3xB: Southern Tier hoppe
This week’s Big Bottle: Southern Tier hoppe
Southern Tier…I never know what to think of you and am always nervous when ordering one of your brews. On one hand I could get the great iniquity, but on the other I could also get the pumking or the crème brûlée. Living in the world of Southern Tier is, as Forest Gump’s mama always said, “like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gunna get” (in the case of the choklat stout, you might actually get a box of chocolates in your beer).
Knowing all this, I was intrigued by the hoppe since it was an imperial extra pale ale. I ordered it, poured myself a glass and started to read the description on the bottle. This is when I started to get worried because they chose to go with a very poetic and almost snobby description of the beer. The pint glass full of a light amber beer looked harmless enough.
This beer is excellent! It starts with a slight hint of hops and malt in the aroma and then these flavors explode in an awesome combination when the beer hits your tongue. The hops are slightly bitter, but the malt perfectly counteracts the bitterness of the hops and enhances the rest of the hops. The finish is quite smooth with a slight taste of alcohol, as to be expected from an 8% ABV beer. Being from Southern Tier I was expecting an explosion of hop flavors in the aroma and taste but it just wasn’t there, which was definitely for the best. This is a great beer and the write up on the bottle should be celebrating that fact rather than trying to make you feel like you’re experiencing something much more than enjoying a great beer.