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Southern Tier Hoppe Imperial Extra Pale Ale
Written by Taylor
I saw Southern Tier’s Hoppe (pronounced as simply ‘hop’) in the refrigerator at my local Binny’s a while back and kept my eye on it. Every time I saw it again, I would think, “I need to try that sometime.” But I never pulled the trigger.
I’m happy that I finally did get to pull the trigger on this great “ale of simple composition.” From the label: “The simplicity of Hoppe tests the skill and ability of the brewer to create something truly majestic. We craft this much like a sculptor who uses only a hammer and chisel to shape stone into a masterpiece. Hoppe is spawned of these few essentials: barley, wheat, hops, yeast and water. This limited palette is an exercise in minimalism, with refined elements which are deliberately selected. This simple combination creates a golden shimmering brew infused with delicate aromas. The artful nature of this beer is exposed with the first taste. As the malt and hops create a composition of flavors, an elegant finish leaves an impression that your tastes will not soon forget.”
Mine poured a nice golden copper color into the snifter. It smelled excellent, pleasantly hoppy with some sweet malt notes. There was citrus and pine, but not much of the latter. I realized that I hadn’t expected much from this beer, but once I poured it I knew that I was going to enjoy. The smell told me that.
Tasted great. It was surprisingly smooth for a hoppy beer, coated my palate and settled with an excellent finish. The 8.3% ABV was fairly well disguised … I could easily finish a bomber of this and not really finish.
In the end this “extra pale ale” reminded me of an American Pale Ale in that it didn’t taste as bitter as a regular IPA. I like that … the hoppy, citrusy-and-sessionable pale ale. The same reason I really like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale. But that’s a different beer.
Give Hoppe a try, especially if you want something to drink over the course of an evening. My favor of Southern Tier is increasing. Good beer!
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