Thursday, January 7, 2016

Southern Tier 2XIBA (review)

Beer Review #71

Everybody has a brewery they go back to time and time again. For me that brewery seems to be, completely by chance, Southern Tier . To date I've reviewed 7 of their beers (most recently Double Milk Stout), and for my 8th helping I've returned to Southern Tier Brewing Company for their 2XIBA (Double India Style Black Ale)

So for starters, what the hell is a Black Ale? The best I could do in my brief research is this article from Brewer's Friend. Prior to popping and pouring the one sitting in front of me now, I'd never had a beer that describes itself as a "Black Ale," or *gasp* "Black IPA," however I've been eyeing a number of brews on the local racks bearing these monikers for some time. My college background in English makes "Black India Pale Ale" hard to digest. Nevertheless, its a good starting point.

Southern Tier 2XIBA may look like a porter (light black/dark brown with red highlights throughout when exposed to the light), however both the taste and aroma scream IPA upfront before giving way to other subtleties. Its a hoppy beer with grapefruit and pine on the nose giving way to chocolate covered cherry.

The Muscovado Sugar roasted malts and oats impart the beer with the dark-creaminess and bitter-sweetness of an Imperial Stout, while still managing to leave ample space on the palate for citrus, pine and fruity hop characteristics. The bitterness and sweetness interplay in a way that make me think of cherry or plum blended with brown sugar.

8.0%ABV. This is a beer that shouldn't work but succeeds wonderfully. Should be pleasing to both IPA and Stout/Porter drinkers.

Musical Pairing: The Black Halo by Kamelot

Twin Tiers Beer Trail:
-Twin Tiers Craft Beer Club
The Jolly Farmer, Waverly
Bluestone Brewing Company (Sayre)
- Diversion Brewing Co. (Chemung)
River Barge Brewing (Wyalusing)

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