Brewed by Williams Brothers (Heather Ales)
Style: Traditional Ale
Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland


on tap


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RATINGS: 971   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.37/5   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
Bottled. A cask version at 6% is produced in March and April.
"Scots Pine Ale"
Introduced by the Vikings, spruce and pine ales were very popular in the Scottish Highlands until the end of the 19th century. Many early explorers, including Captain Cook, used spruce ale during long sea voyages since it prevented scurvy and ill health. Shetland spruce ale was said to "stimulate animal instincts" and give you twins. Alba is a triple style ale brewed to a traditional Highland recipe from Scots pine and spruce shoots pickled during early spring.Pure malted barley, is boiled with the young sprigs of pine for several hours then the fresh shoots of the spruce are added for a short infusion before fermentation.
A tawny brown strong ale with spruce aroma, rich malt texture, complex wood flavour and lingering finish.
Best drunk at room temperature from a wine goblet as an after dinner digestive.

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edgallow's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
edgallow (4362) - nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 14, 2012
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2012 12 oz bottle pours a clear, bright, coppery amber with a white head. Aroma of yeast, caramel malts mingle with spicy, slightly vinous fruitiness, mild spruce, and pine.

cattaneopapa (417) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 15, 2017
330ml bottle from LCBO. 7.5% alc/vol. Pours a hazt deep amber colour with a small white head. Aromas of caramel, pine, toffee and some roasted malts. Taste matches the aroma with toffee and caramel pronounced. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Not Bad.

Theydon_Bois (20435) - Hazlemere, the lower Xhitlerns, Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - OCT 11, 2017
Bottle split at Matteo's farewell bash, CBC Islington, thanks to Bropey 20/02/17. Mahogany brown with a decent light beige covering. Nose is toffee, vanilla, light varnish, charr, smoke, restrained oxidisation. Taste comprises dark fruit rinds, fruit cake, spice, raspberry jam, toffee. Medium bodied, fine carbonation, drying close. Contrary to the other oxidisation lovers I thought this one had aged fairly gracefully!

Blastomorpha (114) - - OCT 8, 2017
Pours brown with a thin white head. Malty aroma with herbal and strong strawberries notes, the latter get more and more evident as the beer gets warmer. Taste is sweet, sort of a fruity bock-like. I'd prefer something with more body, this is a bit too watery for its flavour I think. Nice overall, but where's the pine?

Sissio (1720) - Orsenigo, ITALY - OCT 5, 2017
Bottle at home. Clear amber, minimal cream orange head. Caramel, pine needles, pine liquor, resin, light balsamic, cream. Taste of spruce, pine syrup, balsamic, light sweetness, caramel.

Zarrach76 (300) - Grenoble, FRANCE - MAY 2, 2017
Belle rousse/ambrée transparente avec des reflets cuivrés et une fine mousse blanche. Beau nez entre les malts, les notes acidulées et le fruit. Sur ce dernier, on décèle des notes de fraise, de groseille, de cassis, de myrtille, d’orange, de citron, de cerise, le tout donnant une impression d’arôme de bonbon arlequin plutôt agréable. En arrière, le caramel et le miel de malts légers qui rajoutent au côté gourmandise de cette boisson. En bouche, le côté bonbon persiste mais l’alcool nerveux, la carbonatation et les saveurs dominantes de résineux nous rappellent que c’est une bière. La texture est ronde, avec beaucoup de corps, les sucres résiduels sont très nombreux et contribuent à la "chaleur" de cette bière. On ressent des notes poivrées également, tandis que l’alcool soutient bien toutes les saveurs à la manière d’une blonde triple. Le final est sur le bois résineux et les sucres avec une pointe de tanin. Une très bonne bière à défaut d’être excellente, elle se laisse extrêmement bien boire et pourra désaltérer comme accompagner un petit dessert. Il me manquera une pointe d’amertume pour vivifier l’ensemble... Boissons du Monde, Saint-Egrève.

The_Osprey (8682) - Richmond, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 22, 2017
February 2017 - Bottle share at CBC Islington for the Matteo Farewell tasting as ’Heather Ales Alba Scots Pine Ale’, 1999 vintage. Big thanks to Paul for this beer - which is legally old enough to drink itself. Dark orange brown, foamy off-white head, dotted lacing. Aroma is cardboard and sherry – oxidised. Body is smooth, soft carbonation, quite oily. Taste is sugary, cardboard, light woody pine notes. Tastes the age. Drinkable but tired. (2.5)

teorn88 (7687) - Rimini, ITALY - FEB 21, 2017
33cl bottle shared at my Farewell Tasting, London. Massive thanks to Paul for this one. It pours a clean amber color with a small beige head. Aroma is dusty caramel and melon. Taste is big time sweet fruity and a tad oxidised with notes of melon and strawberries. Some caramel and must. Light bodied with good carbonation. Overall, very nice

harrisoni (19157) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - FEB 20, 2017
Bottle at Matteo caio tasting Craft Islington. Dark brown colour lasting beige head. Oxidised aroma some bovril. A little pine. But mostly some fruit cake. A little old but quite good jammy fruit later.

mR_fr0g (13154) - Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - FEB 20, 2017
Bottle shared at the CBC Islington for the Matteo farewell tasting. Many thanks to Paul for this one. A nutty brown coloured pour with a a halo of off white head. Aroma is aged, mint, cola, stale grains, aged malts, sweet fruits. Flavour is composed sweet jammy fruits, strawberry, airy grains, cola cubes, stale grains, big aged, jammy. Palate is airy, lowish carbonation, papery. Too much age.

ChadPoole (478) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 3, 2016
Pours amber with a white head. Aroma is muted floral and pine. Floral, pine and vanilla flavours with sweet malts. Medium body and medium carbonation. A little too sweet for me.

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