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MacTarnahan's Spine Tingler - Portland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
MacTarnahan's Spine TinglerMacTarnahan's Spine Tingler

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

164 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 164
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 14.59%
Wants: 7
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
The third of four in a new series of specialty beers (introduced 2009-10), available March through May.

Malts: Pilsner Malt, and Wheat
Hops: Northern Brewer, and Perle
Other: Candied Sugar
IBU: 23
ABV: 8.5 %

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 02-26-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GratefulBeerGuy:
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

3.15/5  rDev -16.4%

This one starts out with a bang, golden hued haze, bubbly with a high fluffy head. Aroma is pretty classic, heady yeast, sweet malt, maybe too sweet...sour and tangy fruit combo and slightly earthy.

The flavor also starts out really nice, a classic balance of heady, earthy, fruity yeast that adds layers of natural and wild flavor's but the malt is simply too much, with a hot overtone that is not hidden well by the other aspects. The yeast is also not exactly as complex as some other classic Abbey's or American-Belgian's from this style.

The feel once again, starts out active and lively and then as a short time goes by, it relaxes, the head dissipates and is gone. The yeast feel dies out too fast leaving only too much malt.

gotta pass on this one because there is way too many wonderful Belgian or Belgian-style Tripels out there.

03-15-2012 22:03:26 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
More User Reviews:
Photo of Zakk


4/5  rDev +6.1%

08-14-2012 01:37:09 | More by Zakk
Photo of BeerAdvocate


4/5  rDev +6.1%

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #39 (Apr 2010):

Great to see that Belgian styles are becoming more commonplace these days amongst craft brewers.

The head may not stick to the glass as much as we wanted, but the thin layer of lacing is unwavering from the never-ending stream of active bubbles racing to the top. Mildy hazed, pale golden color. Hints of taffy, bubble gum, Band-Aids, vanilla wafers, chalky yeast, exotic fruit and a hint of herbal hop make for a very complex aroma. Crisp, with enough fluff in the moderate-size body, it flaunts it like a Tripel. Dry malt palate throughout with cracker, bread crust and dried grass flavors. A little lemony, herbal and certainly medicinal ... hello, phenols! Hops are very modest here, which is fine, as the alcohol does drop a bit of peppercorn and heat to counter the malt. A little juicy and fruity middle to end, though the dryness takes hold in the finish with a long linger of medicinal phenols, fading alcohol and a clean graininess.

Mac has done us a solid by brewing this beer. If you listen close enough, it's screaming to be paired with a sharp cheese.

01-11-2011 02:14:23 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of csmartin6

New York

3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

09-22-2012 05:22:36 | More by csmartin6
Photo of TimoP


4/5  rDev +6.1%

09-12-2012 05:19:32 | More by TimoP
Photo of justinwright

4/5  rDev +6.1%

03-08-2012 05:25:06 | More by justinwright
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.63/5  rDev -3.7%

Pale golden beer appears nicely in my St Bernardus chalice glowing golden honeycomb body with a bright white head forming thick. Aroma has some honeysuckle floral notes, deep mango, and tropical pineapple twang going on just a big ol' mess of fruit esters. Flavor is easily a bit tart with fruit notes, mango, tangerine, pineapple notes with a nice cereal grain accent and herbal hops in the finish with a thin layer of spice and alcohol booze going on. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky at times, but not cloying a bit hot with booze heat, but not over the top. Enjoyable take on a Belgian tripel without the finesse, your classic tripel tastes easy to drink without the big alcohol it goes down easy and creeps up on you.

03-30-2012 23:05:13 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +0.8%

650ml bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Pour is hazy and golden with a good head and very good lacing.

Aroma: mildly fruity and lightly spicy with a substantial light grain base.

Flavor: moderately fruity with hints of banana and clove, and a less obvious presence of light malts.

Feel: lively but appropriate carbonation; medium body.

O: fine American version of this Belgian style.

02-21-2014 00:46:54 | More by chinchill
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4.03/5  rDev +6.9%

22oz bottle split and poured into a chalice. Enjoy by 053112

A: Pours a hazy golden with a thick white 1 finger that sticks around for the entire glass. Tons of visible carbonation. Some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Yeasty belgian aroma with a hint of a sweet sugar. Light fruits like banana or pear. Malts in the background. Slightly lacking for a tripel.

T: Starts off with a sweet belgian yeast, transitioning into some malts. A well constructed light flavor, that makes you want more.

M: Ample carbonation, fairly light body. Crisp finish. The light flavors add to the drinkability.

Overall a good american take on a belgian beer. Lacks certain belgian standards like body and unique flavor, but makes up for it in drinkability and price.

06-20-2012 00:35:30 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of Mtooman


4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

12-15-2012 18:17:35 | More by Mtooman
Photo of rdilauro


4.01/5  rDev +6.4%

Golden light beer with a tiny white head. Definite Belgium Hop and Yeast bouquet which was very pleasant.
Clean and very crisp with subtle pear/peach like overtones.
The finish was just as crisp as the start.

After tasting so many of the bigger stronger Belgium this was a pleasant surprise. Its a good spring beer.

03-09-2012 01:01:45 | More by rdilauro
Photo of mdaschaf


3.53/5  rDev -6.4%

A: Pours a clear golden color with a two finger, white foamy head on top, great retention. Nice, sticky lacing clings to the glass.

S: A bit of lemon and green apple with some grainy malt. Very slight Belgian yeast aroma. A but of alcohol comes through.

T: Very light fruit ester flavors with a little bit of spice/yeast mixed in. Some light grainy/pale malt with a touch of alcohol coming through here as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: An average tripel, the alcohol coming through hurt a bit. At least it was only $1.99.

09-27-2012 01:40:08 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of king75


3/5  rDev -20.4%

11-01-2013 17:16:24 | More by king75
Photo of BamfBacon


3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

02-11-2013 21:24:56 | More by BamfBacon
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -5%

A - translucent gold with a short-lived white head

S - yeast, alcohol, some faint spice

T - fruit, alcohol, light malt, white grapes

M - warming alcohol, medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a pretty alcoholic. It's boozy. The flavor is simplistic. It's all booze with some fruity yeast notes. Ultimately, this is a simple, one-dimensional beer that I won't be having again.

09-02-2012 02:25:13 | More by tdm168
Photo of zaphodchak


3.93/5  rDev +4.2%

Thin white head, with a crystal clear body which is actually yellow.

Crisp, strong nose that is mostly coriander.

Bitter for a tripel, but with sweetness towards the end. Still finishes pretty dry. Faint citrus.

Thinnish, but not too thin.

Quite a decent tripel if a bit coriander-heavy.

06-10-2012 00:00:19 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of HKFrostyLips

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

08-21-2012 23:12:21 | More by HKFrostyLips
Photo of RickS95


3.53/5  rDev -6.4%

A little light in color, golden straw, but the nice white head makes up for it. Good retention with solid lacing as the bubbles fall. Not quite clear.

Lots of pepper spice, grape, pear and candied sugar. Very champagne-like, you can almost smell the carbonation.

Tastes like it smells. Pepper and white grape dominate with only hints of the sugar. Slight alcohol in the swallow. Pilsner malts are obvious.

A bit rough around the edges, not real smooth. The spice is aggressive bringing some heat with it. A bit tart and mostly dry in the finish.

It's a sharp beer, not subtle and that keeps the score down a bit. Not as refined as a Belgian.

04-14-2012 03:57:21 | More by RickS95
Photo of Hessian257

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +6.1%

07-01-2012 00:59:13 | More by Hessian257
Photo of GRG1313


3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

03-19-2012 03:36:51 | More by GRG1313
Photo of jtierney89

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +14.1%

Got this before it was released in nj from a brew rep, pumped to try it. Here it goes.

Wow. Brilliant looking beer. Super incredibly clear light gold color with about a fluffy 3 finger bright white head. Nose is big on banana, nuts, and clove with a touch of bubble gum. Some earthy notes are present as the beer breathes.

Wow. Damn, damn, damn good beer. Medium in body yet somehow feels fuller in the mouth due to the complexity and blending of the flavors. Drinks like one sturdy wave of flavor
over the tastebuds. Good carbonation, better than most tripels. Just enough to cut up the body without being over bearing. Classic Belgian flavors present like those present
on the nose but other unique flavors really give this beer a unique spin. Tart green apples with a touch of citrus and a more noticeable hop presence than most. In a good way
though, balances the beer so incredibly well. So incredibly clean as well.

This is an amazing tripel and I can't wait to get this on the shelves.

02-29-2012 05:04:10 | More by jtierney89
Photo of wibrewer


4/5  rDev +6.1%

07-12-2012 01:00:22 | More by wibrewer
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -11.1%

A: Lemon coloring with a pristine clarity on the first pour. A pearl white frothy head sits a finger at best with a fair rate of retention. A semi-strong carbonation factor is quick paced within, while the lacing is moderate.

S: Aroma is weak sour lemony musky grains is all I could gather. Some bread and wheat.

T: The flavor is spicy and warm, sharp orange sweetness, lemon and musky grains and wheat. Grain sweetness mixes with a spicy booziness and offers some banana and pear notes from the yeast.

M: Strong carbonation on the mouthful that quickly turns frothy and washy on the hold lacks crispness. Body is light.

O: Overall moderate experience. Sweet, warm and spicy and starts out well enough but a bomber may over stay its welcome. I would recommend splitting a bomber to kept things fresh and interesting as towards the end the flavor gets a bit mundane. Spine tingler is ok, certainly didn’t tickle my fancy let alone my spine but in smaller portions may become more enjoyable.

05-25-2012 00:08:56 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of SeriousALEment


3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

07-19-2012 23:45:52 | More by SeriousALEment
Photo of KevinGordon

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

03-31-2014 22:18:56 | More by KevinGordon
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MacTarnahan's Spine Tingler from Portland Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.