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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.
very good

625 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 625
Reviews: 462
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 14.55%
Wants: 22
Gots: 18 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alba Scots Pine Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 625 | Reviews: 462 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrBobPierce
4.5/5  rDev +19%

DrBobPierce, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of todesengel135
4.5/5  rDev +19%

todesengel135, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of dradair
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

dradair, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of Gottesverachter
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

Gottesverachter, May 26, 2014
Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Latarnik, May 25, 2014
Photo of MechMessiah
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

MechMessiah, May 21, 2014
Photo of chinchill
2.99/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle, Oct. 2014, allowed to warm and served in a goblet.

Clear golden with a thin, short-lived head.

Aroma and flavor are permeated with the young pine infusion. This lends a woody and, of course, piney note but leaves the malt base showing as well. Higher ABV is not hidden, leaving this too boozy. Thin body.

chinchill, May 20, 2014
Photo of ajdemma
4/5  rDev +5.8%

ajdemma, May 17, 2014
Photo of Magibeg
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Magibeg, May 17, 2014
Photo of Lukass
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Lukass, May 15, 2014
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Georgiabeer, May 11, 2014
Photo of jadler16
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

jadler16, May 02, 2014
Photo of ladyivory
4.5/5  rDev +19%

ladyivory, May 01, 2014
Photo of tkdchampxi
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

tkdchampxi, May 01, 2014
Photo of KrisDLSmith
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

KrisDLSmith, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of DaveMiller
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

DaveMiller, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of Fettpopps
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Fettpopps, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of scotorum
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bought an odd bottle of this in New Hampshire recently at a store which specializes in British import beers, among other things.

Poured from the 11.2 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Nearly clear dark gold with a finger thick head which dissipated to thin surface foam and patchy lacing.

s: Malt and alcohol.

t: Cough syrup-like medicinal with heavy alcohol presence. Mellowed out a bit but remained a bit grating, with no hint of pine or spruce flavor.

m: Medium, good body.

o: I'm going to assume I got a bad bottle, because mine was nothing like the last few reviews I have read here. I let three other people sample this as well, one said it tasted like rubbing alcohol, and I agreed. Another said it tasted like medicine, agree again. Very disappointing since I am half Scottish and really wanted this to be great. I realize it is an old timey recipe and that taste wasn't much of an issue in Viking days, but nowadays, it is, and this didn't have much to recommend it. Still, as is, I could imagine rough-hewn Vikings and Picts around a roaring bonfire on the north coast of Scotland in the ninth century, passing around a measure of this and having a high old time. But I'll try to find another bottle to revisit this.

scotorum, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of JIMTRK16
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

JIMTRK16, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of Emnmarko
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- A rich copper/amber color and clear. One finger off with head fades quickly to a light halo with little to no lacing.

S- I'm getting a sweet plum smell. I would guess this to be a lager by nose alone.

T- A mild malty flavor comes through at first. Very interesting. Fruity and sweet. A little musty. The more I drink the better I like it. (may have started too cold, and gained flavor with temperature).

M- Smooth and clean. Light for 7.5% abv. Crisp. This beers best attribute.

O- As a hop head in search of the ultimate hop bomb with ibu's through the roof I found this brew from across the pond brewed without hops at all. Spruce and pine provide the bitterness to balance out the malt backbone. Very interesting and different. Check this out some thought went into it.

Emnmarko, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Mr_Hoptimistic
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Mr_Hoptimistic, Feb 10, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

benloho, Feb 08, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Chemister, Feb 07, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

lesdemonsamaporte, Feb 03, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

RevCraig, Jan 25, 2014
Alba Scots Pine Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 625 ratings.