Monday, July 17, 2006

Shipyard's Captain's Collection

In honor of it being American Beer Month Beer Town , the fact that it's hotter and stickier than hell and this is, in fact, a tavern, I'll preview Shipyard's Captain's Collection of ales. This variety pack contains a brown ale, Shipyard Export, Old Thumper and a summer ale. I could swear the last time I bought this collection it had an IPA in it. It must've been some other collection of Shipyard's. Too bad because their IPA is one of the best around. Shipyard
Let's start with the brown ale. No Sam Adams brown ale is this, I'm afraid. It's good, mind you, but much mellower than a Sammie brown ale. It's almost too mellow for an ale. It doesn't have that deep toasted malt and caramel taste I expect in a really good brown ale. In fact, it simply needs more hops. If you're used to drinking American mass-produced, watered-down lagers and want to experience something more tasty and hearty, then this ale would be a good bridge. I prefer ales to lagers. So I'm picky about ales. So it's a good ale, just not a very good brown ale.
The Shipyard Export is better, mostly because it's supposed to be lighter than a brown. It's smooth with just the right aftertaste. For me it would be better if it were a tad more robust, but it does a nice job of being tasty yet smooth enough to be a good thirst quencher on a hot day like today. I would certainly recommend it.
I found the hops and malt. They're in Ringwood Brewery Old Thumper. The bottle states that this is bottled and brewed by Shipyard here in Maine as well. So I suspect the Ringwood Brewery mention is because it is either a Ringwood recipe or a Ringwood recipe is the genesis of this recipe, paying homage, as it were. This has enough hops for a full-bodied flavor, yet is still nice and crisp, with no overpowering aftertaste...pretty much right on the spot for me as a very good ale. It has that lightly toasted flavor you're looking for in a good, hearty ale. How about we put this is the highly recommend category. The only one of the four that really does it for me, I'm afraid. It gives good head when poured too.
And now for the summer ale. Maybe it's my smoker's tastebuds, or lack thereof, but they all taste very similar to me, too similar; or I've been spoiled by Sam Adams. It's good but it has no full-bodied flavor in my opinion and no panache. It's a summer ale...give it a little spice, a little something different...or at least more malt. So if you want something that's only a little more flavorful than a Coors Light, give it a go; you'll love it. If I didn't know it was an ale from the label, which in this day in age usually means more flavorful than say a Bud, I couldn't tell. Actually Bud has more flavor, even if it is bad flavor.

Some info from Shipyard on the flap of the box, for what it's worth, "You are opening a very special 12-pack. The Captain's Collection features a sampling of our award-winning, year-round, and seasonal ales. This selection is packed at random (that explains no IPA this time) and varies according to the season. Every time you open a Captain's Collection inside you'll find an exciting new assortment of Shipyard ales. All our beer is hand-brewed using time-honored methods and only the finest ingredients. Our award-winning beer is hand-crafted from recipes developed by Master Brewer Alan Pugsley, who apprenticed at the world-famous Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire, England under the tutelage of renowned Master Brewer Peter Austin. We're committed to brewing the freshest, most flavorful, full-bodied ales available and hope you enjoy the variety found in our Captain's Collection."


LittleCuz said...

I've never been a big fan of Shipyard, it will do in a pinch when Sammy isn't available.

AA said...

Good call on the beer topics, Zeb. Upon your recommendation I picked up the Brewer Patriot 4-pack tonight but didn't crack it. Meg wants to tag team on tasting all four, actually. (I'm lucky in that she's a legitimate beer lover who has a true appreciation of quality. Her only drawback is that she wouldn't drink a High Life if she had a pair of rented lips, but I'm frankly not sure who that says more about.) I'm particularly intrigued by the George Washington porter as it is one of my favorite types of beer. (I'm also kind of psyched for the 1790 Root Beer Brew, truth be told.)
I don't know if i'll dive into the Shipyard pool because they haven't impressed me too much in the past, but I was intrigued by your mention of their brown ale. Where exactly do your tastes run? Is Sam's your standard? I'm curious.

Zebster said...

Yeah, in the past it was a rare domestic on a hot day, High Life or MGD. Now it's Sammie but for me ales. My fav is the Hefeweizen. I'm thinking I might finish my review today. I'm up to a dozen varieties of SA tried.
If you don't review the Patriot pack here, I'd appreciate your comments on my blog after you've sampled the stuff to see how we match up.

AA said...

I was unclear. I actually meant brown ales specifically. Do you have a favorite?

Zebster said...

Yeah, the Sam brown ale, but I haven't tried a lot of them yet. My fav ale though is probably the Boston that they make.
Shocked no one's blogged about losing 3 out of 4 to the hitless A's.

AA said...

You have to try Samuel Smith Nut Brown. It's expensive but fantastic - probably my favorite. A close runner up would have to be Newcastle, pedestrian as that may be. The Sam Adams brown is a good offering, but not quite up to the level of those two in my opinion.

LittleCuz said...

I hadn't mentioned the A's dibacle because I'm trying to purge from my memory. The weak hitting A's came to Fenway and hit the crap out of the ball.....who knew????

Karen said...

Everyone has a Sammie drawer in their Fridge right?

TrotRocks said...

Sammy drawer; nice idea, Lil Sister. I believe I will get Larry fitted for a Sammy Harness.

Well, I think shipyard is fine,but I am Sammy whore. Except the their IPA, which I like Harpoon the best, I end up coming back the Sammies. I agree with the lack of body compared to Sam Adams.

Ok, I tried the Root Beer from the Brewer Patriot 4 pack. Wow - very different. Take Moxie and Root Beer, add alcohol, a bit of something weird and there you have it. I thought it was very interesting, but more power to the founding fathers for wanting to drink it. Nonetheless, I could taste the quality and decipher the beer's various parts, which like, coffee, wine, etc. is a sign of a good libation.

I tried the GW Porter last night. It was quite good. the licorice hint was just that; a hint. I felt this Porter was not as smoky or thick as I have had.

Tonight or tomorrow is the Wheat deal. I am not a wheat beer fan because it generally violates the fruit rule. The fruit rule is violated because seem to find it necessary to put a lime in the average wheat beer? Whatever...I think this "wehat" my have a bit more going for it that it won't need fruit.

Zebster said...

Hey, you're supposed to write a blog about it, not hide it in week-old blog comment. Sheesh
Or at least comment on mine where I wrote about the same thing, as a comparison.