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Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
CompassCompass

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

589 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 589
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 14
Gots: 55 | 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:
Beer added by: Knapp85 on 05-27-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 589 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

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4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

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3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for $9.20 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass. A 9.0% ABV American pale ale. Sounds good to me.

Appearance - moderately cloudy rich golden color topped by over a finger of white head that rests on top for a good long while. Tons of effervescent bubbles are present and some trace sticky lacing stays behind.

Smell - mild yet inviting with a good dose of citrusy hops and some floral notes counterbalanced by a heavy dose of bready malts. Not the most aromatic, but really nice combination of the two.

Taste - mildly bitter with some earthy floral flavor and a touch of sweetness here and there. Can actually taste what I think rose would taste like if I were to go chew on a flower. The malty flavours are fairly subdued. Some alcohol flavor breaks through and leaves a sharp taste on the tongue. It's not too off putting, but in my opinion the beer would be better if it was not there. Boozy harshness is lessened as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - heavier than average body as to be expected for such a big pale ale and slightly sticky in the mouth. The high level of carbonation cuts through this to a certain extent to prevent the taste and feel from being cloying.

Overall - slightly disappointing, especially for the price. It's a well crafted APA, that does a fairly good job at hiding its enormous presence, but to me this is a beer that would be better served by being lower ABV and hiding the alcohol a little better and making the body a bit lighter. Would certainly drink if offered, but a bit to expensive for my tastes especially given that I'd enjoy others in the style even more.

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4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Csparks33
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Compass doesn't exactly shine like the north star; sediment from bottle conditioning makes this initially clear ale a rather cloudy affair. It does, however, retain its light and golden complexion, blurriness notwithstanding. For a "sparkling" ale carbonation looks curiously scarce. Head too (which is hardly surprising given the skeleton crew of bubbles).

There's enough tropical fruitiness in this bouquet to conjure to mind a blue sky and even bluer water. White linen and sandals. Tiki torches and bikinis. The initial impressions of lemon, lime, passionfruit, and pineapple were impressive (though they do subdue in time). Still, this beer, at least on first impression, should meet the approval of hopheads everywhere.

For those wondering about the rosehips, there's no way you'd notice them if you weren't tipped off by the label. And even then maybe not. The flavour is well suited to the citrus in the hop bill but can't stack up size wise; this kind of delicate, effervescent floral quality is easy to appreciate in an herbal tea but here is steamrolled by high alpha acids and a thick, biscuity malt profile.

In fact, advertising this as a "sparkling ale" is a bit misleading given its dense maltiness; the ale is distinguished every bit as much by its grain as its hops. There's more than enough cereal grain and breadiness to soak up virtually every drop of that 9% alcohol and each sip concludes with a lasting, unmistakable biscuity taste. Still, it's mighty quenching and not at all bloating.

Southern Tier make big beers in small batches that are best enjoyed in small doses. But it's unlikely you'll have any issues finishing a bomber of Compass; in fact, if you're like me, you might want a second. I certainly didn't find as interesting as it's billed to be - there's really no rose - but it's still a generously hopped, substantially malted pale ale which makes it pretty good in my books.

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3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Big pop and burst of carbonation upon popping the top off the bottle. Slightly opaque straw-yellow with an eggshell colored thick two-inch high head of meringue that lingers long. Seems overcarbonated perhaps? Aroma of lemon and sweet malt, some citrus.

Bready flavor upfront, some honey and lemon zest, fruity notes perhaps imparted by the hibiscus, orange rind hops, slight peppery bite and piney finish that lingers.

Interesting mix of flavors. Full mouthfeel, very creamy and viscous, not what I expected from a sparkling ale, whatever that is.

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 589 ratings.