2XIPA – Southern Tier Brewing Co.

So I mentioned this one in my run-down of the LCBO’s summer beer release. It is a double or imperial IPA (sorry Stephen), from Southern Tier, a highly respected brewery in Lakewood, New York.  Okay, it’s currently 32C at Billy Bishop, according to Environment Canada.  This is not traditionally thought of as high hop/high alcohol beer time.  People are swigging pilsners, and wheat beers, and cider (sometimes over ice).  But an 8.2% monster?  Not the norm, I know.  But I’ve had 2XIPA waiting for review, and if I didn’t get to it soon, I was likely to just drink it.  So I did, but I reviewed it too.

2XIPA - Southern Tier Brewing Co.

2XIPA - Southern Tier Brewing Co.

From a 355ml bottle with no freshness date (but as I always mention, 8.2% with high hops, isn’t really going off any time soon!), 2XIPA pours a hazy orange/brown with about 1″ of fluffy head that laced the glass well. Aroma is fresh and hoppy, quite herbal and a little resinous.  There is a heap of sweet caramel grain to the nose as well, and some nice yeasty notes.  Taste is very sweet on the front of your tongue, then a stack of bitterness comes through across the middle to the back.  A big hot dose of alcohol accompanies the beer the whole way down.  The grains are sweet and warm, hinting at a grain field in the fall, a little earthy but still sweet.  Hops are a a journey of taste, starting out herbal, nearly parsley or oregano, a little earthy, the bitterness really builds up, resinous, sticky and almost a little soapy (though not in a flawed way). Little bursts of pine and citrus pop up, but are there and then gone.  The aftertaste is nearly entirely hops, dry, a little puckering, with little notes of lemon.  The balance of the sweetness of the malts with the huge hops is just incredible, very evident especially as the beer warms a bit, and the hops open up.  Right out of the fridge and this drinks a little too boozy and sweet.  Five minutes open on a day when it’s 32C outside, and it’s perfect.  I had better drink up before it’s soup!  On the palate, the beer is medium bodied, with a light carbonation.  But the booze and the hops help keep it light feeling.  A great American double IPA!

Cheers, Southern Tier, and good on the LCBO for bringing this one in.

About The Brewery

Southern Tier LogoIn operation since late 2002, Southern Tier Brewing Company of Lakewood, New York, has grown to produce over 30,000 barrels of beer annually. The hand crafted ales are now available in more than half of the United States, as well as parts of Australia, Denmark, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Ontario, British Columbia, and the United Kingdom. Southern Tier’s classic India Pale Ale ranks amongst the seven top beers of 2010 as declared by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. In an article describing the 2010 American Craft Beer Festival, the Massachusetts Daily Collegian declared Southern Tier’s Oak Aged ‘Unearthly’ Imperial IPA to be their favorite brew at the event. October hails the seasonal Pumking ale, with Beverage Underground saluting it, and the Chicagoist naming it “Beer of the Week” for its robust pumpkin flavor.
Internationally, Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale won a silver award amongst other Pale Ales at Singapore’s Beerfest Asia 2010.


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