It is a warm and sunny September afternoon here in middle Canada. The mosquitos are mostly gone, the leaves are a myriad of beautiful colours and that makes it a perfect Friday for sipping some beers on the patio.
A recent trip to the LCBO was quite fruitful as I found not one but two Southern Tier brews nestled amongst the regular beer line-up. One was even new to me, which is the best case scenario for any true beer geek.
This new brew Friday is showcasing my find of the year, Southern Tier Imperial Compass a bottle conditioned sparkling ale brewed with rose hips and citrusy hops. As the description suggests this beer pours a bubbly deep gold with some bright white head and a big citrus hoppy nose. First few sips are sweet and hoppy with some yeast character and the slightest floral note. A big warming beer at 9% this one reminds me of a Belgian crossed with an IPA. Not too much to dislike about this beer, well balanced and easy to drink. As you continue drinking the flavours remain consistent and the head has impressive staying power. The finish leaves a nice lingering hop aftertaste.
I have yet to be disappointed by Southern Tier so no big surprise that I am a fan of this beer. If there is any critique it is some Southern Tier beers can be over the top, think Creme Brûlée, but Imperial Compass hits all the right points (bad pun Friday indeed). Have a great weekend!