Saturday, April 27, 2013

Southern Tier Live

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (864) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 26, 2013
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 lacing.

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. 
Grade: 9/10