Siletz Spruce AleMarch 1, 2007
I’ve had other ales flavored with spruce, and other beers from Siletz, and I’m afraid they’ve all been more successful than this. The aroma, though fragrant, is a jumble of resinous herbs (think rosemary and, well, spruce), toasted malt and raisin, while the body is a similarly confused blend of a sweetish, gently fruity front, aggressive and sharply bitter-sour middle, though still with an odd background sweetness, and resiny finish. This is a beer in search of a more properly defined character.
- Stephen Beaumont
Fresh, fruity and forest aroma. Amber hue of a comforting sunset. Spruce character is lively but not overwhelming and balanced in flavor with ale fruitiness and mild hop character. Aftertaste is mild, lingering and pleasant. They wrap and age certain kinds of expensively wonderful cheese with grape leaves. Wrap your ever-loving hands around a glass of this stuff and complement with aged cheddar, parmesan or other wonderful hard cheese. Wow. Well balanced and versatile. Worthy of attention. Unique.
- Charlie Papazian
Hazy and mahogany-colored, the beer pours into the glass and the spruce aroma leaps out. The spruce blends with earthy malt aromatics and the blend has a primal, mushroomy quality. The palate seems sweet at first, but bitterness steps into the finish to keep it from cloying. A full-bodied and robustly flavored beer, not for the meek. It reminds meâ — fondly — of some Finnish sahtis. Venison anyone?
- Garrett Oliver
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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