It's always a pity when I try a beer from a new brewery (to me) for the first time and find myself completely underwhelmed. Shipyard Export is the breweries flagship ale and while there is nothing wrong with it, I can't find a whole lot that's good about it either. That's not always a bad thing in these days of million IBU super dry hopped Double IPAs and stupidly high ABV barley wines and imperial stouts as strong as whiskey, sometimes having a more mundane beer can be interesting in itself. The big boys have known that for years and made a killing on plain and boring yellow fizzy stuff.
We start off toasted cereal grains on the nose with a bit of rye, toffee and some fruit. All in it's a very pleasant aroma. On tasting it is instantly spoiled by being too fizzy, though that can be sorted with a little bit of patience. Surprisingly I did not find much in the way of fruit and toffee like the aroma suggested and certainly no rye (pretty sure there is none in the grist anyway). Instead I was assaulted with a burnt and bitter finish. Perhaps the burnt was toffee but it seemed more like charcoal. I have to say I rather enjoyed it and if it was 4% instead of 5.1% then it would make a refreshing session beer. Now I need to find another Shipyard beer that has more redeeming qualities. That might be difficult if TheBeerNut's experience of another Shipyard beer is anything to go by but that was one of those "speciality seasonal beers" which can be hit and miss. At least he had a hat to go with it.