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Imperial Porter

Judges Rating: 
19 / 24
6 / 6
30 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Alan Pugsley’s Shipyard Brewing, a Portland mainstay since he first fired up his brewhouse in 1994, produces a broad range of distinctive Ringwood yeast based beers for a fan base long since expanded beyond Maine. One of the limited production Pugsley’s Signature Series brews, Imperial Porter abounds with aromas of warm toast, honey, and creamery butter. Though he felt the buttery aromas were reminiscent of “movie theater buttered popcorn,” Rick liked the way they contrasted with the cocoa butter and espresso notes. Tom enjoyed the traces of vanilla wafting among the butter cream frosting and fresh vanilla bean notes, yet he found the nose lacked the chocolate and espresso character emblematic of a true porter. Imperial Porter pours a deep, saturated brown, showing occasional flashes of garnet and ruby, yet is sparklingly clear. The trademark Ringwood yeast notes in the nose follow through to the flavor, with gobs of sweet butter riding over a base of light toffee and café au lait. Pete enjoyed the “tantalizing bittersweet chocolate” and opulent caramel and appreciated their sweet counterpoint to the firm, roasty black malt. The adroitly balanced hop bitterness and rich, sweet caramel and butter struck Tim as “masterfully done.” He enjoyed the overall flavor, but noted that the “slick buttery” notes in the finish detracted from the overall experience. Enjoy a bottle or two of this unique brew at your next beachfront clambake or lobster fest.