Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter - Arcadia Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck PorterBourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter

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757 Ratings
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Ratings: 757
Reviews: 267
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 142
Gots: 273 | FT: 26
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: 757 | Reviews: 267 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adamette
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Live review. Poured from the red wax dipped 12 oz. bottle that I bought for $7.99 from World Wines & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago into my Orval silver rimmed chalice.

A All too brief but great looking medium brown head (it lasted about 5 seconds) which then dissipated into a single row of bubbles around the top of the glass. All of that over an absolute black body that lets no light through even in front of direct light. At least a good look and although I am aware that the elevated ABV of 12% would probably not be conducive to a long lasting head I really wanted it to stick around because it looked so cool. Anyway, the look is a good one for the style. 4.0

S Certainly sweet bourbon notes rise up from the now headless beer. Dark roast malt appears behind the sweet bourbon smells. I really like the smell of this beer. 4.5

T Really very smooth if somewhat boozy taste of very sweet bourbon with an oaken nature to it. It reminds me of some of the higher rated Bourbon Barrel aged stouts and that should be taken as a compliment for sure. I think that I really like the choice of a porter (instead of the more typical stout) since a porter is more able to be influenced by the bourbon taste. In other words, the influence of the bourbon barrels comes through better with this style. That brings to mind one of my all time favorite beers which is also bourbon barrel aged but is also not a stout, the sublime Allagash Curieux which started out as a triple. 4.5

M Appropriately big and smooth and again the choice of a porter really lets the bourbon feel comes though. 4.0

D Not that great since it is such a big beer, it is pretty darned expensive and it really demands one’s attention. It is not meant to be drank repeatedly anyhow. 3.0

Overall: A nicely crafted BA Porter that is worthy of a try by any BeerAdvocate.

Photo of camil1mj
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this when it first came out and have been sitting on this bottle for a few months.

Poured at cellar temp into my Founder's snifter.

A: Deep, dark chocolately brown. No light permeates this beast. Two finger, fizzy carbonation.

S: Bourbon, bourbon and more bourbon...with a hints of chocolate and caramel. Delicious!

T: Immediate bourbon heat, although it is smoother than it was a few months ago. The back end leaves you with chocolate malt.

M: If I had one critique, this would be it. I know it is a porter, so it fits the style. I just wish it was thicker. Carbonation is a little heavy too.

O: The very best Arcadia has to offer. Love it. I hope it get released again.

Photo of Chaney
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Lewis1rg for sending me this awesome brew!

Popped open from a wax sealed bottle and split with my pal Huhzubendah.

A: Black as night, with very anemic mocha head that died down quickly, turning the brew into a prune juice-looking concoction.

S: Bourbon coconut scent and then some! The bourbon mixed with some dark fruit and cocoa kept it from being too in-your-face.

T: A good amount of candy-like alcohol warming with a chocolate milk aftertaste. Not too sweet... more like a fudge coconut delight!

M: VERY low carbonation, but I liked that about this one in that it allow me to explore the flavors and complexities more. Nice bourbon feel, thick, and with a chocolate covered cherry style sweetness.

O: After I got this bottle in a trade a couple of months ago, only then did I here the great buzz surrounding it. Believe me: That good buzz is more than warranted!

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of cptnspeed1
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter.

A: Dark brown to the point of being nearly black. Half inch of tan head. Looks reasonably thick on the pour.

S: Lots of bourbon. Vanilla with a slightly boozy smell. A little oak there as well. Much more bourbon than base beer.

T: Like the smell, the bourbon characteristics overtake the base beer, although not necessarily in a bad way. Lots of vanilla, some oak, a slight hint of dark chocolate. The vanilla lends a bit of sweetness to the flavor.

M: Coats nicely, and is thick but not super thick. A nearly perfect consistency, but there is a slight alcohol feel to it at the end.

O: I like it. The 12% is hidden decently well. I think there is more booze in the smell than the taste, and the booze that does hit the mouth is more towards the finish. A good consistency and good flavor that features the bourbon nicely. I haven't had the base beer before, and wonder how much flavor it has since it was pretty muted, but overall a good beer.

Photo of plfahey
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep, dark brown color with slight ruby highlights. It is so dark that it's difficult to ascertain clarity, but it appears moderately clear. Moderate brown head has fair retention at best, and dissipates to a thin lace.

Aroma-Smells fantastic-Lots of oak, moderate, smoky bourbon, sweet molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and just the faintest trace of alcohol heat. Light notes of chocolate, caramel, and faint dark fruit (plums/raisins) present as well.

Flavor-Sweet molasses up front, with loads of bourbon and oak in the mid-palate. In the finish, the porter character shows through, with notes of caramel and chocolate, with bourbon, smoke, and wood carrying through into the drawn out finish. Slight vanilla tones emerge on the palate with time. Malt sweetness is balanced by high alcohol a moderate hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body with moderate carbonation. Verges on being hot, but manages to be pleasantly (albeit substantially) warming. Leaves the tongue and entire mouth feeling a little bit numbed by the high alcohol.

I'm generally not a fan of bourbon-barrel aged beers, because they often end up being too bourbony. This one manages to bring a fair amount of bourbon character while still maintaining its integrity as a porter. If it had anymore bourbon character, it would probably be too much for me, but as it stands it's pretty damn tasty. A little hot right now, but in a year or two I imagine this would be drinking perfectly.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just an excellent packaging on this, red wax, nice label.
Deep mahogany black, thin kahki head that dissipates rather quickly. This thing just screams bourbon which immediately lures me in. I cant say ive had a barrel aged porter like this before but im digging it already. Thick molasses and sap, a decent amount of alcohol, and a lingering but very tolerable slap to the back of the throat make this a delicious sipper. As it warms, it becomes so balanced despite the ABV and bourbon, i really dont think it could get much better. Truly tasty as hell.

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into cervoise

This beer pours a deep black with very slight brown edging. Almost no head formation or lacing, a little bit of mocha brown but didn't linger. Nice deep bourbon nose, slight burn. Helpful vanilla, oak and molasses. Taste is much the same. Quite strong bourbon flavour accompanied by the vanilla and molasses. Some currants and slight hop citric tang. Mouthfeel was a bit too warming but decently smooth. Overall a tasty brew, liked that waxed cap, wish I had another for the cellar...

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours completely pitch black with not a chance of any light coming through. A frothy white-tan head lovingly crowns the beer. Smells bourbon easily dominate the nose with some malt contributing to the overall aroma. First sip is bitter with a plenty of bourbon notes taking charge. Chocolate, vanilla and some dark fruits – plum in particular are present. Mouthfeel really makes his beer rock. It is super creamy and worth noting. Perfectly carbonated with a fairly thick body for the style. ABV is well hidden. This is World Class. Worthy of being sought out. Simply Flawless!

Photo of 7ways
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Romulux for the great extra as always. If I had known this was going to be so good I would have waited to share it with friends instead of drinking it by myself.

Jesus that's a black beer. The pink elephants look like they are leaping off the glass. Fairly resilient light brown head that leaves a slow-mo trail of thick lace.

This porter has one of those aromas that make you talk out loud to yourself (you know exactly what I mean, don't deny it). The bourbon is in its right place, behind the chocolatey malt and black cherry candy.

Bourbon, anise, and roasty malt upfront, followed by a buttery burnt vanilla finish. I wish the whiskey wasn't quite so bold, it overwhelms the chocolate I smelled. I can't shake the sensation that someone poured an 1/8 oz of Evan into my beer. It leaves behind a slight astringency, but it fades soon after swallowing, leaving a warming butter rum aftertaste.

Crisp carbonation while being decidedly full bodied. Confusing, and quite nice.

Six ounces of this would have been quite enough, and quite gratifying.

Photo of Preismj
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: nice tan that the light shines through well as you hold it up. tan head with a bunch of sticky lacing here.

s: of wood and coffee and toffee and strong malt sweetness.

t: follows the nose very well. A tremendous sweetness from the bourbon aging here. this is very pleasant and easy to take down. I'm getting all sweetness from the bourbon and little heat.

m: a great balance here. Not too thick, not too thin and nice and sticky on the palette. leaves my mouth wet and waiting for more...though i wish it had a slight bit of bitterness on the finale.

o: delicious and quenching considering. very sweet but welcome and it is balanced well.

Photo of sidetracked
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin, light brown head that dissipates quickly but lingers around the edges.

Aroma is hard to exactly place. Good bourbon presence mixed with sweetness, oak, vanilla, and some chocolate. Light alcohol.

Upfront taste is sweet roasted malts, caramel, dark dried fruit. Roasty malt middle. Bourbon and wood come in at the finish to mix with the roasted malts and a little molasses. Finish is slightly sweet. Some lingering alcohol heat.

Full bodied with low carbonation. A little sticky and syrupy, but not chewy.

Good balance of bourbon flavor. Really easy to drink as it stays continually interesting. Very enjoyable.


Photo of sisuspeed
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to spycow for the bottle!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Decently dark body with just under a fingers worth of creamy tan head. Good lacing. Head fades somewhat, but a thin film maintains.

Sweet, vanilla-chocolate, bourbon on the nose. Slightly boozy with some well roasted malts and a hint of dark fruit. Quite pleasant. Nice use of the bourbon.

Creamy cocoa mixed with vanilla and honey-laced bourbon. Light booze and fig towards the finish. Some oak comes through with the bourbon. Hint of smoked malt. Solid.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with some warming alcohol on the finish. This would be excellent if the body were just a tad thicker and if the carbonation were half a notch lighter, but quite good as is.

Overall, I'm really impressed with this beer. I've never heard of Arcadia Brewing before this, but this beer is well executed and delivers for the style. All of the components are well balanced and drinkability is quite high for 12% ABV. I could easily finish a 12 oz bottle by myself and wouldn't mind having another. Definitely worth picking up a bottle or two.

Photo of abuliarose
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter, revealing black body under a finger of creamy tan-ish head. Smells bourbon-sweet with a nice toasted and milk chocolaty base. Promising smells and strong for a porter.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Lots of roasty bourbon and vanilla up front with a long malty finish that has almost a tang (not lacto though) to it reminiscent of other baltics. Mouthfeel is almost heavy and a little creamy with a tingly voluminous carbonation. Very enjoyable on a sip-by-sip basis.

Overall I really liked this beer. Lots of flavors, all of them good.

Photo of FosterJM
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

580th Review on BA
Bottle to 6 oz snifter
12 oz, twist off cap & wax

Thanks to GuruDel for busting this one out.

App- A chocolatey brown color with a khaki, off brown 1 ½ finger head. Quite quick to recede as well. Just a touch of lace.

Smell- Very nice barrel aged beer. Has a lot of vanilla, oak and booze. Not a smell of traditional porter to be found. Smells like a big stout.

Taste- Taste follows the nose. Very tasty suprise beer. Wasn't expecting as much pop in the flavors as I got. Was very balanced, barrely (yes its a word) boozy and warm.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated with a lot of vanilla and boozy flavors remaining.

Drink- This was damn good. It was smooth, silky, boozy and flavorful. A welcome addition to a nice small tasting and I would love to have this again.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of sholland119
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind BIF #5, Blind beer #10, thanks to abraxel. This one is a 12 oz.-ish, red wax dipped bottle, poured into our Free the Hops snifters.

A-This one pours a deep, dark brown with a very little bit of off white head and no lacing.

S-Sweet toasted marshmallow and caramel and some booziness. I'm gonna like this one.

T-Toasted marshmallow , caramel, brandy, some hints of blueberry even. This is one tasty beverage. Nicely warm with alcohol in the finish, but not overly so. Delicious.

M-Medium bodied, some lingering booziness.

O-This is really delicious. I loved it! Gimme more!


Photo of gford217
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz red wax capped bottle.

Pour is just short of black, dark chocolate brown with a creamy beige head that it's for a while on top leaving decent lacing.

Hello bourbon! Nose is all about the barrel character, with vanilla and booze, but the underlying impy porter aromas are still there with some bakers chocolate and overripe dark fruits. Nice aroma.

Taste is also really heavy on the bourbon. In fact, I get less of the underlying porter in the taste. Just lots of bourbon heat, oak and vanilla with only faint chocolate and roasted malts in the background.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with good carbonation and goes down really easy for a 12% beer. It's got a boozy character but it still comes across as drinkable if that makes sense.

This is a really nice BA porter, though you really need to like bourbon to enjoy it. Luckily, I'm a bourbon fan so this one worked for me in general. Not in the league of the best Baltic porters but still a great effort from Arcadia.

Photo of alpinebryant
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour is a slightly flat bakers chocolate colr with a tiny head of just tan at the edges and some lacing.

Aroma is barrel aged goodness with vanilla oak standing out, mixing with bourbon.

Taste is fantastic. Bourbon barrel, vanilla oak, vanilla beans, chocolate, cocoa, slight bittersweet malt flavors and a bit of hop presence.

For such a great tasting beer, the mouthfeel is slightly disappointing. At 12%, I could see the booze watering down the thickness a few notches, just probably do not envision it being this light in mouthfeel based on all of the varying flavors in this great beer.
Great tasting beer that I had not really had on my radar before receiving it in a trade.

Photo of emmasdad
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this one as an extra from jhamm in a recent trade. Shared with schmittymack the other night. Very smooth, with well-hidden alcohol (I was shocked when I looked at the alcohol on the bottle).

Poured a dark brown, almost black, color, with a thin brown head. Aromas of roasted malt, bourbon, oak and milk chocolate. Medium to full bodied, with flavors of dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak and roasted malt. Excellent.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich and long barred aged porter. A nice one for lovers of bourbon aged brews.

Presentation: 12 oz very dark brown, almost black, bottle with a waxed screw cap. Sober and balanced dark label with the name of the brew and characteristics and a barrel floating in the darkness. Notes 50 IBUs and 12% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour with dark brown edges, 1/2" shorth lived creamy head, fair surface memory ring and minimal splices of lacing.

S - Nice burbonesque nose, thick caramel coating chocolate, charred oak note, back to embracing bourbon...

T - Pleasing bourbon aged malty sense, caramel, vanilla, lightly charred wood hint, plenty of chocolate, even a distant coffee touch in the far horizon as it comes back to embrace again the boozy sense.

M - Medium/full body, sometimes a touch thin given the brew, with soft and subdued carbonation, creamy range with a boozy finish that is assertive but pleasantly integrated.

O - Nice sipper, sweet, boozy, nicely complex and long in the palate.

Notes: Nice and rich barrel aged offering. For what is paid typically for these types of brews the quality/price ration is quite phenomenal and made me immediately think of why I did not have a few more of these bottles around. Lesson learned for next time… The Bourbon aging and blending has worked well here, maybe not as nicely as the nose but a very recommendable brew in any case.

Photo of emerge077
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
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...

Photo of Urbancaver
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear brown with an orangish reddish tint and a nice solid light brown head. Very pretty pour. Smells bourbon heavy on the nose. Lots of vanilla and oak on the nose and tongue. The malt backbone is subtle and almost none existant on the tongue. the oak hits first and strongest with some light vanilla undertones. The booziness hits a bit hard but overall is a pretty solid brew. I would definitely drink it again

Photo of EgadBananas
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to my bro JM03 for the hookup!

A - Black pour, lighter tan colored head. Nice and creamy. Dissipates to a big grouping of larger bubbles, with nice lacing.

S - Big ol' bourbon notes on the smell! It's not overpowering though, which is a great thing. Some oaky woodiness comes through, along with some candied sweetness, toffee, roasted malts and dark fruits. Small amounts of chocolate and coffee are somewhere in there.

T - Sweet oak and plentiful bourbon notes, again, not overpowering and at the perfect level to enjoy the rest. Along with that, there's nice bits of vanilla, plenty chocolate and little bits of coffee, roasted notes, toffee and rich malt sweetness.

M - Upper medium in body, could be heavier. Very slick and oily, carbonation is good. Nice and creamy.

D/O - Nowhere in there could I pick out the alcohol, which makes this dangerously drinkable.

This was a stellar Barrel Aged Porter! Thanks John!!

Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Mark – thanks!

Pours black with a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate and slightly smaller amounts of vanilla.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as smooth. Slightly dry roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by smooth vanilla flavors. Mild amounts of rich dark chocolate come into play midway through the sip, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was impressed with this beer after not expecting a whole lot based on previous experiences with Arcadia. A well done beer that’s worth a shot.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 757 ratings.