Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2007: Honey Porter
Shipyard Brewing Company

Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2007: Honey PorterBrewer's Choice Special Ale 2007: Honey Porter
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Porter - English
3.54 | pDev: 14.12%
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2007: Honey PorterBrewer's Choice Special Ale 2007: Honey Porter
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 26 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JAHMUR:
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JAHMUR from Connecticut

3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Dec 04, 2013
More User Reviews:
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger light brown head that fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Nearly black, hints of mahogany color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Flavor has some sweetness but its mainly burnt coffee. Lingering bitter/coffee aftertaste. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

Mar 18, 2007
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far333 from Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep chestnut colored with ruby highlights. A thick and foamy, but tightly bubbled light brown head sits firmly atop and lingers long as a half-inch cap.

Aroma of roasted malt, some cocoa and talc, a bit metallic, and subtle honey notes.

Flavor of roasted malt, a bit smokey, some burnt oak, a little molasses. There's a bit of sweetness, but not much, and I wouldn't necessarily be able to peg it as honey. Not picking up the typical ringwood flavors.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, a little tannic, finishes tingly bubbly.

Sep 18, 2007
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scottum from Vermont

2.31/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown with a tan headskie. Tastes sweet like honey, overly so. The balance really isn't there and it makes this brew almost difficult to drink. Mouthfeel is smooth, but I'm not impressed. I'm glad I only bought one bottle as I don't think I could have finished a six pack.

Jan 04, 2008
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John_M from France

4.25/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Merks in New Smyrna the other night. For those who don't know, New Smyrna is yet another one of the many Florida beer deserts, where one is thankful to find anything not made by Coors, AB and Miller. Merks is nothing short of an oasis in the New Smyrna beer scene, with a number of good beers on tap and in bottle.

In keeping with most taverns I've encountered in Florida, no one at Merks seemed to have any idea what kind of beer made up the current version of the Brewer's Choice. However, as is also often the case in Florida, the folks running the bar were very friendly and generous, and had no problem at all pouring me a free sample. I commented that the beer reminded me very much of a sweet oatmeal stout, to which the bar tender replied "uh yeah, it's pretty dark."

This beer pours a very dark brown black color, with an impressive tan brown head. The beer had very nice head retention and decent lacing. There was lots of roasty, dry, sweet malt in the nose, with a hint of licorise and vanilla. On the palate this was a very impressive, sweet, full bodied porter. The beer was very, very smooth, with flavors of chocolate, coffee and licorise. Despite it's sweetness, the beer was not cloying or tiring to drink, and finished with a nice dry hint of licorise.

I have to confess I have not been overly impressed with previous offerings I've sampled from Shipyard, but this was pretty good. I would certainly order it again.

Apr 30, 2007
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Charred chestnut with fiery red and orange highlights. At least three fingers of camel colored foam followed a vigorous pour. The creamy cap is lightly sculpted as it falls, leaving an good bit of attractive lace in the bargain. I usually like my porters to look darker and richer, but this one is more than acceptable.

Speaking of dark and rich, the nose isn't. That doesn't mean that I don't like what I smell. Well, a little anyway. The beer smells like cocoa butter (gotta love that yeast strain... or not), with no orange blossom honey that I can detect. The Warrior and Tettnang hops don't make much of an olfactory splash either.

Like most Shipyard beer, Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2007 is a bit of an odd duck. I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have said 'honey porter' with any of my first three guesses if I had been blinded. That said, it has an interesting collection of flavors that might work their way into my good graces by the bottom of the bottle. Or they might not.

The moderate roastedness of the crystal, chocolate and black malts is the (somewhat dim) star of this porter show. The butteriness of the Ringwood yeast isn't far behind, nor is the surprising bitterness of the hops. I'm still not sure that I can appreciate the honey. In the end, it doesn't work out as well as it might have. There's more clashing going on than cooperation.

Given the style, I'm not impressed with the mouthfeel at all. In fact, it would have been barely average for a brown ale. It's too thin and becomes even thinner on the finish. A brief flash of bubbles fades quickly, leaving the swallow with less animation than is acceptable.

I liked the 2005 Brewer's Choice Special Ale (an American brown) and consider it the best Shipyard beer not named Old Thumper. Honey Porter isn't anywhere close to that league. It's a hodgepodge of a beer that never really finds its groove. Maybe the 2008 BCSA offering will right 'the Ship'.

Jun 16, 2007
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bark from Sweden

4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When pouring the beer, the high pale brown head sinks slowly down with a loud fizzing noise. The colour is clear brown-black. There is some thick lacing.

The strong smell is all over the room; lots of heavily roasted malt, some fresh bitter notes, hints of mint, yeast and sweet candy.

The taste is a little lighter than I had expected. There are salty notes of really roasted malt, dry bitter hoppy flavours and a passing metallic touch. The aftertaste is fresh and balanced with increasing flavours of coffee, honey drops and milk chocolate. The finish is sweet-salty.

The carbonation is quite strong; large bubbles. The liquid is silky and smooth.

A good American porter, well suited for a damp autumn night.

Oct 12, 2007
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a full, lush tan head.

Smell: What a sweet-smelling, candyish nose! Aside from a little chocolate and coffee, its like sniffing a big glass of the Indian Corn you get at Halloween.

Taste: Sweet!! Caramel syrup and thick ribbons of honey. There's also plenty of roasty espresso, cocoa powder, and molasses. A bit of hops near the finish try to temper the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: For those of you who love you some sweet, sweet honey, then this just may be the beer for you, and if its not this beer, then its likey another one.

Jul 20, 2007
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Vancer from Illinois

3.61/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sitting in Jax Fifth in Orlando, enjoying this brew in the cool breeze. And whoa ! Only 4 other reviews – didn’t know this was just out.

This one was a winner – opaque brown/black with a semi-foamy Guinness type head of tan. Very nice sheet lacing.

Chocolate malt in the aroma. The quaff is more along a dry stout than a porter, but it does have malt potential lurking in the background, along with that chocolate and sweet honey.

A tad thin, this brew is pleasant, but just not quite there for a porter. Still drinkable and I enjoyed it.

Mar 20, 2007
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johnnieoz from Hawaii

3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2007...I think. 'Tis not clear from the label, which has an 8/31/2008 expiry date.

A: Pours an enormous, tan head, which leaves lacing till the very last drop. Dark chestnut color.
S: Burnt chocolate and then...tootsie roll. Are you kidding me? Very different. Is this due to the honey?
T: It is balanced. A good porter with some burnt malty flavors and distinct hops.
M: This was one is a tad light on the palate and tongue. There is a dry, smoky feel to it as it does down the throat.

Drinkability: I have yet to review other English or American porters, but my beer memory tells me this is a slightly above average one.

Sep 23, 2007
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BuckSpin from Maine

2.13/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Presentation: 11oz bottle with "Best By" ticking of 2/08, in a classic conical pint glass.

In that I like porters and also love to try limited editions this was a no brainer.

Lightly floral, toasted crackers, semi-sweet nose. Can't quite put my nose, er, finger on it, but there is a acidic, sweet aroma...probably the hops. As it warms some sweeter apple qualities come thru. Head was a fat finger's worth of tight, creamy, faded ivory hued foam that settled to a nice 1/8" blanket of cover, darker & thicker on the glass edge, sticky and lacing thickly. Color is a stunning, deep rudy, bloodstained brown, very dark, murky.

Its pretty dry, very dry actually, bittersweet. A trace of that honey is noticeable, but its hard to find under those silty, earthy, almost chalky dry malts. For a honey porter this is very bitter & dry. Its rather bland, dull, flat, and definitely chalky. Combine the classic Shipyard hops with a bitter malt profile....not very pleasing. It does sweeten up some on the palate, a little richer...

Metallic! Thats the mystery aroma (annonized zinc, anyone?)...and (ugh) also the mouthfeel. The alcoholic sonar that goes thru my sinuses makes me wince, and not from high ABV. There are some subtle chocolate & caramel qualities hiding in there, but they are watery & under all the rest of the unfortunate main tastes....too bad. It finishes bitter (surprise), thin, watered and chalky, leaving a filmy, blackboard aftertaste.

This was just bad, and it certainly can't be due to getting a old bottle. I'm pretty disappointed, but at least now I know. If you, like me, enjoy porters and like trying limited edition beers, take my advice that there is nothing to see here, and spend your money on some other limited.

Mar 28, 2007
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, coffee, chocolate and dark roasted malts with a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty and smoky, but not very sweet with flavors of honey, dark chocolate and roasted coffee. There's a dry bitterness that doesn't seem to come from the mild hops presence. The after-taste is smoky and bitter.

M: Crisp with a little smoothness, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is very dry.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, good kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely several other Porters that I would select over this one.

Feb 19, 2008
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Every once in a while Shipyard comes up with a beer that I enjoy. This is one of them. A very dark brown with some red highlights. Thick tan head. It had a sweet aroma, with some malt. Honey sweet taste, which gave way to some hops. A fairly substantial beer, very drinkable.

Feb 21, 2007
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Manosbeeroffate from Maine

3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another find at the local Hannaford. Pours a very dark brown, almost black. A nice smell of roasted malts. Tastes of roasted malts, some bitterness and a hint of honey (hence it being a honey porter) The bitterness attributed to the roasted malts, a slight sense of powdered cocoa). Mouthfeel on the thin and fuzzy side. But overall a thumbs up. Shipyard can be a bit dicey at times but this one I am quite happy with. Worth looking for.

May 06, 2007
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auxiliary from Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Dark brown color, large head on this one, some lace left on the glass too.

smell - Roasted malts, some hops present.

taste - Roasted malts up front, ends with some honey and hops at the end.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Very tastey. My kind of porter, sweet at the end, not too burnt.

Apr 07, 2008
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baggio from Sweden

3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark, dark red. No lace.

S: Honey, bitter chocolate, hops.

T: Dark chocolate, caramel, roasted malt.

M: Quite smooth with medium carbonation and a wee bit sweetness.

American porter in a nutshell. Could use a bit more body. Give it a try
if you're into porters!

Sep 09, 2007
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Drew966 from Florida

3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2007 (Honey Porter pours a very dark brown with an enormous tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Roasted malt dominates the aroma. Roasted malt is up first in the taste, then a bit of hops, the finish is a bit fruity but then I get licorice. I can't really tell there is honey in this beer, but honey can be very subtle. I'm pleasantly surprised that I like this beer, I wasn't expecting much. Definitely worth a try.

Aug 04, 2007
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tmitch75 from Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Deep dark brown with a nice garnet color under the light. Fluffy tan head drops quickly to a thin layer.

Sugary sweet smell with a slight roasty finish. Very little hop smell.

Strong sweet honey flavor without enough roasty character to balance it out. Decent hop finish.

Medium bodied but the taste could really use a thicker body.

A tasty beer but not as good as I hoped. I am a big fan of honey porters (Sam Adams comes to mind) but this one was just too sweet and too thin.

Tasted on 3/28/08. Single bottle bought at John's Grocery in Iowa City.

Apr 30, 2008
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

AP: Dark burgundy with ruby-red hues and a thin, bubbly tan head that dissipates to a scattered cover with a solid ring around the edge. The retention is impressive with a constant foamy presence.

Nose: (In order) honey>caramel>chocolate>dark roasted coffee malt>herbal and zesty hop.

Taste: Caramel malt with a subtle current of honey and dark roasted coffee with dark chocolate, big roasty flavors seem to dominate after the first hit but then give-way to a subtle burnt-wheat and zesty hop zing takes over and rounds out as an herbal and slightly bitter finish. Beers brewed "with" honey should be subtle but effective, and luckily it is. balance is the key here.

Feel: medium to full bodied with a smooth but crisp edge that is pleasant. If this brew warms up too much, it does have a flat, and thin effect.

DA: I really enjoy a good unique porter and these are pretty easy to drink.

Apr 27, 2007
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Bowdoinbeerboy from Maine

3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours with almost no head, what little there is quickly disapears. Color is black, very dark in color.

Smell- Smells sweetly of carmelized hops and honey, smells delicious.

Taste- Incredibly smooth, hints of caramel, honey, chocolate, and a tiny tang of hops blend togethor incredibly well. Well balanced with just a tiny bit at the end.

Mouthfeel- For how dark it is and its heavy flavors its actually suprisingly light on the tongue. Not watery, but certainly not thick.

Drinkability- A very drinkable beer, well balanced, medium heaviness and solid taste.

May 12, 2007
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bluegrassbrew from Georgia

3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black with a very nice off white head.

Smell is of sweet malts and some roastiness.

Taste is of roasted malts. Slightly bittering bite at first, followed by some sweet malty notes. Has just a hint of honey.

Medium body

Good, solid porter. Recommended.

Jun 22, 2007
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xgrafcorex from Virginia

3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but i was pleasantly surprised. pours a nice dark porter color with about an inch of head that doesn't stay for too long. the smell immediately makes me think of honey. its not overpowering, actually subtle in a way, but definitely present. taste is malty but sweet..not as much of the honey coming through until the aftertaste sets in. even then the honey isn't as present as it is in the smell.

not too heavy for a porter, i would drink this again without hesitation. i would buy it again..especially because its not very expensive..though i wouldn't say its one of the best porters i've had. easy to drink and i'm happy to drink it, but its not spectacular in any sense. give it a try if you like porters or are a fan of other shipyard offerings.

Mar 03, 2007
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davidt from Virginia

3.46/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with just some mahogany tints coming through at the edges. Extremely large frothy brown head filled the glass. Look sort of like a root beer float. Aroma is lactose, tart. Flavor has some roasted bitterness. Try as I might, i couldn't get any honey or sweetness out of this. The mouthfeel is moderate, perhaps a bit on the thin side.

Feb 03, 2008
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Jonte from Sweden

2.75/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown color with a beige/light brown head.

Smells of roasted and sweet malt, caramel, coffee, some fruit.

The taste is sweet, roasted and malty with hints of coffee, sourness, hops, maybe some honey and tea!?. Medium bodied and a bit flat.

I will probably not buy it again.

Oct 07, 2007
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deltatauhobbit from Maine

3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An improvement on the Brewer's Choice over last years in my opinion.

Pours a dark brown with a full head.

Smells of roasted malt with chocolate and caramel, ironically can't make out any honey.

Taste is quite quite sweet, the caramel is the most obvious. Can barely make out the honey, but at least most so than the smell.

The beer is pretty light for a porter, which hurts it in the mouthfeel as it's supposed to be full, but makes it easier to enjoy more of.

Dec 28, 2007
Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2007: Honey Porter from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 26 ratings