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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: 995
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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Photo of plfahey
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep, dark brown color with slight ruby highlights. It is so dark that it's difficult to ascertain clarity, but it appears moderately clear. Moderate brown head has fair retention at best, and dissipates to a thin lace.

Aroma-Smells fantastic-Lots of oak, moderate, smoky bourbon, sweet molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and just the faintest trace of alcohol heat. Light notes of chocolate, caramel, and faint dark fruit (plums/raisins) present as well.

Flavor-Sweet molasses up front, with loads of bourbon and oak in the mid-palate. In the finish, the porter character shows through, with notes of caramel and chocolate, with bourbon, smoke, and wood carrying through into the drawn out finish. Slight vanilla tones emerge on the palate with time. Malt sweetness is balanced by high alcohol a moderate hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body with moderate carbonation. Verges on being hot, but manages to be pleasantly (albeit substantially) warming. Leaves the tongue and entire mouth feeling a little bit numbed by the high alcohol.

I'm generally not a fan of bourbon-barrel aged beers, because they often end up being too bourbony. This one manages to bring a fair amount of bourbon character while still maintaining its integrity as a porter. If it had anymore bourbon character, it would probably be too much for me, but as it stands it's pretty damn tasty. A little hot right now, but in a year or two I imagine this would be drinking perfectly.

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

Just an excellent packaging on this, red wax, nice label.
Deep mahogany black, thin kahki head that dissipates rather quickly. This thing just screams bourbon which immediately lures me in. I cant say ive had a barrel aged porter like this before but im digging it already. Thick molasses and sap, a decent amount of alcohol, and a lingering but very tolerable slap to the back of the throat make this a delicious sipper. As it warms, it becomes so balanced despite the ABV and bourbon, i really dont think it could get much better. Truly tasty as hell.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into cervoise

This beer pours a deep black with very slight brown edging. Almost no head formation or lacing, a little bit of mocha brown but didn't linger. Nice deep bourbon nose, slight burn. Helpful vanilla, oak and molasses. Taste is much the same. Quite strong bourbon flavour accompanied by the vanilla and molasses. Some currants and slight hop citric tang. Mouthfeel was a bit too warming but decently smooth. Overall a tasty brew, liked that waxed cap, wish I had another for the cellar...

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

Pours completely pitch black with not a chance of any light coming through. A frothy white-tan head lovingly crowns the beer. Smells bourbon easily dominate the nose with some malt contributing to the overall aroma. First sip is bitter with a plenty of bourbon notes taking charge. Chocolate, vanilla and some dark fruits – plum in particular are present. Mouthfeel really makes his beer rock. It is super creamy and worth noting. Perfectly carbonated with a fairly thick body for the style. ABV is well hidden. This is World Class. Worthy of being sought out. Simply Flawless!

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Photo of 7ways
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Romulux for the great extra as always. If I had known this was going to be so good I would have waited to share it with friends instead of drinking it by myself.

Jesus that's a black beer. The pink elephants look like they are leaping off the glass. Fairly resilient light brown head that leaves a slow-mo trail of thick lace.

This porter has one of those aromas that make you talk out loud to yourself (you know exactly what I mean, don't deny it). The bourbon is in its right place, behind the chocolatey malt and black cherry candy.

Bourbon, anise, and roasty malt upfront, followed by a buttery burnt vanilla finish. I wish the whiskey wasn't quite so bold, it overwhelms the chocolate I smelled. I can't shake the sensation that someone poured an 1/8 oz of Evan into my beer. It leaves behind a slight astringency, but it fades soon after swallowing, leaving a warming butter rum aftertaste.

Crisp carbonation while being decidedly full bodied. Confusing, and quite nice.

Six ounces of this would have been quite enough, and quite gratifying.

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Photo of Preismj
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: nice tan that the light shines through well as you hold it up. tan head with a bunch of sticky lacing here.

s: of wood and coffee and toffee and strong malt sweetness.

t: follows the nose very well. A tremendous sweetness from the bourbon aging here. this is very pleasant and easy to take down. I'm getting all sweetness from the bourbon and little heat.

m: a great balance here. Not too thick, not too thin and nice and sticky on the palette. leaves my mouth wet and waiting for more...though i wish it had a slight bit of bitterness on the finale.

o: delicious and quenching considering. very sweet but welcome and it is balanced well.

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

Pours black with a thin, light brown head that dissipates quickly but lingers around the edges.

Aroma is hard to exactly place. Good bourbon presence mixed with sweetness, oak, vanilla, and some chocolate. Light alcohol.

Upfront taste is sweet roasted malts, caramel, dark dried fruit. Roasty malt middle. Bourbon and wood come in at the finish to mix with the roasted malts and a little molasses. Finish is slightly sweet. Some lingering alcohol heat.

Full bodied with low carbonation. A little sticky and syrupy, but not chewy.

Good balance of bourbon flavor. Really easy to drink as it stays continually interesting. Very enjoyable.


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

Thanks to spycow for the bottle!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Decently dark body with just under a fingers worth of creamy tan head. Good lacing. Head fades somewhat, but a thin film maintains.

Sweet, vanilla-chocolate, bourbon on the nose. Slightly boozy with some well roasted malts and a hint of dark fruit. Quite pleasant. Nice use of the bourbon.

Creamy cocoa mixed with vanilla and honey-laced bourbon. Light booze and fig towards the finish. Some oak comes through with the bourbon. Hint of smoked malt. Solid.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with some warming alcohol on the finish. This would be excellent if the body were just a tad thicker and if the carbonation were half a notch lighter, but quite good as is.

Overall, I'm really impressed with this beer. I've never heard of Arcadia Brewing before this, but this beer is well executed and delivers for the style. All of the components are well balanced and drinkability is quite high for 12% ABV. I could easily finish a 12 oz bottle by myself and wouldn't mind having another. Definitely worth picking up a bottle or two.

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

Poured into a snifter, revealing black body under a finger of creamy tan-ish head. Smells bourbon-sweet with a nice toasted and milk chocolaty base. Promising smells and strong for a porter.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Lots of roasty bourbon and vanilla up front with a long malty finish that has almost a tang (not lacto though) to it reminiscent of other baltics. Mouthfeel is almost heavy and a little creamy with a tingly voluminous carbonation. Very enjoyable on a sip-by-sip basis.

Overall I really liked this beer. Lots of flavors, all of them good.

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

580th Review on BA
Bottle to 6 oz snifter
12 oz, twist off cap & wax

Thanks to GuruDel for busting this one out.

App- A chocolatey brown color with a khaki, off brown 1 ½ finger head. Quite quick to recede as well. Just a touch of lace.

Smell- Very nice barrel aged beer. Has a lot of vanilla, oak and booze. Not a smell of traditional porter to be found. Smells like a big stout.

Taste- Taste follows the nose. Very tasty suprise beer. Wasn't expecting as much pop in the flavors as I got. Was very balanced, barrely (yes its a word) boozy and warm.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated with a lot of vanilla and boozy flavors remaining.

Drink- This was damn good. It was smooth, silky, boozy and flavorful. A welcome addition to a nice small tasting and I would love to have this again.

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