TAR (2445) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - APR 30, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Radiant yellow. Fine, tight white froth. Pungent yet refined scents of spruce needles and dank, spicy hops dazzle the olfactory senses. Bright notes of mandarin oranges, black pepper and cannabis. Gentle effervescence. Bottle conditioned. Dense resins coat the palate with a pleasantly composed sappiness. Vibrant spruce needles dig deeply into the palate, colliding with the sappy hops to create a black-pepper effect as they prick the tongue. Clean sweep of alcoholic dryness is bolstered by the minty, candylike spruce as it cleans up some of the sappy residue. Hops are dense in flavor and far from acidic, yielding a lustrous note of candied lemon zest which remains bright throughout. Supportive malt sweetness is relaxed yet firm and crackery, and plenty sturdy enough to withstand and complement the ever forceful bitterness. Finishes dry, minty and zesty with a tight medley of spruce and hops, and a prolonged crackery malt afterimage. Hop character is a bit raw (not enough succulence to match the bitterness), and the spruce needles deaden much of the overall brightness. Does have a deeply enticing aroma which is mesmerizing in its freshness and zippiness, as well as a beautifully airy yet dense mouthfeel. Love the concept here. Extremely solid, as is, but this could be otherworldly with a few tiny adjustments.
TheEpeeist (3292) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 19, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
25.6 oz bottle. Fogged honey with streaming bubbles and a long-lasting, puffy white head. Quite pretty in a pilsner glass. Nose is dough, lemon zest, grass and spruce. Crisp medium light with biting carb. Taste is an odd citrus and lychee? Hops and iron with spruce adding a sweet touch. Dries with increasing bitterness. Crazy. Once again Shorts intrigues me with a unique brew that pushes the edge of beer boundaries.
ogglethorp (917) - Ohio, USA - APR 10, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a clear deep golden color with a soapy white head. Aroma is spruce, caramel, citrus, lemon, floral. Flavor is spruce, citrus, caramel, floral. Palate is medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, finished bitter and piney. Very unique brew, I thought it was great when cold, as it warmed more of the spruce flavor poked through and I didnít like it as much. I gotta give em huge credit for pulling this off as well as they did, cuz this had disaster written all over it. Last one to finish their glass eats the pine cone in the bottom!!
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 31, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared by ogglethorp: Pours a clear gold with a white head. Aroma, smells like a freshly cut pine tree, like sawing off the end of the christmas tree and taking a nice whiff of the stump, there are some floral elements as well. Flavor, very floral and piny almost like a potpourri, some bready malts. It was very interesting, not something I could drink a whole 750 of on my own, but itís a nice beer to share. Really unique.
joe1510 (501) - Illinois, USA - MAR 7, 2008
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
#139 of 886
Recieved this bottle in a great trade with Hoppymeal, thanks a million Derek! Shortís Imperial Spruce India Pilsner pours like Iíd expect of a pilsner (although not one that weighs in at 10%). Beautiful golden body with a glass full of large carbonation bubbles swirling and rushing to the surface. Every other Imperial Pilsner Iíve sampled has had some viscosity and you really noticed by the crawl of the carbonation. This on the other hand looks more like a standard pilsner. The dense head grew to three fingers on the pour and is cotton white. Falls to a finger plus at itís lowest and leaves big chunky patches of lace.
The smell of this beer is intense! Iím sure the flavor will be too. Thereís a quick flash of biscuity malts upfront but the Blue Spruce neddles come fast and hard. Rosemary like at first but morphing into a glassful of Christmas tree. Iím not getting much in the hop department. Possibly some pine upfront but thatís most likely the Blue Spruce. Wait! As it warms there are some citric hop qualities that wave faintly in the background. A touch of earthiness rom the spruce needles. I can feel my sinusí clear each time I inhale. Very interesting!
The nose doesnít lie! Just as intense on the tongue as in the nose. Slightly sweet biscuity malts flash through again but the spruce needles take over quickly. My mouth all at once becomes earth, resinous, and sappy like Iím chomping on a Christmas tree. The spruce rides roughshod over my tongue. There is more hoppiness than the smell led me to believe, but doesnít show itself until the swallow. That hoppiness is lightly sweetened grapefruit and keeps the spruce from running away with things. Iím growing extremely fond of the bitterness the spruce needles leave in their path.
Most Imperial Pilsners Iíve sampled in the past have had far too viscous bodies for the style. This has a medium body but the lively carbonation keeps it moving at a fast pace. I canít imagine the mouthfeel being any better then what it is right now.
This bottle is going down pretty easy but the flavors are so intense one bottle is all I could handle in a sitting. The bitterness does a number on your tastebuds too so be ready.
Iíve been fortunate to have sampled three of Shortís beers, all thanks to Derek, and everyone of them has been excellent. This is one of the most unique beers Iíve encountered and would love to get my hands on some more spruce infused beers.
Matthew (2) - Connecticut, USA - MAR 2, 2008 does not count
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle. Pours into my tulip glass a clear burnt golden orange with a solid inch of frothy white rocky head. As the head slowly settles a solid ring of lace is left behind inside my glass.
The nose is pronounced with unique aromas of piny spruce with a spearmint like quality. Hop aromas consisting of floral and very light citrus tones are apparent beneath the piny character along with a tinge of malt sweetness.
The initial sip brings the big well defined spruce aroma found in the nose into my mouth. It almost seems as though Iím not tasting the big earthy/floral pine spruce quality as much as it just seems to overtake my mouth but not in an abrasive way. Hop bitterness coats my tongue while a bit of semi-sweet malt tries to poke through just before the dry finish completes my swallow. After each sip my nose and mouth seems to emanate spruce.
The beer is unexpectingly fairly full bodied. with a good amount of prickly carbonation.
How is this beer 10%abv? Its no where to be found. Iíd assume that if this beer was fresher that there is a good possibility that the spruce and hop characteristics may be bigger and may take away from drinkability, but as this beer stands right now its pretty easy to drink and begs you to take another sip to taste what you havenít tasted before in a beer, much like most shorts beers I have had the pleasure to try.
xnoxhatex (1305) - Grand Rapids/Chicago, Michigan, USA - FEB 20, 2008
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle sampled at "An evening with Pantanap #3" #93 of 886. Hazy gold/orange with large white head. Pine and sweet malt aroma. Pine burn in the flavor, with slight sweet wood. Creamy with big burn. I think I am allergic to pine and as soon as I started drinking this beer I started sneezing, it took away from the entire experience of the beer for me and I couldnít finish it. It did however blow my mind again with the simple possibilties of what you can do with beer.
egajdzis (5275) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 8, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured a clear amber color with a small, white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of spruce, pine, grass, and a bit of floral hops. Taste was dank, resinous, spruce, pine, citrus fruits, caramel, toasted malts, and a dry, alcohol finish.
hopdog (8821) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 8, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml bottle acquired in trade with hoppymeal (thanks!). Bottle # 251 / 886. Poured a medium and hazy golden color with an averaged sized white head. Aromas of spruce, grassy, and citrus. Tastes follow suit. LIght fruitiness as well. Definitely spruce in there!
holdenn (2078) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 4, 2008
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle Sampled at "An Evening with Pantanap #3". Thanks to Kan for this. Pours a hazy orange with an off white head. Citrus with all that pine and srpuce in the nose. Green flavors. Fresh pine, spruce. With a long bitter pine needle finish. Strange beer, Iíd have to say they maybe over did it a notch or two. But an interesting one.