2XMAS - Southern Tier Brewing Company
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Ratings: 997 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev +10.5%
"...with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads..." If by sugar, he means malt, and by plumbs, he meant prunes. If he means stomach instead of head and drunken stupor instead of visions, then he must have bellied up at The Beer Trappe on Saturday night as Southern Tier's 2XMAS joined the tap rotation. By the way, what the crap is a sugarplum?
It's tawny bronze hue is cast in a veil of barkish haze. it's deep brown color allows for the soft penetration of garnet low lights. A serious lather builds on top of the beer with soft ivory foam and is insistent on enduring the session. As the foam slowly recedes to an even sheet across the glass, intricate lacing creeps onto the snifter.
An array of aromas share its bouquet, seemingly one scent at a time. As the nose eclipses the glass, notions of dried fruit, brown sugar, and molasses make me thing fruitcake (in the most delightful way possible). Another whiff delivers ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg much like gingersnap cookies. As the alcohols warm, a masculine scent of rum-based bread pudding catches the ire of alcohol inspired adult in me.
But it's the actual fig infusion that becomes the common thread of the beer and locks all of those flavors down. Otherwise, it is the underlying malt taste of molasses, brown sugar, and maple that commands its taste. Now, the earthen sweetness of the dried dark pitted fruit, and other cherry-like esters, that gives the sweetness a twang and savory balance. Further complementary tastes of orange zest clove, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom really pulls this beer into the realm of Christmas in a semi-eggnog kinda way. Light in hops, the beer relies on its sheer complexity and gruit spices for balance and digestibility.
Its robust texture is set up with firm malt richness and its embedded carbonation for a full and lightly chewy mouthfeel. Rummy alcohols begin to slice into the bready malt for peppery warmth, thinning sweetness, and overall spicy middle palate. Finishing malty-dry with a hint of toast and chocolate, the complexities continue to build even deep in aftertaste.
2XMAS is your quintessential "Winter Warmer" that's designed for those Christmas parties. And with the alcohol strength to sooth the mind, it may just make the office party tolerable this year! (...now off to find those damn sugarplums.)
12-10-2012 18:17:08 | More by BEERchitect
3.85/5 rDev +3.8%
1.5 finger head with nice lacing on a clear, deep copper amber body. Brown sugar, milk chocolate, caramel and bready malts, with herbs of cinnamon and nutmeg. Flavors follows well with caramel, bread malts, brown sugar and more spices, mostly nutmeg and cinnamon again which perfectly go with the season. Medium body ad light to moderate carbonation. A nice seasonal. Not all that different from many of this genre as a winter release but still good nonetheless.
12-25-2012 04:23:16 | More by kylehay2004
3.45/5 rDev -7%
This beer poured out brown-ish red color with a thin white head. The head fades rapidly. The smell of the beer has a pretty good spicy aroma to it. The taste is sweet with a spicy flavor, some berry notes and cinnamon mostly. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and has a smooth carbonation to it. Overall it's a decent holiday brew. Worth trying.
11-14-2012 23:58:59 | More by Knapp85
4.03/5 rDev +8.6%
Poured into a nonic a deep amber tinged brown with very little head to speak of,what there was was off white color.Deep fig and winter spice notes in the nose,alcohol and fruit cake notes linger.Candied figs with the orange peel underneath on the palate,cakey and rich with mild drying hops to keep the sweetness from going over the top.The lack of carbonation is actually good in the feel,it's mellow and almost chewey.A real warmer and true to the CHRISTmas season.
11-19-2012 22:15:54 | More by oberon
3.63/5 rDev -2.2%
Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.
A tad early for any decorations or festive merry-making, but I'm too much of a ticker to let a new Southern Tier 2X beer sit on the bench. This stuff pours a clear sunrise garnet topped by a finger of dusty wan tan foam. The nose comprises ginger, light peppermint, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, gingerbread cookies, and candied orange peel. The taste focuses on that orange peel, along with a bit of rye bread, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda grainy feel. Overall, a pretty solid Christmas beer, one that certainly lives up to its billing as a glogg beer, though the spicing may be a bit much.
11-20-2012 20:19:56 | More by TMoney2591
3.98/5 rDev +7.3%
A - Poured out a clear, dark burgundy color with a one-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.
S - It smelled of spice and orange peel. Lots of Christmas aromas.
T - Big Christmas spice flavor - nutmeg, cinnamon and orange. Good roasted malt backbone adds balance.
M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a fairly dry finish.
O - Not sure what Swedish Glogg tastes like, but this is pretty good. A very Christmasy beer.
12-20-2012 05:15:29 | More by zeff80
4.03/5 rDev +8.6%
Southern Tier "2XMAS"
12 oz. bottle, no apparent freshness dating.
$1.99 @ Wegmans, Collegeville, PA
Well it smells of Xmas cheer! Or of spice anyway. I mainly get cinnamon, but I'm also finding orange peel. Perhaps some nutmeg, maybe not, but there's something that rounds it out. For all I know, it could be the malt. Whatever, it's quite pleasant, and certainly not overtly bold. Oh, wait, it's the fig. How could I miss it? I grow figs in my garden and can and sell preserves made from them.
As for looks, it's pretty sharp in that category as well. A fluffy head of tan caps a clear, ruby and deep chestnut body. If you look closely you can see very fine bubbles rising here and there.
It almost looks as if it lacks carbonation, but that is not the case. The super-fine bubbles delicately bristle on the tip of your tongue. Maybe they're just not coming out of solution because it's a fairly malty beer, with a fairly hefty body. Definitely full I'd say.
The flavor is as the aroma suggests, with a bit more wallop to it. The spice is brighter, and there's a flicker of alcohol to it - or perhaps the alcohol is just suggesting more spice? Or vice-versa. Regardless, they work together and it's got a bit of brashness to it. The orange peel remains and I'm finding some other spices. Given the zing that it's got, I wouldn't rule out ginger. A good deal of caramel malt is present as well, holding the whole thing together of course, and it's both golden and dark. It's a good balance, getting close, but not quite to the point of suggesting burnt brown sugar.
The bitterness is kept in check, and it's a good thing because with all of that spice it's certainly not needed. Which brings me to hops: 2 varieties are used, one for bittering we'll assume, and one for flavor. I didn't find it until about halfway through the glass, but yes indeed, there is a hop flavor to it: leafy, piney, and maybe grassy and floral, although it's hard to tell what's what with orange peel and spice floating about. The further I go, the more it warms and separates, and the more individual notes start to appear. Clove, definitely. Green cardamom? Hmmm, I do find the flavor of that of candy-coated cardamom you grab on the way out of an Indian restaurant.
So to sum up, it's quite an interesting beer. It's got some complexity to it. If you like spiced beers you'll love it. I really enjoy them at Thanksgiving and Xmas get togethers, and I always bring a few with me to pass around, but I have a feeling that Uncle Joe is NOT going to like this one. That's OK, he likes Old Fezziwig - I'll have another one of these!
12-17-2013 23:11:12 | More by NeroFiddled
3.53/5 rDev -4.9%
On-tap 11/28/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip pint glass.
A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, spices, some fruit and a touch of hops.
T: The taste starts out with a hearty malt character. Then strong flavors of ginger, caramel and fruit come in. The hops presence is mild and provides a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.
M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.
O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, it’s a decent beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.
12-01-2012 02:42:35 | More by TheManiacalOne
3.39/5 rDev -8.6%
Ruby colored beer with a billowing head khaki tan head leaves fine lacing. Aroma is full of nutmeg, cinnamon, clover and other Christmas ales, Meant to attract some of the Great Lakes Christmas ale following, but in a higher alcohol format. An ale brewed with figs, orange peels, and spices look I'm getting super malts and spice additions. Overall a super sweet cloying mess that should be drank in moderation I'm willing to vogue for this spiced beer but at the alcohol level and spice discomforts I would wait until this is your last option to drink an Xmas ale. Overall look forward to other highly spice and highly drinkable offerings.
10-27-2013 04:41:33 | More by WVbeergeek
4.05/5 rDev +9.2%
I picked this up at wegman's enjoyed chilled in a goblet shared with tenderbranson69 on Christmas day 2013.
The color is sunset red with good clarity and thick beige head with very fine bead. The smell is very festive with nice citrus and spice odors with mild sweet ester and yeast fruitiness in the nose. The feel is very nice, spiced yet balanced with malt and moderately high carbonation with dry strong warming finish.
The taste is good with lots of spice and and an orange zest and slight toasted malt with a mild caramel sweetness and very low alcohol in the taste with nice woodiness and a slight hint of cinnamon bark. The taste has a nice amount of dried fruit and hops bittering but not too bitter with a slight dry alcohol taste in the finish. Overall this is a great beer for celebrating -it is strong but you don't really taste any alcohol since the spice covers it pretty well.
12-25-2013 13:51:22 | More by Slatetank
3.7/5 rDev -0.3%
a cool winter beer, with figs and orange peel. the pours is darker brown with a tanish head nice and thick and lasting. the nose is really christmasy, like mulled wine almost, clove and anise, orange and definite sweetness from the figs. my first fig beer i think. the flavor is the same as the nose, with all the elements mixing together really nicely. sweeter on the back end, like molassas, with a huge malt body, dark and roasty but not black. finish is quick for a beer of this style. big body, enough bubbles, and plenty of booze for the cold evenings. overall a clever winter warmer that i will be enjoying all holiday season long.
11-19-2012 15:51:50 | More by StonedTrippin
3.38/5 rDev -8.9%
This looks like it could be interesting, could be terrible or could be good.
Pours a decent fizzy bubbly 1 finger head that fades pretty quickly though, a very clear but dark cranberry ruby colored beer.
Nose is interesting, lots of reddish malts, a little syrupy and candy like, toffee, some caramel, mild baking spices allspice like, maybe hint of nutmeg and cinnamon, cardamom, hard to really tell, with a mild fig like fruit and candied dates and touch of molasses.
Taste is sweet, syrupy candy, little toffee and caramel, bit of molasses candies, into a mild estery booze, almost chewy like candy syrup. Then mild dark fruits, a little candied date and fig flavor, with more baking spices, hint of cardamom and cinnamon I think, little allspice, etc. Booze gets a bit tingly and strong, with a warming glogg like character in the spices and booze starts to get almost fusel. Finish is sticky but dry, bit of bitter spices, more candy syrup and molasses, and bit of fig lingering. The spices really start to build on the palate the longer it lingers and the more I sip and starts to get too much quickly, a not-so-great bitter aftertaste.
Mouth is fuller bod, little syrupy like, decent carb, warming tingly booze.
Overall, OK, at first it's not too bad, with the syrupy flavors and fruit, spices are nice at first too, but all that quickly wears out it's welcome and turns into a not so pleasant beer, everything becomes too much, too syrupy, too much bitter spices, bad bitter aftertaste, too much fusel alc, etc.
12-07-2013 21:02:19 | More by jlindros
3.25/5 rDev -12.4%
Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy reddish dark brown color, there is more red to this one than brown. There is a layer of off white head that fades quickly to a ring on top of the pour.
Smell: Definitely a Christmas beer. I'm getting a slightly sweet malt component that reminds me of dark fruit and cherries. I'm also getting some Christmas spices and mild orange peel.
Taste: Not nearly as sweet as the smell indicates. There is a dark fruit/sweet grain component but it is overshadowed by the Christmas spices. The finish is really bitter. I'm getting some citrus fruit hops along with a strong spice component. I think the bitterness level is too high here.
Mouthfeel: The body is medium with a lot of tingly carbonation and a very dry finish.
Overall: I think the spices and hops made the finish too bitter. The sweeter flavors needed to be featured a bit more.
11-30-2012 00:57:56 | More by oline73
3.58/5 rDev -3.5%
Good initial head that leaves a blanket of lace. The broth is brown and clear.
Strong spice aroma--nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice.
Slightly oily from the high alcohol level. Lots of pumpkin pie spice flavors. Rich body, low carbonation. Rather one dimensional in the flavor.
11-24-2012 02:13:07 | More by smcolw
4/5 rDev +7.8%
Appearance: pours an amber orange color with a one inch head that lingers around a while.
Smell: cinnamon, nutmeg, and some malt sweetness comes through to the nose.
Taste: caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, apples, and a moderate bitterness create a nice winter ale.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout.
Overall: a great beer to drink in front of a raging fire in the winter. Slow sipping but very enjoyable.
01-06-2013 21:40:54 | More by Gavage
2.6/5 rDev -29.9%
This review might be a bit more free-form than most because I'm tiring of the rigid structure I've been relying on of late. Reviewed live. "DOB: 11/15/13."
I picked up this 12 oz brown glass bottle recently; it has red and green label art and a branded black pry-off pressure cap. 8% ABV per the label. "Spiced beer" seems the best style to review this as since it purports to be brewed in the tradition of Swedish glogg.
Served cold into an Avery tulip and allowed to warm a bit as I drink it. Side-poured.
Head: Khaki in colour. One finger in width. Has a decent complexion, with okay creaminess and thickness. Pretty standard, with a below average (~1 minute) retention. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. Middling execution overall.
Body: Dark amber. Translucent when backlit, but not particularly vibrant. Quasitransparent. It's clean; I don't see any yeast particulate or hop sediment.
Appearance: Overall underwhelming. Carbonation seems off. It's not unique or special, but I'll buy it as a glogg-esque beer appearance. I can't say I'm impressed.
Aroma: It certainly evokes a mulled/spiced character, but I wouldn't say it smells like mulled wine per se as there aren't any wine notes. I think I'm getting allspice, nutmeg, orange peel/orange zest, clove, rosemary, and ginger.
Also dry fruitcake, sugarcane, and brown sugar.
It's breadier than most spiced beers I've had, but I think the main malt is amber malt. The spices overwhelm the malty foundation, though.
What I don't find is an obvious hop profile. I guess there are vague fruity hop notes, but it does have an obvious citrusy or floral or piney character. The beer's age (~5 months) might play a part in that.
Overall, it's a pleasing aroma of mild strength, and definitely delivers on the premise of the beer.
Texture: I like the subtle coarseness, which helps coax out the flavour, but I don't like the sticky syrupy viscous feel of the beer, which while nicely plump lends the beer an unbecoming filling vibe - like a meal in a glass. The medium to full body is good, but I think it's too thick considering the lack of diverse and deep flavour here. It has more heft than it needs to support its flavours. Carbonation is off. Overall presence on the palate is okay, but by no means is this mouthfeel a perfect complement to the taste.
Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.
Taste: There's a weird metallic note on the finish, which I despise.
It's quite sweet, but I think it unfair to call it cloying; the sweetness kind of works for the whole mulled wine thing they're after. And the spices are apt: allspice, nutmeg, maybe cinnamon, light clove, faint ginger, and rosemary. They overwhelm the amber malt body, which is unremarkable anyway. The orange peel isn't as strong here as the aroma suggested, which is disappointed. And as far as the fig mentioned on the label? I search for it, but don't find it.
There is an alcohol presence here which I'm not sure works for it. No overt hop profile comes through, nor does any yeast character.
It's a bit too overbearing to be balanced, and forget about subtlety - there's none here. Southern Tier has confused muddled complicated-ness with artful complexity and intricacy; more ingredients do not make a better beer if the flavour profile is an unfocused mess. I dig the Swedish glogg premise, but this taste ultimately doesn't deliver; it's not the beer version, just a poor wine imitation. The build has a loose cohesion, but it's far from gestalt - I could change, substitute, or remove many notes and the beer wouldn't lose anything essential. This beer is the sum of its parts, and nothing more.
Dr: My problem with Southern Tier is usually that they seem to believe more ingredients equals a better beer - it's right there on the label. Look how many malts and hops and spices we used! We've quantified it for you, so the quality must be high. This beer is evidence of where that line of thinking can take you. While it has some interesting components that help evoke mulled wine, it doesn't really hold its own as a beer. If you got this blind at a bar with no knowledge they were going for mulled wine, you'd have trouble appreciating it. I wouldn't buy it again, and I think it's a pretty weak seasonal. Underwhelming but well-intentioned. Subpar work from Southern Tier.
04-24-2014 04:44:24 | More by kojevergas
2XMAS from Southern Tier Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 997 ratings.