Monday, June 1, 2015

Southern Tier Tangier

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1363) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 1, 2015
We’ve 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 the background.

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).

Score: 8/10