brokensail (10917) - 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.
kp (10886) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2009
Name: Holiday 2006 (Spruce)
Date: November 29, 2006
Appearance: clear dark amber, wispy head
Aroma: nice fresh spruce aroma on a mostly dry malt base
Flavor: good dry caramel malt flavor with the light sprice adding complexity rather than taking over creating a very drinkable beer
Name: Holiday 2006 (Spruce)
Date: December 03, 2006
Source: Delirium Cafe
Appearance: the spruce is even more subtle than the sample from the brewery
Flavor: picking a bit of sweetness with the caramel malt flavor
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 13/20
BMan1113VR (7858) - 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!
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - APR 16, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at Lucky Baldwins Delirium Cafe 12/3/06: Poursa a transparent deep copper amber with lightly frothy off-white wispy-lacing head. Aroma of sweet caramely malt, some piny spruce and some toasted notes. Body starts with a viscous, full caramel malty sweetness, a touch of grainy notes and a sweeter earthy spruce finish. An interesting and enjoyable holiday brew.
bb (6858) - 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.
badlizard (5538) - Berkeley, California, USA - DEC 17, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Lucky Baldwin’s. Pours a brownish golden color with a creamy white head. Sweet and slightly spice aroma with notes of molasses. Tastes of caramel and spice with a nice smoothness. Decent.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - APR 23, 2006
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Draught at O’Briens: Dark amber color, a bit hazy and a thin layer of head. The nose is sweet with fruitcake and nutmeg spices, a bit of diacetyl and other cloying notes. Ugh, I can already see what’s coming. Yup, the flavor is way too sweet with way too many spices and way too little hops and carbonation. The finish is a bit bitter but this is not a re-drink.
beerguy101 (5285) - Newark, California, USA - APR 2, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at O’Brien’s. This spiced ale pours a medium brown color. Small sized creamy beige head. Aroma is fruity and spicy, touch of banana and clove. A medium bodied spiced ale. Malts are fruity and sweet, touch of root beer, some cinnamon and nutmeg, touch of spruce. Hops are slightly bitter and a touch floral. Nice balance. Very smooth taste. Its a touch crisp and the finish, but mostly fruity and sweet throughout. An interesting winter beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - DEC 25, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft @ Father‘s Office A dark golden color with a medium sized off-white head. Big fresh spruce aroma. So fresh like I rubbed my hand on a tree. Very nice. Some spruce in the flavor mixed with good malt. The spruce is strong but it has great balance and flavor. It lets you know it is there but doesn’t overwhelm. That’s what I love about their beers.
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 2, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled on tap at Lucky Baldwin’s, April 2007
This beer has a fairly hazy, dark amber color to it; it is topped by a frothy, amber tinged, tan colored, one-finger thick head that is not quite bad for a beer from the tap. The aroma is a mix of fruit and sweet spice notes that are quite interesting and I can’t quite place it, but feel like I should be able to. There are touches of cinnamon and mace here, but not really, as well as notes that remind me of both orange peel and the sweet pulp of an orange. This aroma is quite interesting, and I feel like I should be able to place it; the aroma is really well balanced between the different characteristics and there is almost something like grapes here as well.
This beer has quite a spicy flavor to it; it is a mix of spice notes that give this beer a definitive spiciness, yet are not quite discernable as a contribution from a single spice (perhaps something like cinnamon, mace, orange peel or even some ginger like character is here). There is a solid fruitiness here as well that seems to be a mix of orange, apple a touch of melon and even a hint of raisins. A medium fullness keeps this, along with the interesting spiciness, a sipping brew rather than a full on light quaffing brew. The beer is fairly dry with just a touch of sweetness and even some tartness that must have been added to this brew. This is quite a nice brew, it is perhaps nothing earth shattering, but is a solid tasty beer none-the-less. It was not until I was done with this beer that I realized that the mysterious spice / fruit character was from fresh spruce tips; it make so much sense now, but I couldn’t quite figure it out while I was drinking this.