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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter | Arcadia Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck PorterBourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by jale on 02-01-2011

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Reviews: 327 | Ratings: 991
Photo of beertunes
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.53/5  rDev +10%
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

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Photo of biboergosum
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle - thanks again to my old friend Chris for bringing this up from his current Stateside, er, travels.

This beer pours a pretty solid black, but with noticeable red cola basal edges, and one finger of weakly puffy, somewhat foamy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves a bit of weeping tile 'lace' around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of gritty and grainy Bourbon barrel staves, testy vanilla pods, semi-sweet bready and gently toasted caramel malt, slightly sour cafe-au-lait, a touch of star anise spice, some blended dark orchard fruitiness, and a very subtle metallic booziness. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, a free-range ashiness, still muddled Kentucky County whiskey notes (some sauced vanilla and bland rye graininess, I suppose), a sort of sour milkiness, bitter licorice root, some ethereal leafy and herbal hop bitters, and, yeah a hovering, but not quite alighting wowee sauce measure.

The carbonation is adequate in its barely palate-supporting frothiness, the body a hefty medium-heavy weight, and sort of smooth, just too much pithy fruit, damp ashiness, and assertive booze taking their dim toll. It finishes off-dry, but weirdly trending towards the former, as the woodsiness starts to completely take over the proceedings.

Overall, I found this to be an agreeable enough BA porter, that is, if you prefer a ton of ingress in your big-ass versions of the style. At any rate, glad to have been offered the chance to try it, but I'm not entirely sure that I'd revisit this if it were available to be full time.

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Photo of Rogerlb
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark as a porter should -- light brown along the edges, like soda. No head here. Aroma is of bourbon and dark fruit/cherries.

Taste is sweet and dark fruit, cream, wood and vanilla, coconut, everything you expect in a BBA but it's all very smooth. Like a vanilla coke. No stickiness, malt is an undercurrent, bourbon has mellowed everything without overpowering the taste. And no bite, even with 12% ABV. Booze without being at all astringent.

Finish is slightly dry. A great porter that doesn't feel big, yet has all the tastes of a RIS. Lots of complex tastes balanced very nicely. It's pricey but Arcadia does it again with this boozy porter.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a smooth and silky dark brown and sits black in the glass with a finger of surprisingly fizzy carbonation.

Right away I got a big pungent tart aroma of sour cherries, a little vanilla, lots of sweet and spicy bourbon notes.

While the barrel notes of warming bourbon and sweet vanilla are there, there is a rather tart flavor of sour cherries that seems to over power everything else.

Medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, tart, thin.

Overall, while this was decent, the sour cherry tartness really through me off with this. Was not expected and seemed to over power all of flavors. A sour flavor is not something I look for in a porter so this was not great.

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Photo of spacecake9
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pulled this one out of the cellar after about a year of aging.
Poured into a snifter glass.
A - Pours black with a half inch of tan head.
S - Big nose of vanilla and bourbon.
T - The flavor is similar to the nose. Vanilla up front, then molasses and some sweetness followed by the bourbon on finish. Still a decent bourbon kick even after a year in my cellar.
M - Low carbonation. A little sticky, above average thickness.
O - Pretty tasty beer. But there are a lot of competitors out there in the BBA category so I probably would not pick this one again.

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Photo of FBarber
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish black with a one finger tan head that quickly dissipates leaving some tan lacing along the top.

Smell is bourbon up front - very boozy - with undertones of figs, oak and sweet caramels.

Taste follows the nose with a nice warming bourbon up front mellowing into a bouquet of flavors including caramel, figs, dark chocolate, molasses and some of the barrel/wood flavors coming through. Really complex and damn good. Its not hiding the ABV here, but at the same time there is no "burn" while drinking it, just a perfect

The feel is really what sets this one apart. There is a warmth to the beer that compliments the robust and rich almost velvety feel of the beer. Mild carbonation, very smooth, and drinkable. Just excellent.

Overall a really outstanding BBA porter. Definitely going to buy this one any chance I get.

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Photo of larryi86
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thank you strohme2 for this
12 oz bottle poured into a teku

A- Black with a two finger light tan head.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, oak.

T- Bourbon, fudge/chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, figs, hints of coconut, big and complex.

M- Smooth, full body.

O- An awesome, heavy barrel aged Porter. Holds it own against other big barrel stouts. This is on my rader now, worth seeking out!

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Photo of angelmonster
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review is of a bottle that was aged roughly 2 years

Pours a black body with walnut highlights. Head is sand colored and 1/5 of an inch. Head retention and lacing were pretty good.

Smell is of molasses, brown sugar, charred oak, fudge, and slight bourbon. Hops arent present but alcohol is definitely there.

Taste is pretty sweet for a barrel aged baltic porter, getting molasses, chocolate covered coffee beans, some vanilla and oak. Alcohol is smooth for a 12% barrel aged porter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice frothy head that stuck around for a long time. Carbonation levels were good also.

Overall this was an amazing beer that kind of took me by surprise. Tons of flavor melded beautifully with the bourbon barrel. Alcohol was restrained but still had a nice warming presence. Dont know if aging two years mattered that much but will try getting some fresh ones to compare.

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Photo of Jkolls
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Here we go....

Look: black/brownish, small beige head

Smell: bourbon. not much else.

Taste: again, bourbon. disappointing. Perhaps the smallest hint of vanilla? Maybe this one will improve with age, but not impressed fresh.

Feel: decent, low carb mouth feel.

Overall: 3.75 hopefully this one gets better with time

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Photo of smanson56
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark black color into my snifter glass. Nice nose with lots of bourbon coming through. Taste is mellow with hints of vanilla and the smooth mellow bourbon coming through here also. Nice mouth feel for a porter. A real enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark chocolate color. Aroma is boozy with a touch of sweetness. Flavor is bourbon up front with a mellow vanilla sweetness and a touch of roasted malts on the back of the tongue. Has a nice feel for a porter and overall I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of greshdoghophead
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from the brewery July 2015. Very surprisingly rich and delicious. Huge toffee and caramel notes with that nice punch of alcohol on the back end...lingering richness down throughout with a nice heat up from the lungs after. Worthy of a seat at the table with some of the big boys!

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a Dark Brown-black with a thin, tan head. A little more carbonation than .
Much bourbon tones in the smell with the slight malt sneaking through. Vanilla also shows up.
The Bourbon jump sout front with the taste. There is a slight pause into the transition into the sweet, caramel malt.
Not a huge beer, but very tasty and pleasant in the mouthfeel.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a solid black color. a two to three finger tan head with strong retention and leaving behind a big lacing. completely opaque and dark.

Smell: huge bourbon presence: caramels, oaks, vanilla, light toasted coconut. strong booze to it, and a little bit of dark malts but nothing too roasty.

Taste: opens with a little bit of toffee. booze and vanilla come through powerfully next. a little bit of caramel blends with chocolate malts. backend has some toasted coconut to nutty flavor. ends with some brown sugar and a bit more booze.

Mouthfeel: velvety and smooth. some astringent alcohol that leaves behind a nice long burn. definite warming qualities. ends up being fairly bitter.

Overall: captures all the complexities of a fairly nice bourbon and adds a small amount of porter too it. great velvety mouthfeel. drinks like every bit of its strong self. Very nice beer if you are looking for something with a lot of spirit/barrel character in a nice body.

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Photo of do_ob
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Dark brown pour and black in the glass.1/2 finger of khaki foam. Nose is bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, cherries, mint, and coco. The taste follows, with a strong lingering bourbon and sweet cherries on the finish. Incredibly sweet. The feel is a little disappointing, as it is quite thin and watery. Overall, not bad, but definitely not worth the pricetag.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. Very dark pour with a thin layer of brown head and decent retention for a barrel-aged beer. Notes of toasted oak, dark fruit, vanilla, and bourbon on the nose.

Full body with a velvety feel. Lots of bourbon and a hint of boozy warmth, but still retains a good amount of roast and is identifiable as a porter. Up front are coffee grounds, dark chocolate, and caramel. These give way to bourbon and dark fruit. Even after several months in the bottle, the bourbon notes are still a bit harsh.

Overall, a nice beer, but not a ``top shelf'' bourbon-barrel-aged beer. Too harsh and the flavors don't meld together as harmoniously as they do in the better examples.

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Photo of Gaddabble
2.47/5  rDev -40%
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 MacMalt
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip glass. It pours a dark mahogany, nearly black, with a rather thin, khaki-colored head and lacing. It smells of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, and faint caramel. The taste features bourbon, roasted malt, burnt coffee, chocolate, and a faint caramel sweetness throughout. The flavors blend very well. This porter is medium-bodied, lightly carbonated, and has a real kick with its 12% ABV. Notwithstanding the alcohol burn, it is quite smooth and easy to drink, although it is definitely a sipper. Overall, this is one of the best Baltic Porters I've tasted. I generally prefer Imperial Stouts over Porters but this one is truly world class.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 FLUID OUNCE bottle
Served in a snifter
2012 vintage

This beer pours black and is topped with a short-lived tan head that leaves little lacing.

The bourbon has morphed into sweet caramel and vanilla. It smells like dessert. There is still some bourbon that compliments the sweet aromas.

I immediately taste caramel and some roasted malt. Then bourbon cascades over my taste buds. The finish is sweet with caramel and vanilla.

Full mouthfeel and velvety smooth

This beer has aged wonderfully. It is delicious and has almost became a dessert beer. There is enough bourbon flavor remaining to cut some of the sweetness.

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Photo of KillerJigger
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my first porters ive liked in a long time. Great flavor that masks the high ABV. Looking to get another. Would recommend this to someone who doesnt like porters.

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Photo of CowsandBeer
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle with thick red wax poured into a Sierra Nevada snifter. 2015 bottle.

Appearance: Pours a thin cap of khaki color head which quickly reduces itself to a bubbly ring with a center film. Nice shiny black body.
Aroma: Upfront mildly sweet whiskey, light brown sugar, coconut oil and toasted oak. The porter brings notes of cream, cherry, and chocolate.
Taste: More of that sweet whiskey held up by a chocolatey porter base. The porter tastes of char, malted milk balls, some baltic porter sweetness, and cream. Very nice malt finish and soft whiskey barrel. The whiskey comes off as a tart sweetness with a coconuty finish. Not as much dept as something like BCBS in terms of barrel depth but still unique enough to stand on its own.
Mf: Low carbonation with a slick, medium/full feel. High drinkability for what it is.
Overall: As the beer warms it tastes like a strawberry chocolate milk cocktail. I’m curious as to what kind of barrel they used to age this beer as it adds a really nice spiced wood/sweet bourbon character. The base beer on its own it seems to be a sweeter, maltier base that works quite well with the barrel. More of roasty char and port like sweetness come out of the porter as it warms. Having only had Arcadia’s barleywine before this is another welcome surprise. Highly recommended.

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Photo of hardysf
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a rating based on style only. The beer tastes good but definitely not worth the 7.99. This is the 2015 version with wax cap. Not much carb and what there is goes away immediately. Smell is a bit bland but some notes of vanilla shines through. Some roastiness and some chocolate. Well balanced. Not much bourbon flavor at all. Smooth to drink, but cost prohibitive when there are so many other better BBA beers for cheaper.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter at Sheffields. Huge bourbon on the nose and palate throughout. Didn't seem to change much as it warmed. Feel is thinner than expected for a 12% beer. Nice chocolate notes as it warms.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 991 ratings.
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