Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #42
Ranked #35,969
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: 316 | Ratings: 1,627 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of K-Bananas84
K-Bananas84 from New York

4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A perfect, flavorful representation of the holiday season. From the red appearance to the notes of nutmeg/ginger, this potent titan of the tastebuds is the terrific reflection of it's namesake - (Xmas) or Christmas in a bottle.

Dec 20, 2020
Photo of Peach63
Peach63 from New York

3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours copper with a 1/4 inch tan head, which dissipates. Minimal lacing.

Aroma of cloves, cinnamon, allspice.

Tastes of cloves, cinnamon, orange zest.

Medium bodied, minimal carbonation. Spicy, dry finish.

This is a good spiced ale. Would be better with a bit more carbonation and a lasting head.

Dec 14, 2020
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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium bodied with just under average carbonation
Aroma is heavy on the spice, then fig and malt
Taste is definitely a mixed bag of spice which comes off just a bit heavy. Fig paste and malt is flavorful without being overly sweet.
Perhaps too much spice made this a bit off but its a decent holiday beer

Dec 13, 2020
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Redrover from Wisconsin

3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beer is reddish brown with a thick beige head.

Nose of ginger and other spices and some dark bread.

The taste is slightly sweet with spices and lightly roasted malts. The spices are prominent but not over powering. For an 8% beer the alcohol is well hidden.

The mouth could be a bit thicker for this big of a beer but that’s a minor quibble as the flavors are well integrated

Dec 05, 2020
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Best by date on label is '10/28/21'.
Brown colored body, looks clear. Skiff of beige head. Leaves a few scattered points of lacing.
Aroma is sweet fig, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and a touch of orange citrus.
Taste is loaded with the spices (cloves, cinnamon, cardamom). The ginger comes through in the second half of the profile, and really gives the beer a root based flavor touch. The orange floats above it all. More subdued is the fig dark fruit because it is subservient to the spices. The aftertaste is roots cola.
Mouth feel is creamy and a little fizzy, more than medium weight. Good carbonation.
All the spices lend this to be a seasonal holiday choice. Might be good with a spicy charcuterie board, and strong cheese.

Nov 22, 2020
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jockstrappy from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Pours a dark amber, almost brown with a bone white head. Nose is quite strong, heaviest notes are allspice, cardamom, cinnamon and clove. There’s something sweet there, but I can’t identify. Flavor is where I get thrown...cinnamon, clove, cardamom, fig, pear, rock sugar, maybe star anise? Mild orange peel bitterness helps at the finish. After taste is odd, almost like grandpas cologne or something. As you drink, the aroma inside the glass actually turns things a bit, this is a strange beer. As much as I wanted to love this as I do Mad Elf, it just misses the mark for me. I love Southern Tier, just not this one.

Nov 15, 2020
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PathofChaos from Maryland

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!

Feb 03, 2020
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izraelc from New York

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.

Feb 01, 2020
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good_to_sea from Pennsylvania

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.

Dec 23, 2019
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HalfFull from California

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

Nov 27, 2019
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

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)

Nov 16, 2019
Photo of Historiker
Historiker from Ohio

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.

Nov 16, 2019
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard from Pennsylvania

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.

Nov 10, 2019
Photo of EnderFett11
EnderFett11 from Virginia

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.

Nov 03, 2019
Photo of MoMaMe
MoMaMe from Maryland

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.

Jan 17, 2019
Photo of haines710
haines710 from Delaware

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.

Jan 05, 2019
Photo of rudiecantfail
rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

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.

Dec 18, 2018
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon from Maryland

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.

Dec 17, 2018
Photo of KonigObHops
KonigObHops from Ohio

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.

Dec 09, 2018
Photo of Fatheroftoomany
Fatheroftoomany from Pennsylvania

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.

Dec 05, 2018
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theamericanpsycho79 from Pennsylvania

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.

Dec 03, 2018
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mothmanscott from Georgia

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.

Nov 23, 2018
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

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?

Oct 21, 2018
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Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

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!

Apr 23, 2018
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Nass from Florida

4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | 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 8% 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 it's good. Cheers! A-

Apr 02, 2018
2XMAS from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 1627 ratings