Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #37
Ranked #32,745
3.74 | pDev: 16.04%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Notes: Swedish flags are a fairly common sight in our part of the country. Holiday parties often have warm concoctions of spices and booze at the ready to knock the ice off of toes while raising spirits. We were inspired by a “Glögg” party, deciding on the spot to brew a beer that pays tribute to this Nordic tradition. 2XMAS ale combines traditional brewing ingredients with figs, orange peels, cardamom, cinnamon, clove and ginger root. It’s a holiday addition to the 2X line and another reason to toast to the season, but unlike Glögg, we recommend serving this one chilled.
Reviews: 309 | Ratings: 1,611 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of PathofChaos
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pure amber; not bright, not dark, not tinged with orange. The very definition of the color. A small pale head forms when poured hard but dissipates in a hurry.

Allspice, cloves, cinnamon, orange rind, and toasted grains.

Baked wheatbread and cloves dominate, making 2XMAS unexpectedly savory. Warm cinnamon isn't far behind, arriving hand-in-hand with allspice. Orange rind and fig are late to the party, but their presence is notable nonetheless. It's an unlikely group of diverse flavors that come together in one place and somehow seem to get along, kinda like a big family gathering on Christmas.

Medium body, mild carbonation, and all that spice-induced warmth makes 2XMAS cozy and predictable with each sip.

I find 2XMAS wanting. The exotic bushel of flavors listed on the package are all very tame, almost boringly so. I'd hoped the fig paste would be more audacious, the orange peel sweeter, the cinnamon to come out and dance more often. Instead, in an unusual turnaround, Southern Tier plays it safe, each aspect of 2XMAS making a polite appearance but ultimately falling short of the engaging piquancy I hoped it would be. But hey, that's a family Christmas gathering in a nutshell. Cheers!

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Photo of izraelc
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours amber. Heavy clove aroma. Sweet and spicy with a slight malt character that brings it all together. Orange and clove throughout. A pretty solid Christmas ale with some kick.

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Photo of good_to_sea
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice-smelling beer with some tasty ginger, clove, cinnamon, and orange/lemon. A little bit weird and underwhelming, but not bad. I would like to try more beers in this style.

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Photo of HalfFull
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This years 12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter glass, I wasn't quite sure what I was getting with this single. The pour is clear with a dark mahogany color and offers a light cap of tan foam.

Aroma is originally rather light(though cold) but with obvious notes of mulling spices going on. Warming brings out muddled spice with cinnamon/clove dominant after some exposure. Bit more ginger/fig with a swirl or through a cap of foam.

Taste offers a malty though not cloying delivery of flavor. Cinnamon stands out with some clove in there as well, muddled with some rich but not too caramel malts. A decent balance really, though spiced for sure. Not feeling the cardamom and that's ok, and the figs seem to add some depth to the body perhaps yet without any obvious influence on the taste.

Feel is fairly crisp for the ABV, yet light in apparent sweetness. Festive yet approachable and not overly spiced as I might have feared. Well done.

D.O.B., 10/18/2019

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(12 oz bottle, DOB 10/11/19; purchased single off shelf... poured into a fat tulip)

L: brilliantly-clear, dark tawny (or reddish copper?) liquid; tiny spritz of sediment made it in; pale tan, bubbly foam on pour, slowly receding... keeps messy collar, laces very little

S: very ginger and cardamom-forward, with the former most present as it pours, and the latter taking over as it settles... clove, cinnamon, and those types of phenols/spices merely a background coloring, as well as a hint of fruitcake... perhaps a little spicy booze poking through; great vibrancy and potency overall, but arguably lacking some malt richness to balance the spices

T: very much a mirror of the aromas, but with a bit more cinnamon and toasty medium-order caramel malt pushing forward; ginger snap and spicy orange aftertaste, with of course the cardamom shining a light mid-top... not getting any overt 'fig' notes, but didn't expect to, though their musky innards may be coloring the dark-toasted caramel a bit... little residual sweetness; the aftertaste is cut (by the booze) just enough

F: light-bodied, but densely infused with oily spice textures and booze legs, though it still finishes out relatively mild (little warmth)... soft and almost silky; an easy chug, but I'd likely be one-and-done

O: I happen to, in cooking, enjoy all the spices here, so the choices, blend, and presentation all work well enough... I almost bought a sixer before even trying this, but I don't think I would've been too terribly disappointed by such a gamble... could be tempted to (and probably will) buy another bottle or two - kind of like a heavily, egregiously spiced winter warmer?! (1608)

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Photo of Historiker
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This is a pretty standard “middle of the pack” Christmas beer. Where in the middle? Debatable.

The inclusion of cardamom and cloves gives this a distinctly different flavor from its peers. I wouldn’t call it a spice bomb, but it’s absolutely spice forward.

Color was a nice reddish-copper, head vanished like a fart in the wind. Cloves and Cardamom up front, faint cinnamon finish. It’s a fine holiday beer, but there are better (and far worse) out there.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Date of birth 10/11/19, so a month old.

Looks nice in the glass, dark auburn body with a good size off white head. This reduces to a thick ring leaving only a little lacing.

Aromas of cinnamon, ginger, and cardoman.

Upon tasting, the spice mix is strong, and unfortunately comes off a little bitter and harsh. Cardoman and cinnamon seem to be the culprits here. The malt background isn't strong enough to balance it out. A little sweetness would have helped this one a lot.

Mouth above medium, finish harsh spices. There is a little warmth in the back of the throat.

Overall, perhaps a couple more weeks in the bottle would help this one. As it stands, it's a bit too bitter and harsh.

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Photo of EnderFett11
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass, resulting in a finger of off-white that faded quickly. Color is reddish-amber and pretty translucent. Smells of cinnamon and orange peel. Taste is amber ale in the background, with cinnamon and then orange peel coming at the end. As it warms, more cardamom and other hard to identify fruit tastes come through. Pretty light bodied with little carbonation. An excellent holiday beer.

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Photo of MoMaMe
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Found this at Total Wine in January on clearance, so for the price, thought it was at least worth a try. I was not disappointed. I like the taste, although this is not an ale I would want to drink frequently. Good for a cold, winter's night and to have something out of the ordinary.

"Spiced Double Ale" The name says it all... This kind of reminds me of those German orange/fruit spiced cookies you can get around Christmas time - only in the alcoholic form. I did not drink this one fully chilled, which is perhaps why the alcohol "taste" was a bit strong. Will try this one again more chilled to compare.

Pours a clear amber with not too much foam.

Nose is candied orange slices, clove, and cardamom.

Taste - heavy on the alcohol "flavor" with a lot of spice that lingers on the palate. The spices are strong, so this is a slow-drinking beer as the flavors get a little overwhelming after a bit. However, the flavor is good.

Feel is okay... a bit of carbonation and the clove leaves a "bite" lingering/tingling on the tongue, but surprisingly smooth.

Overall, this is worth a try if you like Christmas baking spices and fruits. Not my favorite and the flavors can get overwhelming after a bit, but tasty and unusual.

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Photo of haines710
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

All cloves and spice. This baby is a holiday treat. Definitely a late night end of the night kind of beer. Smooth drinking not much malt or hops. Just spice. Good for once a year. Glad I just got a bottle.

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Photo of rudiecantfail
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Clear, burnt amber color. Light orangeish head with little retention and no lacing.

S---They advertised it, and they nailed it. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and a light touch of orange. Absolute spice bomb. I suppose fig paste would've shown up too, if I knew what it was and could identify it.

T---Follows the nose perfectly. A spice bomb, as advertised.

F---Practically no carbonation. Medium feel. I'd call the mouthfeel, "Meh".

O---This one isn't exactly my cup of tea, but it hits the marks of both style and advertising, so I graded it higher than I actually liked it.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I have resolved to drink more Southern Tier beers since they make so many good ones I've either not reviewed or missed entirely. This Christmas themed ale has an odor of straight herbs and fruit, as advertised: plenty of figs and cinnamon and ginger and clove that I can tell.

There is balance and booze alongside the spice, which is still the primary player in the flavor and well into the aftertaste. Could probably stand a smoother mouthfeel and less carbonation. Fine, but not awesome.

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Photo of KonigObHops
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer was poured from a 12 oz. bottle that I purchased at a local craft beer store. It poured an amber color with a thin beige head.

The aroma was loaded with spices - cinamon, ginger and cloves are very noticeable.

The initial taste was laced with ginger and cinamon. It was slightly hoppy in the middle, but finished with the cloves. There is a faint hint of orange at the very end.

The mouthfeel is crisp with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a pr tty typical craft Christmas Ale. I would take a Belgian Christmas Ale over this any day of the week, but it is as good as any domestic Christmas Ale I have had.

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Photo of Fatheroftoomany
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep amber color and smells of ginger and cinnamon. Complex flavor profile as I tasted something different with each sip. Coats the mouth roughly but has very nice aftertaste.

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Photo of theamericanpsycho79
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hello and Merry Christmas all. Sad to announce my usual holiday corsendonk ale wasn't available this year at my local store. I didn't want to really get the St. Bernardus ale again at its price, nothing wrong with it but hey, car payment...bills, etc. Okay... I saw this for my first time at the same store at $13 for a 6 pack. Okay, good deal! Knew nothing about it but I know I love Southern Tier ales. I decided to go for it since $13 isn't bad at all for a 6 pack and sadly I missed out on my Pumking this year. On the spot review!

Look: amber, redish hue. Really pretty, nice lacings, no head though, little carbonation. Virtually went from fizz to silent in seconds. Hmmm. But nice Christmasy color though, so that counts.

Smell: well hot damn. Christmasy, what can I say??? Typical delicious Southern Tier ale aroma with cinnamon, cloves, sweet fruit presence lurking right in the middle of it all which shouts "happy holidays, have a drink!" I really like this, holidays or not, you're going to likely close your eyes and envision it.

Taste: no burn, no heavy alcohol presence, smooth, refreshing, balanced. Slightly typical dry-ish mouthfeel associated with Southern Tier followed by spiciness. I think this should be enjoyed with Christmas dinner, perhaps smoked turkey or honey glazed ham. Each sip is so flavorful yet not overwhelming. What a delicious holiday treat.

Feel: a bit dry, lingers on the palette slightly. Barely any carbonation and mild alcohol presence. It's smooth, the alcohol doesn't overwhelm or hide the spicy notes a bit.

Overall: I liked this quite a bit and likely may try it again if I don't find my usual holiday ale (or overdo it again on alcoholic egg nog again). For the price it's really great, Southern Tier delivers another great holiday oriented ale. Perhaps this isn't QUITE as flavorful as Pumking or and nowhere near the alcohol content and heavy complexity of Warlock. But it's quite a bit cheaper and you can enjoy a few the same night without dulling your senses too much. Perfectly sippable holiday ale, have a great Christmas dinner, sit back and watch a great holiday movie and enjoy this one.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear reddish brown becoming almost garnet hued when held to the light. The pour produces 2+ fingers of frothy, clumpy, moderately lasting, tan head that leaves a thick island of surface cap and moderate collar ring but little lacing. The paucity of lace being a disappointment based on the promise of the head. Aroma is a balance of spices: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves; and deeply toasted dark malts: grainy cornbread, roast, roasted nuts, brown sugar and raisin. Taste is deeply malty with dancing spices: dark & roasted malts, pumpernickel, cornbread, cola, toffee, dark fruit, cloves, ginger and cinnamon spiciness. The malt gives way to the spices in the finish where bitterness develops. The aftertaste is cola, cloves/cinnamon/ginger and burnt malt bitter. Mouthfeel is medium, ever so slightly pushing towards heavy bodied with moderate-high carbonation, a little lively in the mouth with crawling spice and prickly carbonation. It is smoothed by the deep maltiness to become creamy, thinly syrupy & mildly chewy. Like Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig it is absolutely delightful! Truth be told this brew's complexity rises a few notches above Old Fezziwig.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am continuing my New Southern Tier Beer Sunday (Week 713) by delving into the past with this entry from my Bottle Backlog. I had intended to drink this, among several other beers, last Christmas, but I ran out of both steam & time. I also have a thought for the hive mentality: Our local paper had an article about making Mulled Cider, but she was doing so in her SLOW COOKER! Her CROCK POT! 8=O I have mulled beer before, but using a double boiler, not a crock pot. Has anyone tried this? I am so curious as to how this might work with beer. I might break down & buy one with digital settings as her mentions of "Low" & "Warm" seem a little too general to prevent overcooking. Hmm.
HMU if you have 4-1-1!

From the Bottle: "Spiced Double Ale Brewed with Orange Peels, Ginger Root, Cardamom, Fig Paste, and Cloves"; "Why the hell not?"

I am SO curious to try this, especially thanks to their use of fig paste! It will only begin with a Pop! of the cap, followed by a C-Line pour into the awaiting glass. I was dissatisfied by the lack of head so I gave it a vigorous in-glass swirl that raised just under two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with great retention, leaving loads of lacing in its wake. Color was a beautiful Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. The nose was evident from the moment that I Pop!ped the cap & began the pour! It was redolent with spices and I could easily discern clove, ginger & cinnamon. It was like liquefied potpourri! Mmm. I could easily see mulling this one. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but close. The taste not only had the spiciness of the nose, but the orange peels gave it a great citrusy sweetness. The malt had a breadiness that put me in mind of brown bread or spice cake. Mmm. Oh, man, this was great! The weather took an unexpected turn for chilly/cold overnight & this beer was just the ticket for this afternoon. I may get a couple/few bottles of this year's release for experimentation. Finish was dry, as should be expected any time that spices are used in quantity as adjuncts. Rating to Style should really elevate this beer's numbers. What's not to like?

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Christmas in April! Bought a few on clearance from Dry Tavern. It reminds me of Juicy Fruit gum....in a good way. Very well balanced in all ways. Excellent, Southern Tier!

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Photo of Nass
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best herb/spiced beers I ever tasted. It sort of reminds me of a pumpkin ales due to the spices that were used. Well balanced & the high abv is hidden well. A 4 pack of this would be great for a special occasion. I agree with the malts being masked but hey that's not that big of an issue in my opinion. I don't know what everybody is ranting about this beer I think that it's good. Cheers! A-

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Photo of Fee
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Classified as a Winter Warmer. The beer is a beautiful Amber. Smell is strong and complex. Cinnamon notes are strong in the taste - and that is good - but is gets obscured by the mish-mash of other flavors. This is a fine beer but lacks direction.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle
DOB: 10/19/17

Poured into a tulip a pretty nice translucent dark golden amber color, pretty nice carbonation, with a small fizzy/creamy light tan head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is pretty nice, malty, with some nice orange, ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, clove notes. The taste is also pretty nice, with some maltyness, nice touch of sweetness, with some orange, cardamon, ginger, cinnamon, and clove. Medium body, ABV hidden very nicely with this one. Overall, a very tasty winter ale. Nice job ST!

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Look is a dark ruby amber with little to no head.

Aroma is deep rich candi sugar, red fruits, and spice.

Taste is exactly like aroma. It really builds upon itself.

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Photo of avalon07
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a light brown color and a clear consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing, but that's normal for this style.

S: A decent, but not spectacular, aroma of citrus, malt, dark fruit, and spices.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of light, sweet malt, some minor hops notes (mostly in the finish), dark fruit (plums, in particular), spices (cinnamon, ginger), and citrus (orange). A pretty good flavor that somehow seems a little tentative. There are plenty of good ingredients here, but they're not quite as aggressive or powerful as they should be.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is one of those beers that could've been better, but it is still worthwhile.

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Photo of Squire
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear red amber color with white cap.

A spicy, dark fruit aroma. I get figs and cinnamon.

Taste on entry is simple and spicy. Imagine a low hopped dark amber ale with figs and cinnamon. There's more in there though I don't really get the orange peel as a separate flavor, rather something more in the mix. Flavors are good enough if you're in the mood for a mildly spiced amber brew.

Medium-full texture with balancing carbonation.

Overall it's a pleasing ale that's inoffensive like a modest fellow who has much to be modest about.

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Photo of Eddieeight
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark Amber with a dash of brown.
Smells strongly of cinnamon and orange rind
Taste is very complicated. I can get each of the flavors advertised, orange, cinnamon,ginger, clove comes through on the aftertaste, but I think there's too much going on. It's too clustered and busy.
Overall the beer tries to do too much, I prefer other Christmas ales like great lakes.

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2XMAS from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 1611 ratings