Shipyard Blue Fin Stout | Shipyard Brewing Co.

251 Reviews
Shipyard Blue Fin StoutShipyard Blue Fin Stout

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-23-2001

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Reviews: 251 | Ratings: 560
Photo of Jeffreysan
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved into a few wispy clouds of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Surprisingly, not much in the aroma department at all. Actually, I don't get any aromas at all, nothing.

Taste: This beer as lots of flavor, though. Strong flavors of roasted malt up front, imparting flavors of slightly burnt dark bread, espresso, licorice, dark molasses and dark chocolate, followed by lots of brown sugar-like sweetness and finished by some pronounced, hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium/medium-thin and pretty effervescent as there’s quite a bit of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 4.7%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an ok stout. There are some nice flavors of roasted malt and brown sugar-like sweetness, but in my opinion, there’s too much espresso, licorice and hoppy bitterness for me to really like it. Further, I think the mouthfeel is too thin, as I like my stouts, to have a thicker, fuller, more viscous mouthfeel that this one has. If the flavors of espresso, licorice and hoppy bitterness were dialed down some, and the mouthfeel was thicker, more vicious, it would go a long way to making this a better stout.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, it's smell good at least.
A nice smelling beer with roasted barley, cocoa and some hints of coffee.
Looks decent enough with a dark body and mocha head.
The taste was to me was very lean. There was hints of roast and coffee but it drinks so dry and watery and feels way over carbonated that the flavor was almost mute.

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Photo of chinchill
3.19/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured very dark brown, looking black and opaque in the glass. Weak, light brown head.

Feel: medium body with light carbonation.

Flavor: U.K. style stout with plenty of very dark roasted malt flavor with little burnt or char elements.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A 355ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2014. Acquired a little while back from a B&M store. Imported by Marstons; otherwise the label doesn't give much away.

A: Poured into a straight pint glass. A very dark brown colour that appears pitch black in the glass. Forms a decent head of mocha-hued foam that lasts for a minute or so before dissipating.

S: Aroma of roasted malt with hints of cocoa, coffee, mild burnt grain, stewed leaves and subtle yeast. Not too shabby.

T: Tastes of roasted malt with a lingering bitter finish. Notes of dark malt, roasted grain, mild coffee, faint cocoa, a hint of molasses, stewed leaves and vague earthy yeast. Ever so slightly vinous, with a twinge of harsh cardboard in the background. Well-attenuated, followed by a strident malt-driven bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with pleasant carbonation but a thin body that verges on watery. Would benefit from some beefing up. Mildly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of subtle roasted malt, faint coffee and stewed leaves/cardboard.

O: Well - it's OK but not amazing. Looks alright, though the head could do with sticking around. The aroma and flavour are decent enough; roasted malt and a dry, bitter finish. The insubstantial body disappoints. Drinkable but won't blow your socks off. No need to hunt it down.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.81/5  rDev +6.4%

I like that this only has 4.70% ABV. I could not resist the fish on the label.

Appearance (4) : A khaki-beige 2 fingered head on top of a fully opaque dark black body.

Aroma (4) : Very fresh-smelling. Plant, mocha coffee, milk chocolate, coffee bean. A little bit of peppermint and cocoa. Spiced aroma. The aroma is pleasant and the bouquet is strong.

Taste (4) : Plantlike vegetals really comes out in the taste, as well as the coffee bean. It's got a bitter snap to it and it ends with a nestle milk chocolate/mocha/bitter roast bean finish.

Mouthfeel (3.25) : Creamy and prickly. Medium bodied, perhaps bordering on full bodied. Ends with a coffee bean aftertaste and an average finish.

Overall (3.81) : I'm beginning to find that any stout made right is a stout worth drinking. This is another example of that. There are extraordinary stouts, that make you go "WOW", and there are some that make you go "hey, it's okay." That's this one. It's not the greatest or most unique stout I've had, and it doesn't taste like a blue fin fish, so all I can say is that this stout is par for the course. Good drinking, maybe a bit planty compared to the other ones. Due to the abundant carbonation, it may be a good gateway stout for those who are stout-shy. Give it a try.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%

A: [2.50] Dark black, but not oily looking. The head was a 1/4 finger khaki brown - but it evaporated pretty quickly. Leaves no lacing on the glass. The bottle sports a Julian code - I don't have the decoder ring - but it is a stout so date is a little less important.

S: [3.50] Strong roasted malt character. Some chocolate and coffee scents sneaking in there too.

T: [3.50] Nice roasted character that lingers in the after taste. It is a very enjoyable flavor.

M: [1.50] It is all wrong. Too tingly feeling for a stout. It detracts from the smoothness and overall enjoyment of the beer.

O: [2.75] A middle of the road stout that is torpedoed by a stinging mouthfeel. The Appearance was not great either with the fast receding head and lack of lacing. With so many good and accessible stouts this one is off the list.

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Photo of paulytasker
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. No best by date to be found.

A) Dark, dark brown with no hints of light penetrating. A quarter inch of light tan head caps it of and recedes to sporadic patches of dense tan rings clinging to the sides of the glass.

S) Am I drinking a caramel mocha because it sure smells like one. Touch of bitter hops and some malty sweetness floating around also. Some dark chocolate also.

T) Roasted malts accompanied by rich caramel that I picked up on heavily in the nose. CoaCoa and black coffee with a little hop bitterness round things out nicely.

M) Rich, creamy, and smooth. Carbonation is light, makes for a very sessionable, easy drinking stout.

O) First offering I've tried from Shipyard, a pretty damn tasty Irish Dry that hits the spot. Well done.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled and purchased from bargain supermarket B&Ms
Pours a jet black body with decent enough tan head
Roasty but underpowered aroma
Some char and dark fruit flavour

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Photo of 8stringfan
2.69/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Popping the top on this one I was surprised at the “poof” of air and slight sizzle of carbonation and unsurprisingly, poured straight into a large tulip I didn’t get a quarter of the way through the beer before a thick four finger head stopped just short of overflowing the rim of the glass. I’m not lying - it took nearly 15 minutes of letting the head die down and pouring a tiny bit more before the whole bottle was in the glass. Umm...maybe a bit over-carbonated, particularly for a style that tends towards lower levels of carbonation? Eventually things settle down into a tan one finger head with zero lacing. Color is almost entirely black (39), with perhaps just a hint of dark brown amber. Nose is moderately strong and essentially all about dark roasty notes, dark chocolate, espresso beans, and perhaps a touch of hazelnut. Sip is sweet dark chocolate up front with coffee notes all over the midpalate. Back of the tongue is somewhat thin and both tastes and feels a bit like club soda. Now may be as good as any time to point out that the massive carbonation in the pour is apparent in the taste and mouthfeel - Blue Fin Stout is vastly over-carbonated, much to its detriment, both for the style and for the overall effect on flavor. Subsequent sips see a slightly more nutty presence, but as a whole this is pretty one-dimensional and actually quite thin, both in flavor and mouthfeel. Finish is bitter dark chocolate and coffee. All in all, this is a pretty unimpressive stout which I would neither recommend nor pick up again. Furthermore, along with their IPA (which had some odd blueberry notes) this is a second beer from Shipyard that has left with unimpressed. (4-18-14)

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Photo of charlatan
2.8/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

From 355ml bottle with freshness date six months away. It has a pretty dark colour (certainly can't see through it) and a fairly borwn head which mostly dissipated to the rim before I began drinking. It has a roasted malt nose: dark chocolate and coffee. I hope it doesn't taste of coffee.'s riding the coffee line for me, although I'm not the best judge since I've avoided the evil stuff for more than the last 50% of my life. It starts quite sweetly and chocolatey but then as the hops kick in and it becomes more bitter it tends towards coffee. After a couple of sips I'm glad I let the wife have half of the bottle, but trying to be objective I can see this is fairly well done, just not my, er, cup of tea.

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Photo of RhinoBrew
4.19/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A decent stout for a very good price. I have had several times without being disappointed. I get it in the large bottles and have tried in on tap. I still think the Breakfast Stout is the best available in New Englnd, but we can not get it in NH due to laws of kids being on the bottle.

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Photo of ptarmigan98
1.3/5  rDev -63.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Got two bottles via beer of the month club but both were a bust. Inside of the cap had a sticky gunk. Both bottles totally foamed out as they were poured. Came back after the foam settled and tried tasting them. Never had an opportunity to truly evaluate them and felt like I wasted money.

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Photo of scotorum
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick

a: Dense black. Huge tan head receded to heavy even surface foam and a little fading lacing.

s: Dark chocolate.

t: Dark smoky malt with chocolate and some hop balance. A little bitterness and smoke lingers but mostly a dry finish.

m: Medium, maybe a bit light for a stout but close.

o: A good fairly solid stout. If you buy or order this wanting a dry stout you will be pretty well satisfied.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

355ml Bottle: poured into a Gordon's thistle shaped glass at home on 26th Nov 13. An American brewed Stout bought in rural Shropshire from a national supermarket, something that would have been unheard of only two years ago.

The glass suited the beer: the black body and tanned head looked majestic, sadly the head faded very quickly into a thin wisp and collar, what a pity.

Burnt dark chocolate notes hit my nose, closely followed by black coffee pot boiling on an open wood fire.

The taste followed the aroma nicely: slightly smoked coffee and dark chocolate flavours with a dry mildly bitter finish.

Thought the body a bit thin for a Dry Stout but otherwise not bad at all.

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Photo of Omnium
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a rich black color, one finger of tan head, no lacing.
S - Big full roasty malt some chocolates, a little nutty quality.
T - Nice roasted malt flavor, some smoked traits too, nutty, and light chocolate.
M - Creamy and smooth.
O - Excellent sessionable stout, lots of flavor, not big on alcohol.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

355ml bottle from Morrison's Supermarket (£1.50):
Black with a thick looking, quite creamy head that is a dark shade of tan brown in colour and holds well at about a centimetre tall.

Dark roasted malts & some chocolate upfront with some sweet notes that follow this. There is some milky chocolate and a dark fruit smell that is pretty standard for the style before finishing with some earthy tones.

Earthy & roasted malts kick things off with a sweetness that is coupled with some dried fruit and darker flavours such as dates and prunes. There is a bitter chocolate taste that follows this with some roasted barley and a little coffee too.

Light medium body and seemed more watery than I had expected. There was definitely evidence of stronger than average carbonation but this died down some as the beer settled.

A disappointment as far as I'm concerned, a beer that was a little thin and definitely lacked in both flavour and smell. A run-of-the-mill stout which is a shame because I was looking forward to this one.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, actually black with the aroma of chocolate, dark roast coffee and roasted malts. Not much of a head with very little lacing around the glass actually. Tastes like the smell would suggest with a slight dry finish. Overall pretty good and enjoyable.

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Photo of KajII
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

[Suggested Glassware: Nonic Pint]

The pour was a deep dark black with an average (1-2 finger) creamy khaki colored head that reduced down to a thin film with a medium collar and had good streaky lacing.

The aroma was of roasted chocolate malts and an earthy yeast with notes of milk chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruit (prunes and black cherry) and a wisp of smoke.

The taste was lightly sweet with a smooth milky chocolate note and a roasty malt presence from the get go, progressing with a decent coffee bitterness and a slight smoky fruitiness at the end. The flavor lasted an average time after the swallow, with a mildly bitter coffee taste left lying on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was just below medium in body with a thin watery texture and a soft carbonation.

Overall I found this to be a little thin for a Stout, although it did posses and nice mild fruitiness which along with the light bitterness and the low ABV makes this a nice and tasty session beer for all us dark beer lovers....

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I bought this as a single since it was fairly cheap and I havent seen this before, the label caught my eye but also expect it to be quality despite the ABV!

A: Pours a dark motor oil black, with a thin mocha colored head and not much lacing to speak of but there is some.

S: Aroma gives off some dark roasted malts, chocolate notes, and a blend of coffee and caramel. Awesome smell to this beer and especially sweeter than bitter.

T: Strong coffee flavor, mixed with hints of caramel is what I get in the initial flavor. Beer blends into a sweet chocolate and dark fruit combination that finishes with a dry, bread or nutty dryness.

M: Mouth has a sweet texture and not overly bitter. All the components for a good stout are there.

O: This is a session stout and is delicious at that. Lacks the ABV of a trophy type stout, but it doesnt matter because now instead of having 2 glasses of a bomber, you can have 6 beers of this and be straight!

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color that's moderately opaque. The head is a one finger khaki color with lacking retention. At least lacing is nice.

S: Roasted barley, nuts, chocolate, licorice, and a hint of coffee. Actually a bit more interesting than I anticipated - though considering the beer I had before this, just about anything will be an improvement.

T: The opening flavors are pleasantly roasty. A bit buttery in the midtaste, though it works to a partial extent in this. The finish goes back to the roasted barley and coffee, with even a bit of char. A slight floral note appears on the aftertaste, suggesting a pseudo-healthy hop profile. Nothing pops out in the grand scheme of things, but it's fine.

M: The first sip seems overcarbonated, but it smooths out nicely after sip #2. Shipyard actually did a decent job of nailing the clean dryness of a good Irish stout, except for a lingering chalkiness on the aftertaste. Gotta clean that one up, guys...

O: Good, not great. Very easy to drink and noob friendly, at least. I won't get a six pack of it, but it would be a good one to try on tap.

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Photo of Kendo
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from the bottle (with a twist-off cap) into a pint glass. Dark pour makes it look pretty thick. In the glass the body is black with a small (maybe a half-finger) light brown head.

S: Roasted barley and a bit of black licorice.

T: Bitterness is the overall impression - not sure if it's from the roasted malt or the hops. At times I think it's gotta be the roasted grains, but sometimes I'm not so sure. Really nothing more going on besides that roastiness, though after a few sips and my palate adjusts to it, I think I get a bit of roasted coffee beans as well as just generic roast.

M: Way too carbonated. A sharp, active carbonation doesn't help things here, as it makes the bitterness more pronounced on the palate. Heft is lightish.

O: I used to have a co-worker who owned a place in Maine not too far from Kennebunkport and the Shipyard brewpub. He used to rave about this beer back in the mid-to-late 90s, and I remember having it back then and kind of liking it. Either it's gotten worse or my taste buds have improved; this is nothing I would ever get again.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark sherry color upon the pour sits a dense pitch black in the chalice accompanied by a 1.5 finger mocha colored head that sits well but hardly pays its respect in the lacing department.

S: Burnt sweet grains, dark roast, moderate in strength. Dark fruit of plums with burnt chocolate.

T: Flavor is alcohol laced, chocolate and roast, dark fruit of prunes, black cherries, sweet burnt grains. Malty, worty, roasty with a sweet mention of alcohol and a touch of roasted fruitiness.

M: Mouthful leans on the light side per style, silky, roasty, with an oily feel. Not much carbonation detection, leaves a powdery roastiness coating on the tongue.

O: Overall a generally good stout, won't blow you away, but shouldn't disappoint as a casual example.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 22 oz. bomber. Sampled on August 25, 2012.

The pour is a deep dark brown with a handsome looking tan, fluffy head that settles down after a few moments.

The aroma is full of dark toasted malts, coffee and the Shipyard yeast strain.

The body is near medium and somewhat smooth.

The taste has a moderate to high bitterness but not hoppy. The ending is dry but it does not linger.

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Photo of soju6
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a black color with a small tan head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt and dark fruit with a bit of coffee in the background.

T: Taste of roasted malt with dark chocolate. A bit of coffee and dark fruit are mixed in. Mild bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Fairly full body, crisp and smooth. Nice balance but not overpowering.

O: Enjoyable beer, good for a few. Nice take on the style.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into chalice. Best before June 2012.

A: Pours a pitch black with a thick 2 finger light khaki head. head sticks around for a few minutes and leaves some lacing on the sides. No light gets through this brew.

S: Fairly timid aroma, get some roasted malt and dark fruits but that is about it. A little coffee kicks in as it warms. Slight boozey presence.

T: Nice roasted malt flavor, very true to the style. A slight smokiness to it. Hints of coffee.

M: Light on the palette for a stout. Has a nice creamy feel to it. Very drinkable

Overall a tasty stout that has great drinkability. Very true to the style of irish stouts. Would recommend anyone to pickup a sixer.

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Shipyard Blue Fin Stout from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.58 out of 5 based on 560 ratings.
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