Pugsley's Signature Series: Barley Wine
Shipyard Brewing Company

Pugsley's Signature Series:  Barley WinePugsley's Signature Series:  Barley Wine
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Barleywine - English
Ranked #242
Ranked #38,671
3.68 | pDev: 12.5%
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Pugsley's Signature Series:  Barley WinePugsley's Signature Series:  Barley Wine
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 254 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by johnnnniee:
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a really dark brown with ruby highlights when held to the light. Smallish off white head disappears quickly. Smells of chocolate, butter, caramel, toffee. Taste is chocolaty buttery hoppy. Leaves a bitter/astringent taste in my mouth. Body is medium to thin the beer finishes dry. Mouthfeel is oily, carbonation is light. I tried to enjoy this, but I could not. The color is too dark for the style, the flavor profile is all wrong. The astringent taste ruined this one for me. At 1o bucks a bottle never again!

Dec 21, 2008
More User Reviews:
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barleywinebrewer from New Hampshire

3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

so shipyard has decided to jump into the special release market with a barleywine and imperial porter. So, how does this fair?

A - dark mahogany colored brew with a khaki head.

S - dark ripe fruit, caramel and an abv / ester note

T - roasted grains, burnt toffee, bakers chocolate, butter, slight abv note.

D - slightly distracting with the burnt / roasted notes.

Nov 21, 2008
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cjgator3 from Florida

3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Jan 02, 2009
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scottoale from California

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. brown bomber with a full wrap-around label and thin gold foil covering the twist-off cap. It pours a nearly opaque, very dark brown with a 1/2" of tan creamy head. The head holds up well and leaves a sticky sheet of lace initially.

Sweet dark fruity malt greets the nose with a little dankness from the hops and an oaky note as well. Smells sweet, yet earthy.

Sweet fruit starts with grape, plum and malt complexity, then the hops kick in with some shapness to the tongue and some pungent bitterness. A little nut and oak pulling through from mid to finish. Fairly dry and bitter is the finish.

Mild carbonation with some fluff to the mouthfeel, a medium dose of alcohol and a medium full body add goodness to the drinkability of this brew. Not a bad English style BW at all...rather authentic and definetely worth a go.

Mar 12, 2009
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a semi-opaque burgundy color with some darker hues. It had a small off-white head.

S - It smelled quite floral with sweet malty notes and a hint of raisin.

T - It tasted of chocolate malts, licorice, roasted malt and tons of sweetness.

M - It was a little thin for a barleywine. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good tasting brew and relatively easy-drinking for a barleywine.

Jan 21, 2009
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jaxon53 from Connecticut

3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to FishGetter for grabbing me this brew. Not a big fan of Shipyard offerings, so I don't really have high hopes. Served this at cellar temperature, in a snifter, from a twenty-two ounce bottle.

Appearance: The Barley Wine Style Ale pours out a deep reddish brown with ruby highlights. A semi hard pour resulted in about two fingers of creamy looking, slightly soapy, tan colored head. Head lasted almost throughout. The great head retention left generous gobs of thick tan lace behind. A pretty good looking beer in my opinion.

Smell: A big malty backbone is noticed first. Chocolate, pale, and caramel malts come to mind. Nice strong fruity notes, cherry, plum, and raisin. Has some wood tones to it with some pipe tobacco. Underlying hints of vanilla and spice. Pretty decent nose on this one.

Taste: Taste is a bit on the weaker side. A bit of a strange bitterness up front. Again quite malty. A slight hoppiness lends a bit of balance. Faint oak and tobacco in the background. Finishes dry with a bitter hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is a b it creamy and thick. Somewhat chalky. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Drinkable, but the bitterness is a little overbearing. Not quite what I expected.

Jan 17, 2009
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stephens101 from Oklahoma

3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A light pour results in a dark tan and fairly bubbly head that sits atop a garnet brew. The one-finger of froth retends for about a minute, and then recedes, leaving a spattering of lace. The nose is sweet, earthy and bready with some dark chocolate mixed in at the end with some flickering hop notes.

The aroma is very involved and bodes well for the future. Initially tastes sweet and a bit grainy with a mixture of sweet and sour cherries evolving slowling into the equation and a hefty hop presence that coats the palate.

Leans toward heavy in the body; and has a creamy core. Medium on the carbonation with a well-blended and slight alcohol heat.
Glad to see Shipyard putting some of their bigger brews on the shelves here in Oklahoma. Give us more!

Aug 20, 2010
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BretSikkink from Mexico

3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown color with some highlighting - significantly darker than I was expecting, but a pretty pleasant surprise really. The head is tan with a sprinkle of cocoa powder - doesn't retain much beyond a simple cap, but the lacing is quite pretty.

The nose is a bit subdued for a big beer - compare to, say, Old Numbskull. A dry, fig-like fruitiness, with more than a small chocolate malt component. A strong diacetyl component conquers all in the 'range' department, as that's about all I can detect without really sticking the nose in there. Some roast character as well, probably also belonging to the chocolate malt.

Initially I was surprised by a couple of things; first, the sweetness was restrained and fairly 'dark' in nature. Secondly, the hops are somewhere in between the two schools of barleywine - for starters on the English side, they are present; for an American, they're not so up front and all powerful. Fuggles are an obvious choice, but the Challenger hops do a great job staying behind the malts at first and lasting longer in the finish. Well done.

After the first hit of dark fruit sweetness amplified by a little molasses, the hops do jump in with a piney, resinous taste that does make it through to the finish. The hops are not of one mind here: the wheat is mostly crowded out by its showier brethren, with the roasted barley trying to bring the astringent charcoal pain, the chocolate malts adding depth but also additional roast, and the caramel malts trying to impart their sweet, lip-smacking full body. There's a lot going on, but I'm not sure it's all going the same place.

Mouthfeel is semi-full and the beer is generally semi-dry. The alcohol definitely emerges and leaves that peppery feel in the late finish. It's okay, but I will never pay that much money for it again.

Dec 21, 2008
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Nov 26, 2008
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ccrida from Oregon

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

Bomber (cellared aged version) poured into my Meantime snifter, Shipyard's Barleywine is dark, cola brown with a dark tan head. I like the darker color. The whole Pugsley's Signature Series is very well packaged.

Smell is sweet and fruity, an almost Belgianesque cured fruits, plum. A little nutty as well, but overall a bit too pungent.

Taste is similar, but mellowed and better integrated, with some hop presence, spice accentuated by the alcohol, which has just a bit of bite.

Mouthfeel is is pretty creamy, medium light body, dry.

Drinkability is pretty good, more in what I would I would call an old ale due to the darker malts. Not worth going to far out of your way for, but certainly worth trying if you get a chance. Probably could have used more cellar time to tame the bite.

Apr 18, 2010
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Nipitato from Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Very dark reddish brown. Opaque - very thick looking. Thin off white head. This beer has legs.

S: A nice rich aroma. Very sweet with significant caramel character. Ripe fruit/raisins. Some medicinal notes. Chocolate. Boozy - a bit vinous.

T: A rich malty and earthy taste. Malt is sweet but doesn't have much character. Earth notes and a nice rounded bitterness are the most noticeable character traits. Some chocolate in here as well.

MF: Some alcohol warming. Lightly carbonated. Medium body. Could be a little smoother.

D, notes: A perfectly fine barleywine. I would have liked more character on the malt side of things and actually a little more sweetness.

Feb 12, 2009
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Georgiabeer from Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours on the darker side for a barley wine, a dark, murky mahogoney with a short head to start that fades to nothing. Smells sweet, grainy, roasty and with some piney and earthy hops. There is also a residual yeast smell that smells typically English. A bit roasty for a barley wine, but fine. The taste is less roasty, but quite a bit more hoppy with piney, earthy, and citrusy hops combined with more roastiness, some dark fruit, and quite a bit of lingering bitterness. Smooth, and somewhat thick in the mouth. Thisn wasn't bad, but it didn't really represent the barley wine style that well. I don't mind the extra hops in a barley wine, but I do want some extra sweetness to go with it, and the extra roastiness was a bit out of place. Still, it was enjoyable enough if not remarkable.

Feb 03, 2009
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srandycarter from California

3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A little lighter than cola, initial light tan head diminishes to disk pretty quick. Some sudsy lace.

S - Light malt, reminiscent of a brown ale or porter. Clean and simple, but inviting.

T - Heavier on the palate, but not too much. Booze well hidden but slightly noticeable. Bittering is vague but does the trick.

M - Medium body, clean malty flavored finishes fairly neutral.

D - Pretty easy to drink. Not really challenging and the ABV is pretty well hidden.

Feb 05, 2012
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MrHurmateeowish from Maine

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber from the local Hannaford. Pours a nearly opaque very dark brown with nearly an inch of light tan head that leaves some impressive lacing. Caramel, toffee, chocolate, butterscotch... Chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee characterize the flavor. Hints of butter here and there, but diacetyl was impressively subdued. On the upper side of medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Not bad, a solid example of an English Barleywine for sure, being more of a malt bomb with hops playing second fiddle as it were. Not sure it was worth the price - maybe it was... However this has to be about the best Shipyard I have ever tried. Way to go Shipyard!

Dec 18, 2008
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BeachRez from California

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

Picked up from BevMo in LB for $6.99

This poured a medium carmel colored brown. Light head that left a light lacing in the glass.

The smell was mild.

Great tasting, low malty sweetness. Very balanced flavor that seems to try for style versus originality.
Very drinkable. No boozy aftertaste. This is something I would drink OFTEN.

Mar 18, 2009
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metter98 from New York

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

A: The beer is clear and very dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high tan head that died down relatively quickly, leaving a patch of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: The nose has moderately strong aromas of alcohol, raisins and toffee along with hints of chocolate.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and balances the malty sweetness and bitterness so that neither prominently stands out.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
O: The variety of the six different malts used to make this beer add some complexity to the taste and makes this a little more interesting to drink compared to others in the style.

Dec 06, 2011
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bbothen from California

3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola like brown color with a big & frothy 2 finger deep light brown colored head. Nice head retention here. Lots sticky lace on glass. Looks real nice.

Smells of sweet caramalized malts, fruity, somewhat toasty, faint hoppiness.

Sweet, raisin, fruity, toasted grains, citric hop bitterness, some coffee/chocolate notes.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy, thin for a barleywine.

Drinks nice and easy.

Not blown away by any means. Nice barleywne for the $6.99 price I paid.

Mar 15, 2009
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MTNboy from Germany

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

This beer poured well into sifter. There was a lot of head and lace. The body was deep amber with a reddish hue. The aroma and the flavor were both rich. It was not as hopped as most barley wines which I appreciated. There was a warm like chocolate alcohol presents in the flavor. This is a sweet after dinner or late evening beer. There is a very heavy mouthfeel.

Oct 01, 2010
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DIM from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage

a: Quite dark for a barleywine, it was a nearly opaque brown with mahogany edges. It poured with a short tan colored head.

s: This smells like a darker barleywine, if that makes any sense. I noticed chocolate liqueur with coffee notes that seemed unusual but very appealing. It fit neatly with the more usual suspects like toffee, faint dark fruits, and a little herbal bitterness. I'd call this a barleywine with fairly pronounced porter elements. Works for me.

t: Tastes like a darker barleywine as well with some strong (for the style) roasty notes. Definitely different, but it works quite well. Up front are chocolate and coffee liqueur notes that are joined by stronger toffee and brown sugar flavors towards the middle. The finish adds some dark fruits and herbal bitterness. This lacks both the strong bitterness of an American barleywine and the strong sweetness of the English variety. Interesting.

m: Medium bodied with gentle carbonation, both fine for the style.

d: Decidedly different and significantly underrated. I thoroughly enjoyed this offering.

Jul 19, 2010
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deac83 from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Feb 10, 2013
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour was decent, though a bit lifeless for me. Rich amber color, almost copper in hue with a nice touch of cloudiness to it that really gave it a very thick look, nearly opaque at times. No real head though, and it almost looked flat at first pour, not really encouraged right off the bat. The aroma was rich and sweet. Nice notes of bready malts, hints of almost honey like notes and a nice fruit touch toward the finish. The flavor though really perked me up a bit. Sweet, mellow, with all notes of ABV long gone by the wayside. Lots of biscuit like notes, a touch of faded hops and a load of grain all combined to really give quite a nice show overall. Very impressed here with the way it tasted, especially in the finish, which was again very sweet, and nearly perfectly placed. An easy sipper I almost went through this one too quickly as it had mellowed to the point of being equally rich and subtle.

May 22, 2011
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LOCAL from New Hampshire

3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Thin head fades quickly.

Aroma: Rich malts, raisins, hints of port.

Taste: Similar to the nose with light and dry, almost roasty finish. Alcohol is present but not over powering.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, just the right amount of carbonation.

Over all: Though different from others that I've had it is still an enjoyable barleywine. Not too over powering.

Feb 13, 2009
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t0rin0 from California

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Jan 05, 2013
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cbn from Florida

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

Pours dark brown with ruby edges when held to light. The massive foamy head retreats to a thin cap with spots of lace.

Floral and molasses aromas with a touch of roasted grain.

Stars bitter and sour(Ringwood yeast) with fig sweetness next, and a bitter finish.

Smooth medium mouthfeel, fairly dry.

Interesting, fairly complex flavor. Maybe a tad raw at this time.

Dec 05, 2008
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Electros from Canada

4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 15, 2016
Pugsley's Signature Series: Barley Wine from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 254 ratings