3xB: Southern Tier Krampus
This week’s Big Bottle: Southern Tier Krampus
Coming shortly after a failed experiment with one or two other beers generously offered by my girlfriend’s father, I was a little skeptical heading into my first exposure to Southern Tier’s Krampus. I always think of Southern Tier as having a great reputation, but if the last beer you’d tried (from a variety collection, not Southern Tier) tasted like a combination of sour cider and basement you would be skeptical too.
As a winter lager, I had certain expectations going in, and was surprised when it poured more of a rich brown than the dark, opaque appearance of some winter varieties. Significant head came with a strong, refreshing aroma of hops right away.
At this point I had overcome my initial hesitation and was not disappointed in how these initial impressions translated to taste. The hoppy aroma carried through, strong and refreshing but certainly not overpowering. This was accompanied by a sweet flavor that I would describe as caramel (though my roommate added that some type of fruit was in the mix). This strong, somewhat complex body then finished quite clean, with just enough lingering bitterness to remember the hops.
Overall, this was one of the best beers I’d had in a long time.