I have written about Southern Tier's porter a couple of times and reviewed the IPA. All but the Hop Sun were in a variety twelve along with the porter that I picked up at the beginning of July - again obeying the golden rule of variety twelves (all ales and four styles please). I have enjoyed everything they have thrown at me and here are a few more:
- Phin and Matt's Extraordinary Ale: white rim over light amber brew. Quite fruity - apricot and peach - in the malt. Kind of like a bigger Magic Hat #9. It is also a bit unconventional in the taste structuring. The hops hit a wee bit early and the malt opens up after. A nice semi-sweet amber ale. The effect of the hops and yeast is creamy vegetative. Interesting for something of an everyday ale. Advocators say yay.
- Triple: white foam over deep straw with a sweet boozy nose. Smooth rich Belgian-style pale malt - a little less severe than most triples - if candy can be severe. It is sweet with flavours of candy floss and corn on the cob...yet still musty like a biere de garde. Very fine but the BAers have issues.
- IPA: I really like this beer as well. White rim over a really attractive medium brown, like antique patina of cherrywood. Isn't that just about the lamest thing I have ever written - except it is true...or at least trueish. The malt fruitiness is autumn apple over cream yeast. Not a hop bomb like, say, Ithaca Flower Power, but a rather nice balance of malt sweet, bit of heat and bitter greens. The effect is something like well oaked chardonnay - if chardonnay were made of grain and not grapes. I reviewed this last year at the same link as the Flower Power above and found it more spicy than green. As of today, ninety-nine advocates all say yes.
- Hop Sun Wheat: I noticed this beer rated highly with the Beer Beacon's column called "Beers of Summer" in the August/September issue of Great Lakes Brewing News, one of the excellent trade papers published by Brewing News of East Amherst, NY. The beer's head falls quickly back to a white rim over medium-light straw. The ale is crisp by which I mean the bitter green hops are a nicely balanced sharp taste at the front of your mouth. Blending with the green hops are some green grass notes from the biscuity core of wheat malt. Beyond these two there is a high note of lemon as well as deeper ones of green apple and maybe apricot. All bright lightly acidic flavours. So for summer sip, this is well structured and flavourful even if it is 4.3% and at the light end of mouthfeel that I can put up with. I hate wondering if I missed my mouth. All 40 at the BA like it.