Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Southern Tier Harvest

It's been over five months since I last reviewed a Southern Tier beer (my favorite brewery!). Although this is a re-review of sorts for me because I just had this on cask at The Ruck back on September 30th (see link below). It's technically an ESB, but they've Americanized it for sure.

"Southern Tier Cask Night at The Ruck" here:

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (644) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 1, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.

Appearance: Crystal clear, clean, copper color. Forms a good sized, eggshell colored head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Strong hop aroma as soon as the cap is popped. Light flowers, tropical fruits (sans acidity) and a hint of pine needles. Very enticing.

Taste: I don’t grade beer to style and Southern Tier Harvest is a perfect example of why. This is technically an ESB, yet it looks, smells and tastes much more like a traditional American IPA than an English pub-style bitter. It begins with a swift, sharp bitterness which transitions to a refreshing, tropical fruit juice-like taste and reverts back to bitterness with a strong hop bite. It has aspects of both west and east coast IPAs with the citrusy, juicy flavors (without the citric tartness), and pine needle and toffee-like sweetness. The hops linger momentarily, but otherwise the beer finishes very clean. Satisfying and tasty all around - I can’t think of a single flaw with this palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, low carbonation but not tepid; slightly dry aftertaste.

Drinkability: Weighing in at 6.7% ABV, Southern Tier Harvest is pretty big for an ESB, but it doesn’t sacrifice palatability. The flavor is strong, but not overwhelming (perhaps for beginners, though). The body is crisp, but smooth and strong enough to stand up to food but enjoyable perfectly well on its own. One of the few hoppy beers over 5% ABV I would consider sessionable.
Grade: 8/10

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