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

176 Reviews
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 nick76
2.43/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The aroma is pretty good for the style with toasted malt, coffee, and hops. The appearance is quite nice with a foamy tan head and dark brown color. The taste is very bitter and tastes burnt. I think it also tastes chemical. The palate is smooth but not thick. Overall I think this one is a major disappointment, it just doesn't taste good.

 340 characters

Photo of seaoflament
2.51/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Dave for the opportunity to try this beer.

Pours dark with over an inch of mocha colored foam.

Nutty malts, coffee, chocolate malts, soft cocoa, and some hints of vanilla and condensed milk. A touch grainy and a bit of malted milk. I'm also detecting some very light earthy and floral hop aromas in the background. As the beer warms up it seems to get sweeter with more pronounced chocolate notes. Decent, but not great.

Thin body upfront and a tad over carbonated, after that is over I get a rush of bitter chocolate, toasted malts, and hints of coffee. Flavors disappear very quickly and they don't have staying power on the palate. A bit of nutty malts in the finish and aftertaste, along with some bitter toast. Also some cola flavors late in the aftertaste. The back label states "this Porter is best enjoyed at 55 degrees Fahrenheit," and I poured this one around that temperature, if not a little warmer. I will let it sit and warm up to see if it improves at all. There's a slightly burnt flavor that really shouldn't be there and seems out of place. Almost tastes oxidized with a bit of wet cardboard flavor.

Medium carbonation but the thin body makes it seems as if this one is over carbonated. Not very enjoyable to be honest and doesn't make me crave another sip in between sips either. Way too thin of a body and lacks complexity and presence on the palate.

 1,385 characters

Photo of sweetbrew82
2.56/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. into a snifter

P: Dark brown with a khaki-colored head of frothy foam. Showed good retention before retreating to a thick collar with webs of lace in its wake.

A: The malt bill smells like half was deeply roasted and the other half was burnt to a crisp. There is some chocolate and hops in there, but the smell of charred grain, black coffee, and booze isn't particularly appetizing for me. In fact, the more I smell it the more hesitant I become to take the first sip...

T: ...and rightfully so. The first thing I notice is a weird metallic flavor, and some notes that remind me of blood. M'm M'm good! Aside from that, the malts are deeply roasted up front and much more charred on the back end. The bottle says they used black patent, chocolate, and crystal; and it tastes like this is the order of strength in which they appear on the palate. Cocoa powder, licorice, and coffee flavors are there, but the first half of each mouthful is marred by the taste of seltzer water. Unfortunately, the back half of each mouthful is equally disastrous from the charred sour malt that combines with the earthy hops to leave a nasty astringent bitterness that just won't quit.

M: Helping the flavor become even more of a train wreck is the body. Imperial Porter? Only in name! This just barely even qualifies as medium-light bodied, by just a hair. It's thin and watery, has no depth or roundness to it, and doesn't even offer a smidgen of creaminess or chewiness to it.

Notes: To tell you the truth, I've had a handful of regular American Porters that offered fuller bodies and bolder flavor profiles than this "Imperial." The body indicates that this is way under-malted, while the flavor says it's overly burnt. This is just not a very good beer in my own humble opinion. I want my $7.99 back!

 1,803 characters

Photo of ppoitras
2.57/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Gold foiled cap.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a scant 1/8" dark brown head over the almost opaque dark brown brew. What head there is quickly recedes to the rim, encircling a swirly skim, with leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is dark malt, anise, and alcohol. Taste follows the nose, but weakly, and the alcohol close is harsh and fusel-involving. Mouthfeel is thin for the style, and drinkability is limited by above noted traits. Sorely disappointed.

 536 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 biglite351
2.66/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - a not of red around the edge. Creamy tan head that leaves a good bit of lace.

S - malty with mild chocolate and something that reminds me of wine.

T - roasting bitter malts. Dont like the flavor much. Too much bitterness and not much of anything else.

M - light coating, but not thin, with no real tingle.

D - pass.

 323 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.68/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 Picked up in the 2nd round of Fight Club.. Czoch75 put a hurting on me.. Thanks Clint for this bottle.. This was an unknown brewery for me.... Shared with my bro.

Poured into my Delerium goblet.. Big tan head.. foamy.. settles back fairly quickly.. The brew is pretty much black.

Nose is pretty roasty with a fair amount of other stuff going on.. molasses comes to mind immediately.. licorice!?! toffee and some chocolate.. most normal porter aromas seem to be in the background.

Flavor is just a mash-up of the above aromas.. molasses seems to be the big player here. smokey.. raisins.. still again licorice.. more than abundant coffee as it warms up.. burnt sugars and char... peat smoke?? ... lite mouthfeel and too much carbonation..

Overall... there are almost no traditional aromas or flavors that I would expect in a big porter... instead it seems like a bunch of shit was thrown into the kettle and hoped (cross your fingers) that something epic is gonna be produced.

This is much better cold than warm.. but that's really not saying too much. Clint thanks for the opportunity.. but this would have been a drainpour had I not shared it.

Ehhhh I am seriously "trying" to just finish the last half glass.


 1,236 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.71/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep, deep brown with good crabonation and nice dirty white head. Nose is mainly cheap cocoa powder and some roastiness. Taste is pretty awful. Lots of cocoa powder that I could have pulled from my kitchen, thing bodied, astringent and a light roastiness. Mouthfeel is thin some booze more cocoa powder. Avoid.

 332 characters

Photo of cjgator3
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish black color with a light tan colored head.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts, molasses, coffee, hints of cocoa and esters.

T- The taste like the aroma suggests features a dark bitter roastiness with some coffee and a good amount of bittering hops in the finish. There is an unpleasant bitterness in the taste, almost like burnt coffee.

M- The mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I'm not a huge fan of this beer, definitely not something I'd purchase again.

 566 characters

Photo of CharlatanSin
2.84/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a super dark brown with mahogany around the edges. That's all fine, but the beer pours with an explosion of a tan head. My girlfriend poured first and she got half foam. I thought she messed up the pour (as she is wont to do) and so I poured extremely carefully, with more or less the same result. Once it settled down it looked okay.

S: Very roasty. The expected chocolate and light coffee, with a little more dark fruit than usual. Not too bad.

T/M: A letdown. It's got all of the normal tastes for the style, namely roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. Some dark fruit too. But the bitterness does not work with the rest of the taste at all. I've had some hoppy imperial porters and stouts that have been great (Long Trail's comes to mind), but the bitterness here is overly astringent, which combines with the roasted coffee to unfortunately evoke coffee grounds. This is made even worse by the excessively dry mouthfeel. This is the first beer I've had where "chalky" is the primary characteristic that comes to mind.

Overall: It just didn't work. I had it the same day as the Pugsley's Series Imperial IPA (both being delayed birthday presents from a good friend), which was actually quite good, which made me all the more disappointed with this one.

 1,268 characters

Photo of illidurit
2.85/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

An unexpected gift from Oscar at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pours ruby brown with a wispy, wet tan head. Okay retention, no lacing. Aroma is mainly cocoa with black coffee and some nuts, possibly some diacetyl butteriness. Flavor is one dimensional: black coffee. Just tastes bitter and thin, like someone aged seltzer water in a used-coffee-filter-lined barrel.

 358 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
2.9/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter.

Pours a very dark black with a HUGE brown head that slowly fades away to some really nice fine lacing. Nose is gross, it smells like vomit or bad chocolate, bleh.

Taste is decent, lots of roasted chocolate and burnt coffee, it's got a very nice mouthfeel though, it's really creamy with nice carbonation, but that's the highlight of this beer. It's decent and I got it cheap but don't pay more than $3-4 for a bomber.

 458 characters

Photo of ocbears
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Murphy's in Hanover. Served in an Imperial Pint glass.

A: Dark brown, near black. Small, tan head.

S: Mostly dark chocolate and roasted, almost burnt malt.

T: Pretty much the same as the aroma but with an ever so slight hop kick at the end. The alcohol is noticeable but doesn't detract from the overall flavor.

M: Quite thin and watery. I was most disappointed with this aspect of the beer.

D: Not all that bad I guess but I don't think I would want more than one of these.

Notes: Just an extremely average brew.

 529 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 billab914
2.96/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz snifter into my CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a thin, frothy, tan head covering the top of the beer and sticking to the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a buttery, caramel, chocolaty flavor to it. Some toasty malts are there as well. The buttery, caramel flavors are just way too overpowering in the aroma for me.

The taste thankfully shows more of the chocolaty, porter character to it. I get some bitter-sweet chocolate mixing with the caramel and a little bit f a roasty, bitterness in the finish. The caramel, malty flavors seem a little overpowering in it making it seem a little one dimensional.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side and a little syrupy. Carbonation is moderate. Overall I didn't really think it was a very good beer of the style. The buttery, caramel flavors were just overdone for me and not that enjoyable. The roasty, chocolaty porter characteristics just seemed overshadowed, which didn't work well for me.

 958 characters

Photo of beyah
2.97/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark as a Maine Winter Night. The correct amount of head for this style deep tan head.

Stong malt profile. It smells of coffee and molasses.

The hops are there but not overpowering, a very smooth full bodied porter.
The mouthfeel, is good but this is a sipper not one to drink quickly.

It's a good beer but left me looking for more, as porters go it was middle of the road.

 377 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

~2009 release; Sampled October 2010
Definitely a bit over-carbonated as a reasonable pour into my 25cl glass quickly forms a fat, four-finger thick, nicely browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is a dark brown, almost black color that shows a touch of ruby highlights when held up to the light. The aroma smells of burnt chocolate, espresso, roasted grain and burnt prunes up front and there is a deep toasted grain character that forms a really solid middle to the nose. The aroma seems a touch mild for a beer of this strength and at times there is a weird vegetal note, but this last is fairly fleeting, though now that I have finally recognized it I am finding it annoyingly easier to pick it out.

Fairly light bodied, actually down right thin and there is a strong licorice component to this beer's flavor (this last is likely the yeast influence). A caramelized vegetal note lingers on the tongue after each sip along with some roast grain bitterness and hop bitterness. The roast character is a bit more prominent b/c this beer is so thin, it still manages to have some sweetness though so that it isn't completely out of balance. Dark fruit notes of roasted plum and burnt raisin add some fruitiness and the roast malt adds notes of mocha, dark cocoa and deeply toasted bread.

The body of this beer is what really kills it, if the burnt vegetal note was also gotten rid of this could actually be a really good English-leaning Imperial Porter. As it is though, this is drinkable, but really more interesting to try and pick out its flaws than to try and actually drink. I actually had some high hopes for this beer as I figured the age would give the yeast a chance to settle in.

 1,691 characters

Photo of Mdog
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Very dark brown, huge head, have to wait to pour it in my big pint glass.

Smell: Roasted aroma, some sweetness.

Taste: Starts sweet and gets sweeter. It mostly reminds me of mocha coffee with one or two too many sugar packets added. Slight roasted flavor buried in there too.

Drinkability: Too sweet to recommend.

This was marked down to really cheap so I picked one up. Way too sweet for my taste buds, not enough body or roasted flavors. I suppose you get what you pay for, glad I didn't pay full price.

 521 characters

Photo of hellbilly
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

fairly dark brown pour has a reddish hue to it. on top is a soft beige head with some slug trails and spots of lace.

aromas include cocoa butter, metallic malt, brown sugar/butterscotch, molasses, stale coffee, some vanilla and floral alcohol.

that metallic note doesn*t disappear and shows back up in the flavor... as well as a mild ashiness, fake butterscotch, real caramel when it sits out too long and begins to sour, faint bittersweet chocolate, mild sourness and iced tea hoppiness with a dry ashy finish. it*s a bit too sweet without a whole lot of flavor and character to balance it out which doesn*t really make it worth drinking. the body is on the lighter side of medium. i have to really work to get carbonation going in my mouth. it ends up with a frothy texture which ultimately ends up flat leaving an "empty" mouth feel.

this is not doing it for me.

 882 characters

Photo of bkilpatr
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 12/04/08.

Pours a very dark brownish-black color with two fingers of dense brown head. The head faded slowly and left slight lacing. Aroma is toasted malt with sweet milk chocolate.

Taste is roasted malt and sweet milk chocolate with a hint of dark chocolate. Very malty with some brown sugar nd molasses, with a bit of roasted coffee at the end. Fairly bitter and earthy hop finish. The only downside to the taste is a somewhat noticeable diacetyl presence. This taste became more prominent as the beer warmed.

Feel is medium-bodied with ample carbonation. Pretty slick with a clean finish. Drinkability is pretty good. It's not too heavy and the diacetyl in the taste isn't too offensive. Pretty easy to drink.

Overall, not a bad porter. It just has that same buttery flavor that finds its way into all the Shipyard beers. If you're a big fan of their beers, then give this a try. But for the price ($8 for 22 oz) it's not really worth it.

 991 characters

Photo of lou50rp
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It is very dark, almost black, with a slight head with a light brown color. Not a bad start. The smell was of dark roasted coffee. A nice clean smell. The taste matched the smell with a little bitterness at the end. A good taste for a porter, but nothing spectacular. It has a good mouth feel with little carbonation. What I expect from a porter. It was an average drink. Not worth buying again, especially at the price.
Seems like Shipyard was trying to overcome mediocrity with high ABV.

 489 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 charlzm
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Consumed 08/30/09 at 55 degrees F from a Triple Petrus snifter. Kept refrigerated at approx 55 degrees since purchase on 06/15/09.

Pours a clear, nearly-opaque dark brown with deep garnet highlights. A two-finger tan head of tiny, uniform bubbles forms during the pour, then subsides to a sticky film in a few minutes.

Aroma is strong with raisins, cocoa and booze.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick and mostly smooth, though there's a bit of granularity to it. Carbonation is present both with a sharpness on the tongue and a livelier mouthfeel than normally associated with high gravity porters. Mild alcohol burn.

Flavor: somewhat watery. Slightly sour on the tongue with subtle red grape flavors. Chocolate malts are present, but VERY muted. Fleeting hint of charcoal on the aftertaste. No hop flavor apparent, though a slight bitterness lingers on the palate. Not a very flavorful beer overall.

Pretty disappointing beer, honestly. Won't be having this one again.

 967 characters

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.09/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - nice mahogany / black beer with a good tan head.
S - roasted malts, slightly sour porter malts, noticeable diacetyl.
T - roasted malts, acidic coffee, smoke, diacetyl
M - medium full bodied, good carbonation, buttery finish
D - the mouthfeel / finish made ita 1/4th beer for me.

 282 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

<Sigh> another beer from Shipyard, most of them are very bland, boring, and nothing to write home about. The Pugsly Series is a little better mostly, but nothing spectacular. The brew pub up in Portland (if I'm not confusing it with someone else) is actually pretty good. But since this is all I can get down here in MA, here comes another one.

A: A semi dark rich 1 finger head rises up and fades semi quickly over very dark, but not black color, just hints of light coming through around the sides.

N: At least it's aromatic, as I could smell from the pour. Eh, pretty bland again, mostly syrupy sweetness, some extract like syrup aromas, a touch of crystal malt, even less touch of roast, little chewy malts, and a little porter like nose. Very bleh!

T: Meh, a little better than the nose but not quite. Again a fake syrupy sweet taste, like corn syrup or extract. A slight roasty flavor with some roasted malt earthy bitterness. A vague reminiscence of chocolate malt even, as if they waved the chocolate malt over the top of the fermenting syrup (notice syrup and not beer). Semi sweet, but a little dry at the same time. A little bit of that over roasted stale coffee bean flavor too.

M: Med to light body, pretty syrupy, and decent carbnonation.

F: Semi bitter with more roasted malt earthy bitterness and even a hint of earthy minerality, and a hint of earth hop (yes hop) bitterness. A touch of lingering roast fades quickly and leaves that syrupy extract sweetness that just sticks around, despite the beer being pretty dry at this point. It's sticky sweet, and the bitterness is not the most pleasant, but somewhat... what's the word I'm looking for, oh yeah, unpleasant. Again a touch of stale over roasted coffee beans. Actually, the only nice taste on the finish is the earthy lingering bitter hops that pan out, it took me a while to find them below the depths of tar, but low and behold, there they are. (that rhymed, awesome!)

I think you can figure out my thoughts on this beer. Very bland, stale, extract and syrupy tasting, somewhat unpleasant bitter bland beer. I'm really starting to think the Shipyard people have either been on vacation for the past 2 years and robots are making their beer, or they just don't give a f*ck
Shipyard, you guys used to be cool. Wtf happened?

 2,352 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.