2XMAS - Southern Tier Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 975 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TagoMago:
4.4/5 rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
It seems like seasonal beers are being released earlier and earlier with each passing year. It's not even Halloween yet, and already the Christmas beers are hitting the shelves. When I was at the store tonight, I stumbled upon this beer made by Southern Tier, which makes another one of my all-time favorite seasonal beers, Imperial Pumking. 2XMAS -- a name which is apparently a play on 2XIPA, an imperial IPA also made by Southern Tier -- is an imperial spiced ale, which, according to the label, is brewed in the tradition of a Swedish Glogg; a type of mulled wine. I must say I was reluctant to pick up this beer after reading the description on the label, which states "ale brewed with figs, orange peels and spices." I was afraid this would be yet another one of those spiced holiday beers I am all too familiar with; the ones with the oft-putting aroma, cloying flavor, and thin but sticky body.
I poured the beer from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. It pours a very dark, rich copper color with a thin but creamy one-finger head that subsides rather quickly while still leaving some slight lacing in the glass.
When I smelled the beer to see what its aroma was like, I really didn't think I was going to like it at all. It just had sort of the typical spiced holiday beer smell that is common with inferior Christmas beers. The figs and orange peel are very prominent upon first whiff. To be quite honest, it smelled exactly the way I was afraid it would.
Thankfully, my initial impressions about this beer turned out to be completely wrong upon tasting it. Right up front you notice how smooth and creamy the body of this beer is -- almost incredibly so. There is such a richness and subtleness to this beer that totally makes up for any obnoxious spice flavors that might have been present. Except I didn't detect any. This beer has a surprisingly good flavor, and the spices, figs and orange peel come together nicely, without ever being overpowering. It's just a really nice flavor, and the body and mouthfeel complement that flavor perfectly.
I see this as being the Christmas equivalent to ST's Imperial Pumking, another beer that is heavily dependent on spices. Like the Pumking, the body and mouthfeel of this beer really make it what it is. The flavor is bold without being overt, and the creaminess in the body is what really drives things home, making this an exceptional seasonal ale, and one which I hope Southern Tier continues to make.
Overall an outstanding beer, and one I would highly recommend, even to those who dislike spiced beers.
Overall Rating: 92/100
Serving type: bottle
10-30-2012 04:37:49 | More by TagoMago
More User Reviews:
2XMAS from Southern Tier Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 975 ratings.