Brew Review

Beer Review – Shipyard Brewing Pugsley’s Signature Series XXXX IPA

Shipyard Pugsley's XXXX

Recently, I was in Florida for Spring Break. Once, I had Spring Break visions of Ft. Lauderdale and bikini contests. Now, Spring Break is a trip to Cape Canaveral with three kids and a stay in a condo complex with an average age of Social Security. I’m not sure how things went off the rails but I digress. Anyway, I was in Florida and found myself in need of some libations and turned to the Liquor store next to the local Publix. Not much in the way of selection and certainly not as crafty as any place in South Jersey, but they had a number of pretty shiny bottles (when it comes to packaging, I’m your huckleberry) so I had a number to choose from. I picked up a bottle of XXXX IPA from Shipyard Brewing Company’s Pugsley’s Signature Series. The series is named after Alan Pugsley, the Master Brewer at Shipyard who was trained at the Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire, England before moving to the United States. The XXXX IPA is an American Double or Imperial IPA and is one of four beers in the Pugsley series with the Smashed Blueberry, the Smashed Pumpkin and the Mint Chocolate Stout.

Before we get to my review, here is what Shipyard has to say about the XXXX IPA:

XXXX IPA is a non-traditional American IPA with a brilliant copper color and the classic citrus nose of Cascade hops. This beer demonstrates a unique balance of malt-inspired, delicate red grapefruit sweetness and lingering hop dryness. In 2009, XXXX IPA won Silver Awards at the United States Open Beer Championships and Stockholm Beer & Whiskey Festival.

I found the beer to be…

  • Appearance: Orange honey with light foam and lacing.
  • Aroma: Not much; sweet malt, a little doughy and a little bit of hops.
  • Taste: Smooth and refreshing but not as crisp as I would have thought. There is decent balance from the front sweetness to the hoppy finish.
  • ABV: 9.25%

Overall, I think I was expecting a bit more. This wasn’t a bad beer by any means, it just didn’t wow me. I was looking for a Weyerbacher Double Simcoe or a Founders Double Trouble. Instead I found an average beer.

4 replies »

  1. Yeah. Beer hunting in central Florida has been pretty disappointing. Ft. Lauderdale wasn’t much better though the booze selection at the Total Wine down there was pretty good. And yet we keep going back.

    As far as Shipyard goes, I have yet to have anything from them that knocked my socks off. With so many excellent beers out there, being average just isn’t good enough.


    • I am in total agreement. I haven’t found one that is worth trying again. But, as long as they keep making pretty shiny bottles, I’ll still try them.


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