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Sproose Double IPA | Black Husky Brewing

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Sproose Double IPASproose Double IPA

Brewed by:
Black Husky Brewing
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Double IPA brewed with locally harvested spruce tips.

Added by Winter on 06-02-2011

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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 178
Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange colour, with off white head. Citrus, spruce, and hop resin on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with spruce and a whole lot of it.

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Photo of Wisconsuds
3.37/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black Husky Brewing Sproose Juice "II IPA". ? Ab/v, ? IBU's. A double ipa brewed with local spruce tips.

Pours a brilliant copper-kettle color with a giant white 2" head. Pouring suggestion on the bottle as well. Scored this one at 3 Cellars in Franklin, WI - apparently one of the very few places to sell Black Husky.

Aroma is very strange - earthy hops and a STRONG pine note. Nose has incredible spruce characteristics to it - you could pick out spruce immediately even without looking at the bottle. Overwhelming to say the least. A part of me thought the aroma wouldn't be anything close to the taste.

Wrong. Tastes EXACTLY how it smells. Upon first sip, this is basically the beer equivalent to a dry gin. I've never had an IPA so bitter and pine-infused all at once. Almost on cue, the piney-ness parts way to a subtle sweetness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with lightly bubbly carbonation. Fresh hops, grassy/straw notes linger on the tongue. Interesting.

"Lothar" the husky on the label agrees - this is a bitter assault to your senses. Truly an awkward beer that you have to taste to believe. Simply put - if you like pine notes in your beer - you MUST try this. For me, the spruce was a bit overpowering and just a bit too prevalent. Overall a good IPA, just not sure I could enjoy more than one.

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Photo of mke_Brewer
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark golden color with a thick head that lasts for quite some time. Not sure how old this bottle was but the aroma was non-existent. No scent of spruce. A very, very light dank hop smell combined with a heavy aromas of alcohol. The flavor was again absent of spruce. Sweet and malty like a strong amber ale. Medium body with a semi-hot finish. Definitely not what I was expecting from a double IPA that is brewed with spruce and I was definitely disappointed with the lack of spruce flavor/aroma but I did enjoy it. A decent beer overall, but not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of jwc215
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Rumpus Room, Milwaukee, WI - poured into an 8 oz. tulip:

Pours golden with a thin wispy head. Lacing sticks.

The smell of spruce is very strong. There is some caramel that mixes in.

The taste is strong of spruce needles. Caramel backs it up. Slight alcohol presence gives some warmth. Spruce lingers.

An interesting brew - the spruce is very strong, but enough malt comes through to add more flavor and smoothness. If you are looking for a beer with strong spruce flavor look for this one! (I enjoyed the one but one is enough at a time for me!)

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Photo of joe1510
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz Bomber
Discount Liquors - Milwaukee, WI

Sproose Joose pours darker than I remember, bordering on unfiltered cider but more of a hazy tarnished copper than anything else. The head has a hint of beige to it and on the pour rose to a finger in height. Instead of settling it becomes craggy, dense, and creamy leaving behind intricate lacing as I drink.

Big, bright, earthy spruce is the first, and most potent, thing that jumps out at you in the smell. There's a touch of caramel and white toast in the malt profile but I have to work to pick that up. Spruce is spruce, if it's in a beer the only difference is intensity, in Sproose Joose's case the intensity is dialed in nicely where it doesn't permeate every inch of your nosebuds with each whiff but it is the main aspect.

While there's not a ton of depth flavor-wise the unique addition of spruce makes the earthy, bright, additive enough to take over where hops would normally do. The caramel and white toast maltiness doesn't balance this brew but it keeps the spruce in line enough to make the overall flavor enjoyable, as opposed to taxing.

The body has a moderate weight and a nice soft feel. Spruce brings a firm bitterness that lingers after each drink and adds an earthy quality with each drink. For a spruce beer the drinkability is pretty high.

I've had this beer on draft and the bottled version seems to be dialed down, and more drinkable, when considering the amount of spruce used. On tap this is one of the more intense beers I've had, 6oz max and I'm burnt out. From the bottle the spruce is softer, whether that's age I don't know, which makes for an easier drinking beer. Give this one a whirl. The uniqueness alone makes it worth a try.

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Photo of cagocubs
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recommended by the good people at Three Cellars in Franklin, WI. Label sucks, but the name is pretty sweet.

A: Great looking pour. Dark gold cider color with a nice two finger foamed out white head that is in no rush to go anywhere. Nice sticky lacing around glass.

S: Aromas bursting with earthy notes (pine and florals). Citrus notes (grapefruit, orange, lemon). The hops and spruce/pine combine for a unique, but balanced smell.

T: Whoa, DIPA/Imperial IPA is selling this thing short. The taste matches the scent. Heavy hitting pine and hops. Extremely bitter initial sip that stick with you throughout the sip. The more you sip the beer the more you think your chewing on a plant or pine needles. Here's the crazy thing, I think I like it.

M: Mouthfeel is fairly full bodied for an IPA variety. The taste is so bitter that you don't get an aftertaste.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a 0.5l dimpled mug it pours a murky sun tea orange with plenty of yeast floaties all around. The fact that it's chunky leads me to think it's been sitting for a bit. It has about a finger of foam that settles to a thin veil across the surface that breaks eventually. A ring of delicate lace around the edges.

Sweet malty aroma, somewhat fruity, with a little bit of grassy and resiny sweet spruce notes behind that.

Similar sweet and malty flavors, full bodied and chewy with some distinctive sprucey hop notes in the end that linger nicely in the dry finish. Carbonation is on the lighter side. Will seek out a fresher sample to compare...

Thanks Jayme for the Black Husky assortment!

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Photo of mychalg9
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Possibly the spruciest beer I've ever had. Not sure I care for the spruce-ness, but otherwise it is a very well made beer. Tastes the way northern Wisconsin smells so I guess that makes sense. Much better than smelling/tasting like northern Illinois, that's for sure. Its got a great look to it too, copper and clear as a northern Minnesota lake. Beautiful tan lacing as well, very sticky, like a Northern Alabama summer day.

Summary: If you like spruce, and you like beer, odds are good that you will like this beer.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber. Clean amber with thin white head. Spruce all up in the aroma, sweet sugary malt notes as well. Lots of spruce tree in the taste as well with some fruity and floral presence. Medium soft mouthfeel. A very different tree tasting IPA, but very well done.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Bomber bottle.

A: Pours a clear orange with a fluffy half-inch thick white head which leaves splotchy lace.

N: Notable spruce and pine with some citrusy and fruity undertones.

T: Malty with slightly sweet, earthy honey, and spices from the spruce tips.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Bittering hop and sweet malty finish with lingering spruce/pine spice.

O: Interesting creation. Worth trying.

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Photo of Dope
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottling date that I can find.

A: Pours a clear deep dark orange with a very tall, very effervescent dark tan head. Head finally fades out, leaving a nice big island behind. Good lacing everywhere.

S: Initial aroma was surprising. I expected a forest of pines but it's actually citrusy. Even a touch of tropical fruit. Then I swirled it and whoa. Someone just stuffed a pine cone up my nose (no really, it hurts). Huge pine sap aroma. It's an evergreen apocalypse in my nasal cavities. Okay, you get the idea.

T: More of the same. Big spicy pine notes from start to finish. Big and bold initially, fading a bit in the middle which allows a little citrus to show. No real sign of malt because a huge wave of biting bitterness kicks in quickly. Long, long, long lingering sharp pine flavor between sips. Tastes like I've been chewing on pine trees for about a week.

M: Medium/heavy bodied. Big spicy pine notes with loads of bitterness.

O: Well, definitely a pine DIPA. About as piney as any I've ever had. It's borderline overpowering but what did I expect? If your IPA is named after a tree, it's probably going to smell and taste like one too. Well done, regardless. Tasty with big bold flavors and big bitterness to boot.

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Photo of JoshRadTxist
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep gold copper color, inviting brew.
S: Aroma is not forefront to this brew, but it smells like good fermented barley should.
T: Bold, clean, one-dimensional hoppiness. I can get the pine flavor in the aftertaste, after a minute or two has elapsed since the last sip's hop afterthought fades. I believe this brewer avoided to present any exotic fruit flavors from the hops, which deserves attention since so many brewers (righteously) accentuate the fruit flavors. But it is commendable to try something different too. With time the pineyness I swear has a minty aftertaste. Very good.
M: I prefer a crisper and cleaner finish with more carbonation evident, but it is a decent feel and light for an IPA. Oily, perhaps from the sproose?
O: I will buy this again. It's a different DIPA than I am used to but will cure the thirst for one, and then some. Thank you Black Husky

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Photo of TheSSG
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Review a delayed posting due to BA being too slow to post when I had it yesterday)
I picked this up in February, and had been saving it, but finally just gave in. The waiting may have reduced the hop flavor, but I don't think in too bad of a way.

Pours a HUGE, off-white head covered in resin that had really good persistence. Assertive spruce aroma dominates the nose with a touch of grapefruit hops behind it. Nice golden hue with a touch of burnt sienna for depth. Starts with a big burst of spruce with piney hop bitterness behind it. Builds to a medium bitterness, and the finish lets a little malt through as the hops linger. Spruce stays throughout. The finish takes on a lingering flavor that reminds me of some holiday food , but I can't remember what food I'm thinking. It's a spicey, piney, biscuit flavor.

This is MUCH more aggressively spruced than last year's. I think I preferred the more subdued profile. Overall, this is still quite nice, albeit very unusual. If you like spruce (I do), this is a very nice one to try.

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Photo of jcook
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

By far the best spruce I've had. Very smooth and not overpowering, but the spruce really comes through. It's only available at a few bars and stores in northern Wisconsin, so if you're passing through that area, visit their site beforehand to find out where it's served.

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Photo of mobius387
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just missed this on tap at 3 cellars, so I settled for a bottle poured into a pint glass

(going off notes)

Appearance: hard to say as this beer was fast chilled, mine was pretty foamy, big head but I bet thats cause it was bothered. hazy golden color

Smell: drive to canada. walk deep into the forest. stick your nose into a pine tree. yup, thats what this baby smells like. its amazing how much scent this sucker gives off. a big sniff practically clears the sinuses. extremely unique and very well done

Palate: even for an DIPA, this one is heavy. flavors flood your whole mouth. doesn't taste like it, but it reminded me of mouth wash cause the spruce had a stinging quality to it.

Taste: truly robust flavor. if you think spruce is the greatest thing on earth, you must get this beer. solid pine from sip to swallow. leaves your mouth tingling. couldn't drink it more than small sips it was so powerful

Overall: this is truly a unique tasting beer that also has a refined finish to it. if you live in wisconsin, you gotta get your hands on this beer.

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Photo of mynie
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't mean to be an English nazi, but having two typos in the name of your beer is an easy way to hurt your credibility as a brewer and businessperson!

(That's a joke. It *did* however make this hard to search for.)

Anyhow, I enjoyed Sun King's pine beer, so I figured sure what the hell let's give this fucker a try.

Excellent 2xIPA pour. Very dark and thick with a tight, voluminous white head.

Smells like this malt, ginger (?), pine, and not all that much by way of hops.

Tastes like--okay, I get that this is pine. But if you had just handed this to me and asked me to drink it, I would have thought this was some kind of ginger IPA So... I dunno.

Thankfully, I adore ginger. And it tastes very pleasantly like fresh spruce in the back, which does an excellent job of complimenting the ginger nodes. This ginger-pine business is all I paid attention to for the first several sips, not because it's overpowering but because it's so darn unique that I couldn't help but stare at it.

Once I grew accustomed to it, I found that unfortunately the big IPA backing things up is a little uneven. I mean, I can't blame the brewer--it's hard to figure out how to ground such a unique flavor. The malt is a little too thick, the yeast a little too unpleasantly chewy. Let me stress: nothing is *bad*. I've forgiven a good number of big IPAs their unbalanced or sticky malt profiles in light of their excellent hops, and so I got no problem doing the same here, with the pine nodes. It could be better, though, and knowing the talent and vision of the guys at Black Husky, I assume it will get better.

Keep an eye out for this brewery. They rock.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy amber with big fluffy off white head.

S - Spruce and ginger. Don't remember ginger in the several other times I tried it on draft and bottle but I think the spruce and hops are combining for a ginger aroma. Some sweet malt and grassy hops. Very nice fresh pine aroma.

T - Very fresh fine flavor. Ginger, citrus and sweet malt.

M - Medium body with light to medium carbonation. Creamy with dry lingering pine.

D - I really like this beer. One of the better spruce beers I have tried. I heard the spruce becomes even more pronounced once spring hits northern WI in the next month or two.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured 3 fingers of gorgeous, thick and creamy lite orange/beigefoam. The body is a beautiful and slightly hazy copper amber. Leaves nice intricate foamy webbed rings after each quaff.

Smell - Wow, this smells Fantastic! There is definitely a big pine note here - fresh sharp and green. And right along with this are nice citrus notes of orange peel and some nice sweet tropical mango notes here too, and then in the back I'm getting some nice whiffs of floral hops - just a great, complex nose.

Taste - In a nutshell, this is one of the most interesting and fantastic IPA's I've ever had. This is a pine herbal bomb, just fantastic. Starts with really strong pine, fresh and pungent, with the lightest coating of rock candy sweetness. Right behind this are herbal flavors of basil and mint, followed moments later by very light tropical and floral notes, most of which rises into the sinuses. The finish on this still has bitter, fresh green pine needles, but there is a second rush of basil and mint that join the pine bringing the quaff to a nicely bitter and slightly dry finish. The pine and herbs remain sticky and pungent on the lips long after the quaff, along with some light alcohol heat - which almost cause a bit of a menthol heat like effect.

Mouthfeel - This leans towards the heavier side of medium, with huge and potent flavors that coat and nearly overwhelm the mouth and tastebuds. Carb is nearly medium but very smooth. But once the carb gets to the sides of the tongue and combines with the extreme pine and herbal hops, it develops some noticeably sharp edges that nearly makes the eyes water, in a very good way.

Overall - One of the most interesting beers I've ever had! There must be pine extract in this beer, it is that powerful and potent - yet there's also a strong herbal component, and a wonderful sweetness that comes up just barely enough to balance it all out. Don't get me wrong, there is probably is not another beer as pine forward as this, but it's done extremely well. Are there other DIPA's that I'd prefer, yes - but this one does exactly what it set out to do, and it did it very well. If you like pine, then you MUST try this. Very nicely done.

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Photo of Dan_McNeely
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pulled from Ray's Beer Store on North Ave in Wauwatosa...

A- A very bodied amber color, very clear with a nice foam on top. Very natural looking beer, I hope the feel is smooth as the appearance.

S- A very light hoppy smell with strong fruit aroma, but not sweet. Like the location of Pembine, it smells very outdoorsy, the spruce must be balancing the hops and citrus.

T- When a beer moves you to sigh, it must be good. What I love about this taste is that it's not to complex, very easy to handle, but very deep. There is a bit of sincerity in this beer. It has a very straight forward taste and something different that the usual IPA drinker would either appreciate or hate.

M- The spruce really sits well, almost feels like the equivalent to a mighty fine Gin. Th spruce really balances the hops and citrus taste, the humble creativity is felt as it holds in the after taste.

O- This feels like a beer you have one on one with a good friend or brother. Just feels like a good person, a good soul brewed this beer. I really look forward to drinking this again and sharing it with someone. But for my first experience, I'm taking it all in myself. I'll for sure try more beers from this brewery. My In-laws cottage is in Pembine, I'm surprised I haven't seen/heard of it before.

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Photo of bashiba
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly cloudy deep reddish copper color with a thick and sticky white head.

The smell was like standing inside of a spruce tree, incredibly piney and junipery, but in a good way. Just a hint of spicy ginger as well.

The flavor was a bit sweet up front with a light bit of caramel sneaking through what was an absolute spruce assault. Huge waves of Piney and Juniper flavors along with a long deep bitterness. The bartender compared it to Gin, and that was an accurate comparison, very herbal and spicy.

The mouthfeel was very full and oily leaving a huge coating of hoppy goodness.

I like this a bunch, very fun as long as you like the spruce flavor. A nice twist on what has become a bit of predictable style.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on tap at Benno's in West Allis, WI. This was served in what appeared to be a 10oz glass, and was slightly chilled. Thanks for the recommendation Dr. K. Happy Festivus to everyone...

A) This was a hazy amber brew with a nice fluffy finger of head which settled to a nice dusting, like the fresh snow outside the bar. There was some decent lacing too.

S) Very nice nose on this brew... This is plenty piney, with a very light citrus aroma. This is like a fresh cut Christmas tree. Impressive...

T) Some very brief malt sweetness for balance, but the spruce is dominant, not overpowering, but definitely the main attraction. There is light citrus, but really this is so fresh and alive with piney goodness. Despite all of that, the aftertaste fades nicely.

M) A medium body, and not overly carbonated. The tingle definitely comes from the spruce. This is actually pretty smooth and easy to sip on.

O) Man, I really enjoyed this beer. I understand it's pretty tough to come by, but I must say, it is definitely worth seeking out. The piney/spruce character to this beer are top notch. I did need to hit the palate reset button after this one, but it was worth it. Glad to recommend this beer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
8.6% ABV

A - Sproose Joose's firm off-white head caps the beer with impressive sustain, caking the snifter in lacing and adding to the wonderful appearance of this clear, deep amber-hued brew!

S - The essence of Black Husky's northwoods location immediately emanates from this beer. Spruce tips give the hoppy aroma an earthy pine, slightly minty twang that goes perfectly with their inherent earthy, slightly fruity nature. Sweet caramel covered cashews with dense bready notes fill the background in with smoothness.

T - A smooth caramel praline-like malt base gives the beer lingering sweetness that helps balance the beer but, it's the bold hops that steal the show. Spruce adds a splash of pine into the mix, blending earthy notes with the cantaloupe, mango, and dribble of pineapple hop fruitiness.

M - Sproose Joose is a smooth beer, balanced nicely by a favorable malt base that brings sweetness throughout, but the beer finishes with a biting bitterness one's not sure to forget.

O - As unique as the dogs featured on their labels, Black Husky's Sproose Joose combines the sharp earthiness and woods-like pine character of spruce with a wallop of hops for a smooth-bodied beer that finishes quite bitter. The spruce addition is a wonderful twist on a style saturated in the market place - Sproose Joose is a leader in the pack.

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Photo of drpimento
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, great gift from from friend Nat!! Poured at a good temperature with a mammoth, fluffy, thick, creamy, very slow to settle, cream-colored head with loads of frothy lace. Color is a clear, dark amber with a couple of slow tiny bubble trails. Aroma is hop, resin, malt, caramel, citrus. Flavor's like nose, hop stands out with the resin, citrus, and malt prominant; bitter up front with a little sweet in back, mild carbonic tang. There's also a sort of mediciney flavor that grows on me. Mouth is full, but carbonation is on the soft side. Finish is like flavor and surprisingly of average length for as full flavored as this is.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Found this in a fridge at the Discount Liquor on Oklahoma in Milwaukee. 22 oz bomber poured right from my fridge into a pint glass.

L: Pours a beautiful, ever-so-hazy dark amber with a two-inch off-white head. Visible carbonation, though not profuse. The tightly-packed head sticks around for a good long while and leaves extensive lacing.

S: Big pine hop notes in the bouquet, with that unmistakable spruce oil clearly making its presence felt. It really does smell like you've got your head in a Christmas tree. Earthy and herbal hop tones are also present, with a bit of malt underneath.

T: It seems rare that I run across a flavor profile in a beer that feels truly unique. This is one such experience. There's malt sweetness at the outset, but the notes of spruce immediately enter into the mix. I thought it might be difficult to distinguish the pine hop flavor from that of the spruce, but I was very mistaken. The spruce oil has its own unique life on the palate; and while I wouldn't say it balances with the hops and malts, they do complement one another nicely. The spruce stays on the tongue through most of the taste arc, but there are herbal/earthy hops and some malt backbone felt at the close. There's some serious lingering bitterness to this one.

F: Medium-bodied, with decent carbonation and lots of brightness from the hops. A bit creamy in the middle, but decidedly bitter at the end. This has big, bitter DIPA feel without any syrupy residue.

O: Everything I try from this brewery impresses me. They take risks, experiment, and aren't afraid to bring big flavors. Seek this one out.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served in a tulip.

A: Lightly hazed amber orange. Huge off white head that reaches nearly four fingers. Thick sticky lace clings to the glass.

S: Very potent pine resin. Like cutting a branch off a Canadian Spruce and taking a deep breath. As it warms there is a nice bready sweetness that comes through. It's Christmas in a glass.

T: Holy crap! The flavor is spot on spruce pine sap. This is by far the most authentic pine flavor I've ever tasted. The malt makes a brief appearance in the finish but it's pine hop city throughout.

M: Medium body with a creamy mouth feel.

O: Very nice. If you like you hops piney this beer will knock your socks off.

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Sproose Double IPA from Black Husky Brewing
4.19 out of 5 based on 178 ratings.
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