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

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Ratings: 269 |  Reviews: 176
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 KiMiRaiK
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of roach4230
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

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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 dna1964dna
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of CGAR
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

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 Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

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

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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 Chris_Cali_2o9
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

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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...

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Photo of bgibbard
2.75/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of 6demonbag
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

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 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 bigox420
3/5  rDev -19.1%

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 MattPS
3/5  rDev -19.1%

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