Friday, March 9, 2012

Southern Tier 2X Stout


My first Southern Tier beer review of 2012 and we have a new guest reviewer via Skype to get in on it - Joe Eswiler of http://youtube.com/ProperHopsTV
If you know you know I'm a huge fan of Southern Tier, but I haven't had a non-imperial beer by them in a long time. This is meant to fill in that weird void between a regular stout and an imperial at only 7.5% ABV. Plus it's a milk stout - I usually like those. So this is a sure thing, right?

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (626) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 8, 2012
You’ve heard of "double IPA" but what about a double stout? When you think of stout you only think of the regular version and the imperial kind - can’t there be something in between? That’s probably the idea behind Southern Tier’s 2X Stout. It’s a "Double Milk Stout" according to the label, and a base style that would ideally work well as a stronger stout but without the bulkiness of an imperial size. It’s a good beer for sure, but not quite as monumental as you’d think.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Typical stout facade of opaque black. Forms a small, dark tan, foamy head which dissipates rather quickly and doesn’t leave much lacing on the glass.

Smell: A mild aroma with a scent reminiscent of the supermarket dairy aisle and candy bar chocolate. Very subtle hint of alcohol, too.

Taste: Milk stouts tend to be one of my favorite types of regular, non-imperial stouts so I was really expecting unique and impressive with Southern Tier 2X Stout. It begins quite normal with a light bitterness in the usual stout delivery. Slightly dry, slightly toasted malt flavor up front that quickly gives way to a much sweeter element of licorice, candy bar chocolate and a hint of vanilla extract. There’s a cola-like sweetness present here with a faint taste to match. The palate becomes sweeter as the beer warms, but never to the point of becoming cloying or sticky.

All that being said, you’d think this is a delicious robust beer, right? Well I wouldn’t call this a bad beer by any means, but it seems like there’s a few things off about the palate. Firstly, for a stout of this weight and style there’s a noticeable lack of roasted malt and any type of coffee bitterness. Secondly, the sweet, milky/vanilla flavors are quite tasty, but there’s a faint off flavor riding shotgun - probably the alcohol making itself known. In the end, these flaws are easily overlooked, thus making this a good beer but nothing amazing.

Drinkability: For a bigger beer, Southern Tier 2X Stout has the body of something much smaller. The mouthfeel is rather thin, but with a silky smooth texture. The aftertaste is quite mild and clean with just the faintest bittersweet flavor. The 7.5% ABV is only slightly detectable as far as taste and weight. Certainly more noticeable body than your average stout, but nothing so obese it has to be savored slowly.
Grade: 7/10