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MacTarnahan's Spine Tingler - Portland Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

61 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 172
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 8
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 02-26-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of MacTarnahan's Spine Tingler Alström Bros
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Reviews: 61 | Hads: 172
Photo of Vilkes
1.3/5  rDev -65.2%
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. (484 characters)

Photo of constantine_272
2.3/5  rDev -38.5%
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. (960 characters)

Photo of jsisko01
2.74/5  rDev -26.7%
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 (491 characters)

Photo of JCarey
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
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. (305 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
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. (559 characters)

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.19/5  rDev -14.7%
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. (850 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.21/5  rDev -14.2%
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. (603 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
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. (1,955 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.33/5  rDev -11%
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. (999 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear yellow-orange with a medium size white head, above average carbonation, and some lacing.

smell is of banana, yeast, and some spice.

taste is smooth, banana, fruits, and a little spice, ends a little on the bitter side, and somewhat dry. (252 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a light fizzy head of 1/2 finger, fades semi quickly typical of 8.5%, very clear straw almost watery.

Nose is typical Belgian golden malts, light fruity esters from yeast and light floral spices, hint of bubblegum, apple and pair, hint of booze.

Taste starts with light cereal grains, light belgian malts, fruity esters with apple and pair but light, hint of chewy bubblegum and hint of metallic, light warming and slight tingly booze, hint of solventy, light wheat flavors, floral spices and hint citrus. Finish is light solventy very quick finish, slightly dry, hint of malts.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb, light warming booze.

Overall meh, interesting flavors but some bubblegum and solvent, very light and slightly watery on the taste, finish is way too quick. (778 characters)

Photo of msquared36
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange color. Light lacing.

Strong smell but not over powering. Citrus is the predominant scent.

Nice smell but the taste is better. Yeast flavor is up front. A little more citrus flavor than a typical triple. Almost no spiciness.

Mouthfeel is the highlight of this beer. Good carbonation. Makes the beer feel airy.

Not the best triple, but a good beer. Especially for the price. Worthy of a spot in the rotation. (425 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle from Fred Meyer in N.Salem..with a very ugly label! Ok beer to look at. a slightly hazy orange with a small frothy off white head. Copious lace. Rather phenolic aromas..much bubble gum and some peach Ok Very sweet in taste to begin with then a sourness and bitterness balance it out dry fnish leaving a salty after taste that invites another sip. OK on the palate, well carbonated and goes down well. Overall not a bad beer but not a good Tripel. (459 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of loose, white foam on top of a clear, golden body. The foam settles rapidly and leaves little lace.

S - Clove and pineapple with a bit of pear.

T - Some cidery malt up front with a bit of pear flavor. Honey and clove in the middle with a transition to melon as the beer finishes. Lingering notes of honey, clove, thick malt and a touch of spicy hops.

M - A fairly thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a cloyingly sweet finish.

D - The head is sad, the aroma is kind of promising, but the flavor profile and excessive sweetness lock this in as a sub-par effort. Sadly, like many American examples of the style, it has too much malt character and way too much sweetness to be properly drinkable. (733 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of RickS95
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (645 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden orange color with good carbonation and a nice white head. Nose is peepery, belgian yeast, booze. Taste followed closely with booze and pepper, floral, light citrus and perhaps a touch of honey. Sweet with a candy like element. Mouthfeel is beligan yeast, booze, floral and tinge of booze at the end. Worth a try. (328 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Could only afford a cheap bomber.... so another McTarnahan's Belgian style it is. Shared with the wife... mine is poured into MNFG (Portsmouth Goblet thanks to jrae2424 ... Very Cool Jason!!)

Thin 1/2" white head dies quickly... the brew is a hazed golden.

Nose is heavily phenolic and estery... honestly reminds me of a big German Hefe... plenty of clove.. some pink bubblegum.... banana.

Flavor gives a huge nod to Bazooka Joe... lesser banana and spices... ehhh... okay... just really tons of Belgian Yeast qualities... maybe too much for my taste.

Body is medium with a fair amount of small bubble carbonation.

okay across the board, but I don't know I will buy another.

3.5/3.5/3.5/4/3.5 (698 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (380 characters)

Photo of ricchezza
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice glass. Color is somewhere between gold and sunflower. Highly carbonated; lot’s of tiny bubbles producing a nice white lingering head.

This beer is pretty close to what I expected as far as style guidelines are concerned. Taste and aroma is a balance of bitter/sweet from the pilsner malt and candi sugar. Subtle to moderate earthy hops to evenly round things out.
Though I mentioned balance, it is perhaps just a touch heavy on the candi sugar and very light on any discernable yeast character.
Faint hint of bubble-gum.
Smooth on the palate. Easily drinkable. (585 characters)

Photo of philbertk
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

MacTarnahan's Brewing Company--Pyramid Breweries, Inc.--Spine Tingler--Golden Belgian-Style Triple--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 8.50% ABV. 23 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Thin no lace head. Hazed thin bright rich straw gold color. Rich aromatic Belgian fruit ester banana coriander front. NW hop hint. Light sediment. Zesty sweet rich Belgian Candy fruit ester pilsner malty body. Bottle conditioned CO2 notes. Clean rich dry sweet citrus hint Belgian spicy mild EtOH end. Sampled 5/16/2010 & 8/28/2010. $4.79 Each. (497 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal-clear golden color with a medium white head that disappears instantaneously. Scent is very sweet with some candied sugar and green apple aroma. A little bit of bubble gum. As the beer warms, more bubblegum pulls through. Taste is initially somewhat floral...almost like potpourri. Some earthy characteristics with melon and green apple. A bit of alcohol with bubblegum and Belgian yeast. Very crisp and fruity. Mouthfeel is light bodied and highly carbonated. Drinkability is high. Overall, definitely not one of the best tripels, but a good effort.

Had to edit because after sipping on this for quite sometime, the taste morphs from quite enjoyable...to a little less enjoyable. There is a strange lingering aftertaste. Still a tasty beer though. (764 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (715 characters)

Photo of Elimination
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 into goblet:

Ap- a yellow that has a drop of brown 'piss colored'
but hey im not saying in a bad way, thin lacing on top, a few bubble trails climbing

smell: fruit, wheat, spice, corianger, banana, a pilsner maltiness, sweet and sugary. I love triples, but this doesnt scream triple to me.

Taste: butter, sweet, spice yes there it is. attribute of a triple, but it feels like its not full boar. Very malty and sugary, disapointed in taste but makes up for in drinkablity

mouth good, has few bubbles when hitting tongue, goes down easy

drink- good for introductory in belgians but if you have had some good ones then this does not compare. good price but thats about it (677 characters)

Photo of katan
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz into a goblet

A - Pours a light golden color. Strong head formation that breaks down with little lacing, right into a film. No hazing or yeast suspension.

S - Strong spicy nose, hints of coriander, white pepper, citrus, clove.

T - Starts off smooth and sweet, a few hints of pilsner. Gets much more spicy mid-stream, brings in the coriander and some citrus to back it up. Finishes with a light sweetness, and a hint of alcohol warmth.

M - Fuller bodied, lower carbonation on the mouthfeel. Finishes a little bit sticky. Alcohol warmth is noticable.

O/D - A good and easy drinking tripel. On the sweeter side, and reasonable in alcohol levels. A worthy tripel. (670 characters)

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MacTarnahan's Spine Tingler from Portland Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.