Ode To A Russian Shipwright - Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 41 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by theCoder:
4.22/5 rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Had this at Heritage Liquors Beer Geek Christmas 12/8/11 poured by the brewer himself. Limited to roughly 130 cases (due to his Spruce trees only producing enough spruce tips to brew that much)
A = Pours blackish, just a beautiful head with a hint of brown that leaves some sexy legs on the glass.
S = The smell sure is tough to describe. There is a hint of some hops but the spruce pops in there strong in the end. You will also notice bits of malt and the porter just slightly, I won't lie those spruce tips are very apparent. What I loved most about this beer was this element, it makes you feel like you are in the middle of a forest surrounded by spruce trees which smell wonderful when the tips pop.
T = You will notice feint hops but the spruce overrun it with a heavy porter finish. Not much stout element there, I almost wonder if it was the yeast used not quite sure. When I get more time with this I will work on nailing that down more. There's some alcohol there in the finish you will notice as well. Fades fast of the pallet which surprised me a bit, with how beefy this is up front I expected it to last a bit longer.
O = An amazing winter beer, it really feels, tastes, and smells like winter. I highly recommend this if you can come across a bottle. I have two, one in which I'll open with friends and then age one. After talking with the brewer he hoped to only do one shipment of 80 cases and age the last batch on oak, but it sold so fast he decided to ship it instead. He told me to sit on a bottle if I could as he'd love to hear how it ages and feels it'll age well. This I can agree with 100%, with that alcohol finish and strong spruce front I imagine that will all balance out and the Stout/Porter elements will come through stronger with some age.
Grab it if you can (or two).
Serving type: bottle
12-10-2011 17:30:06 | More by theCoder
More User Reviews:
4.06/5 rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance: Three fingers of creamy head with a medium brown, tan color form on the pour and settle in to about one finger while drinking. Above average active carbonation in the glass while drinking. The color on the pour was a dark brown color and sits black in the glass.
Smell: Lots of the spruce tips on the front which provide a refreshing pine and straw aroma. Grassy hop tones brighten up the medium bodied malt tones. The malt comes off with a breathable sweetness with some roasted accents. Not really what I expected but unique and enticing.
Taste: Spruce tips dominate the front of this brew with significant hop accents. Flavors of wintergreen, pine, prairie grass, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and orange peel. Really complex and challenging to wrap the palate around. A grainy malt body warms up toward the back end of the beer with some strong spiced flavors. Cinnamon, coriander, and some vegetal flavors linger long into the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied for a Stout/Porter. Carbonation has a light, soft feeling on the palate which makes for an incredibly drinkable brew.
Overall: Definitely not what I was expecting. The more traditional malt tones take a far backseat to the spruce and hops going on here. Drinking this fresh has got to be the way to go as I could see some of the unique tones significantly fainting after some time. Great stuff from a one man show.
Serving type: bottle
02-01-2014 19:04:29 | More by KFBR392
3.39/5 rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
2012 vintage 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing Christmasy red/green colour label and a swingtop cap acquired at Four Firkins in Minnesota last year and served into an Odell stem-tulip/snifter glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high. Reviewed as an imperial porter.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
Yields a loud pop upon opening, followed by beer surging outwards. Luckily, I caught it with the glass.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a three finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Okay consistency. Retention is above average - about four minutes. Spotty inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.
Body colour is a very dark brown-black. Opaque. No floating yeast particles are visible.
Overall, it's looking pretty standard for an imperial porter. There's nothing unique or special about it, but there are no egregious flaws.
Sm: Plenty of spruce; that note hasn't faded with age. Also some pine (probably from the hops) and sap notes. Cream. Dark malts. Some rye.
It's got a unique aroma profile for an imperial porter. The spruce is a definite highlight. That said, it might be a bit medicinal. The flavour profile will tell.
A fairly pleasant aroma of mild to moderate strength. No yeast character, overt hop character, or alcohol is detectable.
T: Has a dark malt foundation with cream, spruce tones, and pine atop. Floral and piney hop character. Caramel. Herbal notes. Fairly simple for an imperial porter; there isn't a lot going on. But it's balanced enough, and enjoyable.
No yeast character or alcohol comes through. I do like it for what it is.
Average depth and duration of flavour. Below average intensity of flavour for the style. A cohesive build, but not a gestalt one.
Luckily, it's never medicinal, but it does feel a bit herbal.
Mf: Smooth, wet, thick, unrefreshing, and full-bodied. Okay presence on the palate, but it's certainly not ideal or custom-tailored specifically to the flavour profile. Not as soft as it should be. Good carbonation; bottle conditioning was
an excellent choice here.
Not oily, astringent, harsh, rough, gushed, hot, or boozy. Not crisp. Unrefreshing.
Dr: Downable stuff for what it is but not a great imperial porter by any means. I dig the spruce and I always applaud new takes on a style, but the execution here isn't all that impressive. I wouldn't get this again, but I'm glad I tried it. Props to Olvade for making it a swingtop; I always hate it when I'm stuck with a huge bottle of a real heavy beer and prefer smaller format bottles or swingtops. Hides its ABV well. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but it's worth trying once. One of the better executions of spruce that I've had. The premise is better than the execution, though.
Serving type: bottle
12-15-2013 23:27:57 | More by kojevergas
3.76/5 rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Two bottles sample side-by-side, one from the most recent release and one from late 2011. Served in small taster glasses. Thanks to Marie Curieosity for providing the recent vintage.
A - Big tan foam settles to a thick cap, thick collar, and plenty of splotchy lacing. Very dark brown body that's significantly lighter at the edges of the glass. The newer bottle has a bit more in the way of bubbles.
S - The spruce is massive in the new bottle, with tons of woodsy, earthy, forest floor and Christmas flavors to it. Meanwhile, the aged bottle has very little spruce character at all, with a hefty dose of caramel and chocolate malt sweetness and some fruity yeast to it. Surprised by the contrast here; either spruce falls off really fast or the initial batch had way less of it to begin with. The new bottle was interesting but polarizing, the older one rather generic.
T - The taste experience mirrors the aroma, with the new bottle being similarly heavy on spruce and earthy rye flavors while the 2011 bottle is shockingly sweet with only a low level of spruce. The new bottle also has a vaguely peppery farmhouse yeast quality; perhaps it was fermented hotter? Again, the newer bottle is a very unique experience, and I can imagine the flavor profile will be off-putting to a good chunk of drinkers. Alcohol is well-concealed, whatever it may be.
M - Medium body that seems a bit thin for an "Imperial" Porter. Zesty carbonation that seems to amplify the spice and herb flavors; the older bottle is more subdued here. No obvious alcohol.
D - A tale of two beers. I preferred the new bottle as it's a better representation of what the brewery intended. It was surprisingly drinkable for a spruce beer, and definitely a unique experience; the older bottle was more of a forgettable malty porter. I think the sweet spot lies somewhere in-between the two extremes though; perhaps in the 9-12 month range? Scores are mainly based on the newer bottle.
Serving type: bottle
08-12-2013 15:08:55 | More by MasterSki
Ode To A Russian Shipwright from Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.