Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter | Arcadia Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
327 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 327 | Ratings: 995
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

 319 characters

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.

 242 characters

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.

 255 characters

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!

 292 characters

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.

 358 characters

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.

 977 characters

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.

 395 characters

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.

 706 characters

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.

 658 characters

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.

 660 characters

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.

 625 characters

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.

 171 characters

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.

 1,345 characters

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.

 438 characters

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.

 205 characters

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

Nice jet black color and great bourbon smell and taste. This was aged for about 2 years. I will say that I remember this being better after one year of aging. It has lost a little of its flavor after 2 years bit still a pretty darn good brew bur in the future wouldn't age more than a year.

 291 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.
The body is very dark red brown and clear but nearly opaque in the glass.

Aroma: Almost completely dominated by bourbon and bourbon barrel aromatics. Very woody and boozy.

Flavor: also dominated by the bourbon barrels. The woody aromas were very strong, these didn't much impair the aroma; but I normally find even less barrel flavor to detract from beers. Not so here. Still, this is a beer only for those who like low ABV aged bourbons. Of course, for a beer this is quite boozy, although the 12% alcohol is partially hidden in tasting.

 586 characters

Photo of wcu80
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I nearly sliced off my finger trying to get the wax off and open the bottle. Even had that happened, it would've been worth it to get at what's inside the bottle. A REALLY nice BB Baltic that I wish I had more of. The 12% ABV was nowhere to be found and the barrel notes were incredible. Highly recommended.

 307 characters

Photo of Qbdoo
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark with a somewhat weak head. Aroma is fantastic though, with chocolate, vanilla, molasses and of course bourbon. The taste is similar with a slight but not overwhelming alcohol burn. It's just a tad. And though the feel is medium thin, the texture is smooth and creamy. I hadn't been blown away by Arcadia in the past but this is a great beer.

 351 characters

Photo of mjpolzin
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this during a bottle share with a buddy. He picked it up on a work trip in Michigan. I have to admit I had never heard of this before I tried it. But now I want to get more. This beer was incredibly well balanced but the bourbon flavor was sweet, strong and smooth. So you had a beer where the bourbon was the main flavor but not so much that you couldn't get other elements in the taste.

 392 characters

Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz, dated '09/16/' I bought it in early October, and the label looks frayed on the edges, so my guess is this not this years vintage (bottled in September every year). Pours a very dark brown, with a nice beige-colored head that mostly dissipates yet leaves a nice ring of bubbles around the glass; very nice effects and small amounts lacing when swirled (as one reviewer mentioned, it looks somewhat like an old ale--but clearly darker). Aroma is strongly of bourbon, with some vanilla, dark fruits, and, oh baby, I can sssmmmeeelllllll the booze! It tastes basically the same as it smells: bourbon, dark malts, dark fruits, with a bit of alcohol burn and some sweetness in the finish. Mouth-feel is light to medium, but not what I would call thin--as other reviews have mentioned, and it is certainly smooth, with a nice warming finish.

I'm not certain what a Baltic porter is supposed to look, smell and taste like, but I really like everything about this beer. It is beautiful, has an amazing aroma, and there is a lot going on in the flavor. I hope to enjoy my next one with a friend, as this is definitely worth sharing.

 1,130 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is jet black, with no head. Nose of booze, vanilla, molasses, and subtle chocolate. Flavors are sweet, with forward notes of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, booze, and woody highlights. Smooth, creamy body, with a bourbon and chocolate aftertaste. The finish is smooth, rich, and velvety. Good beer.

 341 characters

Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours nearly jet black except for for some reddish brown slightly showing thru when held to the light,a thin beige head atop.Bourbon,butteriness, and dark fruit dominates the nose,quite strong indeed.Very smooth feel with not much carbonation,it goes down very easy.Vanilla and butter up front on the palate,almost dessert-like,the alcohol hits in the back end but also some drying earthiness to keep everything in somewhat balance.Arcadia is an old school MI. brewery,some clunkers but this is pretty good.

 507 characters

Photo of Dactrius
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

More carbonation than on a lot of BB beers but a look that's not quite as nice as some others. Taste and feel are both solid with the baltic porter flavor coming through nicely. Unfortunately it is quite thin. Many of its "shortcomings" I probably shouldn't be taking issue with since it's a porter and not a stout. It seems overpriced at $8 for a bottle but considering that I think $15 for a BB bomber is reasonable I guess it's not so bad. So I guess after all that, I do recommend it and wish I had bought another bottle to cellar.

 540 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into shaker
$ 8.99/12moz bottle at Oppermann’s
Aroma – slight bourbon aroma
Head average (3.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to four mm ring and layer
Lacing excellent – complete wide rings of tiny to small bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor – very much of bourbon, slightly sweet and oaky, followed by a slight bitterness with alcohol coming through; no hops, no diacetyl
Palate – full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, aroma 4.5, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5

 551 characters

Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 995 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!