2XMAS | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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85
very good
265 Reviews
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2XMAS2XMAS
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in the tradition of Swedish Glogg. Ale brewed with Figs, Orange peels, and spices. 2 varieties of hops and 4 types of malts.

Added by CloudStrife on 10-29-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
265
Ratings:
1,469
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
37.77%
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
357
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 265 | Ratings: 1,469
Photo of bum732
2.37/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

S: Very bold spices, mace, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, just a spicy assault on the nose.

L: Dark crimson red, little white head and lacing.

T: Bold dark fruit up front with a very bold x-mas spice backbone. Medium low spicy bitterness with lots of cinnamon bread, figs and some orange tea. Fairly sweet caramal malt throughout. Finishes semi-dry with lingering baking spices.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Extremetly bold in the baking spices. Like drinking spiced soup. nose was pleasant, but way too overwhelming in the taste.

 539 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
2.47/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Heavily spiced with nutmeg, clove and ginger. Overly hopped with little malt balance. Dump the contents of your spice cabinet on your tongue all at one time and you'll get an approximation of this beer.

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Photo of kvgomps
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Was unable to do more than 2 sips of this. This tasted like potpourri to me. Much the same way potpourri stings my eyes, this really disagreed with my palate.

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Photo of Svendozen
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had never tried this type of beer before, and when I popped the top, I was kind of offput by the smell...very pot pouri smelling. I didn't like the taste of it at all. But I can't say whether it was brewed badly, or I'm just not a fan of the style.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This review might be a bit more free-form than most because I'm tiring of the rigid structure I've been relying on of late. Reviewed live. "DOB: 11/15/13."

I picked up this 12 oz brown glass bottle recently; it has red and green label art and a branded black pry-off pressure cap. 8% ABV per the label. "Spiced beer" seems the best style to review this as since it purports to be brewed in the tradition of Swedish glogg.

Served cold into an Avery tulip and allowed to warm a bit as I drink it. Side-poured.

Head: Khaki in colour. One finger in width. Has a decent complexion, with okay creaminess and thickness. Pretty standard, with a below average (~1 minute) retention. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. Middling execution overall.

Body: Dark amber. Translucent when backlit, but not particularly vibrant. Quasitransparent. It's clean; I don't see any yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Appearance: Overall underwhelming. Carbonation seems off. It's not unique or special, but I'll buy it as a glogg-esque beer appearance. I can't say I'm impressed.

Aroma: It certainly evokes a mulled/spiced character, but I wouldn't say it smells like mulled wine per se as there aren't any wine notes. I think I'm getting allspice, nutmeg, orange peel/orange zest, clove, rosemary, and ginger.

Also dry fruitcake, sugarcane, and brown sugar.

It's breadier than most spiced beers I've had, but I think the main malt is amber malt. The spices overwhelm the malty foundation, though.

What I don't find is an obvious hop profile. I guess there are vague fruity hop notes, but it does have an obvious citrusy or floral or piney character. The beer's age (~5 months) might play a part in that.

Overall, it's a pleasing aroma of mild strength, and definitely delivers on the premise of the beer.

Texture: I like the subtle coarseness, which helps coax out the flavour, but I don't like the sticky syrupy viscous feel of the beer, which while nicely plump lends the beer an unbecoming filling vibe - like a meal in a glass. The medium to full body is good, but I think it's too thick considering the lack of diverse and deep flavour here. It has more heft than it needs to support its flavours. Carbonation is off. Overall presence on the palate is okay, but by no means is this mouthfeel a perfect complement to the taste.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Taste: There's a weird metallic note on the finish, which I despise.

It's quite sweet, but I think it unfair to call it cloying; the sweetness kind of works for the whole mulled wine thing they're after. And the spices are apt: allspice, nutmeg, maybe cinnamon, light clove, faint ginger, and rosemary. They overwhelm the amber malt body, which is unremarkable anyway. The orange peel isn't as strong here as the aroma suggested, which is disappointed. And as far as the fig mentioned on the label? I search for it, but don't find it.

There is an alcohol presence here which I'm not sure works for it. No overt hop profile comes through, nor does any yeast character.

It's a bit too overbearing to be balanced, and forget about subtlety - there's none here. Southern Tier has confused muddled complicated-ness with artful complexity and intricacy; more ingredients do not make a better beer if the flavour profile is an unfocused mess. I dig the Swedish glogg premise, but this taste ultimately doesn't deliver; it's not the beer version, just a poor wine imitation. The build has a loose cohesion, but it's far from gestalt - I could change, substitute, or remove many notes and the beer wouldn't lose anything essential. This beer is the sum of its parts, and nothing more.

Dr: My problem with Southern Tier is usually that they seem to believe more ingredients equals a better beer - it's right there on the label. Look how many malts and hops and spices we used! We've quantified it for you, so the quality must be high. This beer is evidence of where that line of thinking can take you. While it has some interesting components that help evoke mulled wine, it doesn't really hold its own as a beer. If you got this blind at a bar with no knowledge they were going for mulled wine, you'd have trouble appreciating it. I wouldn't buy it again, and I think it's a pretty weak seasonal. Underwhelming but well-intentioned. Subpar work from Southern Tier.

C-

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
2.64/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark Amber color with great head and mild carbonation. You can smell this beer from across the room. Lots of spice, fruit like fig, sweetness for aroma. Very strong flavors of black pepper, spice, fruit. Overly spiced which ruins it. Not good this year. Someone had a heavy hand with those spices.

 297 characters

Photo of JerUrbans
2.78/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

My last 2014 Christmas beer, (unless I pick up one more Krampus, I saw my local still has). Clear thin amber color, with light colored head. Smells is strong nutmeg, and spice. I pick up some cinnamon as well. Taste kind of,...well actually, just like potpourii. Mouthfeel is thin light and just slightly bitter, but definitely not really sweet. Overall, it's OK. I think I would have rated this a bit higher before Christmas, but now after the holidays, somethings wore off. With that said I will look forward to another six pack next Christmas, but I will drink all of it before the holiday is over. Guess some things aren't better if you wait.

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Photo of TX-Badger
2.8/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a bottle of this last night, and I'm trying to do a better job of reviewing beer, so here are my notes from last night:

A - dark brown, more of a deep chocolate mocha, not much lacing on the glass from the off-white small amount of head this beer produced upon pouring.

S - lots of spice, but to be expected from the type of style it is. I got cinnamon and nutmeg mainly, with a little allspice and clove, this made me think this beer was more of an autumn/pumpkin seasonal than winter seasonal.

T - all the spices listed above were present, and on the finish there is a distinct sweetness that lingers of which I'm not a huge fan. It also had the toffee note of a dark brown ale.

M - just enough body to let you know you're drinking a winter seasonal, but nothing more nothing less. It was not watery or thin or anything of that nature.

O - I enjoyed the beer, it is just not high on my list of beers to have if I have the choice. I was glad to try it, and I'm glad I only bought one, because with the sweetness, more than 12oz would have been too much for me. Just not my kind of beer.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.96/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Deep garnet with a 1/2 finger of head that dissipates immediately. Good clarity and very low carbonation.

Nose
Ginger, cinnamon, candy sugar, orange zest and biscuit.

Taste
Very spice forward with ginger root and cinnamon. Honey, caramel and biscuit. Some fig, black licorice and orange zest.

Mouthfeel
Medium-full bodied, crisp and spicy.

Overall
I was really hoping for more fig. Really over-spiced and somewhat cloying, but the alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.04/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Southern Tier 2xMas has an extremely thin, off-white head, a clear, burgundy appearance, with no bubble streams and no lacing left behind. The aroma is of mixed spices- and, this is very strong- with a background of sweet bread. Taste is of spices, particularly white pepper and sweet bread. Mouthfeel is medium and a bit slick, and Southern Tier 2xMas finishes semi-dry, spicy, and rich. Overall, this is another crummy spiced/flavored beer, of which serious beer drinkers are so weary. It is okay for beer in general, but maybe most excellent in the insipid spiced beer genre. It is what it is.

RJT

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.07/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer smells like Christmas. Heavily spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg I think.

Red in color, like Santa's suit. It has no speakable head, but laces nicely. Completely clear, albiet dark.

This beer tastes like Christmas. Sugar cookies, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, lots and lots of spice in this beer. It tastes good, but isn't really to my liking. It has a medium body with low carbonation. I probably wouldn't buy this one again, it's the first Southern Tier that I really didn't care for. I much prefer Krampus.

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Photo of 20holmbrew
3.08/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but was a bit disappointed. It has a very medical smell mixed with tons of spice. I like cinnamon, but something about it was unpleasant. Not for me. Glad I only picked up the one.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured bottle into glass. 8% abv.

Appearance- Deep red/dark brown. Not unlike the color of root beer. Moderate puffy head.

Smell- Nutmeg and cinnamon spices dominate. A slight hint of orange peel citrus.

Taste- Sweet maltiness of caramel first. Then extremely spicy much like the smell. After the initial sweetness, it is as if you have a mouthful of nutmeg. Hoppy/piney bitterness in the aftertaste but the spices linger all the way through.

Mouthfeel- Medium to high heaviness, still smooth with medium carbonation.

Overall- A decent beer. As noted the spices were a bit overbearing personally, but then again the style is an "herbed/spiced beer" so can't detract from that based on what it is. Still smooth however and does have ample complexity. Claims it is brewed with figs, spices, 4 malts and 2 hops which accurate to the taste. With an X-mas themed bottle and cool name, why not give it a try, tis the season!

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Photo of Mavigo
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Well it's smissmas time so I figure I'd be jolly.

Pours a transparent copper color with a thin tan head that evaporates quickly. Smells of cinnamon, oranges, caramom, ginger, lemon zest. Flavor is interesting, quite intense. It is sweet and rich but it has strong aftertaste of hops and all the other spices that are present. A bit off putting. It is medium bodied and well carbonated, strong after taste. Overall, this was alright, it wasn't horrible but I do need to wash out this weird aftertaste.

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Photo of lstorie3
3.12/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a copper reddish with a very small slight off white head. Head dissipates rather quickly. Smell is cloves and banana and cinnamon and bubble gum. My God it smells like Christmas. Medium mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. The taste is very interesting. It was a good bit piney-er than I expected. A bit of alcohol warmth. Honestly, there’s a little too much going on tastewise - all the smells are represented in the flavor - maybe just a bit too much. Not really sure if I like the taste, but I know I like the smell a whole lot more.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.12/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a TBBC pint glass.

A: Pours a clear, deep brown with some reddish highlight. Forms a thin tan head on top of relatively low visible carbonation.

S: Spiciness, I get primarily ginger, fruity sweetness, and some citrus aroma. I'm not sure if this was the orange peels that the bottle says it was brewed with or not. It struck me as more lemon or grapefruit. The overall impression on the nose is certainly sweet.

T: Flavors are overwhelmed by ginger, allspice, cinnamon. There's probably some sweet malt, and I'd hypothesize some hops, but who can tell in this mess. Finishes sickly sweet.

M: Medium body, low carbonation sensation, mild alcohol presence.

O: Not good. Kinda like drinking beer that someone had poured potpourri into. Poured the last of it down the drain.

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Photo of mecummins
3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass

A- a reddish gold color with hints of orange It only poured a half a finger of head, not even enough for any lacing. Sort of disappointing.

S- Sweet caramel malts with figs, raisins and orange peel

T- Fruitcake in a glass. Very sweet (just verging on cloying to me) with figs and chewy raisins. The orange zest really helped save this beer and brought it back into somewhat balance. there is no way I could ever drink this while eating anything however.

M- Syrupy but not at all lush. Short finish

O- It was OK. Nice to sip on it's own at a holiday party, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it. There are plenty of other great holiday beers out there to drink instead.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This beer has a deep dark aged copper body with a thick beige head and some nice sticky lacing. The nose is full of dry ginger with some other dry herbal spices, cloves notes in the finish. The taste has bolder powdered ginger spice that leads to more herbal dry spice flavor with some allspice hints and coriander dryness in the finish. There is a medium mouthfeel and no alcohol heat. The spice flavor really dominates and covers up any malt character. It was ok to have one but the spice is just to much to make a second one enjoyable.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

$1.99 for a 12oz bottle @ BevCo. Brewed with 4 different malts, 2 varieties of hops, Figs, orange peels, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and fermented with ale yeast. 8.0% ABV.

Pours out to a clear dark ruby, forming a nice creamy yellow head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Mild to moderate carbonation, ~2.0 carbs. The nose is very spicy...lots of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves on top of a slightly nutty malt backbone and no real hop aroma. Mouthfeel is thick and full, creamy with a dense body. The taste is a recap of the aroma. Lots of spice, some nuts in the middle, then tobacco lingering in the aftertaste complimenting the spice. Very spice forward. The orange peel is subtle but it does come out towards the finish and I get a little yeast autolysis and some higher alcohols too. The alcohol almost has the sensation of black per, which would make a more interesting holiday beer than all the spices.

I just made a batch of Glogg and I love it, but this just isn't all that good. Way to spice heavy, like chewing on potpourri or sipping on your grandmothers candle.

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Photo of DoubleMalt
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Not for me. Way too much spice. I haven't dumped a beer down the drain since summer, but this was just not enjoyable for me. My ratings were generous.

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Photo of cbutova
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Glogg eh?

A- Dark ruby red pour from the 12oz to a chalice. A thick, puffy off-white cap rises to over two fingers with good retention. A few large sheets of lace remain with some spots and drizzle.

S- Spices are felt along with the other adjunct ingredients. Cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg come to mind; kind of in that ballpark of spice. Something rather earthy and woody about it. Dark dried fruits, deeply browned malts, herbal spicy ginger and orange zest. Cardamom really opens up with time.

T- Ginger really gets put into overdrive as cinnamon, earthy spice, orange peel and figs follow that. For me this is mostly about the adjuncts and that seems like the point; beastly spices. Hints of cloves, vanilla sweets, bitter citrus rind, raisins, toasted grains and cardamom on the back end.

MF- Medium thickness overall with a creamy and foamy consistency helping in driving those spicy flavors onto the palate. Finishes with a harsh bitterness from the spices; cinnamon and bitter orange pile drive the taste buds.

Spice monster. I actually enjoy a lot of the distinct flavors this brings to the table with cinnamon followed by cardamom and orange peels leading to figs but it all clashes. The cardamom seems to grow with each sip and throws things off. I can certainly appreciate spiced beers but the after taste of this beer is off putting at times.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.26/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Southern Tier is usually pretty solid in my book but not this one here. What I detect to be Nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and conifer doesn't work well together. well, at least not for my palate.

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Photo of oline73
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy reddish dark brown color, there is more red to this one than brown. There is a layer of off white head that fades quickly to a ring on top of the pour.

Smell: Definitely a Christmas beer. I'm getting a slightly sweet malt component that reminds me of dark fruit and cherries. I'm also getting some Christmas spices and mild orange peel.

Taste: Not nearly as sweet as the smell indicates. There is a dark fruit/sweet grain component but it is overshadowed by the Christmas spices. The finish is really bitter. I'm getting some citrus fruit hops along with a strong spice component. I think the bitterness level is too high here.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with a lot of tingly carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall: I think the spices and hops made the finish too bitter. The sweeter flavors needed to be featured a bit more.

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Photo of BB1313
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled on 10-18-12. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark auburn with red and brown hues. Fluffy off-white head which fades and leaves really nice lacing and retention. The aromas are full of orange zest, cherries, cinnamon and malts. The other spices are noticeable in the nose, but not dominating. The flavors are bitter. Not sweet at all. There's more cinnamon along with some ginger and nutmeg. Dark fruits are present. The flavors seem to fall flat and don't leave an impression. It's not hot or boozy, but leaves an alcohol aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice, moderate carbonation and smooth. It's on the lighter side of full-bodied.

I was really hoping Southern Tier used their Pumking magic with this beer, but no. I'm a huge fan of the spiced Christmas ales, but this one is lacking flavor. It's similar to Great Lakes Christmas Ale and Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas, but lacks the depth. I was expecting something bolder from Southern Tier.

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Photo of Suds
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm usually impressed with Southern Tier beers. They always seem to be spot-on, challenging, and very rewarding. Unfortunately, that's not the case with 2XMas. It's a clear, reddish colored liquid with a thin tan head. Medium carbonation. The smell is fruit and spice, with a bit of toasted malt in the background. The fruit is hard to place. The label says fig, but I'm getting a lot of orange and lemon peel. The peel/rind theme plays into the taste as well, which is also full of fruit and spice...a bit of bitterness from the former, as well as the latter. Firm body, good balance. The beer just doesn't really come together, though...the bitterness is distracting. Not bad, just not up to my expectations.

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2XMAS from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.
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