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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 299 | Hads: 916
Photo of Stevedore
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown body, quarter finger offwhite head, fair retention time, minimal lacing. Pours essentially to flatness in a hurry. About as expected for a big BA porter like this.

S- Milk chocolate, bitter roast, bourbon, a bit of oak and mustiness. Mostly bitter roast and chocolate. A reasonbly hefty bourbon barrel nose, hints of vanilla as well.

F- A bit of an astringent bitterness, bourbon flavours, milk chocolate, coffee. Decent complexity, but a hefty amount of bourbon makes this a fairly hot drinker. A bit of umami. It all seems to be a bit muddled in my opinion, but certainly not terrible.

M- Medium-thin bodied, low in carbonation. A bit sticky with some umami on the aftertaste. As mentioned previously, it is quite a hot beer.

O- Not my thing. Decent, but hasn't melded together as well as it could have.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

January 11, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Black, slightly oily, with high viscosity. Appears to be clear, but mostly opaque. A thin layer of light tan head with low retention.

S – Vanilla and bourbon, oak barrel character is up front. Some roastiness and chocolate, caramel. Hop aroma is not discernible.

T – Vanilla along with some bourbon, oaky, alcohol warmth. Roasted but not very bitter malt, with some chocolate in the mix. Hops might be slightly herbal/medicinal, but that may just be the bourbon. Hop bitterness in the finish.

M – Alcohol is a bit harsh. Low carbonation and medium body, relatively thin compared to complexity of aroma and flavor. Very sweet to start and then bitter to finish. A bitter and slightly astringent aftertaste.

O – Has an aroma profile to match the best barrel aged beers, but the alcohol is a bit harsh and the bitterness is not very pleasant in the finish. A tasty but unbalanced beer, to a fault in this case.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very bourbon forward barrel aged porter. The booziness is apparent from the nose right from the get go. Definitely get a lot of toffee, caramel and chocolate here. At 12% this packs a punch, but it goes down easier than the ABV would have you imagine. A sipper with complexity and a smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
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 (the bourbon flavor/alcohol bite) but overall a pretty awesome brew.
Delicious. Recommended.

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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 SerialTicker
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Whopping $8 single -- same price I paid for the BCBS I had a couple weeks back. No wax cap on mine -- instead it had a cute little tin foil red hat. No bottling date at all: no month, no year.

Appearance: Slow pour right down the middle of the glass gave a light, creamy tan head about a finger high. The beer is just what I expect from a porter: clear black/ruby when held to light.

Smell: Just when pouring this I could smell all of the bourbon. They say this is bourbon barrel aged, but are they sure the barrels were empty? Loads of bourbon on the nose with vanilla. Strangely, it's almost as if the roasty notes and faint dark fruit aromas are what's accenting the barrel, rather than the other way around. I really don't mind much, since I don't think much can smell better than a BBA'd stout or porter, but a little less bourbon would make more sense for balancing reasons.

Taste/feel: First things first, very thin. This beer just about has the body of a 5% porter. I was expecting a little more of a body than what this one has... I liken it to skim milk. There's a light prickly carbonation in there, but it almost comes off as a bit flat. The feel just doesn't quite match the ABV... a *little* more body would be great. The taste has plenty of bourbon, but it's not overwhelmingly intense. In fact, the thing I'm most impressed with is the mellowness of the alcohol -- I honestly get nothing in the smell, taste, or feel. I would guess this was something like a 7% BBA'd porter. If you don't like bourbon though, you likely won't like this beer. Some BBA'd beers just accent the base beer: while I haven't had regular Shipwreck Porter (does it exist?), this beer is all about the bourbon with vanilla notes, some oak, and then the coffee and dark chocolate you'd normally expect.

Really nice beer that slowly gets better as it warms. It stays true to being a porter with its mouthfeel, but I still can't help but feel it could use a little bit more body. As it stands, it's way too damn drinkable for an 11-12% beer. This beer is an absolute treat, but at $8 a single, it makes me hesitate... but it also makes me wonder, why do I think twice about getting a 12oz bottle for $8, but I don't double take at the price of $18-$20 for a 22oz bomber?

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Photo of StrongRepublican
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours oily black with almost no head to speak of, but a creamy and lasting lacing on the edge of the glass. Smells of rich caramel and oak with hints of chocolate and booze. Taste is similar to the aroma with a strong Bourbon presence and lots of toast and toffee. Mouth feel is slightly more smooth / lighter than what you'd expect from the malt profile and barrel presence. Finishes sweet and clean.

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Photo of rooskey379
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

A: thicker dark khaki head than expected. Pitch black up to the light.

S: bourbon, booze all day. Vanilla.

T: boozy, bourbon comes through, less complex than expected. Really, it's booze, a hint of choc, and a hint of vanilla. Was expecting more.

M: thinner, felt like coating could have been better.

O: for 9$, I will skip.

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Photo of mchegash
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
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 +1.2%
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 +4.4%

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 +2.9%

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 -3.1%

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 -6.8%

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 +5.6%
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 +4.4%
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 +2.4%
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 -10.4%
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 +7.5%
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 +3.9%
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 +0.2%
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 -15.3%
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 +4.4%
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 +2.9%
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 -1%
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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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.