Compass | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Knapp85 on 05-27-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 666
Photo of jtierney89
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm excited about this one. From the pop of the cap with a bright popping noise and to the super intense smell that leaked from the bottle. Palest golden color I've ever seen with lots of active carbonation. Seriously super pale, like hard to understand how pale it is. Sticky bright white head, about a finger and half tall. Intense, intense super intense nose of hop resin, grapefruit and pine. Rose hips give a nice flowery presence to the nose.

Not as briskly carbonated as I thought it would be but damn this a fantastic beer. This is the lightest bodied 9% abv beer I've ever had. Slightly crackery dry malt flavor, lots of citrus flavor from the hops, almost lemon meringue like between the hops and the malt. Rose hips add a delicate flowery flavor to the delicate body. Pretty well carbonated for a 9% brew and not a touch of alcohol heat. Malt fades, rose hips dry them out near the back of the tongue. Bitterness isn't present at first but builds slowly as you continue to sip the beer. This beer is seriously fantastic, I'd say it's categorized incorrectly but honestly, taste more like a super flavorful and delicate pale ale then an DIPA. Amazing. This will be an amazing summer drinker.

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Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Town Hall Tap in Minneapolis.

Nice Imperial PALE ale, could almost be called a golden ale, very refreshing and nice hop to alcohol balance. Light bodied and allows for distinction in pale ale verse IPA styles.

Pale almost golden color with very good lacing

Floral and citrus tones in the aroma

Crisp grapefruity refreshing taste lots of effervescence in the carbonization

Light body mouthfeel yet very refreshing

Overall does not hit like a 9% ale is expected to beware and refresh!

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Photo of lhibbard
4.82/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Awesome brew!! Very tasty.

A - looked sort of like pee when poured into a glass. Sparkly, clear yellow, with bubbly head that disappeared immediately.

S - First, second, and third whiff were all delicious hops. Piney, citrusy, bright hops. Not much malt in this one.

T - Very bright, light beer, perfect for a warm summer night. Very hoppy, with very little malt flavor, at first. As the beer warmed the malt came out. A nice peppery aftertaste.

Overall this is a very tasty brew. I will be talking about this one with friends and having more, soon.

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Photo of Barticus
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say but WOW! Very refreshing beer and very drinkable with 9% ABV. How is that possible? I don't know, but thank you Southern Tier! The rose hips dominate the finish. Take the first sip, enjoy the hoppiness, let it sit on your palate, and the floral rose hips will show up... and linger... for a long time.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Compass brewed by Southern Tier Brewing Company, with an ABV of 9.0% This Ale pours out a nice amber color with a nice white head. The smell is hoppie with grains and malts. You also pick up on a mild sweetness in the smell. The taste is rich with hops. This brew has a nice balance of grains and malts at the end. Southern Tier Brewing Company did a nice job with this one , there is no bad aftertaste. You really can't pick up on the 9.0% ABV. The mouthfeel is hoppie, smooth, and refreshing. There is nothing overpowering in this brew, it has a nice balance to it. Compass is a nice smooth, but rich drinking brew. Overall I'm giving Compass a 4.5 out 5. I would buy this brew again.

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Photo of jera1350
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Light golden color with some sediment and a bubbly head. Nose is incredible. Rose water, loads of citrus. Very fresh. The taste is lightly floral and has a huge fresh citrus punch, but without the bitterness that usually comes with it. Feel is lighter medium and crisply smooth. One of the most memorable beers I've had in some time. Incredibly well done.

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Photo of Wxworkoff
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a growler of this after tasting in a flight...twice....upon visiting the brewery. Southern Tier is unique in the fact you can pick each beer you want to try in each flight...and I selected this in both flights I had there. Then I filled a growler, brought it home, and drank it out of a 12 oz 'sniffer'.

At the brewery, this is labeled as as a 'sparkling farmhouse ale'. I'm still confused as to what that means. As it goes with other farmhouse ales I've had...this is quite different. It drinks more to me as a bold APA or even a aIPA. Others have classified it as an American Saison...but it's too hoppy for that. Who cares, because this is the best beer Southern Tier makes. And that includes the crowd-favorite Pumking.

A: Golden straw-like. A tint of orange. Clear. Maybe that's where it gets its sparkling adage. A good frothly head when poured from the growler after 8 days. Think lining on the glass as you drink it, which eventually will fade back into the beer as the sips progress.

S: I get grapefruit, apricot and floral hops. Either way, the scent screams hops and IPA. Wasn't expecting it. As a hop-head, I rather enjoy it though. Sweet, but hoppy. It smells balanced, if that's possible.

T: Whoa. Tamed up from, dry, citrusy hops on the back end. Hoppier than I expected, but a clean hop finish. Honestly, it's clean, crisp, dry finish reminds me of a Stone IPA, except with a more citrusy feeling on the pallet. There's alcohol here, which demands sipping...but you feel it more than taste it. For very little malt or grain on the pallet, its very balanced.

M: Full and frothy. Drinking this too fast did fill me up. But it's not creamy or thick. It's light, but powerful. I sip it. Perhaps thats the best way I can put it.

O: A really pleasant surprise. To me, a hop head, this is the best beer ST makes. Hoppy, clean, refreshing. I will buy more.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company. Poured from the bomber bottle into a pint glass, this "sparkling ale" 's head is 1.5 fingers thick and bubbly as the name would imply with spottier lacing, and a medium-gold clear body.

Smells like the rose hips used in the brewing of this select beer,along with the citrus hops mentioned on the label. Can't really detect much malts going on with this part of the review.

I'm tasting most of the components listed above, although now I'm getting malts of an earthier characteristic. These all compliment each other pretty damned well. I honestly can't notice the 9% ABV of this brew.

The mouthfeel of Compass is lively and crisp. Only a slight dash of a rose hip/hop combo that leaves pretty fast.

Overall, I'll give Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company a 4.25. This is quite a different taste and overall vibe for me, but I may pick up another bottle or so in the future.

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Photo of delta490
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a really lovely rich, deep straw gold color. Nice head retention and lacing

S- aroma is great, with significant floral hop notes

T- the floral hops comes through loud and clear but balanced really well against the malt backbone

M- a little thinner, but not in a bad way with the flavors. Just a hint of carbonation on the finish

O- a great IPA

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 22 oz. bomber into a shaker pint glass. No visible bottling date.

Look- Gold/pale amber with a sticky, sudsy head that falls fairly quickly. Cloudy, visible particulate.

Smell- Very Nice. Powerful lemon-white tea-fresh mint aroma that comes off as appealing rather than medicinal. Light sweetness and dry biscuit in the background.

Taste- Follows the nose, with a hint more dry spruce. Again- light honey, loads of citrus, and a hint of tealike bittering. Finishes clean, light bitterness and lingering orange blossom. Delicious.

Mouthfeel- Light feel, soft, minimal carbonation. Dry finish with a smoothness that's unexpected. 9% ABV is not apparent, drinks like a beer half as potent. A summer sipper that could definitely sneak up on you.

Overall- I'd definitely pick this up again, it's quite good and unique. Bravo to Southern Tier.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.41/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a pale orange color with a lot of white head, that then quickly fades.

Smell: A lot of orange peel, lemon, and bitter hops. It smells very refreshing. A lot of citrus.

Taste: Mango, hops, with a ever so slightly boozy bite to it at the end. I wouldn't call this beer boozy, but you do get a small hint of booze at the end. surprising for only 9%.

Feel: Light bodied and crisp. Very refreshing!

Overall: I'd like to see something like this offered in 6 packs year-round.

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Photo of shand
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle says to drink it cold. Let's drink a cold beer. Compass pours out a stunning yellow with chunky sediment. The aroma is bright, hoppy, and extremely floral. I really love this aroma, as an advocate of both beer and perfumery, this strikes me just right. The beer is also tasty, it keeps on the brightness and floral aspects from the aroma, with a slight underpinning of wheat and spicy malt. The mouthfeel is on the light side and very well carbonated, and the drinkability is great. I really liked this new brew from Southern Tier. It's incredibly drinkable and has a beautiful nose.

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Photo of jucifer1818
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

a: a brilliant clear yellow liquid. lovely clarity with a heavy dose of bubbles streaming up the glass

s: this smells like one hell of a tropical fruit cocktail. saying that, lots of light tropical fruity smells, mixed in with a very small bit of rose fragrance mixed in. their is also a slight sticky sweetness that is apparent from large doses of wheat

t: wow, this one is what i would call the true "champagne" of beers, except that it is more balanced (and heavier on the body, and lower levels of alcohol). this beer has a very restrained and tart hoppy bitterness, that never pushes too hard to make it feel oppressive. alcohol is non-detectable.

m: its not as dry as campaign, but its still very dry for a beer of its size. the carbonation works well to compliment its dryness, and it never quite has the 'BITE' of overcarbonated beer

o:overall i think that this is a great beer for the folk who say "I don't really like beer". its far closer to a campaign in character really, but with everything I love about beer mixed in. I think that ill be having this one again.

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Photo of founddrama
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really dry. Almost no malt character, but also not characterized by hops either. I like it, but I've got no real comparisons. Easy to love this beer. Not overly hoppy. This one is big on flavor, and NOT a one-trick pony. That said: bottle says "sparkling ale" and as such is expect a lot more carbonation. Rose hips!

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Photo of Seanem44
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden straw color with a thick white one finger head.

S: Delicate with a light smell of wheat and rose.

T: Again, Light, delicate, smooth. Very enjoyable and easy to drink. I can taste the rose, which was kind of neat.

M: Goes down nice and smooth. Very refreshing.

O: This is 9.0 abv??? Can't believe it. Easy to sip. I was very impressed with this beer. Not my normal fare, but I would not hesitate to purchase again. Well worth the value for something different. If you can grab one, please do. I think you won't be disappointed. This one is a winner!

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Photo of minilogo37
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Recommended by the guy at the store (who was actually giving away tastings of something i cant remember the name of, nothing special). I appreciate the APAs, and wasn't disappointed. Very smooth for 9.0 ABV. Could drink this anytime, and will be on the lookout for it on tap.

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Photo of dank203
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

complex ale. grainy spiciness and citrus characters, grapefruit. It does taste like an American pale but less hoppy. unique flavors, not sure if I've evr had a rose hip but i'm detecting something different. theres a certain dryness to this beer as well

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 5/03/2013. Pours lightly cloudy golden straw color with a 2-3 finger dense and fluffy white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge bright lemon zest, orange zest, tangerine, pineapple, pear, pepper, herbal, floral, grass, light pine, bread, light honey, clove, and floral earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of bright hop notes with the rose hips and a light-moderate malt presence; with big strength. Taste of big lemon zest, orange zest, tangerine, pineapple, floral, grass, pepper, pine, bread, clove, light honey, and herbal earthiness. Good amount of spicy/earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, pine, grass, pepper, clove, bread, light honey, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of bright citrus hops and rose hip additions; with a light-moderate malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, lightly prickly, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic spiced hoppy golden ale! All around awesome balance and complexity of bright hops with the rose hip additions, with light malt balance; and extremely smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of tviz33
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bomber in to a Duvel tulip.

A- Pours absolutely beautiful. Hazy gold body with a frothy inch tall white head and good lacing.

S- Grapefruit, pine, citrus, and everything nice.

T- Well balanced and lively. Floral notes, lemon, and a mild bitterness. A very tasty brew.

M- Bubbly and sort of creamy. Not slick, but goes down easy and is very refreshing.

O- Another good Southern Tier offering. I will be having another.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Listed as a pale ale, this makes me think very much along the line of an American version of a Belgian strong pale ale. This manages to be both light and strong at the same time. Easy to drink, yet at 9% one should probably be careful.
I would actively seek this out again. It's lively, refreshing, and just bitter enough to keep interest.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy yellow color with a one finger stark white head which recedes to edging and leaves slight fingers of lace. The aroma is big...roses and citrus. The smell is a mix of a flower shop and fruity Pebbles. The taste follows the nose a big nice citrus flavor. Lemons and oranges. There us also a flowery taste at the back end. The mouth feel is moderately carbonated. Overall its a very solid beer. Nice big taste and aroma.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle served in a pint glass.

L - clear and bright yellow color with a white head that thinned out to a ring.

S - lots of juicy citrus and tropical fruits.

T - full of very tasty citrus and tropical fruit flavor with a floral/earthy taste lingering in the background.

F - light/medium bodied, it's a very crisp and refreshing beer.

O - tasty and enjoyable brew, grab some if you can.

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Photo of Ego
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

soapy head rises to around 2 fingers of white foam, slightly hazy golden hue with small particles in suspension, pretty good on the lacing angle with some legs showing from the ABV, a pretty good amount of carbonation spiraling up towards the top, the head fades decently quickly... not bad

juicy fruit tropical tone with an edge towards bubble gum (you know, old school like bazooka joe), lemon seltzer underneath, it smells sharp and crisp, the aroma matches the description on the bottle to the tee

taste etc...
light and effervescent, really hits with that lemon seltzer angle up front then it melds into some malt and mild bitterness that coats the tongue like quality honey, even though this coats the mouth it has an almost dry - champagne like quality to it but yet... it doesn't actually leave your mouth dry whatsoever, this drinks light but yet has decent body... really throwing me, I suppose the body has to be in there to support the ABV (which is nowhere to be found in the flavor), the end part with the yeast adds a bit more... wait for it... yeast! so the dry/doughy flavor is a bit more pronounced, honestly I prefer the clearer part in the beginning of the bottle but it is still very tasty either way, this beer reminds me of a few different german styles rolled into one beer.

I like birthing hips.. not sure about rose hips, but man this is one tasty beer, kind of like a lighter saison with a mega ABV kick and a nice little injection of hops, seek this one out... fantastic brew.

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Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 666 ratings.
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