Shipwreck Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Arcadia Brewing Company

Shipwreck Porter - Bourbon Barrel-AgedShipwreck Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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Porter - Baltic
Ranked #16
Ranked #2,144
4.18 | pDev: 9.81%
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Shipwreck Porter - Bourbon Barrel-AgedShipwreck Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Notes: The Baltic-style Porter has a robust malt character and a slight herbal hop bitterness. Aged for 12 months in 10-year-old Kentucky bourbon oak barrels, this alluring dark liquid features appealing undertones of vanilla, oak, cocoa, and coffee. The aging occurs in abandoned mines in Michigan, at a constant temperature of 45F.
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Reviews: 350 | Ratings: 1,072 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
2015 Vintage

A- pours black in color with a one-finger khaki head that reduces to a thin film that sticks around

S- charred and smoky malts give way to aromas of blueberries, dark cherries, chocolate, burnt brown sugar, roasted marshmallow, vanilla & wet oak

T- smoky charred malt is followed by notes of chocolate, blueberry, black licorice & dark cherry. Mid-palate gives notes of spicy oak barrel and burnt coffee, the finish gives bourbon, and charred malt

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and finish, abv hidden well

O- solid barrel notes compliment the charred notes of the base beer

Mar 23, 2020
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu from Romania

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color with fizzy, short lived cola head. Aroma has sweet/tart dark fruit notes with some bourbon and fudge. Taste is a bit tart and fruity with burnt sugar and woody bitterness. Medium body with medium minus carbonation. It's not bad but quite weird to be this tart for a bourbon barrel. If it was wine barrel aged, it would be understandable. Probably I got and infected bottle.

Apr 10, 2019
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Dragginballs76 from South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours Black with thin tan head that settles to a thin ring.

Aroma - Ton of bourbon and oak, sweet chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts. The barrel in this is just huge.

Taste - A bit of a sour cherry taste which could come from the light smokiness, chocolate, coffee, bourbon, lost of barrel again just like the nose.

Feel - Sort of thin, carbonation is done well slightly dry oily finish.

Overall- Well done porter lots of barrel bourbon comes through well.

Nov 25, 2018
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beersampler6 from Michigan

3.3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Oh man - I was really looking forward to this one but I felt I was let down by a dud. No date stamp on the beer so I can’t attest to its exact freshness (though these beers usually age well). Looks nice, deep dark brown color with just a little tan head and very spotty lingering lacing. Smells like nice dark chocolate and rich roast coffee, along with the bourbon and wood. But the taste reminded me of sour, over-roasted or burnt acidic coffee. That taste and feeling just overwhelmed everything else. I could barely make out the underlying tastes of wood, bourbon, malt and cocoa. The mouthfeel was decent but that sour puckering just didn’t let up. Decent carbonation. The higher ABV was really well-hidden and mellow. But the overriding sour taste just ruined everything for me. Here’s hoping this was just a bad batch.

Nov 05, 2018
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Radcpa from Washington

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown appearance with a slight head. Aroma is a mild malt. Taste is a very thin malt that has a pleasan malt taste without any alcohol aftertaste.

Oct 18, 2018
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degueulasse from California

4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've tried a couple different vintages of this one (2015, 2016). Both are very dark burgundy with a soft dark cherry smell and not much head. They taste strongly of cherries but have a smooth bourbon taste. This beer isn't sour at all, instead having a sweetness that appears to mellow out over time. It's a thick but clean beer that is right up my alley.

Sep 06, 2018
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bobv from Vermont

4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

7 year old bottle with red wax and no date.
Moderate to vigorous pour yields a 1/2 tan head over a very dark brown (almost black) body with a little lacing. Head doesn't disappear for some time though and its ring is there for the duration. Nose of roasted malt, chocolate, and bourbon. Taste mirrors nose very nicely and the 12% abv is definitely present. If this had a thicker mouthfeel, I'd swear it was a BBA RIS, but it is a porter and feels like most BBA Porters. Overall, a great job from Battle Creek, Michigan where (as per label) this was made. Cheers!

Jul 31, 2018
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Finally popped this at March Madness 2017(?). Was surprised it is classified as a baltic porter, would not have guessed but for this. Pours black, dark brown at about a 80/20 split. Dark brown head 1/6".

I would have guessed a Russian Imperial Stout before Baltic Porter, but upon reflection, its not that big of a mindwhoa. It does have some dark fruit like presence on it. The bourbon and malt character were both darker than on average. Mild carbonation but not bothersome. Smoothes out quite well for 12% abv. Kind of a wet barrel feel. Not drying. Didn't really pick up on vanilla or coffee. Good amount of dark chocolate feels, unsweetened and a viscosity that isn't sludge at all, that aspect is like a porter and nicely done. Decent beer.

Jun 15, 2018
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BergBeer from Virginia

2.14/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Look: Dark brown with ruby highlights. No head at all. Flat.

Smell: Sharp bourbon, fudge, and dark pitted fruits. Sweet and sticky on the nose.

Taste: Boubon soaked date cake. Notes of vanilla, dates, sharp bourbon, tons of oak, black currants, and some hints of plum and dark cherries.

Feel: Here is the hard part. This bottle is flat. Like tap water flat. It really wrecks every other aspect. This might be just this bottle but it made this very difficult to drink. The body is seemingly a bit too thin as well.

Overall: A real shame. The taste and nose was promising. However the lack of carbonation in the bottle just ruined it all. Your mileage my vary.

Jun 15, 2018
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Quackershnoc from Michigan

3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: black, but ruby highlights come through when held to the light; very thin white head that just rims around the glass

Aroma: huge bourbon; huge oak; huge vanilla; some roasty-malty notes; a little hit of brown sugary sweetness

Taste: starts with the brown sugar; transition into a little malt roastiness; then you get kicked in the face with bourbon, vanilla, and oak-they totally dominate the whole thing; some nice roasty malt notes come through at the very end, with a hint of chocolate; aftertaste is bourbon, oak, and vanilla

Mouthfeel: phenomenal; perfectly thick; great carbonation; silky; smooth

Overall Impression: I’m not really sure about this guy right now; wildly unbalanced-the bourbon barrel is the star so much so that the beer almost gets lost; if I want bourbon, I’ll drink bourbon-if I want beer, I’ll drink beer; I have a second bottle that I’d like to hold onto for at least 6 more months to see if the bourbon barrel mellows out a bit

From notes taken on 04/09/2014

Mar 13, 2018
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CaptainHate from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: 4 Smell: 3.75 Taste: 2 Feel: 2 Overall: 2 Rating: 2.54
I think I was likewise victimized by an infected bottle. Much more sour than expected.

[edit] I subsequently went back to the grocery store where I purchased it. I had thrown away my receipt so they couldn't refund me but they had an uninfected keg and gave me a very generous pour and I've revised my numerical grades accordingly. I'm not sure if that's the right thing to do or not but it's what I'm going with. Btw the guys in the beer department sampled another bottle, agreed with me and pulled the rest to return to the distributor.

Feb 19, 2018
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Carron76 from Michigan

2.3/5  rDev -45%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

I had high hopes for this $9 bottle and I was looking forward to cracking it open and enjoying it. However, it poured with no head, very little lacing, and had a strong tart cherry scent about it. It had a tart cherry note to it that reminds me of a sour. Not what I want in my Barrel Aged Porter.
Unfortunantly, for me, this was a drain pour. Like washing $9 down the drain. Save your money and buy just about anything else.

Feb 03, 2018
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RAFH from Michigan

4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 12 ounce bottle from Meijer for $8.50 on January 14, 2018. Bottle was dipped in a violet wax with a 2017 stamped into it. Definitely a solid beer with excellent flavor, but not for that price. Also, there's too much carbonation. Should be a lot smoother with less carbonation.

Jan 15, 2018
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Gemini6 from Michigan

3.11/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not sure what year this is, but I bought if off the shelf a couple weeks ago. This seems like it is yet another infected bottle. It has a sour start, with only a tiny bit of anything pleasant on the middle of the taste (little bourbon, roast, and sweetness) before the sour comes back to finish it off. Sadly, a drain pour for me after about 3oz. It has a good reputation, but not worth the risk for $8 a bottle. Had the same experience with BA Cereal Killer and BA Loch Down. Won't be spending money on anything Arcadia puts a wax top on again.

Dec 06, 2017
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iebforever from California

2.76/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Obviously an infected bottle. The flavor is tart cherry with vanilla, no real roastiness. I bought a 12 ounce bottle from Tavour, it had gold wax sealing it. Very disappointing.

Bought another bottle this year (May 2018) and had the same experience. Tartness, no roast, no vanilla character. Clearly infected. Arcadia is now off my list of beers to buy.

Nov 30, 2017
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aclockworkchris from Michigan

3.08/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 3

This one tastes like a mixed drink. I think I got a bad batch. Reminds me of a sour/wild ale. Very weird. $8 a bottle at the local liqour store, what a joke.

Update; found this on tap at the Kalamazoo Hopcat on BBA day Oct 22, 2017 and I can confirm that I previously tried an infected bottle. On tap it was very smooth and not as full as I would’ve hoped for.

To me, a disappointment as with all the Arcadia beers I’ve had.

Oct 22, 2017
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RBassSFHOPit2ME from California

2.57/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Well... if you like sours, this one's for you. It's as infected as it gets. Tart tart tart cherries and a shell of what a Bourbon barreled porter presence might taste like. Fizzy light body for the ABV, proving my accusation correct. Red wax cap.

Apr 02, 2017
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a fudge color with a frothy tan head that fades to a thin lid; a decent amount of lacing dribbles downward

Smell: Chocolate, currant and cherry tones

Taste: Chocolate and toasted bread forward, with the tart fruit tones of cherry and currant building; some Bourbon emerges, after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: A few other reviews have picked up the fruit and while some well should be present in a Baltic Porter, the fruit should take a back seat, not take over the driver's position

Thanks, darktronica, for the opportunity

Apr 01, 2017
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This beefy little brew pours a coal black with
a nice head of off white to tan foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin light pool,
and features some nice light sudsy lacing. Nose of strong bourbon, oak, subtle
vanilla, coffee, and light notes of fudge. Flavors hit the "umph!" note with rich
coffee and bourbon awash in brown sugars and chewy fudge with vanilla and
oak presenting themselves on the rear with more warming booze. Nice mouth
feel; full body, low carbonation, and a dry yet coating feel with light char notes.

Overall, this is an excellent brew worth having....also would love to have this one
on tap!


Jan 27, 2017
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justinp444 from Michigan

4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle. (Date when reviewed: 1/9/17) Poured into a snifter it has a black body and a light beige ring head. Smell of roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, some fudge, alcohol, and coffee. Taste is big bourbon, vanilla, good amount of chocolate, slight coffee on the end, and some roasted malt. Mouthfeel is full as well as body and a moderate to low carbonation. A big bourbon-y porter that has quite a bit of alcohol in it but still manages to taste complex with the base porter having lasting big flavors. I've had this on tap (though didn't manage to review it) and the aging definitely helped a ton with the flavor with this bottle.

Jan 09, 2017
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BlakeAM from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excellent brew and an exceptional value (especially considering how readily available it's been in Chicagoland).

The pour is fairly standard for a bba brew, pitch black with a golden tan head that dissipates to nothing. Smell is initially dark fruit and bourbon, but opens up to melted caramel pieces, toasted marshmallow, vanilla bean ice cream and fresh fudge. Taste follows the nose with a bit more roast. The mouthfeel seems a bit thin at first, but remember this is a Baltic porter and not a stout (although every bit as decadent as one would expect from a great bba stout).

Honestly this beer needs more love from the BAs in Arcadia's distro footprint. I've passed this one by one multiple occasions but glad I finally tried it.

Dec 22, 2016
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Don't really understand the hate here, this is a fantastic baltic porter. Big fudgey dark chocolate, roasted malt, licorice, wood, vanilla, some dark fruits, and dried cherries, with a dollop of bourbon on each sip. Smell doesn't have the same depth of the barrel, but otherwise the same. Feel is right on point for style with enhanced smoothness and depth from barrel. Plenty of malt guides all of the flavors and hides pretty well the high abv

Nov 11, 2016
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Superspak for this one from his NBS BIF #4 box. 12oz bottle poured into 10oz goblet. The beer poured a solid black, with just the thinnest cap of dark brown head that had no retention or lacing.

The aroma was fairly muted, at first, with slightly sweet malt scent at the front. Some subdued bourbon became apparent, and a bit oak was present in the background. On the tongue though, all those elements showed bright and strong. The bourbon was very complimentary, not overpowering the beer, and the added an interesting flavor. There was a slight tang of sourness, on the first couple of sips, but went away after that.

The body was fairly typical for the style, medium-ish, with a slightly sweet finish. The bourbon flavor lasted longest at the back of the palate. Drinkability was very good, with the12% ABV not noticeable. Overall, a very nice beer, one worth seeking out, and a must-hit if you run across it.

Oct 16, 2016
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DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Black color. One finger of frothy beige head. Retention is lacking and no lacing is left.

4.0 S: Wow, this is so very smooth on the nose. Roastiness, chocolate, caramel. Leathery bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Not particularly complex, but smells great.

4.25 T: Tastes even better than it smells. The barrel aging was done perfectly. Vanilla, leather, and oak supplement the roastiness, chocolate and caramel perfectly. Mildly sweet with just a touch of tannins to balance.

4.0 M: Surprisingly light on the tongue for a beer this big. Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Not at all cloying, and indeed, it's weirdly almost refreshing.

4.25 D: Very well crafted beer. Easily one of the most drinkable and smooth 12% beers I've had. Not a whole lot of complexity, but tastes great and solid all around.

Oct 02, 2016
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HopHunter19 from Missouri

4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - nice bottle with a red foil wrap on it, dark brown black beer with some translucency on the edges, mocha head doesn't stick that long
S - vanilla, oak, chocolate, burnt marshmallow, very malty, butterscotch, toffee
T - big vanilla, oak, dark malts, toffee, Caramel, definite bourbon, burnt marshmallow
M - heavy mouthfeel, alcohol present but appropriate, aftertaste is bourbon, oak
O - good beer, average to below average for the style which makes it good to great overall

Aug 18, 2016
Shipwreck Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Arcadia Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1072 ratings