Compass, by New York’s Southern Tier Brewing Company, is an Imperial Sparkling American Pale Ale. Oh, and it’s bottle conditioned, and brewed with rose hips. So, it has a lot going on, to say the least. The nose is predominantly citrus with lemon and grapefruit, and it has a floral note that Southern Tier tells me is rose hips, but that I associate with honeysuckle, and a slight undertone of tropical fruit, specifically pineapple. The middle is creamy and buttery, with more tropical fruit and a bit of citrus. Southern Tier promises some bitterness, but I’m not tasting much at all. A tiny hint of citrus rind/pine in the finish, perhaps, which is also where the carbonation makes its presence felt. The body is medium, and the alcohol is a healthy imperial-level 9.0% ABV. I really like Southern Tier, but in honesty this one wasn’t one of my favorites. It’s good, but not great.
I give it a 3.8 out of 5.
An American Strong Ale, New York’s Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Gemini is a relatively unusual style. Very malt heavy, this blended concoction, derived from Southern Tier’s Hoppe and Unearthly brews is magnificent in its own right. The nose is heavy and sweet, with notes of licorice, honey, and wheat. The body is medium to heavy, and fairly balanced but tipping towards sweet with molasses, honey, vanilla and alcohol. The finish is more of the same, fading away, with a bit of orange rind coming to the fore. This is a big beer, at 9.0% ABV, and it shows. This is a high quality beer, but it is an alcohol delivery device above all.
I give it a 4.3 out of 5
2xRye by New York’s Southern Tier Brewing Company is an autumn seasonal Double Rye India Pale Ale. Decoded, that’s an Imperial IPA made with rye. Now, I love IPAs, and I love Imperial IPAs, and I love rye-based ales, so this was bound to appeal, and it doesn’t disappoint. The nose is citrusy and floral. It has a medium to heavy body that is thick on the tongue. The middle is bursting with orange and pine. The rye becomes clearly evident in the finish, along with lemon and huge amounts of pine. This is a relatively big beer at 8.1% ABV, but there’s really not any booziness to speak of. It’s just a big, rich, flavorful Double IPA with loads of rye. Very, very good, this one.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5.
Oat is an Imperial Oatmeal Stout from the fine folks at Southern Tier Brewing Company of New York. I’m a big fan of oatmeal stouts, and this is a good one. The oatmeal scent is heavy in the nose, along with chocolate and licorice. The middle is sweet and smooth and milky with plums and molasses, and the finish is drying, with cocoa and apricot. This beer has a lot of big flavor for an oatmeal stout, and it’s a big beer too, at 10.8% ABV. It’s a fine stout, and would do well as a dessert beer.
I give it a 4.4 out of 5.