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

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Cuvee Series Three (Oak Aged Series)Cuvee Series Three (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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 144
Photo of dkepner
4.92/5  rDev +54.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber/burgundy color with a small head. Aroma of oak, vanilla, cherry, and caramel. Taste includes oak, vanilla, cherry, and caramel as well. It is a sweet malty delight with noticeable alcohol but not as noticeable as the 11% would suggest. Very smooth with medium to heavy body and moderate carbonation. Enjoyed at cellar temperature - I really loved this beer!

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Photo of Frosty80
4.82/5  rDev +51.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: pours clear, medium golden-brown. sits amber with brilliant clarity

Smell: first aromas to smack you in the face is the French oak followed by vanilla notes. as the beers breathes and opens up other fragrances are detectable. also coming through are hints of banana, chocolate and caramel followed by the coconut suggested on the box. alcohol is light and just noticeable in the back of the nose

Taste: LOTS of French oak, followed by vanilla, banana and coconut. some balls in my ass. just a hint of smokiness and maybe even a little bit of creamed corn. finish is woody with a somewhat dry sweetness and very low bitterness

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium body with medium carbonation

Notes: wonderfully complex and evolving brew.

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Photo of Pencible
4.42/5  rDev +39%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear reddish copper with some tan head.
S: It smelled like oak and vanilla and sweet toffee, with some tart metallic hops and earthy butterscotch.
T: It tasted like sweet honey and tart cherry and lots of oak and vanilla, with some metallic hops and earthy toffee and raisin. It had a rich bittersweet aftertaste that was very clean and smooth.
M: It was thick and viscous with some carbonation. Quite a full and velvety body.
D: After waiting over a year for this beer to be released, this was worth it. Super delicate and delicious, with great complex scent and taste. It had excellent body too, and the alcohol was fairly well hidden. So it was easy to drink, but it should be sipped. Age would probably help further improve (smooth out the metallic notes). But this is already phenomenal fresh. A top oak-aged ale (non-stout). Highly recommended.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.35/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Reddish coppery color. No sediment or haze. Definitely was filtered. Very little head.

S: I honestly do get elements of French and American Oak. Vanilla and caramel. Butterscotch, copper, marzipan, and maybe some sweetened condensed milk.

T: Very smooth. None of the harsh oakiness I was concerned would exist. Coppery, butterscotch, and hints of red ale flavors. French oak and malt flavors merge to produce subtle buttery caramel and mild vanilla.

M: Strikingly velvety texture. Good density and viscosity with exceptionally fine carbonation in sparing, yet sufficient quantity. Excellent.

D: Nice flavors and excellent texture. Relatively low alcohol flavor. Very nice cold or cellar temperature.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.32/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a dark copper color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that doesn't retain well before reducing to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and some ripples of surface foam. Slippery lacing leaves behind small, spotty foam on the side of the glass.

S- Very nutty with some cereal grain malt sweetness that's laced with oak and booze. Notes of almond, dark fruit and some bourbon.

T- Very smooth execution of malty sweetness, oak, caramel and vanilla flavors. There's a mild, underlying astringency that keeps things interesting while also exhibiting notes of dark fruit and raisin. The balance is remarkable as each sip brings more complexity to the palate. Certainly not highly quaffable, but all the flavors are in line with what one would expect from a beer of this magnitude thus resulting in an enjoyable drinking experience. A bit of oxidation might be what's driving this smoothness.

M- Thick and syrupy with medium-low carbonation and a medium-full body.

O- What got me with this one was just how nutty the aroma is. That and how much more enjoyable it was compared to the Series Two. Not the greatest extreme beer I've ever tasted, but it's worth the money ($10.99) in my eyes.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.28/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cuvee 3, bottle bought along the Delaware River not too far from Philadelphia for $8.99.

Bottled somewhere around 2008-2009? Enjoyed during a rainy, hot late August evening, 2016.

Cuvee 3 was a gusher, exploding in my bare chest and making a sticky mess like a beery bukkake. But this brew is not over-carbonated; just lively and jovial despite the eight years it's been brooding inside the bottle. The color is a deep auburn with a surprisingly hefty white-colored head that lives some lacing behind.

The smell is of sweetness, unhinged sweetness, oh-my-god-delicious-but-I-got-diabetes sugary sweetness. Sugar, toffee, iced-tea, butterscotch. Dyacetil galore.

The taste follows the nose, with added raisins, grapefruit juice and Mad Dog 20-20. Vanilla, toffee, some hops. Nuttiness, caramel. I don't get much oak or barrel-aging, though.

The mouthfeel is rather fine for such an old beer, and overall I am surprised at how good this still is. Drinkable, well preserved, fine. Yessir, it is a sugah bomb... but if you like sweet beers, you'll enjoy this brew. It reminded me of the Mikkeller Foret series I recently had.

Also, and judging by its current sweetness, you could age this another eight years and it'd still be drinkable. The sugar will mellow more and more... Cuvee 3 is like one of those English barleywines you can have after 20 years. I *get* the bad reviews, but can't agree with them.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.2/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Plan B in West Hartford, Conn.

A: Bold, deep amber color with slight ruby highlights showing great clarity and dense head of off-white foam. Looks pretty viscous and slightly mysterious with a chilled haze.

S: Complex bouquet of fruity malts and floral, bitter hops. There are apples, pears, citrus fruits and berry notes floating around this strong ale, with a whiff of alcohol to boot.

T: Rich, fruity malt complex up front showing signs of plum, raisin and lighter apple and citrus tones. The alcohol comes in around mid palate with a warming flavor before finishing with a fruity, herbal hop bitterness that lingers with some residual alcohol burn. The woody, tobacco and smooth oak flavors are at play the whole time.

M: Rich, full bodied and sweet brew. It's a little hot and boozy, but as a sipper, it's mighty fine.

D: The 11% ABV and rich, complex flavors of the Cuvee will make you want to sip on it and contemplate the play of flavors. Approach it in anything greater than tastes and the big, boozy flavor might turn you off. I'd pop a bomber sometime to share with those who appreciate it's fine, mellow, oaky qualities.

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Photo of weeare138
4.17/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at TJ's...
Appears a transparent amber with a small white cap that slowly fades into a tiny cap and collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of rum, peaches, vanilla, oak, coconut, citrus, and a touch of Southern Comfort.
Taste is of the aromas with a blending of peach, apricots, citrus, and vanilla cream being the standouts. A bit sweet but not too cloying given the intentions of this brew.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, warming, chewy, and slick on the finish.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.17/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brilliant Blind Pig in downtown Champaign.

Two frothy fingers of off-white foam top a clear amber-ruby body; somewhat fleeting head duration, and moderate lacing on the splendid Boulevard tulip. The oak emerges prominently in the smell, really enhancing the various aromas. It is very fruity--lots of berry, maraschino cherry--with some dark chocolate, and ginger with the oak; wonderful nose, very floral.

Good taste, heavy on the fruit. The oak is nice and slightly more subdued than I would have expected from the smell; not a bad thing. Well-hopped, it is also somewhat less malty than many strong ales I've had. This leaves the mouthfeel a little thin; it is not a full, robust texture. The taste is quite good, no doubt and, for its potency (11% ABV), I didn't find this a sipper at all. It is very flavorful, but lacked that strong ale heft in texture I really enjoy.

Overall, Cuvee Series Three is really good beer, surprisingly sweet and, while not overly complex, certainly distinct and creative enough to satisfy most ST fans. Good, innovative beer from one of the very best breweries around.

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Photo of Brad007
4.08/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this beer for a while now. Time to dig in and give it a taste.

Pours a nice burgundy color into my glass. Bright and yet, so inviting. What else can I say?

A wisp of oak is followed by cherry in the nose. Not overpowering. Simple enough to start with.

Wow. Sweet with cherry,plum and apple notes. The oak is safely at the back of the palate. A bit of alcohol warmth to heat up the throat. Interesting mix of flavors.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering cherry and apple. Oak adds more to the texture with a "woody" feel. Alcohol warmth is surprisingly not as strong as originally thought.

Complex and yet, quite drinkable for 11%. It's certainly in league with other "strong ales" in challenging the palate. Kind of like OA Arrogant Bastard but without the excessive alcohol heat and hops.

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Photo of tdm168
4.01/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Purchased this on a recent trip to NY over Thanksgiving weekend

A - ruby amber with a super-thin lacing of head that fades away instantly

S - huge breadiness, sugar, caramel, and something I can only describe as a baked potato

T - giant bready malts, sugary, some caramel, faint bitterness in the finish, there is some woodiness and oak in the finish, alcohol

M - full bodied, well carbonated, warming alcohol

This is certainly better than it's 3.22 average. I can see where it's a bit unbalanced and not well meshed. Being a blend of Cuvee 1 and 2, it seems that Cuvee 1 is more noticeable. The bready malts come through and dominate but it seems that Cuvee 2 provides a good deal of candy sugar and caramel. I'm glad that I had all 3 of this series. It's been a great privilege to be able to enjoy each one. This isn't the best of the series, but this is nice offering even if it's not the best balanced beer. I'm very glad I tried this beer.

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Photo of tigg924
3.98/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yeah--beer review #1,000. Wanted something special and I have always liked Southern Tier's big beers so here goes...

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: minimal head, clear, red-brown with tannins, medium carbonation

Smell: caramel, oak, and toffee

Taste: oak, deep caramel taste, pineapple, sugar, and vanilla

Mouthfeel: heavy body, sweet and oaky with noticeable alcohol, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A beer worthy of 1,000. A nice and super sweet malt bomb that I am sure will not appeal to all, but is a winner for me. This one is a sipper with flavors much in line with the other Cuvees in the series. Very complex, I will certainly look for this again. If you like the other Cuvee beers or malt bombs go out and get this one.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.97/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a glass of this at the Spinnerstown Hotel a few months ago and found it to be pretty good. The look of the beer had a red hue to it. The head lasted for a minute or so till the booze killed it off. The smell of the beer had a boozey sweetness to it. Some sugar and fermented fruits on the nose. The flavor was pretty strong, had some fruits and some vanilla in there. There was a bit of Belgian yeast in there too. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with not much carbonation. I thought this beer was the better of the three. But that's my opinion.

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Photo of Goatshaver
3.97/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A transparent dark amber brown color, small head that disappeared quickly

S: Sweet fruity, smell of cherries and oak barrel smell.

T: Very cherry taste so sweet immediate, then the oak aged barrel tastes come through with a little hops at the end.

M: Sweet flavor with a medium feel and bite of alcohol

D: I like the sweetness of it with the oak finish, but maybe a bit too sweet.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.88/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It is finally here. I never thought I would see the day. Thanks to the BA who added this about 2 years ago.

From the box:

Ale Impressions: Dark amber color rich caramel malt. flavor with noticeable bitterness. Slightly sweet and roasty finish with mild hop aroma.

Oak Impressions: Flavors of French and American oak imparting unique qualities present in series one and two. Impressions of vanilla toasted coconut and almond.

A: The beer pours a very clear deep reddish color with some amber and garnet highlights. A quarter finger of white head that quickly retreated to the rim of my excellisor tulip. Quite a bit of lacing especially for the ABV and oak aging.

S: The initial wave is of toasted oak. A nice amount of sweetness behind that. A touch of faded hops. Little bit of caramel with just a touch of toasted coconut.There is something else behind all that I cannot really describe but it is not that pleasant.

T: Starts off with quite a bit of sweetness and a touch of barrel melded alcohol. It lets you know it is there without becoming overwhelming. The oak comes out more as it warms. You get more vanilla as well. I get more American oak then French though. It has more a raw oak flavor to it. It has a nice heft malt profile. A touch of candi sugar but I get zero hops both in the aroma and in the taste. Little bit astringent as well.

M: Very thick medium body on the heavy side. Carbonation fell off after a little while in the glass.

D: I feel like I am drinking unicorn juice. I never thought I would see this beer released. It is a decent beer for sure but it is a little on the pricey side. A nice treat and I am glad I got to try them all. Curious how long this has been in the bottle/ barrel.

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Photo of Zachtheporter
3.81/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a Stella Artois Chalice.

A- A deep ruby amber with a head that dissipates right away.

S- Very overpoweringly woody and roasty. Hints of grain, caramel, biscuit and vanilla.

T- Tastes very strongly of roasted wood as well as being very carmally and slightly nutty. A very sweet beer there is also a very intense vanilla flavor. Their are some biscuit and bread notes very similar to a sweet desert. Slight hints of berry-like fruit. Very overwhelmingly complex.

M- Very rich with little carbonation, it has a full body that hangs to the side of the glass. Very thick. Heavily coats the inside of you're mouth.

O- This beer is super intense and definitely a sipper. That being said though it is very good, however I can definitely see where this could be considered bad for many people. You have to really be into rich and strong beers in order to enjoy this, not to mention you really have to enjoy the taste of oak in your beer. It is very overly sweet and very potent and not to mention powerful. I got to enjoy this beer on my 21st birthday with my father and we had a great time sipping it together. Definitely not for the weak of palate. I'm very glad that I bought this, especially since it was the last bottle at the specialty store that I frequent. Would love to have been able to try series one and two. While I thought that this beer was phenomenal I definitely have to give it only a 3.5 just because of the fact that it was so overly complex. Unless you really took a nice slow time sipping this beer it would almost be to hard to distinguish flavors and whatnot. I can definitely see where Southern tier was trying to go with this though and I can definitely respect what they were able to accomplish.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.78/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean orange-ish to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet and tart fruitiness, somewhat like white grapes. In the taste, Belgian candy sugar, fruity, and a small tartness. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry sugar and white grape in the aftertaste. A bit boozy, but a nice small tartness. Not bad at all.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.76/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark amber (not as dark/red as Number Two). Has about a one finger head that leaves some lacing

S-Very sweet smelling; orange, lemon, vanilla

T-The same sweet smells are present in the taste. The finish is not very bitter. Also lacking the oak tones that were prominent in the Number 2.

M-Medium bodied, slightly creamy

D-Sweetness limits the drinkability but better than the Number Two. If I can get my hands on Number One I'll try and update this compared to One, but the reviews for One are worse than this one.

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Photo of Westyn
3.7/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Looking at some of the reviews I am really scratching my head with this one. I really enjoyed this. It's super sweet. The only thing I had against the beer was the back end and after taste, was a little rubbery tasting.

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Photo of garbercury
3.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drunk. Steeler pre-game-ish...night before, on a bender...Take it for what it is worth...

A---Amber-reddish, not much lacing or carbonation but good.

S--Fruity esters in this one, lots of fruits on the nose, nice.

T--Continues with the flavors of raisin, grape, malt. Not too much oak, in fact, very little...Cloying!

M--Smooth feel.

D--Heavy, needs some time, super sweet...Stupid to open this so young. This needs a year or two before you open...Go Steelers!

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Photo of argock
3.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $11.99.

A: Amber-rose hue with 1-2 fingers of off-white frothy head with scattered lace formations.

S: Extraordinarily malty with almond, brown sugar, pecans, nougat, and vanilla notes with berryish alcohol. Hops have no presence. Very woody and vinous.

T: This borders on cloying but is unique with candied nut flavors, nougat, caramel syrup, and almond. Alcohol is very strong throughout and hops make no appearance.

M: The carbonation is low and the body is full. The alcohol is a bit too heavy to bump it up a notch.

O: A little too cloyingly sweet but it is awfully interesting with the nutty, candy flavors bringing a decadent sweet brew. I think some time in the cellar would help this brew mellow and smooth out to some extent.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle. I know this has some age on it since I bought the bottle about a year ago, but I figured I'd drink it anyway since I had tried the Cuvée Series 1 and 2 in the past. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a hazy ruby red/amber color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is sweet and malty, it smells like caramel, brown sugar, coconut, vanilla and some oak. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some dark fruit and a slight medicinal flavor. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's syrupy and sticky with low carbonation. Overall I thought this was a solid brew, but I do wonder what it was like when fresh. $8.99 a bottle.

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Photo of gford217
3.58/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear deep amber with a small wispy beige head that recedes quickly to a thin collar.

Aroma is strong and sweet. Starts with lots of vanilla and spicy oak, then some caramel and coconut. Definitely some fruits, alcohol-soaked pears maybe.

The taste is even sweeter and with a big alcohol kick. I'm getting even more coconut and almonds, which I didn't get in the aroma. Vanilla, caramel and raisins bringing the sweetness before the finish which is all about the dry French oak.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied but feels heavier because of the alcohol, which is certainly not hidden.

Given the spectacular blends out there (FW especially), this one isn't all that impressive. If you're a fan of oak-heavy, sweet, boozy strong ales, this will be right up your alley.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light brown amber color with a huge cream colored head that stayed for a while. Decent lacing falling down the sides.

Smell was very sweet of caramel with an almost a bourbon or whiskey smell to it. But it was a touch off, not having the depth to it that I had hoped it would. The taste was very intresting, but again seeemed to be lacking that push to make it over the top. Clean barrel, oak, bourbon, touch of fig and prune with a vanilla touch to it. Very crisp with a slight touch of alcohol. Sweet caramel malts and a bit of a wooden hop back. This is a very complex beer, I just wish it was a little more evolved

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Photo of glid02
3.51/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Trappeze in Athens, GA.

Pours a clear honey-copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of very sweet caramel malts with large amounts of vanilla and toffee. Also present are hints of burnt sugar aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Almost cloyingly sweet malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by syrupy toffee. Midway through the sip vanilla beans work their way into things, carrying through to a decidedly sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is not very good. I had a hard time finishing my glass and would not order another.

Overall I think many of ST's beers are over the top but this one was too much for me. Some nice flavors were lurking beneath the sweetness but unfortunately they weren't allowed to shine. Still, it's worth a shot to see for yourself.

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Cuvee Series Three (Oak Aged Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.18 out of 5 based on 144 ratings.
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