slowrunner77 (5804) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 27, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
"this one hits the spot. still thick and chewy like #2 but is a little more approachable. aroma of furit, oak, vanilla, coconut, slight chocolate...lots going on. warming, not hot. pretty sweet flavor with a similar palate to the aroma."
Chad9976 (1201) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 12, 2014
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Way back in February of 2011 I reviewed Southern Tier Cuvée Series 2 with a friend and it had been sitting in my fridge for six months at that point. This bottle of Southern Tier Cuvée Series 3 I fished out of my basement, but I can’t remember when or where I bought it or how much it cost. I remember the Series 2 being a huge beast, but this bottle of Series 3, though big, is quite tame. A complete malt bomb at this point as the hops have faded into obscurity (and the alcohol, but to a lesser extent). I’m sure there are still a few vintages lurking in the cellars of hoarders and if so I’d recommend breaking them out now because it’s drinking pretty well and I don’t see anything to be gained by waiting any longer.
I poured a 22oz bottle into an official Southern Tier goblet.
Appearance: Pretty burgundy/garnet color. Body is a little hazy and there’s no visible carbonation. Initially pours to a small, yellow layer of suds, but it fizzles away quickly and completely.
Smell: Very strong and sweet aroma with notes of dark fruits and confectionery flavors. Some mustiness present as well.
Taste: Southern Tier Cuvée Series 3 is actually a blend of Series 1 and 2 and is not actually an original brew. Both of those beers were gigantic barleywine-style brews aged in American and French oak barrels (what the barrels previously housed – I’m not sure). You could consider this an Old Ale or an American Strong Ale, but one thing you can’t consider it is a generic beer. It’s clear from the first sip that this is a beast of a beer. Mammoth sweetness right from the get-go; notes of dates, figs, rum-soaked raisins at the forefront. On the backend it turns into something less natural and more man-made with huge notes of toffee, caramel and butterscotch. Nothing noticeable in the way of hops, though, which I suppose is to be expected considering how old this bottle is. Alcohol also plays a part in the palette and creates for a dry astringency. There also seems to be some oxidation as I detect cardboard and maybe some metallic character as well. Regardless, the good flavors outshine the bad and make for a delectable beverage. Unbalanced and slightly flawed to be sure, but a tasty beer nevertheless.
Drinkability: After several years of aging, Southern Tier Cuvée Series 3 has mellowed nicely. There’s still significant warmth from the 11% ABV body, but it’s not exactly fire water. The carbonation has died down, but the beer is not completely flat. The mouthfeel is rather thin and slightly slick with a dry, pasty aftertaste. Still, I had no problem drinking an entire 22oz bottle solo, which is really saying something since I could barely finish only 8oz of a fresh vintage when it was first released.
HeistAlmighty (1127) - Saint John, New Brunswick, CANADA - JUL 8, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
650ml bottle, about a year old when drank. Deep amber colour, hazy, looks thick, basically no head. Strong aroma with lots of oak and sour smells, some coconut and whole bunch of other complexity behind that. Brandy alcohol smells, too. Strong taste spiced molasses cookie taste. Can’t really taste the alcohol, but I can feel it. Body is somehow smooth, sticky and dry at the same time. Overall, very good, but too intense to do the whole bottle alone. Best to share.
hotstuff (4139) - Indiana, USA - MAY 5, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rated on 02-21-2012 (Bottle) This beer pours a small beige head that has a short retention, hazy reddish body, very little carbonation observed, and virtually no lacing. The aroma is caramel malt, oak, dark fruits, spicy, and alcohol. The flavor is sweet, oak, woody, caramel malt, spicy, dark fruity, and boozy. The mouthfeel is lightly tingly and this beer is medium bodied. This is a good sipping beer with a warming sensation as the beer warmed up. It is a beer I would absolutely drink again.
swoopjones (5980) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JAN 25, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle, 2010. shimmery bronze colored pour. very flat. rich malty aroma. caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak. extremely sweet, molasses, caramel. quite boozy also. Big beer that I probably held onto for too long
j12601 (6607) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - JAN 13, 2014
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle that I took to James’ place for A Clocking New Years! Pours a clear ruby amber with thin white head. Nutty almond and wood on the nose, vanilla, soy sauce. Medium-bodied, bordering on thick. Super sweet, sugary. Sweeter than the chocolates we just ate. Sweet, sweet, and more sweet. Oxidized, soy sauce, wood and vanilla. Too sweet and messy.
Jow (2200) - New York, USA - JAN 5, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at clocking new year. Pours orange with big nose of ripe fruit and booze. Tastes of soy sauce, caramel, ripened fruit, oak, vanilla, molasses, and booze. Harsh alcohol on finish and Way too sweet for me but it is ST after all.
jtclockwork (8571) - , New Jersey, USA - JAN 5, 2014
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle shared by Jay at Clocking New Year. Pours reddish brown with brown head. Nose and taste of soy, molasses, caramel syrup, caramelized brown sugar, rum cake and sweet caramel sauce. Too sweet. Medium body.
tgncc (2830) - Bellmore, New York, USA - JAN 4, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
The aroma is soy sauce, hot, caramel, over sweet, oak. The appearance is cloudy, amber, thin white head. THe flavor is soy sauce, booze, burnt caramel, vanilla. Seems off. Finish is sweet, boozy. Not great.
DrSilverworm (6571) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 31, 2013
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle, from Dilly Cafe. Shared with Caterwaul and co. Totally clear darker red color. Thin khaki bubbly head. COuple loose dots and reaches of lace. Big caramel, raisiny, dark fruity nose. Very sweet, sort of cloying taste, with a medicinal bitterness. Bigger body. Light carbonation. Lightly sticky finish. OK, complex aroma, but taste is very harsh, and oxidization doesn’t work with his beer like it sort of did in Cuvee 2. After it sits for a bit the cloying sweet subsides a little, but the taste is still not very pleasant, a little over sweet and medicinally bitter.