1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
CompassCompass

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

551 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 551
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.88%
Wants: 12
Gots: 48 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 551 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KTCamm
3.9/5  rDev +1%

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.

KTCamm, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of malfunxion
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

malfunxion, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of ZachDow7
3.36/5  rDev -13%

ZachDow7, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of ncstateplaya
2/5  rDev -48.2%

ncstateplaya, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of ChrisKayler
3/5  rDev -22.3%

ChrisKayler, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of jrenihan
4/5  rDev +3.6%

jrenihan, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of RKing44
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

RKing44, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of Bf_89
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Bf_89, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of jrand2621
4/5  rDev +3.6%

jrand2621, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of spinrsx
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

spinrsx, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.13/5  rDev +7%
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.

JerzDevl2000, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of generallee
4.1/5  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.

generallee, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of BraveMountie
4/5  rDev +3.6%

BraveMountie, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +3.6%

andrenaline, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of jzlyo
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

jzlyo, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of Swill6186
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Swill6186, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of tylergoov
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

tylergoov, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of DenisKolkin
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

DenisKolkin, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of decrimsonvertigo
4/5  rDev +3.6%

decrimsonvertigo, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of Csparks33
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Csparks33, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of biegaman
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

biegaman, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of WeissBoy
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

WeissBoy, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of BigKahuna97
4/5  rDev +3.6%

BigKahuna97, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of evil_liver
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

evil_liver, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of far333
3.39/5  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.

far333, Aug 04, 2014
Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 551 ratings.