Archive for Extra Special Bitter

57 – Southern Tier Harvest Ale

This is the start of a series since we’re in an interesting season for craft beer. Starting this week will be a series of oktoberfest/harvest/bocks followed by 3 weeks of pumpkin beers. If you’ve drank with me before you know what I think of the pumpkin style.  Some were good while others still sucked the soul from my palate. Here we go!

Southern Tier Harvest Ale
Southern Tier –
style: Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
abv: 5.7%
serving size: 12oz
glass used: pint
price: $3.25

Harvest Ale is our celebration of the changing weather and the sowing of hops and barley that will be used in our upcoming brews. We usher in the fall with a classic English style Extra Special Bitter of the highest order. Deep ruby in color with an even deeper hop flavor… in fact, we throw fresh English hops into every brewing vessel, then dry hop after fermentation to impart a zesty kick. This beer has real hop character that mingles with fresh malted barley for an experience that will make you wish it were fall year ‘round.

What I think
As soon as I poured this I knew I was in love (sorry Lushie). The aroma was straight up hops with a twist of citrus but the body appearance worried me as it was almost as clear as a cheap macro. Thankfully the flavor was anything but cheap. the body had a medium feel but was packed full of citrus, hops and extremely crisp. The finish was refreshing with a slight hop aftertaste.

This pushes the boundaries with alcohol level on if I would call it a session beer but wtf, why not.  I can see myself sitting on my back porch, mowing the lawn, working on my car or even driving a semi truck without breaks down a hill during rush hour. See, you really can do anything!

When you see this beer it better make it into your basket. This is a MUST buy!

Spoon’s rating: A

Imperial Stouts are generally known as Winter beers.  Because of their high alcohol content (in this case, 9.5% ABV), they tend to lay heavy on your tongue which some find less palatable in warmer seasons such as this.  But this beer doesn’t do that. It’s lush, yes — rich with malt and chocolate and slight hints of vanilla. With such a sweet overall balance of malt, it almost seems that the hops play a very minor role in the overall flavor of the beer. Even the roasted barley, one of the most integral ingredients of any Stout, doesn’t take over.  Ten Fidy almost seems like a beer that doesn’t take itself seriously, when it should. It couldn’t be less assuming. It is in a can, after all.Don’t judge this beer by its appearance in its package. Because once it’s in your glass, it’s a whole new ball game. Available coast to coast.