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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.

447 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 447
Reviews: 189
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 17.65%
Wants: 17
Gots: 29 | 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: 447 | Reviews: 189 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlexM


4/5  rDev +12%

12-03-2011 21:49:32 | More by AlexM
Photo of hackomal


4/5  rDev +12%

12-02-2011 23:43:46 | More by hackomal
Photo of DarthKostrizer


3.9/5  rDev +9.2%

Look: Dark brown in color with a 1/4 inch head and no real retention

Smell: The nose is very woody and kind of perfumey upfront with notes of molasses on the back end

Taste: The flavor matches the nose to a T. The spruce notes and woody notes present themselves right away and its quite unique. The back end carries molasses and caramel

Mouthfeel: Thin body and mild carbonation

Overall: Different and unique and I actually quite enjoyed

11-28-2011 08:37:45 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of WastingFreetime


3.73/5  rDev +4.5%

A. Opaque clouded darker brown in color, two finger of tan head that leaves absolutely no lace behind but has about three minutes of retention before receding back to nothing.

S. At first I get hit by a strong hit of brown sugar smell, but than I notice dark plum odors mixed with a sahti-like level of spruce tip smell on top with quite the lovely earthy hop accent sprinkled on top.

T. Taste has a lot more emphasis on those spruce tips than the nose did, also I am getting a revisit of the caramelized brown sugar notes held within, but I also find a bit of an allspice-like kick blended in with the pine needles at the finish.

M. Medium bodied, but slightly under-carbonated and at times I get an oddball oily residual feel that fades in and out strangely...if there is a thing that I would consider needing work, this is it.

11-27-2011 01:08:15 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of mdillon86


4/5  rDev +12%

11-24-2011 21:14:43 | More by mdillon86
Photo of bacher468


4/5  rDev +12%

11-19-2011 14:11:47 | More by bacher468
Photo of DoctorB2B


4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

11-19-2011 02:12:09 | More by DoctorB2B
Photo of victory4me


4/5  rDev +12%

11-17-2011 15:50:12 | More by victory4me
Photo of random846


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%

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.

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


2.95/5  rDev -17.4%

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.

11-04-2011 23:42:42 | More by Suds


3.53/5  rDev -1.1%

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.

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

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev +3.1%

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.

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


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 Chriscrundwell12


2.85/5  rDev -20.2%

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.

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


3.85/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

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

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -1.1%

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.

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


3.6/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

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


4.1/5  rDev +14.8%

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.

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


2.33/5  rDev -34.7%

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.

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


4.1/5  rDev +14.8%

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.

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


3.25/5  rDev -9%

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.

04-11-2011 20:51:19 | More by Haybeerman
Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 447 ratings.