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.

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 146
Photo of Avagadro
1.83/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: Ruby in color, clear body, decent head given the ABV. Overall, a fine looking ale.

S: Bouquet is well presented, with honey, cantaloupe, and cinnamon clashing in an excessively sweet mess.

T: Sweet cannot begin to describe this beer. Even "cloying" seems to fall short. There are plenty of good flavors here (vanilla, creme brulee, melon) but this beer is just too damn sweet to enjoy them.

M: Heavy, sticky, flabby...

D: I've read a few other reviews of this beer that address this beer's sweetness, but few have given the score to back it up. I am fairly open minded to the flavors a beer can /should posses, but this is just a mess. Avoid at all cost.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.4/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at the grumpy bulldog in naperville. 10oz snifter.

A- its brought to me in a big eddy snifter looking very dark brown colored body with a pretty much nonexistent head. what little there is looks like a crown of khaki colored bubbles. no lacing left behind.

S- sweet caramel malts and brown sugar are the first things to hit my nose. after that i get a bunch of vanilla and coconut from the oak. alcohol and toffee are also quite prevalent. slightly fruity.

T- very sweet right off the bat. plenty of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar. after that i pick out some cherries and pears. the oak comes through with plenty of force. lots of coconut and vanilla. alcohol and faded hops at the end.

M- medium bodied, maybe bordering on full. a low level of carbonation makes this quite syrupy. moderate to strong warming from the alcohol. decently smooth.

D- i dont think i could have ordered another one. it didnt thrill me, and then i found out that this little snifter cost $9. ouch. definitely wont buy another at that price.

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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 lordofthewiens
3.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A 22oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Dark amber color, thin off-white head. A little bit of lace.
Oaky, vanilla aroma. Sweet caramel.
Caramel, fruity, some hop bitterness. Kind of understated.
This beer was way too sweet. So sweet that it became not very enjoyable.

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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 Billolick
3.2/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber, comes dressed up in a box, $11.99 @ Cable Bev. in Bardonia (Rockland County), NY. No freshness/vintage info offered.

Pours clear, glowing medium amber with a distinct reddish, slightly warmingly golden hue. Minor head, off white in color, fine bubble in nature and leaving just the slightest of lace.

Fruity sweet nose, with some vanilla and rum.

The obvious problem with this one is...its too damn sweet....near cloyingly so...more fruit, some vanilla infused rum, but beneath it all, unfortunatly cough syrup comes to mind. Not my favorite, lots of better beer out there...

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Photo of Vierenner
3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

If not for the hops I might think I was drinking a carbonated after dinner liqueur, 22 ounces of it. I like a sweeter beer but this is over the top. I don't remember the Series Two batch being nearly so sweet ... perhaps my taste has just become more refined since then!

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Photo of beersensei305
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Live review:

A: Pours a clean amber, with a tan head tat foams big then reduces to an average size no real lacing around the glass

S: Sweet woody a little booze some caramel

T: Nutty coocnt flavor off the first sip- after reading the box it came in must be from the first series, I've never had a cocnut beer. nuttiness must be almond. burnt caramel, oakyness and then bitter either from hops or wood

M: Rather light but creamy sliky average carbonation- syrupy sticky when it dries

D: Different. I have never had a coconut beer before very different. worthy of trying. complex in the catergory as Dogfish's immort ale

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Photo of oglmcdgl
2.23/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at terrace taproom.

A- small fizz of off white head on arrival that settles quickly leaving only a small wisp on top. Dark bronze orange brown in color with a nice glow to it.

S- sweet caramel and toffee and lots of them. Small vanilla oaky touch and light fruity flair.

T- super sweet with loads of caramel and toffee just too much really. The oak doesn't make to big of an impression. Bits of sweet candied fruits and vanilla. Slight hints of wheat bread at times.

M- on the fuller side of medium in body with a light carb. Not really any hint of the abv but its almost needs it how sweet it is.

D- way to sweet completely over powering. Not one ill try again.

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Photo of Mavajo
2.6/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Amber color with a moderate cream/white head.

Nose has notes of herbal/floral, zesty tangerine characteristics. Oak notes back it all up. Decent nose - interesting.

Taste - wowzers. The wheels are falling off here. This is not enjoyable. Very sweet, with strong caramel malt and toffee characteristics and oak notes - backed up by a sort of herbal/floral undertone. There's an unpleasant bitter aftertaste here that just lingers and lingers on the palate. When it was cold, it was at least drinkable - as it warmed, though, this turned into a disaster. Not in the least bit enjoyable. I soldiered on through about half the bottle, but I'm gonna have to dump the rest - and this is after already drinking a bomber of Black Butte. If a bomber of ~10% can't make a beer drinkable, that beer has problems.

Mouthfeel is decent in the thickness and carbonation department. Very sticky though.

Overall, this beer is a failure in the taste department. I find nothing redeeming about this brew, and I would not drink it again even if it was offered for free. Extremely disappointed in Southern Tier.

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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 alleykatking
3.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a reddish brown color. One finger off white head shows light retention dying to whisps of foam on the top of the beer. Some long streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- To be honest I get a shit ton of pineapple notes on this. Almost overpowering in the pineapple. There is a light sweetness as far as caramel malts go. Don't really get much else and nothing really stands out in the beer. Almost to sickly sweet and one sided.

T- Tons of caramel malts in the front of this kick off the sweet rush. Lots of pineapple like flavors with a hint of toffee malts in the middle of the beer. Light oak notes in the very ending with some alcohol..well some sweet alcohol in the ending.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little light overall I would say. Sweet malts and pineapple left on the palate. Aftertaste is a lot of pineapple and sweet alcohol. Medium heavy drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors were one dimensional and sickly sweet a lot of the time. No off flavors could be detected.

D- This beer is just average. It comes off very sweet at times but that just cuts back on drinkability. The ABV is hidden well but only because the sugary sweetness overtakes everything. Higher ABV limits this beer but the sweetness really kills this beer for me.

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Photo of Kikkycat
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On draft at Capital Ale House, Fredericksburg, VA Saturday Jan. 8th.

A: deep reddish brown. Quarter finger of beige head, dissipating as quickly as I can text this post. Head is, a few minutes later, totally gone but some good lacing remains.

S: raisins, overripe fruit

T: sweet and tart in tandem. Raisins, peach or apricot, sugar, vanilla. As it warms it heads into the sweet side more noticeably.

M: firm and pleasant body

D: it'd be a tough one to drink a lot of, based on ABV alone. It's also too much on the sweet part of the palate.

I tend to run hot and cold on Southern Tier. I've been disappointed as often as I've bern pleased. Unfortunately, this one leans more towards disappointment for me.

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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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Photo of YouSkeete
3.09/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Transparent mahogany, reddish brown tint. Practically no head whatsoever, hardly any lacing as well. This looks intimidating.

S: Sweet caramel malts, floral fruits and some oak-aged notes all present in the nose. Alcohol is present also.

T: Overwhelmingly cherry-ish fruity sweetness immediately makes me scrunch my face up like i ate 200 warheads. Caramel malts are also on the strong side. French Oak flavor permeates throughout the entire taste. subtle hops make their way to the surface.

M: Medium carbonation, medium body. Boozy, and especially sweet.

D: Way too sweet, WAY too sweet. Other than that, a good 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 tchaos
2.21/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Shaker pint, then snifter.

A -- Deep amber/copper color with next to no head

S - smells sweet and rich

T -- cloyingly sweet...Phenomenally out-of-control sweetness that masked anything and everything else. I tried....I really did. I had crackers, I tasted it at various temps...just dizzying, phlegm-inducing sweetness.

M -- full, with low carbonation

D -- I'm certain to be an outlier, but sweet to the point of drain pour. I should have paid more attention to the owner's body language when I asked how it was...and definitely should have gotten a sample before ordering one. If you like Wild Blue, or white zin, have a go...

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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 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 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 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 John_M
3.15/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with fairly good head retention and lacing. The nose is very sweet, showcasing considerable vanilla, cherry cough drop and hawaiin punch. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this extremely sweet beer. Diabetics need to be warned off of this one. Wow! This beer tastes like liquid cherry cough drops, with some honey, vanilla and orange cough syrup thrown in for good measure. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly long, sweet finish. As for drinkability, this beer is so boozy, so cloyingly sweet and heavy on the palate, it's hard to believe this is what the brewer was going for. The combination of sweetness and all too noticeable alcohol is nearly enough to make me gag.

Have not been a big fan of the Cuvee series, but this is the worst yet from ST IMHO. Back to the drawing board guys... this is just undrinkable.

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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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Cuvee Series Three (Oak Aged Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.18 out of 5 based on 146 ratings.
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