Shipwreck Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Arcadia Brewing Company

Shipwreck Porter - Bourbon Barrel-AgedShipwreck Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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Style:
Baltic Porter
ABV:
12%
Score:
93
Avg:
4.18 | pDev: 9.81%
Reviews:
349
Ratings:
1,068
From:
Arcadia Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  158
Gots
  362
SCORE
93
Outstanding
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.
Reviews: 349 | Ratings: 1,068 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by output01x:
Photo of output01x
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. wax sealed bottle into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a nearly 2-finger tan head sitting on a pitch black body. Even when held to light, no traces seem to get through. The head recedes after a few moments leaving only a thin covering. Lacing is moderate.

You can smell the bourbon from across the room as this beer is poured. Upon closer inspection, the bourbon aroma mingles with dark mocha.

Milk chocolate, coffee, caramel, and roasted malt flavors dance together happilly. A slight bourbon warmth pushes the aforementioned flavors away as it dominates at the back of the tongue. Hazelnut comes in after a minute or two as an aftertaste.

Heavy bodied but also heavily carbonated. Somewhat sticky, each sip fizzles in your mouth then coats every inch. Less carbonation would have been preferred as experiencing more of the beginning flavors would make for a more enjoyable tasting.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

huge fan of the style, i say that a lot, but this bourbon barrel edition has to be one of the most decadent beverages going. at 12% abv and with enough boozy sweetness to render its lager yeast past a distant memory. a half shade lighter than shiny black shoe polish, the head surges near the rim of the glass on the pour, and only relaxes slowly. it smells incredible, dry fruity must, the wood is very very prominent, and the lack of bitterness in the malt base means the sweetness of the bourbon is high. they may have overshot the grain bill just a bit, as this beastly bodied brew has enough sugar to keep on going up. good bourbon barrels i suspect, as there are no weird thin fusel notes on this, and the charcoal aspect is there all the way. ashy almost burnt malt flavor in the middle, before it gives way to traces of rum, licorice, and espresso. potting soil earthiness to it as well before the sugars come on. the alcohol is very strong, no denying that, i wonder what lager yeast they used to get it here. the science is as interesting as the final product. a bold but elegant brew on the whole, my first form arcadia. maybe not my favorite baltic porter, as the thing that makes that style awesome is paved over a bit here, but the beer is of astounding quality. id like to cellar one awhile. thanks to thebrewo for opening this one with me!

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Photo of guityler83
3.02/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: The head built in the glass just shy of a finger tall and quickly fell into the black liquid. The tan foam left some stepped lacing before it fell and a dusting on top. Although very dark and black at first glance, peaks of dark mahogany around the edges come out. And of course some of the wax fell in my glass.. it took a ridiculous amount of time to get it open even.

S: Light milk chocolate aroma with a kind of milky lactose aroma? Oak barrel character is very low and there is some earthy hop aroma present. Light overall.

T: The base beer has mild milk chocolate flavor with a chalky flavor. The bitterness comes off fairly assertive with the barrel flavors adding to the hop bitterness. The barrel flavor itself is moderate and keeps with the vanilla and caramel standards. Soy sauce character in the finish.

M: Carbonation is low to mild. Defiantly getting some alcohol warming. Body is moderate and there is a sharp bitting character that comes off as bitterness, but not the normal hop bitterness, more of a drying mouth feel from the barrel sugars? Guessing here. Also gets slightly creamy as the sips get bigger.

O: I picked this up on a trip to Michigan on a recommendation from the store owner (it's the last bottle!) but have to say this fell flat for me. If the aroma was better and some of the off flavors I was picking up (maybe it was age, or an infected bottle?) were fixed it probably would be a very solid beer. But this one.. not so much.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The ever-steady Shipwreck porter goes under the knife, or at least under the barrel for an extreme make-over that hardly resembles the original robust porter. This bourbon infused taste is extreme in its bourbon character and savory because of its added age.

The Bourbon Barrel Shipwreck is the common deep and ominously dark brown, hinging on black although brazenly tawny at its extreme margins. As the nose hovers over its dainty creme-like froth, the strong booze of bourbon is obvious, along with its oak, charred fruit and roasted grain. To taste, its the malty-sweet molasses, chocolate and caramel to coat the palate first.

Those sweeter malt tendencies saturates the mouth deeply and provides a buffer for the intensity of bourbon to come. Burnt toast, espresso and an nutty taste transitions from sweet to earth while the booze soaked flavor grows. Grilled cherry, berry and currant lurk in the background while the barrel's caramel, vanilla and oak presence dominates the finish.

Full to taste but dry and roasty,the porter carries a dry, semi-ash, semi-powdery tannic character in mouthfeel. With the coffee-like bitterness balancing the sweetness and facilitating dryness, its the palate numbing bourbon that shapes the final impressions and turns this otherwise somber and drinkable porter into a slow sipping affair, easily replacing sherry or cognac as an after dinner digestive.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a very thin tan head. Light amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate.

T - The flavor follows the aroma with bourbon, vanilla, and dark chocolate upfront. There are some dark roasted malts and oak that really show up midpalate. Light alcohol warmth in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

O - Very tasty beer. Lots of rich flavors throughout. This is a delicious sipper.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a translucent cola brown, but opaque in the glass. Slim sudsy tan head that soon dissolves into a faint fog and a dirty halo

Smell -- Cocoa and molasses, bourbon, sticky oak, and vanillin. The base beer is difficult to pick out from the barrel notes, save some roast malt sweetness.

Taste -- Very much barrel-forward, with lots of sour mash bourbon, woody oak, and vanillin. The base lends flavors of roast malt, cocoa, and some molasses. It does a fair job of masking the alcohol, though it still slightly boozy. Finishing bite of boozy alcohol, vanilla, herbal hops, and roast malt.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with ample carbonation. Not over-carbonated, but mellower bubbles would've been preferred. Also slightly thin. Alcohol presence is moderate for 12% abv.

Overall -- There seems to have been a lot of hoopla when this was released, but I'm not seeing the appeal. It's not bad by any means, but I'm really not floored. The barrel really overwhelms the base beer, and I'm willing to guess that this would've been better as a partial BA blend. In any case, it was definitely worth the cost to try this handsome bottle.

My suggestion is to pick up a bottle of you have it available, but keep your expectations grounded.

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Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar but very dark brownish red near the edges of the glass when held up to a bright light. It poured with a short white that quickly died down, leaving only wispy lacing on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of bourbon and associated vanilla are present in the smell.
T: The taste follows the smell and has moderately strong flavors of vanilla and bourbon. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and finishes a little thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Slight bits of warming from the alcohol are perceptible.
O: This beer tastes nothing like a 12% abv beer and is incredible drinkable because the alcohol is very well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Gemini6
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.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
2.35/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

In terms of the genre of bourbon barrel aged beers, I have never had one that I hated. I do have a strong dislike for this one.

Poured into a snifter, this beer has the expected black color with low carbonation and very little head. The aroma was a grapey-like whiskey aroma. This was not a typical whiskey aroma, which should have been my first clue that something was wrong. The initial taste was the smooth yet biting sensation of alcohol. Rather than drinking beer, it felt like I had a mouth full of cheap whiskey. Amidst, the burn were hints of a bunred dark malt, vanilla, and dark fruit. These pleasant notes could not overcome the burn of the alcohol in my mouth that continued to burn in the aftertaste. There was no sense of balance to this beer. I am able to recommend several good barrel aged porters, but this would not be one of them.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

dark brown pour, rich creamy beige head. massive bourbon aroma right away. tons of vanilla as well. taste is creamy smooth with the vanilla really shining through. lots of chocolate too. the bottle has been sitting for over 2 years now so i dont get much booze. age has done this well. i think im drinking it at the perfect time. body isnt the fullest but its not meant to be for the style. very very easy to drink. awesome!

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Photo of Gaddabble
2.47/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.25

Appearance is expected dark brown with very little head. Smell is of booze, slight bourbon, and red-wine. Taste follows smell, but very harsh booze and unflattering red wine. None of the typical rich chocolate flavors one might expect from the style. Only positive note on the tasting was some vanilla, but otherwise difficult to drink. Smooth, velvety mouth feel, but carbonation was too low. Personally, I hold barrel-aged beers to a higher standard than non-barrel-aged beers as, even if it is marginally well-done, barrel-aged beers typically have a lot to offer. I can say unequivocally that this is one of the worst barrel-aged beers I have had.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
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.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, but translucent at the edges with ruby highlights when held to the light. An inch of off-white head provides gauze lacing on the side of the glass that is rare but welcome for a barrel-aged porter.

The smell is a well-balanced mix of notes from the barrel: bourbon, vanilla, oak and caramel, and notes from the parent beer: chocolate, coffee and molasses.

Mouthfeel is appropriately velvety. Maybe a shade too much carbonation tang on the tongue, but, overall quite nice.

The most striking part of the taste is that the bourbon barrel flavor is nearly perfect. The full, round bourbon, vanilla and wood notes are front and center, but without the heat that it usually takes to get those flavors to the fore. There is some bitter bakers chocolate and sweet molasses in a supporting role. I wish there was a bit more roast from the parent beer here, but this is as spot-on of a barrel aging process as you're going to find. You really get the full character of the barrel. Very well done.

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Photo of hilgart1
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of CTJman
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jrs3994243
3.67/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TCgoalie
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My normal bottle opener wouldn't work as the red wax got in the way. When I finally got this poured into my large snifter, I saw a dark beverage with just enough light shining through the sides to notice some brown hues. Not much head upon pouring but the ring of foam around the edge lends itself to the sides of the glass in a bit of random lacing.

Oh man, the smell is magnificent. It is as if the beer is a wooden plank plucked right from the side of the bourbon barrel it was aged in. I can almost smell the wood fibers. The wood, bourbon, and porter malts combine to make an awesome smell.

I haven't found an Arcadia beer that I love, so I don't know what to expect with this. The bourbon flavor is right on but I feel it overpowers the rest of the ingredients. I think if the porter was more bold it would be better. Sweet bourbon is mellowed by malts with the addition of some vanilla and oak.

Low carbonation combines with a medium feel creating a subpar mouthfeel for the style. Some sweet, bitter aftertastes linger for a while with a drying effect.

This is drinkable considering the 12%. It is a bit sweeter than I would like, but it is ok. A valiant effort by Arcadia to make an elite beer, but they don't quite make it to the next tier with this one. I'll keep turning to their big brothers (Founders, Bells, Short's) when I want something truly exceptional.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Yeti1979
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of IckyT2012
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of sweemzander
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Produced a great fluffy tan colored head with great retention behind it.

(S)- A sweet bourbon-like oak aroma with lots of raisin. Very rich with brown sugar and caramel sweetness.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A rich profile with lots of raisin, brown sugar, and caramel. Lots of vanilla with some oaky bourbon notes.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Boozy, but balanced well with equal parts rich and sweet components.

(D)- This really took on the bourbon barrel characters well. It rivals some imperial stouts in sweetness and richness; almost dessert-like.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flute from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Dark thin black-brown with medium bubbles on the body. Tan head with a vigorous pour is about a notch below a finger's length.

Smell: Hard whiskey scent, feels like it was blended with dessert wine and chocolate.

Taste: Heavy whiskey taste with a light milk chocolate feel. Little sweet but not bad.

Mouth: Medium carbonation and very sticky, like gum on the bottom of your shoe. Pairing it with some crackers and I still feel the heavy bourbon after-taste.

Overall: Not bad at all. There are some better porters out there especially when you factor how much you're paying for each bottle. Better paired with some dessert, like your side of fries to your burger. Salud!

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Photo of Boski
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of WestHam973
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12oz red wax dipped bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/20/12
*From notes

-- I picked this up in Cleveland during the BA Blackout Stout release --

A: Rich, roasted coffee brown in color. A good pour yields a creamy two finger head. Nice lacing and decent retention.

S: Unbaked Cookie dough with a splash of good bourbon thrown into the mix.

T: Raw, lively chocolate up front. The mid showcases the bourbon and vanilla, and the finish is boozy - which is only accentuated as it warms.

M: Quite thick and creamy for a porter. It feels a bit more like an RIS.

O: It may not be Williamsburg AleWerks BB Porter, but it's damn close. Arcadia has crafted what might as well be called a Russian Imperial Stout, as this has the ABV and feel of said big brews. This is a solid barrel aged offering, and one I have no qualms recommending.

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Shipwreck Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Arcadia Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1068 ratings