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

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226 Reviews
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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 mikereaser
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle on 12/28/09

A - pours a cloudy orangish brown with a ring of bubbles around the glass

S - malty sweet with spices, dark fruit, some oak. lemon and cherry

T - malty sweet, woody, dark fruit, oak really comes through in the finish

M - good carbonation, a bit of a zip to the mouthfeel

D - one is good enough, good flavor, i just wouldn't want more than one bottle.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy brown-orange color with a white head. The aroma is almonds, oak, vanilla, dark fruit and honey. The flavor is chocolate, oak, caramel, toffee, coconut, vanilla and almonds. This is the first beer I have ever tried that had almonds in it and they dominate the flavor and aroma. Very interesting. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice beer. In a snifter it was copper-colored with a thin white head.
Sweet malt aroma, candy, a little vanilla.
Big malt taste, oak, some fruit, and cotton candy. A well-built beer.
Very pleasant. Would never know that it was 11% ABV.
Will look for more of these.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper-orange with a thin white head. Crystal clear. Thin rings of lace left behind.

S - Strong aroma of caramel malts and booze. Light hints of vanilla. Almost barleywine like in the nose.

T - Lightly sweet caramel aroma with a touch of vanilla lying underneath. Strong alchol warming quickly comes through. Very little hop presence. Oakiness becomes stronger as the beer warms.

M/D - Medium bodied and rather slick. Alochol is noticeable but well masked for being that high.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up along with Series 2 a few months, finally trying them. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a light copper color with one inch if off white head with no rentention and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of oak, toasted and caramel malts, and some coconut. Hints of alcohol. A little weird but something else I just can't put my finger on.

t - Taste is oak, toasted malts, and booze. Alcohol is much more evident in the taste than the smell.

m - High carbonation, medium body, and a little bit of alcohol warmth.

d - Ok but nothing special. Has some nice oak and smooth malts in the smell and taste, but there is something a little weird in the smell as well, and the alcohol shines through a little too much in the taste. Wouldn't look for again.

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Photo of prototypic
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cuvee One is copper in color. It's very clear, and has a distinct reddish tint when held to light. A vanilla colored head crowns the top. It rises to about a finger and a half in depth, and falls quickly. I suspect the high abv killed it. Lacing was a little sticky, but rather light.

The nose is alright, but isn't great by any stretch. For starters, it's a little weak. It does have a sweet caramel malt scent that resonates throughout. Oak is noted and adds a little character. That's a positive. There's an ancillary vanilla scent attributable to the oak aging. Alcohol is definitely noted, but I probably wouldn't guess 11%. It doesn't come through that strong. Light fruit notes round it out. Above average? Sounds about right.

The flavor keeps the pace. It definitely has a caramel malt base. At least it tastes like it. It's sweet and a little sugary. Oak is strong in flavor and actually drives it above average. There is a little vanilla, but not much. I expected more. There's an interesting berry-like flavor that lingers throughout. It doesn't add anything, but isn't overtly bad. Alcohol is noted, but again, isn't all that strong. It has a slight warming effect, but not much of one. It's nowhere close to hot. It finishes oaky and sweet.

Cuvee One has a medium body that leans thick. It's nice and smooth. Actually, the feel is its best attribute. Drinkability, on the other hand, is rather average. The flavor's alright, but isn't great. It goes down relatively easy for such a big beer, but I'm not overly enjoying it. Finishing a bomber will be work.

To be honest, I'm disappointed in Cuvee One. I had hoped for better. It's alright, but doesn't have near the depth or complexity it needs to really succeed. Perhaps I'm just not all that into sweet caramel flavors with an oaky edge. I guess it's probably worth a try, but it's far from Southern Tier's best. They have far better beers in their roster. I'm hopeful that Cuvee Two will be better, but I'm not nearly as excited to try as I was.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a half finger of head. The aroma is sweet and boozy with caramel, oak, floral hops, and clove duking it out for supremacy. The booze wins.

The flavor is a bit more muted than I thought it would be. The sweetness is low, and the oak is really pronounced but not harsh. An earthy hoppiness and a bit of char make up the finish. The boozy heat is low compared to the aroma.

The body is medium and carbonation is appropriately low. This is a solid, although unspectacular beer. Not worthy of the price tag probably, but worthy of your time.

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Photo of Pahn
4.75/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch soft, foamy light tan head that dissipates quickly into a persistent froth on the surface of the beer, leaving a few spots of lacing. Pours a very hazy light amber, and leaves sweeping lacing around that glass that sticks around the whole time.

Smell: At first the smell has a very interesting herbal, grassy character, with some nice woody notes. Slight caramel. Mild, unidentifiable (to me at least) spicy notes, with some very subtle vanilla and coconut. There's a note that borders on sour but doesn't really get there. As the beer warms, it emits a big aroma of caramel and (to a lesser degree) alcohol. Very nice.

Taste: First sip: wow. I was kind of getting my hopes up for this one, which is usually folly... but I was hoping it would taste like this. Vanilla, coconut, some deep almond and caramel notes moving into a really full toasted malt finish. Up front there's a restrained hop bitterness and burst of carbonation that eases gracefully into smokey almond and caramel. It's sweet, but not candy sweet. The French oak definitely makes itself known in the flavor. Has some characteristics of a nice spicy cake; almost like rum cake. Some warming alcohol comes in as I get deeper into the glass, but like *everything* in this beer, it's nice and subtle (doesn't taste anywhere near 11% ABV). The background of hops and alcohol keep all the sweetness in line.

I don't want to hand out 5.0s lightly, but this is really an amazing beer. The almond, caramel, slight coconut and vanilla, hops, toasted malt, all of it is balanced perfectly, and the overall flavor has a rich depth while still remaining understated and soft. Beautiful.

Mouthfeel: Deliciously creamy, closer to full- than medium-bodied, but yet still delicate. Helpful, active carbonation mainly felt up front, and a mild warming sensation from the alcohol. Comes close to sticky but never gets there. Perfect for the flavor.

Drinkability: How could I not want to drink more of beer this good? The only thing keeping it from a 5.0 is that it has a bit of a dessert quality to it, and I'm not sure I could drink it too often. Then again, I can't see why I would ever say no to a beer like this.

It will be a sad day when brewers take heed of the curmudgeons on the BA forums that want the "barrel aging fad" to end. For me, beers like this totally vindicate the concept. Delicious and subtle, this is a world class beer.

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Photo of bbeane
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into my DFH snifter... a bright amber colored beer produces a light white head that disappears quickly. Once settled, the beer is cloudy with little activity

S- After a few agressive snifter swirls, a semi sweet malty aroma arises with sour alcoholic notes

T- Starts with an excellent sweet oaky flavor, hints of maybe honey and vanilla... finishes a bit dry and boozy

M- Medium body with light carbonation

D- A bit high in alcohol to be called sessionable, but if I a had a nice supply of it and it was a bit more affordable, I would definitely drink it on a regular basis


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Photo of Metalmonk
4.66/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orange-red sunset in color, the head doesn't amount to much and disappears quickly. Hardly even a crown is left...looks aged and calm, though hardly unappealing.

The nose is something I want to sniff forever. Wood and white grape give away its history of sitting in French oak, while an herbal, flowery and politely spicy element has the alcohol and hops mingling nicely. A dash of white pepper. Nutty, as in toasted-nut nutty. Each whiff brings in something new and interesting.

Flavor is as complex as expected, and everything is carefully, deftly balanced. Sweet nuttiness takes over in the flavor, dominant but not cloying. Hazelnut liqueur character reminds me somewhat of Frangelico; coconut gives an exotic edge; wood is young and earthy; honey; vanilla; light caramel touch; pleasant warming from the alcohol, far from boozy. Intersects just a little with a wheat wine, otherwise this is very nearly style-less and all the better for its individuality. Sweet and dessert-y, smooth and insanely well balanced.

Mouth is buoyant and bright, just barely sticks to the mouth while the hazelnut/almond/alcohol team does its thing in the finish. Smooth and gliding.

Oh man, this is just incredible...or not, since Southern Tier usually excel in their big beer experiments. Well worth the price, and I can't wait to try Series 2.

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Photo of hdofu
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An interesting beel, poured with a goldenrod colored head with a firey orange color. The smell is sort of sweet and hoppy. Taste is sor of maltty but with a very sweet finish... It is a bit warm, but not as warm as youd suspect a beer this strong would be. Considering how easy to drink this beer is and how strong it is, I'd classify it as dangerously drinkable

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Photo of ccrida
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber (not quite 1.5 years old, cellared here the whole time) poured into my Delirium snifter, Cuvee One is bright orange with a creamy white head that leaves scattered lace.

Smell is sweet, a little tangerine, a hint of cashews and bourbon (I didn't think this was a bourbon barrel beer, but the box is long gone and the label has no description). The ethanol really gains strength as it opens up, which is a fairly big negative.

Taste is pretty nice, strait forward oak aged barleywine, some sweet alcohol but pretty mellow, a bit nutty, piƱa colada.

Mouthfeel is sticky but not to viscous, tannic Still seems a bit young!.

Drinkability is pretty good, a solid oaked BW, it's in a pretty good place right now. Although I've never had it before, it probably has the structure to run for a few more years...and would be better served by time. Still, an enjoyable night cap all and all.

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Photo of everetends
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one from I think Lum but it might have been the flyingtaco that tossed this my way. I heard not so good things so this sat in the cellar for a while. Served up in an oversized tulip.

A: This pours a burnt orange in color. Held to the light, it keeps that brownish orange color, not changing much at all. Body is hazy, can't see through to the other side. Got about half a finger of pretty bright white head that took some aggression to build. Falls to a thick ring with a floater in the center. Doesn't throw up any lace because of the syrupy film that is all over this glass when you move it around. Interesting.

S: This is nutty, yo! Tons of nuts. Pickin up on some almond and a lot of pecan type aromas. A little bit of coconut is in the mix as well. Lots of oak as well. Very dark, sweet aromas. Tons of caramel and nut butter (hehehe) aromas coming out as well. Maybe just the slightest amount of pine in here but everything is dominated by sweetness.

T: Sweetness, and a lot of it. Starts off with some honey and oak. Vanilla is really coming out. Then that tons of nuts show up. Talkin sweet almonds, honey roasted almonds, almond nut butter and pecans. It is a nut display in the flavor. Caramel is absolutely present. Not getting the coconut that was in the description but that is probably a good thing with all this sweetness. Just a touch of booze and some orange rounds things off.

M: This is full bodied and thick. Tons of sweetness in here for sure. The sweetness is coating a cloying at times . . . well most of the time. Big props because the alcohol is not really bringing as much heat as I was expecting. Just a light warmth on the throat. Carbonation is light. Aftertaste is that nut buffet.

D: I am not going to say its bad because its not. Its just out there, man. A whole lot of sweetness and absolutely too much. This is that Southern Tier "too much sweetness" that they are often guilty of. Its still good in small doses. Its gonna be rough killing this whole bottle by myself. This probably needed a year or so more to age. I think it will get far better with time and I am glad I waited this long.

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Photo of fastpass17
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Revisited 5/18/11
22oz Brown bottle.

A: Red oak in color, fairly thin head, with a fair amount of carbonation circulating throughout the glass.

S: Candied sugar, caramel malt, cardamon, with a slight touch of alcohol heat. Malt is ever present throughout the nose.

T: Sweet to the tongue, almost cloying, then the wood steps in ever so slightly to restrain the sweetness. Caramel and brown sugar are the dominant flavors. This beer finishes slightly dry which is nice.

M,O: This is a strong beer which would stand up nicely to some strong or very sharp cheese, on its own it is a palate killer for me.

A: Amber in color, clear, thick frothy slightly rosy head. 4

S: Fruity sweetness goes straight to the nose, figs, ever so faint indication of wood towards the end. 3.5

T: Rich sweetness, plums, slight hoppiness, warm strong finish. 3.5

M: Thick, sticks in the palate, alcohol in the finish warms the mouth. 4

D: One bomber split between two people is the perfect end to a nice meal, or after a long cold day. 3.5

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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 Gehrig
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brought by a good friend on a surprise visit; many thanks--for both the visit and the fine beer.

Slightly hazy amber body with a big off-white head that recedes somewhat quickly, but leaves ample lacing. Some citrus fruit, nice oak, a bit of dark fruit, and vanilla are in the smell; a little stronger aroma would be great, but the contents are just fine.

The oak flavor blends very nicely with the vanilla bean and hazelnut flavor, as well as the berry-orange fruit; really delicious. The oak is present but not obstreperous, a very fine accompaniment, adroitly added. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with a little heat from the alcohol near the end is actually a nice touch, especially given the smooth flavor and texture.

It is a bit of a sipper, especially since I found the high ABV (11%) caught up toward the end. Overall, this is terrific, and was a great way to end a day and meal--big sirloin steak with baked potatoes. Yet again, Southern Tier has made a bold stroke of expertise with its Cuvee Series, and this edition. Fabulous, and hopefully something ST will continue to release and, perhaps, refine with varied styles. Should they stick with the gem that was Cuvee One, however, I wouldn't complain one bit.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.32/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy amber with no head, save for a white ring around the perimeter.
Smell is strong malts accompanied by a very sweet-almost too sweet-caramel aroma. Slightly boozey as well.
Taste is sweet caramels with some vanilla and oak. Booze is considerably more present on the tongue than nose.
Mouthfeel is flat and syrupy, with moderate weight.
I found the drinkability to be average on this one. The sweetness gets to me after a while.
Slightly disappointed with this beer. Perhaps my expectations were too high.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cloudy appearance with dirty orange colour. Slow but steady bead in the body and a very tasty dense beige head, retaining well and pockmarked in spots. Lacing is a bit disappointing, not much. Otherwise looks good but would really like more lace.

Nose is quite sweet and fresh. A lot of nutmeg on it with hints of banana and caramel. Some floral notes like pot pourri or air freshener. A pleasant sweet-spice nose, with light sugaryness but a good tang lurking behind. I like it.

Taste is a very syrupy affair, with lots of malt, giving off brown sugar and sweet caramel. A fair note of cinnamon on the mid with some banana esters and maybe a little orange zest as well. Finish has a more earthy flavour, with some phenolic spice and a nice kiss of alcohol providing a good warmth to an otherwise fairly easy drinking beer. A hint of herbs complements it, almost like benedictine in character, and yeah, overall a sweet, pleasantly potent beer. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick with a good amount of syrupy fullness without overdoing it, goes down fairly slick and smooth. A good texture for sure.

I'd call this a dangerous beer. Too easy to drink for how alcoholic I suspect it is, doesn't have the brute force of the Stone Bastards - which are my only other ASAs - although the detectable alcohol acts as a bit of a warning sign.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely deep slightly burnished copper colour, with a thin but fine head of yellowish foam. some lacing, but some lovely static lacing in the body when swirled. Looks really full-bodied and quite heavy. A good look for the style. Very nice.

Lots of banana and toffee on the nose, slight metallic characters and a slight whiff of alcohol. Really big, sweet, heavy and rich. It smells like banana bread soaked in treacle. Really heavy, sweet and delicious.

Thick and heavy in the mouth. Big notes of toffee, more banana bread, with some light boozy phenols coming forward too. Very little harshness though, which is a blessing - the thick silky palate is saved from being too intimidating. It comes across as rich, full and flavoursome, but also approachable and drinkable.

A very nice brew. It's not bombed with hops, nor raw with alcohol like some American Strongs, but it comes across as a rich, complex, smooth and drinkable brew. Very nice.

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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 becktone
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes 10-13-09

Eye: Light golden copper in color and somewhat clear. Not crystal clear, but not hazy either. Its got clarity but its not extremely clear. Head formation and retention could use some help, but then again this is an 11%abv beer and I know that high alcohol beers have a harder time with getting a good head. Still it looks good.

Nose: As soon as it hits the glass huge coconut aroma hits the nose. It'd be harder to describe this brew's aroma better than the way the box describes it. Definitely biscotti in here. Wouldn't have been able to put a finger on it if it weren't for the description on the box. Almonds too, almost like the way the almond joy candy bar is, that's got coconut right? Overall great aroma, it doesn't disappoint.

Tongue: Big sweetness right upfront. That coconut is right up there with some malt sweetness too. More towards the finish I get toasted almonds. Alcohol is evident, but blends nicely with the beer. Finish is dry with a touch of hops. Oakiness comes through to mingle with the dry finish. Overall its a great brew.

Feel and Drinkability: Heavy on the palate with very little carbonaion, which is just as well since I feel that any more carbonation and this thing would feel wrong. Finish is dry. This is a nice beer to sip on, definitely worth a go at, but nothing that I'm all to excited about now that I've tried it. Sure its good, and I'll enjoy the rest of it. However, I won't seek this out again, and for the $12.99 I paid for it, its really not worth that to me. Yes, good, but I don't feel its worth $12.99 a bomber.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a golden color with a small light tan head that slowly falls to a ring. The nose is of caramel, malty with a little oak. The taste is Caramel malty with a little dry wood on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium body. A little frothy with active carbonation.
Overall a pretty nice beer.

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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 nickd717
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Jason's in Ellicott City, MD. Shared with the old man and my sister's boyfriend around Thanksgiving. Heard some awful things about this beer from local BAs and was looking forward to trying it.

Pours hazy reddish-amber color with a one-finger off-white head.

Aroma is sweet caramel malt, oak, nuts, and fruitiness. Sweetness is definitely evident.

Flavor is very sweet but not too much so. Caramel malt, toffee, bing cherries, almonds, and oak. Really, it's not too sweet. This beer is what it is, and for my money, it's not bad at all.

Smooth on the palate with medium body. Only mildly syrupy.

Drinkability is good for a beer this strong. Solid stuff overall, not nearly as bad as others would have me believe.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a- dark golden color, creamy head. nice.

s- smells sweet and creamy with a little oak, maybe a little butterscotch.

t- malty, a little boozy, vanilla/oak.

m- thick on the tongue but was a little too sweet.

d- the sweetness keeps this from being a real quaffer. was glad to be of a group for this one.

paired with the cuvee 2, this one got its ass kicked.

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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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