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IPA (India Pale Ale) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

very good
943 Reviews
For Trade:
IPA (India Pale Ale)IPA (India Pale Ale)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John on 03-24-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 943 | Ratings: 2,513
Photo of sacfly
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appeared first in a flight glass, and then later in a pint glass. Orange in appearance with a white head. Smell is very sweet and citrus. Taste is reminiscent of Lemonheads candy. Blew me away. What hops or flavorings do they use to get such a strong sweet lemon flavor? I was intrigued enough to select this out of a flight of drafts, and was equally impressed with the pint (which was the special at the Willimantic Main Street Café that evening). I can’t see drinking this religiously, as the Lemonhead candy like flavor could get annoying, but a different IPA form the normal fare.

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Photo of beermanbrian
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color with thin off white head that dissipates quickly. Very minimal carbonation. Nice lacing. Citrus hops dominates the smell. Citrus and pine are the taste that stick out. Light body that taste a little thin. A good beer but there are so many better IPA's out there. I would say it's worth a try but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of kpantz
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Executive Summary: Holy Hops, Batman! In the nose and on the tongue, the hops are dominant, but in a good way, of course. A great IPA. If you're looking for something against which to judge other IPAs for the "in your face" element, this might be it.

Appearance: Amber is a bit deeper than other IPAs, but I like it. Great lacing...head doesn't last too long, though.

Smell: Holy crap. Hops anyone? Get a whiff of this while the head is still present...it'll knock your block off. Fantastic flowery, citrus aroma.

Taste: Exactly what the aroma portended. Citrusy sweetness quickly leaves in favor of hops, hops, hops. Not bitter, though...just hoppy. Fantastic!

Mouthfeel: Given my initial whiff, I expected this to be a bit syrupy, a la Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, but that's just not the case here. Light, but not watery. Good, smooth finish.

Drinkability: This would make a great session IPA. It's got enough character to kick you in the head, but it won't do it after a bottle and a half. Enjoyable aroma and flavor keep you going back to the glass.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was expecting something fairly typical here but what I got was a really killer IPA. Typical in appearance, perhaps, with an amber color a poofy white head, nice lacing. Smell and taste are super hoppy, yet not overdone. For the most part, the hop flavor is on the piney bitter side, with a lot of citrus and grapefruit taste. Very intensely flavorful, but well balanced at the same time. Great session beer.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! An incredible beer here. This has been one of my favorites for a long time. Its hard to find a brew better than this.

Pours a beautiful bronze shade, a little head, but that leaves quickly. The scents are amazing. Strong of hops, and fused with a sweet flurry of oranges, peaches, and citrus fruits. Fruit basket galore. I also seem to notice some slight malt presence in the nose as well.

The taste is very strong of hops. Very select hops. There is a killer citrus bite in the flavor as well. You'd almost think there was half a grapefruit soaking in the bottom of the bottle. Extremely delicious.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied. Very smooth, this one goes down great. The nice taste probably helps out with that also. It has about the perfect amount of carbonation. Extremely drinkable. I could tip these back all day long. About as close to paradise as I've been in a while.

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Photo of OldSock
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance – Cheerful clear copper/orange colored brew. Covering the beer is a pleasant white head that falls slowly to a wispy covering then to nothing. Good sticky lacing covers much of my pint glass.

Smell – Great floral hop aroma, and pretty much nothing else. Pine, grapefruit, probably more it’s a shame I have a little cold. This is what an IPA should smell like.

Taste – Rock-solid spicy hop presence without being overly bitter, but it certainly has an adequate amount of bitterness. There is some malt hidden in there, but it is completely overpowered by the hops which come through strong and fresh. It certainly meets the basic requirements for an IPA, but I feel like I’ve had this before, not too complex just strong hops and little to no malt. Good, but nothing above the call of duty.

Mouthfeel – The beer is slick on the tongue with strong carbonation. The body is a little lacking, medium-light.

Drinkability – Good IPA, better than a lot out there, but there is nothing that makes Southern Tier IPA stand out from the large crowd of good American IPA’s. It is one of the freshest tasting IPA’s I have had recently, if you like IPA’s pick some up and give it a shot, but its not worth searching out, or getting if you are not a big IPA fan. I’ll give it another shot after my cold subsides to see if I am missing anything.

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Photo of krberg
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my usual session beer at the Lionheart. This is the first time I've had it in a bottle.

Big white head atop an orange body. I am amazed at how bright this beer is. Must be filtered.

Great fresh hops! Huge and floral with a sweet malty smell in the background.

Perfect balance, but it lacks the bitterness and fresh hop character of the draft offering. This bottle comes from a mixed pack that just appeared at my LBS, so I doubt freshness is an issue. Must be something in the packaging. Still a very nice beer, but different.

Thick and full mouthfeel. Its how an IPA should be.

I have drunk this beer all day in the past. Perfect session beer.

On draft this is my favorite IPA bar none. Its nice in the bottle, but seek it out on tap.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I need to take a ride downstate to check out this place. AMAZINGGGG.
Awesome Orange hoppy aroma that says drink meee. Pretty gorgeous also. A nice creamy tan head with some great spotted lacing. This tastes amazing. You pick up some orange flavor but mostly is the insane hops. But compared to other IPAs such as Syracuse ImPAled ale this is so drinkable. I mean there is an assload of hops but it is sweet enough that it goes down so easily. Still a heart attack for the taste buds but so pleasureable. The mouthfeel is great. Smooth sticky tingly. Moderate. I could down a lot of these and it would be quite a pleasure. Such a great experience

Plus it will help you get tanked.

One of my favorite beers of all time.

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Photo of mentor
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to francisweizen for this one. Poured a hlaf-finger cream-tan head over a light rust liquid. Somewhat cloudy, but I accidentally poured a little bit of sediment into my glass. Smelled of oranges, tangarine, and cinnamon. Really rich sweet orange smell. No alcohol or noticable fruity esters. Tasted, wow. This is a different IPA. Oranges as the flavor hop, rather than the usual overpowering grapefruit. Starts sweet with a hint of acrid carbonation on the front of the tongue, but this settles into an apricot with orange and tangarine hoppy jumping in. The end is pithy grapefruit bitter poking fun at the settling sweet. Carbonation is present throughout, but it never jumps to an extreme. The lighter fruits from the malt and nice carbonation balacne well with the rest of the beer. Just the right amount of hop cohumulone, too. Md mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. This is a really delightful beer. Gentle, tasty...hell yah!

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am fairly new to the Southern Tier line of products, which is strange because they really are a good brew for a good price....Especially when I pick up a six at the supermarket. (Just can't make to Beers of the World as much as I used to)
Anyway, about the IPA:
Excellent color (a little on the red side ?!?!?) good head.
Excellent hops aroma, and taste to match.Very drinkable. I have had better IPAs, but this one is still very good.
As mentioned above, very good for the price. $6.49 for a sixer at Wegman's which is the same price as Long Trail (Which I think is not the beer it once was. Either that or my taste buds have evolved.)

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Rustic orange suffused with softly glowing amber. A thing of beauty, the head is pearlescent ivory in color, thickly creamy in consistency and looks to be an extraordinary lacer. The upper surface is pitted, lumpy, bumpy, softly undulating and rocky, all at the same time. Fine lace hugs the glass lower down and peppers it higher up.

The nose is outstanding. Leave it to Southern Tier to give me a nose that grabs my nose, so to speak, and doesn't let go. Not only is it cranium-filling in power, but it's as hoppy as all get out. Sweet orange, white grapefruit and ripe melon lead the way.

Hop, more hops and still more hops. I half expect to see a few hop cones floating in the glass. Southern Tier IPA is a wonderful beer, especially for the hopheads among us. The brewers are too talented to simply dump several boxcars worth of hops into the kettle however. They've worked their usual magic and have crafted a superb, hoppy ale.

Even though pale malt is noticed on the palate, it's swamped almost beyond recognition by a beautiful barrage of hops. A huge burst of white grapefruit pith and spruce sap swamps the taste buds and leaves them begging for more. Palate fatigue would be a definite possibility after a few of these, but I'll never find out since I only have the one. Dammit!

This beer is sweeter than many versions, which effectively takes the edge off of what would otherwise be a substantial bitter storm. I'm not sure that I have an ideal sweet:bitter ratio when it comes to IPAs, but this one is pretty close to perfect. The mouthfeel is full for the style with a velvety smoothness that is out this world.

There's something about Southern Tier beer that I just love. It's as if the brewers invited me to the brewery, gave me hundreds of samples (don't I wish) and tweaked their recipes to fit my exact preferences for each and every style. I had no doubt that the IPA (my favorite style) from these guys (one of my favorite breweries) would knock my socks off and leave powder burns on my feet. A huge thank you to HappyHourHero for the nectar.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle.

Creamy off white head that fades after a few moments to a few pools of bubbles. Semi-layered and some spotted lacing with decent strength. Bright auburn-copper in color with a chill haze.

Bright pine, lemon (citrus), and light floral hop aromas. Candied-sweet malt character. A pretty big apricot/pear aroma as well.

Light citrus flavors at first followed by a moderately strong pine character. Very mild bitterness, but still infused with hops. Apricot/pear flavors at mid-sip with a bit of honey (or cream?). Apricot, pine, and slight alcohol in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; One of the most mild and mellow IPAs for the pine-powered hoppiness that this one packs. Perfect amount of light carbonation. Great mouthfeel and mellowness on the palate.

Very well rounded and drinkable at a modest 6.5% abv. Very flavorful and quite impressive. One that I'll definitely be going back to.

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Photo of Litterbean
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange, with a gigantic head. Real cloudy with bits of sediment floating around. Rather large chunks of crap, I must say. Not sure what that is.

Bitter hop twang doesn't really smell that nice, but the floral scents that underscore it is enjoyable.

Begins with fruity flavors that gives way to hoppy bitterness, but not too much. Not overly hopped, which is good. A bit chunky and chewy, with hop oils coat the tongue. Smooth finish.

Not too bad. I remember liking this more than I do now.

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Photo of Reidrover
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking beer to look at, again its adarker amber than i am used to in an IPA( is this an eastcoast vs west coast thing?),nice sized off white head, leaves nice lace down the glass.
Nice smooth malty/hoppy aroma, delightful.
This is pretty well balanced, the malts do get a chance to shine in the first half of the mouthful, then a resinous bitter,hoppiness takes over and subsides somewhat at the end.
Nice on the palte, quite smooth.
Very nice drinkable IPA, would have again easily.
Thanks to Jah Noth for this beer!

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Photo of meathookjones
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light amber in color with an off white head. Rings of lacing were left around the glass and the head had decent retention. Big citric hop aroma with notes of grapefruit and light floral scents. A bit of pine and a solid caramel malt backbone were there as well. Big hoppy taste with citric and floral hops dominating. Some earthy tones were in the background and there was a balancing malt as well, biscuity and caramel. After taste was a bitter bite of pine and grapefruit hops. Medium mouthfeel with a slight tongue raking hoppiness. Great drinkability. Easy drinking and crisp taste with a nice upfront hoppiness makes this an all around great IPA. Thanks goes to slander for the bottle.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This fresh, mildly crisp IPA delivers a bright, piney/citrusy hop nose and a gleaming dark-copper body. The head retention is good, and it leaves some very nice lace about the glass as well. It's delicately tingly on the tongue with a dextrinous, medium body and a restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation that does more to liven it once it's in the mouth than to bite at the tongue at first sip. The maltiness is a soft blanket of lightly caramelish and lightly biscuity grain upon which the resinous, citrusy, and floral hops dance. It's bitterness is clearly present, but you notice its hops and malts before you do its dryness. And some soft, berry-like yeasty fruitiness comes into play as well, lending it a touch of complexity and leaving it nicely rounded and very well balanced. Nicely done!

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Photo of JackStraw22
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Kept seeing this at the grocery store, finally picked some up. I have to say I am very suprised at how tasty this is. The body is a golden amber, with a 1/2 inch off white head. Little retention, but I don't usually get much with an IPA. Hoppy aroma, grapefruit, not too piney. Very crisp, refreshing taste. Hoppy and bitter, but just right. This isn't one of your overpowering balls to the wall IPAs. But it has a great flavor, and would make a great session beer. Glad I picked this up, I'll do so again.

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Photo of SupaCelt
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I was fairly surprised to see this one lurking in the case in my town, so I snatched it up without so much as a second guess.

Out of the bottle came an interesting reddish orange liquid. I don't see any precipitation, but the color is inviting. About a finger and a half of light tan head rose up with a decent density (not marshmallowy, but well thick). Trace amounts of lace were left to hang around as the glass became ever more empty.

The smell first delivered an unambiguous orange with some grapefruit hints. Stinky old hops. Big and sweet caramel malt base. Smells fruity and acidic.

The taste is sweet then bitter then sweet again. A curious transformation all in one swig! Good stuff. The alcohol is slightly perceivable in the aftertaste, but this one doesn't give you that dry finish. The bite is not in here. The finish remains too wet and juicy to be dry. Hops doesn't exactly play second fiddle in this beer, but it is definitely sharing the limelight. Malt is in the house throwing its weight around. The mouthfeel gives me a nice oily impression and has a light medium body. Maybe a bit too sweet for this cat though.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with a thick head that stuck around for quite a while and then left lots of lace. Smell is lots of floral hops, but there's also a tiny hint of caramel and malt in there as well. The taste is a really nice variation on the style. It's hoppy with an underlying bed of citrus and grapefruit, but there's also a very apparent malt presence that gives it a little bit of a caramel character. It's a very restrained, balanced flavor that melds well with a mouthfeel that might be a bit too syrupy for the style.
Overall: Don't let the generic-looking label fool you, this is a really tasty brew that serves as an interesting example of the American IPA style. It's restrained hop flavor on the solid malt backbone gives it a fantastic balance you could suck down all night.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice looking copper tone beer that is capped by a dense white head. The retention of this froth is very good. And the lace as well. Big citrus tones on the nose. Great hoppiness detected. Some rind like qualities noted. And a little caramel sweetness underlying. The flavor is very agreeable. Bright citrus tones. Pine. A little resin. Sweet caramel and toffee balancing things out. Mouthfeel is nicely prickly and the body checks in around medium-full. Quite a nice AIPA.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to shirfan for this brew....
Pours a real nice cloudy copper w/ a full finger of creamy white head. Disappears too quickly w/ very little lace.
I can smell the hops out of this baby as I poured it and is a real appealing quality so far...no sense of malt here...detect sweet caramel...somewhat piney aroma.
The taste is fantastic. It is real smooth w/ a nice hop flavor. I can detect the malt now and it one heck of a mix...with the hops winning in the end. This is not a overdone IPA...and I'm sure it may taste a bit off after having a Hop Rod Rye AND Ruination yesterday.
I could drink this IPA any day of the week...and a session beer too.
Thanks to shirfan for allowing me the chance to taste one beer I would never be able to locate otherwise.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper color with amber and orange highlights. Thin white head kicks off spots of lace on the glass.
Aroma of grapefruit, pale and amber malts, bread, light caramel. Very enticing.
Flavor of light caramel, bread crumbs, pale malts and spciy, floral, grapefruity hops bitterings. Really tasty.
Mouthfeel has some real sweetness on the front, slides into a more buiscuity middle and finishes with a crescendo of moderate but distinctive fruity and herbal hop tones.
Drinkability is very high. Must be really amazing on cask or draught. Not quite at the Two-Hearted or Masala Mama level but still a great beer.

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Photo of granger10
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The weakness of this beer is in the pour where there's a small head that fades rather quickly. But the reddish orange color is very intriging and brings the score up to a 4. The smell is almost all floral, citrusy hops maybe with a little peach but it is a bit weaker. The second bottle I had the next night however had a much stronger aroma with lots of grassy hops and little else. The flavor is an explosion of hops. They're right there and in your face. It seems like there's a lot of centennial hops in here because the flavor produces a great grapefruit/citrus combination. More hop resins come forth the further I go and there's an oily flavor from the hops near the middle. Malt barely holds up to the hops but I think it does its job. There's a nice woody malty flavor in there that I notice from time to time. The mouthfeel is amazing as this beer is really creamy and the body seems to have the perfect thickness to it. The body in this beer really helps the flavors work to their potential. Man, I could drink this beer all night long! Reminded me of hop ottin from Anderson Valley with a little more flavoring hops and a little less bittering hops.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, purchased at Half Time in Poughkeepsie, NY.
The beer pours a browned orange, a color that would have felt comfortable in any modern 70's home. A slight chill haze, due to the bottle conditioning and my reluctance to leave any sweet, sweet beer to the drain. A healthy plume of white head blossoms on the pour, settling happily into an even film that remains throughout my glass. Excellent lacing, full sheets of belgian lace cling to the glass, marking my passage.
The aroma is fairly mild, for an IPA. The presence of the malt bespeaks pale ale in it's balance, albeit american style, with an equal part respresenting assertive american hops. Toasty malt, with the barest touch of caramel, evenly matched with pungent citrus and pine brutishness. Probably more towards the realm of pine, moving into earthy and woody. The citrus is actually more of an overtone, the bulk of the hop character is derived from a deep earthenness. Very nice and stable. Immobile. Soft hints of grass and pear create a ground fog effect, as if it were early morning on a summer's night.
The flavor starts with a brazen malt graininess, the barley's toasted caramel sweetness struggles to hold back the hops long enough for your palate to ready itself for the attack. The floodgates open in the middle, a full orange and lime flavor opening up like a vanguard for the army. The malt battles back with some pear and grass esters, maintaining a sweetened foothold throughout the sip. The finish is a full display of hop aggression, a furious melee of pine sap and citrus rind thrashing chaotically on the palate. On a more gentle inspection, erudite notes of aged woodflesh and forest earth lead the frenzy. Everything is boxed up in a neat, concise medium body that leaves your palate with reluctance. Hop notes remain like smoke on the battlefield long after the beer has expired. Limpid carbonation is just enough to carry the fullish medium body without seeming sluggish.
Despite my description, the beer is really well balanced (assuming you make a habit of american craft brews), the flavors co-existing in harmony. The hops are (of course) aggressive, but administered by a gentle hand that understands it's field of play. In my opinion, this is an IPA that showcases classic american brewing skill. Domestic ingredients, and a damn fine product to show for it. I could sip this down all night long, and come back the next day for seconds. If only this were available without a two hour drive, but then it would cut out on locally brewed favorites. Another in my fictitious top ten list of american IPAs. Another great beer from Southern Tier. These folks know their stuff.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This 12 ounce bottle has some serious defects. It's almost flat, the seam seems as if it will tear apart. If this beer is as good as I've heard, then they ought to be able to make round bottles in the near future. Light orange body, slight haze, moderate carbonation, head of off white dribbles into a patchy lace.

Smell: Carmel and pale malt. Piney hops. Not real strong. Ho hum, in every sense.

Taste: Ahhh, much more lively than the comatose nose. This IPA has a real fresh feeling. It takes the well suited malts and tells them to sit back while the hops confuse the person drinking the beer. Honestly. The smell is lame. The inital taste is sharp and bitter, the secondary feel is sweet and fruity, then citrus, and not bitter. Oh damn. This just perfect. No wonder this won at GABFs. It is so unassuming, and after you take a half hearted sip, it absolutely steamrolls over you with perfect hops. All you can do is stare as it as it consistently rolls on by. This beer isn't flashy or gimmicky. This is one of the best IPAs I've ever had. Wow. Sorry I complained about your bottles. You can put it in buckets, for all I care. Absolutely perfect.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Um, awesome. I need more of these. Now. This is an absolutely perfect beer. I must have more. Well textured and lively, this is smooth and delicious.

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IPA (India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 943 ratings.