Barreras (948) - Diamond Bar, California, USA - DEC 24, 2013
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours an amber color with an orange hue. Aroma is sublte of spice mixed with malt. Taste is clean and crisp, with some fruit notes, maybe mixed in with pumpkin. An easy drinking beer, where the alcohol content wasn’t evident. Just enough complexity to the beer. Craftsman once again A+.
carboloader (673) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 5, 2012
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Was on tap at Hamilton’s Tavern in San Diego. I found this to be way too malty sweet and lacking in hops. It was called spruce so I was expecting more pungent pine resin and so forth. Some spice was in there, but overall, just an average conglomeration for a holiday ale.
brokensail (10645) - Orange County, California, USA - DEC 31, 2011
2 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
The beer is amber in color with a finger of khaki head. Butter and butterscotch dominate the nose, and not pleasantly. There is a little bit of spice and some herbal notes in there. Maybe nutmeg. The flavor is, somehow, better than the aroma. A bit of sweet fruit to go along with the spice and herb notes. There is still some butter, but nowhere near as awful as the nose. Medium body and low carbonation.
iowaherkeye (2690) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - DEC 27, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap @ Blue Palms. Clear auburn with a one finger beige head, pretty good retention. Undeniable pine spruce tip aroma that loosely reminds me of the smelly wax figurines my mom puts out for Christmas--"evergreen" is their official scent. There is also some sweet caramel with some sugar cookie, light cinnamon. Flavor follows suit with less spruce/evergreen, and the caramel sugar cookie dominates. Just a little tang in there that I can’t place--maybe from a fall leaves thing going on? Bitterness peaked at a 3 in the semi-dry finish. Moderate prickly carbonation with a medium body. Nice winter warmer.
beersearcher (2315) - Glendale, California, USA - DEC 17, 2009
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Brown with a thin head on top. Doesn’t quite taste of spruce to me. Herbs are the dominant flavor alongside a roasty note or two. Aroma is pretty muted.
ajm (1065) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JAN 6, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap at Fathers Office Culver City. A really interesting brew. Aroma of coriander, orange, cloves, very light vinous character. Flavor is very clean for a Holiday beer. Refreshing too, surprisingly.
bb (6797) - Alamo, California, USA - DEC 29, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft. Rich amber beer with an off-white head. Spruce, malt, and light spice aroma. Spruce flavor with malt and yeast. Medium body. Spruce, bready malts, and light pine linger. Too much spruce.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 28, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Pizza Port San Clemente
Reddish brown in color this a thin head, this brew has a nice slightly sweet flavor, with hints of spices, along with a nice full moth feel.
alexanderj (3299) - Branson, Missouri, USA - DEC 20, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: FEB 3, 2009 Rerate at Lucky Baldwins. I noticed that the flavor had alot of fruit, bread and spicing with a good amount of earthy hopping. Better tasting than I previously gave it credit for. 3.2 to 3.3.
On tap at PP San Clemente. Color was reddish, auburn in color with some orange hints. Aroma of spice, bread and caramel with some light sweet tones. Palate was soft and nice, albeit their was a tad hint of wateriness. Flavor of yeast, banana, caramel, spice, bread and earth. Decent brew, but nothing too exceptional.
BMan1113VR (7834) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 14, 2008
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap. Listed as Craftsman Holiday Spruce at Fathers Office Santa Monica. Pours what, in the dim light I can see as a hazy amber with an off-white head that clears to a ring and leaves okay lacing. Aroma is pine, spruce and light spices with cedar... a bit understated and mild. Taste is pine and spruce, what I assume are tree like hops, and a very green, nearly ever green, bitterness. A touch of spice and sticky molasses malt as well. The beer is a bit too fizzy on the tongue for me. Lightly creamy when you can get past the bubbly-ness. Overall this beer has an interesting spice or hop profile and is a good take on the winter brew and more unique than OSA in my opinion, but this is nothing amazing. Wish that Fathers Office had not run out of Cabernale!