Alba Scots Pine Ale
Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Alba Scots Pine AleAlba Scots Pine Ale
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom
Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #11
Ranked #20,535
3.79 | pDev: 13.98%
Nov 25, 2023
Sep 18, 2001
Introduced by the Vikings, spruce and pine ales were very popular in the Scottish Highlands until the end of the 19th century. Many early explorers, including Captain Cook, used spruce ale during long sea voyages since it prevented scurvy and ill health. Shetland spruce ale was said to "stimulate animal instincts" and give you twins. Alba is a triple style ale brewed to a traditional Highland recipe from Scots pine and spruce shoots pickled during early spring. Pure malted barley, is boiled with the young sprigs of pine for several hours then the fresh shoots of the spruce are added for a short infusion before fermentation.
View: More Beers
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 3.58 by binno from Canada (ON)

Nov 25, 2023
Rated: 4.71 by sorsh_a_ghlinne from Scotland

Dec 28, 2020
Rated: 3.99 by Oleg85 from Russian Federation

Aug 13, 2020
Photo of StoutElk_92
Reviewed by StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours a murky hazy red-orange amber with loads of sediment and a creamy off-white foam head. Smells like toasty bready malts, juicy concord grape, blueberry, berry jam, concentrated dark fruits, dark caramel syrup, with some herbs and spices. Tastes like fresh pine, spruce sprigs, grainy malted barley, toasted bread, dark caramel syrup, sweet concord grapes, dark berry jam, dark fruit, with spices and herbs. Feels medium-lighter bodied, smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice Scottish gruit ale.
Jun 10, 2020
Photo of octortus
Reviewed by octortus from Canada (ON)

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
330 mL Bottle. ABV 7.5%.
Appearance: Honey, Half a finger of light beige head, Medium carbonation, Clear, Thin but creamy broken cap remains.
Aroma: Caramel malt, Grape, Apple, Very nice floral aromas, Slight honey.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, Quite smooth, Slight warmth, Dry.
Flavour: Caramel malt, Grape, Floral, Slight spice, Pine/Spruce on finish.

Review: 97
Dec 15, 2019
Photo of Goity
Reviewed by Goity from Scotland

4.61/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Taste: Rasperry jam with sweet malty tones and a woody aftertaste
Pours: Amber with a half inch head that laces nicely
Aroma: honey and toffee, with a lovely bitter note
Wankiness: no comment on the type of glass I poured it into
Overall: one of my top 10 considering 7.5% for a £1.50 330ml bottle. WB & Aldi outdone itself here.
Nov 25, 2019
Rated: 3.96 by Eric_Standard from Canada (BC)

Mar 27, 2018
Rated: 4.21 by namasaya from Canada (ON)

Jan 02, 2018
Rated: 3.62 by bixby1971 from Canada (ON)

Dec 31, 2017
Photo of VoxRationis
Reviewed by VoxRationis from New York

4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Decanted from a 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a Weissbier vase; had refrigerated, but allowed to warm prior to drinking.
A: Pours a hazy copper- orange with a half inch head. Good retention and some lacing.
S: Aromas of honey, caramel, wood, and pine.
T: Very sweet up front, almost like pine sap, with malty caramel to toffee and raisin flavors. Very little bitterness and fig to raisin aftertaste.
M: Medium to full bodied and nicely and persistently carbonated.
O: My experience has been mixed with these reconstructed historical styles, but I would try this again.
Aug 11, 2017
Rated: 3.8 by Glorithm from Canada (ON)

Mar 13, 2017
Rated: 4.47 by Jodio from Texas

Feb 05, 2017
Photo of Boo-urns
Reviewed by Boo-urns from Canada (ON)

3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Heavy, sweet copper ale...malty....very unique taste, but there is something that is a miss for me about the strong aftertaste....can taste the alcohol....I don't really taste pine either and miss the hop bitterness. I never had beer like this so harder to describe the taste. This could be a beer I could enjoy down the road if had more and developed a taste for it ...but for now....I'll pass on another.
Jan 27, 2017
Rated: 4.54 by ramseye4 from Virginia

Sep 14, 2016
Photo of brureview
Reviewed by brureview from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Served in an Orval chalice as recommended by the Brewer at room temp.

Poured a semi clear copper- red color with a 1/2 finger head.

The aroma is phenomenal. Deep honey, toffee, woody, pine.
Unlike any beer aroma I have experienced. The aroma remains strong through the tasting.

Piquant, light hoppiness.

Light fruit taste- not citrus. More like stone fruit.

This is a sipper to be slowly enjoyed.

Wonderful beer brewed in an older style. I will be looking for more.
Jul 02, 2016
Photo of JamieDuncan
Reviewed by JamieDuncan from Maryland

4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
The biggest point that needs to be made is read the bottle. I cracked this open, poured it into my tulip and took a sip. Didn't much care for it. But then I started reading the bottle and it said best at room temperature. So I let it sit and warm. Big difference, I enjoyed this beer very much at the warmer temperature. My recommendation is to not even put it in the fridge. Just stick it on the shelf and open when you are ready to try it.
May 16, 2016
Rated: 4.18 by arkanu from Romania

Apr 16, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by Burkbom23 from Connecticut

Apr 16, 2016
Alba Scots Pine Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 701 ratings