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Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

362 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 362
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.63%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Knapp85 on 05-27-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 362 | Reviews: 93 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of xmorgan


5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Town Hall Tap in Minneapolis.

Nice Imperial PALE ale, could almost be called a golden ale, very refreshing and nice hop to alcohol balance. Light bodied and allows for distinction in pale ale verse IPA styles.

Pale almost golden color with very good lacing

Floral and citrus tones in the aroma

Crisp grapefruity refreshing taste lots of effervescence in the carbonization

Light body mouthfeel yet very refreshing

Overall does not hit like a 9% ale is expected to beware and refresh!

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2013 18:20:17 | More by xmorgan
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

an imperial pale ale of sorts, in tap at the screamin eagle in inlet, ny. the pour is bright yellow and just about perfectly clear, with a huge white foam head that only relaxes a little. the appearance is great. the nose is too, well hoppy with a mix of bitterness and citrus, not super bright, but not an oily bitter bomb either. very light malt base in smell and taste allows the big hops to come through. this isn't as interesting hop wise as unearthly or even the regular ipa, but it is quite refreshing for its size. lots of alcohol comes through the mouthfeel, hot on the way down, and its exacerbated by vibrant carbonation and not much malt body or sweetness to mellow things out. not a beer I need more than a pint of, but it gives me a nice buzz and is a good addition to the southern tier lineup overall, just a bit understated compared to some of their rock stars.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2013 14:28:12 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of redbeerdviking


2.64/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

This beer did not represent what I have come to expect from Southern Tier.

Appearance - Very light yellow in color, dare I say it, like a Budweiser, medium head, little to no lacing.

Smell - Fruity, especially citrus, with flowery undertones.

Taste - Started of strong and pleasing, like an APA should be, but moved to an overpowering citrus flavor, which tasted unnatural. The finish and aftertaste was that of roses or a similar flower.

Mouth- It's hard to get a grasp here, because it was just tapped at a newer restaurant, and it felt over carbonated. I wouldn't lay the blame on Southern Tier until I at least try it out of a bottle.

Overall, I can't give this an okay rating, because I really wouldn't want to drink it again. It had more of a pilsner or kolsch feel and taste to me, which aren't my favorite styles.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2013 05:24:13 | More by redbeerdviking
Photo of delta490


4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a really lovely rich, deep straw gold color. Nice head retention and lacing

S- aroma is great, with significant floral hop notes

T- the floral hops comes through loud and clear but balanced really well against the malt backbone

M- a little thinner, but not in a bad way with the flavors. Just a hint of carbonation on the finish

O- a great IPA

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2013 22:20:26 | More by delta490
Photo of BEERchitect


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Imperial Pale Ale in name only, this Imperial IPA claims roots in the American Pale Ale form, but just scaled up- but the final product has nothing to do with the balanced flavor of "Pale" but more so with the dry malt, highly hopped taste that is IPA- but in greater drinkability and strength- this will prove to be one dangerous beer!

Its hazy straw pour is everything "light" to the eye. A modest haze and a soft honey glow gives impressions of a timid ale. But its fluffy, frothy, and creamy head releases quickly from the beer's body below and further promotes the sense of drinkability and friendliness. Broken rings of lace with each sip signals the beer's quality.

Bright citrus overtones of fragrant grapefruit, orange peels, pineapple and freshly crushed herbs fill the nose with bright zest and zeal. A backing of the most timid of honey and cracker from malt supports the hops.

Yet in taste, its the soft powdered sugar seduction that takes place on the front of the tongue while a pile-on of red and white grapefruits, freshly zested oranges, an fresh-cut grass build on the middle palate. But finishing with a dry malt taste and a pleasant, soft bitterness the ale is herbal and minty in its closing taste.

Mid-light in body, the beer's ample carbonation and void of sweetness all keep the beer airy, fluffy, and cottony on the mouth. It simply wisps away with only a mild hint of minty warmth.

Its a beautiful ale that deserves a conflict in its stylisticic declarations and its marketing verbiage. This Imperial IPA does all that big pale ales should do- but it's a much drier and drinkable beer that never relinquishes its crisp and clean undertone.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2013 06:52:01 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of thecheapies


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly hazed golden beer. Humble sudsy top. Fizzed down to a fluffy ring.

Tangy citrus hop notes with grapefruit, kumquat, and tangerine. Rosehips add a big floral bouquet that is hard to distinguish from natural hopping. A little too resinous for how sweet it is. Sweet booze and sweet pale malts. A whole lotta aroma.

Better that it's drier, but the rosehips are super-pushy and clash with sweet citrusy hop notes. More citrus fruits; tangerine and grapefruit, most prominently. Malts are what are drier, although the finish is hardly that dry. Alcohol is very big. Too much so. Fluffy carbonation does represent this properly as a Sparkling Ale. Body is bigger, too. Definitely an imperial ale.

We'll see if this one sticks around long. Not bad, but hard to imagine seeking it out for any reason. Doesn't leave that kind of impression.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2013 02:43:06 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Omnium


4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on tap at House Of 1000 Beers

A - Poured a nice light yellow, two finger of white head, good lacing.
S - Really good aroma, some nice floral and pine hoppy notes up front, then some belgian yeast, and dried fruits.
T - Nice piney and citrus hop bite with a crisp refreshment, light belgian yeast on the back.
M - Bitter but still light, bright and crisp feeling.
O - Very good, this was labeled as a "Belgian strong" at Ho1kB, but i definitely see how this fits into an APA, excellent ale for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2013 02:33:08 | More by Omnium
Photo of iheartmyTHO


4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love love love this beer. It's a good, flavorful IPA without being overly hoppy in a bad way. I do love very hoppy and bitter beers, but there's something very balanced and lovely about this beer. I think it might be the rosehips, which gives a nice citrus-sour-herb flavor, which pairs well with the hops.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 02:43:39 | More by iheartmyTHO
Photo of dank203

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

complex ale. grainy spiciness and citrus characters, grapefruit. It does taste like an American pale but less hoppy. unique flavors, not sure if I've evr had a rose hip but i'm detecting something different. theres a certain dryness to this beer as well

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 00:22:49 | More by dank203
Photo of ChimRichels


3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Very light, very hazy. Color is a light golden/yellow. Head is nice and airy, leaves good lacing and retains well.

S - Hops are forward, smells quite sweet and fruity. A touch of citrus - more orange than grapefruit.

T - This is only the second beer I've had that is brewed with rose hips, and there is a very distinct sweetness that I can tell is characteristic of rose hips. Other than that, hops are abound, a lot of orange and orange pith coming through. I can notice the 9% ABV on the finish

M - Pretty viscous for looking like so innocent. But as I learned from my first wife, looks often deceive us.

O - Not crazy about this one, although I would like to see more brewers experimenting with rose hips in the future, I think they add a very unique aspect to the flavor/mouthfeel profile.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 02:51:39 | More by ChimRichels
Photo of jera1350


4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Light golden color with some sediment and a bubbly head. Nose is incredible. Rose water, loads of citrus. Very fresh. The taste is lightly floral and has a huge fresh citrus punch, but without the bitterness that usually comes with it. Feel is lighter medium and crisply smooth. One of the most memorable beers I've had in some time. Incredibly well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 16:34:31 | More by jera1350
Photo of JayQue


3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very enjoyable. The rose hips are a nice touch. Pours a hazy gold color into a pint glass. Good size while head with good retention. Minimum lacing. Plenty of yeast floaties in the beer.

Aroma is fairly mild some floral aspect from the rose hips and some citrus.

Flavor is somewhat sweet but has some fairly mild citrus with bitterness and floral aroma from the rose hips. Very pleasant. Nice blend between sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel is somewhat light and very smooth and slightly sweet. Goes down easily. The alcohol is not apparent along.

Overall a very pleasant and enjoyable beer. A bit too high abv for having a lot of this beer, but one bomber is just about right!!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 01:40:40 | More by JayQue
Photo of Cresant


3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 22 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams glass. No date. The body was a pale golden color with a bright white head. There was floating yeast in the drink.

The smell was flowery, freshly herbal. Lightly lemony.

The taste was herbal, an organic leafiness that I love. A gentle crackery maltiness was followed by a nice, long grassy and semi-dry finish.

The mouthfeel had a mildly pepper, prickly carbonation yet it was smooth going down. I enjooyed this one more that I expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 12:42:43 | More by Cresant
Photo of chefhatt


3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle,
I poured this beer into a glass, it has a light orange color body with a foamy head. The smelll has a citrus hop aroma to it. The taste is up front citrus hops. Its like a troical whirwind of flavors. The mouthfeel is very good not dry but very smooth. Overall a damm good beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 03:18:28 | More by chefhatt
Photo of jucifer1818


4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

a: a brilliant clear yellow liquid. lovely clarity with a heavy dose of bubbles streaming up the glass

s: this smells like one hell of a tropical fruit cocktail. saying that, lots of light tropical fruity smells, mixed in with a very small bit of rose fragrance mixed in. their is also a slight sticky sweetness that is apparent from large doses of wheat

t: wow, this one is what i would call the true "champagne" of beers, except that it is more balanced (and heavier on the body, and lower levels of alcohol). this beer has a very restrained and tart hoppy bitterness, that never pushes too hard to make it feel oppressive. alcohol is non-detectable.

m: its not as dry as campaign, but its still very dry for a beer of its size. the carbonation works well to compliment its dryness, and it never quite has the 'BITE' of overcarbonated beer

o:overall i think that this is a great beer for the folk who say "I don't really like beer". its far closer to a campaign in character really, but with everything I love about beer mixed in. I think that ill be having this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 20:41:36 | More by jucifer1818
Photo of bluejacket74


3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, bottled on 05/03/13. Served in a tulip, the beer pours a hazy gold color with about an inch off-white head that stayed around for a while. There's also a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells really floral, the rose hips really stand out in the aroma. There's also citrusy (lemon peel, grapefruit) hops and some peppery spice noticeable. The taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some pineapple and bready malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has a good amount of carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, but I'd like to try a fresher bottle next time.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 23:43:10 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of corby112


3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy, dark banana yellow color with a one finger, frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Pretty good retention with streaks of lace left behind.

Earthy, slightly floral aroma with grassy and piney hops, pale malt, flower petal and bready yeast.  Some wheat beer character with bread, banana and citrus peel.  Subtle potpourri presence blended into a hoppy wheat beer-like aroma.

Medium body with tight carbonation and crisp hop bitterness along with rose water and a pale malt backbone.  Hints of biscuit and cracker along with malted wheat, banana bread and subtle peppery spice.  Basically a decently hopped light wheat beer with strong flower petal bitterness.  Easy to drink with a well masked ABV but not terribly interesting.   The flower presnce is too strong for my liking, overpowering the hops and wheat beer elements.  Also the malt profile could have been a bit more prominent.  

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 02:11:33 | More by corby112
Photo of TTAmod


3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

5/6/13 dated bomber poured into tulip.

A- Pours hazy gold/orange. Thin head that sticks around for awhile. Lacing looks like how a good Belgian should look. Lots of floaties...but understandable considering the age.

S- Musty, yeasty, slightly sour smell. Citrusy and herbal notes are also present.

T- Herbal, floral sweetness is balanced by spicy, white grape-like hops. The rose hips are definitely present in the taste. It's pleasantly strong. No bitterness at all. Finishes slightly musty and rosy.

M- Mouthfeel is very good. Slightly on the thinner side with good carbonation. No sign of the 9% ABV.

O- A good, interesting brew that sort defies categorization. Considering the age, this was very good.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 02:31:30 | More by TTAmod
Photo of magictacosinus


4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks again, Todd. Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass and consumed over the course of two days mainly in response to ST's hilarious high gravity brewing program. I can actually picture them drinking session beers while they brew these high ABV offerings, nevertheless.

Pours a golden pale color that looks like every single Belgian strong pale ale I've ever seen. However, this still merits further attention even here, as it contains a frothy, foamy head that lasts a long time in the glass, never fully receding, and leaving a good deal of lacing as it lowers in size. Definitely viscous - nearly wine-like, actually, if it weren't for the color. The second pouring was a little cloudier, which I'm always a fan of. No way is this an APA even here, but how does it carry out in the aroma?

The first whiff most definitely takes me the realm of Belgian style beers far over any pale ales I've ever had. Notes of pineapple, pears, and green apple are most predominant, with a lot floral notes from the rose hips coming through. I love floral aromas in just about anything, and the dried rose peels and violets are definitely adding on to the aroma, to the point where this resembles far more a subdued Grüner Veltliner than an actual beer. Then, as soon as some of the white pepper comes in, I'm this close to claiming that they DID fortify it with that grape varietal. Citrusy, herbal, with notes of toffee and candi sugar mildly coming in. Definitely an experimental beer even here, but definitely not bad by any means.

The flavor is pretty much the same, except for the fact that the floral notes are even more pronounced at this point. Other than the notes of pears, grapefruit, and pineapple, there's a more piney edge to the bittered flavor, with slight notes of sage, which then allows the rose, lavender, and violet notes to fully open up and fill the palate with a perfumed, slightly phenolic flavor. I'm actually enjoying it, but I'm going easy with it as well. The second pouring the next day was slightly less floral, and actually was a little more enjoyable as a result. Slightly peppery and a bit funky, with a sweet, sugar cane edge at the finish. I have no idea why this is labeled as an APA. Maybe because it uses all American ingredients? Doesn't matter - this seems way more in vein with experimental farmhouse ales that you can find up north from here, or better yet, across France. Very well carbonated, with a thickness that holds up well thanks to the bottle conditioning. Big stuff, but pretty good.

I'm surprised with how much I enjoyed this over the two days I consumed it, but it comes as no surprise given the floral aspects that make this unique. I hope to see more interesting brewing work with flowers in the future, but I'm sure the bad examples would overwhelming. This takes a cross between Belgian and American styles and even wine, but I enjoy it for what it is. Not a practical offering to drink alone, but still one I'd gladly have again.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 17:10:15 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of Rope


3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hazy golden straw, with a thick foamy white head. Many Small little bubbles playing.

Bright and hoppy, akin to a pale ale of considerable flavor. Definitely a lemon tone pervading.

Golden ale + Bitter. The rose hips add a quinine bite that the malt melts away.

Much thicker and oily than I would have thought. I like the small bubbles.

My last review of the Game of Thrones stout left me thinking it was not as thick as it should be, and this one was thicker than I ever would have needed. Not bad good though, good to try for the novelty.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 19:17:12 | More by Rope
Photo of Monkeyknife


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a hazy straw yellow with three fingers of rocky white head.

Citrusy aroma of orange and grapefruit along with floral notes and a light maltiness.

Much like the aroma, the taste is quite citrusy with orange and grapefruit. Floral notes, candy sugar and light biscuity malts follow. the 9% abv is well hidden.

Medium bodied with a sharp carbonation.

A very tasty and easy-drinking brew from Southern Tier. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 22:18:52 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of adamette


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Live review. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber that my brother Pete brought directly back from the brewery earlier this week. Thanks Pete! "DOB 05/06/13" stamped near the base of the bottle. Poured into a clean, clear pint glass.

A Generous but brief meringue like head that lasted about 30 seconds over a Budweiser looking pale yellow translucent body with lots of carbonation rising up from the depths. The look, while true to the style, is pretty basic. 3.0

S Nice citrus hops smell that you certainly do not get from the aforementioned Budweiser. Repeated sniffs reveal a rather distant sweetness about it too. The hops are in front for sure. 3.5

T Citrus hops follow right from the smell into the taste and more prevalent in the taste is that nice sweetness that I picked up in the smell. NIce, tasty Pale Ale with a "hop forward" disposition. 3.5

M Appropriately on the thin side but those hops and nice sweetness turn up the mouthfeel dial above your average APA, say a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I rather like the feel of this APA. 4.0

D/O Drinkability suffers since it is 9.0% (!) ABV. Overall this is a good...nah...very good APA but probably not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 03:18:43 | More by adamette
Photo of GPHarris


4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a - poured a three-fingers thick bubbly, white head into a tulip glass that left good lacing and sheeting throughout. the body was a hazy orange-golden color.
s - orange zest is the predominant aroma.
t - spicy hops with a hint of citrus and floral hops.
m - dry and bubbly.
o - really tasty beer and i thoroughly enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 16:43:56 | More by GPHarris
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting and quite pleasant beer. Rose hips can certainly be overdone, in which case they taste like Grannie's soap. In this case they provide some nice aroma and a top note which are both nice, with the citrus of the hops being most prominent in the flavor. The pour is a little scary, with abundant white floaties suspended in the golden brew with a nice white head. Not a big deal, just protein, but still....On the other hand, the rose and citrus meld beautifully, the nose is enticing, and there is a long citric bitterness that nicely rounds things out. I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 21:32:41 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Portertime


3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It pours a rich gold color with a bright white, foamy head. The label describes it as a sparkling ale but I do not see any additional carbonation or Champagne like qualities.

Smell: bright grapefruit hop notes, some pine, floral, and earthy.

Taste: I am able to distinguish the hop-like bitterness of the rose hips, which complements the grapefruit in the hops. The malt balances out nicely.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 00:55:23 | More by Portertime
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Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.