Shipyard Imperial Porter (Pugsley's Signature Series) | Shipyard Brewing Co.

269 Ratings
Shipyard Imperial Porter (Pugsley's Signature Series)Shipyard Imperial Porter (Pugsley's Signature Series)

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 11-16-2008

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 269
Photo of colts9016
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cellared 5 plus years. A little concerned that the ABV is a little low for it being cellar for 5 year. A massive two finger head with okay retention. The head is medium light tan head that is rocky and foamy. The color of the beer dark brown with some reddish brown hues.

N: A nice dark roasted malt with coffee, chocolate, so port notes, raisins, molasses, and dried figs.

T: A rich roasted malt with coffee, chocolate, port, raisins, bread, molasses, dried figs, yeast, and earthy.

M: A strong carbonation, medium body, slightly creamy.

This is far better than the barleywine that I tried a few days ago. It is a good example of baltic porter, I can taste the age on the bottle. I think I pushed it a tad too far. A good beer nonetheless.

 750 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cellared 2 years. L: deep brilliant chestnut, 2” tan finely bubbled foam cap, moussey and persistent head S: a touch of sherry and over ripe fruit T: Caramel, not a lot of roast, some intense creaminess, hints of cola and chocolate, traces of pepper. F: medium high carbonation, medium to medium full body O: A big, interesting porter that handles 2 years in the cellar quite well.

 384 characters

Photo of scotorum
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another of Shipyard's Signature Series, the XXXX IPA, is one of my very top rated brews, so I had to pick this one up to try. Plus it was half price. No date visible. If it's not a recent product perhaps the hops are underrepresented.

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

a: Black with hints of clear ruby when held to light,. Inch thick tan head receded quickly to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Sweet malt.

t: Smoke builds along with sharp bitter notes which linger on the back sides of the tongue. Later the smoke becomes muted and mild hints of dark fruit and malt emerge.

m: Light to moderate. Very smooth once you get past the hop bite.

o: An easy drinking and flavorful porter with a good malt profile and hop bite, if perhaps a bit mild compared to some of today's Imperials. Needs to be around the suggested 55 degrees or warmer to taste its best.

 892 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $6.75

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a massive size frothy beigen head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 10 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate syrup, coffee, grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate syrup, and a bit of coffee. There is also a bit of a booziness which is odd considering the moderate ABV. It ends with a malty grainy chocolate aftertaste.

Overall - Nice sent and a good appearance but the taste is fairly boring. Quite drinkable but just not something that I'd have any reason to search out again.

 706 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle stored in a cooler with a best by date of 9/2012.
Pours nearly black and is opaque in the glass. Nice tan head leaves some irregular lacing.
The aroma is wht weak spot for me, with the dark roasted malts presenting a slightly sour note. Improved maredly with some warming/airing. The taste is better, with just an acceptable hint of sourness at times, but a little more burnt flavor than I prefer. Still, nicely rich dark malt flavor with a momentary hit of sweet up front.

 488 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, dark fruit, and slight cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with char and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but fairly boring in my opinion.

 588 characters

Photo of artoolemomo
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up a lot of head which appears to have decent retention. The head is beige/light mocha while the body is a dark chocolate brown which shows garnet around the edges when it is held up to the light. Minimal amounts of lacing left behind. The head retention is much more than decent- this is one sluggish beer.

Nose- Not as potent as I would like from a porter and an imperial one at that. Perhaps it needs to open up more but all I'm getting at the moment are some weak roasted notes and a little bit of coffee. Some hints of smoke and maybe a little bit of burnt toast. A bit of sourness from the roasted malts. Fairly disappointing.

Taste- So far, pretty much like the nose but with more presence. The roasted malts dominate the flavor profile. Lots of coffee, some nuttiness, some sour notes. Lacks complexity at the moment. Some sweet notes but nothing cloying. Don't really sense any sort of hop bite- maybe the bittering qualities of the Warrior hops are hidden by the dominant roasted notes. Pretty average beer- definitely looking like something I would never buy again.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with some syrupy qualities and some grittiness. Might be a little too much carbonation.

Drinkability- Fairly easygoing. No heat present. The biggest problem is that this is a pretty boring beer. A boring beer that costs 9 bucks.

Overall- Probably should pass this one by. Nothing wrong with it; it's just quotidian. It seems to be true to the style guidelines and mellows out as it opens up. However, it doesn't become more interesting.

 1,566 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes.

A: Poured from the bomber, which was split two ways, into a pint glass. Body is black with a 1-finger brown head. Some splotches of lace left behind on the glass.

S: Very roasty - roasted coffee beans and a touch of charcoal. Solid porter nose.

T: Some roasted coffee, some burnt charcoal and a sweetness that I attributed to berries or dark fruit.

M: Medium body with modest carbonation; a tad bit thin in heft.

O: I gave it an "OK." I had it after a Yards Tavern Porter, which at 7% ABV is just a notch under this supposedly "Imperial" offering, and I preferred the Yards.

 601 characters

Photo of StoneyPeaches
2.6/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pugsley Sig looks fantastic poured - dark and rich with impressive "look at me" head that lingers on forever. But the nose is weak with a faint hint of metallic notes. Mouthfeel is nice and full though. Taste.. not so much. Starts interesting - toasted malts and hard coffee but soon butterscotch flavor overpowers and then pure bitterness. Toasted malts taste more like burnt malts. This Imperial porter is not your everyday drink. It's demanding and unruly.

 459 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The opaque black-brown liquid sits snugly, as if it were a sleeping shelled creature under a giant husk of the off-white foam. Those bubbles seem as though they're in their own, separate biosphere they climb so high and are packed together so densely. What was once shoulder height, however, rubbed away to nearly nothing and left little decorative plaster in its wake.

The aroma gives off a blast of smoky coffee beans from practically across the room. You need only pass the bottle under your nose to catch a strong whiff of the aforementioned coffee, as well as deliciously sweet toffee and nougat notes. If there were a Quality Street chocolate flavoured like this it would no doubt be the first to go (even before the purple wrapped one).

The flavour is tinged by a fruity, slightly vinous note that resembles something like blackberries and/or purple plum. It's quite lovely. There's also a solid dose of coffee grinds and black licorice as well as a tootsie-roll-like penny-chocolate flavour. This is a substantially fulfilling beer so far as the palate is concerned; it leaves little to be desired for a porter.

There's nothing overly drawn-out about this flavour profile, though it does leave an impressionable roastiness in the finish. The alcohol is fairly high in strength (7.1%) but is quite tolerable - you wouldn't know this was an "imperial" porter if not for the label. The beer has an excellent balance and delicious suppleness that allows it to be easily enjoyed.

Barrel-aged or ridiculously over-the-top porters and stouts are the order of the day for edgy American breweries. But for their 'Signature Series' Shipyard has opted to go a more traditional, domesticated route, and they did well at it. This strikes a great balance between, on one end of the scale, familiarity, and, on the other, excessiveness. An easy one to recommend.

 1,863 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

625 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before March 2013. Poured into a mug and served only slightly chilled.

Pours a deep brownish-black colour with red highlights; more-or-less opaque, and topped at first with more than 3 fingers of pillowy, puffy, light tan-coloured head that reminds me of marshmallow fluff. Great retention, with multiple rings of lacing left behind on the sides of the glass as it slowly recedes. Looks great, but the aroma is comparatively meek - roasted malts, herbal hops, anise and ethanol are really the only things I can pick out. It opens up a little as the glass warms, but as a whole the aroma is too weak to be anything memorable.

Fortunately the flavours are considerably more pronounced than the aroma. There is a solid backbone of roasted malts, molasses and semi-sweet chocolate that dominates at first. Some faint dark fruit (plums, cherries) and coffee flavours come through mid-sip, but these are quickly outshone by notes of anise and the herbal, earthy bittering from the hops. The aftertaste leans toward the bitter side, with some lingering roast and black licorice notes. The alcohol is vaguely noticeable if you look for it (a little surprising at only 7.1%), but works nicely with the flavour profile. On the thin side of medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation - too much for my tastes, and it doesn't make the beer seem any thicker/chewier, that's for sure. Drinkable enough, but mostly because it doesn't come across as very heavy.

Final Grade: 3.62, a B grade. Shipyard's Imperial Porter is one of the most bipolar beers I've ever reviewed. It looks amazing and definitely tastes pretty good, but the weak aroma and thin, fizzy mouthfeel do not help this beer's case at all. I still have to give this stuff a thumbs up, but the aforementioned flaws prevent it from being a truly memorable imperial porter. There are local options (Wellington RIS and Grand River's Russian Gun) that are more affordable and equally satisfying, so this is not something I am likely to repurchase. Not an amazing deal at its LCBO price point, but potentially worth a try if you want a changeup.

 2,125 characters

Photo of TerryW
3.04/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Impressive looking beer. Black brew under a large, firm, long lasting head. Lots of lace.

Not a big nose. A whiff of dark fruit, some subdued sweetness. Just a hint of alcohol.

First impression is the taste of black licorice, followed by some dark chocolate, charcoal. Malty sweet before giving way to ashes and dryness. Lingering bitterness. Pretty strong flavours all along the way. Alcohol is well-concealed. Thin-bodied.

Too much char for my taste, too one-dimensional.

 476 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

props to andrenaline for including this in our most recent beer trade
A - nearly impenetrable black, big creamy head retained fantastic
S - big roasty amd chocolate malts with mild candied cherry, slight coffee finish
T - big roasty flavor followed by cola and coffee, mild dark fruit syrup
M - creamy and a bit on tje chewy side for a high abv porter
O - tasty and bold, definitely glad my BA in crime decided to include this one

 434 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle best before March 2013 poured in to tulip.

A - Dark brown with a massive amount of light brown head. Carbonation appears high from the pour.

S - Dark roast, coffee and cocoa with some brown sugar.

T - Big roast profile with some dry bitterness and nutty flavours. Some sweet cocoa and brown sugar flavours are also present.

M - Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation.

 385 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Props to peensteen for hooking me up with this treat...

A - Pours pitch black, thumb of mocha head with decent retention and nice spotty lacing.

S - Nose is sweet cocoa and leafy greens, hints of oatmeal, rye and a touch of vanilla.

T - The cocoa flavours dominate, with a non-sweetened cocoa flavour that lingers alongside a touch of ABV sweetness and hints of burnt toast, tobacco smoke and fresh coffee grounds.

M - Lighter bodied, fills the mouth, a tad prickly and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - Overall a tasty Imperial Porter, nice flavour profile that posseses a solid cocoa profile and a hint of sweetness. Quite tasty and easily drinkable. One of the better brews in the Pugsley Series for sure.

 717 characters

Photo of KajII
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Nonic Pint]

The pour was an extremely dark brown with some red highlights and an average (1-2 finger) light brown creamy head that diminished down to a thin film with a small collar, thus creating fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was of a dark roasted malt and a sweet leathery yeast with notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla and a hint of lactose sugar.

The taste was very malty and a little bitter-sweet with a touch of chocolate from the onset, becoming a tad bitterer with a nice large dose of coffee towards the finish. The flavor lasted a little longer than expected, with a mildly bitter java taste settling on the taste buds along with a slight milky sweetness and a mild alcohol warming sensation at the very end.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and dry yet creamy in texture with a moderate carbonation.

Overall a very flavorful and satisfying Porter that possessed a moderate ABV and an awesome drinkability, this is one I need to watch out for...

 1,034 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a two-finger, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left some sticky tan patches of lace on the glass.

S - A little boozy with chocolate notes and a touch of pine.

T - Good dark chocolate flavor with a burnt molasses taste. Some toffee and nuttiness. A piney bitter hop bite, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A slow sipped with a fairly dry finish and a medium body.

O - This is probably the best beer I've had from Shipyard. Well done.

 493 characters

Photo of SebD
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown color to it with some amber hues shining through. It has a nice thick tan head that dies down moderately and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of dark fruit, molasses, roasted malts and chocolate.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some dark fruit, sweet molasses, roasted malts, chocolate and light coffee.

Mouthfeel: It has a high carbonation with an average overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.

 555 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice brown body with a good tan head; excellent glass lacing. Nice milk chocolate scents; rich malt aromas. Toasted grain flavors; unsweetened chocolate tones; earthy and mildly sharp bitterness. Medium bodied; silky and smooth.

A pretty decent imperial porter. Good balance and flavoring all around. I'd really enjoy another bottle or two on down the road...

 360 characters

Photo of korguy123
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

March 2013
Suggested temp 55. Removed from fridge 40min prior to opening.

Opaque black/brown pour with a two finger light tan head. Sorry lived, leaving loads of sticky lacing on the glass.

Roasted malts, sweet milk chocolate, light roasted coffee, molasses, slight dark fruits and a slight bitterness. There is a touch of alcohol in the back.

Dark roasted malts, baker's chocolate, black coffee, some dark stone fruits with Vanilla and brown sugar.

Medium body, good level of carbonation, sticky on the lips.

 513 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 650ml into a tulip. Best before March 2013.

Black with some burgundy highlights, big dense tan head with loads of lacing and good retention. Sweet nose, some dark fruits, chocolate and some brown sugar. Light almond liqueur scent with a whiff of alcohol. Taste has chocolate, roast, dark malts and some sweetness. Bitter hopping that's a little much for me. Body is fairly thin, carbonation is medium. OK flavours, but body is thin and this isn't really anything too exciting.

 499 characters

Photo of jrenihan
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB March 2013

Beer is black with a large tan head. Good retention and lacing.

Roasted malt in the nose, anise, a bit vegetal and some dark fruit.

Taste is similar. Roasted malt, anise, some dark fruit. A vegetal-like flavour detracts and results in the beer feeling a bit thin.

Full bodied, but this for the style and feels too light. Moderate carbonation. Sticky.

Overall, OK. The roast flavour is nice but too much anise and the vegetal flavour is not great.

 467 characters

Photo of peensteen
3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Near black in colour, 2 fingers of tan head, big sheets of lace on the glass and good retention. Smell is strong of anise, bits of roast and coffee, some fruit and herbal/vegetal notes also, little hop presence but mostly herbal anise/black liquorice. Deeply roasted and almost ashy, chocolate and coffee present mid palate, finishing with a bit of tart fruit and black liquorice/anise but not as strong as it is in the nose. High and sometimes prickly carbonation, light-med body though it felt thin at points. Overall this is pretty average and not all that drinkable, the above average flavours aren't enough to make up for nose and mouthfeel for me, wont revisit this I don't think.

 686 characters

Photo of divineaudio
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

bomber into a snifter.

a - pours deep, dark brown with a thin cap of tan head. after calming i get a thin film with light, spotty lacing.

s - dark chocolate, cherry, booze, vinous fruits.

t - taste is flat with notes of wet cardboard. faint dark chocolate, dark fruits and spiciness unfortunately all take a back seat to oxidation.

m - full bodied with very little carbonation. fine co2 profile.

o - what was this beer once? may have been great but this bottle is definitely in decline. i'd really like to get my hands on a fresh batch and try again.

 556 characters

Photo of RickS95
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks killer sitting in my snifter. Pours an almost completely black, thick liquid. Dark black with only slight brown hues mixed in. The head is slow forming and thick. Full of both small- and large-sized bubbles, light brown in color. Good retention and nice, thick lacing.

It's a malt bomb. Full of roasted barley, chocolate malts and even a little coffee. Smells like coffee mixed with charcoal.

You can pick up the black patent and chocolate malts. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee tastes. Just enough hops in the finish to balance the malt flavors and give a tick of bitter and acid.

Creamy up front. Very smooth. Full bodied. A nice crisp, hoppy bitter finish.

Almost perfect. Exactly what I'm looking for in a beer. Wish is had more alcohol, being an imperial porter, but that's picking nits. Excellent beer.

 819 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Shipyard Imperial Porter (Pugsley's Signature Series) from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.71 out of 5 based on 269 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.