Shipyard Barley Wine Style Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series) | Shipyard Brewing Co.

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Shipyard Barley Wine Style Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series)Shipyard Barley Wine Style Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series)

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 11-12-2008

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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 250
Photo of jim102864
1.95/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased from MWL recently. Very impressive gold leafed signature label on this bomber bottle. Surely the contents will match the dazzling label. Maybe not.

Pours flat and black with no head into my Unibroue Trois Pistoles goblet. Grape jelly aroma. Raiseny and port like, too. It's like dark fruit but somehow off. A very strange, bitter taste. Not at all pleasant. I'm wondering if this is a bad beer, yet I press on. Metallic and bitter and a mouthfeel that is simply unpleasant. This beer is a disaster from beginning to end. I have to assume it was spoiled. Down the drain it went. If I ever come accross this brew again, I'll give it another chance if it's free. Otherwise, avoid this mess at all costs.

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Photo of nick76
2.16/5  rDev -41%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

The aroma is quite hoppy in a grassy way with caramel malt and somewhat chemical. The appearance is dark amber with a nice foamy head. The taste is like the aroma which means it's not good. It's very bitter, grassy, and chemical. There is a little sweet malt but the taste is just bad. The palate is OK for the style and quite smooth. Overall I really don't like this one.

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Photo of steve8robin
2.31/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one at a local beer store. 22oz bomber...

A: Hmm, very stout-like. Super dark with just a slight ruby red light shining through. A tiny 1 inch off-white head that quickly fades. Very Good.

S: Wow, not much of anything. No matter how hard I sniff, all I get is water with a slight roasty scent. That's all.

T: Watery roastiness upfront with hints of sweet sugars. This brew is nothing like what an English Barleywine should be. This tastes like a medium grade stout! Nope, no give if this is advertised as a barleywine!

M: Medium body that leaves a hint of bitter roastiness on the palate. Good.

D: Goes down very easy. Good.

All in all, the brewery messed up. This is not by any means a barley wine. This is a stout or a porter stretch, but not a barley wine. I rated this as a barley wine because that is what it is labeled to be. As far as barley wines go, this is not good. Avoid!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.42/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Barleywinebrewer for this.
Poured a deep, deep brown with a reddish tint, light brown head, good carbonation.Nose is No real smell to it I thought. Taste was of cocoa powder, roasted malts and a rather obnoxious astringent feel. Mouthfeel is thinner bodied than I wanted. English bwine? I did not see it nor taste it. Alcohol was well hidden but I expected more, heavier, maltier and thicker.

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Photo of colts9016
2.42/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

I have had this beer for quite a while at least 5 years if not longer. I tried to find a date but I did not have any success. A monster 2 finger light tan head with with good retention. The color of the beer is a dark brown with some ruby highlights. Not a bad showing for an English Barleywine.

A musty vinous toffee aroma leaps from the glass. The malt is bready, with some yeast, and , dried figs and some vanilla. The nose seems flat. I cannot detect any hops, ie floral, citrus, or perfumes.

Dried musty figs, toffee, bread, yeast, floral, wood, vanilla, vinous, and some port notes.

Honestly I did not care for this beer at all. I really enjoy barleywines; however, this is downright foul. I understand the vinous notes is from aging. I would have expected a bit more chew in the mouthfeel. I would have expected some harmony and balance in the beer. I still can taste the hop profile after all these year; however, this is just a poorly made beer. I don't understand the better reviews on here. From my studies this beer really misses the mark for an English barleywine. I have tasted better, chewier, balanced English Barleywines.

Mouthfeel: is carbonated slightly bitter, and astringent.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.55/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

~2009 release; Sampled October 2010
A solid pour produces a voluminous, glass filling, almost five-finger thick, lightly browned, amber-tan colored head. The beer is a deep burnt amber color that shows a clearish, dark red-amber hue when held up to the light. Hmm, another interesting yeast influenced nose; this smells slightly funky in a sort of musty, not quite cheesy, berry like chocolate leaning, moldy dried dates, sweetened tamarind, sweet red Chinese bean paste that has been slightly fermented or perhaps even like the center of a Chinese mooncake that includes a salted duck egg. The nose is quite fruity with notes of fermented prune juice, slightly tart plums and a touch of jail-house pruno. Some toasted malt notes add a whole grain note to the middle, though this is often overwhelmed by the other aromatic notes. There is clearly something else going on here, it is interesting & even fun to explore, but really not what I want in a Barley Wine.

Lightly sweet tasting up front and this gets increasingly phenolic and plastic like as the beer rolls across the tongue. By the time the beer has left my mouth it has coated my mouth in a flavor that reminds me strongly of curing plastic. Slightly medicinal and this also has some hot higher alcohols as well as notes of nail polish; this last accentuates some fruity notes of prune and raisin. I spent so long with the aroma that the excessive carbonation is not really noticeable in the flavor. This is likely quite a bit lighter than was intended, but it still has some heft to it and definitely sticks to the palate, but it is on the thin side (now at least) for a Barleywine.

While the aroma is quite interesting and enjoyable to explore, the flavor of this is just not very appealing. I wonder if a lot more age will turn this into a really funky old ale? The carbonation is already getting a bit excessive though and I would worry about the integrity of the bottle after a few more years of age.

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Photo of budsboy
2.7/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very dark. Not much of a head. Slight metallic aroma, little fruity and some toffee-coffee scents in there. Not a great flavor here. Drinkable, but somewhat disappointing. Nah, now that I take another sip, it's really not for me. Bitterness is vegetal, very little sweetness to balance it. Too thin for the style. This was a drain pour. I have limited experience with this style, but it isn't in the same class as Young's Old Nick. I'll cleanse with an Arrogant Bastard. I'll be fine, if a wee sad.

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.74/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Mtardiff for providing this as an extra in a recent trade. Haven’t had it and glad to try it.

Poured into my tulip glass and a couple fingers of fizzy light beige head form. This collapses to a ¼ inch cap fairly quickly… this sticks around for quite some time. Deep ruby/garnet color. No lace.

Aroma is a bit musty and pretty thick. Lots of malt and almost a cherry note. Some other dark fruits as well.

Begins nicely with some sweet caramel and malt flavors, it then heads towards some fruit and again reminds me of black cherry with some sweetness. At the end it falls off a little and ends somewhat flat. Fairly bold bitterness towards the end.

A powdery mouth feel with a fairly bold body. Thick on your tongue.

This has potential, but I am a little disappointed in the finish. Almost gritty and the grain seems to inhibit the flavor and impacts the mouth feel.
Still glad I tried it.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
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!

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Photo of ButterScotch
2.8/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

From a 750ml bottle. Not sure of the year since it is apparently not printed on the bottle....

This is not a barley wine....more like a crossover barely wine/stout or something...akin to the GM Aztek car/minivan/whatever monstrosity...even the 8.5ABV indicates something may be amiss. Whatever this is....I wish they would call it something other than barely wine.

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Photo of DoctorDog
2.87/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 1 pint 6 oz bottle into a snifter. Twist off cap lies beneath the golden foil cover. Bottle courtesy of one from my network of enablers; beveritt.

A- Dark, murky mahogany, with ruby highlights...nearly opaque. ~1 finger of off-white head, which fades quickly into a island of bubbles. No lacing noted.

S- Caramel sweetness, roasty malts, dark fruits.

T- Smoky, tannin, astringent bitterness coats the tongue, and seems to mute the other flavors. Some herbal hops. Left to warm up some more for ~15 min, and return to some notable improvement. A bit of dark fruits and maltiness is now able to slip past the astringent characters. Moral- let this one warm up a lot, and it won't be great, but at least will at least be drinkable.

M- Moderate carbonation, and med/full body.

D- Not so great. This is a pretty astringent beer, and is a bit of a chore. A slooow sipper, one-and-done'r.

Future outlook: Nah. Even if it were available here, no need to have again.

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Photo of linnet
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
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 deg
3.01/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer was a dark brown color, and looked clear. I didn't see any yeast or cloudiness, but it was so opaque it was hard to tell. I smelled small malt and fruit. The taste was much hoppier than I like for a barleywine. The hops almost dominated. I could pick up some raisin and fig, but it was mainly hops. The beer had an interesting creamy texture, and there was no alcohol burn.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of hdelavega
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured to a large tulip glass.
Pours a deep murky brown with a big four finger rocky khaki head.
Nice fruity aroma, Carmel, burnt brown sugar, some malt, some notes that remind me of red wine.
Taste is pretty mellow. Sugar, plum, sweet toasty malt, I get grape again.
Mouth feel is pretty thin, defiantly a light body, good carbonation for the style. I'm missing that silky stick feel.
Over all not to bad, but not that great. I'd try it if I saw it on tap but won't be seeking out another bottle.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a Shipyard snifter glass. Served chilled and allowed to warm a little over an hour.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. Nice two finger mocha colored head with pretty good retention. Almost looks like a stout to me.

Aroma: Espresso and bitter coffee beans. A slight citrus note from the hops. Almost more like a porter or stout than a barleywine.

Taste: Espresso and coffee upfront. Some pine and citrus from the hops, but not enough to counter the really astrigent roasted malt. Even as it warms, there is not much complexity here. the depth of flavor and the things I look for in a barleywine were just absent.

Mouthfeel: Oddly thin mouthfeel. Decent carbonation and a really dry finish.

Drinkability: The ABV is pretty well hidden, but the astrigent, burnt malt makes this one a one and done for me.

Overall, I really severly underwhelmed by this beer. It was one note and overly burnt, not to mention it missed out on all the complexity and great flavors that go along with this style. I thought this was closer to a porter with a decent hop note than a barleywine. Not my cup of tea.

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hearty, like old engine oil that has recently seized - dark brown, but with hints of ruby red at the edges. Legs of lace stick to the glass.

Alcohol and a crispy char - a bit like the first whiff of that first charcoal grill of spring.

The first impression is lighter fluid, but it recedes to reveal plums, and further char. Not terrible, but it deceives the tongue by offering uncharacteristic flavors from the outset - it does though mellow over time - the char mutes somewhat. I'd prefer less char and just a bit more sweet in the many malts.

Tastes much higher in alcohol than it actually is - dry finish. Some hoppiness adds just a bit of a burn.

Take it or leave it - there are better barleywines to be had.

Edit: As an earlier review notes, let this beer warm a bit before reviewing - it changes greatly.

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Photo of fastpass17
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz Brown bottle from 2009

A: Almost mahogany in color, a slightly brown head about one finger in the glass. A good amount of carbonation that lasts the entire drink.

S: Carmel malt, mixed with brown sugar, blackberry's and some spice in the beginning. This finishes off with a slight bit of oxidation and port.

T: A classic English style barley wine at first sip. A nice malt backbone with a fair amount of sweetness and complexity. Then towards the end of the drink all the complexity fades and the taste becomes muted.

M,O: Drinkable for the style, nice start but the overall appeal for me is lost towards the end of the drink. There is a sharpness that takes away from the feel of this beer. A fair offering for the style.

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Photo of Bigfatbino
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A = dark in the glass. very little head which dissipated rather rapidly. nevertheless, nice rings were left in the glass as I drank it.

S = coffee-like, slight smell of alcohol

T = nice and bitter on the sides of the tongue, nutty undertones, but there was an astringent off taste I could not identify (not raw alcohol, but for lack of a proper description, I'd say it's kind of Nyquil-after-after taste). The off flavor gave way to a nice and lingering bitter aftertaste.

M = Surprisingly light on the tongue, not very bubbly.

D = Not bad, I quickly began feeling the effects of the 8.5% alcohol. Because of the off-taste I got, I would recommend one of 2 consumption options. 1 would be the "coors" method (serve C-O-L-D and chug), 2 would be served with a very heavy meat dish such as meatloaf and Mac'n'cheese or pot roast and potatos.

Comments: I did enjoy the rather fast onset of the beer buzz, but the off flavor was rather irritating, so after the first few pulls, I finished the brew quickly. I must say that the other qualities of the beer do warrant me trying this brew again in case I just got a bad bottle. (it does happen, even with fine brews).

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of Brad007
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color with a brown one-finger head into my pint glass.

Aroma has raisin/molasses in the nose with a touch of hop bitterness.

Taste is sweet upfront with the taste of raisin and molasses, followed by a harsh dose of alcohol that seems to crowd out any other flavors underneath. There is definite hop bitterness but I can't easily discern it from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is hop bitterness/alcohol heat with very little other flavors underneath.

Starts out promising but I feel that this falls flat in the drinkability department. It may need some aging but I'm troubled by the alcohol heat that just seems to crowd out other flavors. Average at best.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer sat deep red in the wine glass, and if the light struck it the right way, looked almost black. The head atop was quite large for the style, looming at nearly three finger thick. The smell was roasty with coffee and dark fruit, which was very nice, had this been a Stout. It was quite odd to smell these aromas in a Barleywine. The taste was a mix of astringent and roasty flavors, followed by a caramel finish which was again way out of place for the style. The beer also lacked much sweetness, which is what I thought English Barleywines were all about. I feel a little bad rating it this low on the taste,, as I liked the flavors. The mouthfeel was thin and displayed none of the velvety characteristics and syrupy viscosity I was expecting. And at only 8.5%, no warmth to speak of either. What were you smoking when you wrote the recipe Mr. Pugsley?

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark red, cola color with a thin but lacey white head. Aroma has some figs, plum and malted chocolate. Taste is chocolatey and smooth, some carbonation, a bit much for a barley win as the body is a bit thin for the style. The malts seem to be missing the mark for any type of barley wine. This brew isn't big enough to be a barley wine and resembles a stronger porter. Not much hop bitterness in the finish.

Not a bad brew to drink, but this brew misses the style pretty easily.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep brownish red with some tan foam and a nice amount of lace on the side of the glass. The smell was of roasted malts and a hint of coffee. The taste was very bitter for me and a style of a stout. The flavor was better as it got warmer. The taste of bitter hops, roasted malts, coffee and a hint of prune is what I could taste. But, for me, it was to bitter and that is what took away a lot of the different flavors. Wait for it to warm up, the flavor will be more complex.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark amber/light chocolate color with a very small head of white bubbles around the edge of a pint glass.

Smells of Amber, some grapefruit hop scent that is overtaken by dark malt. Plum smacked me in the nose also while sipping and letting it warm.

Tasted of strong malt, chocolate, amber and black malt. Some hops which do not seem to balance out the strong malt presence. Acidic coffee and metal taste are present, wouldnt hesitate to say this might have been a Porter gone wrong with the amount of dark malt flavor I am getting. Once you get over the burnt ashy malt flavor, you get some barleywine flavor, but not nearly as much as I have tasted in other variations of this style. Plum becomes more prevalent as did the aroma of plum as it warmed.

Drinkability is not so great. Barleywines are usually a sipper, but for a bomber of this, I was wishing it didnt have so much ash flavor in it to make it more drinkable.

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Shipyard Barley Wine Style Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series) from Shipyard Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.
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