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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.

417 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 417
Reviews: 184
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 17.65%
Wants: 16
Gots: 17 | 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: 417 | Reviews: 184 | Display Reviews Only:
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4/5  rDev +12%

11-19-2011 14:11:47 | More by bacher468
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4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

11-19-2011 02:12:09 | More by DoctorB2B
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4/5  rDev +12%

11-17-2011 15:50:12 | More by victory4me
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4/5  rDev +12%

11-15-2011 11:08:00 | More by random846
Photo of thebouch01


5/5  rDev +40.1%

11-14-2011 18:18:39 | More by thebouch01
Photo of vicsju1991


5/5  rDev +40.1%

11-14-2011 18:07:50 | More by vicsju1991
Photo of Agold


4/5  rDev +12%

11-14-2011 09:42:17 | More by Agold
Photo of ButchAleman

New Jersey

1.3/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I have had this beer before several years ago and found it to be very interesting and unusual. Tried this beer at the brewery
tour. The sample that I had this week was probably the worst beer I have ever had. I don't know how a beer could be this bad but obviously Yards brewery that can make it htappen.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2011 03:40:53 | More by ButchAleman
Photo of Suds


2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

So, I really love the idea of historic beers...anything from an authentic, old recipe is great. In concept at least. This, however, is one of those beers that reminds me that modern brewing recipes and techniques are a wonderful thing. The beer is an amber color, with a modest white head. It's smell is tree-like, with the spruce nearly overpowering. Still, it's fresh, with a lively malt undercurrent. Really, the smell is engaging. The taste, however, is where the overwhelming comes into play. It's dry-ish, with the spruce, woody component playing against the malt. Not really all that appealing to me. Decent body, full and satisfying. Overall, this is drinkable, but very underwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 23:42:42 | More by Suds


3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle to snifter. Packaged 2/19/11 and consumed shortly after.

A: A large 2 1/2 finger light brown foamy head lasts long and settles into a slightly uneven cap. The body is dark brown with auburn tints. Opaque except when held to light, when it becomes hazy. Spare smattering of lace in no particular pattern.

S & T: Leans more malty than hoppy with aromas of rendered caramel and toasted bread. The spruce component is noticeable, increasing in woodiness as the temperature climbs. Spice and tobacco are buried in the flavor profile, which is pretty decent for 5% ABV. Lightly bitter.

M: Light to medium light body, average carbonation. Bitter finish is accentuated by the spruce.

D: Tavern Spruce drinks a little better after a month or two. As mentioned in a previous Ales of the Revolution review, a strange concept for a year round brew. Nothing I'd go out of my way to experience again.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 11:06:47 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three-finger khaki head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Cloudy brown color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Light molasses nose and flavor is molasses and spruce. Drying finish. $3.00 for a 12oz bottle from Mount Vernon Gift Shop, Mount Vernon, VA.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 22:24:54 | More by jdhilt
Photo of orbitalr0x


3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2011 00:56:48 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of Chriscrundwell12


2.85/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Surly Imperial Pint glass.

A- Dark amber color, 3 finger tan head that dissipates quickly, splotchy lacing.
S- Interesting aroma, the spruce gives off an interesting minty aroma, some spice, some pine, nutty malt aroma, floral notes.
T- Tastes just like the aroma but not as minty, not very tasty.
M- Medium/light mouth feel, well carbonated, smooth drinking, crisp finish.
O- The minty pine aroma and taste was very off putting for me, not a beer I would drink again, would not recommend this one to others but that’s just my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 20:23:42 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of avaldivia


3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade from Centennial. Poured 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Light brown color. Very nice head about an inch thick. little lacing all the way down.

S: Very light smell. Christmas tree like scent. a little pint.

T: Little spicy. Little bit of pine.

M: Medium bodied. Nice carbonation.

O: Solid brew. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 05:01:51 | More by avaldivia
Photo of devilben02

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky mahogany color, with a huge, rocky, tan head. The aroma provides a feeling of what it must be like to dry hump a Christmas tree: there is little but evergreen here, although maybe a little bit of pepper creeps in. The flavor is actually more balanced, which is kind of a let-down, with a dull graininess creeping in to muddle the woodsy spruce character. The texture is fine but mostly average. Overall, the distinctive spruce aroma makes this beer, but it's too bad that the flavor can't meet the expectations that are established by the first smell. Even so, the aroma was enough for me to love drinking this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 04:53:11 | More by devilben02
Photo of MrOH


3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Orangish brown with two solid fingers of light tan head. Splotchy lace.

Brown sugar and spruce air freshener. Light fruitiness.

Spicey and piney. Molassas comes through. Some gingery flavors. Very Christmas feeling. Molassas cookies/gingerbread with pine. Quite nostalgic.

Medium-bodied with good carbonation.

Interesting. Probably a nice winter beer, especially around the holidays. Definitely not an everyday drink, unless its what you're into.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 18:09:42 | More by MrOH
Photo of mooseo


4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Yards brewery in Philadelphia.

A - Clear dark amber with a 1" creamy head. Good retention with decent lacing.

S - Aromas of spruce and pine. Very nice.

T - Taste is excellent. Sweet caramel up front. There are nice spruce, piney notes throughout. The finish is bready, with more spruce and other spices coming through.

M - Smooth and refreshing. Medium bodied with a slightly creamy mouthfeel.

D - I really like this beer. The dominant spruce flavor is very appealing. While there are better offerings from Yards, this still a great example of what they can do. The drinkability is high and very sessionable. Being on-tap at the brewery, the beer is extremely fresh, crisp, and refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2011 17:46:15 | More by mooseo
Photo of bobhits


2.33/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a tall white yet thin head with a dark body that when held to the light is rather reddish and frankly pretty clear.

Smells of spices, almost mint like without the clean finish, I’m bad at spice names.
Spiced amber without any hop profile is what I’m thinking here. It has a chi tea like flavor with amber malt and perhaps a touch of hops just to attempt some balance.
Light to medium body with enough carbonation I suppose.
Ben Franklin was a great man, but this beer well it is a pass.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 00:15:02 | More by bobhits
Photo of oline73


4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear dark amber color with three fingers of off tan head that leaves only a layer as it fades.

Smell: Definitely picking up the spruce, along with some caramel malt sweetness. There are some fruity notes, and I'm also picking up the molasses.

Taste: I really enjoy the taste of this beer. I'm picking up the spruce along with a fairly strong sweet malt presence. Not picking up the fruity notes here, but I do find some caramel and molasses. Mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to somewhat thin body, the carbonation is on the high side, but it seems to work here. The finish is mildly dry.

Overall: This is a really interesting beer. I'm enjoying the spruce along with the malt sweetness. I would definitely have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 03:47:24 | More by oline73
Photo of Haybeerman


3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Ruddy copper color. Poured a 1 finger off-white head that dissipated to a skim. Intermittent lacing in broken rings.

S: Spruce (pine) and spices; notably clove and pepper. Light green apple aroma mixed with alcohol. Very aromatic; almost pungent.

T: Very consistent with the aroma. Mild bitter in the finish has sweet, spice and hop resin lingering. Very interesting beer, but strangely out of balance.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. A nice balance to feel though a little short on the bitter.

D: Interesting beer. A little out of balance to be sessionable, but worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2011 20:51:19 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of ReelBigwigFish

New Jersey

2.88/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured 12oz bottle into large Munchen Mug.

A: Dark copper brown color with minimal head, no lacing to speak of, slight haze, just off from translucent.

S: Smells piney and spicy with hints of apple and clove. Sweet and a little smoke and alcohol in there as well. Interesting pine scent, I'm so used to piney hops, and this is more like steeped pine needles.

T: Same as the nose, starting with a very sweet punch, and a slightly bitter finish. Again, interesting...

M: Perfect amount of carbonation, and I like the consistency; a little on the syrupy side but still quite drinkable.

O: Like others have said, this beer is basically an almost-new take on a rather typical one. It's enjoyable to try a bottle, but I'd be disappointed if I had paid for a 6-pack, at least for the price of $10. Yards has many a good beer, much better than this one; can't hit the bullseye every time.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 01:06:47 | More by ReelBigwigFish
Photo of JayQue


3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad! Kind of like a Christmas spiced beer. The spruce and molasses replace the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors for the typical Christmas Ale.

Looks good!! Big off white head with good head retention. Lacing is minimal and patchy. Nice dark amber color, slightly hazy.

Smell is about average. The sharp spruce shows up in the aroma..that's about it.

Taste is a bit better than average. Although it tastes like a Christmas Ale, the flavors are not artificial or overpowering. The spruce tips provide bittering and a piney flavor. The molasses offers a sweeter balance.

Mouthfeel is crisp...the spruce ensures that. Spruce bitterness is a wake up call for the taste buds. No artificial flavors or aromas like so many Christmas-type beers.

Drinkability is ok, I could have a few of these but not a whole lot because of the spruce.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 19:31:20 | More by JayQue
Photo of Dmoore07


3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a deep amber. Solid head, sticks around for a bit. Some decent carbonation coming up.

S- Definitely has spruce! Very piney, a little spicey, and mildly malty. For sure, this beer is different than any other I've had. My nose is a bit stuffy, so I'm not on my aroma game right now.

T- Very unique! Sweet molasses up front, some malt in the middle, with a big pine finish. Again, this beer is unique and interesting.

M- Pretty smooth. Perfect carbonation for my tastes, not too much, and not too little.

D- I could have one or two tops. It is a tasty brew, but I think the spruce makes it difficult to session.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 00:41:38 | More by Dmoore07
Photo of beertunes


3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to dwaz for this one. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish brown, with a nice off-white head that had good retention and some lacing.

The aroma was a bit sweet from the molasses was noticeable. There was also a bit of spice. On the tongue, the story was pretty much the same. Spruce, spice, sweet malts and a lingering tang.

The body is medium, not light and not full. Drinkability was very good, I'd have a couple of these. Overall, this is a pretty good brew. Certainly worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 00:46:26 | More by beertunes
Photo of deaconoflove


3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ap. A very nice coppery brown ale with a decent, but short-lived head.
Sm. Pow! Spruce/pine/spice...right in the kisser. It's all spruce. Kind of off-putting to me, makes me think of household cleaner or room fresheners that I can't stand.
Ta. Follows the smell, unfortunately. Spruce/spice with some sweetness and a mildly bitter finish.
Mf. Well carbonated and a little sweet/sticky hanging on.
Dr. Part of an Ales of the Revolution case...maybe if I let it age for a few months. It's interesting, but I won't let it happen again.
UPDATE: I had another one or two over the next few days, and I like it much better. Still not a favorite, but very drinkable (sippable?).
UPDATE Again: I really like it now. Maybe that first bottle was off.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 17:54:27 | More by deaconoflove
Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 417 ratings.