Review: Malty National Spruce McCullogh Spruce Tip Pale Ale

These are the beers I know, I know, these are the beers I know!
I was a huge Kids in the Hall fan as a child, to the point that I'd try to stay up late on weekends just to watch the show. Back around the same era of time, my grandpa ran a locally popular toboggan hill. One time I went tobogganing and took a look at the visitor book and low and behold, all the members of the Kids in the Hall's names with their autographs next to it were in the book.. the guys from one of my favourite TV shows of all time were at my grandparents hill, only a five minute drive from my place and nobody told me!

When I saw that Malty National Brewing Corporation out of Regina came out with a couple KITH themed beers with one called Helen (as in 30 Helens Agree), followed up with Spruce McCullogh (after Bruce McCulloch), I needed to try them! Unfortunately Helen was already sold out by the time I heard about it but the always awesome Greg over at Flatland Beer made sure I got to try it (as well alongside some new Sask treats!)

Spruce McCullogh is a Spruce Tip Pale Ale brewed with locally foraged spruce tips with Simcoe and Chinook hops. 5.3% ABV.

Appearance: Light amber body with a good amount of clarity to it, but not 100% clear. Good amount of micro-carbonation taking place in the body, with there being a frothy beige head on top that diminishes rather slowly, though it leaves behind a webbing of foam on the glass as it does go down.

Aroma: I've only ever had a very small handful of spruce-forward beers and this definitely is sprucey but not obnoxiously so that's nice. It's sweet with notes of caramel, herbal from the spruce, a hint of mint, and a light bitterness from the hops that gives it a bit of a pine and wood aroma to it. Pretty woodsy beer.

Taste: The spruce is the first thing I get from this beer again, it's herbal, a tad woody, citrusy (lemon), a hint of mint, a hint of a rosemary like herbal presence to it, a bit doughy, caramel, and pine. The beer is fairly dry on the palate and leaves behind a spruce aftertaste for a good moment.

Overall Thoughts: Pretty straight forward Pale Ale - it's sweet and a bit caramel forward with a good amount of spruce tips to give it a very herbal/woody presence to it, decently bitter hopped. I was expecting the spruce tips to be more dominating in the beer but it's there but not overpowering the malt nor the hops. Thanks again, Greg!

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