Imperial Spruce India Pilsner - Short's Brewing Company
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Ratings: 348 | Reviews: 145 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Jdiddy:
4.38/5 rDev +11.2%
This really is like a hoppy, christmas tree. The scent and the taste is just like a Christmas tree, but alas, it works! Such a great combo and I had this a few months after release and still tasted fresh. Imagine the pine aspect of hops kicked in by 100%. Awesome beer.
11-19-2010 02:11:31 | More by Jdiddy
More User Reviews:
3.54/5 rDev -10.2%
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
3.83/5 rDev -2.8%
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
4.5/5 rDev +14.2%
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
4.38/5 rDev +11.2%
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
4.47/5 rDev +13.5%
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
4.35/5 rDev +10.4%
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
4.33/5 rDev +9.9%
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
4.08/5 rDev +3.6%
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
4/5 rDev +1.5%
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
4.13/5 rDev +4.8%
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
4.33/5 rDev +9.9%
on-tap, Brickhouse - Madison
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
Imperial Spruce India Pilsner from Short's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 348 ratings.