Friday, June 12, 2015

Southern Tier 2XONE 2015 Seasonal (review)

  Southern Tier Brewing Company's 2XONE 2015 Seasonal IPA. Honestly, unless you are blessed with the sensory prowess of a wild animal, how many different nuances can you seriously taste, smell and recall. At some point the hop and malt combinations have to bleed together - even to those pretentious assholes who refused to admit it.
I was saying just the other day how I felt that overloading IPA's with a huge number of different hop varieties all at once was sort of played out, then lo and behold I happen across

Enter 2XONE. In 2014 Southern Tier Brewing Company had an idea that, in these heady days of craft brewing experimentation, would seem to be quite novel. They simplified the IPA / Double IPA to its most basic formula: one variety of malt, one variety of hops. And then to up the ante they decided to change the malt-hop pairing found in 2XONE each and every year. The 2015 iteration of 2XONE utilizes Equinox hops and Superior Pale malt.

When I began my personal craft beer journey last year I very much enjoyed Southern Tier IPA. One of my very next purchases was Southern Tier 2XIPA which was also my very first experience with a Double IPA. If you've been reading my reviews regularly it should come as no surprise that I've quickly become something of a "hop-head." I love the always bitter, and sometimes subtle intensity of hops. When I spotted 2XONE in the cooler this morning it was no-brainer purchase. I had to give it a try.

Yeah, its good. But don't expect a clone of Southern Tier regular Double IPA. Happily, Southern Tier Brewing has created a different beast. To this nose (which I must admit is currently under siege from seasonal allergies) both the smell and taste are herbal and spicy, with hints of citrus and pine - which could describe any number of hop varieties - which really has to make you wonder what effect having 5 or 6 varieties of hops really has on a more typical 2015 IPA? Hops aside, as you might expect the malt takes a back seat, making only a brief appearance in the flavor profile before the bitterness takes over.

Medium golden hue, a finger of white foam, medium body, delicious to the last drop.

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