Here is another beer with a gimmick; Alaskan Brewery's Winter - an ale brewed with spruce tips. They claim that this is a old ale, like Rocky's Revenge - "Style: English Olde Ale. Traditionally malty with the warming sensation of alcohol."
I am not tasting the alcohol, or any warming sensation. But I am tasting the spruce. Ironically, it has more alcohol by volume that Rocky's Revenge has (6.4% vs. 6.0%), but it doesn't taste like liquor, instead it tastes like a pine-y ale. Obnoxious, but not too obnoxious that I want to pour it down the drain. I will be able to finish this one, but it is not a favorite. I'll give it a low three.
They say that brewing with spruce tips is an Alaskan tradition that goes back to the late 1700s. There is something to be said for using traditional local ingredients, but this strikes me as a gimmick.
-Jim from Milwaukee