Southern Tier Hoppe Imperial Extra Pale Ale

One of my favorite beers out there is Southern Tier Gemini, which is a blend of Hoppe Imperial Extra Pale Ale and Unearthly India Pale Ale. The blend is a special limited release, so I’m unsure if I’ll be able to find it again, but I certainly hope I do.

Southern Tier Hoppe

Because I loved Gemini so very much, I thought it fitting to taste and review Hoppe, slated by Southern Tier as "an ale of simple composition." Right on the bottle, I learned that they "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 that are deliberately selected."

Beautifully simple in its ingredients, Hoppe is incredibly complex, testing " the skill and ability of the brewer to create something truly majestic." A must-try, if I do say so myself (and I do).

This 8% ABV Imperial Extra Pale Ale pours a beautiful golden, sunlit amber that’s slightly cloudy. To be honest, I really couldn’t see through it at all. The head is a finger high with medium retention; that which rims the surface sticks around for quite some time.

Hoppe’s aroma is slightly floral and sweet with fruit – I detected pear and green grapes here, with a hint of peach. Its body is medium but the carbonation cuts through, which keeps it more drinkable than some other Imperials I’ve tasted before. Very smooth through the finish.

The flavor of this ale is sweet, like the aroma, but with a nice, lightly hoppy kick on the sides of my tongue. Notes most easily detected were those I found in the nose; green grapes, flowers and a touch of peach. The floral hops are balanced well by the malt in the finish. Quite complex, especially for such a simple composition.

I will certainly pick this brew up again.

[techtags:SOUTHERN TIER BREWING CO, HOPPE, EXTRA PALE ALE, IMPERIAL PALE ALE, BEER REVIEWS]

4 Comments

  • Rob July 15, 2010 @ 9:26am

    Good morning. I also love this one and Gemini. Nice description and photo which is making me itch for a liquor store run. You know… you could make your own Gemini 🙂 Talk to you soon.

  • Hannah July 15, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Rob – this is VERY true! I should just blend them myself. Glad you like the photo! I thought something Imperial could use an angle like that.

  • N. July 15, 2010 @ 10:25am

    Nice review and photo! BTW– there are a few bottles of Gemini for sale at the brewery.

  • Hannah July 15, 2010 @ 11:38am

    N. – thanks! Great brew 🙂 I’ve been planning a trip out there with one of my beer-loving friends so we’ll try to make it sooner than later.

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