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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.
very good

61 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 173
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 24.07%
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: 173
Photo of womencantsail
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of philbertk
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of Elimination
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
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

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Photo of flagmantho
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip. Bottle says to enjoy by 6/10/2010.

Appearance: light golden color with a touch of haze and a finger of compact white foam. Pretty nice, though the foam seems to be dissipating somewhat rapidly.

Smell: very nice malt aroma with appropriate fruit characteristics: pear, Granny Smith apples and a light cherry character are all present. The nose also has a hint of floral aromas and a little warming alcohol. Quite appealing.

Taste: flavor is quite bright. More pure malt flavor comes through in the flavor than in the aroma, which is quite nice. The sweet fruit qualities are still here, though dampened. Personally, I like the contrast between aroma and taste. This is also a tad sweeter than the average tripel; not a bad thing, necessarily, but a touch too sweet for my liking. Hops here are very subtle but appropriate.

Mouthfeel: I think my love for creaminess is one reason I like tripels so much. Here, Spine Tingler does not disappoint: medium-thick body which is already a little syrupy also has a big does of carbonation which makes for a delightfully creamy liquor.

Drinkability: very good, but the extra sweetness is just enough to make this merely "good". It's still a very nice beer which I would gladly have again.

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Photo of ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Spine Tingler is a lightly hazed dark gold with a tight white head with decent last leaving foamy lace, fed by a steady stream of lazy bubbles.

Smell is very estery, overripe bananas, lychee. Love it.

Taste is also estery, the fruits but also some spiciness, just a very light hint of cereals and a whisper of alcohol, clean and tasty.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, medium-light bodied.

Drinkability is solid. I love big estery Belgians, and this one is also smooth and value priced. I think people have a negative bias towards all these Mac's specialty beers based on the low priced and the depth of flavor of their year rounders. But I've been impressed and have really enjoyed them so far, and this one is no exception. Well done!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
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.


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Photo of froghop
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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