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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter - Arcadia Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

702 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 702
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 139
Gots: 251 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jale on 02-01-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 702 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JimmyW
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Delirium snifter from 12oz bottle.

Beautiful dark dark brown to black color with a nice brown head.

Black Cherries! Smells of black cherries with a soft bourbon aroma behind it. As it warms up a bit, I get more sweet dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, caramel and oak.

Taste is very mild. I can taste bourbon, but not too much heat from alcohol. This is delicious. Must drink this one closer to room temperature to fully experience all this beer has to offer. Sweet dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, bourbon and oak all equally present without any one flavor dominating over another.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than expected, but not a bad thing. Low carbonation, but again not a bad thing. Has a certain creaminess to it that is momentarily disrupted by somewhat harsh, but pleasant oakiness. I'm not sure that makes sense, but that's what I get from this beer.

This is very drinkable. I need to force myself to take my time drinking this one. So easy to drink. If drunk too fast, however, I'd surely miss out on the wonderful changes this beer goes through in the 45 minutes I had with it.

JimmyW, May 22, 2011
Photo of GregSVT
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours on the lighter side of black with a tan head that fades to a ring and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is mainly cocoa and chocolate malt with a muted vanilla aroma in the background. Smells a lot like chocolate milk.

T: The taste is mostly the same with notes of cocoa, muted milk chocolate and vanilla. I get some molasses in the end but it's not too apparent. I was expecting a bigger bourbon component to this one after the praise it got.

M: The feel is medium bodied and a bit creamy. The carbonation is big and bubbly which takes away from the body a bit...could be slightly thicker.

O: This actually reminded me of Rahr's BA Winter Warmer. I have a feeling the beer was only aged for around 3 months in the barrels like the Rahr beer. It's tasty and I enjoyed it but I would love to see it aged a bit longer in the barrels to get more of that charred oak and bourbon flavor in there.

GregSVT, May 21, 2011
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.23/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a translucent cola brown, but opaque in the glass. Slim sudsy tan head that soon dissolves into a faint fog and a dirty halo

Smell -- Cocoa and molasses, bourbon, sticky oak, and vanillin. The base beer is difficult to pick out from the barrel notes, save some roast malt sweetness.

Taste -- Very much barrel-forward, with lots of sour mash bourbon, woody oak, and vanillin. The base lends flavors of roast malt, cocoa, and some molasses. It does a fair job of masking the alcohol, though it still slightly boozy. Finishing bite of boozy alcohol, vanilla, herbal hops, and roast malt.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with ample carbonation. Not over-carbonated, but mellower bubbles would've been preferred. Also slightly thin. Alcohol presence is moderate for 12% abv.

Overall -- There seems to have been a lot of hoopla when this was released, but I'm not seeing the appeal. It's not bad by any means, but I'm really not floored. The barrel really overwhelms the base beer, and I'm willing to guess that this would've been better as a partial BA blend. In any case, it was definitely worth the cost to try this handsome bottle.

My suggestion is to pick up a bottle of you have it available, but keep your expectations grounded.

yeahnatenelson, May 20, 2011
Photo of techfed87
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For a beer that is barrel aged, this one still has a pretty big head to it. Color is jet black. Smell is malty, but noticeably stronger than the regular baltic porter.

First sip is definitely a hum-dinger. This is a very aggressive baltic porter with big flavor notes that I haven't seen anywhere else. Mouthfeel is enormous and full of different flavors, but not so audacious as to be overwhelming.

One of the few barrel aged beers that I can say that the barrel aging actually mellows the beer. A very good beer.

techfed87, May 17, 2011
Photo of gnemesis
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle pored into snifter on 04/11/11.
Pours black with dark brown edges and topped with a thin mocha head. Dissipates quickly and recedes leaving little lace. The nose of this beer is pretty good: notes of bourbon, oak, coffee, caramel, and bitter chocolate. I pick up bourbon immediately and it follows up with more coffee, chocolate, caramel, plus some black licorice. This beer is medium to full in body, and carbed on the low side. This ale was a tasty treat! I will seek more for aging and maturing.

gnemesis, May 16, 2011
Photo of drumminbrewer
3.18/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

50 ibu's 12%abv

Pours quickly with a large, elegant head. Solid head retention which laces the glass well.

Malty nose...sweet bread, raisins, vanilla and some boos.

First sip. MUCH thinner body than I was expecting. Quite unexpected. Flavor profile sits most strongly on the back of my tongue. Burned coffee, charcoal, vanilla and a very present alcohol taste (maybe not enough malt to hide behind?)

Long finish, but rather astringent and out of balance.

Not a bad beer, but I think it kind of loses it's identity as a porter through excessive alcohol presence. I'll let one sit for a year then give it another shot.

drumminbrewer, May 15, 2011
Photo of colforbin73
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer is so complex... at once it is satisfying and sweet and aged.... this is a cured beer for those who need to be cured. delicious stuff....

pours a luscious brown black with minimal carbonation. pulls up a 1/2 finger tan head that fizzles out quick. the aroma is a knock-out -- bourbon barrel and deep sweet roasted malt. the texture is thick ale, but the flavors are very deep: roasty chocolate, dried fruit, dark roasted coffee bitterness.... and a silky sweet undertone from the barrel aging. woody, rich and aged.... this beer delivers.

the bitterness is about right, but could be a little less. the malts are singing a rich aria in this beer -- sloshy and thick i want to just bask in their roasty sweet side -- tone the bitterness down one TICK and this is a 5.

colforbin73, May 12, 2011
Photo of SirBenton
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer, holy crap. Where to begin...

Pours great with a deep rich color lighter towards the top and bottom. the head is lightly colored and stays for a good amount of time. the smell blew me away. smells like a great bourbon with vanilla and a slight hint of oak and smokeyness followed by a hit of alcohol. vanilla, chocolate, espresso, oak and a buttery taste are all blended magnificently with the vanilla and bourbon flavors shining through the most. the feel, when drinking, is phenomenal. It lingers and leaves the tastes to dance upon your taste buds. This is such a great beer and the best barrel aged beer I've had.

SirBenton, May 11, 2011
Photo of n2185
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with only a half-finger of tan head even with a rough pour. It quickly fades into nothing, leaving no lacing behind.

S: Some slight roasted malt aromas at first followed by lots of sweet vanilla, some touches of caramel, and then a hefty serving of oak and bourbon.

T: Similar to the aroma, only a touch of roasted malt followed by lots of vanilla with some caramel. Oak, bourbon, and some toffee notes bring up the finish. Surprisingly, it's not extremely sweet or boozy, so those are nicely balanced.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer is oily-slick in the mouth.

O: A good, but not great beer. The bourbon notes are well-balanced so that they don't become too sweet or boozy, but I really wish I could get more from the porter that went into the barrels.

n2185, May 09, 2011
Photo of boomer31
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep brown, near black in the center with brown edges. Thinner than anticipated. Small beige bubble disappear quickly

S - Bourbon first then a hint of chocolate. As it warms the wood character and tanis come forward. Very nice

T - Big chocolate then comes the bourbon. This one is pretty hot which adds a nice spice to the taste.

M - Low carb, rather thin

O - Overall a solid beer. Good bourbon character. The nose keeps getting better. The best beer I've had from Arcadia. Happy I've got another to sit on. The edges may round a bit with a year or two.

boomer31, May 09, 2011
Photo of b3shine
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to shifter. Anyone who gives this beer less than an A is flat out wrong. Unless they don't like the type, in which case they shouldn't be drinking it in the first place. The beer is dark and robust in color. Smell is good, with malt and bourbon present. Tastes great. All the great characteristics of a porter, souped up from bourbon barreling. Mouthfeel is good - definitely a sipping beer. Enjoy at stout-like temperature. This beer is excellent. I'm not sure how it had flown under my radar, especially being from SWMI and very familiar with Arcadia, but it had (past tense). I'll be going back for more soon, just to make sure I can hold on to a few for special occasions.

b3shine, May 08, 2011
Photo of abecall98
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ice never heard of this brewery, or this beer. All I know is that I got this from Kzoobrew in just a cool back and fourth beer send, no set trade.

A - wow, pours perfect for a BAL-Aged Porter. The beer pours a rich dark black, like melted cocoa. The tab head grabs the bottle, and my sniffer continues to shed bubbles.

S - rather lacking. Not much going on in here. The smell is sweet and slightly like dark fruits. Not much bourbon, heat, or malt noticeable.

T - heebus jeebus. The taste is just divine. There is bourbon, I taste dark fruits, I taste candied sugar, smokey and roasted malts are noticeable. There is even hints of cocoa and black licorice. So much going on in this beer.

M - perfect. Barrel Aged stouts should be carbonated, but overly carbonated barrel aged beers (besides sours) can be a deal breaker. This beer combines a perfect carbonation level with a smooth and tasty creaminess.

O - what the hell is this beer? How have I never heard of this delicious beer?!

abecall98, May 07, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - It pours a visibly oily brown-black, and is capped with a smattering of mocha bubbles.

S - The nose is right in line with what you'd expect from a BA Stout (or Porter, in this case) replete with vanilla, toffee and a healthy note of earthy oak. Cocoa and coffee round out the nose.

T - The most striking thing about the flavor is the way it hides the listed 12% ABV; I was beffuddled to see the strength of this brew, because it really does not come across as potent or boozy. The mainstay of the brew is a sweetly roasty character that suggests cocoa, coffee and toffee; the accentuating barrel-imparted flavors are of nearly equal strength and convey sweetly earthy oak, vanilla and graham cracker.

M - Big, sticky and rich.

O - This is a very nice beer, especially considering it is a BA brew, available off-the-shelf.

ktrillionaire, May 06, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

MasterSki, May 06, 2011
Photo of GallowsThief
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from RC0032! Huge thanks!

Poured into my Duvel tulip out of a 12 oz. bottle sealed in red wax.

A – Deep dark brown on pour with a small tan head that receded fairly quickly.

S – Nice sweet hints of vanilla, chocolate and bourbon. Really great smell.

T – Big vanilla taste initially. Brown sugar with warming bourbon flavor. Caramel. Roasty malts. Chocolate and cocoa. Finishes with great alcohol warming all the way down at the end. Well balanced all together. Perfectly balanced.

M – Light to medium bodied. Sticky. Solid carbonation.

O – I loved this. Just a wonderful porter. Great tasting. Will need more and soon.

GallowsThief, May 06, 2011
Photo of Boto
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up at Binny’s across from Goose Island: This one pours an inky, dark brown color. There was just a wisp of a tan head that went away immediately. The nose is quite good. Only traces of the bourbon. I also get caramel, chocolate, some vanilla, roastiness and some faint dark fruits. The taste is good. a good integration of the caramel and bourbon, with the latter only mildly showing up in the aftertaste. Hardly any sweetness at all, with some bitterness in the finish. Some roasted notes, chocolate. Nothing really overpowering or standing out. A bit of a subtle complexity to it. I’d buy another!

Boto, May 03, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

WVbeergeek, May 02, 2011
Photo of Bung
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz, red wax.
The usual suspects, black with brown hints. Sturdy looking. Quite thin layer of light tan head. Retains very well though.

Aroma has caramel, oak, chocolate. Very light peat, bourbon, vanilla.

Taste, very well blended caramel, vanilla, bourbon-oak. Fades to more chocolate, roast. Finishes with cocoa, roast malt, faint coffee.

Very smooth lighter side of medium body. Coats nicely. Creamy, warming a little bit. Just a tad thin.

One of the better Baltics I've had in a while. Only drawback is that it is a bit warm yet. This should age pretty well I'd guess.

Bung, May 01, 2011
Photo of starrdogg
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JohnB87 for trading me this one.

A: Pours a dark brownish black with a pretty substantial fluffy tan head.

S: Smells of a sweet bourbon and roasted malt. Smell is not overpowering, but it's a very pleasant aroma.

T: The sweet bourbon smell carries over into the flavor. There's also a good amount of oak and roasted, chocolatey malts. The flavors are all pretty well-balanced, none are particularly overpowering, but on the other hand, none really stand out. The bourbon flavor is lacking somewhat, as is the base beer flavor. It's good, but nothing outstanding. There's also a good amount of booziness.

M: For a beer this big, this beer actually has a little thinner mouthfeel than it should have. If it had a thicker body, it would carry the flavor a little bit better.

O: This is a good, but not great bourbon barrel porter. It's a little too boozy and thin-bodied and the bourbon flavor comes up a little short. An outstanding base beer flavor probably could have overcome the other shortcomings, but the base beer also isn't incredible.

starrdogg, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brownish black with carb rising along the sides to a thinly covered latte looking cap.
Aroma is not as bourbon prominant as i was expecting for a 12% BA porter, the bourbon is well integrated and lets roast and vanilla come on out into the front lines.
Now, after we get to take a sip the alcohol comes out, there is a rough fusel edge to the alcohol that hides the vanilla some and gets muddled with the roasty malts and creates a bitter dark chocolate character. I am not one who complains to much about heat and fusel attributes, and overall i dig these flavors, and if the alcohol was more refined this would be an absolute knockout.

A good beer, i betcha with 8 months to a year for the heat to smooth out, this will be sublime, if you get some, only drink one now for referance, and bust them open next spring or 2 falls from now, i expect great things.

ChadQuest, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of nkersten
2.98/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into Darkness tulip. Black with brown edges and a tiny brown cap that fades quickly to a collar. Smell is cheap bourbon, sweet oak, artificial fruit flavored candy, some dark roasted malts. Taste is much different, slightly brash oak flavor at first, vanilla, toasted oak, alcohol, bourbon, finishing with a hot burn. Mouthfeel is medium to thin with a medium carbonation. Overall not a terrible beer but certainly not worth $7 for a 12oz bottle. Definitley a bit hot and overcaronated, maybe this will get better with a little time.

nkersten, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of badboyrsl84
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours - Jet black with a tiny tan head

Smell - Tons of bourbon in this one!! I love the smell of bourbon and this one does it right, Lots of vanilla, oakyness, and some alcohol & chocolate.

Taste - I get bourbon upfront. Chocolate, almond, and vanilla in the middle. It finishes with a smooth chocolate cake and vanilla oakyness.

Mouthfeel - a little more carbonation than I like in my BA stouts but not out of control. the 12% abv hides till the very end with a small amount of bur in the throat.

Overall - one of the best BA porters I've had. I LIKE!!!

badboyrsl84, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of Brent
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

While I've sampled a number of barrel aged stouts, this a first barrel aged porter for me. The difference was quite evident in a lighter body and mouthfeel than the stouts usually carry. The bourbon note was pronounced, but not overbearing. Some well-moderated sweetness in the malt, with a bit of brown sugar and some faint vanilla notes. Alchohol was very well integrated into the flavor profile.

Brent, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium to dark brown body with red highlights and a gushing / fizzy tan colored head. This beer looks like can of pop poured into a glass. I am used to darker colored porters, i was surprised by the color.

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla, and cola.

Taste: Nice bourbon notes pairing up with the malts. Dark fruits and milk chocolates. Vanilla and wood. Flavors well integrated. An unusual cola aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thin, but sticky. Alot of carbonation for a barrel aged beer. Medium body.

Overall: Nice beer just needs more backbone with a thicker body. It reminds me of a doppelbock and its dangerously drinkable. No much booziness considering it being 12%.

4DAloveofSTOUT, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, nearly black. 1 finger head, spotty lacing

S: big boozy, bourbon smoked barrel aroma, hint of toffee, nuts perhaps bitter chocolate.

T: sweet vanilla and bourbon up front, strong boozy flavor, firm malt body, mild hint of roasted/smoky finish.

M: medium body, slight sticky finish. Wish it was a little heavier in body for such powerful aroma and flavor.

O: Very good, bit more boozy than I like. Glad I split this with my best friend, he loves porters. Don't think I could have more than one of these. By far the best Arcadia brew I have tried.


BeerLover99, Apr 24, 2011
Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 702 ratings.