ajm (1057) - 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.
fordest (1961) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - MAR 28, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at O’brien’s. Dark amber with a decent head. Aromas were very sprucy with some banana in there. Flavors were actually quite like banana bread. Yeasty with some banana, nuttiness, and some spice too. Spruce was evident as well. Very good.
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 3, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On draft at O’Briens. Sits in the glass a dark reddish copper with a thin whitish head that leaves some lacing. Subtle caramel in the aroma, with mor prominent floral and light citrus notes along with a nice spiciness. Rich, spiced caramel malts in the flavor, bitter and astringent spices as well, rich fruitiness, plum, floral and herbal hops. Medium body and gentle carbonation.
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.
beerguy101 (5244) - 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.
CaptainCougar (7129) - 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.
badlizard (5525) - 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.
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.
iowaherkeye (2675) - 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.
FlacoAlto (3676) - 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.