TAR (2503) - 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.
dimenhetfield (2487) - , Florida, USA - FEB 7, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On draft at Lord Hoboís for EBF weekend. Another good showing from Shortís here. Nice aroma of hops, malts, spruce and earthy flavors. Grapefruit/citrus is there as well on the back end.
jcr (2220) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - JUL 10, 2008
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
750 ml. Brewed on 4-30-07. What an interesting beer ó especially if you like a big spruce flavor. Beautiful orange pour with big, frothy head. Huge, delicious aroma of juicy grapefruit, fresh-squeezed orange juice, spruce, pine, resin. Hints of caramel and sweet honey. The flavor is moderately sweet and moderately to heavily bitter. The finish remains bitter and dry. The flavor has the strong taste of spruce, like chewing on needles. In fact, the spruce overwhelms the other nice qualities of the beer. Medium body and velvet texture. If the spruce had been dialed down a couple of notches, allowing the nice malt backbone to share the stage, I would think this right up there with Dreadnaught. But the spruce is just too overpowering. Nonetheless, kudos to the brewery for one heck of a a fun beer to drink.
StefanSD (2156) - Lakeside, California, USA - SEP 17, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 zo bottle courtesy of hopburp. Thanks Mario. Pours a slightly hazy brass color with a small white head that slowly recedes to a fine film. The aroma is distinct with pine, chlorophyll and perfume. The flavor is similar to the nose, loads of green chlorophyll, fresh pine and biter pine resin. The palate is smooth and full with lively carbonation. The finish is long and dry with lingering pine. Overall: Lots of big bold experimental flavors, I dig it.
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - OCT 18, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark amber, creamy white head. Blasts of evergreen and spruce aromas rest on swirls of citrus and wet pine needles. Flavor is a bitter sappy spruce bite from beginning to end. Did I just drink a tree? Medium bodied, soft carbonation, bitter finish. Thumbs up for being unique. I like it, but donít know how often I could drink itÖ
holdenn (2080) - 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.
tectactoe (2042) - Michigan, USA - JUN 11, 2014
2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
Tap @ Shorts: Had this on tap at the 10th Anniversary Party; it was specifically labeled as the "Imperial" version, even though the ABV seems to be matching what the "non-imperial" version released in bottles was. No idea if itís actually a different beer or not. Should be, but who knows. Honestly, pulling from memory, it seems no different to me. Just intense spruce, pine, gin, & crazy bitterness with solvent & harsh almost chemical-like notes from the alcohol. Same as the previous bottles. Some sips start off okay but then they just crescendo into a world of hurt. Just a small shade or two above undrinkable for me... Pass.
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.
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - MAY 17, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy of MikeMac. Hazy/cloudy orange, huge white head, great lacing. Huge pine/spruce resin, literally smells like a fresh x-mas tree. Decent citrus character, not much for malt in aroma. Flavor again, huge pine/spruce, tastes like there are needles in the glass. Needles add a certain freshness character thatís hard to describe. Very resinous and sticky. As it warms caramel comes through a bit, helps to balance. Sort of 1 dimensional, but I dig it.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUN 13, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Big thanks to Randy for passing along this rarity, shared with the usual suspects at the Brick Store.
Pours a light clear golden amber with a creamy off-white head that recedes to a collar pretty quickly and leaves very little lacing.
The aroma is seriously fragrant and jumped out of the bottle. Itís dominated by the spruce and pine with some grassy notes and only a hint of the underlying malts. Plenty of similarities to this aroma and that of gin.
The taste is even more intense. I have to imagine this is the closest Iíll get to drinking straight spruce sap. There is some juniper and grassy hops as well, but the hops have faded to the point that the spruce steals the show completely. Iíd mentioned the underlying malts but Iím not sure I could really taste them.
Them mouthfeel is definitely on the fuller side of things and pretty thick and sticky on the palate.
Well, being a lover of pine hops, I was really looking forward to this one and it absolutely delivered the goods. Itís certainly intense and probably a little over-the-top, but since itís intensity is focused on something I enjoy so much, Iíve got no other option but to love this beer. Thank you Shorts!