Tuesday, August 3, 2010

399. Southern Tier IPA

It’s the return of the non-imperial. Another rare appearance of the small beer from Southern Tier here on what we’re drinking—I know, I know, will such shocks never end. Added to Pale Ale, Krampus, Old Man Winter, Crème Brûlée, Mokah, and Jah*va, this makes seven from Southern Tier. And that’s the money number...

Described on the website as “the iso-alpha acid experience,” STIPA pours a lightly hazy but mostly clear copper with an ivory head that also laces the glass quite nicely. The nose is an even mix or caramel and bread maltiness coupled with spicy, resiny, and piney hop aromas. In other words, the nose is tasty smelling—even Elli approves of this nose. The flavors start bright on the mouth, helped in part by the carbonation—the carbonation hits the front of the mouth early and then bites a bit more on the final third, giving STIPA a slightly spritzy start that works nicely. The bready caramel front also carries a touch of spicy resin hop flavor before giving way to the bitterness of the middle, which has some of the initial hoppiness along with some additional pine hop flavor and a bit of biscuit malt. The finish is pleasantly bitter mixed with more of the hop spiciness and some caramel flavors, the bitterness lingering lightly on the palate. STIPA has a medium body with a balanced mouthfeel—the hop profile is both complex and nuanced, but works in tandem with the hop profile. As noted above, the carbonation enhances and builds the flavor and mouthfeel; STIPA is smooth, and very, very quaffable. And, might I add, well done.

From the Southern Tier website: “IPA stands for India Pale Ale and ours is an American version of the classic style. IPA’s namesake lies in its colonial roots. British soldiers on their way to India drank a lot of beer, but found it would go stale on the long voyages. Meanwhile, brewers knew that by adding more hops the beer would stay fresh. Voila! A new style was born and it is one we are proud to brew. Southern Tier IPA is triple hopped on its journey to your glass for a fully aromatic experience.”

ABV: 7.4%


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