Salted Caramel Imperial Ale
Southern Tier Brewing Company

Salted Caramel Imperial AleSalted Caramel Imperial Ale
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Style:
Strong Ale - American
Ranked #68
ABV:
8.6%
Score:
89
Ranked #8,330
Avg:
4.17 | pDev: 8.63%
Reviews:
13
Ratings:
30
From:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
 
New York, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  2
Gots
  3
SCORE
89
Very Good
Salted Caramel Imperial AleSalted Caramel Imperial Ale
Notes: Ale brewed with pink Himalayan sea salt and natural caramel flavor.

25 IBU
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 30 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle from my friend Cullen. Best by 10/13/21. Into Bomb snifter.

Pours an as-predicted root beer color with shades of tea, 20% transparent, with a grey fingernail of head.

Aroma is salted caramel squares and pretzel. I can practically taste the chewy homemade caramel already. Let's see how it translates.

Caramel comes through nicely, with an equal intermingling of salt and bitterness. Strong imperial amber ale characteristics. It's not too sweet though I could have used a touch more sweetness. This is more like licking the bottom side of the wax paper that the caramel was on. Some hints of sweet caramel square on the finish. The rest of it drinks like a heavy amber ale.

Feel is slick and wet with lots of heat, some busy carbonation, and a drying finish. Medium bodied. Reminds me of Alltech's barrel offerings.

Overall, a pretty decent beer, not sure I'd be pining for it again though. They have done better in their dessert series.

Feb 17, 2021
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jjamadorphd from Florida

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A great surprise for an imperial ale, great surprise...

Most imperials I drink are bourbon barrel aged and stouts or porters, this being an ale was different from what I normally come across. Boy, was I impressed. The beer had a nice gradient hue of very dark caramel in color with a smell that is full of salted caramel. Truly a special offering from ST, a seasonal I will be on the lookout from here on out...

Jan 11, 2021
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buschbeer from Ohio

4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a nonic pint glass

This beer pours a deep brown color with mahogany highlights. It is topped with an inch of tan head that leaves some nice lacing,

It has a sweet caramel sauce aroma.

The taste is sweet but not cloying. I get a buttload of caramel and not much else.

Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel

This is a sweet, dessert beer. I think giving the caramel treatment to a stout or adding some other flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, or coffee to this beer would have made it not so one dimensional. Of course, that is not what they were going for. It is just a personal preference on my part. It is good for what it is, a caramel, dessert ale.

Dec 30, 2020
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Peach63 from New York

4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep amber with a 1/2 inch tan head. Moderate lacing.

Aroma of caramel, maple, molasses.

Taste is caramel, salt, maple, molasses.

Medium bodied, lively carbonation. Oily, sweet, salty finish.

Wow! One of the best Southern Tier beers. Outstanding!

Dec 25, 2020
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trevormajor from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, vintage 10/2020, poured into a Untappd 10 year birthday glass at 50 degrees F:
L - dark brown with a head that dissipated quickly
S - caramel, butterscotch
T - caramel, butterscotch, sea salt is understated, but it is there
F - medium mouthfeel and carbonation
O - very nice flavor, heavy on caramel and butterscotch

Dec 18, 2020
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Rich brown with a light tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly leaving behind minimal lacing.
S - Rich, sweet, salted caramel and malt
T - Follows the nose: rich, sweet, salted caramel up front and throughout along with sweet roasted malts and toffee. Some nuttiness as well.
F - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O - Pretty straight forward - salted caramel ale that promises on the flavors. Solid beer.

Dec 17, 2020
Photo of Newbeergeek1
Newbeergeek1 from Maine

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This had to be a least three years old when I popped the cap. It was kinda of hidden in the back of my beer closet. I had a “friend” who is not to bright so I had him try it first. You know, quality comptroller”. He gave it a thumbs up and I tried mine and it was pretty damned good. Poured dark, had a lot of smell to it and we slowly finished it off to kudos

Dec 05, 2020
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was very excited to see this Bottle (eek!) available as a single during one of my recent visits to the Friendly Greek Bottle Shop (FGBS)! I have long been a fan of Southern Tier BC & their beers plus I like the taste of salted caramel despite generally eschewing sweets. There is something about sea salt that speaks to me as a retired Navy sailor. For this one, I even splurged & bought a bag of Herr's Salted Caramel Enrobed Pretzels as an accompaniment. Pretzels & beer are a south-central PA staple as mentioned in my review of Aldus Pretzel Ale so this was a no-brainer. Good thing, since I have no brain remaining. ;=)

From the Bottle (wow!): "Ale brewed with pink Himalayan sea salt and natural caramel flavor"; "Made with milk sugar".

I Pop!ped the cap & started a slow, steady C-Line pour into the awaiting glass. It foamed mightily to form two-plus fingers of fizzy, foamy, roiling, deep-tan head with extremely limited retention. Color was a gorgeous Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with button-brightness for clarity. 8=O Nose was quite sweet with a definite caramel bent, but I was not getting the sea salt as intensely as I would have liked. Mouthfeel was medium, but very solid, almost still in the mouth & on the tongue. The taste was (thankfully, for me) MUCH less sweet than the nose had led me to gird myself for/against. It certainly tasted like caramel, but I would have liked a more assertive presence from the salt. The salt had a perceptible presence, but only barely. I was sorely tempted to grind some pink Himalayan sea salt of my own into it as I drank through it. I restrained myself from doing so, especially since the pretzels definitely brought a nice saltiness to the equation. They were an inspired purchase on my part! Mmm. Finish was semi-sweet & commendable for keeping its sweetness in check. This could have easily been a sugary malt bomb, but it was not. It appears that I can be aged for up to a year, so I may buy another bottle to do just this. YMMV.

Nov 27, 2020
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ScaryEd from New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep copper color with hints of mahogany. The head is small and khaki colored, but it has good retention, eventually settling into a thin halo. No lacing but that's expected.

The aroma is caramel chews. That's it. Pleasant but that's literally all I pick up. No subtle notes of coffee or chocolate or anything else. Just caramel candy.

The flavor is shockingly not a cloying mess. This time there are some subtle toffee notes, roasted malts, and cashews. There's a literal tidal wave of vanilla that was not expected. It kind of overpowers the caramel flavor, which is also pretty strong. Like vanilla ice cream with caramel swirls. The salt character is present throughout but a bit too subtle.

The feel is full bodied, sticky, syrupy and boozy as hell. Moderately low carbonation. Far too boozy for an 8.6% beer.

Overall, this is a pretty solid strong ale that comes about exactly as advertised. The "salted" part is a bit restrained but the caramel assaults you while wearing a wife beater. Southern Tier goes a little overboard with their stronger beers but this one isn't too bad. It's very sweet, but not to the point of giving me diabetes.

Nov 22, 2020
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Roguer from Connecticut

3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very mild head, quickly fading to a thin ring of almost pinkish foam. Body is a dark coppery amber, apparently clear but quite dark.

Unsurprisingly, massive amounts of caramel on the nose, reminiscent of caramel taffy or candy. Sweet. Pretty much one-note, but it's a really pleasant note, and fits the name.

Flavor follows, and it is indeed very salty. Tons of caramel, along with a sweet malt base. Toffee, caramel, dark fruit, cola, salt. Finishes a touch metallic and grainy.

Medium-to-full body, but very lively. Drinks fairly easy, despite the ABV and sweetness.

Nov 22, 2020
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EnderFett11 from Virginia

4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured moderately hard from a bottle into a snifter glass, forming a finger of tan head that soon faded to a bit of lacing. Dark amber and transparent body. Smells like salted caramel, but almost like salted caramel ice creams I've had. Tastes exactly like the name and the smell, delicious salted caramel, but somehow reminds me of ice cream. However, its not excessively sweet. If you like salted caramel, this is a must-have. Just shy of medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Super tasty dessert beer, but not so sweet it has to be sipped.

Nov 14, 2020
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BB1313 from Ohio

4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best by 10/13/21. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a dark brown with auburn hues; creamy light khaki head that fades leaving nice retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are all vanilla. Vanilla cream, vanilla frosting and vanilla extract. Malts are there. The flavors follow the nose. It's basically all vanilla once again along with some hints of cocoa. The caramel is there, but I honestly forgot this was "caramel ale". The saltiness characteristics are subtle. The vanilla outweighs everything. It's surprisingly not overly sweet. There's even a little bitterness going on in the finish. Malts do their thing. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full-bodied with very active carbonation. It's sharp, crisp and spritzy.

This is a nice brew. It has the aromas and flavors that you expect from their Creme Brulee stout. This definitely seems more like a showcase of vanilla than caramel, but it still works. It might have some artificial vibes, but that's what comes with alot Southern Tier's beers. It's pretty enjoyable and fun to drink.

Nov 12, 2020
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teromous from Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From the right side of the label: "BESTBY 10/12/21 LKW 20286 233358"

Appearance: The body is a very dark brown-red color with a deep cherry wood color. The small amount of light that does make it through has good clarity. The head is short and creamy textured with an off-tan color.

Aroma: Vanilla pops out immediately and it is very strong. Next comes a very clear caramel candy scent. It smells exactly like a chewy caramel candy cube.

Taste: Up front there is this very sweet tasting caramel flavor with a bit of toasted toffee. There is bit of a coffee liqueur flavor up front. The middle is mostly the same as the flavor at the beginning but it has a much stronger alcohol flavor. Towards the back of the mouth it is mostly bitter ends of burnt caramel tailing from the sweet caramel beginnings. The aftertaste is caramel candy.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full bodied. It feels smooth and rewarding to drink.

Overall: The only real downside to the beer is the obvious alcohol presence but it isn't terrible given that this beer is "ALC 8.6 % BY VOL" (as indicated by the label). The strength of the beer is how it tastes just like its caramel namesake. I could definitely drink it again and I would recommend it to anyone with a sweet tooth.

Oct 31, 2020
Salted Caramel Imperial Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 30 ratings