Sunday, January 29, 2012

Southern Tier–oak aged un-earthly Imperial India Pale Ale


It’s well documented that I love flavor bombs – Hops, Peat, Spices….I dig it all.

Southern Teir BottleSo, when looking for a new single to try (it’s a toss up here in CoMO as to who has the best selection, Arena Liquors or HyVee), the bright green label with the word Un-Earthly definitely caught my eye. 

Hopefully, any company that was willing to put that on a bottle had the balls to back it up.

Southern Tier Brewing is an eastern New York (south of Buffalo) brewery that began operations in late 2002.  With gradual product that is now approximately 50,000 barrels, the Southern Tier line is available in over half the United States and Worldwide.

Oak aged un earthly Imperial India Pale Ale

Appearance – First, this beer is gassy.  Not in bad way, but in the Souther Tier Foamway that the foam was literally oozing out of the bottle upon opening (no Tom, I didn’t shake it up).  The pour then lead to an interesting light head, that reminded me of a meringue pie.  I know the pictures cannot do it justice, but there were literal fluffy caps on the foam as I was setting up.

The color itself was a hazy/cloudy burnt orange that actually caught me off guard.  With that much going on in the liquid (and the already hoppy smell wafting up), this was not what I was expecting – could it be they were going to live up to the name?

Nose – I mentioned earlier that this beer was gassy – well that plays Colorwell to the nose, as the earthy and citrus hoppyness greats the drinker as he brings it to his mouth.  The smell just emanates and sticks to the glass in such a good way.  The hops is intermingled with caramel, oaken wood and roasted malt. 

Taste- With a thick and sticky, the taste of this brew carries flavors of oakyness, vanilla,hops,citrus, toffee and more hops.  The lingering dry finish is pleasant a dry, with a slight citrus aftertaste (grapefruit). This all works well together well to mask the high ABV (9.9%) to make this highly enjoyable and drinkable. 

I really really really enjoyed this beer.  The flavors came through and it was unique enough that it would bring me back for more.  I would particularly enjoy trying this one tap somewhere (looking at you Dave) to see how it plays out compared to the bottled variant.

An excellent beer that I would rate easily 4.5 Stars.

Well done Southern Tier!


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