Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2008: Royal IPA
Shipyard Brewing Company

Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2008: Royal IPABrewer's Choice Special Ale 2008: Royal IPA
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IPA - English
3.68 | pDev: 14.13%
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2008: Royal IPABrewer's Choice Special Ale 2008: Royal IPA
Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 35 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MrHurmateeowish:
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MrHurmateeowish from Maine

4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this one at Lou's Beverage Barn in Augusta, though I've started seeing it other places around town this week.

Pours a translucent amber-red with a good inch of off-white head. that slowly dissipates leaving a small about of lacing. Floral hops, fruity esters, and diacetyl are all present in equal amounts in the aroma along with a hint of nuttiness. Floral, slightly citrissy hops come on strong with this one initially, with some nutty, fruity, caramel malty, and slightly husky flavors show up in support of the hops. The hops linger on the finish. This beer has just the slightest hint of butter in the flavor, but it plays well with the other flavors in this beer. Medium to full in mouth-feel, with slightly less carbonation than might be expected, though it turns out to be the perfect amount. While hop forward, this beer is rather balanced overall in all its different flavors and is most definitely a solid example of the style.

This beer is much better than Shipyard's other IPA (Fuggles IPA). As I've said with past years' Brewer's Choice offerings, this beer ranks head-and-shoulders above most of Shipyard's other offerings in my humble but true opinion. I'm very impressed and will be sure to be picking up as much of this one as I can while it's around!

Jan 25, 2008
More User Reviews:
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

2.41/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appears a copper amber hue with a large off white head which sticks around for a while. Scattered fine lacing strung all around my pint glass. Aroma has a tart yeast note with pungent dirty hops with underlying caramel malt tones. Also a bit of evident alcohol and again weird barrel aging effects, although I know that's just the Ringwood yeast strain. BTW, their labels are whack from the Chamberlain on to the Export ale. I guess overall I'm not a fan of Shipyard brews, this one holds true with a collision of earthy hops actually give off dirt flavors, caramel malted sour dough bread with a heavy bitterness in the finish with the funky yeast notes. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation a bit softer than the last offering but still an overall unimpressive note, touch of oily lubrication from hop oils. Drinkability is no so good, I just wish the yeast didn't dominate the flavor profile so much. It wears on you with each sip, not very refreshing and flavors are very uncohesive.

Jul 05, 2008
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ybnorml from Rhode Island

3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hazy copper/amber beer. Has a small off white head. The aroma has more sweet malty notes ( toffee, caramel and butterscotch) than hoppy notes. Just a hint of floral and spicy hop notes in the background. A toffee sweetness runs down the middle of your tongue. The floral hops gradually become more earthy as they hit the back of your throat. I'd suppose this would be a good session beer if not for the abv.

Mar 23, 2009
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gueuzeonhigh from Maine

3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours as an IPA should--nice deep amber-red color, active, well proportioned lasting head with modest lacing. Slight nose with a hair of hops a tinge of alcohol and a twist of malt. I'd love a little more spring, freshly cut grass, and sunshine in that nose...

Flavor arrives in a blaze of glory and then...shrivels.
Begins with the hearty bitterness of hops flavor that's up front and center and suddenly the flavor that I had so much expectation for realizes it's in the spotlight and suddenly bequeathed with stage-fright wilts and vanishes. Nevertheless there's still a cleansed signature on my palate so what I consider a premature disappearance isn't so disappointing.

Mouthfeel is good-- partly because of the short lasting flavor this beer seems thinner or perhaps emaciated compared to other IPA's I've savored.

Drinkability is good--I'd call it excellent if the beer had more of everything. As such if a selection of other IPAs were at my disposal I'd ask for another brand. If not others, I'd ask for another beer style.

Nevertheless this IPA is worth your time and effort. Not bad, just not great.

Mar 02, 2008
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bark from Sweden

4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The colour is deep copper; the beige head is two fingers high, very airy and firm. It leaves lots of lacing.

An almost aggressive hoppyness jumps out of the glass when sniffing. Bitter metallic flavours blends with butter, cookies, dried fruits, some alcohol and smoked traces.

The taste is bitter and hoppy, but it is in a balanced English way. Lots of bread flavours from the dry delicately roasted malts. The bitterness is robust and elegant at the same time; fruity notes of matured apples and orange peels, karambola and barely noticeable alcohol. The aftertaste is dry and bitter with some butter and fruits.

The carbonation is mild; the liquid light.

A well crafted interpretation of the English IPA style. With an added bitter bite...

May 09, 2008
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ejimhof from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Jul 24, 2013
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DrFunkenstein from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Nov 23, 2012
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tempest from New York

3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pulled from a variety case and poured into a pint glass.

So this is hoppier than their flagship IPA, but still not too huge. That's not to say it's bad. It follows the normal Shipyard character of of a dry, herbal hop finish with a whole lot of Ringwood in the aroma and flavor. This, however, has more citrus hops and American hop flavor, which makes a tasty combination. Worth a try for something a little different.

Sep 20, 2008
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, honey, citrus and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is decently balanced with flavors of citrus, honey and caramel sweetness and a good hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a nice solid beer that doesn't have a stand-out quality or characteristic to it, but it's worth drinking for a while if you're in the mood for the style.

Jul 16, 2008
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice choice from Shipyard. Amber color with a thick, sticky, off-white head. Nice aroma of both citrus and pine. Grapefruit taste that lingers on, as well as a decent malt presence. The only cavil I have with this beer is that I thought it to be a little rough on the palate. That being said, it's a very good beer, and one I would willingly drink.

Feb 06, 2008
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harpus from Alabama

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Apr 09, 2014
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baggio from Sweden

3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[email protected]

A: Golden orange with a nice, big, head that vanishes after a bit leaving some residue on the glass.

S: Grapefruit, Malts, Bread, Metallic notes

T: Pine, Flowers, Citric Notes , Hops, Caramel

M: Nice and smooth with an initial taste of malt that ends with a nice bitterness from the hops. Medium carbonation.

Very nice IPA that i might seek out again as long as it is available. Better than your average ipa and then some!

May 24, 2008
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cjgator3 from Florida

3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours an amber color with a nice creamy off-white head that possesses very nice retention and lacing. The aroma is sweet buttery malt, a touch of caramel and floral hops. The taste is well balanced, with a nice malty backbone to support a nice hop bitterness in the finish. This is and English-style IPA, so it is intended to be more balanced than American IPAs. Overall, this is a well-crafted beer that is true to the style, recommended.

Feb 27, 2008
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MuenchenerKindl from Germany

3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is a copper color with moderate carbonation. The head is small, tan and leaves little lace.

The smell is nice mild hops and a bit of roasty malt.

The taste is mixed, I like the roasty malt, it is almost like a good brown ale, however the hopy side is mild yet fruity and sweet.

The mouthfel is light bodied and over carbonated. Too much like a soda.

The drinkability just does not work enough for my to like this much. MK

Mar 29, 2008
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Blue Trout Grill in Keene, NH (2/2/08)

This one replaced the "prelude" as the seasonal brew, and it looks very much like the Prelude. It's a nice dark amber color with a nice and thick off-white head that dissiptes really slow for this style and has plenty of remaining clumps all around the edge of the glass.

The nose is well balanced, with herbal and "green" scented hops with a spicey nose tinge that makes you realize this one will be hoppy. BUT! the malt precense is very high with a brown sugar-like malt scent.

This one has almost as much medium-dark malt flavors as it does hops, the balance is really good. The semi-sweet and spicey malt comes on first and is then coupled with a big, bitter, leafy and "green" hop flavor that is not hardy, but more bitter and green tasting, the Shipyard Fuggles IPA is a wonderfully hardy, herbal hop that I enjoy, but this one is much more bitter and acorn-like. If the hop bite was toned down slightly I would dig this more. The hops does mellow out later to be spicey but still ends green and bitter. This is very much like the prelude with a bigger-bitter bite.

This one is a hefty medium body, actually very hefty for the style which I enjoyed.

The balance to this brew is good, but the flavors that stand out the most turns me off a bit. Still, not bad at all.

Feb 03, 2008
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BlindPig from Nevada

4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- About a 1" off white head on a clear amber/copper body.
S- Sweet English grass hops, light English pale malt body, and a few earthy tones from hops.
T- Follows the smell. For an English IPA this follows the style very well with the mild English hops that have a spice bite to them and the English pale malt with a light sweet caramel character.
M- Medium body with medium/low carbonation.
D- English IPA's aren't my favorite style but this is one of the best examples of this style, if I'm being totally objective.

Apr 29, 2008
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largadeer from California

3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper colored with a hazy unfiltered appearance. The head on this brew lasts an exceptionally long time, leaving sheets of sticky lace all over the glass.

Smell: Biscuit malts, yeast, earthy hops - not a ton of hop aroma here but plenty of signature English ale character.

Taste & mouthfeel: Very similar to the aroma. Flavors of fresh bread, caramel and honey meld with an assertive but decidedly mild hop character. Buttery in the middle. Dryness in the finish brings out more of the hop flavor, though bitterness remains low.

Notes: I don't often like English-style IPAs, but this one won me over. Quality stuff.

May 10, 2008
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Ior from France

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful copper colour with two finger white head. Good lacing.

Smell is dominated by hops with citrus or pineapple-like hops. Some malt.

Very nice malty taste, with notes of caramel and butter, balanced perfectly by assertive but not aggressive hops. Some alcohol presence as the beer warms. Long, dry and hoppy finish.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

A very well-balanced and drinkable IPA. Should get some more of these before they run out at Systembolaget.

May 24, 2008
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beerbutcher from Maine

4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

amber with one finger offwhite head

aroma is quite fully english. good amount of aroma, as well as woody yeast character that follows their beers around

the taste is quite full and delicious. lots of slightly coarse english hops and big malt underneath. the alcohol is pretty well concealed here and the hops fall all over the palate. great flavor and balance.

mouthfeel is quite nice. it's a bit of a hard beer. the balance is great and the beer remains lean, despite the high grav. there's also some slight sweetness that holds against the hops to a nice effect.

overall, i love this beer. it's not often that their offbeat yeast character really harmonizes in my opinion. i can say i sincerely enjoyed this quirky ipa. full and assertive. delish.

Feb 05, 2008
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Brad007 from Vermont

3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just barely noticed this on the shelf.

Color: Nice reddish-copper color with a decent head of foam that fades, leaving lacing.

Aroma: Sweet and malty upfront with a decent hop aroma, though nothing impressive.

Taste: Sweet and malty upfront with a heavy emphasis on biscuit flavor. Not much bitterness to be found. It is par the style though. Smooth and drinkable. Not impressed with the buttery flavor (ringwood) but it's not too overwhelming at first.

Mouthfeel: Buttery, biscuity and smooth. Not much dryness.

Verdict: A decent stab at the style but nothing I would seek out again. The buttery flavor can be overwhelming and I feel that it affects this beer. It's still drinkable and if you're a fan of Shipyard beers, seek it out. If you're looking for something a bit hoppier, try their standard IPA instead or seek another brewery.

Mar 17, 2008
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OWSLEY069 from Pennsylvania

2.76/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean orange-ish/ copper color with a small tannish head. In the aroma, a sweet malt and a small hop, very English. In the taste, a sweeter malt and a very nice hop. A small bite and a small to medium mouthfeel, with a small dry maltiness in the aftertaste. Very English, nothing offensive, yet nothing too exciting.

Mar 09, 2008
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bilyboy65 from Colorado

3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from a 12 oz bottle, with a BBD of Nov 08. Poured into a pilsner glass.

A: A clear amber color and on the lighter side for most IPAs. There was no head on the pour. A light residue is left on the glass and very little carbonation to be seen. Also seems to be a bit on the cloudy side for most IPAs as well. After a few minutes of sitting the cloudiness diminished giving it a more distinctive IPA look.

S: Smell is very hoppy as IPAs should be. Hops have a floral and woody scent to them. Not over powering at all because of the underlining scent of the sweet malts.

T: Evenly balanced malt and hop taste. The flavor leads with a sweet malt taste and follows with a prevalent woody hops. Finishes with a fairly bitter aftertaste. Nothing about the flavor really commands attention as it all melds together and plays off of each other.

M: Without a lot of carbonation it is very smooth on the pallet. Seems a bit lighter then most IPAs.

D: The bitter aftertaste takes away from enjoying this beer all the way through. The mixture of malts to hops makes for a good tasting beer. Where a lot of IPAs tend to have a bitter taste, this one is only in the aftertaste. I'm not a fan of bitter tasting beers, but this one is a good beer and one I enjoyed.

Apr 02, 2008
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MMAJYK from Georgia

3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Burnt orange copper color. Crystal clear. Head is minimal but the lacing left behind is patchy.

S- Caramel malts are the most present and the hop presence is not obvious. There is a slight alcohol smell that is noticable in the nose.

T- Super rich malts and nice bittering hops. Malts are very roasty, sweet and rich. Alcohol is not hidden in the taste and comes through. It is a little bit off balance to me with the sweetness overpowering the bittering hop. It also tastes salty to me; weird.

M- Medium to thick in the mouth and the carbonation is right in the middle of the road.

D- Rich and too sweet. Alcohol taste too makes it not sessionable.

Overall- This beer is definitely fresh air from the BMC that is served at the seminar I am at although it is one-sided with the overpowering/sweet malts.

Apr 23, 2008
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BDIMike from Ohio

4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper amber color. Thin white head, however it stays nicely throughout the beer. Good carbonation as well.
Good smell to it. Very nice hops in the smell. A bit floral and fruity.
Very good taste. Great hops taste. The hops have a great citrusy taste to them. Not overwhelming at all. Good hop after-taste.
Mouthfeel is nice. A little sharp, but that is expected with an IPA.
Great drinkability for an IPA. I am not a monster hop head. So this one sits nicely with me as it isn't overpowering at all.

Jan 31, 2008
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Ch1mpy from Sweden

4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This English IPA has an amber colour and a nice white creamy head. Good amounts of lacing remains on the glass.

Fresh hoppy smell which reminds me of strawberries and newly cut grass.

Mild in it's taste which contains smooth malty tones and well balanced bitterness.

Not much carbonation. Goes down quickly. The aftertaste is a lovely bitter which makes sure that this beer leave you with a smile on your lips.

May 20, 2008
Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2008: Royal IPA from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 35 ratings