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

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Pugsley's Signature Series:  XXXX IPAPugsley's Signature Series:  XXXX IPA
BA SCORE
3.7/5
Good
Pugsley's Signature Series:  XXXX IPAPugsley's Signature Series:  XXXX IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States
shipyard.com

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
292
Ratings:
734
pDev:
14.59%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
111
Trade:
1
 
User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 292 | Ratings: 734
Photo of thehyperduck
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

625 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before July 2013. This is a style I don’t get around to trying very often, but as a hophead, I am rarely displeased with them. Served slightly chilled, and poured into a tulip.

Pours a hazy amber-orange colour, topped with one finger of dense, creamy, off-white coloured head that gradually seeps away over the next few minutes, leaving behind a thin collar around the margin and a few wisps on the surface. Not much lacing initially, but subsequent pours generate copious smears of the stuff. Looks fairly effervescent. On the nose I am getting mostly butterscotch and pink grapefruit, a little pine, and suggestions of biscuits and lemon. The malts are quite prominent, but the hops are strong enough to pinpoint this as a DIPA vs. something else (e.g. barleywine).

Decent flavour, with the profile astutely balanced between sweetness and bitterness. The malty butterscotch and biscuit malts are strong contributors, but the pink grapefruit, pine sap and grassy notes of the American hops round everything out nicely, with some additional fruity apricot notes for added measure. Finishes with a bitter, herbal, almost woody note and a bit of heat from the ethanol. On the heavier side of medium-bodied, with the oily hops and very weak carbonation giving it a silky-smooth mouthfeel. Fairly drinkable for the style, but after a while the sub-par alcohol masking will probably bother the uninitiated.

Final Grade: 3.80, barely scratching out a B+. Shipyard’s XXXX IPA is a serviceable DIPA with no deal-breaking flaws, but in truth it possesses very little to distinguish it from other serviceable examples of the style. In short, I like this, but I could live without it. At 9.3% I expect a certain level of booziness - but this one has a bit too much heat for that percentage, and a serious lack of complexity/variety in flavour for that booze to integrate with and prevent it from becoming an annoyance. The hop flavours could also stand to be kicked up a notch, but as far as balanced DIPAs go, this is a well put-together example that drinks nicely. A brew that I might recommend to others, and would consider picking up again – though not really a priority. Decent value at its LCBO price point considering the lack of DIPAs and barleywines, and this batch should remain tasty for at least a few more months. Worth a try.

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Photo of silverking
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a clear orange/red color with a tan head that thins out quickly, but leaves a thin layer of foam with excellent lacing. There is a well rounded spicy/floral hop aroma that dominates the nose, but the aroma of malt refuses to be overlooked. It has a creamy mouthfeel with medium/light carbonation. The spice carries over onto the palate with notes of citrus, mainly grapefruit with the slightest hint of lemon zest. There is a bitter-sweet finish that includes notes of dark chocolate and caramel, along with the aforementioned citrus flavors. In my opinion, this is a pretty fantastic IPA. It is well rounded with a lot of character. I will buy this again and I highly recommend this beer.

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

XXXX (which I assume is even more hardcore than XXX) is a thick and thickly clouded deep burnt orange color so dark that it's almost red, a bit like rust but brighter. A head about one finger tall forms and manages good retention, leaving a mix of patching and spotting in good quantity on my glass.
This is an extremely interesting DIPA and one that blurs the line between styles, making the drinker unsure of the difference between a big imperial IPA and a hoppy barleywine. Juicy hops with both citrus and tropical notes with a floral complement make up the hops profile, but malts are big here too, giving this brew even more sweetness. Alcohol is what I expect, a big warm kick, and pleasantly devoid of any fusel or ethanolic taint. This beer ultimately makes me think of candied grapefruit, if ever there was such a thing.
It flows very nicely and has a big, creamy, smooth body with a very nice consistent crispness carrying it along as well.
With a whole lot of competition in this style, Shipyard does it right.

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Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best before Jan. 2013 served in a pint glass. Pours a deep copper-amber with a tiny and fragile tan head.
Perhaps the most appealing aroma of any DIPA I've sampled, this XXXX ale has strong notes of vanilla and caramel that compete with the spice and citrus notes from the hops. The flavor reflects these notes and starts quite sweet, but the hop load quickly comes to the fore. From mid-taste on, there's no mistaking this for the dessert beer your nose leads you to expect. By the finish the flavor is at least moderately bitter with some grapefruit rind, although sweet caramel and vanilla linger on.

O: a fun DIPA in that there's a real contrast between the aroma and the flavor. Easy drinking for a DIPA, but the malt/hop ration will be too high for some hop heads.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep golden color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of cascade hops with loads of citrus and pine notes is dominant. Taste is also dominated by loads of citrus and pine notes with a dry caramel malt base. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A bit too Cascade-centric for my own taste but well brewed and better then expected.

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Photo of phiberoptik
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and rich with a golden over copper color and a soapy head that dissipates quickly.

Wow... a stuffed nose could smell this one. Big malty backbone comes through. With a beer this big, that's what I expected. Sweet caramelly malt syrup, some pineapple and mango, and some floral hoppiness. My wife says "hibiscus".

No surprise of a strong malt presence takes over this beer, but there is definitely a balanced long bitter finish. Sweet tropical fruit notes come in and our of each sip as well. Nice warm throat after each sip.

Full bodied, viscous texture, great mouth coating, with just enough carbonation for as big as it is.

This is a big beer, and more malty than hoppy but delicious. I wouldnt drink too many of these though. Hides the alcohol well in taste, but not in effect. Definitely give this a try.

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Photo of IPALOVER
2.83/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is definitely in the style of a British IPA, so expect a Double British IPA, not an Imperial American IPA. The bottle description does not mention that it is a British IPA, so I was a bit surprised. I actually like the hop bitterness on the finish, but that's about it. A very average Imperial IPA, and not up-to-par with the American Imperial IPAs that I prefer (Gubna, Hoptimum, Maharaja). I actually enjoyed it the longer it sat and approached room temperature; when it was ice cold it was almost undrinkable and had a metallic taste. As I've worked my way through it I was able to tolerate it, but will never have one again.

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Photo of blackcompg
2.53/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Pours a finger of yellowish lite orange foamy head that recedes to a solid cap in a few minutes, color of the ale is a very hazy orange-red amber, mediocre webbed lacing left at the end of the session.

Smell - Ripe fruits, butterscotch, tropical fruit, fruit cake, slight funk.

Taste - Begins with a blast mix of floral hops, buttescotch and rum cake. I also get alot of over-ripe pit fruits, especially peach and plum. Just after midsip comes a rush of really over-ripe red grapefruit, to the point where there's a bit of moldy funk going on hear. Finish is bitter grapefruit zest and pith and some lingering off-floral hops and almost rotting sour fruits.

Mouthfeel - Nearly medium and almost creamy, medium carb cleanses the tongue with some really sharp edges actually, finish is both bitter and sour with a chalky dryness, also some alcohol heat.

Overall - I'm sorry, but this is just a terrible mess. No balance whatsoever, and some very hard punches. There are some really interesting flavors here, but this is NOT a DIPA in my opinion, far from it. This is sort of a madman's mixture of a saisson, belgian ale and a wee heavy - but it's not good at all. I'm going to try and finish this, as I hate to pour a beer down the drain. I really can't recommend this one.

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Photo of SenorHops
1.29/5  rDev -65.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

Had this on tap at a well respected craft beer establishement. Without a doubt, the worst DIPA I've ever had. A horrible sour taste. It tasted so horrible I couldn't muster more than two sips. All I could get from it was sour and malt with zero hop presence. An embarrasment of a beer.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

another DIPA at the Lcbo? Awesome!

The pour reveals a clear, dark copper liquid with a froamy, ivory head that lasts a long time. Patches and trails of lace cling to the glass. The aroma is of pralines, field berries, christmas cake and some light herbal hops. The taste malt forward with a butterscotch, nutty and doughy character. Fruity yeast esters also show. A herbal, floral hop character provides good balance but never overshadows the malt. Medicinal alcohol is too prominent, it distracts from the interplay between malt and hops. The mouthfeel is medium-lightish with a moderate carbonation. Finish is boozy and lightly bitter.

This DIPA is restrained on the bitterness and hop character. Not my cup of tea really, and the alcohol is too prominent.

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Photo of biegaman
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the pour, Shipyard XXXX had the appearance of fresh-squeezed OJ: it was pulpy and thick, with a bright orange colour and showed no visible signs of carbonation (well, ok, a small ring of white around the glass). Into the light, however, it reflects tarnished copper and resembles less something from the smoothie bar than it does something from the antique shop.

I said the appearance resembled fresh-squeezed juice which, truthfully, was a bit of a stretch. The aroma, on the other hand, is a dead-ringer for real fruit, grapefruit and mango in particular. The glass exudes an almost tropical air, with enough lemon and orange zest to make eyebrows raise up (and likely cure raw fish). It also has a kind of resiny pine syrup scent that conceals the beer's true strength.

That this recipe was "malt-inspired" may be easy to believe when considered relative to other IPAs, but that fact isn't entirely obvious from the taste of things. Flavours of caramel corn and hard toffee are noted but come in fairly conservative doses. They could stand to be a little more forward; once the hop trigger is pulled on the finish it's all 'grapefruit rind' this and 'rose petal' that.

Lament if you will that XXXX IPA doesn't have the sunny, citric profile of other DIPAs, but don't write off the beer's hoppiness. 70 IBUs is nothing to scoff at. The finish is incessantly dry, leaving a remarkable birch bark-like taste. Besides, the buttery caramel note cowers in the presence of the earthy, herbal, zesty cones, to the extent that I'd almost wish for a bit more maltiness. The beer may be tall but it's far, far from stout.

Shipyard XXXX is a beer that has its papers; tasting notes, ingredients list, suggesting serving temp, food pairings, original gravity, even a history lesson about where the ale takes its name - will there be a test at the end? Nevermind the homework, all you need to know about this beer is that it's not in the same area code as the sunny, citric DIPAs but still worth a go if you appreciate hop-bombs of a more balanced nuance.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

600ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 8$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. There a low amount of carbonation and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops and malts mixed with buttery caramel. There is also some brown sugar mixed with a slight amount of grapefruit sweetness, and some anise. It ends with a fairly hoppy aftertaste.

Overall - A good amount of hops, but I can see how others have compared it to a cross between a barley wine and a DIPA. Still a very good beer, just don't expect any vibrant fruity/juicy/hoppy flavours.

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Photo of Jdogg330
1.55/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This has got to be the maltiest "IPA" I have ever had. Now admittedly I am a real 2XIPA/Imperial IPA lover, however this beer is not even on par with a Torpedo or Burning River, for that matter. Much sweeter, maltier, and darker than any IPA I have tasted. If your looking for a truthful IPA reach instead for a Southern Tier 2xIPA, Stone Ruinatuon, Great Lakes Brewing Companies Lake Erie Monster, Dogfish head's 90 minute, Siera Nevada's Hoptimum, Harpoon's Leviathan, or Bell's Hop Slam.

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Photo of Ramsey
1/5  rDev -73%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

LITERALLY THE WORST BEER I HAVE EVER HAD. HANDS DOWN. IT TASTES LIKE SOMEONE DRAINED A DUMPSTER INTO A BOTTLE AND NAMED IT XXXX. IF YOU LIKE BEER THAT ACTUALLY TASTES GOOD DO NOT GO WITH THIS ONE. IT IS DOWN RIGHT TERRIBLE AND I DONT RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE.

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Photo of SebD
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice deep golden/amber color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of sweet caramelly malts, butterscotch and faint floral hops. Where the hell are the hops?

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some sweet caramelly malts and butterscotch along with some piney resin and light floral hops.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a decent overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas but not quite those of a double IPA.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pleasant surprise! Recent LCBO release dated solely "best before July 2013", but drinking it fresh due to some negative feedback on hop profile freshness elsewhere. Personally I agree with the DIPA classification rather than considering it a barley wine, so am enjoying this bottle despite the pronounced alcohol warmth.

Pours a dusty copper with a creamy head that leaves an impressive amount of residual lacing. Small bubbles and lack of oiliness make a pleasant mouthfeel, although the alcohol burn is strong enough to actually qualify in this category as well. Malt forward aroma of caramelized and toffee tones is followed by a pleasantly hop-forward taste. Very cursory initial sweetness has citrus "c" elements before progressing into a malt body that transitions quickly to the bitter hop finish. A finish that may indeed linger to next week from what I can presently tell...

Not “stunning”, but impressive. It’s pricey and not a beer I'd buy often, but a decent beer that I'll definitely hope to see again next year.

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Photo of beergoot
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear amber body with a thick, chunky head. Sweet caramel malts are the main smell. Sweet and rich malt flavor with a complimentary bitterness and fairly noticeable alcohol heat. Medium body.

A good imperial IPA. Nothing exceptional, but definitely comes through with the high malt profile, relatively high ABV (with associated boozy taste), and strong hop bitterness. A noticeable hop aroma was lacking, but other than that, a good overall effort.

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Photo of peensteen
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lightly hazed amber colour, one finger of off white head, some lace as well. Smell is heavy on sweet malt, dank pine and concentrated hops, a bit of orange and citrus fruit, very much like an american barley wine and not a DIPA. Taste is quite malty with some concentrated hops, pine, lightly sweet fruit, a bit of butter, grapefruit and orange flavours. Lightly carbonated, slick and resinous, med-full body. Decent but thats about it, far from outstanding but drinkable none the less.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1510th Review on BA
Bottle to Piraat Tulip
12oz

Best by 02/13
Purchased @ Bevmo Mira Mesa for $1.99

App- A nice pour with a ton of caramel browns and ambers intermixed with what I would say is an orbish orange color. A bit dark in the glass, but I find most DIPA @ 9% + get that way. The head was a solid 2 fingers of a off tan foam which looked a bit creamy like a guinness. Only a mild cling.

Smell- This is where this one let me down. The beer looked good but as a store in decline it took a huge drop. The hops were upfront and solid with a solid backing booze from the 9%. However on the back of that was just this very awkward Apple Juice and sweetness.

Taste- A big hoppy and boozy DIPA. As I remember before I started reviewing this one was overly sweet. By sweet I mean to me it tasted just like a caramel apple flavor IMO. Not infected apple intended. Semi balanced and needs to be less thick.

Mouth- A semi light-medium thick solid body with a ton of residual hops, sugar, caramel
The carbonation is a solid medium on this one.

Drink- I had this one as I said a long time ago before I started reviewing and it was just as I remember it. Slighty meh, with not much balance and overly sweet and boozy.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber, Head is about 1/2" off the first pour that is h a slightly off-white.

Smell: Light yeast which is weird for most IPAs. Malty scent which I do find very appealing.

Taste: Very good, it is complex with being malty bitter, not too quite on the floral side but seriously addicting. It is a little bit of everything,..marzen-like, bark type of feel that makes you undeniably happy.

Mouth: Very smooth, normally I like the fight with some IPAs but this is a little different.

Overall: I gambled and won on this brew, malty and creamy with lots to brag about. It isn't one of my favorite Imperial IPA but is more than enough to satisfy the palates. Salud!

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Into my chalice:

A: dark golden amber body that gives a one finger white head that slowly dies. Some light carbonation is seen rising slowly. Some light spider web lacing is seen around the sides of my glass.

S: nice combination of malt, spice and hops. Even though there isn't much else, it smells nice.

T: sweet through the malts and adds a bit of roastiness in the mix. The citrus comes out a bit more in the taste as well while the hops are slightly more subdued. There is a slight bitter finish.

M: medium to heavy with some slight harshness on the tongue, a little bit here and there, fairly high ABV wants to make it not as sessionable, but there is a bit of good sessionability to this one

O: this is pretty good for the style, and I would have this again.

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Photo of bound4er
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased on a whim, which is usually a mistake. We'll see how it turns out.

A. Pours nicely with an amber appearance and a nice, two finger off white head that has nice retention.

S. Smells of malt, dank weeds (hops I assume) and spice (mainly pepper). Pretty nice overall.

T. Things turn south here - I am not sure what to make of this beer. There is a lot of malt and weedy, pine hop bitterness but nothing really that trips my trigger. Has a odd spritz to the finish.

M. Medium bodied with adequate carbonation.

O. Nothing I need to revisit - especially at $9 per bomber. I should have checked this out on BA before buying.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a wine goblet.
Deep apricot in color, with a rather short, off-white head of foam.
Aroma-Sweet toasted malt, citrus note
Taste-Big malt profile, toasted malt, some citrus hops creep in but not enough to balance the big sweetness. OK, but much better double IPA's out there.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a beautiful ruby amber with an off-white, finger width head. Average retention. Results in a lacing that's thin but sticky.

Smell - Smells of caramel malts and a touch of toffee, with only the faintest hint of hops lying beneath.

Taste - Taste is thick, caramel character complimented by a nice floral hop undertone. Finishes with just a touch of citrus bitterness. Good flavor... but 2IPA? I don't think so.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied. Nice, tingly carbonation. Smooth and drinkable.

Overall - This is an IPA, let alone an 2IPA? drinks like an aggressive red ale, and that's how they should market it. Loses points for being misclassified.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up as part of a mix-a-six, enjoyed chilled from a willybecker.

The color is deeply hazed amber verging on copper with a quick to fall pale beige cap with overall avg bead and thin lace sticks. The smell is both fruity and herbal with moderately strong sweet scent of malt with slightly caramel essence with moderate alcohol in the nose. The feel is sweet and boozy for the most part with spicy and mildly bitter hop texture with moderate carbonation and warming semi-bitter and semi-dry finish.

The flavor has mild pine from the hops up front with light bitterness and herbal flavors with subtle fruity yeast taste that comes off as a light apricot with pear accent and subtle grapefruit fades in toward the middle with a citrus zest and sweet malt combination with mild caramel element and some dark sugar perhaps. The malt has a mellow toast quality with pepper and tangelo adding contrast, the alcohol finishes out the flavor in a not so mild way with light fusel and astringent hop tinge. The taste also seems strange with a prune/dried fruit element after the swallow. Overall it strikes me more as an English double IPA than American style with more malt and yeast that try to balance the hop bitterness and hop flavor is not as in focus. This is a good beer, but I would not seek it out.

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