BMan1113VR (7929) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 14, 2008
On tap. Listed as Craftsman Holiday Spruce at Fathers Office Santa Monica. Pours what, in the dim light I can see as a hazy amber with an off-white head that clears to a ring and leaves okay lacing. Aroma is pine, spruce and light spices with cedar... a bit understated and mild. Taste is pine and spruce, what I assume are tree like hops, and a very green, nearly ever green, bitterness. A touch of spice and sticky molasses malt as well. The beer is a bit too fizzy on the tongue for me. Lightly creamy when you can get past the bubbly-ness. Overall this beer has an interesting spice or hop profile and is a good take on the winter brew and more unique than OSA in my opinion, but this is nothing amazing. Wish that Fathers Office had not run out of Cabernale! doubleo (1432) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 10, 2008
On-tap at Stone. Pours clearish, burnt orange with a thin, fizzy white head, good lace. Smells sweet and slightly spicy and a hint piney. Tastes like popcorn and beef jerky to me. Malty and sugary sweet with building and lingering pine flavors. Medium body, good carbonation. hapjydeuce (1002) - Carlsbad, California, USA - FEB 16, 2008
On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad; listed as Holiday Ale / Winter Warmer, I’m not sure if this is the same one. Deep gold color that was quite still on the tap pour, just some medium carbonation and no head. Faint dry aromas of caramel and gingerbread. Weakened flavor of butterscotch, ginger and clove. Some grapefruit and peppery hops in the finish. Nothing special. ChazMania (669) - Oceanside, California, USA - DEC 30, 2007
On tap from Lucky B’s in Sierre Madre. Interesting beer and I enjoyed it, but probably could not drink more than one.
It’s an orangeish color. Flavors are definitely in the spicey/pumpkin/clove genre. badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - DEC 17, 2007
On tap at Lucky Baldwin’s. Pours a brownish golden color with a creamy white head. Sweet and slightly spice aroma with notes of molasses. Tastes of caramel and spice with a nice smoothness. Decent.
can8ianben (1577) - State College, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 12, 2007
Hmm... I had a taste of this while enjoying an Anchor Holiday beer, and this one just didn’t stack up well. To do it justice I should really order a full glass and enjoy the entire thing on a different occasion. It seemed to be much like a well crafted amber ale, only with a hint of pine scent and more spice you would expect from a holiday beer. kp (10880) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2009 FlacoAlto (4220) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 2, 2007
Name: Holiday 2006 (Spruce)
Date: November 29, 2006
Appearance: clear dark amber, wispy head
Aroma: nice fresh spruce aroma on a mostly dry malt base
Flavor: good dry caramel malt flavor with the light sprice adding complexity rather than taking over creating a very drinkable beer
Name: Holiday 2006 (Spruce)
Date: December 03, 2006
Source: Delirium Cafe
Appearance: the spruce is even more subtle than the sample from the brewery
Flavor: picking a bit of sweetness with the caramel malt flavor
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 13/20
Sampled on tap at Lucky Baldwin’s, April 2007CaptainCougar (7634) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - APR 16, 2007
This beer has a fairly hazy, dark amber color to it; it is topped by a frothy, amber tinged, tan colored, one-finger thick head that is not quite bad for a beer from the tap. The aroma is a mix of fruit and sweet spice notes that are quite interesting and I can’t quite place it, but feel like I should be able to. There are touches of cinnamon and mace here, but not really, as well as notes that remind me of both orange peel and the sweet pulp of an orange. This aroma is quite interesting, and I feel like I should be able to place it; the aroma is really well balanced between the different characteristics and there is almost something like grapes here as well.
This beer has quite a spicy flavor to it; it is a mix of spice notes that give this beer a definitive spiciness, yet are not quite discernable as a contribution from a single spice (perhaps something like cinnamon, mace, orange peel or even some ginger like character is here). There is a solid fruitiness here as well that seems to be a mix of orange, apple a touch of melon and even a hint of raisins. A medium fullness keeps this, along with the interesting spiciness, a sipping brew rather than a full on light quaffing brew. The beer is fairly dry with just a touch of sweetness and even some tartness that must have been added to this brew. This is quite a nice brew, it is perhaps nothing earth shattering, but is a solid tasty beer none-the-less. It was not until I was done with this beer that I realized that the mysterious spice / fruit character was from fresh spruce tips; it make so much sense now, but I couldn’t quite figure it out while I was drinking this.
On tap at Lucky Baldwins Delirium Cafe 12/3/06: Poursa a transparent deep copper amber with lightly frothy off-white wispy-lacing head. Aroma of sweet caramely malt, some piny spruce and some toasted notes. Body starts with a viscous, full caramel malty sweetness, a touch of grainy notes and a sweeter earthy spruce finish. An interesting and enjoyable holiday brew. goldtwins (4319) - Nesconset, New York, USA - DEC 25, 2006
Draft @ Father‘s Office A dark golden color with a medium sized off-white head. Big fresh spruce aroma. So fresh like I rubbed my hand on a tree. Very nice. Some spruce in the flavor mixed with good malt. The spruce is strong but it has great balance and flavor. It lets you know it is there but doesn’t overwhelm. That’s what I love about their beers.