#139 of 886
Received 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 needles 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. There's a touch of earthiness from 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 every one 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.
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