Tonight’s review comes from a brewery that I’m not too familiar with. I found this bottle sitting on the shelf all by it’s lonesome and decided to give it a try.
The brew hails from Battle Creek, Michigan and it’s made by the Arcadia Brewing Company. The beer is called the Arcadia Ales Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter.
The website, arcadiaales.com, did not provide a description of this particular brew, so I had to search elsewhere, but I found this enticing detail from wineandcheeseplace.com.
“Yes the long anticipated release is finally here. This Baltic-style Porter has a robust malt character and a slightly herbal hop bitterness. Aged this past year for 14 months in 22 year old Kentucky Bourbon Oak Barrels, this alluring dark liquid features appealing undertones of vanilla and oak, cocoa and coffee. The aging occurs in abandoned mines in Michigan, at a constant temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This year Arcadia has redesigned this package. It will come in a stunning black 12 oz. bottle with a semi metallic label. We also have added candle wax to seal the cap. It will also be packaged to a count 12 to a case. At 12% ABV and at 50 IBU’s this is a very special beer, in very limited amounts. Please, reserve your amounts today.” — Arcadia.
As I said a few posts back, I love a good Porter. From that detail this one sounds good!!! Let’s try it.
Well, as the description mentioned. This beer pours from a 12 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 12.0%.
The beer appeared a very dark brown to mostly black color with some radiant ruby glows peeking out around the bottom of the nonic. From the pour came a tremendously, lush, creamy, smooth, very light tan head with super retention and very suitable lacing. It was stuck to the sides like a thick cream. Once it settled, it became a thin, milky film that stayed with the beer all the way to the bottom. This beer looked great!!!
The aroma revealed a pungent Bourbon Whiskey mixed with a delightful “woody”/”oaky” tone. The nasal sensors detected a sweet vanilla note combined with a dry, chocolate, cocoa powder. A touch of smoke. I didn’t detect any coffee or dark fruit really. If they were there, I couldn’t find them because I was concentrating on the Bourbon, which was robust at first, but settled to a welcome fragrance after it warmed considerably. The bouquet was well balanced, complex and even.
The taste did not seem as special as the smell, but it was still worthwhile. It did share a lot of the same characteristics, however they were not as refined or prodigious. I found both the Bourbon Whiskey and the previously mentioned “woody” tones, but I also found a slight “skim” milk essence. Again, vanilla mixed with chocolate was stumbled upon, although they were a bit more subtle, yet still balanced proficiently. Once more, no coffee, but I did find that a dark fruit savor was uttered in the form of Bourbon flavored raisins. Nice. The alcohol was present, but it was not as sturdy as the aroma nor did it detract from the enjoyment.
The mouthfeel was slightly underweight in my opinion. It was medium to almost medium/thin. Hmmm… Definitely not what I was expecting. It was smooth, mostly dry and creamy, but surprisingly light for 12% ABV. The palate was left with plenty of flavor and a smooth alcohol warmth gave way to a slight burn on the swallow.
I must say that I do like this beer. A wonderful appearance and aroma. The taste was balanced well and had ample characteristics. The mouthfeel was good, but rather surprising that it was not as thick and chewy as some other high ABV brews that I’ve had. Oh well, it was still commendable. Truth be told, it was a fairly easy drinking beer that could be enjoyed on a cool night with no problem.
Has anyone out there ever had this Arcadia Ales product?
As always, feel free to leave a comment.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you again next time.
Score: 4.3 out of 5