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Spruce Ale | Full Pint Brewing Company

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15 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Full Pint Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
This distinguished ale was brewed in the colonial tradition of using molasses and spruce tips in place of flavor hops to give this beer its unique flavor.

20 IBUs

Added by thecheapies on 08-05-2012

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Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 48
Reviews by MusicaleMike:
Photo of MusicaleMike
2.33/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

"This distinguished ale was brewed in the colonial tradition of using molasses and spruce tips in place of flavor hops to give this beer its unique flavor."
The bottle also says this ale is brewed with "natural flavors," which I wonder....is molasses and spruce natural flavors?

Packaging is very nice. I have been impressed with Full Pint's look. 12 oz brown bottles (longnecks) that have high-gloss, full wrap labels and attractive artwork that has hints of art deco lettering.

The beer itself is a cloudy reddish amber color that has two fingers of white foamy head on top. Head drops down to a thin layer on top.

I think I was expecting more of a "pine" like aroma, but this is quite earthy. There is a sharpness to the smell, like it is going to be bitter. I get some biscuity malts but not much. The aroma is pretty soft.

Wow. I was really expecting something quite different. I was expecting big, bold flavors and what is delivered is a very soft, timid amber ale that has a slight cracker maltiness, and not much bitterness. (I mean, I didn't expect it to be bitter since it says there are only 20 IBU's here) But really, "Spruce" is a misleading name, since one expects a very forward spruce aroma and flavor. Not here. Light sweetness in the finish.

Light to medium bodied beer with a little bite up front. Carbonation is decent.

Overall, I think the beer was a let down. It appears that they put more effort into the beautiful packaging than designing the beer. It is just so mild and...and bland.

 1,514 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of heddar33
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clouded amber copper hue with an off white head forming nice and thick. The lumber jack holding a Spruce tree in his palm aka Paul Bunyan minus Babe the Blue Ox. Aroma has some mild expressive grain character bready notes, with hints of Spruce. No where near as expressive as some of the other Yard's Spruce beers I've had in the past. Flavor has a nice marriage of honey malts/molasses sugar and earthy spruce notes, not as pine needle Christmas tree water as I was expecting. But it definitely works together, a bit watery in the finish but the spruce notes blend nicely with the sweetness, the malts are overshadowed by the concentrated molasses sweetness. Mouthfeel is nice you won't have to cleanse your palate the use the spruce with great finesse. Even carbonation slick easy going mouthfeel great finish of a balanced sugary/spruce character. Overall not the most in your face but actually drinkable spruce ale that's appropriate for a malt lover, enough balance from the Spruce to make it palatable for a hophead as well but the hops are nearly undetectable and I believe it weighs in at 5% abv and 20 IBUs.

 1,124 characters

Photo of mrosenfeld32
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of brother_rebus
3.61/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Copper amber color. Very ale-like. Not much of a smell besides some malt. Good spruce notes, but nothing overwhelimg and sweet like poor richards. Spruce is more of a pleasant lingering afterthought.

 199 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Extract spruce. Not bad for extract, but nowhere close to a good spruce beer. Still decently drinkable. Faint sprice aroma, stronger flavour. Carbonation still right there, middling mouthfeel. Brownish colour, lots of retained head. Bottle from Steve in Warren.

 261 characters

Photo of glass_house
3.59/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Saxboy10
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of tone77
3.37/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some molasses. Taste has some sweetness, molasses, a bit of spruce, kind of on the mild side. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a decent beer, just lacking a little oomph.

 273 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.29/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

-best by 12/31/13. consumed 10/14/13. lot#363. brewed with molasses and spices.

A: Glass consuming foam pour that shows large soapy pocket voids along the inner walls of the glass. Buff colored head, shaving cream consistency, mushrooms up breaching the rim and takes forever to receed. Concerns over infection, especially when nothing but foam is in your glass, seemingly taking forever for the liquid to condense. Bengal tiger orange when it does, low to moderate rate of visible carbonation, with sloppy, soapy patches for lace.

S: On the nose hints of molasses, spruce, but the foam hides a great deal for so long.

T: Flavor is sweet molasses, and fresh spruce right off the bat. Syrupy sweetness, 7-up lemon-lime hints, caramel and some syrupy raisins.

M: Good rate of carbonation, frothy, creamy pils and caramel malts gives this a nice feel.

O: Overall some sweet and sprucey moments, perhaps a bit to sweet for general consumption and multiples. Basically a one and done style, interesting, but not exactly what one invisions for beer. The spruce aspect makes this an interesting single try, dont know if i would bother with a six pack.

 1,153 characters

Photo of Fronjdj10
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of hoppymcgee
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Griggsy
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of dsshuck
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DrDemento456
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy dark amber brown with a creamy 1/4 inch of head that quickly fours a thick lace ring.

S - Not much pine in the smell mostly pilsner malt and a touch of honey. Smells quite nice.

T - A touch of herbal hops and a bit of pine in the taste but it seems balanced behind the pilsner malts and a touch of honey sweetness. Quite refreshing.

M - Light to medium quite good.

Overall I like most of there beers and this is no exception. Not very much herbal to this beer but still a great beer.

 504 characters

Photo of JohnK17
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of ItsBeer4Me
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint: Slightly cloudy golden-orange body under two fingers of glistening, cratered custard head.

First smell is a light, sweet kind of pine, like walking into one of those country craft stores that smells like potpourri, juniper, a little cinnamon, a little lemon. Good smells, but faint. A little orange shows up, too.

There's a biscuity malt presence combined with orange zest & flesh that seems to be characteristic of a lot of Full Pint's beers, but also a little bit of menthol, again a kind of juniper note, with some cinnamon heat. The bitterness kicks & fades, & there isn't a long, lasting bitterness like you get from hops.

Curious mouthfeel, as it's intensely "tingly" at points but dies down, smooths out & ends almost flat.

Not bad overall, but it kind of takes you to the verge of this intense flavor without ever really getting there. That's what I think I'm finding with it - it almost reaches a peak with the aroma, flavor, & texture but then kind of dies down & turns flat. I've had other spruce beers that took me there, but I certainly wouldn't turn this one down again.

 1,116 characters

Photo of Lelampp
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of speedball33
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of ZorroZ
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

This is a perfectly pleasant ale, but if it hadn't been labeled as a spruce ale, I rather doubt I would have thought it was one. The molasses figures far more prominently in its taste and smell than the spruce does, especially when contrasted with Yards' Ben Franklin Tavern Spruce. I'll finish the 6 pack, but likely won't buy another.

 336 characters

Photo of outoffocus
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of HollyHops
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Full Pint
Spruce Ale

LOOK: Pours a clear orange color. The white head has excellent retention and provides some lace for the pint glass.

SMELL: Has some pine for sure, just a hair more strongly stated than a typical pale ale.

TASTE: Caramel malt and resinous hops, mildly piney from the spruce used but everything is so balanced that it could be confused for hops. The inclusion of spruce is slightly more evident as it warms.

FEEL: Medium bodied, well carbonated, quite full for what it is. Flavor of hop bitterness and spruce linger in the palate in a fine manner. The spruce is not overstated.

OVERALL: A good beer with moderate spruce flavor. Drinks like a typical pale ale, but has that extra dimension that really adds on. Not a bad local spruce ale, if I say so myself. Pretty good beer here, I'd recommend it.

 825 characters

Photo of letshaveanother
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

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Spruce Ale from Full Pint Brewing Company
3.48 out of 5 based on 48 ratings.
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