Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
87
very good
94 Reviews
Shipyard Longfellow Winter AleShipyard Longfellow Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States
shipyard.com

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
94
Ratings:
184
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
17.1%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
26
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 184
Photo of BeefyMee
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So I was at the bar and there was a list of the Christmas beers sitting on the bar. I drooled over some of the bottles that I didn't feel like paying for (Mad Elf for $8 and I don't remember what else), and I contemplated the draft selection. I finally decided to get a Longfellow draft since I tried it and liked it out of the bottle not too long ago. Then, I looked at the main tap list on the wall (this place has 20-30 beers on tap) and noticed that it wasn't there. I was minimally upset and asked the bartendress whether it was on tap or not.

She says, "It's on cask." My eyes light up.

I barely communicated that yes, I would indeed have one. Then, I exuberantly explained to my brother how great it was that I was getting the beer on cask, this just moments after I thought I wasn't getting it at all. Then, the glass arrived so enough backstory.

I couldn't wait to dig in to this beer. I took a drink and it felt like heaven in my mouth. However, I swallowed and the taste left something to be desired. The overall flavor just seemed muted. Nothing jumped out at all. Not even to say hi. I enjoyed the cask quality of this beer, but I think it had the potential to be so much better, especially since I've had it out of the bottle.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown body, reddish 'round the edges, under a fizzy, cocoa-colored head that slips down to size with a quickness.
Aroma, dark fruits, nuts, nuts, some spices, a bit cola-esque, but it gets better through time, opens up and becomes more awake and alive, feels like a snootful of a dank pine forest and all that comes with it...
Taste: quite interesting, dark, spicy, malty, but mellow, and I taste further things now, maple, rum, molasses, more than I can't exactly finger, though more able, adept minds surely could. Feels more complex of an ale the more I sip into it, and instantly qualifies as the best brew from Shipyard I've sampled so far. Rich flavor, sometimes fruity, sometimes treacly continues to delight, and altogether this brew is a worthy ale to close a night in freezy mid-January Minnesota. If I had further samples at my side, this is one winter brew I could really get comfortable with!
Cheers to another fine Maine brew, and to rabidawg for sending it my way!

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Photo of dpend
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Bottle

Appearance is a deep brown with tinges of red. Has a thick nutty head that dissipates relatively quickly.Aroma is sweet caramel malt. A bit of chocolate is present in both smell and taste.With a bit more hop kick, this beer would taste like a porter.I'm liking this beer a lot and have found myself going back to it again and again.

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Photo of nixhecks
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Longfellow came in a 22oz bomber with a picture of the grisly old poet on the front. Very dark in color, almost black but with brownish edges. The head was a medium size with medium retention. The aroma consisted of sweet, roasty malts with a fruity quality to it, like apples or pears, and hints of chocolate and coffee as well. The taste was built on a roasted coffee and chocolate base, nice and creamy, and then finished with just a tiny hop bite to balance it out. Mouthfeel was full bodied and lightly carbonated, coating the palate nicely and providing a smooth and rich feel. My favorite so far from Shipyard, although the Prelude awaits me in the fridge, so this may change :)

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Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

By far my favorite beer from Shipyard,pours a deep ruby with a light but sticky head,aroma is nice malty sweet and chocolaty.Taste is right up my alley with a nice malty flavor with some sweetness with some roated flavors its a real warmer.Liked it much better on cask than in the bottle.Would like to have again on cask..

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Photo of bditty187
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black, opaque in the middle with reddish highlights around the edges, massive long-lasting brunette head, bulky lace. Pleasant malty, chocolate, slightly fruity-alcoholic nose of modest strength. Decent palate, dry chocolate, chalky; the malt seems thin and not very sweet either, the alcohol influence is minimal. The flavors all seem a little empty. The body is medium-light, the carbonation is moderateĀ… the finish is dull and empty. As the beer warmed nothing improved... aside from a few stray notes of fruitiness on the palate. This did not taste like a Strong Ale/Barely Wine at all; it seemed very much like a Dry Stout. I guess my tastebuds did not concur with my fellow BAs on this one? Either way, a big thank you is in order for StevieW for the bomber, it was a solid brew.

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Photo of BierReise
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark Tootsie Roll brown with an impressive head that slightly laces. Smell is classic strong ale, earthy and sweet with subtle alcohol mixed in. Looks like a Porter and tastes almost like one with its smoked malt. Chocolate notes with Tettnang and Goldings providing some bitterness. Great smooth full bodied ale and probably the best I've had from Shipyard.

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Photo of edchicma
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich chocolate color. Smell invites you to drink. Taste has a hint of chocolate and announces that this is a beer to sip. A bit of a bite that grabs your taste buds and lingers....tart but refreshing. Mouthfeel is neat, reminding you that this is a graet beer to sip.
Drinkability is excellent, but don't gulp!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brown body with a light reddish cast and deep mahogany highlights. It's two-fingered, frothy, light-tan head slowly drops to a quarter-inch of creamy surface covering amongst some very nice lace. A pleasing nose expresses caramel, toffee, mild butterscotch, and a berry-like/apple fruitiness. The body is firm with a fine, moderate carbonation that gently caresses the tongue before becoming creamy and smooth across the palate. In the mouth, rich notes of caramelized sugar and butterscotch are tempered by a mild chocolate character and roasty edge. Some almost-tropical fruitiness appears at the outset, and then again midway through the mouth after the sweetness and buttery notes have passed, but gives way to a drying roasty cusp and bold (but balanced) bitterness. Some alcohol is clearly present, but it works well within the blanket of malt and seems more warming/comforting than intrusive. It finishes dry with some mild lingering caramel and bitterness. This is an exceptionally well-rounded winter beer that seems to straddle several styles and I love it for it's individuality and uniqueness. It has the unobtrusive bitterness and buttery diacetyl note of a brown ale; the fuller chocolatey/caramel note of a porter; and the rich maltiness of a Scotch ale. It's not so strong or full, however, that it needs to be set aside as an after-dinner drink; and it's surely a winter gem that could grace any festive table. Well worth trying!

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Photo of StevieW
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow staring at you. Reminds me of the great Rodney Dangerfield line in "Back to School" "Maybe we can work on my Longfellow tonight ?" Back to the beer.
Deep beautiful clear mahogoney color. Color of dark teak wood. Rich smell of coffee, toffe, chocolate, carmel, and sweet pecan pie. Taste is every bit the match and more. Toffe sweetness up front. Some slightly roasted coffee bitterness. Chocolate presence is also very noticable. Very complex, balanced and very flavorful beer. Even carbonation, medium bodied. Nothing out of place. Chocolate and hop bitterness lingers. Very very good beer. This is not just a chocolate flavored beer though. It's hard to pin down. Maybe a cross between a porter, a belgian strong ale, and a stout. Whatever it is, It's really good, and worth a try. I really enjoyed this one ! I'm going back to pull off another mixed sampler pack..shhhh.
Could be the next Beer it forward sample....stay tuned.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was in Portsmouth this weekend and stopped by Coat of Arms. This was one of the cask ales on tap and it was very good. Poured very dark brown in color with a tan head that lasted. The taste was sweet all the way with hints of coffee, toffee, caramel and malt. The smell was similar to the taste but more sweet than malty. The aftertaste was more coffee, a hint of hops and a great warming feeling. You have to love the cask offerings at the Coat of Arms.

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Photo of purplehops
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Longfellow pumped a chestnut brown with a slight ring of light brown froth in place of a head. No lacing here. The aroma was a faint combination of caramel malt, roasted coffee, butterscotch, and estery yeast odors. The taste started with plenty of caramel and sweet malt flavors up front and then moved on to notes of chocolate, coffee, and butterscotch. The finish is bright and malty with faint flavors of hops and alcohol. The aftertaste is a pleasant lingering of malt and caramel flavors with some soft hop bitterness.The mouthfeel smooth silky and full bodied but not heavy.
This was a great cask-conditioned ale. It went down smooth and easy. Two were gone before I realized it. All the flavor of a winter ale without filling you up. I only wish that it had a little more aroma and some pretense of a head.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter seasonals are my favorite, so seeing this at the local watering hole sparked my interest. It poured nice and dark, with that chocolate coloured head. The first drink bursted in my mouth with the taste of roasted hops. It seemed more a stout than an ale, but I wasn't complaining. It went down way to quick. Excellent.

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Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark, nearly opaque brown, with ruby highlights when held to the light. Beer had a big head of tan foam that retained a long time before shrinking to a thin layer that left plenty of lace.
The smell of malt dominates, with a chocolate character being prevalent and a bit of a burnt coffee smell detectable too.
Flavors of chocolate, toasted malt and some cold coffee mingle on the tongue before a bit of hop bitterness makes its appearance. Very nice flavor, becomes more complex as the beer warms up a bit.
The mouthfeel was very smooth, with a fairly light carbonation and a medium body. The hops hang on a bit at the end with a lingering dry bitterness.
This is another Winter beer that I don't ever seem to get enough of, very drinkable, get it if you can.

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Photo of pbrian
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks stately in the glass- clear dark mahogony, tan fluffy head. The beer has fruity, caramely, slightly chocolately and butterscotch traits. Warms up well. Becomes deeper, richer, alcohol warmth kicks in slightly. Not an "over-the-top" winter warmer, but certainly enjoyable.

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Photo of beernut7
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This tasty cask ale is a pure pleasure of the season. Deep dark color with almost no head, the aroma is prominently buttery sweet. The flavor is hoppy and the body heavy and smooth. Very complex and flavorful real ale.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not quite as good as I had hoped... Poured a dark brown color, with glimmers of ruby, too. Head, was fine and thin, and stuck a bit. Nose was too much on the mild side, with dark malt all that came through. Nice mouthfeel, with good body and easy-going over the tongue. The Ringwood buttery aspect comes right through, along with some nutty-characters mixed in with the malt. A nice little bit of hops rear their heads at the finish.

overall: 3.9
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

378

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Photo of Andy
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Two fingers thick tan head. Loose carbonation. Deep ruby color. Fusel alcohols (sort of off-putting), deep ringwood yeast nose. First sip while cold is a mess. Tinny flavor and yeast bite. Smooths out as it warms to become a good strong porter with some smokey hints

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. brown long neck. Faded violet label with a head pic of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. No freshness date.

Appearance: Dark ruby with a very light tan frothy head.

Smell: Esters, ripe fruit and butterscotch perfume from this brew.

Taste: Hints of roasted, light chocolate and ripe fruit up front, then a slightly assertive hop bitterness, touch of butter, faint smoke/charcoal and a warming alcohol presence. In the after is some caramel and lingering hop bitterness that finishes quite nice.

Notes: Very much like a porter with some scotch ale qualities, quite a big ale ... beautiful for dismal winter days of snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, hail, slush and so on.

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Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 184 ratings.
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