Review of Short’s India Spruce Pilsner

20 Feb
Hello everyone.  I hope all is well.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the India Spruce Pilsner brewed by the Short’s Brewing Company located in Elk Rapids, Michigan.

I’ve only had the opportunity to try a couple of Short’s beers in the past, but I’ve found them to be very solid, so I’m hoping that this one holds true to my past experiences.

Let’s check the website,, and see what kind of information we can find about this beverage.

This Imperial Pilsner, fermented with local, hand-picked blue spruce tips is 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 quality reminiscent of gin. This beer is impressively light bodied, considering the immense spruce flavors and the prodigious additions of hops.

Nice!!!  Let’s drink.

This beer came in a 12 oz. bottle and the ABV was around 7.0%.

It poured a very hazy, orangish/yellow color.  It looked a lot like pineapple juice to be honest.  The head was very large, frothy, soft and somewhat soapy.  The retention time was excellent and the lacing was thick, sticky and very clingy.  Quite a bit was left behind on the glass for the entire drink.  A very, very nice looking beer.

The aroma had a very forward, however very pleasing nose of spruce.  It smelled of pine needles for sure.  It was almost medicinal smelling.  Like a clean, sanitized Doctor’s office or something.  Some light Pilsner malt and breadiness helped counterbalance some of that and I even got some nice earthy tones and a touch of lemon citrus to boot.  Very unique.

The taste presented more of the spruce needles.  A bit resiny too.  The lemony aspects seemed to be a little more prominent as well.  I was even detecting some kind of spice. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what type though.  The flavor was considerably bitter, yet not over the top.  Very manageable I thought.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Dry and smooth, but crisp.  A wee bit of warmth was felt and the carbonation was of medium strength and agreeable.  A nice shot of flavor was left behind on the palate after each sip also.

Overall, this beer was favorable.  It’s as individualistic and different as anything I’ve really ever had.  The spruce never really died down as I went along and it became a bit difficult for me to drink toward the end, yet I had no trouble completing the bottle.  I’m guessing that my palate was just a bit distressed by the time I finished.  I doubt that this would be a beer that I could drink everyday, but I’m sure glad that I got the opportunity to try it.  I think you guys should pick up the Short’s India Spruce Pilsner if you get the opportunity.  I’d really be interested in hearing your opinion.  If you’ve tried it, did you like it?  Please leave a comment if you wish.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.7 out of 5
Grade:  B

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Country: USA, Short's


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