joe1510 (501) - Illinois, USA - MAR 7, 2008
#139 of 886
Recieved this bottle in a great trade with Hoppymeal, thanks a million Derek! Short’s Imperial Spruce India Pilsner pours like I’d expect of a pilsner (although not one that weighs in at 10%). Beautiful golden body with a glass full of large carbonation bubbles swirling and rushing to the surface. Every other Imperial Pilsner I’ve sampled has had some viscosity and you really noticed by the crawl of the carbonation. This on the other hand looks more like a standard pilsner. The dense head grew to three fingers on the pour and is cotton white. Falls to a finger plus at it’s lowest and leaves big chunky patches of lace.
The smell of this beer is intense! I’m sure the flavor will be too. There’s a quick flash of biscuity malts upfront but the Blue Spruce neddles come fast and hard. Rosemary like at first but morphing into a glassful of Christmas tree. I’m not getting much in the hop department. Possibly some pine upfront but that’s most likely the Blue Spruce. Wait! As it warms there are some citric hop qualities that wave faintly in the background. A touch of earthiness rom the spruce needles. I can feel my sinus’ clear each time I inhale. Very interesting!
The nose doesn’t lie! Just as intense on the tongue as in the nose. Slightly sweet biscuity malts flash through again but the spruce needles take over quickly. My mouth all at once becomes earth, resinous, and sappy like I’m chomping on a Christmas tree. The spruce rides roughshod over my tongue. There is more hoppiness than the smell led me to believe, but doesn’t show itself until the swallow. That hoppiness is lightly sweetened grapefruit and keeps the spruce from running away with things. I’m growing extremely fond of the bitterness the spruce needles leave in their path.
Most Imperial Pilsners I’ve sampled in the past have had far too viscous bodies for the style. This has a medium body but the lively carbonation keeps it moving at a fast pace. I can’t imagine the mouthfeel being any better then what it is right now.
This bottle is going down pretty easy but the flavors are so intense one bottle is all I could handle in a sitting. The bitterness does a number on your tastebuds too so be ready.
I’ve been fortunate to have sampled three of Short’s beers, all thanks to Derek, and everyone of them has been excellent. This is one of the most unique beers I’ve encountered and would love to get my hands on some more spruce infused beers.
3/2/08 Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - MAY 17, 2008
Courtesy of MikeMac. Hazy/cloudy orange, huge white head, great lacing. Huge pine/spruce resin, literally smells like a fresh x-mas tree. Decent citrus character, not much for malt in aroma. Flavor again, huge pine/spruce, tastes like there are needles in the glass. Needles add a certain freshness character that’s hard to describe. Very resinous and sticky. As it warms caramel comes through a bit, helps to balance. Sort of 1 dimensional, but I dig it. nuplastikk (6275) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 1, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 9, 2009 750ml graciously shared by Tom aka CaptainCougar. Thanks man! This is really a memorable beer. Highly aromatic, like a Christmas tree doused in a sticky IIPA. Piny spruce madness. The alcohol is quite well hidden. The taste is all hop, spruce, and the associated flavors that come with that territory. Excellent beer. sayravai (4710) - Helsinki, FINLAND - APR 4, 2009
UPDATED: APR 29, 2009 (Bottled, 0.75l) Very hazy golden-amber with a smallish, lasting head. Very strong pine-sprucey aroma with some grassy-floral hops. Extremely pine-spruce-resiny flavor with alpha acids from the hops adding to the mixture. Medium body, crisp and fresh, lowish carbonation. Alcohol fully hidden. This really is a hophead’s dream! Not for everyday consumption, but as an occasional treat, this is quite exceptional. At first, I was hesitant to give this a high score, but really, this is something never seen before... mto (99) - helsinki, FINLAND - APR 12, 2009
GodOfThunder (1249) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAY 4, 2009
) hazy yellowamber colour with small head. on nose spruce and mouth too. nomnomnom
Thanks to Northernbrews for picking this up for me. WOW!! This thing is packed with spruce. Spicy, warm and full of pine, this is exceptional. By looking at the reviews, it looks like people either love it or hate it. This is original and stands out among other beers. Awesome. GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUN 13, 2009
Big thanks to Randy for passing along this rarity, shared with the usual suspects at the Brick Store.
Pours a light clear golden amber with a creamy off-white head that recedes to a collar pretty quickly and leaves very little lacing.
The aroma is seriously fragrant and jumped out of the bottle. It’s dominated by the spruce and pine with some grassy notes and only a hint of the underlying malts. Plenty of similarities to this aroma and that of gin.
The taste is even more intense. I have to imagine this is the closest I’ll get to drinking straight spruce sap. There is some juniper and grassy hops as well, but the hops have faded to the point that the spruce steals the show completely. I’d mentioned the underlying malts but I’m not sure I could really taste them.
Them mouthfeel is definitely on the fuller side of things and pretty thick and sticky on the palate.
Well, being a lover of pine hops, I was really looking forward to this one and it absolutely delivered the goods. It’s certainly intense and probably a little over-the-top, but since it’s intensity is focused on something I enjoy so much, I’ve got no other option but to love this beer. Thank you Shorts! WeeHeavySD (3387) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 25, 2009
This 750ml has been siting around and I thought why not open it for Liz, dalekliz a big fan of shorts. Also shared with my girlfriend. This bottle came via trade with the big man himself thickfreakness. Pours deep orange with a 2 finger tan head. Nose is sweet and hoppy with a touch of spruceyness. Taste is sweet, hoppy, with a huge punch of spruce, wow thats damn intense. Tons of piney spruce with a lot of flavor and complexity. I like this, its different and thats what Shorts does! tomthompson89 (1982) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 19, 2009
Bottle thanx to North york sammy. nose is amazing spruce pine and hops, a bit of booze in there but well well hidden. nice poam golden color not filtered. flavor is greatly balanced the spruce goes through on the finish and hops and a little sweetness take care of the rest so so interesting. great beer. Sammy (12201) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 19, 2009
Bottle from the brewery. Tremendous aroma from the tips of the tree, I enjoyed this forest. Grapefruit body with white lasting head. Carbonation there and helps drinkability, which is easy. Taste is piney, Saaz hops? ABove average mouthfeel.