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Tree Spiced Reserve 2009 vs 2010

December 7, 2010

Last year’s Tree Spiced Reserve Ale was one of my favourite winter seasonals. I remember it being malty with a rather strong blend of spices. A real winter warmer in my opinion. I put one bottle away to see how a year would change it. I then drank that bottle a week later. Tree: 1, Dave: 0. Luckily a friend gave ended up giving me a bottle of it in the Summer.

Unlike the Hermannator showdown, I didn’t do this blind. I figure when brewing a seasonal beer with spices it would taste slightly different every time. I heard from a friend that this was the case this year. Time to test this for myself!

When both beers were poured out there were no observable differences in colour, head or carbonation. Aroma and taste was much different. The 2009 had a much stronger spice aroma and flavour. I couldn’t pick up on any individual spices other than a firm presence of ginger and a bit of orange zest. In with that there was flavours of vanilla and butterscotch. The 2010 had much less spice and much more orange zest. Almost too much. I also found the 2010 to be much more malty.

Overall I preferred the assertive spiciness of the 2009 as opposed the more malty and orangey 2010. I also did my mix them 50/50 thing. Still preferred the 2009. In all fairness the bottle design of the 2010 is much sharper.

I like doing these. I’m trying to store some more beers for more of these. It’s really hard sometimes.


From → Beer, Seasonal

  1. Leo permalink

    Awesome post. If your able to store more beers, it would be cool to see more posts like this in the future. I only had it once last year at the alibi room but I do remember the nice spicy aroma.

    • If Granville Island make Jolly Abbott again this year then I can do another one for that beer. The only other British Columbian beer nearing a year that I have is a Tree Double Hophead. I just wanted to see what a year does to it.

      • From what I hear there will be no Jolly Abbot this year. The Imperial Chocolate Stout has replaced it. – You may as well crack your Jolly Abbot now!

  2. i’ve got a jolly abbott from 2 yrs ago… we’ll see what that one is like. i cracked one last year, and it was nice… we’ll see what 2 yrs does to it.
    i didn’t get a chance to get any of the Tree Spiced… i was kind of sad. 😦

    • Jolly Abbot was only made last year and it replaced the Merry Monks Doppelbock from the year(s?) before. I was hoping they’d bring it back this year so I could compare. Looks like the, tasty, Imperial Rogers Chocolate Stout was it’s replacement this year.

      I’ll be putting a post up soon, but a year didn’t help Jolly Abbot at all.

  3. heh. then i have the merry monks… i should really dig it out. ack!

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  1. BC Beer – Tree Vertical Winter Ale « Beer in BC

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