Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
CompassCompass

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

632 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 632
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 19
Gots: 69 | 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: 632 | Reviews: 137
Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

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 +1.3%

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 -4.4%
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 +6.8%
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 +6.2%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of far333
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.

Photo of Qbdoo
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label tells it like it is. A cloudy light straw color with slightly floral and citrusy nose. The mouthfeel - for an imperial beer - is incredibly light and bubbly. The taste is biscuity with an understated but nicely balanced citrus quality. I don't taste any alcohol despite the 9% abv. This is a slightly unusual beer. Drinks like a light pale ale but has a much more complex and original flavor. This is a great summer beer but you'd have to be careful with its sneaky abv.

Photo of Immortale25
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Base of bottle says DOB 04/01/14.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small center patch of sheer surface foam. Minimal lacing.

S- Fruity hop aroma that has a considerable alcohol fume.

T- Moderate hop bitterness and there's that booze again, sinking its teeth in and not letting the rest of the elements of the beer shine through. Slightly sweet. Needs more malt and/or hop presence to counter the alcohol taste.

M- I can see why the label says "sparkling ale" since the carbonation is pretty heavy on this. It's almost too heavy considering the overbearing alcohol presence. Almost like drinking champagne. Lightish body.

O- This beer is overly strong in all the wrong places, leading to a lack of complexity. Is it just me, or is ST becoming more and more hit-or-miss? Kinda sad since they used to be one of the breweries I would describe as not making a single bad beer.

Photo of cjgiant
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

If not previously noted, listed as an Imperial Sparkling Ale, which I am not sure of the proper category. Another less reputable site had it as a Belgian strong ale. It seems to be a cross-breed to me.

To rate it out of category, it was very enjoyable (4.25 overall), but for an APA, it's a bit light. I might almost think it might be a decent alternative to a saison (of which I am not the biggest fan).

The beer does have very good carbonation that plays on the tongue throughout. To me it has a light spiciness as well, but that could be me mistaking the sparkling part of the beer. There is a light citrus note, and a little dry tug at the end of the taste that are more in the pale ale realm.

This is an interesting try if your looking for something different, a little on the light side, but not without some depth.

Photo of stumac
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours up clear and gold with a decent white crown. Quickly fades leaving behind a little head. Nose is very faint. Citrus hops. Lemons and oranges. Nothing special. Taste is a nice solid sweet malty backdrop. Pale malts that is. Getting a lot of rose throughout the whole flavor ride. Lingers in the finish. Citrus hops again. Very refreshing brew. Can barely taste the alcohol. Pretty spritzy carbo. Medium bodied. Leaning light. Would be better in a six pack. Good brew

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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

Photo of Cylinsier
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz.

Pours a hazy lemon orange color, sugar white head retains as a film.

Smells of orange citrus, fresh floral hops, roses, honey and sweet bready malt.

Tastes of honey, roses, and spice floral hops with some dry hop bitterness and subdued malt character. Some coriander and chamomile might be mixed in there as well.

Medium to full body with stinging carbonation on the tip of the tongue that turns tingly going down.

Really nice flavorful ale, feels lighter than it is and goes down smooth. Southern Tier's track record is excellent and this is no exception.

Photo of schoolboy
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another of those great big Southern Tier brews of which I am so fond.

It pours a pretty yellow fizz, with a rich aroma one would expect from a big APA - rich and hoppy, malty, etc., and it never quits. There was a lot of stuff suspended in the brew.

The taste epitomizes APA - rich, hoppy, dry, yet full. The aftertaste is dry and bitter.

This is another go to brew from Southern Tier.

Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
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

Photo of Seanem44
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden straw color with a thick white one finger head.

S: Delicate with a light smell of wheat and rose.

T: Again, Light, delicate, smooth. Very enjoyable and easy to drink. I can taste the rose, which was kind of neat.

M: Goes down nice and smooth. Very refreshing.

O: This is 9.0 abv??? Can't believe it. Easy to sip. I was very impressed with this beer. Not my normal fare, but I would not hesitate to purchase again. Well worth the value for something different. If you can grab one, please do. I think you won't be disappointed. This one is a winner!

Photo of 57md
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a hazy straw color with a finger of head that lingers for some time and leaves nice lacing behind. The nose has light notes of hops and citrus. The flavor profile and body are light - much like a session IPA. However, unlike a session IPA, the ABV is quite high (although there is no trace of alcohol at all). The finish is nicely bitter.

Photo of iheartmyTHO
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of dank203
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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

Photo of ChimRichels
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of jera1350
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Photo of JayQue
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
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!!

Photo of Cresant
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Photo of chefhatt
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 632 ratings.