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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: 138
Gots: 251 | FT: 24
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 titosupertramp
4.43/5  rDev +6%

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%

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%

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%

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 17, 2011
Photo of Magpie14
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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
Photo of trappistlover
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%

(12oz bottle courtesy of jcnd9803!!). Pours near balck with thin khaki head. Aroma has lots of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and some wood. Taste is semi-sweet-not as much as the nose-and it has some roasty bitterness. The flavors are complex with wood, vanilla, dark pit fruit and some coffee stealing the show. The bourbon is not as pronounced as I would have thought through the aroma. Medium bodied with a dry, woody finish. This is a really nice beer

trappistlover, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of StoutHunter
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

I got Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter for $5 at The Lager Mill. Well it's hard to believe but today marks one year of being on BA. In a year I managed to try almost 150 different beers and I have had lots of fun doing it. In celebration of today I decided to dip into the cellar and pull out something a little special to mark this occasion. I tried the original Shipwreck porter and really liked so I have high hopes for this beer. 2011 Vintage served at cellar temp. Poured from a 12oz waxed brown bottle into a mini snifter.

A- The label on this beer is ok, but I prefer the wrecked ship label of the original, but the fancy red wax dipped bottle makes up for that. This beer poured a very dark brown bordering on black. It had three fingers worth of nice fluffy tan head that died down to a thick ring that left some nice lacing.

S- Man this thing reeks of bourbon, and not some cheap bourbon either, more like some top shelf stuff. I can pick up some nice chocolaty roasted malts, but the bourbon is the main player in the aroma and it doesn't let much else come through.

T- The taste is much more balanced then the aroma. The Baltic Porter base shines through with some nice milk chocolate, bitter coffee, caramel, and toffee flavors that have a nice amount of sweetness to it. The bourbon still remains the major player in this beer as it should be. The combination of bourbon and the base Baltic Porter flavor reminds me of a glass of of chocolate milk with a shot of quality bourbon dropped in for good measure. The alcohol is noticeable and warming but for being 12% its hidden pretty well.

M- Smooth and creamy with a medium full body. It had more carbonation the most beers this big, but I liked it and I thought it worked well with this brew.

Overall this was awesome brew. The combination of top shelf bourbon and sweet dark roasted malts made this a delicious and complex beer. This one is a sipper but every sip just keeps getting better and better, so much so that I start to drink this faster then I should. The original came in a bomber and that worked well for it but this beer is much more suited for a 12oz since the flavors are much more bold and complex, one 12oz bottle is just enough for me. This beer left a nice chocolaty coffee and bourbon flavor aftertaste in my mouth that was nice and made me want to keep sipping. The alcohol is there but its not overpowering, its warming, but never hot. I gave the original Shipwreck Porter an A but this one is slightly better, the extra time spent in the barrel did this beer good and made it much more complex. This was a great beer to celebrate a year of BA with. I am for sure going back and getting a couple more bottles to throw in the cellar and see how they develop over time. I recommend this beer to anyone that like barrel aged beers, the best Arcadia brew I have tried to date.

EDIT- I just had the latest batch from late 2011 and it was just as good with a slightly better aroma, but the wax was much thicker and harder to remove. opening this beer was a bitch but it still one of my favorite barrel aged stouts. it is so smooth and drinkable you would never think it is 12%, simply one awesome brew.

StoutHunter, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of Bierguy5
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%

12 oz bottle, 12% abv. Pours very dark brown to black color. Small tan head fades to a nice ring after a couple minutes, leaving no lace.

Roasty malt, with a nice dark chocolate feel. Some darker caramel notes. Great blend of bourbon and oak here. Some vanilla and slight coconut. The aging adds a wonderful layer, without overwhelming.

Taste is very similar to the nose. Slight sharp, roasty flavor. A bit dry, with some dark chocolate minus the bitterness. Bourbon comes in, lending a warming, boozy feel without dominating. Oak comes in strong, with not much of a vanilla feel. Dry throughout.

Medium body, with a great lighter carbonation, which works very well for this style. Alcohol is felt, but not at the expected level for the strength. The barrel aging added some wonderful character, without dominating. Seems pretty dry, but that may be the only thing I can say. Awesome beer here.

Bierguy5, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of output01x
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Poured from a 12 oz. wax sealed bottle into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a nearly 2-finger tan head sitting on a pitch black body. Even when held to light, no traces seem to get through. The head recedes after a few moments leaving only a thin covering. Lacing is moderate.

You can smell the bourbon from across the room as this beer is poured. Upon closer inspection, the bourbon aroma mingles with dark mocha.

Milk chocolate, coffee, caramel, and roasted malt flavors dance together happilly. A slight bourbon warmth pushes the aforementioned flavors away as it dominates at the back of the tongue. Hazelnut comes in after a minute or two as an aftertaste.

Heavy bodied but also heavily carbonated. Somewhat sticky, each sip fizzles in your mouth then coats every inch. Less carbonation would have been preferred as experiencing more of the beginning flavors would make for a more enjoyable tasting.

output01x, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of GoldenChild
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%

Drank out of a chalice bought for 5.78 12oz bottle dipped in wax

A: Dark but some light does shine through if you look real hard. not a whole ton of head but i didnt give it a very aggressive pour.

S: Bourbon, Oak, Vanilla, and Alcohol.

T: Wow Lots of bourbon, Oak, Slight coffee, Bitter chocolate, Vanilla, and Alcohol.

M: Smooth, Medium body, Low carb

O: The is a amazingly complex brew that leaves this wonderful taste in your mouth a half hour after you have drank it. Due to the high abv its warming all the way down. I sipped on it for around an hour. They have two more bottles of this at the beer shop and i will be going in and grabbing them both. This beer will get better and better with age they are going in my beer celler. I love living in michigan


GoldenChild, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of JamnesCameron
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a jet black with a tan two finger head.

Aromas of vanilla, oak, alcohol.

Flavors of bourbonized mocha coffee shake. Oak, strong vanilla, cocoa, roast coffee, malt sweetness. Very nice, very complex flavor profile. some alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel is full, mouthcoating milk stout sweetness, alcohol heat.

Very nice, very complex brew. Nice bourbon flavor. Just a huge freakin beer! so much going on.

JamnesCameron, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of CruisaC
4.18/5  rDev 0%

Picked up for $5.99 each (I think) at PartyTown in NKY

Pours a dark coffee with edges of espresso. A fairly thin, fleeting head comes and goes without much in the way of lacing

Smells of roasted coffee beans soaked in bourbon. Overall fairly subtle, especially when compared to some other cousins, namely BCBS

Tastes of roasted malts, coffee, with some bourbon and alcohol on the finish

Mouthfeel is a little thin compared to the body and taste of the beer

It is enjoyable and something I would revisit. At $6 a 12oz bottle and 12% it is a sipper but overall a solid offering. I've got another couple bottles that will be interesting to taste down the road

CruisaC, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of Khazadum
4.18/5  rDev 0%

Twenty months in barrels? Yes PLEASE! Popped into a snifter for instant consumption

A- Deep caramel colored froth, decent retention, great lacing. Minor amount of carbonation floating along the edges and up the central column. Pleasing, but not amazing.

S- The vanilla coming off of this is divine. The oak gives off that sweet pleasant aroma, and there is even a bit of char to complement it. The bourbon sweetness is heavy molasses. Candied and very enjoyable. Tainted last whimsies? Something... acrid? no... maybe acidic. Ho hum. Ethanol and something citric.

T- Opens up one of the smoothest and most flavorful 12%'s I've ever had. Definitely some acidic and 'sour' twangs on the first notes. These roll around and wrestle for control with the bourbon right at the start. Similar to the nose the bourbon flavor is molasses and caramel. This isn't sweet enough to last too long. The oak makes its wooden attenuation known quite readily, but the middle is where this beer becomes crazy. That acidity turns itself into a prize fighter and comes out swinging. BAM! a left hook of alcohol. The good stuff, strong, potent, and deliciously melded into the punch. BOOM! A right jab smacks me with full-flavored cheese. Sharp and pungent. Like some aged gouda. All of a sudden I'm down for the count without knowing it and all I'm left feeling is the heat of the attack in my throat, a minute amount of bitterness, and some fantastic roast tingling all around

M/D- Full-bodied and creamy. Tangy and sharp for the finish. The carbonation is light throughout, could be a bit more crisp for me. I think I may want a stronger roasted body. It may have a disconnect for me. Something more fluid and more velvet? I just find myself wanting somewhere. The flavor is off the hook, but the feeling just isn't up to par. Either way, good beer. Would gladly drink it again.

Khazadum, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of Dan3279
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%

In my search for KBS several people suggested this Porter to me as a substitue. I cracked open the red waxed bottle tonight and really enjoyed the experience.

It took me over an hour to enjoy the expereince of drinking this beer. Being a big bourbon lover I always look forward to the barrel aged beers and this one definalty holds its own against the best.

The appearance was a deep dark dark brown. The smell seemed to be dominated by the bourbon with a small hint of malts & chocolate. The taste was domiated by the bourbon but at the same time it came across balanced with the alchol & carbination.

Though I took my time sipping the beer I found the drinkability very easy and enjoyable.

All in all it met my expectations and I hope to pick up several more bottles for special occasions.

Dan3279, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of cetherid
4/5  rDev -4.3%

poured into a tulip


Beer looks like your standard baltic porter. Midnight black. About a fingers worth of frothy tan head. A little similar to say a cola head.


Aroma on this beer is fantastic. Smells of vanilla, oak, and bourbon/booze dominate the aroma. A little sweet chocolatey aroma in this as well. As it warms up, a strong alcohol aroma is coming out of this...maybe just a tad too boozy.

Similar to nose with the sweet dark malts (almost like chocolate and caramel) and oak notes from the barrel...however the booze is a little too prevalent IMO. Doesn't seem like a high quality bourbon/bourbon barrel either...more of a straight up alcohol taste, like a cheap bottle of booze. Regardless, this is a good example of a barrel aged beer. Not a BCBS or KBS, but very good for a brewery like Arcadia.


A little too thin for me. I'd prefer a thicker beer like Bourbon County Stout. Decent carbonation for the style. Alcohol leaves a warming sensation in the mouth and on the tongue. A good beer to sip on when it's cold.


A pretty impressive barrel aged beer. Not quite up to par with GI but impressive for a relatively small brewery. A little pricey per bottle, but easier to find then say KBS or BCBS. If this were thicker and a little less "heat" this would get a solid A.

cetherid, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of BierFan
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%

Poured from a 12 ounce waxed bottle.

Thin light tan head on a completely black body. Beautiful aroma of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and some butterscotch. Almost too much going on in the taste for me to wrap my head around. Sweet, smooth, and very drinkable. Roasty and sweet, followed by bourbon and bitterness. I need to track down more bottles of this one ASAP.

BierFan, Mar 23, 2011
Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 702 ratings.