dwyerpg (4579) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 29, 2012
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Doesn’t smell that great. A bit off. The flavor is just ho-hum. Somewhat English strong but really at most just okay.
Phatdog1 (179) - Brentwood, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 28, 2012
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Pours hazy amber. Very little head with no retention. Earthy scent. Weak mouthfeel. Musty pine notes disappear into unpleasant bitterness. Knowing this is advertised as an ESB, I am disappointed with the base beer, spruce seems like a gimmick.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Stldsf1 (616) - Florida, USA - DEC 28, 2012
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
Cloudy copper pour. Soft nose. Herbs lemon honey. Pine. Grass. Easy drinking but nothing that will knock you out. Good
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
ThisWangsChung (747) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - DEC 27, 2012
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Reviewed 12/24/2012. 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
A: Pours a cloudy golden copper color. The head is a two finger offwhite color with a rather frothy texture and low retention. On the other hand, it leaves a level of lacing I only see out of IPAs.
S: Aromatically, it does come across like a non-hoppy pine aroma. It’s not loaded with spruce, but I do notice it quite well. Other than that, though, it smells like an old IPA with stale hops and generic caramel malts.
T: Firstly, the flavor profile comes across like a generic ESB, hitting the basics of the style (bright fruit presence and weirdly tart caramel malts) without doing them brilliantly...then the wave of piny spruce comes (both from hops and added spruce); and honestly it kind of works, especially on the finish. It’s not great, but it’s actually quite okay - more than I was expecting.
M: Has a good coarseness to the texture which might be my favorite feature of this brew. The finish and aftertaste are pretty neutral between wet and dry.
O: Nothing wrong with this at all. There’s no wow factor or ’zing’, but I can’t find anything bad with this. I wouldn’t purchase this again, but I’d never refuse one.
EtTuCthulhu (1072) - Columbia, Missouri, USA - DEC 23, 2012
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
The aroma of this beer is quite muted, but there are hints of vanilla, roasted malts, and herbal hops, and the color is a cloudy golden yellow with a prominent white head that dissipates quickly. Once sipped, this beer is of a medium bitterness and a light sweetness, but the lively carbonation makes for an earthy tasting beer. The finish is slightly bitter, and the medium body is quite nice.
onceblind (4287) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 22, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Clear golden with a copperish-tint, under a foamy white head, great lacing. Nice aroma of floral and herbal hoppiness, a dash of honey, earthy malts, and golden grains. Bright floral and herbal flavor that’s medium bodied and ’spritzy’. Flavor starts like spruce and flowers, with a little bit of a grassy hop tone, followed by some earthy honey and blonde grain notes. Mild finish thats kinda herbal and pollen-y.
boombq (1) - - DEC 20, 2012 does not count
1.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 1/20
This beer is a miss. 12oz bottle and I?m not sure I can finish it. It?s flavored with spruce and very unbalanced. The pine taste is overwhelming. It sounded interesting, but I cannot take a sip without wincing. Poor.
Imaena (1855) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 17, 2012
1.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 6/20
Bottle. I think that the additives used in this beer - spruce and spice - were not added in a balanced fashion. The spruce flavor comes off as sappy and earthy - which I might have liked if the beer had more sourness or sweetness to provide foundation. Instead these flavors sit on top of a limp pale ale which cannot support nuances the brewer was trying to impart. Flawed brew.
wlajwl (3929) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - DEC 16, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Aroma is hops, a hint of the spruce and mildly sweet malts. The flavor is spruce/mint, malts and a mildly tart finish.
garrison (776) - Cin. city, Ohio, USA - DEC 10, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Alright, I got this one as part Magic Hat’s 2012 Winter Variety 12 pack, and was surprised its label as an "ESB with SPRUCE". Well, it poured a grainy smelling amber brew that had a fine bubbled head of white foam, with good lacing. Tastewise, I find the hops and spruce presenting an interesting combo upfront, balancing well with the malts into a "grassy" flavor.