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

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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 269
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Imperial porter brought back from Vermont. Pours dark brown with soapy head. A nice roast,puff of smoke, strong licorice above all,a bit of chocolate, licorice anise mostly.A tad below average mouthfeel.Warrior, English Fuggles, and East Kent Goldings Hops

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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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a rocky beige head that leaves a bit of clumpy lace

Smell: The charred roast elements dominate but there are hints of bubblegum, chocolate and coffee

Taste: Black bread, up front, with a developing burnt fruit flavor that tends to overwhelm some of the more subtle elements; after the swallow, the chocolate and dark fruit emerge somewhat but remain in the background of charred roast

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; surprisingly watery

Drinkability: With a change to the malt bill that would elinate the char and a bit more of a fuller body, this might be a keeper

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a large light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of lightly sweet black chocolate with some light dry coffee. Taste is also dominated by some creamy black chocolate with a lightly bitter finish. Creamy palate with fuller then average body with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol makes this beer even more enjoyable. No the most complex beer out there but well done for what it intended to be.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a very large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, milk chocolate, some dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with mildly sweet flavors of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit that are quickly followed by a hearty roasted malt character. There's a little bit of smokiness in the background. The hops presence is mild but exactly where it should be for this type of beer and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, although there are better beers in the style that I would choose first, this is still a solid beer worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a thin, very thin, off-white head.

Smell: Roasty, chocolate-covered barley and lesser notes of fruit and toffee juxtaposed against that classically buttery Ringwood yeast strain.

Taste: Dark maltiness delivers tastes of semisweet chocolate, toffee, and, to a lesser degree, some roast. Light fruitiness. As expected, there's that Ringwood spilling it's buttery diacetyl all over the flavor. Spicy, herbal hops along with their imparted bitterness and the overall lightly roasty quality of the beer attempts to combat the sweetness. Finishes fairly dry with a final touch of ashen roast.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Though far from exceptional, it is reasonably enjoyable and decent, so long as you don't find the bumptious Ringwood objectionable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Grizzly bear brown with modest red-orange accents when brightly backlit. The caramel nougat colored crown peaked at three fingers and looks to be going nowhere fast. Tiny pits appear in the rumpled surface of the foam as tiny bubbles burst. Good looking lace cements a good score.

I'm not so sure about Baltic porter or Imperial porter, but the nose is reminiscent of a well-brewed English porter. Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops (along with Warrior) are most likely contributing to that impression. The aroma features a pleasant roasted maltiness, with slightly more chocolate than coffee.

Imperial Porter doesn't taste Imperial, though it does taste slightly bigger than a standard porter. Flavor boldness and a flash of noticeable alcohol push it into bigger beer territory, while a lighter than desired body/mouthfeel pulls it back down a bit. Since when is a 7.1% <anything> worthy of being called Imperial?

The malt bill consists of crystal, chocolate and black patent. The last of those is especially prominent, giving the beer a smoky char that is common in some stouts, but not in most English porters. Other members of the flavor profile include Stolichnaya-soaked raisins, black coffee, blackstrap molasses and black licorice. Plenty of bitterness is on hand to counteract the sweetness, thereby increasing drinkability.

Only the thinnish mouthfeel is a disappointment. I would love to see what this brew would taste and feel like with more malt. An extra helping of crystal is probably the best way to go, since there's plenty of 'blackness' already. The carbonation is fine just the way it is.

With the exception of Old Thumper ESA and Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2006, I have been supremely unimpressed with Shipyard Brewing Company beer. Imperial Porter shows what Mr. Pugsley is capable of when he sets his mind to it. $10 per bomber is a little steep, but I'm not sorry that I gave this special release a (temporary) home.

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

Picked this up at the Biergarten in Jenks...

Could've swore I reviewed this, but I'm getting old...

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 3+ fingers of fluffy mocha head. Very good lacing & above average head retention

S: Carob & dark fruit, some musty grainyness

T: Carob, dark fruit, slight smokeyness, charred wet grain & a touch of iron up front. Vanilla, mocha & charred grain come through as this warms. finishes with grainy sweetness, a bit of hazelnut & a kiss of astringency

MF: Smooth, creamy, faint grainyness, rich body. Thins out a tad as this warms

Drinks very easy, ABV is well hidden, a respectable take on the style. I don't like a lot of shipyard's stuff, but their bigger stuff is not bad...

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was cracked open in the middle of the epic xmas tasting. Served in a pint glass and consumed on 12/25/2009.

The pour was very nicely done. Rich dark black in color with a big head of tan that came up and over the top of the glass to a height of around two inches. Settling down with a nice bit of side lacing, I was impressed right off the bat. Aroma was nice, dark chocolate, hints of fruit, a touch of brown sugar and a light coffee note as well. So I take the first sip and a rich, dark chocolate wave collides over the top of my tongue. Nice touches of coffee and dark fruits now coming through as well. Lightly dry with a hint of vanilla coming through as the last sweet tastes roll across the tongue. Smooth.

Overall it was very solid. I was impressed as the series had me wondering after the barleywine, but this redeemed itself nicely and was enough to get me to come back again.

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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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark, dark brown. No light shines through. Nice moderate beige head that leaves spotty lace on the glass.

Aroma: Refrigerated cocoa made with milk; chalky (in a good way).

Dried cocoa flavor. Quite thin for the style; closer to a brown ale in body. Nice blend of darker malts--like chocolate and dark crystal. Light hop noted in the finish. Easy to drink for an "Imperial" beer. There's no indication of any alcohol nor "big" flavors. Other than the title, this might be a pedestrian porter. Still, it's tasty and worthy of trying.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

Where do I get the gold-foil-tipped pen Pugsley uses on these labels...? Anyway, this stuff pours a dark russet brown topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, light toasted caramel, very light coffee, and a touch of seared wood. The taste brings in more of the same, but with a stronger char/vinyl character, along with some deep molasses notes. Something tells me they overdid it a bit on the black patent malts here. This character tends toward the astringent and kinda ruins the whole experience for me. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a mostly solid porter, but that astringency holds it back significantly. Beyond that, though, pretty good.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber and served in a pint glass, the beer is a deep, dark brown coloring with some chestnut highlights around the edges of the glass. Poured with a ton of light tan head at first, but it quickly settled into a thin film of dense head. Aromas are slightly coffee and dark chocolate, with a slight booze characteristic. The beer's flavors are more coffee centric, with a good balance of dark chocolate and a highlight of milk chocolate. Very complex and well blended. Bitter from the coffee and from hops hit the tail end of the palate, cleaning everything up nicely. No cling on the glass, and the beer tends to be standard for the Porter style, with a thin, light body overall. The aftertaste is heavy on the bitters, with highlights of the coffee and chocolate flavors lacing through. The finish is slick at first, and then dry through the end. Very strong, robust flavors, but not overpowering or off-putting. Extremely tasty brew.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a very dark brown with a half finger tan head and decent sticky lacing on the glass.

S: toffee molasses aromas with sugar sweetness hints of dark fruits and raisins.

T: a boozy molasses flavor with raisin sweetness invades the palate at first with a mild bitterness at the end.

M: medium body with light carbonation and a bitter finish.

D: over all a pretty decent offering from shipyard. Probably would not drink a whole one due to the sweetness in the beer.

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Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a dark brown almost black color with a 1/2" head that slowly falls to thick surface foam. Some spots of lace develop during the session.

Smell: roasted malts and some soft chocolte tones are easy to detect.

Taste: roasted malt, mild chocolate, some soft espresso, and some brown sugar are balanced with some moderate hopping here. There is some soft prunes sweetness that arrives late. Alcohol is mildly noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied but thin overall which represents the what a porter should be. Lightly crisp to start, smoother towards the finish. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Drinkability: this one goes down very easy and has a nice flavor profile. Buy one of these if you see it.

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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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a tremendous malt nose that boasts of chocolate and roasted malts. It's sweet and creamy smelling with some Ringwood yeast esters. The taste is good. It has a more robust character than the aroma suggests. It's dry and roasted with some hints of chocolate malt in the finish. The esters are hard to pick up. The patent/roasted malts must be potent enough to hide it. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking imperial porter. I like the malt character quite a bit. This is the best Shipyard beer I've ever had.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Gold Foil

Pours a very nice black color, nice carbonation, huge three-finger plus creamy tan head, with lots of sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/toffee/caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, with a nice dose of dark stuff. Medium body, this is a nice chewy brew. Drinkable, a nice one, thanks Bill.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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Shipyard Imperial Porter (Pugsley's Signature Series) from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.71 out of 5 based on 269 ratings.
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