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


on tap


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RATINGS: 967   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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neuromatt's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
neuromatt (1225) - Toronto, Ontario, - FEB 23, 2013
330 mL bottle from the LCBO, served in a tulip. Pours clear caramel with a smallish tan head that fades to a thin remnant and leaves a small amount of fine lace. On the nose, there are big notes of caramel and toasted malts, along with hints of fruit, perhaps strawberry, and touches of herbs and forest. The flavour is quite interesting; it begins moderately sweet and becomes more so, with woodsy, piney notes along with big caramel, brown sugar and some fruit. It closes with a moderate sweet finish that also has hints of earth, spice and bitterness. On the palate, it is medium in body with a smooth, milky texture and soft carbonation. Overall, this is a nice Scots pine ale that pairs rich malty sweetness with a hint of piney woodsiness. The sweetness does become a bit much after a while, but it would make for a nice dessert alternative. 2013-02-21

Zarrach76 (273) - 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 (8197) - 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 (7682) - 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 (18807) - 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 (12550) - 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.

ForMahil (4) - Sherbrooke, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 26, 2016 does not count
Gout d'épices important en bouche et persistant par la suite. Canne a sucre et caramel très présent et franchement agréable. Cache bien son 7,5% d'alcool. Biere bien agréable sans se démarquer particulièrement. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

labeerinthum (892) - Milano, ITALY - NOV 11, 2016
Bottiglia. Il gusto al naso si indirizza su frumento ed orzo. L’intensità olfattiva è elevata e la persistenza olfattiva è apprezzabile. Il cappello di schiuma di colore marrone chiaro ha una scarsa tenuta e termina con un simpatico pizzo sul bordo del vetro. La grandezza delle bollicine è media. La consistenza del liquido è limpida. Il perlage è costituito da bollicine medio-fini con carbonazione abbondante, vivace, persistente ed insistita. Il colore è ambrato rossiccio carico tendente marrone. Il corpo è strutturato ma duttile e si apre a nuove sfaccettature. Il dolce è medio e l’amaro è deciso. Si presenta anche un’ombra di umami. L’intensità gustativa è elevata e la persistenza gustativa è buona. Il gusto è piacevole per una birra che ha una sua personalità. Le sensazioni boccali finali sono di una birra da favola e assolutamente da bere. Il finale è setoso, lungo e complesso. Il retrogusto è intenso. L’aroma in bocca riporta sentori di caramello, miele, crosta di pane, cereali, abete rosso, terra, erbe aromatiche e alcol presente.

GoufCustom (2029) - HONG KONG - OCT 15, 2016

330 ml bottle bought at CitySuper in New Town Plaza, Shatin.

Clear amber colour; Half finger head with soapy white foam which fades in 30 seconds; Excellent sticky lacing with barely notable slight carbonation; Very fragrant and sweet aroma of malt, with strong blackberries, strawberry mousse, string cherries, red fruits, toffee, chocolates, spruces, floral, sugar, light bread and faint grass; Close to medium sweet taste of full malt, with red fruits, ligt caramel, light toffee, floral, molasses, light cream cakes, very light lemon and thin bitter grassy hops; Full body. Slick and smooth palate; Mouth feel is full Ale maltyness in a thick and pretty creamy background, with strong red fruits and toffee combines for a pretty nice light fruity cream cakes. Not much pine or spruces in the mix. Light floral and fair sweetness. Very low-fi lemon to round. Very nice!... Hoppiness is strong blackberries, floral and faint grass in nose. Floral, very light lemon and thin grass in taste; Bitterness is very light for an abrupt, very low-fi sweet malt finish; Fairly dry after taste. Sweet fruity and very easy to mouth.

Comments: This one spruce and pine influence is not too obvious, instead it is the nice aroma of dark berries and fruit cream cakes that stole the show, with rich red fruit malt and hidden booze ran for a strong finish. A very solid pine ale that excels. Lovely!

MarcinG (902) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - OCT 12, 2016
UPDATED: OCT 12, 2016 Butelka 330ml. Miedziany kolor. Piana biala niska,szybko opadajaca do zera. Aromat rozgotowanych warzyw slodu delikatnych nut swierkowych. W smaku slodowo slodkawe o niskiej karbonacji. Raczej plaskie smakowo z przewaga owocowo -warzywnych posmakow z lekko cytrynowym finiszem.

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