A Spoonful of Muscovado Sugar Makes the Beer go Down: Southern Tier’s 2XIBA

On the docket:  Southern Tier’s 2XIBA.  Born on date:  7/21/15.  Not the freshest, but certainly within acceptable standards.

Poured into:  Snorkel Snifter with gusto.

S:  A head so khaki it makes my Docker’s look inept.  I might say “nice pants.”  Thick, uniform, thousands of microscopic bubbles.  Thorough but soapy lacing.  Underneath this nice set of pants, the body shows off a deep, dark, brown-black with a pleasant orange glow at the base, but you really have to look for it. Set behind the powder blue octopus and yellow lettering on the outside of the snifter, it’s quite artistic.

A:  Hops greet you immediately with pine, mango, melon trio.  A dark roasted malt aroma follows, with just a hint of sweetness and boozy heat.  Faint whispers of raisin or another dark fruit and molasses.

T:  I need to describe the experience back to front:  Scorpion-shell dryness and a sting of bitter hoppiness.  Mid-way through the smooth oats and dark, rum-like sugar sweetness.  It starts roasty, with pumpernickel bread which carries into the middle.

F:  Medium light, smooth due to the use of oats- definitely sense the “oatmeal stout” fluffiness. Prickly carbonation, enough to lift some of the sweetness away.  It’s hard to see the bubble activity due to the SRM that must be about 40 or so.  Dry finish, it’s a good thing because of the sugar present in the brew.  Despite the 8% abv, no alarming sense of heat from the alcohols.

O:  ST brings you a dark party in your mouth.  It’s complex, a balance of dark, bitter, sweet, and creamy.  These guys seldom disappoint.  I’d love to try this fresh out of the tank.  I’d call this a one-at-a-time brew due to the intensity of the palate (2IPA strength not withstanding).  Fans of Carton’s Epitome or Founder’s Dark Penance would enjoy this (I loved both).  Nice spin on ADAs with the addition of the Muscovado sugar, you can taste it.

S:  4  A:  4.25  T:  4.5  F:  3.75  o:  4.25

Suggested food pairing:  a tough one, but perhaps tangy barbecue pulled-pork sliders, Danish bleu cheese, bread pudding or dark chocolate brownie