RATINGS: 119   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
• Aromatic earth tonic of the resinous picea and humulus lupulus
• Beer Type: Imperial pilsner brewed with Northern Michigan Blue Spruce needles and healthy doses of high alpha hops

Imperial India Spruce Pilsner is fermented with local, hand-picked blue spruce tips and the quintessential symbol for Joe Short’s love of hops and craft beer. The spruce presence, rooted in historical brewing practices, is enormous and gives the beer a refreshing gin quality. This beer is impressively light bodied, considering the immense spruce flavors and the prodigious additions of hops.

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3.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - NOV 20, 2007
From a 750mL Bottle. Thanks for sharing Sean! Aroma is ridiculous. Strong blast of heavy passion fruit, crazy tangerine and lively pine cones. Rich, fresh, and ridiculously strong. Arresting. Terrific milky soap atop a glass of clear golden orange glow. Really far out flavor. Totally unique. Concentrated Christmas tree like you would never believe. The beer’s flavor profile is entirely dominated by the strongest blast of Spruce ever. High Alpha hops get buried. The moderately sweet pale malt brings up the back and keeps the knock-you-over spruce character a little bit in line, but then spruce and alcohol combine for a raging blast of conifer coalescence. Floral and full of trees. Earthy through the back, mingled with bold spice. Candied all sorts of things. There’s so much going on and there’s so much flavor that it’s hard to parse everything out, especially when it’s so strong and overflowing, to the point that it hurts to drink it. Looses palate points for being hard to return to. But, every time your nose goes to the glass, or you put that beer on your tongue, it’s just as fresh, new and alive as the last time. This beer would succeed were it a "single" version. A nice 5-6% pilsner, with half the spruce character, a little less sugar, and more noticeable hops. Regardless, this is a great experience.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - MAY 22, 2008
UPDATED: JUN 24, 2010 Bottle courtesy of general_gau and someone at dark lord day. Big spruce/pine nose with some cotton candy and citrus. The flavor is moderately sweet, moderately bitter with lots of cotton candy, honey, massive amounts of resinous pine, some citrus. Medium/full body with moderate carbonation.

2
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 6/20
tectactoe (3125) - Michigan, USA - JUN 11, 2014
Tap @ Shorts: Had this on tap at the 10th Anniversary Party; it was specifically labeled as the "Imperial" version, even though the ABV seems to be matching what the "non-imperial" version released in bottles was. No idea if it’s actually a different beer or not. Should be, but who knows. Honestly, pulling from memory, it seems no different to me. Just intense spruce, pine, gin, & crazy bitterness with solvent & harsh almost chemical-like notes from the alcohol. Same as the previous bottles. Some sips start off okay but then they just crescendo into a world of hurt. Just a small shade or two above undrinkable for me... Pass.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Marsiblursi (3076) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - JAN 13, 2012
(Bottle) Pours hazy golden. The aroma holds woodsy and almost perfume smelling spruce up front with undertones of citric and light floral hops, sweet toasted malt alongside a peachy, tropical fruitiness. The flavour is medium sweet and medium bitter with notes of fresh spruce up front. Citric hops, fruits, perfume and sweet malt. The mouthfeel is clean and peppery numbing from the spruce. Medium bodied.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TAR (2729) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - APR 30, 2008
Radiant yellow. Fine, tight white froth. Pungent yet refined scents of spruce needles and dank, spicy hops dazzle the olfactory senses. Bright notes of mandarin oranges, black pepper and cannabis. Gentle effervescence. Bottle conditioned. Dense resins coat the palate with a pleasantly composed sappiness. Vibrant spruce needles dig deeply into the palate, colliding with the sappy hops to create a black-pepper effect as they prick the tongue. Clean sweep of alcoholic dryness is bolstered by the minty, candylike spruce as it cleans up some of the sappy residue. Hops are dense in flavor and far from acidic, yielding a lustrous note of candied lemon zest which remains bright throughout. Supportive malt sweetness is relaxed yet firm and crackery, and plenty sturdy enough to withstand and complement the ever forceful bitterness. Finishes dry, minty and zesty with a tight medley of spruce and hops, and a prolonged crackery malt afterimage. Hop character is a bit raw (not enough succulence to match the bitterness), and the spruce needles deaden much of the overall brightness. Does have a deeply enticing aroma which is mesmerizing in its freshness and zippiness, as well as a beautifully airy yet dense mouthfeel. Love the concept here. Extremely solid, as is, but this could be otherworldly with a few tiny adjustments.

2.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 10/20
ucusty (2691) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JUL 21, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 7, 2009 Tasted at the Carolina Crew gathering, Greenville - thanks to Paul Philippon for sharing! Okay this holiday season rip off a branch of christmas tree, chew on for a while and thats the flavor you have here. Tried it twice, but its just to in your face with resinous pine and piney hops. Slightly hot finish. BLAM!!! is right

3.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jcr (2686) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - JUL 10, 2008
750 ml. Brewed on 4-30-07. What an interesting beer — especially if you like a big spruce flavor. Beautiful orange pour with big, frothy head. Huge, delicious aroma of juicy grapefruit, fresh-squeezed orange juice, spruce, pine, resin. Hints of caramel and sweet honey. The flavor is moderately sweet and moderately to heavily bitter. The finish remains bitter and dry. The flavor has the strong taste of spruce, like chewing on needles. In fact, the spruce overwhelms the other nice qualities of the beer. Medium body and velvet texture. If the spruce had been dialed down a couple of notches, allowing the nice malt backbone to share the stage, I would think this right up there with Dreadnaught. But the spruce is just too overpowering. Nonetheless, kudos to the brewery for one heck of a a fun beer to drink.

1.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
RasmusOtt (2671) - Aarhus, DENMARK - MAY 8, 2011
Pours golden with a white head. Aroma is like a bad perfume: lavender, rosemary, soap, ginger, spice, pepper and some hops. When I tasted this I thought it would be bad for my health to drink it. Like there were chemicals in there which should not be there. Funny to try :) .

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
lb4lb (2587) - Austin, Texas, USA - APR 11, 2009
Bottle shared by thickfreakness. Thanks Charles! Another crazy beer from Shorts. Pours golden to orange with a white head. Smell is menthol eucalyptus, mint, and piney hops. Taste is hoppy, very dry, and menthol eucalyptus cough drop like. Really dry and interesting. Very big, bright intense flavor. Enjoyable in sample settings, I think.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dimenhetfield (2486) - , Florida, USA - FEB 7, 2012
On draft at Lord Hobo’s for EBF weekend. Another good showing from Short’s here. Nice aroma of hops, malts, spruce and earthy flavors. Grapefruit/citrus is there as well on the back end.


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