Shipyard Prelude

Shipyard Brewing Co.
Portland, ME
Prelude Special Ale

A winter scene on the label and dark hue visible through the brown bottle intimates a hearty brew.

A slow pour yields a pillowy layer of beige head that lasts and a deep, deep amber color. held to the light, there is some transparency though the garnet.

The nose is malt with traces of almond, brown sugar, and a bitter zest comes through showing that this probably will not be a sweet molasses ale. There are touches of oatmeal raisin cookie, but I think these are more on the nose as the beer’s clarity and orange tinge hint at a less chewy sampling.

The mouthfeel is exceptional and creamy, aided by that persistent fluff on top. The effervescence is subtle but consistent. The flavor starts with a slightly roasty almond hint but kicks into a soft and velvety cinnamon note with a touch of oak and just a few berries.

The finish is dry but smooth with the hops showing up late and easing what could be a heavy hand on that rich malt. The lacing is some of the best I’ve seen, sticking in circumferential swaths of off-white ribbon.

I’d say this beer is good any time, not just the cold months but I’d recommend trying it then sometime when your belly is full and you don’t think you can manage one of the more chewy winter brews around.

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