MacTarnahan's Spine Tingler - Portland Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
85
very good

169 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 169
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 8
Gots: 10 | 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: 169 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickdeeds72
1/5  rDev -73.5%

Photo of Vilkes
1.28/5  rDev -66.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bought this beer from a local bargain type supermarket. It seemed odd and out of place there. The style and Oregon brewery caught my attention.
I paid $1.54 for a 22oz bottle. I was like wow if this is good i'm coming back for all that they have.

I poured the beer into a large glass, three finger head and super sweet smell. The only thing I could think of after the first drink was steel reserve. This was horrible ghetto brew and in the right store apparently...very disappointed.

Photo of constantine_272
2.23/5  rDev -41%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

A: Extremely carbonated. Pale yellow and very clear. White slippery foam with good retention and small thing bubble texture.

S: Sweet melon and honey. Free range bacteria funk.

T: Wheat flavor up front with a lot of sweetness and some green apple. The Belgian fermentation funk follows up with a vengeance with a one-two punch with alcohol; too much for me. The green apple works, but the yeast flavor lingered way too long and didn't have anything to balance it out.

M: Tongue coating and oily. It leaves a long aftertaste with a little bit of steel flavor. Very thin in texture.

O: I like Belgian style beers but this took the style too far for my taste. This was brewed with way too much sugar and the yeast went hog wild. There is still a lot if residual sweetness as well. The over carbonation didn't sit well in my stomach either. I had high hopes for this beer, I was even in the mood for a Belgian ale, and I couldn't bring myself to like this one.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of Carpentiere
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of jsisko01
2.73/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a hazy, bright yellow color with a thin white head that leaves a nice lacing.

Smell - Has a sour funk to it.. along with citrus and coriander.

Taste - Very sweet, like sugar cane. Honey, some light spices, a sharp bitterness, and a somewhat strong alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall - The honey is a little too strong and the alcohol bite isn't enjoyable. But maybe that's how this style of beer is supposed to be..? I don't know

Photo of OldhouseRecs
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of jamiekimble
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of JCarey
2.78/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Golden-orange, pretty clear for style but still hazy. Soft white head that doesn't stick around for long. Fruity, tannic on the nose. Tastes and feels more like a soda, especially with the carbonation. Fruity, with no lingering bitterness. Dry sweetness, no warming alcohol sensation. Would not buy again.

Photo of king75
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of mikeincharleston
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of SnatchyMcPants
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of mercyfulfate
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Twal
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Perfumey Belgian-inspired tripel. Clear golden in the Affligem chalice. Decent head, champagne bubbles, and a fairly coarse carbonation. Light floral and fruity aroma.

Rather appley, in fact I immediately thought of Boone's Farm apple wine. Sugary taste with a rough cider apple bitterness. A touch of an aspirin kind of bitterness. Aftertaste is quite unpleasant with the bitter and sweet together. Not much in the way of yeast or complex flavors. On the sharp side as the sugar subsides.

From the 22 oz bottle scored at Olive Tree Market in OB, San Diego.

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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, Bobby.

A: The pour is a fairly clear golden color with a very large white head.

S: Spices come through right away with a bit of clove and coriander character. Lots of straw and lightly grassy with some banana sweetness, as well as some bread and apple notes.

T: The banana is a bit more pronounced on the palate than it was on the nose. Some green apple, grass, and straw give a strange flavor for a Tripel. Lots of bread, though it's pretty stale tasting.

M: Medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Sort of bland for a Tripel with far too much grass and straw.

Photo of csmartin6
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of BWarrington
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of ROGUE16
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of GaryFields
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of imthaschmidt
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

"I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism."

--P.D. James

Kruggerand gold with a fine yeasty haziness and multiple streams of uprushing bubbles. The thick chunk of alabaster colored cream is not Belgianesque, but it's no slouch either. Melting brings about a gently rocky texture that is acceptably attractive. Too bad it isn't more sticky, because lace is scarce.

The nose is pure tripel, with plenty of golden fruit and aromatic spiciness. No alcohol is a major plus. If ST can deliver on the palate, then this offering has a chance to be one of the best MacTarnahan's brews yet.

Give the brewers credit for getting the basic outlines of the style right. However, the end result is nowhere near the best Belgian tripels on the planet. Actually, it's nowhere near the best American-brewed tripels either.

Spine Tingler Golden Belgian-Style Triple tastes like a pretty decent American malt liquor brewed with a less than outstanding Belgian yeast strain. On the negative side... it's simple, grainy and raw. On the positive side... none of those is a complete deal breaker.

Specifics include modestly sweet pale grains, lightly grassy-spicy hops, a dash of ground clove, and a splash of lower shelf vodka. Aging might help... and it might not. Warming changes nothing, other than the fact that it pushes both the flavor and the drinkability scores in a downward direction.

A Belgian tripel-like body/mouthfeel was not expected (and couldn't be delivered by this brewery in a million years). It's on the light end for the style and is decently bubbled. No hint of creaminess and expansiveness, however.

Sorry, but MacTarnahan's Spine Tingler does not elicit a spine tingle from this tripel loving craft beer lover. It's good to see the brewery trying something different on occasion, but they need to give us better beer than this.

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.

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MacTarnahan's Spine Tingler from Portland Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.