresso finish. Woah.

M - Mouthfeel is super oily/rich. Silky, velvet, dangerously drinkable.

O - Overall this is an insanely good beer. Wish I had another one, or atleast had cracked this next to a BA Framinghammer to compare to. My goodness was this delicious.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 291 ratings.