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Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
CompassCompass

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

533 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 533
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.88%
Wants: 12
Gots: 49 | FT: 0
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: 533 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Sammy, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

djrn2, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

acurtis, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy straw yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high bright white head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a half finger high head covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of floral, herbal and woody hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has notes of rose hips towards the finish. A light to moderate amount of bitterness strands out and lingers through the aftertaste.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't extremely bitter, but seems to be bitterer than it really is because of its lighter-bodied nature. The flavors imparted by the hops seem rather unique. It hides any traces of alcohol very well from the taste.

metter98, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear goldenstraw with an amber tinge; the head retains well and leaves a modicum of lace

Smell: Doughy and sugary, with tangerine, tropical fruit and rose petal tones

Taste: Doughy, up front, with the tangerine and tropical fruit (papaya, coconut and lychee) with rose hip flavors developing in the middle; white pepper and sage tones arrive, after the swallow, but the finish contains much of what was tasted up front

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A pretty interesting beer that disguises the high ABV very well; nice for a change of pace but I don't think I would want this very often

brentk56, May 19, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Texasfan549, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

BEERchitect, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

kjkinsey, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +3.6%

kylehay2004, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a small growler, the color was a pale yellow with a thin white head on top. The retention was minimal and the lacing was very light as well. Some nice clarity on this beer along with some carbonation bubbles rising to the top. The smell of the beer is pretty standard, the rose hips don't really shine too bright in my opinion. There is some earthy malt on the nose and not a whole lot of hops really. The taste of the beer reminded me a lot of a pilsner, it was light and fairly refreshing. Mostly malt was all I was really getting from this brew. The mouthfeel was light bodied, gently carbonated and very easy to drink. Overall I was hoping for something a little more... not sure if what way but I hoped for something a little more impressive here.

Knapp85, May 27, 2013
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a medium golden with a half finger white head atop.Aromas of nutty pilsner malt,drunken fruit and herbal/grassy hops.Flavors are deeply influenced by the doughy pilsner malt and the dryer sparkling feel,some sweetness from alcohol dipped fruit and dough with a leafy/grass finish.I like the sparkling feel and I like the hoppy finish of this innovative beer,well done.

oberon, Sep 22, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

JAHMUR, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cigar and beer pairing, L'atelier 52 ring gauge from Pete Johnson and his brother, hand rolled in Nicaragua at the My Father Cigar Factory in Esteli. The beer brewed under Phin and Matt of Lakewood, NY. From what I gather on the label the beer is a strong hoppy American Saison with rose hips, very rustic with only pilsner malt fine carbonation the proteins of the settled hops and rose hips are floating in the semi hazed golden beauty. Bright white head settles slow and leaves fine even patterned lacing. Aroma upfront with citrus and grapefruit going down amongst many other, biscuit tones from the pale malts and a pleasant kiss of floral/vegetal rose hips. There are terrified wheat additions which only complement the citrus based hops. Bottled on 5/3/13, spicy citrus ale with a lingering bitterness derived from those rose hips it's bitter but has a nice interplay of bright citrus and spicy yeast. The light biscuit toned pilsner malts set off as the canvas for the interplay between high alpha acids and the rose hips, everything else going on is fantastic 9% abv is well hidden. The body is medium to full a lot of texture from the hop oils, and lingering finish from the spice/bitterness from the rose hips pairs well with the effervescent carbonation looming with each sip. Overall the beer is at odds with itself the same pairings I enjoyed weigh heavy on the palate and kill the drinkability a bit, not the type of beer I would like to enjoy in number but with a fresh fish prepared just right fine dining there wouldn't be any better pairing as for the cigar. This lighter colored habano born seed wrapper has the right elements of pepper and spice to complement the drink just right. Definitely a worthy pairing with the type of hops and yeast, with those rose hops it adds to spicy Nicaraguan long fillers very happy with this pairing.

WVbeergeek, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +3.6%

nickfl, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of russpowell
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazed amber with a finger of pearl colored head. Above average head retention & alright lacing

S: Tropical fruit, breadyness

T: Pineapple, some grapefruit, breadyness & a little dryness up front. Grassy hops, mix in with pineyness, a little dryness & grapefruit peel. More pineapple, grapefruit, & slight breadyness in the finish, along with boozeyness

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation, nicely balanced, warming

Sparkling ale? Not sure you can have one at 9.0 ABV, but if you can this is damn tasty & drinkable. Southern Tier, you have made me happy again! Get this 4 or six packs

russpowell, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

StonedTrippin, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bomber shared with tenderbranson69, enjoyed chilled from a goblet.

The color is very hazy golden with some floaties from bottle conditioning, thick white frothy cream rests with thick webbing of lace. The smell is very citrus-y grapefruit and mandarin orange with a light yeast scent with some tropical fruit odors and mild floral aroma with a mild green tea element. The feel is yeasty iwth a slightly dry and yet spritzy carbonated and mildly astringent essence. There is mild bitterness and gentle alcohol with a light nutty malt texture in the finish.

The taste has a pretty fresh floral earthiness and dry nutty yeasty flavor but the citrus element from the hops is complimentary with mellow earthy tea-like flavor. The taste is a lot more yeast than hops which is not necessarily a bad thing, but there is a slight warming of alcohol which doesn't really improve the overall drinkability. I think this is a good beer but the rose hips combined with the bottle conditioning yeast makes a dry astringent taste linger and hampers the probability of repeated samples.

Slatetank, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

WesWes, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

mendvicdog, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

DrunkinYogi, May 06, 2014
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +3.6%

MarkyMOD, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -22.3%

beernads, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
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

kojevergas, Sunday at 05:14 AM
Photo of Gavage
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a golden yellow color with a 1" head that lasts a while before fading.

Smell: strong citrus and a nice floral hop aroma creates a nice smelling beer.

Taste: caramel, biscuit, big lemon zest, some grapefruit, a hint of black peppercorns, and a big floral flavor. Bitterness is moderate, and alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, a bit less crisp and lightly dry at the end.

Overall: an easy drinking big beer. Very citrus and floral centric, so nicely refreshing.

Gavage, Jul 15, 2013
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Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 533 ratings.