Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
88
very good

128 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 128
Hads: 638
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 19
Gots: 74 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 128 | Hads: 638
Photo of Immortale25
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
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. (1,027 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (824 characters)

Photo of stumac
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
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 (471 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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 (606 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (570 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (396 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
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 (639 characters)

Photo of Seanem44
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
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! (562 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (352 characters)

Photo of iheartmyTHO
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (308 characters)

Photo of dank203
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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 (253 characters)

Photo of ChimRichels
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
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. (803 characters)

Photo of jera1350
4.53/5  rDev +15%
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. (355 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
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!! (676 characters)

Photo of Cresant
3.51/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (482 characters)

Photo of chefhatt
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (293 characters)

Photo of jucifer1818
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
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
5\5

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
4.5\5

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.
4.25\5

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
4.5\5

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.
4.25\5 (1,110 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (628 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
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.   (942 characters)

Photo of TTAmod
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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. (712 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (2,993 characters)

Photo of Rope
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

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

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

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

Overall-
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. (589 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (443 characters)

Photo of adamette
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
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. (1,167 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (325 characters)

Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.