Pugsley's Signature Series: Barley Wine | Shipyard Brewing Company

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Pugsley's Signature Series:  Barley WinePugsley's Signature Series:  Barley Wine
253 Ratings
Pugsley's Signature Series:  Barley WinePugsley's Signature Series:  Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This addition to the Pugsley's Signature Series collection is a big beer made with six different malts and balanced with a very full hop charge. It is a deep reddish brown in color with a complex fruity nose, a very full body, and an interesting balance between grains and hops which ends with a pleasing dry taste.

Added by Jason on 11-12-2008

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 253 |  Reviews: 168
Reviews by 12packpoet:
Photo of 12packpoet
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of brownbeer
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a reddish hue and a small light brown head. Almost too dark to really get much from the appearance.

Aroma includes chocolate, liquorice, and a little brown sugar. Definately more English stlye with light hop notes.

It has an oily body with low carbonation. Tastes sweet similar to a lbv port wine showing earthy and dark fruit notes with liqourice overtones.

Finishes with a noticable hop bite and warming alcohol.

Overall, for the style they were going for they (english barleywine) it's not bad, but it never quite engages you. Dark and mellow, more suitable for a winter warmer that should be a much better price.(Think Avery Old Jubilation)

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

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

Here is another regional brewer getting into the whole "Big Beer Series" thing, foiled top and fancy labeling to boot.

Dark brown in color with a glowing ruby red when put up to the light. Good lacing here with tan stickage on the glass. Trademark buttery Shipyard aroma fills the nostrils with some edgy, roasted grain and dark fruitiness closely following. Damn smooth with a slick, full-ish body. Roasted grain character is pushy, trying to show that it is in charge with a flaring of charcoal. Hints of caramel, dried fig and faint black currant fruitiness. Maltiness pulls in more suggestions of fresh-roasted coffee and unsweetened chocolate. Hops are modest and let the malt do most of the job. About midway the alcohol pops up with a warmth and claims ownership to the fruitiness. Finishes with a mild note of char and fruitiness and lands just about semidry.

Respect to Shipyard for sticking to their guns, in their true manner of sticking with English styles and not jumping on the Extreme Beer wagon. A job well done with a less respected and underrated beer style.

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

I bought this and the Imperial Porter at Tully's in Wells for $10.50 each. This was the first one I tried, and thought the beer was pretty good. Served in a snifter, the beer was a dark red/brown color with a medium-sized, quickly dissipating, tan head. The aroma was predominately of dark fruit, with a little malt presence. The taste was cherry and raisin, malt first, then some hops. The label said a dry finish, and I would agree. I thought this was a good example of an English barleywine, and would drink it again.

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Photo of megamass
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Foil wrapped bomber pours a mostly clear, dark mahogany body with a medium sized tan head. Good retention with some patchy lacing.

Aroma of pine and citrusy hops, chocolate, caramel, and roasted cofffee.

Medium body and carbonation with some hop oiliness, yet an odd creaminess.

Taste has earthy, pine, and citrusy hops, bitter dark roasted malts, caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and dark fruits. A hint of coffee lets you know there are some dark roasted malts at work. Sounds like a mess, with all the hops and malt varieties in this one but it actually works quite well.

Very tasty, but this is just not a barleywine. A strong ale, perhaps. Still, it's the tastiest offering from Shipyard I've ever sipped and I'm not going to penalize it any style points.

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Photo of olradetbalder
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

625mL bottle from the LCBO's Shipyard Pugsley series release.

Poured into a Duvel goblet. I read the ingredients on the label description before, but even after knowing that chocolate malt was part of the mash, I was still blown away by the dark chestnut colour - certainly not typical for a barleywine. Good sized off-white head, that survives as a thick ring. Good lacing on this.

Nose is boozy with a good caramel maltiness, plum, bread crust, grape, some citrus and tea hops.

Similar tasting notes as in the nose. This brew is an interesting blend of American and English barleywine styles, with the chocolate malt adding a slight roastiness to the overall flavour. Booze cuts in at the end, which is sharp, but not overpowering. Nice warming feeling.

Good body on this, nicely carbonated, slightly creamy, but with the thickness of a barleywine.

Interesting take on the style.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark brown, nearly black, with mahogany edges and a thick tan head. Creamy looking. Thick, sticky lacing. Never seen a barleywine look like this; more like a cream stout or imperial porter. Earthy, wooden malt with a chunk of cocoa powder and hops in the nose. Equally creamy mouthfeel; very unexpected. Roasty malt, again earthy and wooden. The chocolate really comes through as it warms. There is a resiny bite, but it comes off more like part of a barrel-aged character. It was very nice, but the density and heft of the beer made it a bit unwieldly in terms of drinkability. I had wished someone was there to help me finish the bomber.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a dfh snifter, marked as cellar aged.

Pours a very dark brown hazy color with a very thin light brown head with no lacing. Nose is very boozy for the abv, sweet malt dominates.

Taste is sweet, boozy, and sharp carbonation, the body is very light and sweet. Drinkability is very harsh and quite tame.

 325 characters

Photo of pat61
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Pours clear deep chestnut with 1/2 “ clingy tan foam collar S: raisin and fruit aromas T: Rich dark malts, dark dried fruit, raisin and prune, dark toffee, wine notes, dark biscuit, bitter hop accent. F: Creamy, soft palate, full bodied, medium to medium low carbonation. O: A big beer with a luscious body.

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Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky brown color with a thick and frothy dimpled light brown head that lingers.

Aroma of toasted malt and fruitiness, subtle hop aromas.

Flavor of fig and plum, some medicinal notes, dark malts, fruity notes of ripe pear, pretty bitter, subtle hop flavors. Gets a little sweeter as it warms, and some smokey notes move in as well.

Even mouthfeel, a bit slick, but finishes tingly. Decent beer, worth trying, but perhaps not earthshaking.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a deep dark brown-hued black body with a thick creamy tan head of foam on top. There are tiny bubbles that glide to the surface on the sides of the glass.

S- The aroma is complex with notes of caramel, roasted black malt and a small black coffee note. As the beer warms there are some pale malt notes and a finish that is good dark nougat.

T- Dark chocolatey malt flavors blends with dark roasted flavors and some soft licorice roast notes come through aswell. There are nice dark caramel malt flavors that are slightly sweet that pop through as the beer warms. The finish has a full bitter bite that is part black charred malt and part bitter hops.

M- This beer has a full mouthfeel with a creamy texture as long as the head last and a faint alcohol heat in the finish as the beer warms a good bit.

D- This beer is very smooth to drink but with nice complexity and new layers of flavor as the beer warms. This is a great English style barley wine that is big but shows depth aswell. I don't think I would age this one as it might lose some of its complexity.

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Photo of linnet
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ruby colour, beige head that leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Aroma is very sweet and malty, but there is also some hops in the nose. It has a funky acidic quality that makes it less pleasurable and there is also dark fruit in there. Flavour is surprisingly watery for a beer with as high ABV like this has. It has a nice bitterness is enjoyable, unfortunately this beer is full of funky chemical notes that makes it less than convincing and it also has the same sour flavour that I found in the aroma. It has some malts in it that makes it acceptable to drink but not more. Mouthfeel is just plain average. This is a bad example of the style, I will avoid it in the future.

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Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of Brenden
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This barleywine is dark red-brown with bright, almost violet-red highlights through its body. The tan head is one finger tall, shows good retention, and fades very slowly and never completely. There's not as much lacing as I'd expect considering its consistency and stature, but it's more than moderate.
The aroma holds lots of dark fruits with a mix of sweetness and tang, a tinge of alcohol to it, and some roasted grains underneath. It's got an interesting character, especially with the yeast and the slight buttery note Shipyard tends to convey.
The taste is more rounded and complete. It's still got an interesting roasted malt character leaning more toward a different style, and the fruity tang and sweetness are still there. In the flavor, though, there's a good deal more floral and perfumey hops bitterness, and it works. It's certainly on the edge for an English version of the style.
Carbonation's a bit high, but it slows down. Unfortunately, it can only do that by flattening out a little on the end. It's crisp until then, and it's got some smoothness to the medium body.

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Photo of samtrillo
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Surprising amount of audible carbonation on the pour and it almost bubbled over when I opened it. The pour is a midnight amber under a London streetlight....

Nose is sweet toffee and caramel. Dried dark fruits. Prune, dark cherry.

Taste is skewed in areas a bit different than a lot of barleywines I've had. Smokey, woody characteristics, a lot less sweet and syrupy than others. Toffee, butterscotch, burnt caramel, brown sugar, prunes, dark raisins. It's all tied together by the dry smokey qualities. No noticeable hops like american styles. The aftertaste on this beer ruins the whole thing, however. There's an obvious bitter-charred-alcohol flavor that's making me wince.

The mouthfeel is crisper and spicier than I'm used to, which was nice at first but difficult to keep going.

Overall, this barleywine is dark smokey treat. Definitely an English version.

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Photo of weonfire
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Much darker than expected. Dark ruby/purple. finger head, dark creme color. small amount of lacing.

S - real pleasant. nice fruits. chocolate, cherry, brown sugar, carmel and toffee.

T - wow, not impressive after the nice scent. bland up front, bitter on the way down. a bit of dried fruit. taste the alcohol more then wanted. do like that carmel malt. dry finish.

M - Very nice froth. most impressive element about this brew. viscosity is medium. does cover well.

O - Very dry. I must admit i am fairly new to the barely wine game. Maybe this is exactly how an 'English' barley wine should taste. I was expecting something much sweeter.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one has a wonderful color, I'm always impressed with the color of barleywine's, it's a deep and bright amber with glowing red hues, small bubbles form a scattered and lacy tan colored head with decent retention and sticksa around a bit with only slight foam left-over.

The nose has some very soft aroma's, sublte malts give off dark sugar and caramel. The soft, buttery scent from the infamous wormwood yeast strain pops right out with Soft and mild chocolate, an herbal whiff in the back. slight fruits pop out later on. Overall, a very subtle aroma for the style but very nice.

My first impression was that this is a very light version of the style, the flavor's are balanced very well with a caramel maltiness, slick-buttery wormwood yeast, grains and earthiness, which I don't think runs amok at all in this case, with a very subtle herbal hop. The heat is very mellow and there arn't really any big flavor's popping out. Much like the aroma it's very soft and subtle. I like the big and bold flavor's of the English Barleywine, but this version is just a bit weak in the complexity department. This one really seems like a mild Barley wine ale overall. The feel is is a full boided with a medium-soft edge, very, very dry finish.

My fiance really liked this, but she doesn't care for the "heavy" Barleywine's and I do.

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Photo of asabreed
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: Not an opaque black, but an opaque very dark brownish amber color. Nice raindrop lacing and good retention from the off-white head that dissipates maybe a little more quickly than I'd hoped.

Smell: More American than English, in my opinion, with citrus hops dominating here, versus fruit and brighter aromas. Wet hop spikiness is there too, along with some tobacco and mild leather and tar aromas.

Taste: Hops and very dark candied fruits dominate, with a lingering bitterness of citrus, especially grapefruit. Nicely balanced through and through. Some chocolate and slight coffee comes in and lingers also.

Mouthfeel: For a medium to heavy-bodied brew, there's a good creaminess to this by which I was fairly surprised by. Beyond pleasant.

Drinkability: I was surprised by this on the whole, because to me it's more of a hybrid style -- I would've guessed, from all the English versions, that this is pretty much distinctively an American version. Complex, not insanely alcoholic, and worth your time sipping. Nice job, Pugsley.

 1,081 characters

Photo of DruC4
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Metalmonk
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this for about 6 months...figured it was time. Pours a quarter-inch head of light tan, which transforms to a thin crown quickly. Muddy brown color. Small strings of lace are left on the glass.

For a barleywine, the nose is surprisingly subtle. Maple syrup, molasses, toffee, cocoa, dark fruit and mineral, all quite faint.

Flavor is subdued, as grape, fig and molasses meld with a tart citrus peel edge, the latter being especially prominent in the finish. Flashes of herbal tea; lightly burnt bread crust; roasted grain; faint tobacco. A mineral, almost metallic essence brings the enjoyment down a little.

Sticks to the mouth a little, and has a slickness to it as it goes down. A bit more carbonated than I'm used to for the style.

Clearly not the biggest barleywine at 8.5%, this is on the more subdued end of the barleywine spectrum, and a decent try at the style. Has some redeeming qualities, and for $5.99 a bomber, it's not a bad deal. But probably not one I'll remember with extraordinary fondness.

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Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent beer, brought in to the LCBO for a decent price of $8. Not what I expect from an English barleywine, very bitter finish, dark bodied, chocolate malts. Let’s see how my aged bottle from Maine holds up over the years.Above average carbonation. Good ingredients, but Not as drinkable as it could be.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brown color with an off-white colored head that possesses sporadic lacing around the glass.

S- The aroma is really sweet and fruity malts, caramel and quite a bit of alcohol.

T- The taste like the aroma is predominately malt with dark fruits and a warming finish from the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a pretty solid barleywine that I wouldn't mind having again. Worth a shot.

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Pugsley's Signature Series: Barley Wine from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 253 ratings