Alba Scots Pine Ale | Williams Brothers Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
689 Ratings
Alba Scots Pine AleAlba Scots Pine Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom
williamsbrosbrew.com

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
689
Reviews:
474
Avg:
3.77
pDev:
14.06%
 
 
Wants:
42
Gots:
33
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 689 |  Reviews: 474
Photo of Glorithm
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jodio
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Boo-urns
3.58/5  rDev -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.

 407 characters

Photo of ramseye4
4.54/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brureview
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

 471 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

 448 characters

Photo of arkanu
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Burkbom23
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beginner2
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fascinating.
Each time I have this (and let's say it has been a dozen times), I find something new in it... and each time it tastes better.
Also fascinating because local spices -- such as pine -- gave beer its dominant flavor... just like the role that hops plays today in the greater part of the American craft market.
Williams Brothers have 4 of the 5 most "Had" ales in this style.
I'm glad this brewery built their business around showing us how we used to drink beer... and how some of us, at least, want to drink it again.
MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave it 3 of 4 stars and called it "oily and peppery."

 603 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a hazy orange amber with fine particulates and a thin slightly off-white head that dissipates to thick patches. Aroma of caramel and bready malt, apple juice, apricot, toffee and a hint of pine. Oddly similar to a dubbel. Flavor is caramel malt, light and dark stone fruit, pine; starts sweet and dries out a finish of dry caramel, pine and bitter herbs. Medium bodied with nice light creaminess. An interesting, off-beat ale, that alternately reminded me of a well aged dubbel and a mild scotch ale. Surprisingly mild pine notes considering it's name and labeling. The finish is like a gruit in that the bittering seems due to herbs rather than hops. Pleasant and fun to drink. Although I would have liked a bit more pine flavor, this was a nice take on a regional ale.

 817 characters

Photo of Furbato
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of RochefortChris
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sherillc
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Jaydee01
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hanglow
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of BcCraft710
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of boszormeny
2.63/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of paulytasker
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of al_al1357
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GSS
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of GoHabsGo
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Svingjo
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper colour with a finger thick beige head comprised large bubbles. There is a sweet malt forward nose with notes of pine, banana and caramel. The taste is very fruity with pine notes. It's almost cloyingly sweet with a slightly bitter finish. The carbonation is in the mid-range. An okay beer but slightly too sweet and syrupy to be more than a one off

 374 characters

Photo of louislouis91
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hozersr
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of atsir
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

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Alba Scots Pine Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 689 ratings.
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