Sunday, May 19, 2013

Southern Tier 2X Steam

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (883) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 19, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Southern Tier goblet. It was bottled on 4/16/13 making it only one month and three days old. It cost $3.15 ($0.26 per ounce).

Appearance: Golden/brown hue, mostly clear, not much visible carbonation. Forms a small, off-white, soapy head which mostly evaporates and doesn’t leave much lacing.

Smell: Strong malty aroma with a significant lager character. A hint of flowers and pine needles.

Taste: Anchor Steam is probably the best known "California Common" or "Steam" style of American beer (a lager/ale hybrid). There aren’t a lot of other examples on the craft beer market, and prior to Southern Tier 2X Steam, I don’t think there are any double/imperial versions. This beer drinks a lot like its base style in nearly all aspects, so I’m not sure what the point was in making it bigger.

I haven’t had a lager with this much of an original, authentic palette in a long time. There’s a lot of earthy taste to this beer. Slight peanut shell/rustic flavor, plus some pine nut and herbal tea on the back end. Plenty of maltiness all around with the hops adding just a quick, dry bitterness at the peak of the swig. There’s a slight starchy flavor on the aftertaste, but for the most part it’s clean. What’s here is fine, but that’s not something I’m used to equating with a Southern Tier beer.

Drinkability: What’s impressive about Southern Tier 2X Steam is the fact it doesn’t seem all that "2X". For an 8% ABV beer there’s no alcohol presence whatsoever. The body has the same weight of something like Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The mouthfeel is energetic, but not spastic, and goes down extremely smooth. If this same taste were in a smaller body I could see this being quite sessionable. 
Grade: 7/10