Pugsley's Signature Series: XXXX IPA | Shipyard Brewing Company

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Pugsley's Signature Series:  XXXX IPAPugsley's Signature Series:  XXXX IPA
Pugsley's Signature Series:  XXXX IPAPugsley's Signature Series:  XXXX IPA

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 292 | Ratings: 734
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up while in Maine, poured into a snifter: color is dark copper, head is tan and presents 1/4 inch thick then dissipates to a top and ring on the glass with some nice lacing.

Aroma is heavy on the caramel and butterscotch like malt sweetness, hops are noticeable and piney, some light grapefruit rind.

Taste is similar to the aroma as its heavy sweetness presents early and lingers through the finish. Malt flavors are caramel, toast, and butterscotch. Hop flavors are more noticeable than the aroma with similar notes of piney, then citrus with some earthiness. A little too sweet for my preference.

Mouthfeel is not as cloying as the sweeter taste would suggest as the hopping level is high enough to dry the tongue out some, but still i think this beer could be tastier with less caramel and clean presence.

Overall the parts for a big dipa are all there, its just not my preference to have it be a touch sweeter in taste and heavy on the caramel.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

We pour a bomber into our oversized tasting snifters, revealing a brew of ruby, caramel coloring. It holds a quickly evaporating half finger tall head of eggshell colored bubbles. Specks of lacing are noted, as is a thick haze that remains for the rest of the tasting. Carbonation appears to be extremely light. The nose gives notes of oily green olives, melty toffee sugars, rich caramel and light coffee maltiness, board chalk, vinyl plastics, chemical and medicinal phenols, big red cherry syrup fruitiness, soapy and gently citric hops, fusel booze, red wine vinegar, and mineral. The taste displays a malt bomb, if we’ve ever seen one!! The mouth meets huge notes of toffee and caramel maltiness, pale and amber grain grit, lemony, citric, and soapy hoppiness, synthetic lemon cleaner, ice and mineral, fermented red delicious apples, pink cotton candy, browned grass, chlorine, phenolic plastics, mustiness, sweet sun tea, clean molasses, and honey-rich, mead-like booziness. The body is chewy, and the carbonation is medium. The mouth is met with fullness, but otherwise lacks overt creaminess or frothiness. The palate is left dried with light astringency. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks as a faster sipper, right down the middle.

Overall, we were obviously pulled in by the “quad/XXXX” IPA label…very fancy indeed. Actually, it stems from British brewing convention, so the joke is on us. In all seriousness, however, this would be better suited as a quad, as it showcases an intense richness of malts that is atypical of anything in the IPA family. The numerous hops advertised on the bottle are hard to discern, but the bittering citric, floral quality of the cascades is apparent, but the subtleties of the other varietals are lost on us. Across the many IPAs/imperial IPAs we’ve sampled, this is amongst the maltiest we’ve encountered. That’s great if you prefer that type of beer stylistically, but we felt that the malts took too much of the picture away from the hops here, and we were left with something rather hollow and disproportionate.

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Photo of SKYY
3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Deep amber color, translucent, not completely filtered. Easily pours a 1" head in a tulip glass. Head laces glass for the duration of the drink.

S: Booze. Smells just like an Olde English 800. There are aroma hops, but just not a lot of them, and they're overwhelmed by the "cheap malt liquor" smell.

T: If Olde English made an IPML, this is what I think it would taste like. Overwhelming malt flavor, underwhelming hop profile. Alcohol is too prevalent--it should be masked, or at least matched, by an ample amount of hops and better malts.

M: Good carbonation. Flavors linger for a long time. The cheap maltiness goes away soon, and the bitterness sticks around for a long time.

O: It's just too similar to a cheap malt liquor for me to drink this one again. I don't know what malts were used in the making of this beer, but they need to use your standard crystal varieties, and not whatever is in this thing.

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Photo of Rob23
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tastes better than it smells for sure.Slightly bitter at the end and also a bit too sweet to follow.All in all not bad.I enjoy the darker colored IPAs.Lacing is a bit weak also.Taste is good though to be paired with some fish tacos.3.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.Nothing fancy but not terrible.I think the rating should be higher than 83.Possible 88-89 score.

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Photo of utfiero
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Color- color cloudy peachy. Medium head.

Aroma- candied tangerine.

Taste- Starts like a barley wine, very sweet and strong, then finishes with an intense tangerine peel tartness. I'm not a fan of this one.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted 12/31/12.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: somewhat hazy; bronze colored; less than 1 finger of off-white head that was gone in 2 minutes; minimal lacing;

S: caramel malt forward; alcohol; pineapple in the background;

T: sweet caramel malt all the way through; boozy; minimal bitterness;

M: medium to heavy bodied; light to medium carbonation;

O: too much malt flavor and sweetness for my taste;

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of head on a clear dark straw colored body.
The aroma is floral, barnyardish and ripe grapefruit and apricot.
The taste heavy on the malt but the sweetness is contained by the lemon and pine bitterness. Good balance.
The texture is thick with moderate carbonation.
It's a big malty IPA.

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2.16/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As a fan of IPA beers I like tasting all kinds of different ones, this one wasent bad going down but then came the nastyness... The after taste is like cough medicine, it's the type of beer that you have to drink holding your breath and chugging it in order to be able to keep it down. If you're a fan of this beer then good for you, all I'm saying is that I was not a fan and will never buy it again.

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Photo of argock
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a pinot noir wine glass. Best by Nov 14 notched on side of label and 3284 on bottle neck. Single purchased at Total Wine (Norwalk, CT).

A: Ruby-amber and clear with 1-finger of oatmeal-colored head with good retention and a widespread smattering of lacing.

S: Aroma is lacking with not much aroma -- mostly a bit of dark crystal malts and herbal, earthy, lightly floral hops. A light buttery note from the yeast.

T: Flavor is pleasant but uninteresting with some dark crystal malt sweetness and roastiness coupled with benign floral and herbal hopping. Yeast again brings some butteriness, and alcohol is light to well-hidden. Bitterness is light-moderate.

M: Smooth but lightly tacky and with medium-full body and relatively low carbonation.

O: A benign but boring beer with good ABV kick but not much else to say. Flavor fits the balanced DIPA style, but the hops are too subdued and crystal maltiness is too much or the style.

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Photo of drpimento
2.72/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

To me this is the perfect example of a beer that demonstrate the mechanics of craftsmanship, but missing the boat (subjectively) in aesthetics The beer has a fantastic foamy, frothy, thick, long lasting head and lots of lace. A nice clear deep amber color. The aroma starts to suffer from Cascade and flavor picks up on that and pushes it over the edge, giving it almost some putrid qualities. I'm no longer a fan of Cascade hops. Body reflects both aspects of this kind of beer in that in some ways is seems good, yet has characteristics of the Cascade hop. The final word is that overall, this is not a beer for me. I've tried to be objective in my score, but I'd never buy or sip this again.

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Photo of Mr-Cyphyr
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow - a must for all strong IPA or strong American ale lovers. This rocked. Poured into my wide mouth, pint beer glass. Nice golden color ... 1st sip and let the flavors hit my mouth and waited on the finish. Hit is a great word, the hoppiness was there and hit a homer! And it just hung in there, well past the sip. This should be used as the definition of a strong IPA and the four X's is right on. As it warmed in the glass, the flavors staid well blended, with nothing tweeking my tongue, other than massive hops.

Most certainly a must for hop lovers, and not for the Miller or Bud crowd. This has flavor, bite, and a finish that is not forgotten.

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Photo of y2jrock60
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy orange with a thin head that leaves no lacing.

S- Sweet malt, caramel, pine, and noble hop spicy aromas.

T- Sweet upfront followed by a spicy/piney biterness. It finishes a little dry.

M- Medium-thick bodied with low carbonation. Very sweet upfront but finishes dry.

O- A sweet malt forward IIPA, nothing outstanding, but not bad.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Translucent amber color with a slight red tint, and a light brown head.

S: Citrus, red apples, grapes, plums and cherries in the nose.

T: Flavor is bitter, but not too bitter, some apple, lemon, a slight hint of alcohol, but more than forgivable at 9.25 abv.

M: Full bodied, typical IPA carbonation, perhaps a bit smoother.

O: A great IPA, don't let it's rating fool you.

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Photo of ExtraStout
3.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber orange color with a finger of yellow stained foam for a head. Fair amount of lacing on the glass. Nose is a very sweet smelling candy/fruity mixture of hops and malt. The malt aroma comes across as being caramel and something very similar to cotton candy. Hop aroma is hidden behind the malt but it comes through minorly as cascade's identifiable grapefruit scent.

Taste is malty sweet up front and slightly caramel-like with a nice lingering bitterness from the hops. The alcohol pokes through into the finish of the flavor as well, it is slightly astringent. Medium feel and low carb. Overall it's not bad, ABV saves it for me.

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Sweet fruit punch in the nose; pineapples and grapes with boozy wine scent, endin g with a little hop dankness. Taste is cheap sugar booziness and tons of bittering hops, probably in an effort to mask the foul adjunct taste. Oily mouthfeel and heavy carbonation. A disappointment.

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Photo of Omnium
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bomber > Pint Glass

A - Amber color with a finger of fizzy off white head, no lacing.
S - Unpleasant aroma, lots of toffee, biscuit and slightly burnt caramel malt, some candied orange, slight pine, and alcohol.
T - Extremely sweet, wayyy too much malt, thats all you really get in here, some grapefruit and sweet orange, and there's a lot of booziness to it. Even a tad soapy.
M - Somewhat smooth, but definitely some alcohol burn.
O - Not good, too much malt sweetness and not enough bitterness.

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Photo of scotorum
4.45/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impressive deluxe packaging with Alan Pugsley's signature in gold and gold foil over the capping. Suggests you are getting a lot of quality for only $5.

Poured into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass from the 22 oz. bottle.

a: Clear amber with an inch tall off-white head which receded to surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Pretty heavy caramel malt. Surprisingly malty aroma for a DIPA.

t: Malt and hop combo gives way to strong caramel malt flavor. Bitterness lingers at the sides of the tongue like it should for a good DIPA. High ABV (over 9%) is well concealed.

m: Moderate. Good body.

o: Like a very hoppy English bitter or real ale. In fact I'd call it an English style DIPA, and as such ideal for this guzzler. Hopheads who do not like such a strong caramel malt backbone might not go for this as well as I did. But I will definitely be buying more whenever I see it.

UPDATE 3/3/14: This is out in fourpacks now. YAY!!! The first bottle from mine is being consumed as I type. Best before Nov. 2014. Only thing I would change from my original review is, the color is a deep dark amber. Strong caramel malt aroma and flavor and powerful hop bite are both there as before. Am lowering my mouthfeel rating from 4.5 to 4.0, as it's not as silky smooth as a few DIPAs I've had since,. But other than that I stand by my originals.

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Photo of SSS
4.86/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely wonderful brew.

A-Orange bronze color
S-Pine, citrus hops goodness
T-Nice malt taste, with a slight bitter finish. Roasted flavors almost give a slight smokiness undertone. Milt citrus and pine taste.
M-Carbonation is perfect, not too bubble and the head stands up really well, nice and creamy.
O-This is a very nice surprise, I highly recommend.

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Photo of SeanDonahue
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden mixed with an amber color, about one finger head.

Aroma: Very hop heavy, major Cascade hops in this beer as it let off a piney aroma

Taste: Malty at the front of the tongue, hops take over in the middle of the mouth. Big piney notes in this beer. Aftertaste almost has a raisiny taste to it.

Overall: This is an outstanding beer, perfect for any season.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of December 2013. sampled on June 22, 2013.

It pours a handsome looking copper-amber with a long-lasting off-white delicate head. Regular carbonation.

The aroma is more malty and sweet than hoppy with a sort of citrus zing thrown in for good luck. The citrus is akin to pineapple.

The body is medium and basically pretty smooth.

The taste is also rather sweet and malty with a dose of citrus and a low to moderate bitterness at the end.

This beer does not get great reviews on BA it seems. I think people are missing the point. The XXXX stands for the fact that that they use 4 different hop varieties in the brewing process. It does not mean that it would be an extraordinarily bitter and hopped up beer.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Peach amber color with nice clarity. Lovely color. Inch of foamy topper. Great lacing.

Very resinous aroma. Dank pine, citrus (orange), and toffee sweetness. The malts get their share. Notes of caramel brittle, mild chocolate, and faint apple.

Drinks thinner on flavor, thicker with booziness, yet still bursting with oily dank hoppiness and the big bitterness levels that come with the territory. Somewhat less-sweet toffee and more mild chocolate comprise the malt offering. Lots of pine and citrus dominate. Grapefruit and bitter orange make up the fruitiness. Not too shabby.

Medium-bodied with a certain slickness. Surptisingly not that sticky. Also surprising is the mototing level of carbonation.

This works. It's not the greatest hop flavor that you get, but it's sturdy and looks damn fine in a snifter.

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Photo of CorvetteMike
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle to glass light amber color with nice head.
a: Light amber color, 1 finger width head
s: Malts, hops with a grapefruit smell
t: Sweet tasting IPA, some bitterness, slight aftertaste
m: Medium body, with a bitterness to it
o: Very good IPA, smoother than expected, some bitterness, but not overpowering
Purchased single bottle, but will buy a six pack next time.

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Photo of Lucidious
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a "tall tulip" glass from Enegren Brewing Co.

A | translucent light amber color, 1 finger frothy head that lingered. Minimal lacing.

S | Cascade hops! Honey, biscuit, sweet with floral hops and a sensation of alcohol.

T | Sweet light malty start quickly broadens across the pallet. This is mellowed by the floral quality of the hops with a swelling bitterness. Very bitter lingering aftertaste, but very pleasant for a beer with such a doss of hops.

M| Silky smooth. Feels surprisingly thick given the appearance, but in a very pleasing way.

O | Looks great, smells fantastic, sips well and carries you on a wave of flavor that gently drops you off on buzzed beach. Successive sips taken quickly will build the alchol burn which can quickly dominate the flavor, however. I think that if they dialed back the abv and hops just a tad this would be the ultimate weekend-with-the-buddies-lets-have-a-couple beer, and as it stands its an amazing sip-for-hours beer.

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Photo of VALIS666
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A well-crafted beer that unfortunately suffers in the most crucial part: taste. Pours a nice dark gold with dottings of lace, smells of pine, grass and mild citrus, but the taste is bitter and malty; common characteristics of a high ABV beer. I definitely need a big glass of water as a palate cleanser afterward as well.

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Photo of Jemonster
4.73/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is from notes.

A: Light rust color with thin off-white head. Medium level looking carbonation.

S: Strong floral hops and stone fruits. Sweet, sticky honey.

T: A pretty sweet tasting IPA. Seems like lots of dry hopping. Very floral again, with peaches and honey. Think mead. Lingering bitterness at the end. Heavily bittersweet, at both ends of the spectrum. Don't notice the high ABV.

M: Pretty viscous and heavy with light carbonation. The high ABV is not present here either.

O: This is great. Uncharacteristic of most IPA's but wonderful in it's own way. Taste with an open mind.

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Pugsley's Signature Series: XXXX IPA from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 734 ratings