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Export Ale

Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
28 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
14 / 20

Alan Pugsley has built a well-deserved reputation as one of America’s premier producers of British-style ales. Shipyard Export Ale stays true to Pugsley’s vision and has built a substantial following throughout New England. Pours a brilliantly clear, deep gold, with a fine collar of creamy, ecru foam. The aroma is distinctly Shipyard, evincing all the unique toffee-ish, butterscotch and mineral notes expected from a Ringwood yeast-based brew. Pete enjoyed the cherry and blueberry esters that rode underneath the butterscotch aromas, yet Tim and Lee were both struck by the appealing “saltwater taffy” notes. Underneath this mélange of aromas rides smooth toffee-caramel malt. Following through from the aroma, the flavor explodes with Kraft butterscotch candy, a Viognier-like mineral slickness and more subdued fruity notes of melon. Lee likened the malt flavor to “Keebler crackers,” and Tom felt the caramel helped moderate the overall graininess. Overall, the judges felt the diacetyl often overshadowed the beer’s other flavor and aroma components, with a pronounced “movie popcorn butter” character, although it does have its adherents. Tim opined that this beer would benefit greatly served as a cask-conditioned ale, which would allow the butterscotch flavors to recede into the background. Shipyard Export is a beer to be savored at a harbor-front New England pub when the first chill of autumn settles in.