RATINGS: 116   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
• 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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dmschefke's rating

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
dmschefke (583) - Macomb, Michigan, USA - JUL 3, 2012
Pours an orangish straw yellow with thick white head, decent lacing. Aroma obvious of citrus hops, spruce, herbal hops, resin, and grass. Flavor is overbearing with spruce, major medicinal character, and even a chemical nature. This just doesn’t work for me.

mathieuc (4000) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - APR 11, 2017
EBF 2017. Pours a pretty clear golden with a small white head that leaves spotty lacing. Nose is of spruce, spruce and spruce hiding all the pils/lager character. Still fun, though. Taste is lightly sweet, lightly boozy and I’m not getting the spruce tips anymore but I’m sure they’re there. Moderately bitter. A bit ashy, too? Body is medium, carbonation moderate. Not transcending at all but still far from bad.

czar (9610) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 14, 2017
UPDATED: MAR 14, 2017 on tap at extreme beer fest 2017, boston. unclear bright gold pour with a small white cap offering some retention and lacing. tingling junipers, sweet pils - muscat grape wine; astringent and tannic leaves and branches, not only tips, tons of spruce and resin trivially; some relatively clean fruity yeast action though. moderate carbonation, medium body - oily and kind of heavy; sweet sprucey finish. as bad as its name suggests. overly sprucey and sweet pils don’t particularly match.

darb85 (310) - Canton, Michigan, USA - AUG 11, 2016
Fresh aroma, mostly hops. But smells great. Pale yellow very clear. No head. Pine leads heavy with cedar finish pine sap present in finish. A bit thin.

crossovert (14134) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 29, 2015
Draft. Golden pour. Sweet spruceyvara flavor is grassy mossy earth. Not good at all.

Pailhead (6543) - Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - MAR 21, 2015
On tap: The aroma consists of pine/spruce, honey, citrus, and grass. It’s a transparent golden-orange with a two finger white head that fades to a thick film. The flavor starts with with a quick dose of citrus and honey. The finish has moderate-heavy pine/spruce with light grass. It’s light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, it’s pretty tasty, but the spruce gets a little overbearing after awhile.

koleminer20 (4171) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - NOV 18, 2014
From notes. Finally getting around to adding beers from the Ypsi Summer Beerfest! Enjoyed on July 25. The pour is a nice clear golden color with some decent white head and a small amount of lacing. The aroma is heavy on pine resin and a little bitter booze on the end. I don’t really expect a lot from a pilsner, and the flavors of it are all that dominate. The flavor is just like it sounds. There is a lot of pine resin and spruce. It does seem like I’m drinking a tree. There is a little bit of a malt profile on the back end, but for the most part it’s big, piney, and very resin-based. The mouth feel is a little light, but there is a decent carbonation and a lingering bitter resin aftertaste.

bcabaday (5) - - SEP 25, 2014 does not count
Poured cloudy, color more of a hefe or pale than a pilz. Earthy mountain pine on the nose. The taste is crisp, resiny pine. Surprising beer. It has a little lemon on the front of the palate. Interesting beer, white head diminished pretty quick.

fattybladdy (830) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - AUG 6, 2014
Light clear golden orange color. Aroma is big on spruce and quite nice. Taste is huge on spruce...wow. Like drinking a liquid forest. Nicely bitter. I like it.

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.

bpar73 (1199) - Bellaire, Michigan, USA - MAY 18, 2014
On tap at the brewpub. Pour a hazy yellow with a white head. Lot of resin, piney hops in the aroma and taste with a big bitter finish. it is what it says it is.

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