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Compass | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Very Good
671 Ratings

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 671 |  Reviews: 136
Reviews by Adammleonard:
Photo of Adammleonard
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Imperial Pale Ale in name only, this Imperial IPA claims roots in the American Pale Ale form, but just scaled up- but the final product has nothing to do with the balanced flavor of "Pale" but more so with the dry malt, highly hopped taste that is IPA- but in greater drinkability and strength- this will prove to be one dangerous beer!

Its hazy straw pour is everything "light" to the eye. A modest haze and a soft honey glow gives impressions of a timid ale. But its fluffy, frothy, and creamy head releases quickly from the beer's body below and further promotes the sense of drinkability and friendliness. Broken rings of lace with each sip signals the beer's quality.

Bright citrus overtones of fragrant grapefruit, orange peels, pineapple and freshly crushed herbs fill the nose with bright zest and zeal. A backing of the most timid of honey and cracker from malt supports the hops.

Yet in taste, its the soft powdered sugar seduction that takes place on the front of the tongue while a pile-on of red and white grapefruits, freshly zested oranges, an fresh-cut grass build on the middle palate. But finishing with a dry malt taste and a pleasant, soft bitterness the ale is herbal and minty in its closing taste.

Mid-light in body, the beer's ample carbonation and void of sweetness all keep the beer airy, fluffy, and cottony on the mouth. It simply wisps away with only a mild hint of minty warmth.

Its a beautiful ale that deserves a conflict in its stylisticic declarations and its marketing verbiage. This Imperial IPA does all that big pale ales should do- but it's a much drier and drinkable beer that never relinquishes its crisp and clean undertone.

 1,671 characters

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a medium golden with a half finger white head atop.Aromas of nutty pilsner malt,drunken fruit and herbal/grassy hops.Flavors are deeply influenced by the doughy pilsner malt and the dryer sparkling feel,some sweetness from alcohol dipped fruit and dough with a leafy/grass finish.I like the sparkling feel and I like the hoppy finish of this innovative beer,well done.

 375 characters

Photo of MadScientist
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: A golden with decent clarity, although the bottle was shaken a bit just before opening stirring up a few floaters of yeast sediment.

S: A unusual herbal and citrusy nose with some pils malt aroma and a low phenol. There is a light dill aroma.

T: The flavor is dominated by lemon-citrus hops, an herbal character, some dill and rose hip tartness. There is a medium hops bitterness adding to the rose hips making for a beer that is moderately bitter. There is a medium-low wheat and clean malt sweetness. The finish is off dry and the aftertaste is of a lingering hop and herbal bitterness. There is some fruit esters and a light spice to the fermentation character as well.

M: A medium bodied beer with a strong level of carbonation. A light, tannic prickle from the use of spices.

O: A bitter and herbal beer that's a blend of the American Pale style with a Gruit. A nice beer for hops and bitter beer fans and well worth the reasonable price.

 952 characters

Photo of sabitu
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of HopticalDeployment
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty beer. In a pint glass it was light yellow in color with a medium-sized white head. There was a bit of lace.

Mostly a floral and grassy aroma. Some fruit.

Mostly a floral taste. Some berries. Hops late.

A crisp, refreshing beer. Something good to drink on a warm summer day.

 284 characters

Photo of DWolf
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of generallee
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 650 ml bottle into a tulip glass. The label lists the abv at 9% abv and it also lists the malts and hops.

Appearance: It has a bright yellow color with some visible carbonation and a some very fine sediment floating around inside the beer. On top I got a tall soapy head which quickly settles down to a wispy thin film covering. It leaves some lacing near the top of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is fairly light but do get some nice citrusy lemony hops standing out with a touch of floral and pineapple like hop notes. There is a hint malt sweetness as well. This may be a bit crazy but I am also getting something, very very light that reminds me of a Flintstones chewable vitamin for kids.

Taste / Palate: It’s flavor matches the aroma perfectly. There is a good balance of light malt sweetness with juicy and floral hop flavor and bitterness. The feel is well carbonated and fairly light. Overall it is very drinkable for a 9% abv beer.

 987 characters

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of mverity
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, gold in color, cloudy, sediment

Smell: citrus hops and floral hops

Taste: citrus hops-grapefruit and lemon, floral hops--some candied sugar or sweet white grape taste as well

Mouthfeel: nice mix of sweet and bitter with a strong bitter aftertaste, light body, medium carbonation

Overall: Very interesting beer. This one hits all sorts of notes from very sweet to super bitter--very complex. I would pick this one up again. Liked this way better than Plum Noire.

 514 characters

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of ryhn0
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of juicebox
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottling date of 05/06/13.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy yellowish golden orange with a moderate amount of rising bubbles. Huge four finger off white head which slowly recedes into a smaller creamy layer. Leaves a solid amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A pretty hop forward aroma with good hints of fruit, yeast, and flowers. Big hop scent upfront with earthy hints of grass and citrus hints of orange, grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, and lemon. Big floral scent from the rose hips. Also some subtle fruit hints of white grapes along with a light hint of pepper. Bready malt hints of biscuit, wheat, yeast, and cracker. A bright, zesty, and fairly dry smelling aroma. Pretty good.

Taste: Like it smells, a zesty and floral hop forward taste with a nice dry biscuity malt backing. Big earthy and floral hops upfront with notes of grass, pine, and the rose hips. Lively citrus esters of orange, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, and lemon zest. A little taste of white grape fruit. Solid soft dry bready malt presence with notes of biscuit, wheat, yeast, and crackers. Subtle pepper notes as well. A pretty nice lively and zesty tasting ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Very crisp, juicy, and fairly bitter and drying. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A pretty interesting and nice "sparkling ale". Has the bitter hop profile of an American IPA with the lively yeast profile of a Belgian ale along with the malt profile of a pilsner.

 1,550 characters

Photo of MVG666
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of far333
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Big pop and burst of carbonation upon popping the top off the bottle. Slightly opaque straw-yellow with an eggshell colored thick two-inch high head of meringue that lingers long. Seems overcarbonated perhaps? Aroma of lemon and sweet malt, some citrus.

Bready flavor upfront, some honey and lemon zest, fruity notes perhaps imparted by the hibiscus, orange rind hops, slight peppery bite and piney finish that lingers.

Interesting mix of flavors. Full mouthfeel, very creamy and viscous, not what I expected from a sparkling ale, whatever that is.

 550 characters

Photo of primevil2
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into 34oz mug; cloudy bright banana yellow with a thick fizzy white head that fades relatively quickly into a thin but tight disc of foam. Smells like lots of clean malts, with crisp citrusy hops and just a hint of booziness. It smells great, but I'm a little worried that the high %abv will offset the crispness the style should have. My worries were for naught, however; not that I ever doubted Southern Tier. Although it's a huge pale ale, it's still a pale ale: clean, crackery-sweet malts fill out the big mouthfeel, and a perfect pinch of citrusy hops cleanse the palate at the end, leaving just some lingering bitterness (hops and rose hips here) and some slight sticky sweetness leftover from the malt. 9% is entirely hidden in the taste, this is drinkable as hell and delicious. Definitely worth picking up, another great addition to ST's Imperial series.

 871 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cigar and beer pairing, L'atelier 52 ring gauge from Pete Johnson and his brother, hand rolled in Nicaragua at the My Father Cigar Factory in Esteli. The beer brewed under Phin and Matt of Lakewood, NY. From what I gather on the label the beer is a strong hoppy American Saison with rose hips, very rustic with only pilsner malt fine carbonation the proteins of the settled hops and rose hips are floating in the semi hazed golden beauty. Bright white head settles slow and leaves fine even patterned lacing. Aroma upfront with citrus and grapefruit going down amongst many other, biscuit tones from the pale malts and a pleasant kiss of floral/vegetal rose hips. There are terrified wheat additions which only complement the citrus based hops. Bottled on 5/3/13, spicy citrus ale with a lingering bitterness derived from those rose hips it's bitter but has a nice interplay of bright citrus and spicy yeast. The light biscuit toned pilsner malts set off as the canvas for the interplay between high alpha acids and the rose hips, everything else going on is fantastic 9% abv is well hidden. The body is medium to full a lot of texture from the hop oils, and lingering finish from the spice/bitterness from the rose hips pairs well with the effervescent carbonation looming with each sip. Overall the beer is at odds with itself the same pairings I enjoyed weigh heavy on the palate and kill the drinkability a bit, not the type of beer I would like to enjoy in number but with a fresh fish prepared just right fine dining there wouldn't be any better pairing as for the cigar. This lighter colored habano born seed wrapper has the right elements of pepper and spice to complement the drink just right. Definitely a worthy pairing with the type of hops and yeast, with those rose hops it adds to spicy Nicaraguan long fillers very happy with this pairing.

 1,855 characters

Photo of kwkdmk
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of jamisonspitzer
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 671 ratings