I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Southern Tier goblet. It was bottled on 3/12/13 making it one month and 13 days old. It cost $2.50 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Sans yeast it’s a crystal clear, dark gold/light orange hue.
Plenty of fine carbonation visible. When the yeast is added it becomes
quite cloudy and pale yellow like a witbier. Was disappointed by the
small, white, foamy head which mostly evaporated and left almost no
Smell: Strong scent of flowers and citrus. Clean and refreshing to the nose.
Taste: I was a big fan of Southern Tier’s previous pale ale, simply
called "Pale," so I’m not sure why they decided to release a new one.
This time around they’ve really amped up the hops, but have kept the
malty side tame so that "Live" does drink like a true American pale ale
without the weight or intensity of an IPA.
The bottle indicates the beer is brewed with four types of malts and
hops, but I couldn’t find a listing of which were used. For hops I’m
guess Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Citra. That would explain the
bright aroma and taste of orange flesh as well as grapefruit and a
clean, flowery character. There’s lightly sharp, somewhat dry bitterness
throughout the palette, but it doesn’t linger or overwhelm. The malty
side contains subtle flavor of honey and other pale malt, but nothing
too sweet. It’s quite pleasant and fun to drink. I’m not sure I
understand the point of bottle-conditioning this beer, though. The yeast
really has no effect on the taste or drinkability.
Drinkability: I don’t usually consider hoppy beers "refreshing," because
the bitterness tends to dry you out. But in the case of Southern Tier
Live, it IS the best of both worlds. A light, crisp mouthfeel that’s
refreshing while on the tongue. The aftertaste is remarkably clean which
will prevent palate fatigue. At 5.5% ABV it’s quite sessionable, but
not a session beer per se. It would pair well with standard pub food as
well as picnics, cook-outs, and other types of gatherings where you
could bring a six-pack to share and it’ll likely be enjoyed by everyone.