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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.

310 Reviews
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
Reviews: 310 | Hads: 946
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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Photo of king75
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
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

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

Pitch black with a light beige head that dissipates quickly leaving some very nice lacing. Strong bourbon aroma - excellent, but not overpowering, with a hint of vanilla bean . Complex bourbon, expresso, and vanilla flavor, and a little alcohol bite, still goes down smooth. A full bodied porter that has the mouthfeel of a stout. Overall outstanding.

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Photo of chanokokoro
3.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz. red wax-dipped bottle into a snifter branded with the Arcadia Ale Celtic knot symbol

Pours a very dark brown capped by a one and half finger beige head. Above average retention; bits of thin lacing evident. Baker's chocolate and light hints of oak and bourbon on the nose. Opens with dark chocolate, some toffee notes; a bit nutty and biscuity midpalate. Finishes with roasted cocoa powder, light espresso notes, a very light hint of prunes, and pleasant oakiness accent with a bit of bourbon. Medium, slick body with a touch of creaminess. Lower level of carbonation that still makes its presence known. Overall, a solid BA brew that I'd revisit again.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle with the date 2/11 written on it in marker; I've had this one in the cellar for a couple years, so I think 2011 is probably right. Thanks to knifestyles for this bottle.

A: Black body with clear brown highlights and a finger of tan head that dissipates completely and leaves no lace. Not bad for a nearly 3-year-old beer, but not memorable either.

S: Smells a little bit old, but in a nice grape/sherry kind of way. Underneath the fruitiness is a substantial barrel aroma, with notes of marshmallow, vanilla, and oak. Some chocolate and graham cracker as well. Very s'more-esque. Impressive.

T: Even better here, with rich bourbon, toffee, chocolate, marshmallow, oak, and raisin all melding beautifully ahead of a long, clean, oaky finish. Incredibly smooth, particularly after it warms a bit. Delicious.

M: Soft, smooth, and slick, with light carbonation and a medium body. Quite nice.

O: This was a treat, and aged a lot better than I expected. Really tasty stuff.


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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a brown-black color with a very fine head, though overall more carbonation than would be expected considering the extended barrel aging process. Rich aroma of bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, cherry, dark, faintly roasted malt, tobacco, prune, charred wood and alcohol. Flavor profile is rather sweet throughout, with plenty of toffee and brown sugar, combined with dark, dusty chocolate, malt roast, more bourbon and vanilla, and finishing warm and moderately bitter, with a background of earth, cherry, and some detected booziness. Warming and hefty on the palate, smooth and coating, with a very full body, as anticipated. Overall, this was a solid porter considering I do not drink much of this style!

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Photo of champ103
3.29/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a nearly opaque black color with a bit of ruby/brown around the edges. A small, bubbly tan head forms and recedes in a second. Not much lace.
S: Light roast and some coffee. Vanilla and chocolate with a light barrel character in the nose.
T: Again, light roast and coffee. Vanilla beans and chocolate seem to be the big players here. Along with a fusel, almost ethanol like alcohol punch.
M/D: Thin, watery, and low carbonation. Especially for being barrel aged, and the ABV to boot. A slow sipper, and one that will take me a while to get through. To much fusel almost burning alcohol, and not much more to take away from that.

Pretty mediocre here. Not outright bad, just to thin taste and body wise, with to much fusel alcohol.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.