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Southern Tier Krampus

December 14, 2012

Nothing quite like a Southern Tier beer. As most drinkers should be aware, Southern Tier is a wonderful brewery from western New York. Despite only being about a decade old, Southern Tier has seen some phenomenal growth. Not only have they produced a lot of great standard brews, but it is their more robust big beers where they take the cake. Being in the spirit of the season, and being a fan of the Krampus as a mythical creature, I decided to grab a glass when I saw it this past week.

The imperial pilsner is a rich amber color with a fluffy white head that lingers atop the beer from some time. You’re met with a strong scent of spicy hops that covers up a barely perceptible sweet smell that is like a blend of toffee, caramel, and malt. The mouthfeel is hefty and while the beer doesn’t linger it is far from smooth.

Unsurprisingly the first thing you’re met with is a strong taste of piney hops. This flavor is punctuated by a few citrus notes, though they’re far from strong, they are enjoyable. There is a light and sweet middle flavor, akin to the barely perceptible sweet scent that accompanied the hop smell. Finally, the beer leaves you with a crisp hop aftertaste that’s a good deal stronger than the bite that accompanies most pilsners.

The Krampus is certainly a distinct beer, an Imperial Pilsner that doesn’t taste like a slightly watered down Double IPA. While I wish its non-hop flavors were slightly more present, I still think it’s worth a glass.

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