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RATINGS: 116   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
• Aromatic earth tonic of the resinous picea and humulus lupulus
• Beer Type: Imperial pilsner brewed with Northern Michigan Blue Spruce needles and healthy doses of high alpha hops

Imperial India Spruce Pilsner is fermented with local, hand-picked blue spruce tips and the quintessential symbol for Joe Short’s love of hops and craft beer. The spruce presence, rooted in historical brewing practices, is enormous and gives the beer a refreshing gin quality. This beer is impressively light bodied, considering the immense spruce flavors and the prodigious additions of hops.


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - AUG 14, 2009
Shared from bottle at Short’s. Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a short off-white head. The aroma is pretty unique with a floral hoppiness that smells almost minty with the spruce behind it. The taste is nice because the pilsner characteristics aren’t lost behind the hops or the strength. A very unique and enjoyable beer.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - MAR 22, 2009
Courtesy GoT. Hazy orange with a white head. HUGE spruce in this beer. IPA meets strong lager. Floral, spicy, resinous, leafy. A little underattenuated, drinks like 10%, but doesn’t taste like it. Full body, balanced carbonation, a little syrupy, dry on the finish. Would love to see some lower abv examples of this style.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dionysus (1485) - Arizona, USA - SEP 10, 2010
Bottle pours burnt orange-gold with a white head. Aroma is sweet with burnt caramel and freshly shaved pine planks. Honestly, the intensity of the pine component is somewhat impressive. Overall body is moderate and sticky, starts lightly sweet, and finishes with a dry moderate/heavy pine bitterness.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - AUG 18, 2009
750ml bottle. 2007 # 275 of 886. Yup... it’s a beer brewed with spruce for sure. Obviously, it’s quite resiny on the nose. Because the beer is 2+ years old now, there is very little hop profile. Just juicy spruce and some corn-y lager-ness. Still fairly pleasant though. Pours bright gold with a thick, foamy white head. The beer tastes pretty much exactly how it smells... a beefed up lager with boatloads of spruce. Not too much in the pilsner category, though. The alcohol does assert itself midpalate back. Thick, chewy body with a solvent-y finish. Decent... if you like spruce. Interesting stuff. At least Joe takes some chances with his beers. Thanks Brian!

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
xnoxhatex (1305) - Grand Rapids/Chicago, Michigan, USA - FEB 20, 2008
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 couldn’t finish it. It did however blow my mind again with the simple possibilties of what you can do with beer.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 9, 2007
From a 750ml Bottle. Purchased at the brewpub 9/2/07. Pours a somewhat hazy, dandelion gold color with a firm finger of creamy white head. Tons of blue spruce immediately overwhelms the nostrils, fresh and bursting with Christmas tree incense. A soft malty base lingers quietly in the background, careful to not interrupt the spruce soliloquy. There’s a distinct corn-like character to the malts in the nose, but it’s clean and not DMS. Full bodied mouthfeel that rides that border between sticky and creamy. The malt sugars are heavy and weighing on the tongue, but not unpleasantly resiny. Some supple sweet corn and honey dipped pale malts start off the palate, but are quickly overtaken by a crescendo of spruce flavor that continuously builds on the palate until it transforms to a high alpha, white grapefruit hop finish that dries up some of the malt sweetness. A bit too much sweetness and caloric body for my tastes, but the flavors are phenomenal. It’s remarkable and worth pointing out how the bitterness and spruce flavors aren’t hidden or muddled by the heavy body. The blue spruce flavors are intense and insanely authentic; its like chewing on a spruce bough, but doesn’t get overly pungent or astringent; this might be where the thick sugar base helps out some. The balance between spruce and hop flavors is quite impressive too; both are firm, assertive, and satisfying. This beer definitely delivers what it promises.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
GodOfThunder (1248) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAY 4, 2009
Thanks to Northernbrews for picking this up for me. WOW!! This thing is packed with spruce. Spicy, warm and full of pine, this is exceptional. By looking at the reviews, it looks like people either love it or hate it. This is original and stands out among other beers. Awesome.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SpongeRuiner (1102) - Michigan, USA - OCT 8, 2013
I think I liked this one a little more at first bit once I got about halfway through and beyond and got a little out of taste for me. Very sprucey. Like chewing on a pine tree.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SpudClampDawg (1029) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - JUL 10, 2008
750ml bottle; Shimmering orange pour with a steady stream of tiny cascading bubbles and a sticky white head. I always thought certain hops were able to mimic the juiciness of pink grapefruit. I was wrong. The spruce tips give this the sensation of a ruby red grapefruit being squeezed directly into the glass. So insanely fresh smelling. Honey and caramel are hidden below the fruit. The body opens with a wallop of rindy fruit and bitter pine. The hops and spruce scrub the tongue, allowing softer notes of wildflower honey and caramelized sugars to come through. The body fades into a long and flavorful finish that is both grassy, citrusy and piney. While the nose is near perfect, the body is a bit overloaded with spruce, creating a one-dimensionality in flavor. Still, I love the one dimension that dominates and would consider trying my hand with spruce tips at home. Bravo to one of the most innovative breweries on the scene.

2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
phredrik (1024) - Copenhagen (formerly Aalborg), DENMARK - MAY 8, 2011
Pours yellow with a small head. Aroma is spicy, cardboard, rosemary, lavender, flowers. Tastes like spruce smells, rather chemical, medicin, flowers, bitterness, alcohol burn. Bad.


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