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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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

166 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 14.55%
Wants: 7
Gots: 8 | 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: 166 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by bigflatsbeerman:
Photo of bigflatsbeerman
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a chalice. Gold color with quite a bit of carbonation (is it bottle conditioned?), but only about a one finger head.
Smell: To me it smells like Duvel Golden Ale a benchmark beer for the style. I am struck at the lack of head compared to Duvel which probably would have had a 3 finger head.
Taste: Quite nice, again comparing it to Duvel I would put it in a similar league. Pricewise this beer wins at $7 for 650 ml vs. $11 for 750 ml for Duvel.
Overall: Very good. I had never heard of this beer before buying it. I live in upstate NY and have never seen MacTanrahan's beer in this area (maybe I missed it?). I would definately seek it out again.

bigflatsbeerman, Jun 04, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of Zakk
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Zakk, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BeerAdvocate, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of csmartin6
3.25/5  rDev -14%

csmartin6, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev +5.8%

TimoP, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of justinwright
4/5  rDev +5.8%

justinwright, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

WVbeergeek, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

chinchill, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of CloudStrife
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

CloudStrife, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of Mtooman
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Mtooman, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of rdilauro
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 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.

rdilauro, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

mdaschaf, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

GratefulBeerGuy, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of king75
3/5  rDev -20.6%

king75, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of BamfBacon
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

BamfBacon, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

tdm168, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of zaphodchak
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

zaphodchak, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of HKFrostyLips
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

HKFrostyLips, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of RickS95
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

RickS95, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of Hessian257
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Hessian257, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

GRG1313, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

jtierney89, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of wibrewer
4/5  rDev +5.8%

wibrewer, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

beerthulhu, May 25, 2012
Photo of SeriousALEment
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

SeriousALEment, Jul 20, 2012
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MacTarnahan's Spine Tingler from Portland Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.