What's a FABTS?

The FABTS is a club of homebrewers, beer aficionados, and anyone with an appreciation for the quality and diversity of great beer! As such, we are dedicated to the responsible enjoyment of beer as a alcohol containing quality food product, made to be shared with other people and other foods. The club was founded in 1996 by Lyle C. Brown, National Beer Judge.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Session - Blue Fin Stout

For the first Beer Blogging Friday the style of the month is Irish Stouts. I chose to profile Shipyard Brewing's Blue Fin Stout. Shipyard Brewing has been brewing beers out of Portland Maine since 1992 and according to their website, Blue Fin Stout was first produced in August, 1993 and is a classic Irish stout. As such, my review will compare this beer to the classic example Guinness and be broken down into four parts: appearance, aroma, taste and mouthfeel and memorableness.


As the picture shows, the color of the beer is black, with a tan head, not the white head that you get with Guinness. The head diminished fast to a thin line. During the pour I commented that the beer appeared oily as it filled the glass. (2 out of 3 points)


Great chocolate malt and coffee aromas. Almost imperceptible hop aroma and no off odors were detected. I was worried about how this beer was handled as it was a selection from my subscription to the Beer of the Month club. As a side note, I have had my subscription for 3 months now and am satisfied with the selections and the quality and care of the beers I received. (3 out of 4 points)

Taste and Mouthfeel

As I took my first taste, based on the oily appearance, I was expecting heavy mouthfeel. I was shocked when I sloshed it around. The mouth feel was thinner than most stouts, Guinness included. I would say that it was too thin. I didn't get the creamy mouthfeel you'd expect. The flavor made up for the mouthfeel. I tasted bitter chocolate and roasted coffee. I also get a little sour notes, which is what you can expect in a stout. The beer finished dry and less bitter than Guinness, which I don't count as a negative. (6 out of 10 points)


The beer was good, not great. The kind of beer you would be happy to get in a brewpub, but not one that would be sought out as a crowning achievement. (2 out of 3 points)

Overall Impression

Stouts are not my favorite, so I'm trying to be objective with my evaluation. Blue Fin has a taste that meets the style with a mouthfeel that doesn't. The beer was very drinkable although probably not a great example of the style. While I liked it, I only evaluated it as good. Total: 13 out of 20 points.

1 comment:

  1. That mouthfeel is largely from the nitrogenation that has become de rigueur with dry stout. But Shipyard doesn't do the widget in their bottles, and doesn't encourage bars to serve Bluefin on nitro, either, so yeah, it does seem thin if you're used to nitro stouts.

    I kinda like it, I think you get to taste more of what's in the stout. But that's just me. Nitro's good, too!