Spruce IPA | Alaskan Brewing Co.

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Spruce IPASpruce IPA
Very Good
Spruce IPASpruce IPA

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 83
Photo of HardTarget
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Deep gold amber glass holds a full cover of white foam that leaves soapy spots all down the glass.

Aroma: A candy sweetness, toffee with orange peel, under lying crystal malt.

Taste: Classic west coast pine and citric hop notes, but fairly mild for today's IPA. Some malt comes through increasing drinkability.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium low carbonation, slightly oily but mostly clean finish.

Overall: Spruce? I don't really get any tree flavors. I was hoping for something down the road toward an Anchor Merry Christmas. Didn't really get any Spruce notes, just a slightly perfumed floral note in the nose. But, I don't care, it's a great IPA hitting all the right notes.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a healthy, two finger white head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma of pale malt and spruce needles with mild citrus. Flavor is mellow biscuit malt, spruce, citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, mild light stone fruit. Finishes with great lingering fresh spruce resin. Medium bodied with light to medium creaminess. Really glad I picked this up. Alaskan has always been my mainstay in Alaska when away from the cities with more robust craft scenes. Their beers are well made, but often unexciting, but always welcome in restaurants and bars, as well as ubiquitous bottles of Amber on the docks and waysides. I like pine/spruce flavors in ales and this one really delivers. The malt body is quiet, but very supportive and the spruce element is well balanced with the lightly citrus hops. Every so often this brewery comes out with something that leaves inspires me and this is one of them. Nicely done.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a deep amber color with a one finger head of off white foam. The head fades quite fast, leaving a tiny bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass
Smell – The aroma of the brew is massive of pine. Along with the nice spruce pine comes notes of a doughy and slightly bready smell along with some notes of lemon and caramel.
Tastes – The taste begins with a heavy bready and slightly grainy taste with a decent showing of some pine hop at the start. Upfront there is some light caramel and orange sweetness as well, which dwindle as the taste moves forward. All the while, the pine hop gets stronger along with the grain, while the bready taste becomes slightly more doughy in nature. At the end the nice spruce pin hop is joined by a little bit of herb and earth to leave one with a dank, but somewhat thicker malted taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the average to slightly thicker side with a carbonation level that is rather normal. For the dank hop and the bready/grainy taste the feel is great and makes of a robust media for all the tastes to be well sensed.
Overall – I rather enjoyed this brew. Full of dankness from the pine with a body to support the malt, hop, and lightly sweetened flavors of the brew. Tasty!!

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Photo of mjurney
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep Amber, clear. Medium rising bubbles. Thick frothy head. Good head retention.

Spruce, some sap... A little citrus, spice, sweet bread, caramel.

Spruce up front, but it doesn't overpower the beer. Moderate hop bitterness, citrus-fruity. Bready, some candy like caramel. Finish is bitter-sweet, lingers fairly long. Medium bodied, slick, smooth, moderate carbonation.

It's a very interesting beer, but I really enjoy this one a lot!

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Photo of hreb
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a pint glass. Beer is brassy amber in color and builds nice looking head. Aroma has the distinct woodsy quality of spruce trees, but not overpoweringly so. Like being at the far end of the room from a christmas tree. Flavor combines a piny hop bitterness worthy of a NW IPA with a much stronger does of that spruce flavor. Strong flavors and aggressive carbonation make for a somewhat intense drinking experience, though an enjoyable one. Spruce can be overpowering, but this beer keeps it in control and the result is legitimately an IPA and not a gimmick.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "BEST BY" date "042519".

APPEARANCE: pours a clear, copper color with less than one-finger off-white head that quickly dissipated until a thin, broken layer of small bubbles remained, heavy lacing on the glass, medium carbonation.

SMELL: sweet caramel, bread and spruce/pine.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, initially sweet caramel and bread then a spruce and pine hop profile that lingered.

PALATE: medium body and carbonation, somewhat creamy.

OVERALL: this is a decent beer but I would not seek it out again, maybe a little more subtle on the spruce, this has potential but not quite right.

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Photo of TrojanRB
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear copper with a half finger of loose head that settles quickly

Nose has great spruce/pine character, but also some underlying sweet stone fruit.

Taste is really layered....what’s interesting is that as pronounced as the spruce was in the nose, it’s somewhat behind the scenes on taste. I catch a lot of fruit, like sweet peach. An earthy, woodsiness. A little honey.

Medium body, sticky finish that lingers.

Outstanding beer, really interesting, lots of different flavors complementing each other, but still in balance.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pleasantly surprised at how fruity this ipa ended up even though spruce tips were the centerpiece used. Malty and sticky aftertaste, fairly dry in the finish.
If only it were a bit more crisp.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

alaskan absolutely nailed this one, a sturdy and well rounded ipa with fresh spruce tips in it. i love spruce in hoppy beer, and here its so natural and strong, at least as prominent as the hops themselves in nose and taste, and the specific hops selected are just perfect with the spruce, sort of essentially oily and woodsy and spicy in their own right. its straight to the point too, spruce and lupulin right up front in the nose and on the first sip, a great back and forth between them and its all incredibly fresh. i get a great wintery vibe from this more than spring, like christmas tree and being cozy. there is a bit of crystal malt here underneath everything, a bit maltier than a lot of them, but i think it adds needed roundness and balance, a light sweet middle to it as well, keeps it pretty drinkable. the spruce is so forward and flavorful, im glad they made it as bold as they did. its been awhile since i have had a new beer from alaskan, and this is downright delicious. a beer drinkers ipa right here! spot on.

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Photo of claminat420
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle marked best by 060818 then E 19 underneath it. Poured heavily into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- a transparent copper color with a frothy off white head that leaves decent lacing.

Aroma- malty. sad for an ipa. slight caramel/ graham cracker smell with a slight floral/ citrus hop aroma. not the worst but weak.

Taste-just like the aroma but the hops do pop a tiny bit more. bitterness is tame for the style but still lends a dryness.

Mouthfeel- solid medium body. good carbonation.

Drinkability- easily gonna crush the five beers tonight.

Overall- Piney ipa's are my favorite and this one is barely on my list. it's decent don't get me wrong but i've had more pinier beers that didn't even have spruce tips in them. a basic two hearted crushes this brew. the spruce tips in this beer actually offer more of a sweet/ candy taste. almost like a spearmint gum. so if that's your jam this beer is for you.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one off the Binnys single shelf. It poured a clear golden with white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent had some malt and subtle hint of pine. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with slight pine bitterness finish. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall its a solid beer.

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Photo of SB2017
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours a clear, wonderful amber, with a solid long lasting head of foam. A spicy, minty smell at first. Very fresh and sweet, with notes of papaya as well. Springlike, though not too floral. The taste is sweet, piney (as expected), and not at all bitter. I get an unfortunate chemical undertone on the back, perhaps from the resinous quality of the flavor of the pine. Ultimately, I'm disappointed by the overall sweetness, though the pine flavor is unique and distinct. I would like to see more distinct hop flavor in an IPA. Light to medium light body, not too prickly on the tongue. Nothing special. Overall, semi-tasty though not what I'd hoped.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into an Alaskan Brewing Pilot Series glass

A: Pours golden amber with a frothy light beige head that settles to a firm layer and laces nicely.

S: Spruce, pine, mild spice, tropical fruit, toasty biscuity malt, and caramel sweetness.

T: Spruce comes out up front, plenty of mild pine and spice, some citrus, grapefruit and tangerine, a little tropical fruit on the back side, mango, passion fruit, peach, apricot, and faint pineapple, slightly toasty biscuity malt, and caramel sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Tasty IPA with a unique twist. I really dig it.

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Photo of puck1225
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Interesting flavor and something I can see getting again.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Golden yellow color with good head and lacing. Slight pine, woodsy smell. Taste is a bit sweet and pleasant. A subtle fruit, sort of like berries. Light feel.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out an amber kind of color, light amber I guess, good 1/2" white head, solid clarity to it. Alaskan almost always makes professional grade appearance beer. Aroma was kinda lacking, seemed like maybe some Chinook hops, but the spruce didn't really reveal itself at this stage, questionable if any dry hopping going on here, just not all that revelatory in terms of hop or spruce smell. Says citra, but I dunno, would guess less than 10% of the hop bill is Citra. But no off smells either.

Taste does drop the spruce, it still has the Chinookk hop going for it, providing the 50 ibu level feels throughout it. Its a good beer, not going to knock the socks off, but a welcome invite to what spruce can bring, you get diversified pine and spruce in this beer without going overboard. Fractional crystal malt, otherwise out of the way, not too heavy. $10/6 pack was worth the cost of admission.

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Photo of dertyd
2.75/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

The beer pours out a crystal clear golden color with 1 finger of off white head---------------- the aromas are of Carmel malt, black tea, light citrus and some breadiness-------------- the flavors are of pine, sweet malt, black tea and light grapefruit(light flavors) the beer has a thin mouthfeel with a medium bitterness on the finish-------------- overall I wasn't a big fan of this one, I didn't get much spruce or pine and the black tea flavors through everything off for me

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Photo of Birdlegs
2.6/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I'm always looking for something I haven't tried so when I saw this IPA with spruce tips on the grocery shelf I grabbed it. I've had several of the Anchor Christmas Ales so I figured this would follow in the same vein, understanding they're very different styles. Plainly put, the spruce was way too overpowering. I don't think I could get more spruce flavor if I chewed on a live spruce. Couldn't finish the pint. Oh well, on to the next unknown pint. Cheers!

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Photo of superspak
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 5/4/2018. Pours slightly hazy deep golden amber/light orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky off white head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, citrus peel/zest, spruce, light pepper, pine, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/tropical/pine hops, spruce tips, and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, citrus peel/zest, spruce, light pepper, pine, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine, citrus peel, herbal, grassy, spicy bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, citrus peel/zest, spruce, pepper, pine, light caramel, toasted bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/pine hops, spruce tips, and moderate bready malt flavors; with an awesome malt/bitterness balance, and zero lingering hop astringency after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/sticky, and lightly resinous/rindy balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 7%. Overall this an excellent spiced IPA! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/pine hops, spruce tips, and moderate bready malt flavors; very smooth and refreshing to drink; with the modestly bitter/drying finish, never aggressive. Chinook, Citra, and Denali hops; great hop profile. Really great balance of juicy/lightly dank hops and spruce tips; solid bready malt backbone, with minimal residual sweetness. Very impressive for a spiced IPA, well restrained on the spruce tips. A very enjoyable and well made offering.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by date of 05/26/18

Appearance - Pours clear and bright golden orange in color with an off-white, half finger's width head. Fair retention results in a thin, broken layer of suds that thicken up around the edge of the glass.

Smell - Sweet and lightly tart citrus with some herbal undertones. Enticing aroma.

Taste - Follows the nose. Sweet and fruity with a touch of tartness. Citrus and lesser green, herbal character. Light, bready undertone. The finish adds a hint of bitterness, but the overall profile leans toward sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with fair carbonation. Drinks easy enough.

Overall - A good IPA with some unique character. A bit sweet at times, but not cloyingly so. I would drink this again.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nabbed a sixer in Austin, TX for $9.99 USD.

Pours a clear vibrant copper body with a frothy soft white head atop. Head retention is good - ~8 minutes.

Aroma delivers on the spruce implicit in the beer's premise, which plays nicely alongside resinous and slightly oily aromatics. Pale malt. Vivid and enticing. Aromatic intensity is moderately high.

Taste follows the aroma. This beer features a unique spruce flavour that doesn't eclipse the oily, resinous, and herbal hop flavours. Pale malt sweetness keeps the beer balanced but there's still some concomitant hop bitterness in the late second act; this doesn't shy away from hop pungency. Balanced across the board and very enjoyable if a bit simplistic compared to the very best expressions of the oversaturated IPA style.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, refreshing, slightly dry, smooth, and slightly oily. A bit sticky. Well-carbonated.

Overall, it's a nice little IPA though its depth of flavour and complexity could be improved. Not the gimmick beer it could be given the premise of the beer. More solid work from an often unsung brewery.

B- (3.40) / WORTHY

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Single purchased at Liquor Shed. Best by April 19th. Pours a medium gold, clear, an inch of foam and good lacing.

Smells of caramel malt and pine, balanced.

Taste is of caramel malt, pine, kinda resinous, mid palate I get some of the spruce, but overall a balanced IPA, which I like.

Medium body with a sticky mouthfeel. Nice one.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in an IPA glass

This beer pours a brilliant amber color with burnt orange highlights. It is topped with less than an inch of beige head that leaves little lacing.

The spruce tips meld well with the citrus aroma.

The flavor is citrus and the spruce tips add a bitter element to the taste. The finish is predominantly spruce. The bitterness is not overwhelming. It is nice.

Medium mouthfeel

This is a nice spin of a very good west coast IPA.

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Photo of J_T_Arlington
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Look - frothy white head that dissipates rather quickly. A little lacing that doesn't stick around very much. Beer is a clear, orange-amber.

Smell - I get some yeast in the nose, some floral note play in the background, but on the whole it is unimpactful. I was hoping to smell the spruce more.

Taste - I kind of get citrus hops. The spruce tips do come through on the palate, and not in an overwhleming way, but rather a kind, gentle way, like a spice.

Feel- it feels oily, heavy, creamy, welcome.

Overall- a welcome treat, but a little bit lacking imo.

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Photo of Twoxrifles
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my first Spruce Tip beer and didn’t know what to expect. You can pick up a little the smell of spruce. To me it has very mild bitterness, light bitteness which isn’t helped by sweet finish. It’s not a bad beer, just not sure it hits you the way you think a spruce tip should.

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Photo of BB1313
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Best by 4/8/18. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours golden with great clarity and transparency; white head that falls leaving nice retention and great retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have hints of citrus along with a nice amount of bread and crackers. Hints of caramel. Malts are there. The flavors have lots of bread and crackers. Some grapefruit, lemon and fresh grass in the mix. Some berries in the finish. Moderate bitterness. Malts do their thing. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's fluffy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is an alright IPA. The spruce is pretty mild and subtle. The spruce almost goes unnoticed. It's not bad at all and it's refreshing, but it's nothing crazy.

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Spruce IPA from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 83 ratings