Shark Attack | Port Brewing

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Shark AttackShark Attack
Very Good
Shark AttackShark Attack

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Is it really safe to paddle out in our waters? It's impossible to know for sure. What we do know is that this is an incredibly distinctive and bold American red ale that attacks your taste buds with lethal amounts of hops which are balanced by a boat load of Crystal malt. If none of this fazes you, then maybe swimming in the shark filled waters is exactly where you belong. We'll see you in the lineup!

(2014 Winner Best of Show San Diego International Beer Festival)

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 318 | Ratings: 790
Photo of tone77
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a pretty auburn color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of citrus, malts. Taste is caramel malts, light citrus, well balanced, alcohol is well hidden. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A double red ale sounded good to me, so I got this one on draft. Good call. You don't really feel the 9.5% ABV, and it's not super hoppy like some reds are, but also not super sweet thanks to the double red. Basically it's a good balance, and it's not a session beer by any stretch, but you could have a couple of these over the course of an evening.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy amber color with beige head. Aroma has toasted malt, light caramel, resiny/piney hops and a hint of fenel. Taste is nutty, bitter and resiny with some dried orange notes. Medium body and carbonation. Complex, tasty and quite easy drinking for its ABV.

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Photo of monkist
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is an amazing, hoppy American Red Ale by Port Brewing. Really, they are one of the few whose beers simply cannot go wrong. This red ale also, it is among their best ones, along with Hop 15, a very intensively hopped red ale with almost an IPA-like quality - I mean, hey this is a Double Red Ale! Intense American hops in the nose and in the taste, followed by a dense hop bitterness that is also full of flavor - bittered with aroma hops or what? Agree with the comments on the bottle - see the details. Whoever loves red ales or American ales must try this one! Will be an instant trend-setting classic.

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Photo of Stoutmaster9
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to a pint glass.

Murky orange-brown amber, thin head vanishing swift, bit of lacing.

Mouthwatering malty red.

Creamy Caramel mustering on my mouth's roof, followed by a sharp, lingering booze burn with a mid-taste of mild Rye. Smiling after the first gulp! After the third, the earthy oak hops begin dancing relentless on the top of my throat. A feisty beer!

I am quite partial to Double or Imperial Red Ale, or as I like to call it "Liquid Ruby", and Shark Attack dose not disappoint!
(Far from it, though far from the imperial heights of mighty Tongue Buckler!)

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Photo of descobar
2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Aged 3+ years. did not know what to expect and don’t remember last time I had it fresh. so... it pours ruby brown (reddish) with a thick frothy head with good retention. clarity is on the cloudy side. as expected there’s some off flavors of oxidation, band-aid and green apples but its not overwhelming. bready sweet malts and earthy hops still come through. it had medium/full body with decent carbonation. texture is on oily side. strong astringency that hits the palate to almost harsh levels. taste of heavy sweet malts, earthy hops and alcohol with some off soy-saucey thing going on. major components (semi-harsh astringency, bitterness and alcohol warmth) last long after swallowing. - wish I had a fresh one for comparison.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz Bomber poured into a clown shoes glass.Smell is grapefruit.Taste is grapefruit with a slight touch of maybe caramel.Overall a very drinkable beer.Went down really nice.I would buy this again.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Mixture of amber and auburn with some red splashes. 1/4" head. Bitter dry hop aroma with usual red malts.

Super bitter, hop flavor doesn't come through as much as I'd hoped for. So big, viscosity, syrup, resin. Boozy. A decent beer, but somewhat upsetting coming from a world class brewery that does hops like no one's business.

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Photo of aleigator
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Has a ruby red, cherry color, with a decent head. Fruit and sugar aromas dominate in this beer, which lots of hops in it. Grapefruit, orange, peach and hints of malt stand out for me. Has a rich fruity taste, with a powerful upcoming bitterness in the end. Malts in the beer hold the taste together, smooth out sweet and bitter tastes to an overall well balanced, medium-bodied beer, which is special in its own way. Bitterness is at very first glance a bit distracting from the sweet beginning, because it kicks in very sharp and changes the whole taste within a split-second, but consider it the biting shark. After a while I really begin to appreciate the sudden change, it adds depth to the ale. Before that, tastes of apple, peach and malt are noticable, creating a refreshing fruit flavor, with a hoppy underlining. This by itself would already make up for a decent ale, but the aggressive bitterness makes this just great. It turns down the first impression of the beer, without going too far, but adding a big, hoppy ending to it. Surprisingly enough, this is still in balance, some fruits still linger on the tongue, while the bitterness does its work. Low carbonation smoothes the beer out, still adds some groove to it, which is not too refreshing in paricular, but underlines the ongoing transformation.

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Photo of Sexybeernerd6969
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Three yums! Great interesting take on an uncommon style - double red. Very malty and bright bitterness. Hop bitterness lingers on the tongue with hints of chocolate malt. Mouthfeel has medium body with quite the effervescence. Port Brewing doesn't let down!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a classic beer, i cant believe its taken me this long to write about it. i feel like i have one at least once a year. always a treat, i think this kind of sets the standard for the style. its red malty flavored, without being sweet, and it lets the hops do the majority of the flavoring without taking over, but while propping them up in a unique way too. some caramel and dry irish type red malt in the base, with a little brown sugar kick before the hops come in, not too much at all. i get tangerine and orange in the hops, very citrusy, but real bitter too. resinous and dank, this is west coast at its best, loaded with the hop oils and feels as much as flavors. surprised by all the bitterness coming through, especially for a red beer this strong, but it works out in the end, pungent hops is all thats left after the swallow. tons of body and carbonation both, this is somehow refreshing and easy drinking for a style that is generally anything but. i think this really is the benchmark for an imperial red ipa, even the gold medal winning one from founders didnt get to this level i dont think. top notch stuff, under appreciated i think here on BA.

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Photo of Zach136
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange-red body with a light caramel cap.

Aroma/Flavor: Citrus peel, nut and caramel. Malt character slightly over powers the hops.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, sticky.

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Photo of jlanagnost
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a darker amber color and had a very fine head to it. On the label it reads that it is quite hoppy, and it doesn't let down, so be aware if you're not looking for a hoppy amber. It also has a bit of a bite on it, but it is 9% so I suppose it's warranted. Perhaps the "Shark Attack" moniker is referring to this? Lol. Overall, it was probably my fault for not reading the label and enjoying the beer because it was too hoppy for my tastes.

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Photo of W_Des
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber brown. There is lots and lots of malt in this. The finish gets a little bit too sweet for me the longer I continue to drink it and takes away from the overall beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, a deadly cool thing to see Port Brewing represented in Idaho, and NOHO at that, and at very reasonable prices at further that. Wait, old stock, maybe?

This beer pours a hazy, medium chummed ocean swell hue, with three fat-ass fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and near-creamy ecru head, which leaves some very loose sudsy gear-chain lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of bready, doughy caramel/toffee malt, muddled orange and some kind of grapefruit citrus rind, wet pine forest floor the morning after the rain (and a bit of subsequent mildew), a skinned nuttiness, faint buttery chocolate, Tootsie rolls, and more and more leafy, grassy, and well-perfumed hops. The taste is fairly sweet, with the grainy baba bread, chocolate-ensconced caramel, bitter mixed citrus fruit (pick any or all and yer good), buttery packaged nuts, water-logged pine needles, and more of those innocuous (you think) weedy, leafy, and besotted floral hops.

The carbonation is quite underwhelming in its barely palpable frothiness, the body a decent medium-full weight, and generally smooth, only a small alcohol astringency taking away from an otherwise puritanical creaminess. It finishes well off-dry, all caramel this, and toffee that, yet with the hops, sundry other players, and booze schedule to back it up.

Yeah, I don't quite feel like I've been attacked by sharks, per se, but this west coast makeover of the workaday American red ale into an Imperialized version might have a bit of the same ancillary metrics, i.e. you hit the water, expecting an outside chance of cartoonish danger, and then BAM! Lights out baby.

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Photo of pat61
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours hazy amber under a persistent, clingy 3” light tan foam collar.
S: Citrus rind, citrusy, resiny hops, malt
T: Starts with sweet malt, light caramel, citrus and light fruit and then this gives way to the intense lingering hops – more bitter than many to balance the malt. The hops dry the beer out in the finish but while assertive, they are not harsh.
F: Medium full body and medium low carbonation.
O: A big hop forward beer that is fulfilling and easy to drink.

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Photo of ryannosaurus
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz poured to snifter

Pours a lightly hazed red-brown, inch or so or dark amber head, fairly persistent and sticky. Reds should look good, and this one does.

Smell is vegetal, herbal, a hint of sea breeze and toffee.

Taste is a full on hop riot when cold, pine and bitter orange. A nice toffee note from crystal sneaks in as it warms, but even them this is more aggressive than balanced.

Reasonable mouthfeel for 9%, not a huge body, but appropo.

Overall: I'm not always a fan of reds and double reds. It's easy to go too sweet. Its easy to go too thin, it's easy to go too bitter. I suppose some would argue this is too bitter, but I love a good hop-whipping. No pussy footing around... this beer probably isn't for the meek or the uninitiated at this bitterness level. If you are a crazy hop head like me, this one is a must-try.

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Photo of tasteology408
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is good. Really good. Does not have a strong 9% bite. But you will feel it just after half way thru. Smells good tastes good. Kinda has a roasted malty bite .I buy one every other month or so. Buy it!

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

bottled on 12/1/14 (gulp)

look - Beautiful deep ruby/garnet. Big head that sticks around, good retention, very small to medium distribution. Some clinging.

smell - lots of malt, slighlty burnt nutty presence. hints of holiday spices, chestnut, and licorice.

taste - much the same as the smell, oaky woodiness. Alcohol is there, lingering bitterness. Bitternesss really sticks around.

feel - thin to medium bodied.

overall - tasty brew, never had fresh. Malt presence is most predominant, but the hop bitterness is still there.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Was pleasantly surprised by this one. Very fresh, great combo of caramel malt flavors and bitter hops. The hops provide that needed bite at the finish that really round this one out. Tasty!

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Photo of Bone53
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber

Appearance: Hazy rich amber color with an enormous beige head

Smell: citrus, caramel malt, smokey leather

Taste: Caramel malt, slight citrus, and a musty yeast character, smokey leather

Mouthfeel: Medium feel; Its entirely too carbonated and dry for me from start to finish

Overall: This is not the red ale im accustomed to. The hop and malt varieties dont work together, and are all over the place. It also has a gritty and very dry mouthfeel; Overly carbonated. I love a great red, such as Nugget Nectar and lagunitas, but this is far from those. I thoroughly enjoyed Mongo, but im very dissapointed with this offering. It was actually hard for me to finish

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Photo of dcmchew
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy amber with a really big fluffy beige head, leaving a lot of messy lacing on the glass.
Smell of sweet citrusy hop and rich caramel maltiness, candy, peach, some pineapple, pine, faint alcohol.
Rich fermenting tangerine, pineapple syrup, candied grapefruit, bit of mango and maracuja. Sweet caramelised malts, honey, hints of toffee and toast. Pine towards the finish, spicy leafiness, nice and bitter.
Pretty long finish and a nice intense aftertaste, with some prickling hop, lots of citrus peel, caramel, candy, hints of tropical fruit still around. Medium body, prickly carbonation.
A really by-the-book amber ale, lots of Westcoast hoppiness, rich malts, nice and balanced.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a nonic pint glass

A: Pours deep reddish brown amber with a frothy tan head that hangs around and laces well.

S: Caramel malt sweetness, some dank hops, and some light pine and citrus.

T: Roasty malt, toffee, light coffee, some pine and citrus, with a slight fruitiness on the back side. Hides its alcohol well.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Maybe not my favorite, but not bad.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Port is finally distributed to my area! Picked up the bomber for $7.50 into a pint glass.

A - Easily agitated I must have shook it up since it gave me 2+ inches of mocha head atop of a hazy mahogany brown.
S - Woody with a citrus hops zest. Mild but constant.
T - Much more hoppy than I expected! A hardcore pine blast to the face with underlining caramel sweetness and some hard wood flavors. Flavors do get a bit subdued after a few sips making it more enjoyable.
M - Medium bodied not heavy for 9%. Still it is quite a sipper.

Overall kind of a disappointment I had the Tidal Wave IPA and the Mongo IPA's both had exceptional flavor but this even though piney faded quite a bit with repeated sips. Very drinkable but not worth a repeated purchase.

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Photo of docoman
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Had this beer during trip to San Diego, CA from tap (place called The Hopping Pig in Gaslamp area), it was decent, but not something I wanted to order a second time. For an amber ale it is very strong so if you like strong red ales I'd give it a try.

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Shark Attack from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 790 ratings