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Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
CompassCompass

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

618 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 618
Reviews: 131
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.88%
Wants: 19
Gots: 65 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Knapp85 on 05-27-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 618 | Reviews: 131
Photo of Jadjunk
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"We rely on age-old tools in the brewery despite being surrounded by high technology. As a sort of compass, we use the six pointed brewer's star to help navigate the uncharted brews. The cardinal points of water, malt, grain, yeast, hops and a brewer make the baseline. From there anything goes. Sometimes the journey is as important as the destination. You'll notice a slight bitterness in Compass derived from our use of rose hips accentuated by high effervescence. Drink it cold from a fluted or tulip glass. And by all means, avoid sea serpents!" Available in 22 oz. bottles and on seasonal draft as an early summer release.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a Southern Tier tulip glass. Served above 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy cream head of a lemony white color over a densely hazy gold body with ample lively carbonation and fine sediment. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 3.75

(Smell) Pale malts, soft cracker and delicate wheat with a mild body. Hop aromas of grass and fruit with a moderate bitterness, strengthened aromatically with the strong bitter qualities of the rose hips. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Clear and easygoing malt profile of pale and pilsner malts with a touch of grain for body, finishing on a note of dry cracker and grain with a strong bitterness from the rose hips in addition to lighter grassy and fruity hop profiles. Drinks very clean and easy with a nice balance of malt and bitter flavors. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) The texture is lightly oily, softly chewy, briskly dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style and medium overall. Balance is slightly bitter and grainy over sweet. Alcohol presence is low and there are no notable off characters. 3.5

(Overall) A very enjoyable American Pale Ale with a great bitterness presence from the rose hips which make for a decent substitute or addition alongside hops. The hop profile was very simple but allowed the malt profile to stand equally bold as it was. Aside from the startlingly high ABV, this beer is a solid drinking APA and a great warm-weather beer. 3.75

Southern Tier Brewing Company's
Imperial Compass
3.73/5.00

Photo of tillmac62
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an almost clear golden. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Light nose of rose hips and citrus over biscuit.

Light body that has smooth moments. Very well carbonated with a lively prickly effervescence from the middle on.

The flavor profile is laid back, but nicely balanced and has a bit of complexity. It begins with a mild mixture of slightly sweet citrus, that never separates. The middle effervesces into a mild bitterness that has both rose hip and hop qualities over a biscuit sweetness. The finish is dry and prickly had leaves you with a slight pucker. The 9% ABV is completely covered.

Photo of founddrama
4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really dry. Almost no malt character, but also not characterized by hops either. I like it, but I've got no real comparisons. Easy to love this beer. Not overly hoppy. This one is big on flavor, and NOT a one-trick pony. That said: bottle says "sparkling ale" and as such is expect a lot more carbonation. Rose hips!

Photo of iwhoopedbatman
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nothing extreme. Well balanced. I really liked this beer.

Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company. Poured from the bomber bottle into a pint glass, this "sparkling ale" 's head is 1.5 fingers thick and bubbly as the name would imply with spottier lacing, and a medium-gold clear body.

Smells like the rose hips used in the brewing of this select beer,along with the citrus hops mentioned on the label. Can't really detect much malts going on with this part of the review.

I'm tasting most of the components listed above, although now I'm getting malts of an earthier characteristic. These all compliment each other pretty damned well. I honestly can't notice the 9% ABV of this brew.

The mouthfeel of Compass is lively and crisp. Only a slight dash of a rose hip/hop combo that leaves pretty fast.

Overall, I'll give Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company a 4.25. This is quite a different taste and overall vibe for me, but I may pick up another bottle or so in the future.

Photo of nicholas2121
4.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Compass brewed by Southern Tier Brewing Company, with an ABV of 9.0% This Ale pours out a nice amber color with a nice white head. The smell is hoppie with grains and malts. You also pick up on a mild sweetness in the smell. The taste is rich with hops. This brew has a nice balance of grains and malts at the end. Southern Tier Brewing Company did a nice job with this one , there is no bad aftertaste. You really can't pick up on the 9.0% ABV. The mouthfeel is hoppie, smooth, and refreshing. There is nothing overpowering in this brew, it has a nice balance to it. Compass is a nice smooth, but rich drinking brew. Overall I'm giving Compass a 4.5 out 5. I would buy this brew again.

Photo of bmeGT
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not much depth to this one

Photo of HawbakerBrewery
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty good. Pours to a heavy head at first. Head is snow white and leaves a fairly persistent lacing. The color is a vibrant yellow gold with light haziness. The color is very similar to that of a Wit. Definitely has a malty back to it, with good strong citrus hop bitterness up front. Aftertaste reveals the 9% ABV to the sinuses. The body is lighter than expected. This does not sit as heavily as something like an imperial stout. The aroma is pretty citrus like with a pungent maltiness, letting you know to expect big flavor. Price is not bad either. 22 oz. bomber sold for $6.99 plus tax.

Photo of clcross
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not bad. ..somewhat bitter. ..tasty with spicy food great aroma

Photo of waterbuffalo
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks good, smells good, starts off with nice flavour but bad after taste. Might be too floral. I wouldn't buy again.

Photo of AndrewMichael
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber, definitely a bottle
Conditioned sparking ale flavor with citrus. Very subtle 9% abv.

Photo of TAHEETNA
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am extremely fond of this beer. It has become a strong favorite on my list of proffered beers. Easy drinking beer. Very little bitterness, or left-over after taste. The 9,00% ABV is a very big Positive to my liking this beer. Good beer for a hot day. Compass is an appropriate name for this beer,because it guides me to a place I like to be. I wish I could find this in more stores.

Photo of macrosmatic
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Hazy light gold, with a two-finger white fluffy with good retention. Fairly low visible carbonation.

S: Citrus fruits, flowery and perfumey notes, grassy hops, some cracker malts, and a touch of resin.

T: Citrus (orange and tangelo) hop flavor, citrus pith, perfumey and flowery (I wonder if this last one could be the power of suggestion?). Bitterness level is fairly moderated, and relatively balanced with the light cracker malts. Hop bitterness and residual cracker malt sweetness in the hang.

M: Light body, good carbonation sensation, alcohol presence seems more noticeable that I expected.

O: Not my favorite at all. It's interesting, but it doesn't seem hoppy enough for the style. I find the flowery aspects a little weird as well. I won't be looking for another bottle.

Photo of Franck
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Hops and pine. Nothing special but drinkable

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Bottle: Poured a deep golden color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt notes with some citrusy hoppy notes and light rose hips notes. Taste is a well balanced mix between some citrusy hops notes, a sweet malt base and some light rose hips notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Good beer thought maybe a tad too sweet for my own taste buds.

Photo of DaveBar
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Purchased at the LCBO for a pretty steep amount of $8.00 or so in a 650ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- 3.75- Opens well and pours a decent head that lasts. Unfiltered

S- 3.75- Good hops. Not much rose hips.

T- 3.5- Kind of like a sweeter IPA with a slightly unusual finish. Ok

M- 3.5- Pretty dry and open. Typical IPA

O- 3.67- Ok beer. Novelty more than anything else. Will not buy again

Food Pairing

This ok IPA went well with..... BBQ chicken breast marinated in..... BEER!!

Enjoy

Photo of PorterLambic
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a straw yellow with lots of floaty bits suspended within. A bright white head that lingers well but leaves very little lacing behind.
Smell is a nice blend of floral hops, malt, and grass. The ABV is detectable.
Taste is exactly like the nose promised: malt, floral hops, grass. Great balance.
Medium-light body up front builds toward the fuller end of the spectrum at the finish. Effervescence is restrained. Somewhat drying and warming. Good stuff.

Photo of kojevergas
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: 22 oz brown glass bottle with a busy label and a branded black pry-off pressure cap acquired at my local H-E-B grocery and served cold into a snifter (as no tulip was on hand) at low altitude in Austin, TX.

Reviewed live as an"imperial sparkling ale" - whatever that means.

9.0% ABV. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2 fingers in width. White colour. Fairly frothy. Decent thickness and creaminess. Has a decent complexion and consistency. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

Retention: ~3 minutes.

BODY: Quasitransparent translucent dark orange-copper. Murky. Not real vibrant. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible within.

Looks above average, but not unique or special. Closest to a pale ale or IPA in terms of appearance.

AROMA: Pale malts. Wheat. Floral hops. Stale citrus fruit. I do find the rose hips when I search for them; I only know the aroma from when I used to chew vitamin c tablets with added rose hips; it's a subtle note but an interesting one. Muted lychee skin. A kiss of doughy starchy malt. Light hints of honey and a bit of crackery malt.

It's a bit sweeter than anticipated; I expected the hops to dominate but they seem pretty neatly balanced. A pleasant albeit reticent aroma of light intensity.

No yeast character, overt alcohol, or off-notes are detectable. If you told me this was a 5% pale ale in a blind tasting, I'd believe you. Given that they describe this as an imperial sparkling ale, I anticipated a heavy crystal malt presence, but none emerges.

The presence of crackery and doughy character is odd given the aroma isn't very dry. Maybe that indicates good integration of those notes?

TASTE: Very pleasant and mellow. The malt base is unintrusive, providing a clean neutral foundation upon which the hop notes can shine. The malts I notice are (in order of emphasis) pale malts, wheat, honey malt, and a bit of crackery malt. Hopwise, I notice floral hop character the most, backed by vague citrus (orange peel I guess), a kiss of papaya, and subtle rose hips (again, I'm judging by my familiarity with vitamin c tablets).

Other reviewers are noting an herbal hop character - I find none. The faint doughiness noticed in the aroma is extremely subtle and buried here, but it's a blip on the finish, and does add a little more nuance to the beer.

What shocks and impresses me is the complete absence of any noticeable alcohol; this drinks like a 5% pale ale, and is expertly balanced, with no naked hop bitterness. The malts are well suited to the hops.

I find no crystal malt; I definitely expected some given the purported style.

Overall, I'm really pleasantly surprised with the quality here. This is a complex, subtly executed brew which boasts impressive depth of flavour without feeling unnecessarily complicated or busy. Great flavour amplitude; the constituent notes blend together seamlessly to form a very cohesive - almost gestalt - whole. As a result, it's hard to deconstruct the beer - which while taxing for a reviewer, is a good thing for the discerning drinker.

TEXTURE: Crisp, slightly overcarbonated, smooth, wet, refreshing, and quenching. I'm taken aback by the absence of any noticeable alcohol heat or booziness. In spite of the subtle crackery malts and doughy yeast notes, it's not really dry at all- except maybe a biteen on the open, which has the effect of parching the palate briefly and then instantly refreshing it, which teases the drinker into consuming more. Aptly medium-bodied, and of appropriate thickness to support the flavour profile without coming off overbearing or oppressive.

Overall, this beer boasts a great presence on the palate and this texture complements the taste quite well, with evidence of custom-tailoring.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, scratchy, or rough.

OVERALL: Southern Tier can label their beers any style they want so long as they keep making them this good, as far as I'm concerned. This was a pleasant surprise and surpassed my expectations. I'd definitely recommend this to friends. It's dangerously drinkable for its relatively high ABV, and offers plenty of flavour. This will impress the discerning drinker. One of the better brews I've had from Southern Tier in recent memory. I'll have to seek out more of their work.

Low B

Photo of peensteen
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy pale blonde one finger white head, thick with good lace. Smell is quite hoppy, citrus, grapefruit some orange and tangerine with just a bit of malt backbone as well. Taste is hoppy and quite citrusy, some sugar coated gummy candy, orange and fuzzy peach rings, some crackery malt and just a hint of alcohol. Lightly carbonated, medium full body, slick and chewy. Quite good, a really enjoyable beer that I would gladly revisit again.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Pint mug
From: Total Wine & More in Ballantyne (Charlotte), N.C.
Price: $6.99
Purchased: Sept. 9, 2014
Consumed: Sept. 16, 2014
Misc.: Date of birth April 1, 2014

Poured a golden, straw, hazy color with 2-to-3 fingers of khaki-cream head. Lots of streams of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Below average lacing on the sides. Below average retention on the top. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled a pleasant variety of hops from the get-go. Got Citra hops, potent floral hops, coriander, tangerine rind, orange creamscicle, wet Cascade hops, pine, lime, almost raspberry, Sprite, caramel and Mountain Dew. (Smell - 4.13)

Taste wasn’t anywhere as good as the nose. The sparkling soda notes, which came on strong late in the nose, dominated the taste. Got Sprite, Mountain Dew, 7-Up and other lime, citrusy soda. Citra hops, floral hops, lime, bitter pine, orange creamscicle, caramel, coriander and bitter tangerine rind. (Taste - 3.75)

Light body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Bitter, abrupt finish on the tongue. Didn’t taste anywhere near 9.00% ABV (Feel - 3.63)

I am about 97 percent positive I’ve never had a pale ale at 9.00% ABV, but it didn’t feel that strong. Overall it was a decent pale ale and I’d have it again. (Overall - 3.75)

3.81 | 86 | B+

Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.9/5  rDev +1%

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.
Pours a nice honey color, a touch of haze with a real nice head two fingers high. Looks really nice.
Smells great. Nice and hoppy. Maybe a touch of tangy maltiness in back.
Tastes really nice. Interesting taste here, curious on the hop bill as the hop profile was unique. An interesting tasting beer.
Mouthfeel was nice. Inviting.
A good beer, interesting flavor.

Photo of KTCamm
3.9/5  rDev +1%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours mustard yellow, lighter on bottom, hazy on top. Light white foam sits as a cap. Malty floral nose. Fresh bright citrus taste, buzzy carbonation. Fruitily floral. Some biscuit background. Insistent hop at the close. Boozy finish, hits hard.

Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $9 or so

Appearance - Gold colour with a large size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Hops, yeast, breads/grains, lemons, floral

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains, hops, and floral notes. There is also some lemon zest and juice.

Overall - Definitely an interesting taste going on. A beer that scores points for being different, but not something I'd buy a whole lot of. Reminds me a bit of a lemon cough drop.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up in Totowa a while back, having never had this before. I was surprised at how strong it was for a beer of this style, but the alcohol was hardly noticeable and the flavors meshed well enough together to hide whatever remained. This reminded me a lot of the big bottle offerings from Brooklyn and like that other brewer from New York, this was a great beer from the Empire State!

Nice golden pour to this with some cloudiness and a full, frothy head that left nice rings of lacing as I worked my way through the glass I emptied it out into. Not a strong aroma to this but there was a nice floral tone that was more marked in the taste than in the nose. Good, light mouthfeel to it that felt like champagne and went down almost as easily as that. Nice carbonation and felt easygoing, which was amazing given the potency of this. There was a hint of citrus here but for the most part, this was pretty malty without being thick or chewy in any way.

I could feel a bit of a warming from the booze by the time I made my way through this, even though I split it with a friend. While not the best offering for the summer, there's a lot to like here and it's a testament to Southern Tier that they could brew a beer that was so strong, smooth, and easily enjoyable. Not a typical Pale Ale, this had good balance while being soapy to the taste and consistency. Worth a go one for anyone looking for something different during these dog days.

Photo of generallee
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 650 ml bottle into a tulip glass. The label lists the abv at 9% abv and it also lists the malts and hops.

Appearance: It has a bright yellow color with some visible carbonation and a some very fine sediment floating around inside the beer. On top I got a tall soapy head which quickly settles down to a wispy thin film covering. It leaves some lacing near the top of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is fairly light but do get some nice citrusy lemony hops standing out with a touch of floral and pineapple like hop notes. There is a hint malt sweetness as well. This may be a bit crazy but I am also getting something, very very light that reminds me of a Flintstones chewable vitamin for kids.

Taste / Palate: It’s flavor matches the aroma perfectly. There is a good balance of light malt sweetness with juicy and floral hop flavor and bitterness. The feel is well carbonated and fairly light. Overall it is very drinkable for a 9% abv beer.

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Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 618 ratings.