Shipyard Prelude Special Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Prelude Special AleShipyard Prelude Special Ale
Liked This Beer
3.76 w/ 573 Ratings
Shipyard Prelude Special AleShipyard Prelude Special Ale

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taez555 on 02-27-2001

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Ratings: 573 |  Reviews: 291
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A vast complex medal meriting winter warmer, without over-the-top ABV. Mint and clove and peppercorn and mellowed with a year of ageing. Medium mouthfeel and smooth for its style. A little roasting and hops here.Decent smooth though sparkling medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with a 1/2 inch foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasty malt, toasted nuts, and some caramel aromas. Taste is of toasted malt and nuts, caramel, and some herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of slightly medicinal bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I like the way it smells more than the way it tastes.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

shipyard for whatever reason gets a bad rap, or at least subpar ratings here on BA. I don't know a ton about them, but their beers are never as bad as folks make them out to be. I was excited about their winter box this year, four darker stronger types. this is good, a really hoppy big amber styled beer, majorly alive in the glass with good clarity and a deep burnt orange color. smells like European hops, but dosed like an American ipa. vegetal and bitter, but also just oily enough it seems. slight tinny notes in with the biscuit malts, and a brown sugar complexion as well. the taste mirrors the nose, I am surprised by the hops, did not expect this. highly enjoyable hop bitterness running all the way through it, upheld and kept in check at the same time by the grain, which is less sweet than it smells. hints of orange peel and pepper in there, but im not sure this beer is spiced. english yeast from what i gather. boldly flavored and strong but not too strong to be sessionable. this is a great take on a winter seasonal, unique too. I still liked the imperial stout better, but this is a nice addition to the winter mix pack!

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Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A winter seasonal from Shipyard.

I've had a handful of Shipyard beers in the past and let's just say there were far less than spectacular. Their pumpkin ale was one of the worst beers I've ever had and their others were pretty boring... but this one is above average and proved my view of this brewery to be off. It's nothing fancy here.. a nice biscuity, bready winter warmer that goes down super smooth and looks great. It has a high ABV so it really warms you up and is super drinkable... no frills and delicious.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that gradually died down and left thick patches of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of butterscotch and caramel in the nose along with hints of spices.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has sweet flavors of butterscotch, caramel and toffee along with notes of holiday spices.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation. A hint of warming from the alcohol is noticeable towards the finish.
O: This beer isn’t as complex as some of the other beers in the style, but the flavors begin to develop as the beer warms up. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste, which makes this easy to drink.

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Photo of dmorgan310
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, copper/ruby color with a tan, bubbly, foamy, one-finger head. No lace.

S - It smelled very fruity. Sweet aromas with hints of caramel malt and alcohol.

T - It tasted of fruity (cherry) with touches of molasses and sweet caramel. It also had a slight alcohol flavor.

M - It was soft, smooth and chewy. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good warmer. Not spicy like most, but sweet and malty.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear medium copper color ale with a huge foamy head with some good retention and some good lacing. Aromas of huge caramel malt are totally dominating with a nice light hoppy touch. Taste is also dominated by that huge medium-sweet caramel malt with a light hoppy finish. Full body with great carbonation and no alcohol detectable. I really like the balance between the medium sweet caramel malt light hoppy notes, really refreshing and easily drinkable.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 6/28/2015. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, raisin, plum, fig, light chocolate/nuttiness, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malts, earthy hops, and fruity yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, raisin, plum, fig, light chocolate/nuttiness, herbal, floral, pepper, and yeast earthiness. Moderate amount of herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, raisin, plum, fig, light chocolate/nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice English strong ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.8/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A deep mahogany body with soft ruby highlights is capped by a firm light tan head that holds quite well and leaves some nice lace. When served only lightly chilled, it will maintain a solid head as it warms. The aroma is of a sweet caramel & light chocolate malt, some mild spice, and butterscotch-like diacetyl that actually adds greatly to the character! Reminiscent of a rich holiday cake! Very nice. The body is full with a very fine and restrained carbonation that leaves it exceptionally creamy and smooth - almost syrupy as the carbonation breakout foams up under the warmth of the mouth. The flavor is rich with some limited ripe fruit upfront, coat-tailed by a biscuity maltiness that's slathered at first in caramel - and later in soft milk chocolate, a mild spiciness as it crosses that palate and then a firm butterscotch, some mineral-like & leafy hoppiness and an underlying bitterness in the finish. Long, lingering and almost as rich as the flavor itself - the aftertaste is massively impressive with swirling notes of caramel, butterscotch, drying bitterness and leafy hoppiness! Do yourself a favor and enjoy this at cellar temperature as a dessert beer. Fantastic! Absolutely worth seeking out as a special treat to be enjoyed with a good book in front of the hearth.

 1,286 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best before Nov. 2013.

Pours a deep clear mahogany with a small, short-lived tan head; nonetheless decent lacing was left on my snifter. Aroma is rather light and subtle but this is a flavorful ale. The nose is rather sweet with a clear note of vanilla and some fruitiness over the malts. The flavor is sweet up front, balanced in the finish, and mildly bitter in the lingering vanilla-tinted, aftertaste which suggests roasted nuts and dark bread with a trace of cinnamon. Medium-full, smooth, warming feel. Higher ABV not hidden.

O: a well-crafted winter warmer that is not overly spiced, too sweet, or boozy.

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Photo of jlindros
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a lighter 1/2 finger head that fades very slowly. It's super hazy and dark, pretty much no light coming through, with a dark hazelnut brown color.

N: Pretty complex actually. Some dark crystal malts, quite a bit of nuttiness, some dark fruits, raisin, plum, dark dried fruits, a little vanilla, a touch of spice, slight candi brown sugar with hints of booze with that (surprisingly hotter than I would expect for less than 7%), little molasses, and a slight creamy dark malt. Seems to suit a lighter winter warmer well, too bad it's spring now (my fault).

T: Hmm, starts pretty malty, with quite a bit of fruit. Some dark malts really come out, lots of crystal, a little roast, etc. Then there lots of fruit with that. Tons of raisin, fig, dates, dark dried fruits, a little juicy. Next wave is the sugars, some complex sugars with candi sugar, brown sugar, molasses, a touch of toffee. WIth all that comes a touch of boozy heat. Some spices come through with all that giving it almost a candi bar taste. It's pretty rich and nutty as well with a little vanilla.

M: Somewhat thick with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes still a little sweet, with a lingering syrupy sweetness that sticks to the mouth. A long sticky syrup that is. A little spicy booze taste washes over and leaves a little sting for a few seconds. More lingering fruit and nuts as well. A little bitterness comes out, but not sure how pleasant the bitterness is as it seems to detract more from the beer than add to it.

Overall I was surprised with this one. I am typically disappointed by Shipyard, but this one was pretty good. A really nice body, lots of complex flavors blended well and didn't go over the top. It did drink a little hot though, especially for under 7%.

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Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a roasted nut brown with a tinge of burnt orange,a fliffy off white head atop.A nice mix of roasted nuts,vanilla,cinnamon,and fruitiness in the nose,well rounded malt complexity.Roasty and even a little raw earthy on the palate,very light sweetness with some vanilla and cinnamon-like qualities in the back end.I tried this a few years back and I don't recall liking it as much as I do now,its a solid well rounded winter warmer that is not overly spiced and/or sweet.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a short but foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint overall but is very malty and contains cinnamon, nutmeg & a little chocolate along with a touch of hops.

T: The taste is bready & spicy with flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate and caramel. There’s also a very big hops bite that flavors the maltiness, which you really don’t expect because of the lack of hops in the smell. The after-taste is bready and slightly bitter.

M: Smooth & crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, very dry finish which is a bit uncharacteristic of the style.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, nice kick, not as filling as most beers in the style, I would pick this beer over most others in the style, particularly if I’m not going for the heavy sweetness that most beers in this style typically have. I wasn’t expecting a lot from this beer, but it was a little bit different and it was pretty decent.

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Photo of mactrail
2.98/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark reddish amber in the glass with a thin foam mustache. Overall impression is the sweet and bitter style, like an Old Ale. Murky and musty with a touch of the sweet vermouth flavor. Quite a bitter aftertaste. Not much aroma, maybe a touch of leather. Winey mouthfeel. Not particularly carbonated. A buttery touch.

From a 22 oz bottle. No indication of bottling date.

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Photo of billab914
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

Photo of smithj4
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of russpowell
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Based on the last beer I had from these guys (their BW), I took a chance & bought a sixer of this, let's see if I'm rewarded for taking a chance...

Pours auburn with 3 fingers of tan head. Sheets of lacing & above average head retention

S: Dark fruit & caramel, some vanilla

T: Oaky notes, vanilla, caramel & leafy hops up front. Leafy & woody hops are there as this warms along with oaky dryness & some plummy notes & hazel nut, seems a bit artificial, like non-dairy creamer. Dry finish, slightly cloying sweetness with caramel, butterscotch & hazel nut, plus woody hops

MF: Light/medium bodied, firm carbonation, balance is lacking

Drinks alright, but doesn't quite pull together for me. Beer is not as good as the appearance & scent would lead me to believe. Not bad, I would drink one or two if offered, but fairly middling as winter warmers go IMO

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Shipyard Prelude Special Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 58.1% out of 100 with 573 ratings
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