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Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale - Yards Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce AlePoor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

443 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 443
Reviews: 189
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 17.65%
Wants: 17
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Based on Franklin’s original recipe, which called for barley, molasses, and essence of spruce, our Tavern Spruce is as approachable and engaging as was the man himself. We source blue spruce clippings from a local organic farmer, steeping them in the kettle to create this one-of-a-kind deep amber ale.

(Beer added by: GeoffFromSJ on 11-12-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 443 | Reviews: 189 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BeerForMuscle:
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BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -2%

02-18-2014 23:08:38 | More by BeerForMuscle
More User Reviews:
Photo of boston2bburg
boston2bburg

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -2%

Bottle pictured looks blue - mine was brown. Pours clear chestnut brown with a decent head, some layers of lacing made by a beige head that retains a respectable covering over the beer. (Tall pilsner glass.)

Molasses and maple syrup overshadow the subtle fruitiness of the spruce in the aroma, but it's balanced nevertheless.

Fruity with some sappy pine character and citrus. Some raisin, plum. Resiny mouthfeel, which makes up most of the body, otherwise thin. Miderately spicy finish.

Startling at first, but evolves to be sessionable after a few quaffs. A medicinal quality, likely from the spruce, is the only detractor, but it's not overpowering.

Haven't had many spruce ales, besides my own homebrew, but this one beats the hell out of that.

04-02-2010 04:08:23 | More by boston2bburg
Photo of jackplane
jackplane

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +12%

07-30-2014 16:21:56 | More by jackplane
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev +0.3%

Deep garnet red pour with bright highlights when held up to the light. A quarter inch of light tan foam atop the brew. Not getting much lacing. Aromas start with caramel malts mixed with notes of spruce and a touch of molasses and dark fruit. Kind of earthy as well.

First sip brings caramel and toffee sweetness upfront with a nice kick of earthy spruce. Woody notes with molasses and a kiss of fruit. Flows down with some linger pine, pretty tasty!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with steady carbonation. Pretty easy drinking brew and I enjoy the spruce twist and the historical recipe. Have had this once before and would have it again. Thanks smokeypeat.

09-29-2011 00:56:48 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of Guden
Guden

Maryland

3.73/5  rDev +4.5%

A- Perfectly clear garnet with a one finger head of tight bubbles.

S- floral and malty with some brown sugar, plum, toast and sweet herbal notes. Nothing screams "spruce" but fairly interesting.

T- again fruitiness and brown sugar/molasses character dominates with a tangy and lightly bitter finish. Herbal character builds with each sip but is more rosemary, sage and sweet herbs than pine.

M- low carbonation and seemingly low attenuation gives the beer a slight syrupy character that goes well with the molasses and keeps the herbality in check.

O- a very interesting beer, not what I expected and not something I would want regularly but definitely worth a try and maybe an occasional return.

08-02-2014 20:49:16 | More by Guden
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +8.7%

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, brown in color, hazy, moderate carbonation

Smell: big spruce and branch smell with some caramel malt

Taste: spruce, cinnamon, caramel, and earth

Mouthfeel: sweet and spicy, low carbonation, medium-heavy bodied

Drinkability: Almost tastes like a grut beer. A nice holiday novelty that I can see myself having one or two of due to the aggressive spicing.

11-29-2010 15:56:13 | More by tigg924
Photo of Apotheosis
Apotheosis

Delaware

4/5  rDev +12%

01-31-2014 00:56:51 | More by Apotheosis
Photo of jcdiflorio
jcdiflorio

West Virginia

2.9/5  rDev -18.8%

served into a nonic glass from a cool looking colbat blue bottle long neck with crimped cap

Hazy,reddish brown,creamy off white head with good retention and spotty lacing.

Aroma was very sprucey,notes of licorice and molasses,some pine,no hop or malt aromas.A good spicey aroma nice and pleasing.

Very sprucy tastes,tart,licorice no real hop or malt tastes,mostly spruce.Finishes on the dry side,some slightly sharp bitterness with a lingering spruce taste. Reminds me a bit of Anchor Christmas.

Medium mouthfeel,creamy a very light feel to it.
The spruce was a bit much as far as drinkability goes,lacks complexity,won't want to drink another. Not terrible, just nothing to excite.

01-25-2007 05:21:29 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
ImFlyerThanYou

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +12%

05-29-2014 21:53:05 | More by ImFlyerThanYou
Photo of Ursula1007
Ursula1007

Pennsylvania

4.98/5  rDev +39.5%

I love the robust depth of the nuances that play on the palate. Molasses is detectable and welcome. With Spruce tips and sprigs in the recipe, this original recipe from the Revolutionary War period, is to be cherished as an American beauty.
Nicely carbonated for those of us who enjoy a tinkle mouth feel.

03-09-2014 21:36:54 | More by Ursula1007
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wattoclone

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +19%

09-12-2012 20:08:18 | More by wattoclone
Photo of Soonami
Soonami

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -2%

Yards Poor Richard Tavern Spruce is an interesting beer. The base beer is a brown ale that is spiced up with molasses and spruce tips/sprigs. The ale smells just faintly malty with a little fruitiness from the yeast. The molasses is well expressed on the palate, providing a deep, rounded sweetness, with vanilla notes. The spruce is pretty hidden and only surfaces in the aftertaste, when the beer is long gone and there is a little astringent fuzz on your tongue. The finish is fresh and despite the molasses isn't cloying.

I wouldn't run out to get more of this, but it was nice to try once and think about Ben Franklin cooking up a barrel of this 200 years ago.

10-12-2010 03:49:50 | More by Soonami
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -2%

Gotta love the blue bottle plus it keeps more light out than the other varieties...appears a chestnut ruby amber in body with a nice tan head leaves some even thick coats of lacing down my glass. Aroma is very pleasant with outdoorsy spruce tips, fruity toastsed malt tones with an evident maple syrup character, however I stand corrected b/c the label states it contains molasses I can definitely smell some concentrated thickened sugar. Flavor...spruce ain't no joke, kinda like drinkin' your christmas tree water, but in addition to the pine tree flow this beer offers subtle malt sweetness with the spicing coming from the tree nice flowing ale. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lighter more moderate carbonation but the flavors stay on the palate. Drinkability is definitely one of the most interesting brews I have had in awhile I'm glad I gave it a go can't wait to try more strange colonial style brews.

02-08-2007 21:55:57 | More by WVbeergeek
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SPRichard

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -2%

12-27-2011 16:11:44 | More by SPRichard
Photo of testch09
testch09

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -2%

02-26-2012 14:27:44 | More by testch09
Photo of jferrara35
jferrara35

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +40.1%

01-13-2014 17:02:05 | More by jferrara35
Photo of ianjsullivan
ianjsullivan

Maryland

3.78/5  rDev +5.9%

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear brown with amber, red tints in the light. The head is half-a-fingernail off-white and the carbonation sounds like soda when being poured.

S: Sweet malt, spicy hint of spruce, a bit of molasses, and a slight woody aroma.

T: Mellow malt, a touch of molasses, and a bit of wood on the back before a clean finish.

M: Medium (surprisingly light though) and creamy

O: A mellow enjoyable drink. I wouldn't mind more spruce and wood flavors, and the body could be a bit more substantial, but there is nothing wrong with this beer. It really is a perfect quaffing ale.

12-31-2012 19:23:00 | More by ianjsullivan
Photo of Adkins1203
Adkins1203

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +5%

11-29-2013 02:17:42 | More by Adkins1203
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -2%

01-18-2012 01:05:31 | More by acurtis
Photo of Jeffreysan
Jeffreysan

Maryland

3.68/5  rDev +3.1%

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very dark, very murky brown color with a quarter of a finger of off-white head (the head also seemed to me to have flecks of green in it too, but that might have been my imagination due to the beer being brewed with spruce tips and sprigs) that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that practically covered the entirety of the beer. I’m actually surprised at the color, it’s so murky, almost like swamp water. I’m not too sure about that, as it makes for an unattractive beer.

Aroma: However, it doesn’t at all smell like swamp water, rather, I get malt and bread and some very earthy notes. Subtle yeast aroma as well. Finally, there’s some good floral notes present too, but not the evergreen spruce that I was expecting, more like grass and clover.

Taste: Floral notes up front, thanks to the spruce tips and sprigs that the beer is brewed with, followed by malt and caramel. There is a yeasty finish that I found pleasant too. Very interesting beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium, with some good carbonation to tickle the tastebuds, and a slight chewiness. Because of the low alcohol content, the beer only clocks in at 5% ABV, there’s practically no alcohol present on the palate, maybe just a slight hint.

Overall: According to Yards, this beer was crafted from Benjamin Franklin’s original recipe, using molasses, spruce tips and sprigs. It is a very interesting beer, with good flavor and mouthfeel, however, that appearance really puts me off. It certainly is a bottle beer for me, but just not one that I’m probably going to be searching out on a consistent basis. It was a great choice for the 4th of July weekend though, which is why I got it.

07-16-2013 21:33:05 | More by Jeffreysan
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cynical1027

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

02-22-2012 03:45:32 | More by cynical1027
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wander4

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -9%

05-30-2012 21:52:44 | More by wander4
Photo of Ryanm1
Ryanm1

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +12%

They serve this a few block from the factory on tap at City Tavern. You can get a taster there.

I had no idea this was of the style of "herbed/spiced beer" but I can definately see that. Didn't know what to categorize it as but upon originally ingesting it, I myself as well as friend have said "it's like drinking a spruce tree". I've had Christmas beers that have been much more overspiced, but I think this is adequite and not overdone. It states that it's brewed in the fashion of Founding Fathers and is in Yard's Ales of the Revolution pack. I've categorized this as the Thomas Jefferson but a little less bite and a little more pine. Once again I'm jocking this beer as it is from one of my favorite breweries.

05-28-2012 20:04:37 | More by Ryanm1
Photo of ggaughan
ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +12%

On tap at the Grey Lodge. The beer pours a very deep, dark brown color with a nice thick white head.

The aroma of the beer is very complex with definite tones of the spruce in it and spicy notes.

The taste is a nice roasted malt base with definite taste from the spruce. it is an odd ingredient to have but I really enjoyed it and would like to try it again. The beer is pretty drinkable but I think I could only have a few in a night. Maybe get a bottle or 2 to keep for awhile. Thanks to Ben Franklin.

01-23-2006 01:32:02 | More by ggaughan
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.6/5  rDev +0.8%

Thanks to ShanePB for this bottle!

A: Pours a dark red, almost mahogany/brown color with a white one finger head. The head dropped quickly to a small layer of fine bubbles on top.

S: A unique aroma to say the least. A heavy dose of spruce up front followed up by some spice, mostly nutmeg. At the end there is a definite bready/caramel aroma as well. There is a little bit of mint too.

T: Very herbal/spicy from the spruce, also a bit sticky. Some nice caramel malts and I can taste a little bit of the molasses used to make this one as well.

M/D: Medium bodied with good carbonation, a touch more would have been nice, but its not a problem at all. Has a sticky/dry finish. Definitely a fall/winter beer, would pair nicely at Thanksgiving. Not an everyday drinker, but something I would consider picking up from time to time.

02-24-2011 01:54:11 | More by mdaschaf
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Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 443 ratings.