January 26, 2012

Southern Tier IPA, Hop Sun and Phin and Matt's

Southern Tier IPA - India Pale Ale (2011)
Year Round Release
12 fl. oz. / $0.78 USD (Sale) / 7.3% ABV

About: "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."

Thoughts: Poured a clear amber orange with a puffy two finger bone white head that slowly made its way down to a frothy one finger head of foamy goodness. I noticed as I was pouring this that a few small bits of hop flowers came out of the bottle... causing me to giggle mischievously like The Sinful Dwarf.

Wow. This is what it's all about. This is the kind of smell that you just want to breath it in all night while you sleep!

Major spices and haze hit the back of my throat, before a flow of circling biscuity malts and flowery hops roll around my mouth. Very peppery, malty and semi-sweet. For an IPA this one is superbly balanced. Whereas the hops in Hop Sun slightly overpower the wheat, the hops and malts here intertwine perfectly. The scent of hops in this IPA is a lot stronger than in the taste. The taste here is just fuckin' smooth as hell. Not a single sour note, just fresh and sweet hops with a brilliant malt backup.

Sweet and spicy. Very smooth. Little bit silky.

I believe this is Southern Tier's flagship beer. It's listed first on their website anyways. Aftertaste is a really cool kind of tingling peppercorn on the upper roof of the mouth. It's also pretty crisp, leaving behind no dryness but rather a clear mouth feel with lingering candy brew flavor.

Southern Tier Hop Sun - Summer Wheat Beer (2011)
Summer Seasonal (Limited Yearly Release - March)
12 fl. oz. / $1.79 USD / 5.1% ABV

About: "Pour Hop Sun Summer Wheat Beer into a pint glass, give it a long whiff and you’ll realize that this isn’t your average wheat beer. Filtered to a golden clarity and dry-hopped to perfection, Hop Sun is a fantastic session ale in which flavors of wheat, barley and hops commingle to a refreshing and zesty conclusion. Hints of lemon and sweet malts waft to the fore as a touch of bitterness contributes to Hop Sun’s bright finish. Enjoy Hop Sun all summer long as a perfect balance to your outdoor recreation. Summer never tasted so good."

Thoughts: Hop Sun pours a very light amber color that ends up resembling a bit of a yellowish lime green / orange mix with a stark white one inch bubbly head with a little bit of frothing. It's reletively transparant with only a few carbonation bubbles rising about.

Starts off with a mix of citrus and a little bit of pine. Wheat rounds out a malty ever flowing sensation. This is really a fantastic smelling beer.

The dry hopping they did for this beer hits me first, and then the taste of wheat just makes its way in waves before everything settles back down and the barley malt fades in. After breathing in there's a bit of a hop musk. I'm actually surprised that there are three types of malt in this one and only one variety of hop. Even though the name of this brew isn't Malt Sun, the hops here are pretty dominant. The hops used here were one of the two from their imperial Oat, because I'm getting the same sticky "dusty candy" aftertaste.

This beer is a bit light, very drinkable and is quite crisp.

Overall it's pretty good. For one of their session beers it sure does go down pretty damn smooth and it's nice to see what one of their "normal" beers tastes like. Seeing as I've tried most of their Imperial Bombers and have enjoyed them all, I figured that I'd like this as well. It's a good beer, but still there's that part of me that wishes it was a big bottle of the heavier stuff.

Southern Tier Phin and Matt's - Extraordinary Ale (2011)
Everyday Availability
12 fl. oz. / $0.78 USD (Sale) / 5.7% ABV

About: "When we sat down to collaborate on this beer, we knew we had to create something extraordinary. After sampling a wide array of great beers, we hit upon an idea: use vast amounts of whole hops, the finest malted barley North America has to offer, and crystal filtered artesian water. Thus creating this classic American style pale ale."

Thoughts: Poured a seriously light amber yellow with a huge fluffy and bubbly white head. Very minimal carbonation bubbles rising, and it's slightly hazy. The glass is looking pretty cool with all those bubbles clinging to the side like that.

Beautiful scent on this one. It's long and lingering. Candy apple sweet. A tingle of sweet hops with a very welcome flowy malt background. Nice.

Grassy hops. Caramel malts. This is a very pleasing beer. It's subtle, yet elegant tasting. You get this little hint of soft oven baked sweet rolls that are sprinkled with a peppery sugar... or a little bit of a caramel coating with not-really-cinnamon.

It's actually quite watery, goes down super smooth with a bit of a bubbly froth at the end of the gulp. Still, a bit more watery than usual though.

Overall, a pleasing taste all around. There's no super sweet, no bitter, no sour and no discomfort. It's just soft and smooth and like a watery candy. Hops and Malts balance equally and they're both identifiable. It's really done so well, even if a bit watery. So far I like this one the best out of the three standard Southern Tier brews that I've tried (Hop Sun and IPA). This one's Nice. Is it Extraordinary? I don't think I'd got that far.

1 comment:

Tets said...

She certainly has the scared look well practiced that's fer sure!

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