joeneugs (6371) - Livermore, California, USA - FEB 15, 2015
On tap at Hog’s Apothecary. It pours a reddish amber color with an off white head. The aroma has some rather strong foresty notes with spruce, wet forest, redwoods and fruity herbal caramel. Very rich on the palate with the same flavors I got in the aroma. Not bitter or overly sprucy. Very well executed. Barreras (1687) - Diamond Bar, California, USA - DEC 24, 2013
Pours an amber color with an orange hue. Aroma is sublte of spice mixed with malt. Taste is clean and crisp, with some fruit notes, maybe mixed in with pumpkin. An easy drinking beer, where the alcohol content wasn’t evident. Just enough complexity to the beer. Craftsman once again A+. carboloader (674) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 5, 2012
Was on tap at Hamilton’s Tavern in San Diego. I found this to be way too malty sweet and lacking in hops. It was called spruce so I was expecting more pungent pine resin and so forth. Some spice was in there, but overall, just an average conglomeration for a holiday ale. brokensail (16432) - Dublin, California, USA - DEC 31, 2011
The beer is amber in color with a finger of khaki head. Butter and butterscotch dominate the nose, and not pleasantly. There is a little bit of spice and some herbal notes in there. Maybe nutmeg. The flavor is, somehow, better than the aroma. A bit of sweet fruit to go along with the spice and herb notes. There is still some butter, but nowhere near as awful as the nose. Medium body and low carbonation. iowaherkeye (2703) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - DEC 27, 2009
On tap @ Blue Palms. Clear auburn with a one finger beige head, pretty good retention. Undeniable pine spruce tip aroma that loosely reminds me of the smelly wax figurines my mom puts out for Christmas--"evergreen" is their official scent. There is also some sweet caramel with some sugar cookie, light cinnamon. Flavor follows suit with less spruce/evergreen, and the caramel sugar cookie dominates. Just a little tang in there that I can’t place--maybe from a fall leaves thing going on? Bitterness peaked at a 3 in the semi-dry finish. Moderate prickly carbonation with a medium body. Nice winter warmer.
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - DEC 17, 2009
Brown with a thin head on top. Doesn’t quite taste of spruce to me. Herbs are the dominant flavor alongside a roasty note or two. Aroma is pretty muted. ajm (1072) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JAN 6, 2009
Tap at Fathers Office Culver City. A really interesting brew. Aroma of coriander, orange, cloves, very light vinous character. Flavor is very clean for a Holiday beer. Refreshing too, surprisingly. bb (9241) - Alamo, California, USA - DEC 29, 2008
Draft. Rich amber beer with an off-white head. Spruce, malt, and light spice aroma. Spruce flavor with malt and yeast. Medium body. Spruce, bready malts, and light pine linger. Too much spruce. JohnC (3008) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 28, 2008
On tap at Pizza Port San Clemente
Reddish brown in color this a thin head, this brew has a nice slightly sweet flavor, with hints of spices, along with a nice full moth feel. alexanderj (3605) - Branson, Missouri, USA - DEC 20, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 3, 2009 Rerate at Lucky Baldwins. I noticed that the flavor had alot of fruit, bread and spicing with a good amount of earthy hopping. Better tasting than I previously gave it credit for. 3.2 to 3.3.
On tap at PP San Clemente. Color was reddish, auburn in color with some orange hints. Aroma of spice, bread and caramel with some light sweet tones. Palate was soft and nice, albeit their was a tad hint of wateriness. Flavor of yeast, banana, caramel, spice, bread and earth. Decent brew, but nothing too exceptional.