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RATINGS: 265   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.56   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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We rely on age-old tools in the brewery despite being surrounded by high technology. As a sort of compass, we use the six pointed brewerís star to help navigate uncharted brews. The cardinal points of water, malt, grain, yeast, hops and a brewer make the baseline. From there anything goes. Sometimes the journey is as important as the destination.

Youíll notice a slight bitterness in Compass derived from our use of rose hips accentuated by high effervescence. Drink it cold from a fluted or tulip glass. And by all means, avoid sea serpents.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
smith4498 (3025) - Miami, Florida, USA - JUL 6, 2013
Pours hazy golden orange color with off white head. Floral aroma with tropical fruits and yeast with some maltiness. Tropical and citrus fruit flavors with some yeast and sweet maltiness. Medium body with lively carbonation. I was surprised by this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
nearbeer (3719) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JUL 2, 2013
650 ml. Hazy golden with an active body that sustains a small creamy disc of bubbles. Aroma is lilac, citrus honey, and evergreen resin. Tastes of honey with the waxy comb, white grapes, resin, citrus zest and a small dose of green herb. Light-medium body is soft and tingly dry, with a medium-high carbonation, and pretty drinkable with just a touch of warmth from the abv. Good, uber-hopped American take on a Belgian.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1178) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 1, 2013
I poured a 22oz bottle into an official Southern Tier goblet. It was bottled on 5/6/13 and cost $7.99 ($0.36 per ounce).

Appearance: Bright pale yellow hue. Mostly clear but with significant haze. Forms a large, bright white, soapy head that mostly dissipates but does leave some lacing on the glass.

Smell: A sweet aroma of bright, clean citrus, especially orange and lemon.

Taste: One of downsides to constantly reviewing beer is that they become repetitive after a while. I always appreciate the unique and unusual brews even if they donít blow my mind. Southern Tier Compass is a perfect example, as itís reminiscent of a San Diego double IPA, but the inclusion of rose hips makes it noticeably spicy and herbal.

The palette opens with light sweetness, almost candy-like in nature. It reminds me of Sprees or Smarties or even Fruity Pebbles cereal. I taste some orange juice flavor as well. Thereís a dry bitterness that grows quite quickly through the middle and then becomes extremely sharp at the apex of the swig. As itís going down, the rose hips make themselves known. Itís a slightly odd taste, since itís bitter like hops, but with a kind of herbal character hops donít produce. This flavor threw me off at first, but after a short while I grew to like it and appreciate how well it blends with citrusy Centennial hop character. Thereís a lingering taste of orange juice combined with a perfume-like flavor. It took me a bit to become accustomed to this palette, but once I did I really appreciated its originality and found the taste to be pretty darn delectable.

Drinkability: The label describes the beer as a bottle-conditioned sparking ale, which is a nice way of saying highly effervescent. Indeed, there is champagne-like bubbles here, but the beer itself is comfortable in the mouth and easy to get down for the most part. Though technically a beefy brew at 9% ABV, Southern Tier Compass feels like a lighter beer since its body and mouthfeel are disproportionately thin. I had no trouble drinking the entire bottle relatively quickly.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
annunz123 (855) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 1, 2013
Citrus and grassy hops in the aroma. Flavor is somewhat mild, with flowery bitterness and a fair amount of alcohol in the finish. Seemed more like an IPA than a Belgian strong ale to me. Good, but not as good as most of Southern Tierís other high end beers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Suttree (5142) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JUL 1, 2013
Cloudy golden yellow, big white head. Smells spicy, floral and citrus. Very crisp palate. Floral, toasty flavors. Dry, woody finish. Subtle flowery notes throughout.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
jredmond (5330) - Manhattan, New York, USA - JUN 30, 2013
Bottle at Maxís tasting. Pours a hazy golden body with no head. Aroma is light and floral. Mouthfeel is medium with notes of yeast, spice, bitter floral flavors and some burning alcohol.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
falco242 (257) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUN 30, 2013
From a bomber...nice hazy pour but with little head or lace. Hides abv well. Nice belgian notes with the hop finish and perfume throughout. Good in the summer but could be good any time of year.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Jethro6191 (435) - Indiana, USA - JUN 29, 2013
Pours a pale, cloudy gold with a big fluffy white head. Bright citrusy aroma. Lemon zest, orange peel, grapefruit, and floral notes with a slight Belgain funk. Light crisp mouthfeel with a high level of carbonation. Finishes fairly dry.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pailhead (4809) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - JUN 29, 2013
Bottle: The aroma consists of orange, lemon, grapefruit, and floral notes. It pours a hazy orangish-gold with a one finger white head that quickly fades to a soapy film outlined by a thicker ring. There is some sporadic webbing left on the sides of the glass. The flavor starts with moderate citrus and some lightly sweet fruits. The finish has floral notes, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon peel, and pine. Itís medium bodied with moderate-lively carbonation. Overall, it comes across like a hoppy Tripel. Iíve passed this beer over several times in the last few weeks. Iím glad I finally picked one up.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
nuplastikk (4396) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 28, 2013
22oz bomber. I like that they call it a Sparkling Ale..no one does that and it is a commendable niche to fill. Unfiltered orange-yellow body..lots of floaties. Thin, patchy, soapy, off white head. A pretty nice beer, reminiscent of Duvel in a sense with itís rich malt backbone, dry straw hoppiness, and Belgian yeast esters...but strongly leaning into the Tripel realm as well. The rose hips to give it some depth, finesse. Great mouthfeel, nice champagne effervescence. Well done, but doesnít live up to the boldness of the original ST bombers.

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