I’m a big fan of the beers produced by Southern Tier, a brewery down there in upstate New York somewhere. (Sorry, geography has never been my strong suit.) I’d liked ’em since rudy, my pal in Buffalo, brought me up a bottle of their IPA a few years ago, and while they’ve let me down a couple of times (I was slightly underwhelmed by their Cherry Saison, for example), they generally make some pretty solid stuff.
Recently, though, I noticed that I’d somehow never had Hoppe, one of their most popular brands, which they call an “Imperial Extra Pale Ale” and RateBeer calls an “American Strong Ale” and Beer Advocate calls an “American Double / Imperial IPA“. All of which translate to “a big-ass hoppy beer”.
Thanks once again to rudy, I got myself a bomber during my recent trip to Buffalo, and I cracked it last night, hoping that by some miracle, the excessive hops would fend off the cold that started bearing down on me yesterday. (They didn’t. I feel like crap today.) Still, it was a very good beer, even despite the lack of medicinal properties.
Here’s what I wrote:
“Lovely bright golden with a large white head that leaves lots of lace. Fresh and full aroma, sweet and hoppy with notes of candied orange peel and pine needles. Medium bodied. Flavour is definitely hop-forward, with tingly hints of lemon, orange, pine and wintergreen. Malt is a bit muted, but thereâ€™s enough to add a mild sweetness in the background. A bit much for everyday drinking, but as far as hop bombs go, itâ€™s quite a good one.”
(And I should give a shout out my friends at Roland + Russell, who represent Southern Tier in Ontario. I don’t think they carry Hoppe, but they have a few other ST beers available for private orders, and of course six-packs of the IPA at the LCBO.)