May 4, 2009

Shipyard XXXX IPA

The latest in the Pugsley’s Signature Series of brews from Maine’s Shipyard Brewing arrived on the door step late Friday afternoon. I wanted to tear into it right then and there, but managed to get into the fridge before the beast within fully took over. I fought temptation several times over the next day and then some until my wife’s family came up for an early dinner on Sunday.

While the ladies ran out to the store for some quick shopping, my father-in-law and I took advantage of the lull before the cooking began to split the beer — which was a good thing as the 9.25% ABV left us feeling quite mellow and “soft.”.

According to the label, the XXXX signifies the use of four hops and four malts in the brewing process. Had I enjoyed the entire bottle myself, it would have stood for something else entirely. The combination of the variety of hops (Cascade, Warrior, Summit and Glacier) along with the malts (Malted Wheat, Pale Ale, Crustal and Caramalt) left both of us enjoying a well balanced and enjoyable brew.

Beer Label: Shipyard XXXX IPA


The XXXX IPA pours a rich amber in color with a good sized, off-white head that faded to decent lacing.


Initially the floral hops dominate the nose, but the malts make their way in at the end creating a well balanced aroma. There are subtle citrus notes from the hops as well as caramels from the malt, but they play well together. A light peppery spice also tickled the nose a bit.


Talk about a great ride. The hops hit up front quickly with a pleasant blend of light bitterness and citrus while the malts transition in for a smooth finish. There’s not much of a hop bitter dryness in the finish, but just enough to let you know they were there. The hop combination has a nice buttery and piny character, as well. The malts really come out nicely as the beer warms.


The folks at Shipyard have found the perfect blend of hops and malt to create one of the more balanced Double IPAs I’ve ever enjoyed. It’s not overly hoppy or bitter, but has just the right amount of punch in combination with the mellow, sweet malts. The higher alcohol level is well masked and will certainly sneak up on you as it did the both of us — it’s quite warming for an IPA.

Rating: 4/5

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