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Alba Scots Pine Ale - Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Alba Scots Pine AleAlba Scots Pine Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

610 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 610
Reviews: 459
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 14.55%
Wants: 22
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Williams Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Introduced by the Vikings, spruce and pine ales were very popular in the Scottish Highlands until the end of the 19th century. Many early explorers, including Captain Cook, used spruce ale during long sea voyages since it prevented scurvy and ill health. Shetland spruce ale was said to "stimulate animal instincts" and give you twins. Alba is a triple style ale brewed to a traditional Highland recipe from Scots pine and spruce shoots pickled during early spring. Pure malted barley, is boiled with the young sprigs of pine for several hours then the fresh shoots of the spruce are added for a short infusion before fermentation.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 610 | Reviews: 459 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmdjsm
jmdjsm

Florida

5/5  rDev +32.3%

11-27-2011 06:22:00 | More by jmdjsm
Photo of NatsnSkinsDC
NatsnSkinsDC

Maryland

5/5  rDev +32.3%

12-03-2013 00:26:45 | More by NatsnSkinsDC
Photo of josefnewsong
josefnewsong

New York

5/5  rDev +32.3%

12-04-2011 05:25:51 | More by josefnewsong
Photo of OzmanBey
OzmanBey

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +32.3%

12-11-2011 05:22:37 | More by OzmanBey
Photo of RichH55
RichH55

Illinois

5/5  rDev +32.3%

12-12-2011 23:35:21 | More by RichH55
Photo of mclem06
mclem06

Florida

4.83/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of the beers that are not extremely hard to find, this is what normally starts my night off at the local establishment. Specialty beers are normally not my cup of tea but this one is a must try if you haven't already. Instead of hops the Scottish brewed beer back in the day with Spruce and Pine so it is very different than a hop brew. The flavors come together for a heavier sweeter malt with a light fruit finish leaving a wonderful aroma and taste on the palet. It's a perfect start to the night, goes down extremely smooth and is delicious. My mouth is watering for one right now!! I only gave it a 4.5 on drinkability, mouthfeel and appearance and not 5's because modestly i have not had a beer that I would give all 5's to. The fact that this beer has 2 of the 5 ratings at 5 sets a high standard for others to live by for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2010 22:56:54 | More by mclem06
Photo of corpseshredder
corpseshredder

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious. Robust with a sweet start and an equally sweet finish. Relatively powerful though far from overkill. Definitely not something the average consumer would enjoy, but for an evolved palate this beer is an absolute treat. Very good with meals, and even better after.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 02:24:51 | More by corpseshredder
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

4.8/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle

Mine pours a crystal clear amber with a 2 finger tannish head that left moderate lacing. Quite lovely.

One of the best smelling beers ever!!! Reminded me of sweet-tart hard cherry candy.

Again, hard cherry candy, just not as sweet. Very refresthing. The most fruity beer I've ever tasted.

Moderate mouthfeel. Just sticky enough to bolster the hard candy theme, but not overly so.
Very drying, especially early on. Almost astringent to the point that it nearly mimics the bitterness of hops.

No problems downing this beer. I could've handled a couple more.

By far, the best of this style I've tasted.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2010 04:38:59 | More by obywan59
Photo of bluelynbrewing
bluelynbrewing

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

06-02-2013 14:17:10 | More by bluelynbrewing
Photo of Gottesverachter
Gottesverachter

Russian Federation

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

05-26-2014 14:15:00 | More by Gottesverachter
Photo of IronMickey
IronMickey

Arkansas

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My girlfriend got me this as part of a "Scottish beer" pack. Had low expectations-- I've had it for months without giving it a second thought. Stuck it in the fridge this evening and picked this one at random from the 4.

A: colored like an IPA: murky, fizzy, caramel hue

S: some citrus fruit, but lots and lots of real pine-- not hoppy, actual pine. has some hints of spruce and needles

T: red Twizzlers was my first reaction, real pine, some citrus fruit. Incredibly delicate, tasty, PINE. this isn't hoppy pine or piney hop, it's pine. I've never had anything like it.

M: thick, creamy, syrupy, but pleasant. some sweetness.

D: very drinkable! I had low expectations but this is just terrific

Overall: great! would love to have more

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 03:20:37 | More by IronMickey
Photo of jewellrunner
jewellrunner

Missouri

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

12-09-2012 03:35:08 | More by jewellrunner
Photo of bluHatter
bluHatter

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle Best Before MAR. 2012

Poured first into a beer glass, and then transferred to a wide wine goblet as suggested on the bottle.

A: Poured thick, but just a little bit of misty head. Thick deep red. Not translucent at all.

S: Of the woods, for sure. I do smell thick pine, sweet - there's something hard to place but exceedingly pleasant ... it smells thick, old, nostalgic ... like a great old Scottish movie put in a glass.

T: Sugar cube, malt, massive amounts of maple syrup... wow this is good. No wonder this was once a popular style. Tasting it makes me feel more in tune with nature. It's phenomenal.

M: The sweetness encroaches on my tongue, but it is thick enough to adequately work against that effect. Not much carbonation.

O: I am very impressed by this ale. I wish I had purchased a full 6 pack so I could investigate it further... it seems to grow and change with every sip I take. I didn't expect much and I got blown away... well done.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 05:34:17 | More by bluHatter
Photo of Vyronian
Vyronian

Ontario (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

01-01-2013 05:28:30 | More by Vyronian
Photo of BenJames1984
BenJames1984

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into my Centennial IPA pint glass.

A- Copper, with a tinge of haze. Head was light and thin, with minimal lacing.

S- Within the first wave of aromas, I definitely picked up on the scent of blueberries, and maybe raspberries.

T- The taste held much more surprises in store than what the smell set me up for. In addition to the sweet, tart splash of raspberries, there is a backing of "earthly" tastes that hit the palette. I can't quite describe them myself, but it's damn good.

M- Very unique balance to this beer, even though it retains a light body.

D- This beer is almost rejuvenating for me. It's very crisp, and possesses a refreshing flavor. A great session beer.

Note: For some reason, I only find this in single bottles. Do you guys happen to know if their even packaged in four- or six-packs? Or are they just packaged to be sold individually?

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 02:57:17 | More by BenJames1984
Photo of ipogios
ipogios

Cyprus

4.72/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer thnx to MJR. This beer is one of the best i ever had (so far). Pours a pale yellow colour topped by a nice white head. The aroma is malty and fruity. The flavour is sweet, fruity and malty. Creamy mouthfeel. What is actually surprising is the fact that this beer goes down like water (even though the ABV is at 7.5%). In overall this beer has an excellent appearance, excellent aroma and taste, creamy mouthfeel and goes down easily.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2003 12:19:55 | More by ipogios
Photo of iceball585
iceball585

New York

4.68/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Brownish copper color, semi-cloudy, very thin white lacy cover that lasted well

S- Caramel malts, spices, fairly sweet smell

T- Fruity (mostly berries), caramel malts, earthy, chewy, spices, sugar, hint of pine, slight bite of alcohol

M- Medium body, low/medium carbonation, smooth, fairly dry chewy finish

D- Very good, definatly worth trying

This beer has a very interesting taste. All the flavors seem to brend together really well making it hard to describe what you're tasting. Over all I think this is very good.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2007 22:49:39 | More by iceball585
Photo of flowerysong
flowerysong

Michigan

4.65/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber with two fingers of off-white head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Spicy malt with a hint of pine and a lot of fruit notes.

Taste: Sweet and fruity up front, leading into a wonderful mix of malt, apples, caramel, and pine on an earthy background. Long soft finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and full with light carbonation.

Drinkability: An excellent strong ale with lots of depth.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2007 22:03:53 | More by flowerysong
Photo of JISurfer
JISurfer

South Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice Pine Ale. The best I've ever had. It's a nice pale yellow color w/ a white head. The head started out nice, but disappated quickly. Tastes like a pine nut, mixed with malt. Very light aftertaste, but still had left over tastes of pine. Finished lightly and went down smooth. All in all, a very good brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2003 22:00:26 | More by JISurfer
Photo of Reneejane
Reneejane

Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow this is a great beer. Color is a hazy amber, no head, that's my one complaint though no head. The aroma includes some ester characters perhaps from the yeast, a subtle spicy frutiness, and the barest suggestion of pine, as well as a detectable aroma of alcohol. The taste is at first sweet and then you detect a spiciness and just the subtlest hint of pine. I'll admit I was a little scared of this beer, but it isn't so scary just sweet and clean and tasty. The taste also includes detectable malt. Finishes with a taste of greenery, more of an earthy finish. The mouthfeel is good it is well carbonated and perhaps just a bit sticky. Phenomenal beer, I could drink more of these, sadly I bought only one in a sample pack!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 02:47:21 | More by Reneejane
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Excellent. A ruby red liquid with a small off-white head of foam. Aromas are extremely fruity and sweet and reminiscent of a belgian triple with fruit added. The taste is fruity and sweet up front, chewy and piney in the middle and fruity on the end with a noteable emergence of raspberry flavors in the after-taste. The mouthfeel is a bit watery, but that only lends to this brews extremely good drinkability. give it a try!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2004 21:12:17 | More by francisweizen
Photo of lou50rp
lou50rp

Maine

4.53/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It has a definite amber color with a slight head and little lacing. Its smell is sweet with a definite spruce smell.
Its taste is unique. A mixture of sweet with a spruce taste. A fresh taste, pleasing to the taste buds.
Mouth feel is medium-not watery, and not syrup. Goes well with the taste.
It is an exceptional drink.
While not a session drink, a bottle or two at time is great. Worth the price and effort to find it.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 01:33:34 | More by lou50rp
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
CaptJackHarkness

New York

4.53/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a cloudy brownish liquid with no visible carbonation nor head. Aroma is sweet herbs, chamomile like. Taste is unexpectedly mild, not the bitter bite I would imagine a brew made with evergreen needles to have! Actually delicious. Mild warming mouthfeel. Drunk as suggested at room temperature from a goblet.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 21:53:46 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Clear ruby read with a respectable, fizzing head. Smells roasty with a very fruity perfume. Hints of molasses. Interesting cooling sensation - almost minty maybe (the pine?). Lots of body with a thick, red-wine like flavour. Buttery, caramelly, and mild bitterness in the back. Alcohol isn't too noticeable even at 7.5 percent. A few sips in, the head is gone, mouthfeel is drying, with some spiciness. A bit of a tannic feel as well. Interesting to say the least... not a beery beer. Something out of the ordinary I'd try again.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2006 01:19:03 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the cask into a tumbler at Pizza Paradiso.

Gives a gorgeous amber body with gold hues on the edges. Has a tendency to get into red hues as well very nice! Tight creamy light off white head but dissipates a good clip.

Bouquet is a spicy sweetness. Big hints of typical sweet brown spices, mostly nutmeg, perhaps a hint of clove. More interesting is a big candied cherry sense and berry flavor. Lots of fun to be had here.

Taste fits the buttery cask fashion. Buttered cherries first, with a dense body. Soupy jammy/berry feel getting into maraschino cordial feeling. This is truly like eating a bowl of cherries right here. As the beer finishes and gets even more room temperature a hint of tasty smoked meat comes out, almost like a rauchbier. Woah where did that come from?

Wow overall I could just pound this back all night from the cask. Never had anything like this before, this was a great experience. Good start for me for this style.

Serving type: cask

03-27-2011 17:32:45 | More by smakawhat
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Alba Scots Pine Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 610 ratings.