otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUL 26, 2012
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Appearance: polished deep copper under a fluffy copper-hued head which lingers big and sticky. Garnet along the edges. Has the appearance of being polished to perfection.
Nose: whole fleshy red apples with mint leaf and greenery in the back. Chamomile. Spruce tips and fern leaves. Grape nuts and sweet crunchy cereal grains. Pear orchards hanging heavy and ready to drop.
Palate: sweet breads and apples and mint leaf along the sides. Chamomile and spruce in the breath. Soft chewy bready mouthfeel and weight. Pears and apples mingle harmoniously – in the middle leading into the finish. Spruce is subtle – gives it the essence of standing amidst a dew-dropped forest.
Final Thoughts: the more I taste their wide variety of beers the more I love Harpoon. From session to one-offs to big and bad ass to cellar worthy, Harpoon always leaves me happy.
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 8, 2012
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz. Bottle: Aroma of malt, grain, light spruce, Earth, slight mint, light caramel, pine, and a hint of medicine. Poured copper/amber in color with a small, creamy, dense, rocky, off-white head that greatly diminished but lasted throughout as a film on top of the beer. Clear. Sparkling. Flavor is lightly sweet and lightly bitter. Tastes of malt, spruce, grain, slight wood, leaves, and a hint of medicine. Medium body. Average texture. Average carbonation. Malt, spruce, grain finish is slightly sweet and lightly bitter.
dlovell2 (468) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 31, 2012
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Finally after much anticipation I found a bottle of the Vermont Spruce Tip. Poured amber with small white head. Caramel malt aroma with some fruity notes. Sweet caramel malt flavor with some yeast flavors. Didn’t really get any spruce flavors.
matador4u2 (1) - Texas, USA - JAN 5, 2012 does not count
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 6/20
Mild pine note with a good balance of maltiness to hops.
hivemind (692) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 26, 2011
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle from Rockland Beverage split with Ryan on Christmas. Pours a medium amber with a huge almost-white head. Mine was poured into a lager glass. Nose is somewhat muted, but I get malt/grain, herbal notes and a bit of pine. I expected this to have a much bigger aroma. Taste is almost equally underwhelming, although it’s not boring. There is some dry herb/spice, a little hop bitterness and even some floral notes, but I was expecting more of a piney character given the word "spruce" in the name of the beer. Light mouthfeel and smooth drinking. Maybe my expectations were unfair given that it’s a vegetable beer, but I was looking for more forest than garden.
beachbum25 (1084) - Powellville, Maryland, USA - DEC 31, 2011
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
On tap @ Lure’s-Crownsville MD-golden pour w/a moderate head. Spruce aroma. Spruce malt flavor, some hops mixed in, a little caramel, some roasted nuts. Kind of a muddled mess, not really sure what they were going for here. Didn’t really think too much of this one.
rodisian (66) - Connecticut, USA - MAR 21, 2012
2.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 6/20
Color was a wonderful red hue. Aroma is a mix of spruce and caramel malt. Taste is initially slightly sweet caramel malt, followed up by spruce and herbal hoppiness. Decently bitter.. the first few sips I enjoyed the novelty but it wore off: I ended up pouring out the last third (which was more because we had more beers to taste and time was short, rather than a bad beer.) I wouldn’t buy again, unless the mood was right: (think Christmas tree decorating day and a foot of snow outside).
auerbrau (3079) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - DEC 13, 2011
2.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
22oz Bottle, purchased at Wakefield Liquor - Wakefield, RI. Somehow, the aroma doesn’t elicit the strongest reaction of spruce, instead a gentle minty waft and plenty of caramel malt. Flavors start of similarly, but then develop a really strong Christmas tree flavor. Strong resin, those little scented pillow filled with Balsam Fir needles, car fresheners, and a whole array of cleaning products. All of this incongruously paired with a malty near-Amber Ale. Man, can Harpoon make soap-flavored beers. Interesting that in playing it safe to not overwhelm the beer with conifer, the threshold has instead been brought down to gimicky Yankee Candle and Pinesol levels. Turn up the Spruce or go home.
jeremytoni (2834) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - MAR 4, 2012
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
From a bottle poured a brown color with a small amount of head. Light spicy malty flavor with a lingering off putting pine finish.
fluffy (1052) - St Petersburg, Florida, USA - MAY 12, 2013
2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
i was actually expecting more of a resiny pine note here, but this is basically like a blond belgian ale with a watery finish, with a mild spice note in there. blah.