1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

346 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 346
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 18.32%
Wants: 115
Gots: 41 | FT: 4
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Spruce India Pilsner Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 346 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
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 t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

01-05-2013 04:07:43 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%

11-14-2011 20:21:46 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +13.7%

Huge, huge thanks to jale for giving me this bottle just because. Thanks again!

Pours a slightly-hazed golden-orange color with a good white head with mild retention time and a slight collar on the way down. The nose is incredible with ginormous amounts of heavy spruce and pine. Really quite awesome. The taste follows down the same path. Not sure how else to describe this other than to say that the spruce character is nearly overwhelming and I absolutely love it. Bitter and resinous, the mouthfeel is killer. I could drink this until my mouth completely dried out. Delicious.

01-04-2011 02:22:14 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

10-15-2013 16:50:53 | More by nmann08
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a huge head that retains beautifully and leaves a lot of lace around the pilsner glass

Smell: Clearly some fruity hops are in there to balance out the spruce, but this is one spryly aromatic beer; as you consume this beer, the aroma will clear out your sinuses

Taste: From the outset, the piney flavor joins the fruit and then just smashes it to smithereens, becoming both medicinal and minty by mid-palate; after the swallow, if you can imagine it, the flavors kick up another notch, although the underlying sweetness of the pilsner malt finally makes its presence felt

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth from the alcohol

Drinkability: A fascinating experiment, and I do like it, although only in small quantities, I have to admit

Thanks, hoppymeal, for another opportunity to sample beer from this amazing brewery

11-16-2008 22:01:14 | More by brentk56
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

07-19-2014 07:08:37 | More by zestar
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%

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

South Carolina

2.4/5  rDev -38.9%

Another in the imperial series I decided to open up last night. This one I was rather waiting for to be honest as I have had poor luck with spruce in general, but alas here we go, what a mess. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 06/04/2009.
The pour was the best part, crystal clear amber with a nice head of white on top that only barely settled down as the night went on. Amazing clear copper color though. The aroma as well, loaded down with spruce and piney like aromas had a decent malt balance to it that gave it a thick, yet not overwhelming profile. Then I took a sip. Then I gagged. Wow, talk about overkill here. It was spruce alright, like drinking the water in my tree stand. Way too harsh and obnoxious here, almost no balance to it at all, it was just harsh, harsh spruce tip and car air freshener like taste. Wow. Light body and the alcohol was hidden well but this was just flat out undrinkable. Very rarely could I ever say that, but this was undrinkable.
Overall would have been better served by being toned down a good bit, but it was just way overboard. Sometimes you don't need to go soo big with things,

06-05-2009 18:20:56 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.1/5  rDev -21.1%

Thanks to Steve for sending me this one.

A: The beer pours a slightly cloudy golden orange color with a finger of white head.

S: Intense floral and herbal hop aroma with lots and lots of spruce notes. An almost lemon pine sol sort of smell to it. Candied lemon peel and a bit of sweet malt.

T: Tastes almost completely of spruce and pine needles. Very lemony as well. Quite a bit of woody, maybe a little bit of fruit, too. Some sweet malt and a lot of savory flavors, too.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Just way too much spruce flavor for me.

10-08-2011 20:42:31 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

2/5  rDev -49.1%

08-18-2013 00:49:15 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

01-14-2014 04:29:45 | More by jaydoc
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%

This poured out as a slightly hazy yellow color, the head was white. The retention fades and doesn't leave much lacing. The smell of the beer is spruce, big time herbal spruce aromas... Very pungent. The taste is also very much full of spruce but it's also nicely balanced. The spruce is huge upfront then settles into a nice dry bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is clean and crisp, very drinkable. Overall pretty damn impressive. It's got a ton of spruce flavors so if you're up for it give it a try. Very nice brew.

11-04-2012 20:04:02 | More by Knapp85
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4/5  rDev +1.8%

Thanks to beertooth for busting out this one...review from notes.

Poured a glimmering hazed gold. Sweet sticky alpha hop aroma, spruce, high quality caramel. Pretty wild that this still has so much aroma 2 years down the road. Sticky, resiny sweet with a building herbal spruce or spearmint flavor that culminates in a long bitter finish. Body is thick and robust for a Pilsner, there's a spicy tingle on the finish, that must be what chewing on spruce needles tastes like. Overall good in small doses, definitely a fine example of creative brewing.

06-13-2009 18:53:46 | More by emerge077
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

1.5/5  rDev -61.8%

08-05-2013 01:22:29 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%

12 oz bottle into a Pils glass. Thanks go to splax23 for a couple of these in trade.

Pours a clear gold, with at least 3 fingers of rich bright-white foamy head. This shrinks down considerably but still holds tight with a ¾ finger dollop of creamy froth, which leaves some thick rings of lacing down the sides of the glass. Wow, the aroma is spruce tips all the way! Kind of like a fresh and floral forest scent that is only strengthened by the piney nature of the hops. There is also a sharp and leafy earthiness to this that is maybe even a little bit dank as well. The Pils malts still have a good presence themselves though here, with a stiff bready sweetness that fills out the back of the nose.

This taste just like it smells and if you've ever wondered what a handful of spruce needles tastes like, here's your chance. The needles and hops combine to give this a VERY resinous, earthy, and green citric bitterness that bites hard. The malts do a good job here though, imparting a grainy splash of grainy bready sweetness helps cut the bitterness some. Man that piney bitterness REALLY lingers aggressively on the tongue. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a solidly crisp smoothness to it that is in thanks in part to the hoppy oily slickness that helps ease some of the harsher aspects of the bitterness here. I'm detecting no alcohol here whatsoever for an over 7% beer. This just has a great overall feel to it and I'm glad that they decided to tone the ABV down some.

While I personally liked this, I could definitely see how some might not. I will say that the boldness of the profile does subside some as this warms up, leaving behind a lot of flavor but with less bitterness than when this first starts out. The crisp killer body on this ultimately really makes this though, keeping everything together and in check. This was my first experience with a spruce tip beer and I really dug it.

09-23-2010 16:48:18 | More by Kegatron
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.48/5  rDev -11.5%

Bottle shared by Thorpe recently, this was not easy for me to drink, it is a liquid tree. I did not like it as much as others.

Beer is yellow and hazy with a nice head of small and medium bubbles, some lacing, interesting.

Aroma is spruce...like pine extract...super strong.

Beer is too dry, too high in alcohol, and too....much like a tree. I do get everything you'd expect from licking a tree including wood and spruce needles, it's just way too much for me. Congratulations, it's a tree, you've done it.

01-04-2011 18:55:25 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%

thanks to akorsak for sharing this, this was the 12oz version.

The beer is deep golden like apple juice with great clarity and thick cream cap, carbonation is visible and lace sticks haphazardly. The smell is both vegetal and pungent like a fresh cut spruce bough, the hops seem to come through as more vegetal/herbal but the spruce really is the main aroma drowning out most of the malt aroma. The feel is smooth and spicy with slight hop bitterness which turns to a sharp prickly acidic spicy texture as it goes down.

The Flavor is intriguing to me, it tastes as you might expect with some bitterness present from the hops with slight citrus edge, but mild in relation to the deep woody and almost tannic sharp acidic and earthy pine-like taste that comes forward in the peripheral and lasts into the finish with only a mild amount of pilsner malt light cracker elements. Overall I found this to live up to the name, it was woody but not so astringent that it was undrinkable. I found the feel to be not very pilsner-like, but that really isn't the point of this. The spruce is conveyed in the taste more than any other spiced or other flavored beer and still compliments the base beer very well.

11-06-2011 21:07:28 | More by Slatetank
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.74/5  rDev -4.8%

Careful pour prevents the sediment from going and yields a very light fizzy head that dissipates very quickly, crystal clear watery barely banana yellow color.

Nose is a little weird, starts with a light booze and esters with a big almost double Belgian blond like, light phenols almost, a light pine spruce tree sap like, and a weird musty almost arm pit like.

Taste starts with a bitter pine sap, and turns quickly to an icky dirt taste, like pure soil, acidic soil that came from under a pine tree. Definite spruce tip flavor, followed by big resinous astringent bitterness as well as spicy earthy hops. Underneath that is a bit of blond malts, sweet and slightly estery, maybe even phenols. Finish is a long bitter pine sap spruce tip flavor, nagging bitterness and a bit astringent, some spicy chewy hops too, and still a bit sweet and sticky.

Mouth is med bodied, lighter carb.

Overall a very unique beer. It wants to be that beer that reminds me of walking and chewing on the forest spruce lined sap and soil covered earth. However, they seem to have added extra earthy spicy chewy hops on top of it which was not needed and brings it down. It is bitter and astringent, earthy soil flavored, and malts and yeast at least bring nice Belgian blond flavors, esters and hint of phenols even which accent the spruce nicely.

01-10-2013 20:59:27 | More by jlindros
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.28/5  rDev -16.5%

I had this on-tap at the brewpub. Poured into a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a half finger of off white head. There is some really great looking lacing.

Smell: Mildly sweet malt with a hint of pine tree and some herbal notes. Pretty mild overall.

Taste: Initially mild, some malt and a strong pine taste. The finish is a bit earthy and a bit like chewing grapefruit rind rubbed on a christmas tree.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: Way too bitter in the finish killing all the other flavors. Otherwise I thought this beer was quite nice and very interesting.

09-09-2011 00:01:35 | More by oline73
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

3/5  rDev -23.7%

12-13-2013 02:08:30 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev +1.8%

01-20-2012 23:36:58 | More by imperialking
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -7.6%

Thanks to hopdog for sharing this bottle(#25/886)...
Appears a hazy, light gold with a small white cap that fades into a mild head. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of spruce, pine needles, tree sap, and heavy citrus...very odd but enticing.
Taste is of weird flavors with notes of sap, funk, strange spicing, and even notes of ginger.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sweet up front, & yeasty spice.

03-19-2008 03:49:47 | More by weeare138
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -7.1%

Review from notes taken 1/13/10. Bottle I believe care of goryshkewych, thanks!

Poured into a sniffer, this brew appears a perfectly clear golden yellow color with a finger of fizzy white head that quickly recedes. It leaves lacework on the glass that is a bit leggy.

The aroma of this brew is hoppy with lemon scents, a bit earthy and is strikingly reminescent of a holiday wreath. A big, bold scent of spruce sits overtop a light amount of fruity esters which seems a bit out of place for the style but overall is enjoyable in that Short's different kind of way.

The taste of this brew is herbal with lemon and quite a bold, oily and resinous feel. The spruce is not subtle at all, it is very bold, bitter and lasting. Somewhat grassy in flavor to an extent as it warms, this brew is significantly more bitter than expected with a lasting spruce taste inside the mouth.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The spruce brings out a lemon and oily bitterness which is very bold. Certainly not your typical pilsner, this brew was a little rough going down. Interesting take on the style and certainly something different that is worth a try.

01-20-2011 14:51:41 | More by stakem
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.7/5  rDev +19.6%

Shared very graciously by gford217 at the Brick Store Pub awhile ago. I'm fascinated by these Short's beers, and especially by this one. I happen to be a fan of that spruce flavor, and I strongly suspect that more than a few batches of spruce beers were made by the early settlers. If you like gin, you'll probably love this beer as its got that same strong piney aroma and taste- but sharper and sappier, that gin gets from juniper. Pours a hazy golden with a thin wispy head. Not too bad for a beer this strong that's been around for a while. Smells strongly of spruce and juniper, like a northern forest on a warm day, and with undercurrents of candi sugar. The taste once again spotlights the spruce with the sappy snap of pine ringing out against just enough malt to provide a nice framework for the spruce. You may or may not care for this, but for what it is I think it is perfect and very nicely balanced- this is clearly still beer, and not a spruce eau de vie. Smooth and piney, but not sticky or sappy or too bitter in the mouthfeel. Extremely interesting beer and well crafted from this most exciting brewery. Thanks a bunch, Grant. I'd been wanting to try this for a long time.

07-28-2009 00:01:46 | More by Georgiabeer
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Imperial Spruce India Pilsner from Short's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.