Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Southern Tier Salted Caramel Review

Name: Southern Tier Salted Caramel
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 10%

Last time I reviewed anything from Southern Tier's Blackwater Series, my expectations as to how bad a barleywine could be were shattered with their Backburner. So naturally when I saw their newest release, Salted Caramel, staring at me last week, I was a bit apprehensive about buying it. However, as you can see, I went and got it anyways.

So it's an Imperial Stout made with Caramel and..........Himalayan Pink Sea Salt? I don't think I'd ever use the words Himalayan & Sea Salt in the same sentence but yet I did. It begs the question though: What is it with breweries and Salted Caramel beers? New Belgium has already done a couple, Tallgrass also did one too, and now Southern Tier has hopped abroad. Permitting that I haven't had any that are bad yet as they have been solid thus far.

Appearance - Pitch black with no visible carbonation. The head takes on a tan color and retains a thin appearance with a very high amount of lacing left behind

Aroma - Buttered caramel and caramelized malts with some light saltiness. I'm also getting some toffee malts and just a touch of bitter hops that is barely noticeable.

Taste - Fairly prominent buttery caramel and caramelized malts upfront with some saltiness in the middle, which becomes more prevalent as it warms up. The back end of the palate, however, drops off to a bitter hop, roasted barley and salty finish, while retaining none of the sweetness found in the front.

This beer reminds me of the movie adaptation of Watchman; The first half is spot on while the second part starts to deviate from what is expected. That's my fancy euphemism of saying that the first half of the flavor is great while the back tends to be a bit too bitter for my liking and everything that made the flavor great in the first place is nowhere to be seen by the time it's all said and done.

As a whole it isn't a terrible beer but if you want a truly extraordinary salted caramel beer, go with Sweet Tooth by Tallgrass Brewing, you won't regret it. As for this beer, you're better off just skipping it.

Southern Tier Salted Caramel - 6/10

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