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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

312 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 312
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 18.88%
Wants: 114
Gots: 27 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Spruce India Pilsner Alström Bros
Ratings: 312 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of irishkyle21
irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good head and retention after a number of drinks. Spruce has a hazy golden color, all in all this beer looks great.

Smells like there is a ton of spruce mixed with some hops. It reminds me of a cats litter box that hasn't been cleaned.

Tastes just like it smells only stronger. Lots of bitterness, pine sap and more pine on top of that. This is a really unique beer but not something I would choose to have more than one or two in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2010 08:42:17 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of malty
malty

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 12 oz. bottle just reads 'Spruce Pilsner'...doesn't have the 'Imperial' in the title. In the descriptor it does say, 'Imperial Pilsner brewed with...' So I'm guessing it's the same beer, just a label update? Can't find their date stamp on it either.

Force poured into a stemmed Ayinger tulip glass. A clear yellowed golden with no real uprising carbonation to speak of. The very light beige loose head settles to 1/2". Handsome chunky rings of lace all the way down.

A few swirls of my glass produces a very, very, very fresh aroma pine needles and mint. Underneath this glorious fragrant bouquet lies some clean pale malts. The pine steals the show in grand fashion though.

Wow! Pine, basil and hearty hops galore! If you're into herbs, spices, hops, gardening, flowers, mulch or basically anything outdors - this one's for you. My palate is totally rocked by this fascinating flavor excursion to which there is no GPS coordinates. The pilsner base is clean and crisp. The hops are dry and prickly, and cut through quite nicely. The 10% ABV is masterfully hidden in al aspects.

Mouthfeel is heavier than light bodied and is oily. The carbonation is medium and at a perfect moderate level. The pine and herbal hopiness goes on for days.

Drinkability is very good. This beer was meant to be paired with food IMHO.

Overall a sensory overload of a lager. I'd LOVE to pair this with some spicy Thai food and/or a zesty herb-laden pizza. Since I've got 5 more bottles, I'm definitely going to be on a food pairing quest to showcase all of this beer's qualities. Leave it to Short's to blow my mind (once again)!

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 00:44:26 | More by malty
Photo of coldmeat23
coldmeat23

Oklahoma

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Pilsner Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees, fridge chilled for approx 20 minutes
BOTTLE #499 of 866
Thanks to Popkas for this one!

This one pours a clear, golden, amber color. A mild pour produces a creamy, white, head that appears to be around three-fingers high. As it crests the rim of the glass though, it keeps going, almost with new life and overflows at least a good swallow or two. Nicely active, even after three years in the cellar. The retention is very good and the lacing is sticky and plentiful.
Impressive appearance.

I had a sample (about 3oz.) of this one at about one-year old. I can say that the nose has definitely subsided abit, but is still quite inviting.
The spruce notes are still here and there is a nice piney hops presence, though the hops have faded somewhat. There is a nice, bready, yeasty quality here, that I don't have in my previous notes. A light maltiness is still detected, although it's a little easier to find than it was two years ago.

The malt and yeast notes hit your palate first, in a big way. This only lasts far about a second or so, though. Then you get slaughtered by big notes of pine sap, grapefruit peel, and a big burst of spruce flavor. The next taste is almost exactly the same.
You get a sweet taste that's followed by a drying effect, that sucks in your cheeks and makes you want another sip, so that you can get a little bit more of that sweetness. This brings a moment of relief, then the bitterness kicks right back in and the cycle resumes.
Very tasty!

This is medium-bodied, yet has an underlying 'oily-thickness' that makes it seem more full than that. The carbonation level is medium, but is full of those teeny, tiny, little bubbles that make beers so much more creamy and delightful.

The 10.00%abv brings a slight sweetness and a warming touch with it. This is the part of this beer that will keep it from perfection, as far as drinkability. Other than that, it is very easy to consume and very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2010 21:01:49 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of DCDevilDancer
DCDevilDancer

District of Columbia

4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to scubarex for cellaring this gem for 2+ years! Really a perfectly executed, delightfully unique brew. I would say it has held up fine, but that would be a huge understatement. The Matthew Grockau hand combed Northern Michigan Blue Spruce and piney resinous hops have aged remarkably gracefully together.
Looks good, smells inviting..
On the tongue notes of a wonderfully pure, remote wet evergreen forest, with a clean bitter finish. Flavor waves going on for sure.. a spectrum of pine, spicy citrus, wet stones. Not sure to what degree it was ever there, but the "pilsner" element is gone, while remarkably still screaming IPA 2 1/2+ years after bottling!
Drinkability decreases a bit towards the end of the 750, even though I am sharing it with 2 others.
All in all, a real treat!

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 16:59:49 | More by DCDevilDancer
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A capped 750 mL bottle picked up at the brewpub during our summer Michigan tour.

A: The pilsner is a hazy golden straw color. The base of my tumbler radiates a bright orange hue. The pils is translucent, hazed without the accompanying sediment. A thick head, nearly three fingers of billowy foam, left plenty of dried lace behind.

S: The spruce really stands out in the nose, overpowering with a sweet needle syrup. Honey and excessive hops round out the nose. The aromas are very appetizing for being 2+ years old.

T: Pow! I've had hoppy beers that my wife refers to as tree-like, but this one takes the cake. The sweet, sappy flavors coat the palate, softening the impact of the excessive hops. The spruce is floral and intoxicatingly strong, a sappy blast of flavor that ends with mint. Caramel and pale malts are a support system for the spruce. Bold hops, or the remnants of those hops, still linger with a strong bitterness (if this is the hop profile after two years, I'd scared of what it originally tasted like). The beer has plenty of booze lingering around, mingling with the spruce. Pow!

M: The mouthfeel is arboreal, dripping with sweet minty spruce. I've had sahti, even Siletz's spruce ale but this takes the cake. Pow!

D: The pils is complex. That complexity, including the overpowering spruce flavor, makes finishing the bottle difficult. Pow!

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 01:49:26 | More by akorsak
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to jdubfl for bringing all the Short's beers in for a tasting.

A: Light somewhat cloudy golden yellow hue. Nice head that shows good retention and some lace.

S: Huge aroma of pine, and honey.

T: Holy hell. This one tastes of pine. Not the kind of pine you get from hops, but real pine sap. It's like sucking sap stright from a tree. Earthy, sappy, great. Unique.

M: On the fuller side of medium, sweet, chewey, full bodied.

D: Can't drink a ton of this one, but damn is it unique and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 00:24:58 | More by tpd975
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for bringing this back from MI for me. Shorts Brewing Company Limited Edition Release # 357 of 886. A capped 750ml bottle poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The lager appears a hazed golden amber color with a full two fingers of creamy off white head. Well, the aromas and flavors are certainly dominated by notes of resinous spruce sap and needles as well as pine, gin, caramel malt, grass, and grains. Moderately carbonated and nearly full bodied with a touch of alcohol as it warms. Overall, an intense dose of spruce. if you dig that flavor, enjoy the bottle alone. If not, this is a good one to share with friends.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2009 02:01:53 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Hazy golden copper with a thick white head. Head holds on fairly strong and leaves nice lace.

S-Whoa...for an almost 2 year old bottle the amount of spruce essence coming out of this one is impressive indeed! A nice touch of backing caramel sweetness give a feeble attempt at balance.

T-Amazingly intense spruce flavour, in fact hard to believe considering this beers age. I would be curious to see what this was like fresh! Some backing sweet caramel malt but it is very difficult to detect.

M-Medium bodied, VERY sharp with bitter spruce goodness that lasts and lasts!

D-Outstanding in it's flavour but this fact makes this one a bit tough to enjoy in mass quantities. I am glad I could share this bottle. I like the taste but it does become too much. Another brew from Short's that does not back away from the flavour line....but instead vaults on past it!

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2009 09:42:07 | More by Deuane
Photo of CoolJosh
CoolJosh

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 Ml split amongst Treyrab, ashherb17, and myself. Pours like a double IPA. I guess because of it's german designation, I would like more translucency. Haze-infused light brown body, with a creamy soft white head that reduces to a layer, leaving an abundance of lacing on the side.

The smell is spot on. Fresh spruce pine needles. Smells just like an evergreen tree, with light citrus notes that hide in the background. A nice malt sweetness lingers as well.

The taste is good, but overpowering. Tons of lilac and an overpowering malt sweetness that becomes overbearing after a few sips. Still very well executed as Short's captured the name perfectly. The hops are incredibly fresh, which makes this easier to throw down. Very creamy mouthfeel. Nicely done boys, keep crankin' out these off the wall beers!

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2009 01:05:24 | More by CoolJosh
Photo of treyrab
treyrab

California

3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Huge thanks goes to kbeals for this one. You are the man! Split tonight with JoshCool and poured into my snifter.

Disclaimer: I am really torn with this beer. The flavors are incredible, but...

A: Pours a nice, cloudy copper gold with a nice, solid one and a half finger white head. Completely opaque with orange, hazy goodness.

S: The smell is not mellow, yet not packed with aroma, but a solid middle ground. Nice and pine with a touch of good ol Christmas tree and some citrus.

T: This is where I am torn. The flavors taste like putting a handful of spruce needles in your mouth, and grinding the hell out of them with your teeth! Completely intense with spruce flavor, almost to the point where I can't taste beer, and only taste spruce needles. I really respect what they were trying to do, and they did is amazing, it's just that it is too much spruce flavor for me.

M: To hell with this, let's get to drinkablity.

D: I am more than pumped I tried this, but the drinkability is rather low as the spruce flavor is overpowering.

Overall, this is an incredible beer. Like nothing else I have ever tried or imagined, but it is so off the wall, that this is a one-and-done for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2009 00:51:47 | More by treyrab
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 00:01:46 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this brew in a trade with OHLRangers some time ago. I've heard a lot about this brew and how intense it is. I'm scared to drink it alone but I'm gonna do it anyways. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute.

Imperial Spruce India Pilsner
Date Brewed: 4/30/07
Batch No: 302
Date Bottled: 5/29&30/07
Non Traditional Ingredients: Northern Michigan Blue Spruce
Imperial Beer 13 of 13
Bottle Number 308 of 886

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear yellowish orange with a giant two finger bright white head that never really recedes. A great cap and collar remain the entire beer leaving some thick lacing that really sticks well.
Smell- Wow right away this brew reminds me of the Short's The Curl. Some bits of citrusy hops perfume the glass wonderfully. The spruce is noticeable but definitely not over-the-top. A slightly grainy maltiness hides in the background adding just a touch of sweetness.
Taste- Wow, definitely a pretty intense beer but not as crazy as I was expecting. Very fruity at times with hints of peaches and pears. The spruce is nice and definitely the focal point of the beer but its most definitely within balance. Some cotton candy and bubblegum like aspects as well but for the most part the malt is drowned out by the spruce and hops. The finishes lingeringly bitter with a bit of raw spruce.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with very crisp carbonation that is almost a deterrent at times.
Drinkability- This beer reminds me a lot of the Orbitz Mint Mango gum. My buddy was saying that the spruce is intense, which it is, but I don't think it's exceedingly over the top. This is an extremely unique beer that I really enjoyed. I probably couldn't drink this too often, but I did enjoy the hell out of it. Thanks Ed!

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2009 21:02:23 | More by younger35
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Randy for passing along this rarity, bottle #466, shared with the usual suspects at the Brick Store.

Pours a light clear golden amber with a creamy off-white head that recedes to a collar pretty quickly and leaves very little lacing.

The aroma is seriously fragrant and jumped out of the bottle. It's dominated by the spruce and pine with some grassy notes and only a hint of the underlying malts. Plenty of similarities to this aroma and that of gin.

The taste is even more intense. I have to imagine this is the closest I'll get to drinking straight spruce sap. There is some juniper and grassy hops as well, but the hops have faded to the point that the spruce steals the show completely. I'd mentioned the underlying malts but I'm not sure I could really taste them.

Them mouthfeel is definitely on the fuller side of things and pretty thick and sticky on the palate.

Well, being a lover of pine hops, I was really looking forward to this one and it absolutely delivered the goods. It's certainly intense and probably a little over-the-top, but since it's intensity is focused on something I enjoy so much, I've got no other option but to love this beer. Thank you Short's!

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2009 02:00:12 | More by gford217
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 18:53:46 | More by emerge077
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

South Carolina

2.4/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

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,

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2009 18:20:56 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of midnite2sixman
midnite2sixman

Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my sensory glass perfect amount of head fills up the glass almost an inch and a half. Smooth foamy bubbles, slowly massing into larger bubbles around the edges. Top of it looks like a fresh batch of swiss cheese. Fairly light amber/orange in color.

After the foam subsided I was able to get major pine resin notes on the nose backed by a sweet caramel aroma. This beer smells amazing!

More pine than I have ever had before in a beer. Of course. Hay and grass are more subtle notes with some crisp malts and did I mention the pine???

Little bit of a bit, but the beer definitely mellows out, leaving a bit of a sticky residue. Pine tar?

Joe is a maniac. And it turns out that maniacs can make some tasty beer!

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2009 05:59:03 | More by midnite2sixman
Photo of Windigstadt
Windigstadt

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy honey color with a two-inch white head that quickly dissipates.

S: Sweet notes of cotton candy and honey mingle with the pine and citrus notes of the hops.

T: The sweet, slightly bready pilsner malt quickly gives way to a dominant hop bitterness. No real hop flavor to speak of, but the piney spruce flavor is prominent in the back of the palate. Unlike a traditional Pilsner, this one finishes sweet with a slight alcohol burn.

M: Fairly highly carbonated, but neither too thin nor too thick.

D: For a 10% beer it drinks rather smoothly.

Overall: An interesting beer. It has more in common with a double IPA than a Pilsner, with spruce replacing any flavor hops. However, being a lager it lacks the fruitiness of an IPA, while at the same time the alcohol, hops and spruce overpower the bready malt nuances you get from a traditional Pilsner. Not a bad beer and worth trying, but I think this would've been better as a Double IPA (and I say that as somebody who generally prefers a nice Pilsner to an IPA).

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 03:15:44 | More by Windigstadt
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle (2007) brought to a BA tasting by thickerfreakness. Many thanks!

Pours a very hazy, pale golden-orange body with a thick tuft of bone white head that retains well and leaves patches of lacing. This is easily the most intricate, interesting aroma I've smelled in a beer (perhaps with the exception of San Juan BC's "Bacon Beer"). Imagine a mix of pine sap, pine needles, and PineSol put into a blender and liquefied with some gin, and you'll have Shorts' Imperial Spruce Pilsner. Nice balance of toffee malts thrown at the pine, but to little effect.

Holy shit, this beer is intense! Soooo incredibly piney. PineSol & booze, with loads of resinous hops and juniper berries. It's all together too much for me, but I respect the ability of Shorts to craft something this monstrous. Mouthfeel is crisp, well-carbonated, and packs a lasting bitter finish of (you guessed it!) pine. I loved trying this beer, and it was perfect for a 3oz tasting, but there is absolutely no way I could make it through a full glass (let alone a bottle!) of this stuff. Potential drain-pour in large amounts.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 22:37:30 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle at 54 degrees, Christmas eve 2008.

Pours light, clear gold with a three inch head from a gentle pour. The densely packed foam retreated reluctantly, revealing a solid skim coat on the surface, and a solid webbing of lacework.

Aromatics are stunning. Juniper berries, spruce sap, grapefruit, wet-cut grass, gin-steeped lemon seeds, and bitter orange sived through pine bark. Barely a trace of husky malt way in the back, with woody, earthy undertones following through.

Medium bodied and sticky. A lightly syrupy mouthfeel with a good combination of creaminess and crispness.

The palate blasts off with a deluge of spruce sap, pine boughs, juniper, and Christmas tree extract. Holy crap..This one is off the hook..The intensity level of the Spruce tips lends a quality that makes one ponder "should I be drinking this?".
Spruce shavings, grapefruit pith, fresh cut hay, cedar resin, and potpourri step forward.
A drying, firm bitterness follows through as the sappy, coniferous essence continues.

Finishes with lingering earthy, woody resins, shadows of husky malt, and a peppery warmth.

This one takes you right into the forest and sits your ass down. The nose is intense but does not prepare you for that first sip. I can't imagine how intense this was when it was fresh.
The perfect beer for Christmas eve. It literally tastes like they tossed the tree into the brew kettle.

Big, majorous props to BA EriktheRed for hauling this gem all the way to Cooperstown for me, Thanks man!

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 21:06:22 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle acquired in trade with hoppymeal (thanks!). Bottle # 251 / 886.

Poured a medium and hazy golden color with an averaged sized white head. Aromas of spruce, grassy, and citrus. Tastes follow suit. LIght fruitiness as well. Definitely spruce in there!

Notes from 2/8/08

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 02:17:36 | More by hopdog
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Kentucky

3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A pillow like three fingers of rocky light tan head seems to last very well. A murky haze of wheat colored glowing orange makes up the body. A crown of scattered lace is left as the head slowly fades. Nose is like a pine forest just after the rain, with a bit of musk thrown in. Taste stays with this same tone with tons of up front musky pine, like liquid pine needles. When it comes down to it, it really tastes like a christmas tree. A bit of a bitter bite joins in on the back of the palate. A bit of sweetness arrives in the middle as it warms. The piney feel is just shy of harsh on the mouthfeel and throughout. Drinkability is well...short. I think the pine needles could have spent about half the time in the brewing process and you would have still got the desired effect.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2008 18:34:33 | More by SPLITGRIN
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