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Shipyard Gladiator Essedarius

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by madnismo, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Ranbot

    Ranbot Advocate (620) Pennsylvania Nov 27, 2006 Verified

    Contrary to the beliefs of many BA's for a lot of English-style beers, which is what Shipyard specializes at, some levels of diacetyl are actually to style and desireable. If you don't like it, that's a different story. Personally, I think the "problem" is Shipyard makes English-style beers, which don't always appeal to the American BA's tastes. Like many English-style beers, Shipyard's beers are typically lower alcohol, are not hop bombs, and some [not all] have detectable diacetyl. These are not characteristics with strong appeal to the average "Beer Advocate."

    On Applehead being gimmicky....maybe it is, but clearly it was inspired by their Pumpkinhead so there's a precedent of sorts. It's also no less gimmicky than lots of wacky beers churned out by other craft brewers, many of which are praised by BAs *cough* Dogfishhead *cough*

    FWIW, I enjoy Shipyard's Old Thumper and Prelude. I do not like Pumpkinhead and of all the pumpkin beers I've had it's my least favorite. Everything else I've had from them I thought was just OK. But, take any collection of beers from a single brewer and I'll probably find a couple I like, a couple I hate, and then the others I think are just OK, so in that regard to me Shipyard is no different from any other brewery.
    bishopdc0 and BedetheVenerable like this.
  2. I think the problem is the shear amount of diacetyl. I generally like English beers, and shipyard makes some good ones (I'm with you on Prelude, Longfellow is (was?) good, and they made a really good IPA for Peak Organic). Generally when they stick to traditional English beers, they're not bad at all.
    beerinmaine likes this.
  3. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Aficionado (235) Maine Jun 20, 2009

    Some level is desirable, yes.

    Overpowering and obscuring every other potential flavor, no.

    I've had plenty of other very traditional english-style beers, and none have been the diacetyl bombs that so many Shipyard beers are.

    And the couple that are actually somewhat decent - Bluefin and Longfellow come to mind - are virtually impossible to find.
    ericj551 likes this.
  4. madnismo

    madnismo Savant (440) Florida Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    So back to the question. Has anybody tried the Shipyard Gladiator Essedarius?
    dannon71 likes this.
  5. Haha, your thread got jacked immediately! I forgot that no one even answered the question.
  6. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    Time for some BA Pumpkinhead, ayuh.

    Seriously though...most of their beers are mediocre to poor...though I do dig Smashed Blueberry and Double Thumper a bit...now those could do with a bit of bourbon imo.
  7. beernads

    beernads Advocate (530) Florida May 4, 2012

    I don't care for most of the Shipyard beer and like most everyone else in thread, I really don't think much of anything that they have to offer. Pumpkinhead might be palatable if I strained it through a couple coffee filters. The only reason I tried the Gladiator Essedarius was because I had the Bourbon BA ESB at a tasting and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

    The Gladiator Essedarius had a big bourbon nose and was full of bourbon flavor. Surprisingly smooth with a hint of being hot that didn't take away from the beer. My tasting group and I enjoyed the beer for the most part and would drink it again. Not really sure what a "Roman Ale" is supposed to taste like but for $10-$12 beer if was worth the risk.
  8. madnismo

    madnismo Savant (440) Florida Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    yea that's what I was thinking, how bad could a barrel aged barleywine be. Thanks for the info.
  9. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Chad Jan 8, 2012

    Mental note: paper covers rock, bourbon covers butter.

    As Balki Bartokomous said, "Diacetyl or burst" ;)
  10. madnismo

    madnismo Savant (440) Florida Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    well I finally tried it..loads of bittersweet chocolate and cheap bourbon with a boozy taste, as it warmed up it tasted like a cheap red wine. The only thing good about it was the buzz. Bought 2 bottles, so FT:Shipyard Gladiator Essedarius iso: Rare
  11. bishopdc0

    bishopdc0 Savant (490) Maine Jan 23, 2010 Beer Trader

    I find people who get so energized about shipyard fascinating. I'm not a fan of their beers, however I don't think they are crafted with a malicious intent to annoy a few people on the internet. Praise the beer you like don't crap on beer you don't
  12. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Aficionado (235) Maine Jun 20, 2009

    So now we're not supposed to express our opinions if we don't like a beer? Only 5-star reviews from now on?

    I was very reasoned and accurate about my criticisms. Don't like it, too bad.

    BTW, the list of people who don't enjoy shipyard is a bit larger than 'a few people on the internet'. Like nearly everyone involved in the creation or consumption of better beers in Maine, for starters.
  13. NWer

    NWer Advocate (740) Washington Mar 10, 2009 Beer Trader

    I picked up a couple of Pugsley Signature Series: Imperial Porter from a discount rack. Thought it was pretty good.
  14. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    Agreed...it's not as though people are just writing them off completely, like so much BMC swill. I feel like it's just as important to speak of the things we don't like so much, and the reasons why, as it is to worship at the feet of the walez. Thumper's mom was full of shit...not everyone gets a trophy.
    beerinmaine likes this.
  15. I think you just simply need to know what not to drink from Shipyard.
  16. bishopdc0

    bishopdc0 Savant (490) Maine Jan 23, 2010 Beer Trader

    Accurate and opinion in the same reasoning? I can say a beer has to much malt hops etc this doesnt mean I am correct (accurate) it is an opinion. The idea of "better beers" is funny, who chooses who makes it into this category, are Gearys, Peak, Gritty's etc excluded? Why? Shipyard is the largest brewery by volume in Maine, Top 25 in the US and Maine is one of its largest market so someone likes it. I have a friend who work for a distributor and has stated the Shipyard is the most active in promoting Maine's beer scene , not just shipyard. Having had conversation with many brewers Ive heard expressed thanks to shipyard as without them and their pull starting up would have been more difficult.
  17. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Aficionado (235) Maine Jun 20, 2009

    I get it, you think Shipyard is good stuff. That's fine. I'm well aware they're big; BMC are big too, so should we like them? And yes, lots of people like Shipyard; lots of people like BMC, too. And yes, I do believe Shipyard has a valuable role in the beer world - their products are an excellent bridge from BMC beers into the craft beer world, a good first step to expose people to a world of beer that isn't yellow fizzy water.

    None of that means their beers are good. Bland diacetyl bombs and gimmicky added flavors dominate. And that doesn't mean there aren't some decent ones in the pack (I cited a couple earlier), but overall, bleh. The bourbon barrel ones being discussed here, double-bleh, since they're at least double the price.

    I used to drink Shipyard, until I learned there was a whole world of better beer out there, and now a whole lot of it brewed locally. So I'll take Allagash, MBC, Rising Tide, or Oxbow any day, if I'm picking a local beer.
  18. Even so, it seems lazy to use the yeast with that same flavor for everything. Even if it didn't have that off flavor due to the way they use it. It's like: "Hrmm... I need something to spice up this chilli. I know! I'll use some cayenne pepper!" ... "Hrmm... I need something to spice up this pudding. I know! I'll use some cayenne pepper!" ... "Hermm... I need something to spice up this yogurt. I know! I'll use some cayenne pepper!" .... "Humm... I need something to spice up this enema. I know! I'll use some cayenne pepper!"
  19. The problem is the brewery was designed for one yeast strain. I think it would be too easy to cross contaminate between strains with all the open fermenters. I think Ringwood would take over anyway. I think they have a few enclosed fermenters, but compared to the rest of their vessels, it's a drop in the bucket.