Friday, 25 May 2012

Garrison Brewery-Spruce Beer

Garrison's Spruce Beer is sold in 500mL bottles that are emblazoned with a cool historical quote about spruce beers and their use in Halifax; however, the quote is, unfortunately, unattributed.  I'd really like to know what the source is.  According to the label, this interesting ale is brewed using spruce and fir tips and a bit of molasses.

The Spruce Beer clocks in at a fulsome 7.5% alcohol. It pours a surprisingly dark, reddish brown colour and is mostly clear.  It is topped with a thick cloud of khaki head.  The evergreen bouquet is tempered with some dark, malty sweetness. The flavour is really sweet--you can really taste the molasses. There is some bitterness at the back end that is a welcome relief from the sweetness that, at times, is almost syrupy. The spruce taste is a compelling undertaste throughout.  It doesn't really dominate, and lets the other flavours mingle.

Kudos to Garrison for reviving an historical alternative to the conventional barley, yeast, hops, and water formula. Their spruce beer isn't the kind of brew that I would reach for on a daily basis, but it is a thought-provoking pint that is definitely worth sampling.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10.

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