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)
Very Good
308 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 308 |  Reviews: 226
Photo of brewandbbq
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at 54 degrees.

Pours darkish copper, absolutely sparkling clarity, and a quarter inch head that fizzled instantly to nothingness.
A perfectly placid surface remained and zero lacework.

Aromatics lead off with fruit-laden malt and boozy alcohol. Hints of vanilla, oak, butterscotch, toffee, and peach skins follow through.

On the thick side of medium bodied, with a syrupy, sticky mouthfeel. Lowly carbonated.

Sweet malt, whiskey-like alcohols, and pepper-studded fruit start the palate. Bits of toffee, oaky tannins, butterscotch, and white pepper follow through.

Finishes with a building heat, sweet malt, and lingering whiskey barrel overtones.

A big one for sure, but I'm not sure what kind of cellarability we have with this one. It's obviously filtered, and some time in the cellar should smooth out the heat. Beyond that I can't really see this one improving much more.

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Photo of trkerrigan
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is quite nice. Crystal clear with a light amber, honey color. Rich creamy light tan head, slowly dissipates.

Aroma is incredible. Very complex. Fruit, date, vanilla, caramel.

Taste was just as complex as the aroma. Mainly vanilla, sweet sugar. There is little to no alcohol presence Oak is only apparent on the finish. The taste of oak, bourbon, sweet all stick to the back of the tongue. Other flavors of coconut, fruit, toffee, caramel, clove also apparent.

Very smooth considering the weight and alcohol content.

This is may be pricey brew but it is worth the cost. I wasn't disappointed.

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Photo of smcolw
3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy, gold-amber color. Minor head, light lace.

Strong earth tones in this beer's smell. Some oatmeal and raw flour aroma.

Cream flavored soured malt. Lots of alcohol warmth with an oiliness in the body as a result. There's an element of pineapple and grapefruit, even though I'd initially say there is very little hop to this malty brew.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear honey/copper with a very large tan foamy head and lacing that lasts. The smell is pungent with a strong bread yeast and citrus hop aroma. The taste is very creamy with a bitter hop and bread yeast mixture along with alcohol,citrus hops,and oak. This really is a tasty brew. The m/f is medium and well balanced. All in all, this is a very good beer on all fronts. If you can find it buy it. An East Coast beer with a West Coast flavor.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served in a snifter. Poured a light copper with a sparse head. Aroma of burnt sugar, vanilla, and some alcohol. Medium bodied with a bit of a spicy bite. Lots of malty, some sweetness. Subtle oak flavor in the finish. More vanilla. A fair amount of hop bitterness. Alcohol in the aroma doesn't really come through in the flavor. Southern Tier tries a lot of things, and I really respect that. This seems a little more subtle than a lot of their big beers.

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle served in my Terrapin snifter. Poured a translucent honey-orange. Quarter inch off-white head quickly gave way to a soapy skim and a thin band around the edges. Sweet, syrupy nose, but difficult to tease out distinct characteristics. Impressions include honey, light fruit (perhaps melon and/or apricot) and alcohol. Taste follows nose, as well as a hint of vanilla and a muted bourbon quality. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and slightly viscous with a little carbonation prickliness towards the back of the tongue. Alcohol is well-hidden for 11% abv. Nice complexity; reminds me of a cross between a barley wine and an old ale. I continue to be impressed by the quality and range that ST offers.

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Photo of number1bum
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Despite the fact that I continue to be disappointed in the ST new releases, I keep coming back and trying nearly each and every one. So here we go again...

Pours a clear copper color, pretty thick looking, with one finger of off-white head. Head settles down to a thin but pretty clean lace with a good amount of oily stick around the rim.

Smell is quite sweet and boozy; lots of caramel malt especially, but a load of solvent alcohol, as well. I do get a bit of a woody aroma, but not a very distinct one. There is some fruit, too, but the nose is really sort of a sweet and somewhat boring, boozy mess.

I wasn't expecting a lot after the nose on this one, but the taste is smoother and nicer than the smell. I was expecting a sweet mess, but the sweetness is not overpowering. It's a nice caramel/toffee and fruity flavor. It is boozy, but again not as bad as I was expecting. Again the oak doesn't really seem to impart a ton of flavor; it's subtle. There is some bitterness and even a bit of floral hops, and some alcohol heat in the finish. It's still pretty straightforward; not very complex or overly interesting, but it's pretty good.

Mouthfeel is close to a full body and is reasonably smooth and creamy. Carbonation is quite soft really, which makes it a nice mouthfeel overall.

All in all, this is a pretty decent beer but another underwhelming, somewhat disappointing offering from Southern Tier, if only because they seem to hype up their beers so much and the pricetags are relatively high. Seems very barleywine-ish in terms of the sweetness, and I think this could use more time in the oak to take on more character. A decent beer, but at the price there are better ones, and there are certainly better barrel aged beers, as well.

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Photo of stumac
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my bro Onslow for this tastey treat...

It pours up a solid copper color with a nice off white head. in the nose is a medley of fruits, yeast, subtle hops... the taste is smoothe, creamy, fruits, yeasty, earthy, full bodied. A nice brew....

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.11/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been excited, but wary of being too excited over this beer. Time to give it a try.

Cuvee #1 pours a semi cloudy orange with only a thin wispy cap of egg shell white. Caramel, vanilla, bourbon, pineapple, charred wood, honey, roasted almonds, hazlenut and candied fruit. Wow. There's plenty going on here. I literally sat here sniffed uncovering a new scent every time. Amazing!

Tastes of nougat initially. The flavor is pushed foward by a boozy vanilla character and carries towards an exotic mix of fruit, such as passion fruit and pineapple. The entire mix is quite curious, but begs you to drink more to uncover further complexities and intricacies. Fairly sweet without much in the way of hops. Mellow carbonation, but creates a rich mouthfeel. I wouldn't want the full 22 oz. to myself as it was a little too sweet for an enjoyable second glass. Comes off as a highly unique English Barleywine to my tastes. Fit for dessert or paired with a fruit tart of choice.

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Photo of beachbum1975
2.66/5  rDev -29.3%
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 Bighuge
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light amber body. Dim streaks of orange. Thin off white head. Slightly hazed. Pretty complex nose, but a hard one for me to deconstruct. Banana and phenols come to mind. Also some toasted oak.And almond oil and a little ethanol. First impression is that the flavor is very agreeable and this beer is seemingly easy to put back. Especially for 11%. Phenol is less noticeable on the palate, but still there. It adds a nice dimension to the French oak characteristics of toasted coconut and vanilla. Flavor is really smooth. Alcohol is integrated nicely. Malt sweetness is mild. Cotton candy like sweetness is distant. More dry than sweet. This gives a ghostly impression of a dry sherry. Carbonation is low, but present. Body light-medium. Interesting.

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Photo of grub
2.39/5  rDev -36.4%
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 Zorro
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Obtained from Imstillthegman.

Clear amber to golden colored beer the color of weathered brass with a small thin tan colored head.

Sweet and fruity smell plums and roses with honey and spices. Grapefruit, grass and oak with the associated vanilla scents. Interesting fresh bread with honey aroma.

The taste starts out sweet and woody with a lot of melon, vanilla and oak flavor. Vanilla with the astringency of hops. Smoothes out as you sip but this does have a strong astringent taste.

The mouthfeel is good.

Astringency hurts the drinkability quite a bit. Maybe after it ages more it will mellow some.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright copper color with a small white head that fizzles away to nothing almost immediately. Smells of honey, candy sugar, some alcohol, and a slight breadiness. Tastes of honey, light malts, slightly nutty, some alcohol. Mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy. Not much carbonation to mention, finishes slightly dry. I was expecting more to be honest but it's not bad. Surprisingly, contrary to most Southern Tier beers, this beer doesnt have much hop qualities to it.

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Photo of abfraser
2.73/5  rDev -27.4%
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 williamherbert
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass...)

Honey and copper color. Head disappears quickly. Hazy but glowing inside like a lava lamp. Some scant carbonation.

There is woody oak in the nose. Hint of Belgian spike. Some nicely toasted caramel malts. Woody and roasted.

Magnificent blend of the oak, accented with vanilla. Belgian spices, raisins, alcohol, caramel, molasses. Just sweet enough, with a dry base. Coconut and nuttyness. Pleasant, mild aftertaste.

The feel is creamy and fizzy. Leaves a nice film. Superior. It disappeared before I knew it was gone.

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Photo of waltonc
3.26/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ordered a bottle of this and saved it for Thanksgiving.

Bright golden color, no haze, and a fair amount of carbonation. Smells and tastes of sweet malts, a little caramel, and hops. Nothing stood out at me. Maybe it's the fact that this came in a really nice bottle inside of a box, and that I paid $15 for it, not including shipping, but I was expecting more. I felt this was a fine enough beer, but there is no need to sell it only in bombers and box it no less. Seemed more flash than substance, unfortunately. As a result, I'm inclined to avoid Cuvee Series Two when it comes out. Too much money.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quick review into my notebook.

A- Bright, clear copper color. 1/2" head and yellowish highlights in color.

S- Light citrus, candy sugar, and a bit of a funky/sour smell. Not much oak to me...

T- A sweetness from the malt and the bitterness is mild. Oak is definitely in the beginning of the aftertaste. Finish is sweet and lingering.

M- Oily in the mouth and low carbonation.

D- Not too drinkable. Too sweet and maybe a little hot, still. I think with a year or so on it, it would be better.

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Photo of hero27
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle
11% abv

yet another gem sent to me by IBUnit63, thanks man!

Pours a glowing amber color..head is small and sticks around for a short time before receding to a small ring.
Apricot, tangerine, green apple, orange peel, and peach fruit flavors blend together nicely with the warmth of the sweet melted caramel malt..vanilla-tinged oak is noticed, but only an accent to an already great brew. Any alcohol in this (and who are we kidding here, there is a good amount) is actually hardly noticed. Full body, relatively low carbonation. Even with a mouthfeel that is fairly slick, it is remarkably smooth & easy to drink.
Well worth a try, Southern Tier delivers once again.

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Photo of Raymond69
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color. Decent head , some lacing.

Aroma of slight honey , alcohol.

Sweet caramel taste , alcohol warms. Oaking is apparent on finish but fairly subdued.

Mouthfeel is medium/thick.

Overall a pretty aggressive beer that's a treat.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a beautiful, clear peachy-orange with a thin frothy beige colored head that soon dissipated after the pour. Visible carbonation was feverish at first but soon settled to a medium showing. The lacing was weak as well the head but found the coloring as sharp and bright as its label.

S: fresh and fruity with peaches, oranges and fresh apples. Light cinnamon sticks and apple cider notes linger about as well.

T: The initial flavor was sour citrus, tangerines and oranges. There was a noticeable apple cider alcohol , toasted almond, coconut (ala pina colada) and strong oaky contributions from the prolonged barrel ageing. A sour fruitiness of apples closes things out. Overall a pretty decent flavor but lacked complexity and layering.

M: a medium viscosity, oily slick texture. Warm sour oranges and alcohol are evident lacing the tongue with a slightly sour fade.

D: A fairly good drink by itself, good overall and really drinks very well for its 11.0% abv. worthy of checking out.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My expectations for this beer were pretty lukewarm based on feedback from this and other sites. And while it wasn't the best beer I've ever had, it was still pretty good.

Color was a dark amber/light copper color with some pretty good fine head coaxed out by a hard pour. Aroma is a touch hoppy, offers a bit of bourbon, and lots of vanilla. Flavor was initially (when it was quite cold) of apple (ethyl hexanoate?), but when it warmed up it become more conventional, like a barley wine. Some light hoppiness, a touch of bourbon, some vanilla, and lots of maltiness. Mouthfeel was very smooth.

Not really a standout beer, but quite solid. This is a smooth and malty beer that I'd recommend.

My friend Flyer obtained this beer somewhere in San Francisco.

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Photo of kkosmoski
2.76/5  rDev -26.6%
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 sickpuppy
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a copper color with not much head retention and little aroma to speak of, with the oak aroma being the most relevant.

There is also a slight buttery to almost vanilla smell to this offering.

The taste is a buttery, sweet flavor with a hint of bourbon and vanilla.

For an 11% American Strong Ale this beer is smooth. Although a bit pricey ($17 a bottle in the Pittsburgh area) I would recommend this beer for at least a one-time tasting.

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Photo of optiontwo
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. poured into Unibroue tulip

Appearance: Light copper color with minimal, slow bubbles rising, and a quarter inch head.

Smell: Not as strong smelling as I thought it would be. I detect the oak right away, and kind of a buttery smell. Vanilla and bourbon are hiding in there somewhere and maybe even a slight white wine kind of scent. Hard to discern.

Taste: This is one smooth mother f@%$er. That buttery smell I got in the first sniff transfers over to a nice smooth somewhat sweet flavor that combines very nicely with the oak flavors. The other flavors I detect are vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and believe it or not white grapes. They all come together to produce a taste of its own which is simply divine. Hop bitterness and flavor is subdued but it's there and is a great contrast to the sweet vanilla and oak flavors.

Mouthfeel: About what I'd expect from a light oak-aged ale, not too syrupy or heavy but damn is it smooth, still leaves you smacking your lips but maybe that's because it tastes so good. Right amount of carbonation

Drinkability: Once again I'm reviewing a beer that I would love to drink all night but could only have one before getting tipsy, so score-wise it suffers in this department. That being said, alcohol is barely detectable. I would say that's probably from the oak-aging but I'm not a certified expert. All I know is that if I didn't know this was 11% I would probably drink too much of it.

Overall: I am very happy with this brew and extremely happy that I was able to pick up three bottles. If I can I will grab one more to throw in the cellar. I grabbed this bottle out of the fridge and poured it right away, I'm not done so I'm expecting slight changes as it warms. If I find anything worth noting I will edit this review. Great oak aged ale and another impressive offering from Southern Tier. Love that brewery...soo glad to have them here in MN.

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Cuvee Series One (Oak Aged Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 308 ratings
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