2XMAS - Southern Tier Brewing Company
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Ratings: 994 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
3.91/5 rDev +5.4%
From earlier tasting:
Pours a dark reddish/ mahogany with a nice one finger- width of head, nice lacing evident, although little evidence of carbonation.
Smells quite nice of ginger, cinnamon, sweet bread, mulled spice. Perfect scent for the holiday for which it's named.
Taste is more ginger-forward, which isn't so bad, but this seems it would drink better if it were counter-balanced with sweet vanilla or creamier bread notes. This ginger flavor is more in line with the root than with the holiday cookie. Clove in here as well. Ends somewhat dry and peppery too. The biggest disappointment for me was the role the orange plays. The orange must contribute to the spicing, because it certainly doesn't lend any actual orange flavor (or citrus refreshment for that matter). Other than that, this beer seems to live up to resembling the spicier mulled wine flavors of the Norwegian glogg for which it's named. Not my favorite style, but pleasant.. and one and done.
04-26-2014 00:33:42 | More by TBoneJones
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 994 ratings.