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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.

713 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 713
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 139
Gots: 252 | 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: 713 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of titosupertramp
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to fsvan for sharing this with me today.

A: Dark brown in color, nearly black. Finger of a tan head. It doesn't leave much of a film or lacing.

S: Has all of the characteristics of a bourbon aged beer with vanilla and oak out in front. Also picked up a chocolate type smell as well. Smells an awful like Boubon County to me.

T: Bourbon flavors are a little more subdued in taste than they were in the smell. Vanilla, oak, dark fruits(plum or raisin) and a little bit of chocolate. Great tasting porter.

M: Full bodied. Leaves a sticky finish.

O: This was excellent and incredibly easy drinking. At no point, in taste or smell, was I aware of the 12% ABV. I would seek this out again. Excellent beer.

titosupertramp, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Wadsey
2.98/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Shipwrecked porter

Wax-dipped 12 oz bottle of most recent vintage poured in a DFH signature glass. 

A: Appears to be deep brown, but when held up to light, clear amber brown is revealed. Wispy brown head and no lacing. 

S: Light aroma of bourbon, dark fruits and alcohol. No appreciable dark malts. 

T: Stronger bourbon than expected hits front of palate, then a vinous wave of dark fruits, especially red grapes and red-grape skins wash through taste. Some damp wood and caramel. A noticeable lack of roasted malts. Not sweet. Finish is somewhat boozy and definitely short-lived.

M: Inappropriately high level of carbonation and thin body. Somewhat warming and quite astringent. 

D: The lack of depth adds to the beer's drinkability but that is more than offset by too much barrel and attenuation. A sipper, for sure, but not a particularly interesting one. 

Thanks to cetherid for the assist!

Wadsey, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of mikeyv35
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date: 04/15/2011
Type: 12oz. Waxed Bottle
Vintage: 2011
Glass: DFH Chalice

Pours a dark mahoghany brown in color w/ a thin off white head w/ good sticky lacing that hangs on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, molasses, oak, bourbon, and vanilla. The taste was chocolate/molasses sweetness up front, closing w/ a huge bourbon, oak, and vanilla characteristic. Thin bodied which I am guessing is due to the big barrel aging affecting the base beer. Would have liked this one a touch thicker. This is a definate sipper, but the 12% ABV is about as well hidden as it can be.

Overall, not really my thing, as I prefer barrel aging that is alot more subtle. However, for what this is, a big barrel dominated brew, it is pretty solid. I would drink this one again if it was available.

mikeyv35, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of FanofHefe
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Waxed bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. No dating on the bottle but doubt this matters too much with a -bal aged brew. Deep, dark, black body, slightly brown around the edges. Small tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving a smattering of lacing.

Rich aroma. Oak up front, followed closely by caramel and roasted malt. Not much bourbon in the aroma for this pour.

Complex mix of flavors. Dark chocolate, molasses, and caramel dominate the sweet flavors. The bourbon flavor follows these with only a slight note of the roasted malts.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light for such a complex mix of flavors. Also, the the alcohol is not nearly as hot as you might expect for the high abv. Overall, I feel this rich mix of flavors would work better in a stout than this porter.

FanofHefe, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of Magpie14
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brew pub

A: cloudy chestnut brown and deep orange tones with plenty of darkness, no seeing through this one. The head, or lack-there-of, is a fuzzy ring and mocha in color. Token lacing

S: heavy malts, caramel, soft oak bourbon notes with hints of vanilla and chocolate. Nose is well behaved looks promising

T: malts hold strong and alcohol is creeping up. Vanilla, cocoa, and coffee all interplay nicely. Things get bitter from the coffee and slightly earthy at the tail end of each sip. I find this brew much like the nose in that it is well behaved and friendly. Nothing too huge going on. Overall, the richness and chunkiness of the malts prop this brew up

M: slick and creamy. For what is going on in the array of flavors you could not ask for much more. Very nice

O: very easy to drink. Gonna get a few bottles before I leave today. Well put together and would serve as an excellent example of the style. Or in another vein, a great introductory beer for a newcomer to the barrel aged style...very accessible

Magpie14, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of wvsabbath
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Black with some tan and a really creamy 1/2 head. Tons of lacing.

Smell - Whiskey, vanilla, coffee, malts, barley

Taste - Had this on tap before, happy it was bottled. Starts out very very whiskey flavored. Lots of vanilla and roasted malts. This is a porter i guess but man the whiskey flavor is really strong. You can get some roasted malts, some coffee and even some chocolate in there, after a few drinks. There is some sweetness of sugar and even some hop flavor masked deep in the whiskey flavor.

Mouthfeel - A crusher in every way. Mouth is really worked over and dominated. Dont even thing of drinking anything else after this without food and water. Aftertaste even has whiskey flavor.

Overall - As far as barrel aged beers go, you can get much better then this. Strong whiskey flavor mixed into a porter really makes a fine beer. A total sipper at 12%, one and done for sure. A real treat and worth finding in a bottle.

wvsabbath, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of clickpush
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pour: 12oz bottle to tulip glass. Heavy pour yields one finger of dark tan head over opaque black body. Head quickly melts down to a thin cap of lace and sticky halo.

Nose: Aroma is strong, woody, sweet, rich. Juicy plums, vanilla tannins, coconut. Lots and lots of oak characteristics. Smells great.

Mouth: Flavors are very similar to aroma. Juicy, fruity, tropical flavors smeared onto burnt toast. Just great beer. Mouthfeel is not quite as full as it could be, but still does a good job delivering and distributing flavor around the mouth.

This beer drinks like an 8%-er. Nothing to complain about at all.

clickpush, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black beer that browns a lot on the edges, looks a little thin. Had a big, off-white carbonation head on it.

S - Great smelling beer. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, a little nuttyness, and caramel. The base beer doesn't seem obliterated, and the bourbon is appropriately subtle.

T - Taste starts out good, but gets disappointing. In some ways it reminded me of a barleywine for a second, with some burnt sugars and caramel. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla are present, but not overpowering. There is some earth and nut taste to this. It goes downhill though, with some sort of strange lactic sourness that I did not care for one bit. Overall it is above average, but the finish was bad.

M - A little too thin, a little too carbonated.

O - This beer is better than average, but was highly disappointing given the high expectations I had on this. I wish I had not bought two bottles.

AgentZero, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of Jparkanzky
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a stemless balloon style wine glass.

A) Dark, but not seemingly "thick" in appearance

S) Bourbon and vanilla are prominent.

T) Bourbon and Vanilla are immediate, but the oak and caramel flavors linger with every sip. The Oak is a little strong.

M) Smooth, almost to the point of surprising. The lack of alcohol bite is actually very surprising and begs to question the evolution of this beer given enough time in the cellar.

O) It's currently one of my favorites that I have revisited multiple times. I have the cellar stocked with 20 of these gems, and will likely reduce that number in half by the time I have arbitrarily set as what I feel will be the next time I will revisit the "aged" version of this beer a year from now. My one main hope for perfection of this brew is to tame the oak flavors that seem to be a little overpowering to the Vanilla, which is the most pleasant flavor of this beer.

Jparkanzky, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of theghost3
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to injuredreserve for this gem.

Bottle is waxed & capped.

Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black witha 2-finger cafe au lait head. Smell is strong of bourbon and vanilla with a spiced rum scent at the end. The taste is strong bourbon with toasted coffee malts and just a hint of sour mash in the finish. Medium-bodied, carbonated, and slightly acidic.

This is drinkable considering the 12 percent ABV. The carbonation can be a bit jarring at first, but that's to be expected from a beer aged in bourbon barrels.

theghost3, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of bnes09
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown and thinner looking than expected in the pour. Pours a pretty thick head with a much better retention than expected.

Smell of smoke, maple and bourbon is complex and inviting.

Flavors are all over the place. Moderate roasted character. Hickory smoke. Maple sweetness. Mild grassy hop. Thick bready flavor. Well balanced also and less alcohol flavor than expected. Aftertaste has a charcoal quality to it which is a little off but the initial flavors are solid.

Not nearly as thick as I expected and this adds to the drinkability a ton. I would actually call it medium-bodied. Good carbonation also. Drying.

I am very impressed with this offering. Expensive but good.

bnes09, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of sommersb
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking this to celebrate my son Andy being accepted into college today - a great achievement!

Presentation is a 12 ounce brown bottle, capped and waxed. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance is a solid black, opaque beer. The head is small at about a finger and there's not much lacing. For a big beer like this, that's not surprising.

Smells are very complex and intense. Its difficult to pull out all of the aromas, but the biggest is the bourbon. In addition there are malt aromas such as chocolate, plus vanilla and dark fruits. Smells like this is a sweet beer.

The taste had a 'wow' factor for me due to the richness and complexity. Very strong bourbon character that includes a big, boozy alcohol presence. I really don't get any hop bitterness despite the fact it says 50 IBUs on the label. I suppose that's due to the high malt and alcohol content. Malty sweetness with vanilla were the predominant flavors after the bourbon.

Body was full and chewy, with a pretty high amount of carbonation. The aftertaste had a nice balance between the dryness from the bourbon and malt sweetness.

Overall an outstanding beer. The richness and 12% abv really make this a sipper -- 12 ounces was plenty for me at a sitting.

sommersb, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to both Mike and Derek for hooking me up with bottles of this beer.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with notes of red and a finger of off-white head.

S: Smells like vanilla with notes of bourbon and milk chocolate. A very mild roastiness, some notes of dark fruits. Really quite smooth with a pleasant nose.

T: A nice bourbon bite on the front end with plenty of smooth vanilla. A little bit of cocoa and dark chocolate. Light roasted flavors with just a hint of bitterness.

M: Medium in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Really heavy on the barrel, but nice flavor and mouthfeel.

womencantsail, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of Sean9689
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into Jester King snifter.

A - Pours black, mocha head, spotty lacing, thin film on top.

S - Huge bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, chocolate. The bourbon is there, but really, it's very well blended. It's not overpowering at all.

T - Similar to the nose. Lots of bourbon, oak, chocolate, some sweetness from the Baltic Porter base in there as well. The bourbon is big and loud, but adds a huge positive for the beer.

M - Full, rich and viscous, motor oil, creamy finish.

D - Impressive, to say the least. Really hard to find any flaws in this one. Going to have to grab a couple more to cellar. I think a year might turn this into an outstanding beer. Recommend!

Sean9689, Apr 09, 2011
Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 713 ratings.