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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 327 | Ratings: 991
Photo of danbar
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First wax dipped bottle - note to self - remove wax first before trying to remove top.

Pours a deep black color with a nice two finger off-white head. Nice looking beer.

Smells mostly of bourbon with hints of roasted coffee , dark chocolate and vanilla.

Starts off with a ice combination of coffee and chocolate which is washed away with a smooth, bourbon finish. Also get some bitterness from the roasted notes. Not a trace of the 12% ABV.

Mouthfeel is really creamy, nice carbonation and is medium full. Just a tad thinner than I was hoping for.

Overall, a very good beer and my first barrel aged porter so I don't have much to compare it to.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was sent as extra by surlytheduff and kzoobrew-- not sure whose bottle I'm opening but thanks guys!

Dark ruddy brown, small wispy head. Nice legs and spotty lacing.
Smells and tastes of huge bourbon, vanilla, some sweet malts underlying, and a hint of black licorice. Nice dry boozy finish.

Medium oily feel with surprisingly ample carbonation.

Very impressed. This is an unbelievably good beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to mikesgroove for this one.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a small, beige colored head on top. Nice head retention but sporadic and thin lacing.

S: Rather sweet and rich with a nice bourbon aroma, wood, vanilla, and some roasted malt. Very inviting.

T: Wow, lots of vanilla and bourbon in the flavor profile, mixed with some dark chocolate and a little bit of coffee. Really bursting with flavor, with a nice warming in my stomach.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, very creamy and smooth.

O: Really nice, for 12% the alcohol was held in check very nicely and the bourbon added some nice depth.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Final beer of the mini-tasting with mdaschaf, thanks dude! 12 ounce waxed bottle poured into a snifter. Very nice presentation.

A: Very deep dark brown, hell I'd probably call this black in dim lighting with a rich, creamy off-white head forming. The retention is rather nice for the high alcohol content, but the lacing could use some work. Not entirely surprised though given the stats - good looking beer.

S: Bourbon but it's sweet in nature. It's not that harsh liquor smelling aroma, instead there's a rich sweet mature element to it. Good amounts of wood, plenty of dark roasted malts and a touch of vanilla in the background. Everything seems to blend well together giving this a nicely balanced aroma.

T: Front of the palate are the roasted chocolate malts and the slightest hint of dark coffee. The bourbon and vanilla are the center of attention, giving a very sweet and tingly feel across the tongue. Back of the mouth is some caramel notes and perhaps a hint of smoke? Whoa, very flavorful and certainly a big surprise for me.

M: Creamy, lower on the carbonation but enough to keep the beer lively especially for the 12% ABV. Nice feel, somewhat dry in the linger.

This was a very nice surprise especially considering bourbon barrel aged beers can have anywhere from a lot of bourbon to not enough. Shipwreck achieves a great balance with plenty of other flavors coming through. Thanks again, Matt!

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Photo of KansasBeerLover
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Cicero's ale glass.

The beer is a very dark brown, seen through a thin layer of translucence at the top. From there down, it is opaque.

The head is creamy at the pour, about one finger, and a work of art. Disappears to a wisp after five minutes, leaving a thin ring around the edge with mild lacing.

Aroma is moderate. Vanilla is immediate, with roasted malt and bourbon.

Taste follows the aroma. Vanilla, sweet roasted malt, bourbon and a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is smooth, like a well-aged single malt. A little thin compared to the taste. The aftertaste is smoky and remains for some time.

This porter leaves me wanting another. Limited availability and price will likely rule out a second. This is one amazing porter.

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Photo of maximum12
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to splax23 & his mad beerslinging skills for sending this one my way. Hadn't really intended to seek it out, but hey, why not? I like bourbon. I like porters. Seemed like a good idea.

Pour is 99% black, with only the outliers showing any hint of light penetration (heheheh). Head bows out early. Towering notes of vanilla drown out everything except a stray malt or two. Good but simple.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter reminds me more than a little of Bourbon County Stout: this is a bourbon shot to the sternum. Roundhouse vanilla codes in, & the many oak staves gave their lives to the cause. This is all about the barrel. No subtle 'hints' here. There are flakes of other stuff peeking out from under the barrel, chocolate being the most prominent. The others? Swept away by more vanilla cascading down the back-side. I'm digging the lighter feel of barrel-aged porters in general, doesn't make me think I've eaten another meal shortly before bedtime. And drinkable? Damn, son, this should have been a bomber.

OK, I was indifferent to this beer because I've never had a good beer from Arcadia: this one is excellent, so color me surprised. Not a ton of depth, but the barrel aging & mouthfeel were exquisitely done. Perhaps time to give 'em a second chance.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from very impressive looking 12 oz. red waxed bottle into Founders Snifter. Released January 2011?

Appearance: Pours a deep black, no light getting through, yet slightly lighter by the edge of the glass. Very full, frothy head hangs around for a significant amount of time, leaving behind some excellent sporadic lacing.

Smell: Big vanilla initially followed by some light oak, bourbon, and roast. Some smoke comes through a bit.

Taste: There is some definitive bourbon coming through. Some of that smokey oak on the palate, but alot more of the vanilla character that was so prominent in the nose. It's got a real sticky sweet character.

Mouth: Beautiful creamy texture. I feel like the mouthfeel really supports the taste...and without such a creamy texture this beer would suffer significantly.

Drink and overall: This beer really reminds me of Dragons Milk from New Holland. I enjoy them, but can become a bit cloying and overly sweet. The nose, and mouthfeel really make this beer stand out though.

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Photo of Gushue3
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Treebs for this long time want.

A comes from the bottle dark brown and sits opaque black in my glass. An off white 1 finger head forms with some moderate retention. Smaller slands are floating around with some lighter lacing left around the glass.

S I can already smell from the pour. A nice bourbon sweetness comes through upfront that smells nice and is fairly well balanced. Some mollasses and dark chocolate malt come through the nose as well.

T Wow. Sweet vanila from the barrel is the first thing i notice. some sweeter malts follow nicely like caramel and toffee. Theres a roast and slight hint of chocolate that somes through underneath. Nicely balanced with lots of flavors. Really really nice stuff right here, Alcohol is there but not hot, very well integrated. very close to a 5

M medium feel on the mouth with a light syrup quality. theres some carbonation but not much which makes this smooth and way too way to drink.

O This stuff is pretty awesome. I love big bourbon bombs, but this was nice and well rounded. Wish i had some more.

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Photo of rye726
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer once. It was given to me as an extra if you can believe it! Pours near black with a brown head. Nose has big malts, oak, vanilla and bourbon. So does the taste. It is really nice. Well balanced. Medium to full body drinks nicely. I really like what they did with the barrels by putting the beer in them.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured form 12 oz bottle into tulip - Bottled on 01/20/11

A: Poured a light black with a half finger head that descended into a thin off white lacing , decent carbonation.

S: Bourbon , coffee, chocolate, roasted barley , malt.

T: Smooth creamy bourbon with roasted barley and malts , Light chocolate hints with hints of coffee as well.

O: Overall I really enjoyed this beer, everything was in balance and nothing seemed out of place, smooth and creamy and just slightly sweet and the 12% was hardly noticeable , Very well made ..
I need more.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.56/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Portsmouth glass. I believe the bottled on date says Jan 2011 but it’s a bit smudged. Thanks for this one Jay!

A: Pours near black with a quarter inch creamy light brown head that held pretty great retention.
S: Rich notes of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and creamy toasted marshmallows.
T: Follows the nose but the flavors are much lighter than I was anticipating. The bourbon, vanilla and roast are there, and I get a bit of sweet caramel as well, but this beer lacks a sort of potency that a lot of big barrel aged beers possess. That being said, the flavors are still well-rounded and delicious. There is a splash of coca-cola flavor in there as well but not necessarily in a bad way. The aftertaste is full of marshmallow.
M: Low carbonation but soda-like. The mouthfeel is smooth and really tame seeing as I can hardly detect the 12% alcohol. I just get the faintest bit of warmth. Body isn’t huge but I’ve had worse.
O: Despite a few faults I really enjoyed this beer. The high alcohol was hidden well and the flavors were delicious and smooth. It’s not my favorite, but I would gladly drink this again. Thanks Jay!

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Photo of alexgash
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Pours a very dark brown. Finger and a half of thick, creamy, dark khaki brown head. Good lacing. Strong bourbon and vanilla notes on the nose, accompanied by dark chocolate, cocoa powder, a little smoke, and some roasted coffee.

Charred, roasted malts up front. Chalky, dark chocolate bitterness follows. Sweetish malts fill in with notes of caramel, dark rummy fruits, and milk chocolate. Warming, boozy, bourbon into the finish, along with vanilla and oak. Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and bourbon linger. Medium-bodied, with a slightly watery feel. I expected a bit of a full-bodied feel. Still, the flavors are there and it's pretty drinkable for its strength.

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Photo of Treebs
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a waxed 12 oz. bottle into my Founders snifter. It took a solid 3 minutes of hacking to actually get through the wax and allow me to savor this brew. I can barely make it out, but it looks like bottled January 2011.

A: Pours an obsidian black with a tan head that fills up to about one finger, then recedes into a nice film ring around the edges. This guy has a some legs.

S: Rich barrel notes come through on this with a faint bourbon that toys with the nose. Roasted malts compliment the oak barrel and the caramel like sweetness. Faint hints of vanilla as well.

T: Light bourbon on the tongue which blends wonderfully with a rich oaky wood and a very faint sweet vanilla. Nice roasted malt, slight caramel, and there is a faint booze in the back that warms the throat on the way down ever so slightly. Finishes with a slight coffee/minimally bitter chocolate. As the beer warms more alcohol and heat come out.

M: Some nice prickly carbonation on this heavy brew. Leaves a nice subtle chocolate on the palate after each sip and the warming from the alcohol is great.

O: This is a really solid porter and a nice treat. The alcohol has blended nicely and the barrel is really shining in this without the bourbon being over pouring. I recommend.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arcadia bourbon-barrel aged shipwreck porter is a tasty porter with lots of bourbon flavour.

A: Black colour and a 5 mm head that is maintained pretty well by decent carbonation. 4.5

S: Smells like bourbon barrel and malt. 4

T: Strong bourbon and barrel flavour. A little sourness and ashiness. Yum. 4

M: Milky with some foaminess. 4

O: 4

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Photo of vande
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark, midnight black. {could have been a heavy ass brown, but we were outside} leaving a tannish colored head that lasts for a lil while...

S: bourbon is present w/ hints of vanilla, roasted malts and coffee.. the alcohol hints at the nose and warns the palate.

T: Bourbon and oak layered within the vanilla, roastiness of coffee too.. slightest hint of chocolate, but a nice taste that at different points one can pick up different hints of things...

M: for something so high in ABV, this one truly is pretty easy to sip. and I do mean sip!

O: a heck of a beer!

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Photo of Jules11788
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch-black with an almost non-existant head, sticky lacing

S: Malts and figs with a sweet woody backbone

T: Oak and figs followed by a tart smoked woodiness and sweet bourbon notes. Just the slightest hint of booze at the end

M: Medium thickness, smooth and soft on the tongue. Warms as it goes down

O: A very delicious Imperial Porter, I'd buy this again in a second.

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

Waxed 12oz bottle.

A pitch black pour, with about a ha;f inch of tannish foam, and some impressive lacing. It looks very nice.

The bourbon is the first thing I smell but it doesn't seem to be over done. I'm getting some strong notes of vanilla and some dark pitted fruits. Nice.

Taste wise, the dark fruit almost matches the bourbon and vanilla step by step. Almost. After a few sips and putting the flavours I mentioned aside, I can taste some notes of chocolate and a hint or 2 of coffee. Not too shabby and I'm very impressed with how well hidden the alcohol is; warming? Yeah? Messing with the flavours? No.

Close to full bodied, a light level of carbonation, the mouthfeel is excellent and it's an easy brew to sip on. Well done, Arcadia!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 08/21/11 notes. Big thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing this one and knocking off another Want. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with one inch of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, caramel malts, and vanilla. Lots of bourbon and vanilla, but the bourbon isn't overpowering. Amazing smell to it.

t - Tastes of bourbon, caramel malts toffee, roasted malts, alcohol, and chocolate. A little more alcohol than the nose, but I still enjoyed it a lot.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, super smooth and creamy. Considering it is 12% ABV it's pretty easy to drink, and the smooth body helps a lot.

o - Overall I thought this was a great barrel aged beer. Nice bourbon comes through but doesn't overpower, and plenty of vanilla and caramel to it as well. Would love to get some more bottles of this one.

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Photo of matttttYCE
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours out nicely into my Deschutes balloon glass or whatever it's called. The head is a good 2 fingers high, foamy, and slightly tan colored. Lacing is minimal, and the head doesn't stick around too long. Color of the beer is a very murky dark brown. Held to the light, barely any highlights show through. As I swirl the liquid in my glass, I can see some alcohol legs (film) that coats the sides. Looks nice, not stupendous or anything.

Smell - Aroma is very apparent bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, and toffee, with some nice roasted malts, coffee, sweetness, alcohol, and dark fruit behind that. Hints of chocolate, coconut, and a bit of maple syrup. Pretty inviting smell, but it is admittedly bourbon heavy.

Taste - Again, bourbon heavy. Not that I'm really complaining. Bourbon, oak, light vanilla, some mix of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and maple syrup, a bit of sweetness and a bit of alcohol. Hidden behind all that are some roasted malt, some coffee, and hints of chocolate. Make no mistake, though, that bourbon really takes center stage and muscles out the base beer. I don't know that I'd change this beer, though. A good taste but not great.

Mouthfeel - Feel is nice and drinkable for an imperial/barrel aged porter clocking in at 12%ABV. Consistency is rather silky smooth, carbonation is toward the light medium end (I'd call it creamy), body is light-medium (a little thicker than regular porters, but about what I expected for what it is), and the finish is a little less than moderate length - leaves a nice bourbon aftertaste with hints of porter that fade away nicely.

Overall - Overall this is quite a nice barrel aged porter. Would I drink it again? Most certainly. Is it my absolute favorite barrel aged porter? No, but still good. Worth a try if you enjoy Bourbon barrel aged beers.

Thank you so very much to kevinv for this as an extra in our past trade! Really can't express how happy I am with the extras you sent me and how happy I am to be able to try this beer!

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Photo of Holland
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: got it at a bar, so it came without head and with small lacing. Looks thin, but it's not a stout so that's fine with me.

S: smells of bourbon, oak, sweetness, alcohol, roasted malts

T: very complex - i tasted the bourbon quite a bit, then the sweet roasted malts with chocolate and alcohol

M: thin for such a high abv beer, but held its own. The mouthfeel improved as it warmed - I think it was served around 40 degrees F, but it became more silky further into it.

O: delicious brew - I had never heard of this one, but it was worth the $10 or whatever I paid. Not super balanced, as the bourbon takes over and there isn't a malt profile to take it on. It's complex and delicious, and I didn't expect better.

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Photo of adamette
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Live review. Poured from the red wax dipped 12 oz. bottle that I bought for $7.99 from World Wines & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago into my Orval silver rimmed chalice.

A All too brief but great looking medium brown head (it lasted about 5 seconds) which then dissipated into a single row of bubbles around the top of the glass. All of that over an absolute black body that lets no light through even in front of direct light. At least a good look and although I am aware that the elevated ABV of 12% would probably not be conducive to a long lasting head I really wanted it to stick around because it looked so cool. Anyway, the look is a good one for the style. 4.0

S Certainly sweet bourbon notes rise up from the now headless beer. Dark roast malt appears behind the sweet bourbon smells. I really like the smell of this beer. 4.5

T Really very smooth if somewhat boozy taste of very sweet bourbon with an oaken nature to it. It reminds me of some of the higher rated Bourbon Barrel aged stouts and that should be taken as a compliment for sure. I think that I really like the choice of a porter (instead of the more typical stout) since a porter is more able to be influenced by the bourbon taste. In other words, the influence of the bourbon barrels comes through better with this style. That brings to mind one of my all time favorite beers which is also bourbon barrel aged but is also not a stout, the sublime Allagash Curieux which started out as a triple. 4.5

M Appropriately big and smooth and again the choice of a porter really lets the bourbon feel comes though. 4.0

D Not that great since it is such a big beer, it is pretty darned expensive and it really demands one’s attention. It is not meant to be drank repeatedly anyhow. 3.0

Overall: A nicely crafted BA Porter that is worthy of a try by any BeerAdvocate.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this when it first came out and have been sitting on this bottle for a few months.

Poured at cellar temp into my Founder's snifter.

A: Deep, dark chocolately brown. No light permeates this beast. Two finger, fizzy carbonation.

S: Bourbon, bourbon and more bourbon...with a hints of chocolate and caramel. Delicious!

T: Immediate bourbon heat, although it is smoother than it was a few months ago. The back end leaves you with chocolate malt.

M: If I had one critique, this would be it. I know it is a porter, so it fits the style. I just wish it was thicker. Carbonation is a little heavy too.

O: The very best Arcadia has to offer. Love it. I hope it get released again.

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Photo of Chaney
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Lewis1rg for sending me this awesome brew!

Popped open from a wax sealed bottle and split with my pal Huhzubendah.

A: Black as night, with very anemic mocha head that died down quickly, turning the brew into a prune juice-looking concoction.

S: Bourbon coconut scent and then some! The bourbon mixed with some dark fruit and cocoa kept it from being too in-your-face.

T: A good amount of candy-like alcohol warming with a chocolate milk aftertaste. Not too sweet... more like a fudge coconut delight!

M: VERY low carbonation, but I liked that about this one in that it allow me to explore the flavors and complexities more. Nice bourbon feel, thick, and with a chocolate covered cherry style sweetness.

O: After I got this bottle in a trade a couple of months ago, only then did I here the great buzz surrounding it. Believe me: That good buzz is more than warranted!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Chaney. Thanks Brandon!

The beer is dark brown, with a finger of beige head that hangs out indefinitely, leaving some nice lacing on the snifter. The aroma brings vanilla, oak, roast, and booze. The flavor is quite nice, with vanilla, oak, and bourbon blending beautifully. Soft on the palate, this beer goes down smoothly. Easy to drink, with alcohol presence less than expected for a 12% brew. Overall, a terrific beer that I would love to have again. I definitely recommend it.

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Photo of cptnspeed1
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter.

A: Dark brown to the point of being nearly black. Half inch of tan head. Looks reasonably thick on the pour.

S: Lots of bourbon. Vanilla with a slightly boozy smell. A little oak there as well. Much more bourbon than base beer.

T: Like the smell, the bourbon characteristics overtake the base beer, although not necessarily in a bad way. Lots of vanilla, some oak, a slight hint of dark chocolate. The vanilla lends a bit of sweetness to the flavor.

M: Coats nicely, and is thick but not super thick. A nearly perfect consistency, but there is a slight alcohol feel to it at the end.

O: I like it. The 12% is hidden decently well. I think there is more booze in the smell than the taste, and the booze that does hit the mouth is more towards the finish. A good consistency and good flavor that features the bourbon nicely. I haven't had the base beer before, and wonder how much flavor it has since it was pretty muted, but overall a good beer.

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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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