hughie (3996) - Bedford, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - AUG 8, 2008
1.7 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Cask at GBBF ’08. Brown. Furniture polish aroma. Not sure which furniture polish, but it’s the one we use at home. Bitter piney taste with nourishing oils, bringing life to your antique woodwork. Straightforwardly aggressive and nasty beer. I’ve just seen it contains spruce tips. Is that what I think it is? Part of a tree? Is that what qualifies it as ’English style’? Do people in New Hampshire imagine Englishmen put spruce tips in their beer?
oh6gdx (23659) - Vasa, FINLAND - AUG 8, 2008
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Cask@GBBF2008. Deep rubyish amber colour, small bubbly head. Aroma is wooden and perfumed as well as spicy and yeasty. Flavour is hoppy, wooden and mildly yeasty. Aniselike finish.
harrisoni (15792) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - AUG 8, 2008
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Cask at GBBF 08. Hazy brown, no head. Very perfumed aroma, too woody. Jeez, that’s awful. Way too woody.
KimJohansen (10404) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - AUG 5, 2008
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Hazy brown with tiny off white head. Sweet aroma with spicy notes. Sweet spycy flavor with roasted malt. Ends bitter.
ClarkVV (4591) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 15, 2007
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Cask half-pint at NERAX on 5/2/07
Not quite bright, but very nearly, just a touch of residual haze. Deep caramel-auburn hues in this mahogany brown beer. Dark beige head is medium in size, receding to cover and lacing lightly.
Wow, they didn’t want you to miss the spruce in this one I guess. Huge spruce nose is incredibly dominant. Sticky, sweet caramel and toffee notes sit behind it and light coffee tries to emerge, but is beaten back by the pungent, bitter, extremely aggressive spruce. No alcohol or flaws, but just hugely unbalanced with no class to it.
Same with the flavor. It’s like an obnoxiously unbalanced DIPA, only substitute spruce for hops. Bitter, acidic, dry and astringent on the finish, it’s really almost all you can taste. At least the malt behind it is sweet and sticky, instead of dry, which would have further exacerbated the spruce dominance. Some notes of vanilla and light chocolate are noted. Definite oiliness on the palate from all of the spruce. Use about 1/4 the amount of spruce next time, if that.