Cuvee Series One (Oak Aged Series) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Cuvee Series One (Oak Aged Series)Cuvee Series One (Oak Aged Series)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcallister on 07-15-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 308
Photo of Arbitrator
1.6/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Generously shared by bring at a recent tasting. Thanks Barry.

A: Pours a hazy orange / copper colored body. Has a decent 1" cream-colored head that recedes away pretty quickly and leaves only a smattering of bubbles on top with a light collar around the drink.

S: Honey, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and maple. Points for pungency, points off for being so sweet. Like inhaling concentrated sugar.

T: DIABEEETUS!!! Just incredibly sweet. Tons of honey, butterscotch, caramel, toffee blast the taste buds. There is a smaller maple component, and the finish carries a strong taste of oak with a hint of vanilla. Plenty of nuts, but they don't offer enough bitterness or contrast to balance the sugars. Much too sweet for me.

M: Medium-bodied, with light carbonation. Could use more bubbles to clean the palate and prevent the beer from getting so syrupy.

D: I would not drink this again. I had trouble finishing even a small glass of it.

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Photo of largadeer
1.86/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Got this one in a trade with spacecoyote. Thanks!

Appearance: Murky and cloudy with a body the color of apricot skins. Pours with practically no head, although carbonation levels are fine.

Smell: Fruity and ridiculously sweet. Smells like dried mangoes, dried peaches, overripe, nearly rotting apricots and diabetes. This is going to be challenging.

Taste & mouthfeel: Insanely, horribly sweet up front with nothing balancing the sweetness. Fucking hell. It's like someone pureed a bunch of dried fruit and added a few shots of whiskey for texture and bonus alcohol burn. And I'm not talking regular dried fruit here, I'm talking the shit that's dried and then covered in even more sugar; dried fruit for people that don't value their health and teeth and have no concept of insulin levels. Oak is present only in the form of astringent tannins at the end, which almost quells the sweetness, but it's really more like chewing on a sugar-coated log.

I've never been a big fan of Southern Tier and their under-attenuated, syrupy sweet beers, but this one is truly atrocious. Best avoided unless you've got a sweet tooth that knows no bounds.

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Photo of DrJay
2.02/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

2008 Biergotter Tasting - Day 4. Contributed by Viggo. Thanks!
Coppery orange with a light haze. The pour produced a thin skim of fine off-white bubbles and a solid collar. Some lacing. It smelled of orange soda and had a woody tannin aroma. There was faint vanilla, plus some cloves and other generic ethnic spice as it warmed. Woodiness was strong in the flavour too, more like popsicle sticks than oak barrels, lots of orange (crush) with sweet malt, herbal hops, and alcohol. A little buttery as it warmed. Very dry from tannins, medium bodied with some warmth and stickiness, average carbonation. This was truly a mess. Some base beers aren't meant for aging with wood and I'd suggest this was one of them. The tannins were overpowering and there was little in the way of subtlety here. It ended up being a drain pour.

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Photo of grub
2.39/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 4: Leftovers. Viggo contributed this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle in a matching box. sampled nov 30/08.

pours deep orange, not quite red, with a touch of haze. a small very dense off-white head forms, dropping fast and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is odd. our first thought was "oak aged orange soda?". caramel sweetness with lots of bright citrus, yet still seeming a little artificial. vanilla. alcohol. marmalade. bit of cracker and white bread.

taste is more odd. there's a floral/herbal component with the citrus. the sweetness from the aroma is far more subtle than i expected. medium-low bitterness level. vanilla and raw oak. there's something else in there that i can't quite place. lemongrass? thai basil? kaffir? none of them seems quite right, but it's something like that. i don't know what it is, but it's really not working for me.

mouthfeel is ok. there's a clingy tannic/herbal thing that i'm not enjoying. medium-low carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is not great. not sure if this is just not my thing, but i didn't enjoy it at all. the alcohol was largely hidden, but none of the rest had me going back for more. it also seemed to get more buttery, weird, and bad as it warmed. in the end neither of us finished our glasses and we both dumped the final third or so.

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Photo of ibbjamin
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Paid $13.99 for a boxed bomber from Riley 's Wines of the World in Madison, WI. Purchased in July of 2009 and am tasting in February of 2011. Poured into a small snifter after cellaring for about 2 years.

An aggressive pour yields a very small off white head that dissipates very quickly to almost nothing. In a couple minutes, there is literally no retention and seemingly no carbonation. No lacing. Surprisingly light in color, it comes off as a very cloudy muddled orange.

Aroma is quite boozy, almost rumlike in its sweetness. Honey, sweet caramel malts, butterscotch, oak and faded hops like an aged barleywine. I do get hints of coconut as noted on the box. Complex, but I wish the sweetness and alcohol were tamed down a bit more.

Taste is of an overtly sweet barleywine. Again, faded wet hops. Very rum-like. Fruity coconut tones with honey and butterscotch. Very sweet and hot.

Medium body and minimal carbonation. Sweet aftertaste.

Appreciate their willingness to try something different, but the end product didn't do it for me. Maybe this one wasn't meant to age, but perhaps a couple years more would tame down that hotness.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.54/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled purchased somewhere in Chicago many moons ago. Nearly three years old at this point. Served in a Goose Island taster glass.

A - Quick-dissolving thin tan foam settles to a thin ring of bubbles, leaving behind a few wisps. Hazy dark orange body.

S - Cloying honey, sugar, toffee, and other sweet things. Vague hits of wood, nuts, and alcohol. Otherwise just oppressively sweet.

T - The taste is about 20% less sweet, which still means this is about 100% too sweet. Sugar, honey, caramel, oaky vanilla, light coconut, and fairly mellow booze. Actually, in retrospect a bit more spicy alcohol would have balanced things a bit better.

M - Low carbonation, mild alcohol warmth, full-bodied, sticky and viscous. The feel is a perfect match for the taste and smell, but that's not necessarily a good thing.

D - This was not as horrible as I expecting, but not particularly good either - certainly not worth the sticker price. Drinking a whole bottle would be borderline impossible.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.6/5  rDev -31%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a golden honey color ale with small foamy head with minimal retention and not much lacing. Aroma of sweet rich malt with some bitter grassy hoppy notes also discernible. Taste is more or less interesting with some overly sweet malt notes and a clashing bitter hoppy finish. Body is full with medium to low carbonation and no alcohol perceptible per say. Overly sweet mess with clashing hops and no real presence of oak is a real disappointment.

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Photo of oakbluff
2.63/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Courtesy of viggo- Pours a hazy tangerine with minimal off white head. Nose- smells like unfermented wort. Uh oh. Taste- yep, unfermented wort. Very thick and sweet. Cloying, syrupy. Given the abv, that's an impressive achievement (or dubious). There is some vanilla and toasty notes from the wood, but mostly just overwhelming sweetness. Finish shows some hop bitterness. Not overly boozy though- hidden in the syrup. Mouthfeel is thick and carbonation is moderate. Struggle to power through a bomber.

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Photo of beachbum1975
2.66/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Picked up a couple of these at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, OH...

Honey and copper in color with a white head that disappears quickly.

Smells of banana, light smokiness, malts and an almost spicy alcohol. Moderately complex nose - this is the best description I can muster...

Taste is much like the nose with an odd, unwelcoming bitterness throughout. Medium bodied and medium to full flavored.

Decent, but not at all what I had envisioned after being captivated by the fantastic packaging and scary ($12!) price tag.

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Photo of abfraser
2.73/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to waltonc for this one for the giving of thanks.

A: Comes in a nicely packaged box, which usually means good things but in this case actually means quite the opposite. Pours a coppery buttery orange, almost like a dessert wine. No carbonation to speak of.

S: Oak, oak and more oak. Very faint caramel and sweet malt.

T/M: This is where it was most disappointed. Totally unbalanced and harsh, tasted like I was licking my tongue on the side of an oak barrel. The lack of carbonation hurt because it came across too thick on the mouth. Overall, I was not at all impressed.

D: Not at all drinkable. Was inclined to drain pour most of the glass.

Not that good a beer, and for the price, should be avoided.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.73/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber courtesy of Cuzco in a recent BIF. Pours a pretty clear, dark gold color, bordering on orange. Fluffy cream colored head holds well and leaves just a dab or two of lace.

Nose is heavily oxidized malts, honeyed and a bit stale. Malted milk balls with a dose of alcohol and a touch of oak.

Taste is not as oxidized as the nose indicates, and has a nice, toasty vanilla oak flavor. Alcohol is huge, cognac-esque even. Toast and caramel malts are quite sweet, maybe too much so. Hops are non-existent. Toffee and nutty with some coconut undertones as it warms. It's ok, but I think this one is probably past it's prime and the ABV make it a bit much to handle, unfortunately just not a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of kkosmoski
2.76/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bomber bottle packaged in a unique cardboard box. Poured into a three philosopers glass to finish off the Thanksgiving feast after a quick chill in the fridge. Clear orange color with a dusting of loose bubbles at first that fade quickly to nothing - very bright appearance. Someone at the table commented that it looked like brandy in the glass - not a bad assessment. Most prominent aroma is of oak, and this grows a bit stronger as the beer warms. Other aromas (though they are quite muted) include sweet honey, vanilla and apricot. Flavor is pretty one-dimensional really - sweet. Honey and maybe a very light caramel sweetness pushes its way through to the finish where it is offset by a bit of bitterness and oak. Heavy in the mouth with a slightly prickly carbonation, but quite creamy overall and warming. I'm actually having trouble getting through my portion of this bottle. The sweetness is very dominating and the 11% is not helping its drinkability any.

I was looking forward to this beer very much and decided Thanksgiving was a good occasion to break it out and share with family. I am very impressed with Southern Tier and have enjoyed just about everything they put out - especially their imperial series. Have to say this beer is a big disappointment for me. A very boring beer as the sweetness just smashes down any other complexities that may be inside. The oaking does add some character to it, but all I really see here is an imperial golden/amber ale. Brewed to a very high gravity, malty, very sweet, and clean with a touch of oak. Guess I'm just disappointed because I was looking for a much more intricate and characterful brew.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.76/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Pours a slightly hazy honey and copper in color with a white head that disappears quickly.

S- Smells of banana, light smokiness, malts, a bit of alcohol and some sort of peppery spice.

T- Taste is much like the nose with an odd, bitterness throughout and again the spice also seemed pretty strong.

M- Medium bodied and carabonation.

D- No thanks on this one.

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Photo of Docer
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another S. Tier Bottle to review that I received in a trade from beandip... thx again and cheers!

- Every so slightly cloudy caramel color with a fluffy white head with massive amounts of lacing, and nice slow bubbles rising to the surface.

- A rather strong and sweet barleywine-like scent.. bright hops, citrus zing of lemon, sweet rich caramel... and sugar..

- Creamy sweet caramel and cream.. little bit of citrus hop, and quite an afterbite of spice... little bit of oak flare to it but not much... a bit of a barleywine really... little bit of vanilla and esterness..

- Chewy, dry, and sweet... rather sticky...

- Overall decent... but not a big winner for me by a long shot.. this is more like a standard barleywine to me, and I was expecting something a few notches better..

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Photo of stakem
2.89/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber into a snifter, this brew appears a hazy orange with yellow around the edges. A finger of lightly tan head sits atop the brew with fluffy retention. Thick patches of lace stick to the glass.

The smell of this brew is like orange rinds and toasty grains. Some herbal hops mixed with sweet smelling orange marmalade. Overall this smells lightly medicinal.

The taste is herbal and rindy with orange pulp flavoring. Some toasty grain inclusion. There is seemingly no alcohol inclusion but it does evolve a medicinal touch throughout. It is oxidized and toasty with almost an oaked inclusion that turns to more of a cardboard quality.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. There is a very low alcohol impact. This brew was pretty forgettable. Having it once was more than enough. My tasting group had a bottle of Cuvee 2 to drink right after this one but everyone lost interest in trying it after having a sample of this one.

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Photo of BringusKilkenney
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Has a small head for the type it is but a nice color and good pour. The smell was average very hoppy and citrusy. Good taste but the alcohol was overwhelming. Had a sharp mouthfeel and not all that great all together. I could not handle more than one 22 at a time of this it was good but just not great.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a small snifter twice. Part of my clean out the cellar project. A loud hiss when the cap was popped.

A- ST Cuvee 1 is a light orange color with some golden highlights up towards light. Active rising bubbles within the liquid while a nice not so sturdy bright white head graced the top. It left rather quickly while not much lace was on the glass.

S- The smell is cuvee 1 best feature in my opinion. A nice blast of toasted malt that does not smell like caramel which is rare for me. What I do get is butterscotch which is not my favorite but is nice in this. Some residual sugar while the hops have faded in this 6+ month old bottle. I get some vanilla which I love.

T- Is a big step down from the smell and even declines more as it warms which is also odd and ass backwards imo. The sweet butterscotch that I liked in the smell is pretty much all I can taste in this strong ale, it's quite off-putting. Some coconut plus more sweet sugar. While the oak is ther, cuvee could use more. Toasted malts are big and the 11% is very well hidden although some alcohol taste probably would have been accepted in this sweet and upsetting brew.

M- For 11% the alcohol is well hidden but the overly sweet syrup like feel just kills this brew for me. Cuvee one is medium bodied with lighter carbonation than expected from the loud pop on cap extraction. Too sweet and buttery, not my thing.

D- I really had a tough time getting through this and wish I shared it. I guess it's good enough to drink but it is not a pleasant experience and makes me weary of ST cuvee #2. I had this extremely fresh when it came out and enjoyed it just a tad more than now because of the non faded hops, now it's just a malty buttery mess.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a somewhat-dark golden color with a thin head without much retention. The nose brings sweet honey and candy with a bit of fruit. Definite booze. Oak as well. The taste is really just a mix of flavors with nothing coming together, even though it seems to work in theory. The oak is overcome by alcohol and a strong sweetness. A bit cloying and boozy, this doesn't drink terribly well.

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Photo of John_M
3.02/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Ordered a bottle of this at Max's the other day. Have been looking forward to this one.

The beer pours a rich, bright gold color, but with minimal head retention and almost no lacing. Not a good start here. On the nose, this beer is VERY sweet and malty smelling. It also smells pretty boozy, which is to be expected with 11% abv. On the palate.... damn this stuff is sweet and syrupy. There is a huge, sweet malt presense in this beer, with no noticeable hoppiness at all. Talk about heavy on the palate; this beer literally defines the expression. While the beer is very smooth with a long finish, the sweetness in this beer, coupled with the high alcohol, is just overwhelming. The beer is very heavy and tiring on the finish, and frankly it was a struggle to drink one glass.

I shared the bottle with some other folks sitting at the bar (including the bartender), and I can't say the beer was a hit with anyone. Everyone's reaction was pretty much the same; an interesting beer, but just too sweet and syrupy.

I really think a bit less alcohol and sweetness, and a lot more hops, would do this beer a world of good. Just my two cents... each to their own.

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Photo of akorsak
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A 650 mL bomber.

A: The ale is a bright, radiant amber color with near-perfect clarity. Surprisingly, the ale isn't sporting any type of head.

S: The nose is strong, heavy with malts, but also sweet. Green apples and melon aromas are sweet and almost overpowering. The maltiness is almost that of a barleywine.

T: The oaken barrel is very prominent from the first sip, lending a woody, vanilla flavor that nicely settles atop the entire ale. Underneath the barrel, heavy malts drive the flavor with an intensity that is reminiscent of a doppelbock or barleywine. The combination of malts and barrel works sometimes, while other times it is heavy-handed and awkward. Hops are rather assertive near the end, coming through alongside a cinnamon spice flavor.

M: The mouthfeel is heavy, full-bodied with a malt- and barrel-centric flavor that is too much at times.

D: Southern Tier seems to be hit or miss and this one, to me, is a miss.

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Photo of NoahSYGG
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To steal a line from my favorite wine reviewer gary vaynerchuk, ARRRRHHH! THIS BEER IS AN OAK MONSTER! The oak flavor on this orangey beer is huge. The hints of vanilla and malty sweetness is huge. I consumed this beer out of a snifter with little head. it is sweet and spicy smelling. The flavor was sweet and syurpy with a big oak profile. I found it hard to finish the second glass. not my favorite style but a good effort. anyone know when series 2 is going to come out? message me if you do.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- golden to amber color body with a very small white head on it. not much lacing.

S- very sweet. lots of fruits. cherries are most prevalent. some medicinal qualities as well.

T- very very sweet and medicinal tasting. lots of cherries, it reminds me of cough syrup. some apple cider tastes too. kind of barley wine like.

M- creamy and medium bodied with the right level of carbonation

D- ugh...i wish i didnt buy this one. the taste is pretty bad, especially for the cost. i was able to finish it, but ill never have this one again. way to potent for another bomber as well.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer was a a good to average beer at best. Nice bitterness matched out with a fair amount of sweetness. Its strong point is really the balance its able to hold between sweetness and bitterness. Overall its weak point is really that its extremely over priced for what you are getting. A unique beer but nothing earth shattering enough to be seeked out again

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Photo of maximum12
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to my kindly wife for including this as part of my birthday present. A wife who buys me beer for holidays: one of the attributes of a first-class wife.

Pours a relatively flat, even copperish orange. Smell is sweet, strong alcohol, even after its waiting period.

Cuvee Series One tastes like a classic barleywine that's been spanked with an oak paddle. Sweet malts dominate. Along for the ride is a distinct nutty flavor that doesn't wow me, & the drying quickness of the wood, & a burst of alcohol at the end. Buttery, too, which doesn't jibe with the nuts at all, & doesn't seem welcome (accident of brewing perhaps?).

Flat & thick. With the rather odd interplay of the flavors, I'm not wild about even finishing the half-bomber in my glass.

Decent enough. Not sure what Southern Tier was aiming for here, but after sampling the sublime Choklat a few nights ago, this one's a let down.

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Photo of Vierenner
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not really what I expected. Kind of flat with flavors that remind me of barleywine. Seems syrupy ... too sweet ... honey, caramel, and butterscotch.

I've been quite impressed with Southern Tier and have enjoyed many of their products ... but this beer is a disappointment for me. The sweetness just smashes down any other complexities that may be inside.

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Cuvee Series One (Oak Aged Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 308 ratings.
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