HighlanderOne (1352) - York, SC via NJ, South Carolina, USA - DEC 30, 2012
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2013 UPDATE - I tried mixing this with SA Boston Lager - not too bad. Still tastes a bit like a beer with a shot of Pine-sol, but it’s at least palatable now. Poured from bottle. Aroma of spruce, malt and leather ( that’s a first). Amber gold with thin head. Big spruce flavor, hard to detect other flavors beyond that. Somewhat metallic and medicine-y. High carbonation. I can’t stand this any more. Drain pour. dwyerpg (6282) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Doesn’t smell that great. A bit off. The flavor is just ho-hum. Somewhat English strong but really at most just okay. Phatdog1 (179) - Brentwood, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 28, 2012
Pours hazy amber. Very little head with no retention. Earthy scent. Weak mouthfeel. Musty pine notes disappear into unpleasant bitterness. Knowing this is advertised as an ESB, I am disappointed with the base beer, spruce seems like a gimmick.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone Stldsf1 (616) - Florida, USA - DEC 28, 2012
Cloudy copper pour. Soft nose. Herbs lemon honey. Pine. Grass. Easy drinking but nothing that will knock you out. Good
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - DEC 27, 2012
Reviewed 12/24/2012. 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
A: Pours a cloudy golden copper color. The head is a two finger offwhite color with a rather frothy texture and low retention. On the other hand, it leaves a level of lacing I only see out of IPAs.
S: Aromatically, it does come across like a non-hoppy pine aroma. It’s not loaded with spruce, but I do notice it quite well. Other than that, though, it smells like an old IPA with stale hops and generic caramel malts.
T: Firstly, the flavor profile comes across like a generic ESB, hitting the basics of the style (bright fruit presence and weirdly tart caramel malts) without doing them brilliantly...then the wave of piny spruce comes (both from hops and added spruce); and honestly it kind of works, especially on the finish. It’s not great, but it’s actually quite okay - more than I was expecting.
M: Has a good coarseness to the texture which might be my favorite feature of this brew. The finish and aftertaste are pretty neutral between wet and dry.
O: Nothing wrong with this at all. There’s no wow factor or ’zing’, but I can’t find anything bad with this. I wouldn’t purchase this again, but I’d never refuse one.
EtTuCthulhu (1391) - Columbia, Missouri, USA - DEC 23, 2012
The aroma of this beer is quite muted, but there are hints of vanilla, roasted malts, and herbal hops, and the color is a cloudy golden yellow with a prominent white head that dissipates quickly. Once sipped, this beer is of a medium bitterness and a light sweetness, but the lively carbonation makes for an earthy tasting beer. The finish is slightly bitter, and the medium body is quite nice. onceblind (10011) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 22, 2012
Clear golden with a copperish-tint, under a foamy white head, great lacing. Nice aroma of floral and herbal hoppiness, a dash of honey, earthy malts, and golden grains. Bright floral and herbal flavor that’s medium bodied and ’spritzy’. Flavor starts like spruce and flowers, with a little bit of a grassy hop tone, followed by some earthy honey and blonde grain notes. Mild finish thats kinda herbal and pollen-y. boombq (1) - - DEC 20, 2012 does not count
This beer is a miss. 12oz bottle and I?m not sure I can finish it. It?s flavored with spruce and very unbalanced. The pine taste is overwhelming. It sounded interesting, but I cannot take a sip without wincing. Poor. Imaena (2328) - Maputo, MOZAMBIQUE - DEC 17, 2012
Bottle. I think that the additives used in this beer - spruce and spice - were not added in a balanced fashion. The spruce flavor comes off as sappy and earthy - which I might have liked if the beer had more sourness or sweetness to provide foundation. Instead these flavors sit on top of a limp pale ale which cannot support nuances the brewer was trying to impart. Flawed brew. wlajwl (6940) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - DEC 16, 2012
Aroma is hops, a hint of the spruce and mildly sweet malts. The flavor is spruce/mint, malts and a mildly tart finish.