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Spruce Goose - Steamworks Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Spruce GooseSpruce Goose

Educational use only; do not reuse.

19 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 19
Hads: 27
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 13.64%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Steamworks Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 01-09-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 19 | Hads: 27
Photo of Knapp85
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as an orange hazy color with a white head on top. The smell of spruce came through on the nose right away for me, kind of an interesting aroma for sure since you don't see this in beer too much. The taste of the spruce comes through on the tongue as well, really subtle flavor but really interesting too though. The mouthfeel of the beer is a little on the thicker side. Overall this was a pretty good wintery brew.

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Photo of ZAP
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 3/17/09. It is 4/13/11. More than two years old but it is 7.3% so we'll see how it held up...err aged...

Pours a deep burnt orange....sweeter candied aroma...hard candies...cane sugar...sweet caramel...light floral hop impression but nothing piney. I like the aroma though...very sweet..

T-Much like the aroma but not as sweet as expected....hard candy...some caramel...and a floral hoppiness...a little earthy/musty impression too, perhaps from the aging.

Not much booziness...for as sweet as this seems it sure drinks nice...it held up pretty well and is enjoyable. Not sure how it would drink fresh but this is decent.

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Photo of ramseye4
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2009 bottle, corked. I've had this before, I went back to the same store I got this at, and they had the same number still collecting dust as when I went earlier in the year. Pours a wonderful looking amber color, fairly opaque, two finger head that fades away, monster lacing though. Aroma is of candied fruits and spruce needles. Taste is unusual, I really wouldn't classify this as an American Strong Ale, it seems like more of a Gruit to me. The spruce is fairly pronounced, especially in the finish, with what I'd imagine tree sap would taste like as well. The candied fruit again makes an appearance, and the taste is very sweet. Mouthfeel is sticky, chewy and dry, but the sweetness and dry mouthfeel ruin the drinkability for me.

Not bad, and I wouldn't mind picking this up periodically if it were more widely available.

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Photo of gford217
3.37/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle.

Pours a hazy amber with a small beige head that recedes quickly to a collar with very little lacing.

The aroma is very, very sweet with caramel malts, candied fruits and, finally, tons of spruce and other evergreen scents.

The taste starts with a very green floral kick, like spruce needles in a glass with a healthy dose of sugar and vanilla. Maybe a bit of spiciness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation and very sweet on the palate, sticky almost. Very little bitterness.

Compared to some other spruce beers I've had this one is fairly tame and on the sweeter side. Not bad but nothing memorable.

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Photo of mactrail
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Malty ale with spicy overtones.

Attractive dark amber with nice head that leaves enough sparkle in the mouth. Strong flavor or something pleasant yet odd is the first impression. What is that flavor? Spruce is not what comes to mind, at least after drinking Alaskan Winter Ale for a few years. But it has a tartness that goes really well with the malt and modest sweetness. Hops are very much in the background but it seems just right for a holiday style.

For the 2010 batch label claims abv is 7.9%. New label as well.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.99/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Bottle picked up at Rick's in Alexandria.

Pours a medium amber copper color with a light off white head. The nose really just lays the spruce on. Really nice fresh spruce and pine notes. The taste cuts it back a bit as the spruce is not overly dominant. A bit of bready malt and caramel underneath. The feel is very nice, with good spice and bitterness. A bit much for too big of a pour, but quite tasty and unique.

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Photo of koopa
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage 750ml bottle purchased at Capone's in Norristown PA.

Appearance: Pours a clear caramel amber with a 1.5 finger slightly off white crown that shows moderate retention and good lace.

Smell: Good amount of spruce over mild Scottish malt with buttered toffee.

Taste: Same as nose but less malt presence and much more spruce bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A bit watery.

Drinkability: Would be higher if it weren't for the mouthfeel.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jjfoodie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is caramel malt with some spruce mixed in. The flavor is a little more complex with some notes of caramel, toffee, sugar and some grapes. The spruce comes through int he aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

This was randomly found at a nearby beer store, and the price wasn't prohibitive. I smell a new brew! It pours a clear reddish amber with a finger of off-white, foamy head, which dies rather quickly without a trace of lace. The nose comprises nuts, light maple syrup, and a heapin' helpin' o' spruce tips. The name is well-earned. The taste holds notes of spruce (damn, what a shock!), pine sap, a mixture of light molasses and vanilla, ginger, and, in the back, some red apples. Though this actually sounds tasty, the whole melange comes off kinda crappily. It's hard to explain...just take my word that I didn't enjoy the taste all that much. The body is a light medium, with low carbonation and a light syrupy feel. I'm sure I'm never gonna have this again, but I'm pleased to have had the opportunity.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a unique beer...to me anyway. As an American Strong, this is a bit weak, but I don't know what else you could call it. Probably an Herb Beer or A-Pale. It pours a soft ruby/golden color with a good little head on it. Lacing is above average. Looks a bit oily.
an odd aroma. Must be the spruce and malt interacting. Not sure how to describe it. not quite pine, but not floral. Hmmm..
a quick biscuity backbone in the taste. Then the spruce hits and it's not what i expected. It's not a biting spruce, like pine. It's green spruce. A bit coating. If you've eaten spruce leaves, you'll know it. But not many people have done that, I'm sure. Gives a summery feel, but a good winter warming. It's a unique beer to me.

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Photo of WilliamD
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pilsner glass, if that's okay.
Looks nice- amber color with some white bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Thin, cream-colored head that quickly dissipates and recedes to the edge of the glass.
Smells of sour bread, perhaps some stomach juice as well. I know I've smelled something akin to that aroma at the end of a rough night in my early twenties. But still I drink on...
Well, the taste is not so bad, though a bit unbalanced. An interesting, spicy taste from what I deduce must be the spruce tips. Not quite what I expected, though. Heavy, low-flying malt flavor. Biscuit notes as well.
Mouthfeel is okay- slightly sticky and oily.
Drinkability is decent. If I had another bottle of this, I would not crack it open tonight. I'd try something else. And I will.
I was enticed by the description of the beer being spiked with spruce tips enticed me. My presumption was more something along the line of an IPA, as I expected a more up-front pine taste. While I could detect the spruce, I thought the malt was slightly overbearing. Overall, I thought it was a tasty beer.

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Photo of drpimento
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Interesting beer brought in for us to taste by friend Paul Beck. Poured with a nice head and good lace. Slightly hazy medium dark amber in color. Nose is very subtly spicy. Flavor on the other hand is WAY sprucey. and other spices and malt. Some bitterness. And sweetness. Funny flavor in the background. Ok beer. Not great. Not a session beer.

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Photo of Zorro
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear red ale with a small tan colored head.

Spicy and faintly sour smelling beer. Clear scent of spruce with a gin after scent. A bit of vanilla and juniper berry scent appear after you let this warm a bit.

The taste starts out malty with a strong flavor of spruce and vanilla with a bit of a bitter bite in the aftertaste. Little bit of a mildew aftertaste that to me tastes a little like dirt. Faint sour taste to this, possibly vitamin C.

Mouthfeel is light.

Something of a novelty beer here, can't see me buying this again. Really think this is more of a Sahti than a strong ale.

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Photo of optiontwo
3.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

22oz. poured into hefeweizen glass

Appearance: Dark ruby/orange with a one inch white head that quickly dissipated.

Smell: Nothing jumps right out but with a few deep whiffs I can detect the spruce, but just barely, along with sweet malt smell.

Taste: Right away there's a sweet juiciness to it and the spruce flavor is in the background, almost too far in the background. I thought that this was going to be a lot stronger tasting. It tastes good, just caught me off guard. It starts sweet, gives you a twinge of the spruce, and then ends tart not bitter. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good, very smooth, but I think I'd enjoy a little more carbonation.

Drinkability: I'm not having a problem with this going down at all. Not heavy, not overbearing, and smooth.

Overall: I was definitely curious about this beer when I saw it in the bottom of the cooler next to a bomber of Budweiser American ale. I've never had anything from Steamworks but heard their double IPA was something I have to try although now I can't find it. Anyway, I'm enjoying this brew but I probably won't buy it again. I was hoping for something slightly more extreme. I would recommend giving a shot though.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By Date March 2008; Sampled April 2008
Pours with a frothy, initially two-finger thick, tan colored head that sits on top of a full, red-amber colored beer. When held up to the light the beer shows a deeply red stained, bright copper hue. The aroma has that characteristic, sweet citrus note from young spruce tips; candied orange peel, meets candied peaches, lychee syrup, and concentrated sweet apricot notes are all quite noticeable. Really it seems that the sweet peach notes are the biggest part of the aroma. As the beer warms it picks up some warming alcohol aromatics that make this seem a bit like peach schnapps.

Sweet tasting with a solid peach fruitiness. Up front notes of orange zest and candied grapefruit peel provide a touch of citrus-like bitterness, the peach / apricot flavors are found throughout though and are really unmistakable. The malt character here really plays a supporting role, it is not overly noticeable on its own, but certainly contributes to the sweetness that offsets the spruce tips so nicely. The malt also provides a nice, lightly chewy body, a sort of buttery mouthfeel and just enough heft to carry the spruce tips quite well. The fruit character somehow picks up a bit of mintiness towards the finish, not the actual flavor of mint, but the fruit flavor here somehow has the feel of mint, if that makes any sense at all.

This is a really nice showcase for spruce tips, sure it is a bit one dimensional, but I look at this as an IPA with spruce tips instead of hops. I am really enjoying the flavors of this beer. This is like a more strongly flavored version of Alaskan's Winter Ale, which I quite enjoy. This is easily the best beer I have had from this brewery, and given that I was expecting so little from this beer, I have been quite pleasantly surprised. Given the overly low scores this beer has received, I wonder if my slightly past date bottle has mellowed into a tasty beer; either way I am enjoying this beer.

Purchased; BevMo, Tucson AZ

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Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent orange/caramel with 1/2" of sand colored head. Minimal lacing & even less head retention

S: Pine, evergreen, vanilla, & charred candy sugar

T: Toffee, a bit of leafy hop & dryness up front, along with some boozey warmth. A hint of vanilla, oak, mint, dates, apricots & evergreen as this warms. Finishes tart with hints of cherry, caramel, more dryness, pecans, slight cinnamon & spruce notes
( nicely restrained throughout).

MF: Medium bodied, a bit sticky with low carbonation

Drinks alright, just needs more body to balance at the flavors out, seems at least 7% abv to me. Worth a shot during the cold weather season

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3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is amber in body with more notes of red then brown topped by a thin bubbly head that fades fast to nothing but a trace.
Beer has very little visible carbonation in the glass.

Smell is full and loaded of spruce, slight hops, citrus, and is mellowed by a subtle sweetness.

Taste is full flooded spruce and pine. Floral and citrus flow in and out with little hops to speak of. Very open and airy. This has a very happy feel and for a holiday seasonal that's a good thing.

Mouthfeel is full and wet. Not too much carbonation and heavy mellow flow. You definitely know this beer hits your tongue. All in all I don't think I could drink a lot of it ... but I can drink it. Good happy interesting beer.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased at Wilbur's Liquors in Ft Collins.

This one pours from 22oz bottle(best by March 07) a clear amber with a small head of foam that shrinks quickly and theres' just some spotty foam and almost no lacing.

The smell hits my nose with spruce and some spiciness.

The taste has big spruce notes up front with some sweet caramel malt and spice...I'm getting cinnamon flavours galore.

Further sips in and there's some earthy flavour coming through along with a touch of alcohol. The aftertaste is pretty spicy, again cinnamon, and overall, the flavours don't seem to work particulary well with each other. I think I'll let it warm up a bit as I had this one in the fridge.

Well, I let it warm up and I can't say I notice any improvement. Too bad. I won't seek this one out again.

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Photo of benito
3.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From a bomber at Liquor Mart in Boulder.

A: Ruby with a fizzy head that dissipates quickly leaving only a ring of lace around the glass. Carbonation is light.

S: Strong alcohol. After swirling the glass with good force, I get hints of fruit and earth, and very light spruce. Given the spicing of this beer (according to the label), I'm left to wonder where it is.

T: Good mix of cinnamon and other spices. The spruce finish is very light--like a replacement for the hops rather than a spice that dominates the beer. Unfortunately, the strong spice flavors from the start don't mesh well with the sprucy finish.

M: Good medium body with a smooth feel throughout.

D: Good.

Overall, this is an interesting but slightly disappointing attempt at a strong herbed ale. I wonder if spruce works better (and more efficiently) with lighter styles?

NB: This improves at room temperatures, to let warm or be even more disappointed!

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Spruce Goose from Steamworks Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.