by Hop Nation USA's Steve
On Episode 51(listen here), we reviewed spruce beers from Alaskan, Yards and Dogfish Head. The latter two were good beers, although the spruce flavor was arguably muted by caramel and malty notes. However, the Alaskan Winter Ale was notably unpleasant to drink. There was little to no spruce flavor. Instead, it was full of coppery and metallic notes which overpowered any other flavors present. It was with trepidation and hope I approached the Alaskan Spruce IPA. Trepidation, because I had just been burned by the Winter Ale, but hope because I’ve found the majority of offerings from Alaskan to be rather good.
I’m glad to report the Spruce IPA is a great beer. In my opinion, it actually supersedes the other three spruce beers we had on the podcast and is currently my favorite spruce beer. It’s full of piney flavor. The hops work in perfect conjunction with the spruce to lift each other. It never gets too bitter or resinous, though. Even non-IPA drinkers or those who just like a little bit of hops may find this one agreeable.
It bears mentioning how incredibly refreshing the beer is on top of its ease of drinking. At 7% ABV though, this could be a really dangerous tailgater or porch drinker, as it assuredly will sneak up on you. With spruce beers being uncommon to begin with, choice is obviously limited. Don’t sleep on this one, though, even if you do decide to pass on its wintery brother. Pair this with a fresh, hearty salad with or a salmon BLT.
3 Evergreens out of a Four-est