Compass | Southern Tier Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
668 Ratings
THE BROS
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BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
668
Reviews:
133
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
11.03%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
81
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 668 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

an imperial pale ale of sorts, in tap at the screamin eagle in inlet, ny. the pour is bright yellow and just about perfectly clear, with a huge white foam head that only relaxes a little. the appearance is great. the nose is too, well hoppy with a mix of bitterness and citrus, not super bright, but not an oily bitter bomb either. very light malt base in smell and taste allows the big hops to come through. this isn't as interesting hop wise as unearthly or even the regular ipa, but it is quite refreshing for its size. lots of alcohol comes through the mouthfeel, hot on the way down, and its exacerbated by vibrant carbonation and not much malt body or sweetness to mellow things out. not a beer I need more than a pint of, but it gives me a nice buzz and is a good addition to the southern tier lineup overall, just a bit understated compared to some of their rock stars.

 877 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Knapp85
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a small growler, the color was a pale yellow with a thin white head on top. The retention was minimal and the lacing was very light as well. Some nice clarity on this beer along with some carbonation bubbles rising to the top. The smell of the beer is pretty standard, the rose hips don't really shine too bright in my opinion. There is some earthy malt on the nose and not a whole lot of hops really. The taste of the beer reminded me a lot of a pilsner, it was light and fairly refreshing. Mostly malt was all I was really getting from this brew. The mouthfeel was light bodied, gently carbonated and very easy to drink. Overall I was hoping for something a little more... not sure if what way but I hoped for something a little more impressive here.

 764 characters

Photo of metter98
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy straw yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high bright white head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a half finger high head covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of floral, herbal and woody hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has notes of rose hips towards the finish. A light to moderate amount of bitterness strands out and lingers through the aftertaste.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't extremely bitter, but seems to be bitterer than it really is because of its lighter-bodied nature. The flavors imparted by the hops seem rather unique. It hides any traces of alcohol very well from the taste.

 857 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
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 kojevergas
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: 22 oz brown glass bottle with a busy label and a branded black pry-off pressure cap acquired at my local H-E-B grocery and served cold into a snifter (as no tulip was on hand) at low altitude in Austin, TX.

Reviewed live as an"imperial sparkling ale" - whatever that means.

9.0% ABV. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2 fingers in width. White colour. Fairly frothy. Decent thickness and creaminess. Has a decent complexion and consistency. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

Retention: ~3 minutes.

BODY: Quasitransparent translucent dark orange-copper. Murky. Not real vibrant. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible within.

Looks above average, but not unique or special. Closest to a pale ale or IPA in terms of appearance.

AROMA: Pale malts. Wheat. Floral hops. Stale citrus fruit. I do find the rose hips when I search for them; I only know the aroma from when I used to chew vitamin c tablets with added rose hips; it's a subtle note but an interesting one. Muted lychee skin. A kiss of doughy starchy malt. Light hints of honey and a bit of crackery malt.

It's a bit sweeter than anticipated; I expected the hops to dominate but they seem pretty neatly balanced. A pleasant albeit reticent aroma of light intensity.

No yeast character, overt alcohol, or off-notes are detectable. If you told me this was a 5% pale ale in a blind tasting, I'd believe you. Given that they describe this as an imperial sparkling ale, I anticipated a heavy crystal malt presence, but none emerges.

The presence of crackery and doughy character is odd given the aroma isn't very dry. Maybe that indicates good integration of those notes?

TASTE: Very pleasant and mellow. The malt base is unintrusive, providing a clean neutral foundation upon which the hop notes can shine. The malts I notice are (in order of emphasis) pale malts, wheat, honey malt, and a bit of crackery malt. Hopwise, I notice floral hop character the most, backed by vague citrus (orange peel I guess), a kiss of papaya, and subtle rose hips (again, I'm judging by my familiarity with vitamin c tablets).

Other reviewers are noting an herbal hop character - I find none. The faint doughiness noticed in the aroma is extremely subtle and buried here, but it's a blip on the finish, and does add a little more nuance to the beer.

What shocks and impresses me is the complete absence of any noticeable alcohol; this drinks like a 5% pale ale, and is expertly balanced, with no naked hop bitterness. The malts are well suited to the hops.

I find no crystal malt; I definitely expected some given the purported style.

Overall, I'm really pleasantly surprised with the quality here. This is a complex, subtly executed brew which boasts impressive depth of flavour without feeling unnecessarily complicated or busy. Great flavour amplitude; the constituent notes blend together seamlessly to form a very cohesive - almost gestalt - whole. As a result, it's hard to deconstruct the beer - which while taxing for a reviewer, is a good thing for the discerning drinker.

TEXTURE: Crisp, slightly overcarbonated, smooth, wet, refreshing, and quenching. I'm taken aback by the absence of any noticeable alcohol heat or booziness. In spite of the subtle crackery malts and doughy yeast notes, it's not really dry at all- except maybe a biteen on the open, which has the effect of parching the palate briefly and then instantly refreshing it, which teases the drinker into consuming more. Aptly medium-bodied, and of appropriate thickness to support the flavour profile without coming off overbearing or oppressive.

Overall, this beer boasts a great presence on the palate and this texture complements the taste quite well, with evidence of custom-tailoring.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, scratchy, or rough.

OVERALL: Southern Tier can label their beers any style they want so long as they keep making them this good, as far as I'm concerned. This was a pleasant surprise and surpassed my expectations. I'd definitely recommend this to friends. It's dangerously drinkable for its relatively high ABV, and offers plenty of flavour. This will impress the discerning drinker. One of the better brews I've had from Southern Tier in recent memory. I'll have to seek out more of their work.

Low B

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Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear goldenstraw with an amber tinge; the head retains well and leaves a modicum of lace

Smell: Doughy and sugary, with tangerine, tropical fruit and rose petal tones

Taste: Doughy, up front, with the tangerine and tropical fruit (papaya, coconut and lychee) with rose hip flavors developing in the middle; white pepper and sage tones arrive, after the swallow, but the finish contains much of what was tasted up front

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A pretty interesting beer that disguises the high ABV very well; nice for a change of pace but I don't think I would want this very often

 639 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Bottle: Poured a deep golden color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt notes with some citrusy hoppy notes and light rose hips notes. Taste is a well balanced mix between some citrusy hops notes, a sweet malt base and some light rose hips notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Good beer thought maybe a tad too sweet for my own taste buds.

 428 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

 1,559 characters

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, some piney hops, some citrus and some spice.

T: The taste starts out with mildly sweet flavors of citrus, spice and caramel. Then a significant but subdued hops presence comes in. The malt character is on the thin side but brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and a little smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent variation of style, it’s not a bad beer but it’s not something I would choose unless my options were quite limited.

 813 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of billab914
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazed amber with a finger of pearl colored head. Above average head retention & alright lacing

S: Tropical fruit, breadyness

T: Pineapple, some grapefruit, breadyness & a little dryness up front. Grassy hops, mix in with pineyness, a little dryness & grapefruit peel. More pineapple, grapefruit, & slight breadyness in the finish, along with boozeyness

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation, nicely balanced, warming

Sparkling ale? Not sure you can have one at 9.0 ABV, but if you can this is damn tasty & drinkable. Southern Tier, you have made me happy again! Get this 4 or six packs

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Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 668 ratings.
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