now reached a point where doing a by-the-book session IPA isn’t
innovative enough. Brewers are starting to change it up – which is
perfectly fine by me. Southern Tier seems to be one of the first to make
a fruity session IPA – Tangier – which is brewed with tangerine peels.
It’s a little more bitter and drier than most, but still just as tasty
and enjoyable as some of the better examples of the style.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a Southern Tier goblet. It was bottled on 4/23/15 and cost $2.55 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Dark golden color, but nearly completely clear body. Some
particulates float in suspension. Pours to an average-sized, off-white,
soapy head which retains and laces pretty well.
Smell: Huge citrusy aroma, especially that of orange (not surprising
considering the use of tangerine peels). Some spicy character lurks in
Taste: Simply using a citrus fruit peel in a brew doesn’t make it a
fruit beer; it’s actually more of a garnish. Those expecting this to be
juicy may be surprised to find it’s actually quite the opposite:
remarkably bitter with a spicy bite and a dryness on the finish. It
begins with a ruby red grapefruit taste; it’s slightly mild and maybe
even a bit sweet at first. The palette then changes almost on a dime to
become aggressively bitter, dry and spicy as the tangerine peel flavor
emerges. It’s actually surprising how bitter the taste seems to be –
akin to crushed aspirin on the tongue (but only for a moment). There’s
enough malt character to give it a semblance of balance, but not so much
as to be distinctive. Overall, this is one of the more memorable
session IPAs I’ve had.
Drinkability: At 4.6% ABV, Southern Tier Tangier rides the fence as to
whether it’s truly a session beer, though I’d say it’s definitely a
session IPA. The mouthfeel does feel a little light and unsupported –
not quite watery but noticeably thin and a little undercarbonated. It is
quite smooth and comfortable and refreshing while in the mouth. A
lingering pasty/starchy sensation on the tongue, but it’s easily
overlooked. I was surprised how quickly I went through a glass. A fine
summertime brew (now if only it were available in cans).