Barley Mowat 

Dead Frog Big Stump

with one comment

I’ll admit it: I like Spruce Ales. In much the same way that I’m not partial to White IPAs, I am partial to Spruce Ales. So, you should take this review with a grain of salt. Maybe I’m just gaga over anything with tree bits in it, or maybe I hold Spruce Beers to an even higher standard because of how much I lust after them. I honestly have no idea.

Dead Frog is continuing to try and convince the world that they’ve given up their Lime Lager ways, and the Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale is the next in their “no really, it’s good beer, we swear!” series. Okay, fine, the series doesn’t actually have a name but that’s how they’re coming across. And, while the Lime Lager Days definitely are behind DF, their debt to craft beer in general hasn’t quite been paid off yet.

The press material for this beer is frankly incomplete, only hinting at the origin of Spruce Tip Ale with a frustratingly vague reference to Captain Cook’s NorthWest voyage. Spruce Beer was indeed brewed by Captain Cook, who’s on-board brewery mixed spruce tips in with their ale to combat scurvy. While the exact origins of the practice are not known, it is certainly at least several centuries older than Captain Cook. You can learn more on WikiPedia.


For those of you saying WikiPedia shouldn’t be trusted, I’ve got an article you should read.

Secondly, and minorly, the presser mentions that Dead Frog draws their water from the Fraser River. I will chalk this one up as poetic license, for if they’re pulling that brown “liquid” into their brewery we should all get tested for any number of water born illnesses immediately, but I digress.

How is the beer behind the label? Not bad at all. It’s not an amazing Spruce Ale, but it’s fairly competently done, and a great example of an all-too-rare style. Combine that with a beer that frankly pours an attractive glass, and you have a strong contender for your weekend patio pints.

APPEARANCE Pours opaque orange/light brown with thick tight persistent off-white head. Gorgeous.
NOSE Sweet hops with a piney, citrus undertone.
TASTE Creamy mouthfeel. Integrated hops with a long fresh pine end.
STATS 6.5% ABV / 26 IBU / Golden Ale
SHOULD I BUY IT? Either that or cram some tree bits up your nose.
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Brewery Dead Frog
From Aldergrove
Name Big Stump
Style Golden Ale (Spruce)
SOA Now Bronze
SOA Potential n/a
Drink Now
Does it compare to the first Tofino Spruce Tip IPA? Sigh. No. Nothing ever could.
Availability Wide LDB
Cost $5.50-$7.50 per 650ml
Similar Beers Tofino Spruce Ale

 

 


There ya have it: cram some tree bits in your beer and you get some metal

Written by chuck

September 11th, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Posted in Beers

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One Response to 'Dead Frog Big Stump'

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  1. Yeah this is number 2 new beer from the new head brewer, great sign of things to come! I quite liked it too, spruce tips make a good hop substitute.

    Terry

    11 Sep 14 at 16:02

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