Sonnet

Southern Tier is a real Jekyll and Hyde brewery for me, with a range of beers that I have simultaneously enjoyed (Creme Brulee and Krampus), hated (Imperial Cherry Saison) and felt largely indifferent about (Phin & Matt's and 2XIPA). As such, I tend to be ambivalent toward them, and with so much beer available to me these days they are a brewer that has gone from a regular in the rotation to an almost forgotten player for me. It would appear that they have a slightly new look for this...

Old Man (Winter Ale)

This is NOT an Old Ale in my book. I was actually expecting it to be labeled as a Winter Warmer, but it drinks more like an American IPA. On tap at The Irish Bred Pub in Douglasville, GA, USA. Great looking pour with the deep copper, mahogany body showing superb clarity underneath a bone-white head. Head is not terribly well maintained, but there is some decent lacing. Nose gives up some fresh, raw hops. The beer is much hoppier than I was expecting and this is the abiding memory. Some good...

Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale)

It seems as though Southern Tier has decided to jump on the IBA bandwagon since the tap handle for this now proudly displays the letters "iba" in a very prominent fashion and "Iniquity" in much smaller font. On tap, Taco Mac Douglasville, GA, USA. I've never seen this on tap before, but then again I've never really looked for it since this is a style that generally does not interest me much. Pour has a couple of interesting aspects. Firstly it is black but definitely has some reddish brown...

2XIPA

12 oz single, Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Hazed, orange pour with a bone-white head. Not much lace. Unusually light in color for a DIPA with almost a Hefe (or a least a wheat beer) look about it. Nose has sweet, sugary citrus which is replicated in the taste. Not especially bitter, and frankly a pretty reserved and low hop presence in this beer for the style. This is NOT a complex or complicated beer by any stretch of the imagination, and for me that's the appeal. Simple, tasty stuff. Pretty...

Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)

Second time I have had this beer, this time on tap at Taco Mac, Douglasvile, GA, USA. Approx. 11 oz pour. Other review (with more notes) for reference, here; http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/3818/43687/?ba=Ding The beer does have a slightly disappointing look in terms of head (or lack of it), even taking the ABV into full consideration. The overwhelming experience here remains the toffee elements and the sweetness. On draft it seemed a little lighter than the bottle and the body was less...

Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer)

Had this a few times in the last week or so, both on tap and from the bottle. Definitely preferred the draft version and this review reflects that serving style. Bright orange pour with a decent amount of cloudiness. Seems clearer on draught than from the bottle which adds extra haze. Nice, high, substantial white head. In both cases I got a really decent amount of soap character in the taste. The hop presence seems to work up quite a big taste considering the style of the beer. If the soap...

Gemini (Imperial IPA)

22 oz bottle with a stick on label rather than the usual ST, screen printed presentation. Thanks to the wife for bringing this back from SC just a few days before ST hit GA - typical. Pour is an obvious orange color, but the two things that strike me as particularly prevalent are the light cloudiness and the fact that the beer seems quite thin in appearance. Nose and tastes are typical for the style with a combination of grapefruit, syrupy alcohol and sweet sugary notes. This is not any easy...

Hoppe (Imperial Extra Pale Ale)

The wife was kind enough to cart this back from Hilton Head, SC for me, just a few days before ST hit GA - typical! 22 oz bottle in the usual screen printed ST style. Pour is a beautiful, golden clear body with a smashing white head that gives some nice sticky lace - decent retention considering the ABV of the beer. Looks nice, especially the depth of color. Nose is plenty of sweet alcohol (and not much else) and this is exactly how the taste manifests itself. This is not a subtle beer, but...

Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)

22 oz bottle, many thanks go out to Scott & Rich at Charleston Beer Exchange, Charleston, SC, USA for hooking me up and giving me the chance to try this one. Pour is a surprisingly dark, bronze color. Must be using some darker malts. Head is good and the lace is superb. Aggressive, Saaz based, alcoholic nose. The tastes give the same aggressive hops. The tastes are bitter with a metallic edge and a lingering finish. The malt backbone is VERY substantial and to be honest it reminds me a...

Jahva (Imperial Coffee Stout)

22 oz silk-screened bottle. Winter 2008 bottling. Pour is as expected with a deep, black body and some nice, frothy, mocha colored head. Not a great deal of lace but considering the ABV not an issue. Brown highlights. Nose is surprisingly muted and lacks much of any discernable coffee notes. Tastes are essentially very bitter, and not really in a good way. One might expect this to reflect some bitter coffee-grinds but that's not the bitterness I am really getting. It's a much more cigar,...

ÜberSun (Imperial Summer Wheat Beer)

22 oz bottle, $6.99 from Green's, Greenville, SC, USA. Pour is a bright, golden-orange body that sits underneath a rocky head with great retention. Nose gives quite a lot of syrupy, sugar alcohol and a touch of the hops. Tastes are quite a subtle combination of Saaz like bitterness and alcohol which has a slight warming effect. The aftertaste emphasizes both quite well. Smooth in the mouth with no hint of the cloying nature that I was anticipating given the style and the alcohol. Ice cold this...

Tripel

22oz bottle from Jim - cheers. ST is a bit hit and miss to say the least with me, so it's always an interesting experience to open up a beer of theirs that I've no had before. Pour yields a clear golden body with a frothy head. The whole thing seems a touch over-carbonated to me and the mouthfeel (prickly) confirms this. The nose reveals some sweet hops, and to be honest it seems like the hops a re manifesting themselves a little too much. The hop presence (too great IMO) is carried through to...

Mokah

22 oz bottle from Charleston Beer Exchange, Charleston, SC, USA. $8.99. A blend (or at least some mixture) of the Jahva and the Choklat. Black , stout like body with a nice mocha head, decent retention and some lace. Ruby red highlights at the extremities. Nose reveals an alcoholic chocolate and not much else. The tastes lie heavily on the chocolate side of things with the coffee lending a certain bitterness but not much flavor. The coffee manifests itself in a licorice manner against the...

Imperial Cherry Saison

Absolutely do not understand this beer in the slightest. Firstly there is a huge reference to cherries from the name through to the picture of the giant fruit on the bottle, and secondly there is the oaking of the beer which, even before I tasted it gave me some serious reservations as to why one would be trying to combine that with a fruit infused saison. I was just afraid that it would not come together at all well, and I was right. Pour is a hazed orange; fairly typical for the style, but...

Pumking

=== Updated Review 09/12/10 - 2010 vintage === Having been totally convinced in the past that the smell and the look of this beer were always better than the taste, in 2010 with the higher ABV, I feel a few things are quite different than they have been in the past. Firstly the beer still has a lovely color, but the head, retention and lace are not quite as good as they once were. Secondly the smell is not quite as aggressive (or pleasant) as in years past. Plenty of brown sugar and some...

Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)

Well, it's certainly an extraordinary beer and I like it - quite a lot! 22 oz bomber shared with a few of the usual suspects down at The Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA. I like to share when I can, and this seemed like the PERFECT beer (22 oz of pure sweetness) to be distributing amongst several people. Pour is a simple dark brown pour with almost no head or lace. Essentially, across the board all I get is a delicious toffee taste. Lovely rich, caramel notes. The beer is very sweet, but this...

Big Red (Imperial Red)

22oz bomber. Thanks go out to todprokp7 for the chance to try this one. Very surprised by this. I was expecting much more of a hoppy (and importantly for the stlye) drier affair here, perhaps even something that resembled a DIPA. However what I got was much more reminiscemnt of an American Barleywine. Alcohol is quite well hidden which is not necessarily a good thing. It means the alcohol creeps up on you a bit and leaves a warmth! Decent lace above a cloudy copper body. Sweetness cuts across...

Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

From notes: Thanks go out to Robert for providing these samples at a recent Brick Store tasting. 220z bottle. I've got to say right off the bat, that a beer at nearly 13% ABV kind of puts me off right from the beginning. Coupled with such a potentially enormous style, you are treading a very precarious line betweeen disaster and success. Sometime this can be pulled off, but it is a high risk, low reward strategy IMO. Anyway on to the beer. Jet black pour as far as I could see, with a slight...

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

22oz bomber (partially) into the Terrapin 22oz snifter - a nice combo! Picked this one up at State Line. Pour is a mid to dark orange with a nice head from the aggressive pour (I thought the aggression would be a good idea because with the ABV the head was likely to be limited). It does fade quickly to leave some decent lace and some spotty, creamy film. Nose has the requisite pine and grapefruit notes. Tastes are typical for the style. Grapefruit is there, but the bitterness is really quite...

Porter

12oz bottle as part of the mixed 12 pack - thanks go out to Rob for the chance to try this. Different label to the one in the BA db. Standard dark brown pour with a small, nicely formed head but not much (if any) lace. Solid if unspectacular look. Some red highlights. Very standard and solid example of the style. More bitter than the English original, less creamy with a higher hop profile, but simply solid. Mild raost. A simple, unspectacular brew without much charm but a decent example.

Choklat

22 oz bottle. Many, many thanks to mikesgroove for this gift well ahead of Southern Tier making it to GA. Opening the bottle (even before pouring) reveals a very strong chocolate aroma. It has a cocoa, drinking chocolate, dryish element to it. Small head, with some lace but not much. Color is a deep, deep dark brown, but with plenty of red highlights as the light catches the beer. Average mouthfeel with a bitter and slightly acidic finish. A coffee like ending. Interesting and plenty of...

IPA (India Pale Ale)

Part of a mixed 12 pack (along with the Porter, Raspberry Wheat and Phin & Matt's). 12oz bottle. Pretty much a perfect example of the style. Light orange, slightly hazed pour with a large, bone-white, billowing head. Lots of sticky lace - a classic and good sign in this style. Nice sweet and bitter combo on the tongue with the hops winning in the finish. Standard mouthfeel with a little prickly carbonation. A slight metallic nature too. Drinks more like a sessionable ABV than the 6.5%. Easy,...

Raspberry Wheat Ale

12oz bottle as part of the Southern Tier mixed 12 pack (IPA, Porter and Phin & Matt's) make up the remainder. Given to me as a Xmas present - Cheers Rob. Macro colored pour, but better than average carbonation, with a small, perfectly formed head and some minor lace. Surprising clarity for a "wheat" - filtered I guess?? Aroma is that of watered down raspberries with a somewhat synthetic feel. Not all that promising. A dryish fruitiness meets the tastebuds at first, at this is not that bad....

Phin & Matt’s Extraordinary Ale

Incredibly orange, cloudy pour with a substantial billowing, white head that left some pleasing lacing. Hoppy aroma that isn't very well replicated in the taste. Typically American Pale Ale in both appearance and taste, this beer is no more or less than a solid example of the style. Dryish finish compliments the slightly spikey carbonation that hits the tongue at first. Pretty drinkable and I'd be happy to offer this up to non-BA's as an example of where they could gain entry to the better...