Brewed by Garrison Brewing Company
Style: Spice/Herb/Vegetable
Halifax, Canada


on tap

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RATINGS: 59   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 35   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
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North America’s oldest beer style brewed with local spruce & fir tips, blackstrap molasses & dates. Dark amber and brown colouring. Aroma is a comforting mix of spruce boughs, caramel malts, molasses and dates. Complex and full bodied, it balances the crisp bitterness of spruce and fir gum with the warming flavours of molasses and bittersweet chocolate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bulk_Carrier (2264) - Juneau, Alaska, USA - AUG 5, 2014
Thanks Fred. This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance was a nice looking hazy red to brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute. There was some light lacing trickling down the sides of the glass. The smell had a decent spruce to sweet molasses. Combined, well not really. It seems as though these smells come in at separate times. The taste was mainly sweet with a slight kick of sprucy piney - ness. Was that vanilla in there too? If so, I kinda like how that works in with the spruce and molasses, nice. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. The carbonation was somewhat sharp but I’m wondering if some of it is due to the spruce in it. Overall, well the Alaskan breweries can’t seem to get to get this right or at least to me but my hat goes off to this Canadian brewer for getting this right. Oh Canada, wait a minute, I’m still American.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Hidden_Pooch (410) - Stratford, Prince Edward Island, CANADA - MAY 19, 2014
Multiple bottles. This beer lived up to its name perfectly. If this was one of the first North American beer styles, I could have lived back then for sure. Open the cap and you get a blast of Christmas tree in your face. It was so fresh and sappy, but never overwhelming to make you want to stop drinking. You definitely taste the molasses and resin in this one, but everything was just so perfectly balance I went back for more and more, but sadly it is only limited time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
shorlin (688) - St. John’s, Newfoundland, CANADA - FEB 17, 2014
Aroma is more molasses and dark fruit than spruce for me, although the spruce really is there. Colour is deep red-brown, with little head fading quickly to no head. A little bubbly but not very carbonated. Very Christmasy beer: spicy, molasses, ginger. And then the spruce comes through in the finish. It tastes like the smell of cutting boughs to cover the ground before we’d put up a tent as kids. Very interesting taste experience. Not the kind of beer where you pound a few back before going out, but good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jdobbs (408) - New Brunswick, CANADA - JUN 16, 2013
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2013 First Spruce brew for me. Great aroma and flavour but way too carbonated for me. I can only assume this is a production issue? 2nd time a lot better

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GRM (3080) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 2, 2013
Sample, draught, tasted during the Hivernale des brasseurs, savoured on February 22 2013; eye: caramel with a reddish hue, clear, no effervescence, no head, no lacing; nose: soap gum, light caramel, spruce; mouth: soap gum, light caramel, spruce, finale in spruce with presence of soap gum, medium body, average carbonation, mildly bitter, lightly grainy texture; overall: correct FRANÇAIS Échantillon, en fût, bue lors de l’Hivernale des brasseurs, savourée le 22 février 2013; œil : caramel avec une teinte rougeâtre, limpide, pas d’effervescence, pas de mousse, pas de dentelle; nez : gomme-savon, léger caramel, épinette; bouche : gomme-savon, léger caramel, épinette, finale en épinette avec présence de gomme-savon, corps moyen, carbonatation moyenne, moyennement amère, texture légèrement granuleuse; en résumé : correct

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
SlovakSniper (3360) - Candiac, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 26, 2013
Un liquide qui me semble être plutôt brun. Difficile de bien voir dans la pénombre du Brouhaha. La mousse forme un ensemble bien compact et plutôt solide. Il ya un début de dentelle sur la paroi de nos verres. Le nez est un amalgame intéressant entre les couleurs des conifères et les malts caramélisés foncés. Les multiples gorgées qui me mènent jusqu’au fond du verre se font en toute simplicité. J’aime bien cette sensation verte fabriquée par le sapinage et par l’épinette à travers ces notes de mélasse fruitée et de sucre brûlé. Je ne sais pas dans quelle mesure les houblons viennent jouer un rôle parmi ces essences qui imitent une bouffée de grand air. En bouche, le corps n’est jamais trop lourd. Les bulles sont modérées et ont un impact sur la texture crémeuse du liquide. La finale, qui est loin d’une explosion sucrée, s’articule pourtant autour de la richesse octroyée par les céréales maltées. Un 2 pour 1 agréable avant de partir pour l’aéroport.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Lubiere (10451) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 12, 2013
A reddish amber ale with a thin mocha head. In aroma, loads of spruce tips essence with light fruity esters. In mouth, a nice crisp malt with with fir tree essence and caramel. Bottle at Hivernale, Feb. 23 2013.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
swiseman (431) - Fredericton, New Brunswick, CANADA - MAR 10, 2013
definite aromas of the woods. tastes of spruce, toffee and cigarettes. In essence, this is Christmas in a glass! For anyone who likes trying unique beer, this is a must sample as no one would be able to overlook the tree tastes in this one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Boutip (4862) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 6, 2013
Tap (Hivernale): Poured a light brown color ale with a medium size foamy head. Aroma of spruce tips is quite powerful with light molasses notes also perceptible. Taste is dominated by spruce tips with some residual sugar also perceptible. Body is average as well as carbonation. I get what the goal of this beer is but I am just not sure that spruce beer is something I should be seeking on a regular basis.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
GarnotingPete (777) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 26, 2013
Hivernale des brasseurs 2013 - Bière claire avec une très fine écume à sa surface. Des arômes de conifères, de foin et quelques notes fumées. Bien amère avec une trace de sucre. De corps généreux, elle est crémeuse, légèrement effervescente et se termine sur de doux arômes.

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