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Imperial Spruce India Pilsner - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Spruce India PilsnerImperial Spruce India Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

344 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 344
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 18.32%
Wants: 114
Gots: 39 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  7.15% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
Original batch (from Imperial Series--750 ml bottles) was 10% abv. New, 2010, 12 oz. bottles are 7.15% abv.

(Beer added by: hoppymeal on 06-30-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 344 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GordonQuid:
Photo of GordonQuid
GordonQuid

Michigan

4.85/5  rDev +23.4%

From bottle to an english pub mug.

Clear golden with a huge two inch head and nice thick lace.

Smells lick a pine forrest and/or being slapped in the face with a pine tree branch and a bag of car air freshner's.

Taste is a smooth blend of high alpha piney and citrus hops with a nice melding of malts and honey.

Freakin' smooth as all hell a real hop lovers delight.

Delisiously quaffable at 10%, ouch!

08-03-2010 13:59:44 | More by GordonQuid
More User Reviews:
Photo of Eric1Mess
Eric1Mess

Michigan

5/5  rDev +27.2%

Keeping this short and sweet. Best beer I've ever tasted so far...

08-21-2014 20:29:47 | More by Eric1Mess
Photo of DanGeo
DanGeo

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

05-17-2014 10:54:01 | More by DanGeo
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.54/5  rDev -9.9%

No longer "Imperial Spruce India Pilsner", rather the 2013 release is simply "Spruce Pilsner". It's murky, and pours with a shade just pale of true-gold; the bright, yellow edges hold up a soapy and foamy white head that takes a minute or so to recede to a swampy skin. Some drippy, wet lacing is posted up on the glass as the head finds its way downward.

You can't even get your face within a few feet of the glass without getting a swift kick in the head face from copious amounts of spruce tips. Pines, pines, pines, spruce, spruce, spruce. This shit is dank as hell, dripping with wet and resinous pine needles; an over the top amount that comes out swinging like it just ripped the straight-jacket off.

Despite the maniacal, borderline masochistic amounts of spruce in the aroma, a teeny-tiny bit of cracker and biscuit malt can be found underneath if you dig your nose deep enough. It gives just the smallest amount of finishing sweetness to the back-end aroma - pretty much the only thing resembling any type of balance in this brew so far.

I think there's no surprise from the aroma how this one's gonna taste. One sip and a massive wave of spruce tips and pine needles bludgeon your palate to death, beating your taste buds senseless and leaving your uvula gasping for hydration. It carries a palate engulfing bitterness with it; the kind that shocks your senses for a brief moment.

Just like in the aroma, some moderately sweet cracker malt can be found if you search for it, and it gets a little easier as the brew warms up. However the indirect pungency of the liquid Christmas tree you hold in front of you can never truly be washed aside. I hope you like pine, I hope you like resin, I hope you like enamel-peeling bitterness.

Medium-thick bodied, with a largely oily, resinous, and almost sticky mouth feel with medium carbonation. A harshly bitter finish that could wake up a corpse. Jesus, this stuff is pretty damn intense. It's a very polarizing brew, and now I can see why. I understand why some people may dig this stuff... Me? I thought it was alright, but nothing to rave about. Hard to drink in quantity.

07-23-2013 16:14:58 | More by tectactoe
Photo of TCHopCraver
TCHopCraver

Michigan

3.83/5  rDev -2.5%

Reviewed from notes on 8-1-10.

A: Pours a fairly dark gold into a standard pint glass. A pure white, 1 finger head fades and leaves a popped-up film on top of the beer. Carbonation bubbles move at a medium pace. The lacing has a fun, Japanese character-like appearance to it.

S: Holy spruce, Batman! That is mostly what I detect from the aroma. It's like sticking my head up the hollowed out trunk of a Christmas tree and taking a huge whiff. I smell a faint aroma of citrus hops to complement the spruce, along with a certain green herbal component.

T: This is certainly unlike any Pilsner I have ever tasted. The spruce is much better balanced in the taste by nice, big citrus hops than it was in the smell. The bittering hops provide a crisp, clean, bitter finish to the end of the sip.

M: This MF is definitely on the full side for a Pilsner with a hefty hop hubris that dries the palate out completely at the end of each sip.

D: I think this is more of a once in awhile experience for me. The spruce flavor is an inventive novelty, especially in a lager, but I don't think this would be a regular in my beer drinking lineup.

08-02-2010 22:48:51 | More by TCHopCraver
Photo of hotglassmama
hotglassmama

Michigan

5/5  rDev +27.2%

11-30-2011 03:49:38 | More by hotglassmama
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

A generous dose of high alpha hops was not enough for Short's Brewing so they had to resort to using blue spruce needles to kick it up a notch. Oddly, this might be the new trend if hop prices become too excessive.

The clear orangey golden color displays a very active carbonation as tin bubbles stream to the top. The head is quite amazing with an excellent retention and rings of lace are left after each sip. Whoa! Massive, in-your-face aroma with a sharp crest of spruce and deep undercurrent of pungent hops. Slick and smooth, full body with a solid carbonation. Big mouthful of spruce to start, the taste buds try and beg for mercy but the spruce character weighs heavy until the hops come in for a few licks. Bitterness is not subtle at all with a sharpness that is strong enough to cut through the spruce flavor from middle to end. The alcohol lands right in the middle with a noticeable warmth but never becomes hot; malt flavors toss up biscuity flavors and a touch of sweetness. The finish is cleaner than we thought it was going to be with a lingering hop bitterness and spruce on the breath.

Definitive proof that Short's Brewing knows what extreme beer is all about. No pussyfooting here, taste and learn because this one is the real thing. Without a doubt the combo of spruce and hops within a big lager works.

08-01-2010 14:03:12 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +11.5%

750ml bottle. #249 of 886.

Pours from the bottle a deep golden orange color that's somewhat hazy. There's a nice inch of creamy white head atop the brew that leaves spotty lacing as it falls. Aromas begin with a nice melding of citrusy, herbal tones along with a grainy, somewhat sweet biscuit malt undertone. This is all enveloped in huge resinous blue spruce pine needle goodness. Really bright in the nose and more so than I have ever experienced in any beverage.

First sip brings the sweet biscuit/pilsner malts upfront, but it quickly makes way for the bold, resinous blue spruce flavor. It's incredibly vibrant and deep. The card attached states they waited until the last minute to harvest the spruce to get the most resin and sap out of it, and it shows! Citrusy, herbal hops mill around as it flows down as well with a nice earthy character overall. Bitterness is there throughout. Really tasty stuff.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a medium body that makes for a really solid drinking experience. Good carbonation at work here as well. Overall, an incredibly unique brew that ended up being very tasty and unlike any other I have had. I shared this and I think a whole bottle might be much, but hey it's always better to share anyways! I wish I had another of these cause I keep thinking about it. Cheers to Short's!

04-29-2008 23:11:50 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of nickadams2
nickadams2

New York

4.47/5  rDev +13.7%

A_Pale transparent gold with a half inch bone white head. Moderate lacing.

S_Heavy pine and hops.

T_Sweet pine up front. Honey and grassy hops. Bold piny, resiny hop profile.

M_Thin but nice body.Dry finish.

D_Great summertime beer. Ridiculously drinkable for the abv. Very refreshing.

07-24-2010 02:51:35 | More by nickadams2
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +10.7%

A - Pours a clear straw/golden brown. Moderately vigorous pour yields only one finger of head. Lots of sticky lacing.

S - Huge resinous spruce and pine with a strong presence of grapefruit as well.

T - Slightly astringent taste with massive spruce/pine bitterness. I'm really enjoying it. Grapefruit hops eventually come through. Leaves a long lasting bitter finish.

M - Oily, resinous mouthfeel coats the palate. The bitterness on the tongue seems to last for hours. Intense but good.

O - This is a very good offering from Short's. The strong bitterness may not be for everyone, but I really enjoyed it.

07-26-2011 02:42:59 | More by warnerry
Photo of mikejonze
mikejonze

Michigan

2.5/5  rDev -36.4%

08-15-2014 13:59:18 | More by mikejonze
Photo of jaminjohnson
jaminjohnson

Yukon (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

08-08-2013 10:09:40 | More by jaminjohnson
Photo of mjtiernan
mjtiernan

New York

4/5  rDev +1.8%

11-15-2011 05:14:26 | More by mjtiernan
Photo of mikerap100
mikerap100

Michigan

5/5  rDev +27.2%

06-23-2014 07:04:59 | More by mikerap100
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%

Had this thanks to gford217 - thanks!

Pours a copper-amber color with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates slowly into a thin pancake on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of robust pilsener malts with good amounts of pine hop flavors and a touch of bitterness and alcohol.

Tastes better than it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front are joined almost immediately by pine flavors, and not pine hop flavors but straight off the tree pine needle flavors. However, somehow the pine manages not to overpower and carries through until a mildly bitter ending leaving a nice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. This isn't the tastiest DIPA I've ever had but I keep drinking it out of awe of the sheer amount of pine flavors.

Overall this is easily the piniest beer that I've had, and it surprised me by not being too over the top. Definitely worth a shot.

06-12-2009 23:49:41 | More by glid02
Photo of goast8127
goast8127

Michigan

5/5  rDev +27.2%

08-08-2014 02:52:49 | More by goast8127
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%

750ml brown bottle (197 of 886) poured into a snifter. Thanks to Hoppymeal for this great trade!

A: Pours like a pilsner with a stronger, hoppier head. Hold nicely and lends good lacing.

S: Tons of spruce needles and citrus. Lots of hop resins.

T/M: Hop bomb. More of the big spruce and pine with plenty of citrus. Alcohol is very present, a bit stinging and melds nicely with the spruce needles. Malts just to balance a bit. Body is pretty big with a chewy malt feel.

D: Not overly easy to drink but very interesting.

11-21-2008 22:22:17 | More by pwoods
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%

12-05-2011 00:27:59 | More by acurtis
Photo of Beerontwowheels
Beerontwowheels

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

07-20-2012 02:38:19 | More by Beerontwowheels
Photo of Dawkins
Dawkins

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -23.7%

10-08-2013 22:37:57 | More by Dawkins
Photo of king75
king75

Michigan

4/5  rDev +1.8%

A- This one is a medium to dark gold in appearance with about a solid inch of off colored foam head that sticks around with plenty of lacing.

S- This one smells strongly of pine needles, a slight hint of hops, and a slight hint of grape fruit.

TM- This one is really bitter and has a bite all the way through. The pine needle taste is overwhelmingly the dominant flavor, with hops and citrus nodes making an appearance throughout as well. This one leaves the palate feeling extremely tangy and dry.

Overall, this is a hophead or spruce lovers dream! Very memorable and unique enough that one is not quick to forget it. Overall, a very solid beer and very indicative of the style.

07-23-2011 23:40:25 | More by king75
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%

Bottle from the brewery. Tremendous aroma from the tips of the tree, I enjoyed this forest. Grapefruit body with white lasting head. Carbonation there and helps drinkability, which is easy. Taste is piney,juicy, a bit of citrus. Saaz hops? ABove average mouthfeel.

08-20-2009 03:58:13 | More by Sammy
Photo of danp14
danp14

Michigan

2.5/5  rDev -36.4%

07-18-2012 14:29:00 | More by danp14
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%

on-tap, Brickhouse - Madison

from notes

appearance: served in a shaker pint, bright hazed golden body, light filmy white cap

smell: spruce tips, floral citrus hops, pilsner malts. unique and potent

taste: ive had this a few times at festivals in the past and have always enjoyed - the spruce tips really make drinking this beer a cathartic experience that places your palate deep in the forest - green and fresh, earthy and organic, hoppy yet still traceable back to the pilsner malts. Nice.

mouthfeel: fresh and clean, medium-light body

overall: very nice

08-16-2011 23:47:40 | More by dirtylou
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%

Spruce Pilnser pours a straw color. It’s very hazy and looks a bit more yellow when held to light. A white head caps it off. It’s rather modest, rising to less than a finger in height. It’s also quick to dissipate to a surface covering. It held there for a bit. Lacing was on the lighter side.

The nose is alright. It could use a little more strength, but isn’t bad. It kicks off with a scent that’s very similar to pine. Must be the spruce. Not bad. Hops are noted and have a citrus lemon scent. Smells like pine too, but that might still be the spruce. Can’t tell. Smells a little malty and a bit sweet. Alcohol is blended very well and isn’t all that noticeable. Pretty good. Just needs more strength.

The flavor is interesting. I’m on the fence. It definitely has a strong, distinct spruce flavor to it. It does tasty a bit like pine. Pilsner malt is definitely noticeable and actually acts as a really nice backdrop. Tastes a tad sweet. Hops are rather strong in the mix. They feature citrus flavors of grapefruit, lemon, and pineapple. It’s definitely bitter and a bit dry. Maybe some pine, as well? Alcohol is a little noticeable, but doesn’t come through as strong. Finishes sprucey and a little bitter. I’ve now made up mind – this is good stuff.

Spruce Pilsner has a medium. Carbonation feels light and soft. It is nice and smooth. It definitely goes down easy. The spruce flavor grows a tad tiresome. I like the 12 oz. bottle serving size. Good call there.

Short’s Brewing Company has a knack for blazing trails. Spruce Pilsner is definitely a unique, trailblazing beer. How is it? Good. Personally, the spruce aspect seems a tad old by the end of the bottle. But, it does work well with the pilsner malt and strong hop flavors. Definitely worth checking out if you have the opportunity.

10-02-2011 03:19:45 | More by prototypic
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Imperial Spruce India Pilsner from Short's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 344 ratings.