Red Spruce Bitter | Lawson's Finest Liquids

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Red Spruce BitterRed Spruce Bitter
Very Good
86 Ratings
Red Spruce BitterRed Spruce Bitter

Brewed by:
Lawson's Finest Liquids
Vermont, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A winter seasonal brew infused with fresh sprigs of the red spruce tree and a dash of cinnamon that breaks from traditionally heavy holiday brews with a light body and refreshing zest.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-06-2009

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 |  Reviews: 24
Photo of Beerdster
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of KBennall
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of ladyivory
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Adrianized
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of rusty3335
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of mmhannon
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Beerasaurus
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes 1/29/11.

A: Pours a very hazy brown with a 1.5 finger off white head. Patches of lace were left behind.

S: Get a nice bready aroma, a lot of cinnamon as well. A slight floral hop aroma and a little bit of toasted malt as well.

T: The spices come through very nicely, especially the cinnamon. The flavor reminds me of mulled cider almost with some spruce mixed in. There is a thick bready flavor component and a lot of malt, coming through in some caramel and toffee. The flavors get more pronounced as it warms.

M/D: Medium bodied and extremely creamy and smooth. A lot going on in this beer, a really nice one for the colder months, and amazingly it is only 4.4%. Really like this one a lot.

D: Quite a bit of flavor and complexity for weighing in below 5%. A nice blend of flavors that has a distinctive bite.

 839 characters

Photo of abuliarose
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

T'is the season for spiced beers. Poured into a Heady Topper pint glass, revealing dark opaque chocolaty brown body under two fingers of thick tanned head. Pretty thing. Smells hoppy and lightly spiced with a nice earthy sap smell. I'm not a spruce connoisseur but the evergreen aroma blends in well with the hops. Pear nectar sweetness comes through as it warms a little, along with a little jasmine tea. Simple smells, but refreshingly clean.

Tastes spiced with a big spruce presence. If you have ever made tea from the needles you will taste it here. Nice clean finish. Chewy. The pear echoes in the malty sweetness along with the dash of cinnamon. Very wintry and very unique. Mouthfeel is creamy and thick with supporting carbonation. Very drinkable; drinks like a meal.

Overall I like it quite a bit. Wish I had more for the winter season.

 847 characters

Photo of MRVermont
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BTPete
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured to pint. I've had this beer a few times.

A: Reddish in color with a thin head that doesn't stick around.

S: Malty, piney, spices in the nose. I am picking up something that is almost maple in character. I'm guessing it is the spruce.

T: Really nice and malty up front. Actually kind of smooth. It ends with a cinnamon and spruce taste which is actually great and a little surprising at the same time.

M: Medium bodied, relatively low carbonation but it works.

D: Good and really interesting. I've yet to be dissappointed by a Lawson beer. This one seemed like it was going to be unique and it fit the bill while being really tasty. It was also really drinkable at only 4.9% I have shared this beer with a few people and most people really enjoyed. Was my last bottle though, so maybe again next year. I'd grab another couple of bottles.

 865 characters

Photo of ericlawton007
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Hendry
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep mahogany color, 1 finger foamy khaki head, spotty lacing in the Lawson's tulip.

The aroma is strikingly familiar to something else I have sampled, but I can't put my finger on it. It certainly takes on the attributes of a spiced ale by the nose, sweet malts & cinnamon & hops are most prominent, the spruce doesn't seem all that apparent.

Flavors are of a well crafted spiced amber/red ale, the cinnamon works very well with the rich malty character. Alcohol not detectable amongst the hearty flavors.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very enjoyable.

Lawson's is famous for their IPA/IIPA, yet so many that rate their other styles/offerings tend to rate them based on how much they enjoyed Double Sunshine IIPA, or Triple Play IPA. More reviewers need to rate based on the STYLE of the beer, and in the case of Lawson's, not how it stacks up to their legendary flagship ales. Red Spruce Bitter was a very pleasant surprise and a tremendous seasonal offering that was unique and really hit the spot on a cold Winter night.

 1,021 characters

Photo of ShemRahBoo
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Kunks80
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lawson's Finest Liquids - Red Spruce Bitter, poured into a Lawson's tulip.

Look - Pours a hazy dark ruby amber with a decent sized foamy head that dissipates quickly. Vanishing lacing.

Smell - Sweet malt with definite cinnamon and a dash of spruce.

Taste - Flavor is malt quickly pushed out of the way by spruce and cinnamon.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Some malt warmth. Good drinkability. Rests a bit spruce but not overbearing.

Overall - I like it, I'm not big into this style but this is well crafted, would have this seasonally around the holidays.

 583 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #171
4.4% ABV

Poured into an Alchemist pint glass. A murky brown body with an orange-red tint supports a finger's worth of white creamy head on top. Light lacing.

Lots of bread, sugar cookie and a hint of cinnamon on the nose. The spruce actually comes through faintly as well. English malts make up the base.

Wow, this is a cool beer. It tastes like Christmas in a glass. Spruce, light cinnamon and sugar cookie malts. It feels like the spruce tree is in the bottle, but not overbearing.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, but still substantial, especially for a 4.4% ABV beer. Slightly bitter and a little resiny. Good.

Drinkability is high. At 4.4% ABV this beer is definitely sessionable. I love how it tastes like winter/Christmas in a glass, but isn't your typical winter warmer, which is a style I don't like very much. The spruce also comes through well in the flavor, which I wasn't really expecting. I'm kind of wishing I had picked up another bottle of this.

 981 characters

Photo of Hyptochrons
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from bottle into a boston lager glass. red/brown with a finger of tan colored foam. leaves a bit of lacing.

refreshing but subtle scent, mainly of sweetish malts and a hint of spruce. taste is malts followed by a cinnamon flavor. mouthfeel is nice in my opinion. the spruce really insnt too apparent in this beer, was most noticable right when i opened the bottle, and immediately after poured into glass.

overall i think this beer is pretty excellent and very unique. glad i picked up a couple bottles, would be a nice one to have around for the holidays and winter months.

 585 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A foil-wrapped 650 mL bomber from the Warren Store, bottle 60 of batch 178. Served in a tumbler.

A: The beer has a rich mahogany color, displaying sharp orange highlights when the light is just right. Generally opaque, the ale supports over three fingers of off-white head. Rare patches of lace followed.

S: Quite malty, plenty of syrupy strong caramel. That base supports shaved cinnamon spices. Alongside the spice, a full hoppiness, very arboreal, comes through. I liken it to an English Old Ale (save for the spruce).

T: Warming and malty, the cinnamon registers first. The fullness seemingly betrays some curacao orange sweetness as well. Plenty of malts, aiding the Old Ale argument. Caramel and toffee are bold but not too strong. The spruce adds an undercurrent of flavor that runs throughout the ale, a spry lively flavor that is piney. For those seeking a comparison to Short's India Spruce Lager, look elsewhere because the spruce is a complement and not the star of the show here. That being said, it is difficult to overlook the unique flavor. The additional hops add a strong zest. It's not what I expected (see India Spruce Lager) but it exceeded my expectations (wrap your head around that one).

M: The mouthfeel, expect for the spruce, is a pleasant English old ale/warmer, toffee and caramel with a mild spiciness. Add the spruce and the beer goes in a whole new direction.

D: Quite a bit of flavor and complexity for weighing in below 5%. A nice blend of flavors that has a distinctive bite.

 1,515 characters

Photo of WunderLlama
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into glass beer stein

Dark ruby brown, not transparent but not murky. A taupe finger foam appears on the pour and settles to a solid layer with good lacings.

Truth in advertising. The aroma smells like a spruce forest. Spruce, cinnamon and sweet malt. The spruce aroma is amazing.

Smooth, gentle malt with cinnamon and spruce. Taste of spruce on the side of the mouth. Gentle carbonation , great mouth feel , almost creamy.

Went on a pilgrimage to Vermont for skiing and bier. Was only able to grab one bottle from Lawson's and it was this red spruce bitter. Not on my target list but glad I grabbed it. Excellent balance, smooth beer with an incredible aroma. Tastes great and I recommend grabbing this beer if given the opportunity .

 755 characters

Photo of THECPJ
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 1/29/11:

Appearance: orangish red brown with 1 fingerhead

Smell: Cinnamon / nutmeg, biscuit,

Taste: Cinnamon, spice, mulled cider

Mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth,

Drinkability: Very drinkable, very interesting and complex brew. Would be perfect to drink around a fire.



 316 characters

Photo of Sweffin
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of kingcrowing
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip, 2010 vintage.

Pours a nice dark hazy brown with a generous, creamy light brown head. The nose is fantastic, spruce and cinnamon dominate with some light maltiness.

Taste is just as you'd expect from the nose, it's super unique - cinnamon and spruce are what you get first. The malt and hops take a back seat. Mouthfeel is a bit light with fairly thick carbonation - a pleasant surprise as I didn't know what to expect with a spruce & cinnamon beer!

 489 characters

Photo of dbthom123
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Red Spruce Bitter from Lawson's Finest Liquids
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 86 ratings