johnnnniee (3157) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 15, 2012
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Thanks to Bruce for the opportunity to try this one.
Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a smallish off white head that quickly dissipates to a cap. Smells of roast caramel and ash with a spicy earthy menthol aroma that I assume is spruce. This beer smells a bit oxidized or maybe thatís a mix of spruce and pumpkin. The flavor is a bit spicy and roasty. Herbal spicy menthol hits up front followed by a roasty caramel and toffee. This finishes with a long lingering bitterness that seems more intense than just hops. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a roasty bitter mouthfeel. This one is certainly out of the box, but it really didnít work all that well for me. The pumpkin is almost non existent and the spruce adds a harsh bitterness that I really couldnít get into.
drfabulous (5226) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - DEC 4, 2012
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 ounce bottle. I forget who threw this in as an extra in a trade awhile back. Wasnít fresh then - pumpkins had yet to be released. Now, pumpkin has faded. Brown sugar. Malty. Not bad. Would have been good for a braise.
alobar (3221) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 22, 2012
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Cola brown color with a thin off-white head. Aroma of roasted malt, pine, and hint of pumpkin. Pumpkin sweetness followed by roasted malt, pine, and chocolate. Thin body-more porter-like. A very good beer.
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2012
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle at a friendís, picked up in Maine by him. Never would have guessed this to be a stout. Pours a deep brown, not really black with a tan head. The nose is lightly tart, resiny and a touch vegetal. Odd. On tasting, it is again tart with a moderate astringency. The spruce is clashing overall here and more of the vegetal notes come through. Faint brown sugar and cocoa. What a weird beer...
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - OCT 29, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours a dark brown color with a small white head. Nose is lightly roasty with some chocolate and some piney hops. Palate is full, fluffy with a nice bite. Flavors of chalky malt, piney hops, raisins.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
jamesewelch (233) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - OCT 29, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: SEP 8, 2015 Originally rating on 10/29/2012 as Pumpkin Imp Spruce Stout
Org: 7 / 3 / 7 / 3 / 14 = 3.4
Updated rating on 9/8/2015 as Spruce Stout, from 22 oz bottle, around $7, poured into shaker glass
Aroma: caramel, slight chocolate, spice/herbal, very little spruce. Much more spruce in 2012 version.
Appearance: black, big tan head
Taste: medium bitter, light sweet (2012: medium sweet & light bitter)
Palate: Medium body, oily texture, soft carbonation, long bitter finish (2012: full body, bitter finish)
Overall: A solid Stout, but the spruce is a tad lacking. Itís subtle and Iím not sure if itís from 2014 or 2015 year. Itís early in the pumpkin/spruce tip season. It was on shelf, so I thought it was 2015, but didnít think about it being last yearís batch until after I got home. Itís a nice stout with some good bitterness. Spruce is there on taste, but very little in aroma this year. Glad they removed the pumpkin reference, since squash/pumpkin is nowhere to be found in this batch.
2012: I was looking for more pumpkin, which wasnít very apparent in my tasting. The spruce was definitely there, but I think it overpowered the pumpkin.
Maltajo (329) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 21, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber from Fred. Thanks Fred. This is a good beer. Very seasonal. Spicy and good. Itís a nice match for the impieral Stout. Go find yourself some!
TheGent (656) - , Massachusetts, USA - OCT 20, 2012
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Vermont hippie beer time. Dark and nearly still looking beer. Aroma is roasted squash and spruce. Taste is a bit bitter and astringent from the pine. Just a bit of roasted malt in the back. Bit of hard mineral after taste. very english ale tasting. grows on you but not like any imp stout or pumpkin beer I have tried before. I would say the spruce element is most defining in this.
HighWine (955) - Whalezbro, Illinois, USA - AUG 20, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
I believe this is a 2011 bottle. Pours a mahogany brown, almost black color. Half finger head fades after a moment leaving an egg shell colored ring for a head. Aroma of bourbon, chocolate syrup, and charred oak. Taste is juniper berries with espresso beans. Moderate alcohol booziness and slight oxidation on the end. I got this as an extra in a trade and figured it would be quite a bit past its prime. Even still itís not terrible and I would definitely get this or other Rock Art beers again.
Pawola22 (3262) - Plainfield, Illinois, USA - JUL 6, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle picked up at the brewery in Morrisville, VT. Pours a black body with a finger-width, frothy, brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves a moderate lacing. Aroma is malty sweet with big dark chocolates, caramel, spruce, and a medium roast. Some molasses, dark fruits, and a mild earthy spice. Flavor is similar. Spruce, earth, and roasts stand out a bit more up front with some bitterness before the sweet malts comes in with lots of dark chocolate, caramel, and a bit of a molasses note. Some dark fruits and a slight nuttiness towards the end as this finishes pretty dry and roasty with a burnt note alongside a moderate, earthy and spruce spiced bitterness. Lengthy aftertaste following a fuller body and a moderate carbonation. Overall, a nice imperial stout with a sweeter malt backing and a dry, roasty, earthy bitterness with a good amount of spruce spice. Nothing special, but solid.