For KOTBR #87, we met at Rod and Jess's house to blaze our way through one of the newest entries to the Indianapolis market - beer from Southern Tier. Southern Tier has been available in northern and southern Indiana for quite some time, but being that they're distributed by neither World Class Beverages or Cavalier Distributing means that you won't find them in just any central Indiana liquor store. As far as we know right now, they're only available at Kahn's.
The good thing is that despite the limited availability, most of the beers are currently ringing up for just $5.99. As you'll read below, that's a nice price for beer that scores pretty well.
This KOTBR also features something we've never done before - live blogging. While the typical live blogging session is posted while it happens, in this case we transcribed everything live, and are now bringing to you just 24 hours later. We hope that this will give you a peek into what it's like when we sit down for a roundtable.
Mike typing Southern Tier Cherry Saison
Everyone says something about the nose - mildly soapy, cherry, jess mentions a bag of balloons...
Gina: "That's got a lot of alcohol."
Jess: "I don't remember it having that."
Mouthfeel is thick. Medicinal notes on the finish.
Rod reaches for a notebook.
Jess: "But Mike is live blogging!"
Gina takes another drink. "Huh..."
Now I'm getting copper/pennies from the nose.
Jess: "I'm kinda disappointed. We had this back in July."
Gina: "It's alright."
Jess: "I give it a 2.4 cuz I'm getting some weird flavor on it I don't enjoy."
Gina: "There's a coppery... it's right on the back."
Mike: "I just think the beer is cloying and coppery. Not a good combination. 2.0."
Jess: "Rod's gonna throw this off... He's gonna give it like 6."
Rod: "I'll go 2.9. I don't think it's necessarily bad, it's just not what it says it is. It's too much citrus. In the nose I get orange juice, and then I can taste a little tangerine - a super sweet watery orange."
Gina: "Hmm... I do get... it's more tart cherry that I get."
Jess: "I don't get the oak."
Rod: "I think the oak is doing that dry finish."
Jess: "I do appreciate the pickup truck with a giant cherry in it on the label."
Southern Tier Cherry Saison
Mike: 2.0 Mugs | Jess: 2.4 Mugs | Gina: 2.1 Mugs | Rod: 2.9 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 2.35 Mugs
Gina typing Southern Tier Heavy Weizen
Rod pours water.
Mike takes pictures.
Mike takes more pictures.
Rod takes pictures.
Rod swirls beer, opens and pours.
Mike: "Looks good, orangey."
Jess: "It's definitely unfiltered."
Mike cheers for a commercial and proclaims that he's switching to Revol wireless.
Mike: "Smells good."
Jess: "This is the one we're supposed to have with a lemon."
Rod takes pictures.
Mike: (nose) "I can see lemon..."
Jess: "It's citrusy, not banana-y."
Mike: "Orange and banana.. not banana, lemon..."
Rod: "Orange and pineapple."
Jess: "It's the Spongebob beer. It's unique. Not what I really expected from the nose. What's crazy is that it's 8 percent."
Mike: "I like it."
Jess: "A good summer high gravity."
Mike: "It's not like a hoppy orange and pineapple... like sometimes you get those elements from the hops in a beer, but this is more true to the actual fruit."
Jess: "I'd give this around a 4. Kind of a jump from the last one."
Mike: "I'll go 4.15"
Rod: "Wow. I went 3.5."
Jess: "Mike's like 'I'm drinking the rest of this.'"
Jess tries to give Mario (the dog) a sip. Mario refuses.
Mike takes pictures.
Southern Tier Heavy Weizen
Gina: 3.0 Mugs | Jess: 4.0 Mugs | Mike: 4.15 Mugs | Rod: 3.5 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.66 Mugs
Rod writing Southern Tier Pumking (pumpkin king)
Jess: "I looked over and saw 'f***ing.'"
*currently trying to find something to watch besides "So You Think You Can Dance"*
Mike: "I still get coconut out of the nose."
Jess: "I get cookies, as a beer it's good but..."
Mike: "It reminds me of those pumpkin orange cookies with coconut that we make."
Jess: "What? Is that what happens at your household?"
Mike: "We pick out 10 fruits and put them into cookies."
Mike: "If you gave this to me blind I think I could guess it was a pumpkin beer... maybe I wouldn't. I like this more than most pumpkin beers, like I could drink a pint of this."
Gina: "When I first take a drink of this and it hits the back of my mouth I'm like 'oh I don't want this' but then it sits there and it's ok."
Rod's thought bubble: "This tastes like pumpkin cookies, complete with cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin... maybe a pumpkin snickerdoodle."
Jess: "Did we do a mug score for this last time?"
Mike: "No, we just blind tasted them. I would probably score this as high as the Schlafly, but that time we were just blind picking the best."
Jess: "So I guess it's like, it has pumpkin pie crust."
Gina: "I still think if I tried this blind I could say it was a pumpkin beer. It's a little like green pumpkin... not quite ripe pumpkin."
Jess: "A little like squash?"
Mike: "I think everyone is going to be like 'where did she get this, is she eating not ripe pumpkin?'"
A commercial appears on the television in which a talking pothole (with a southern accent) is talking.
Mike: "It's good to see that Britney Spears can still find voice work."
Gina: "Britney Spears is a pothole."
Rod: "Ok so are we doing mug scores for this?"
Jess: "I'm going to go to the bathroom.... are you really going to type that?"
Mike: "He's just being thorough, that's all."
Rod's thought bubble: "Mike, you have a Windows update pending."
Souther Tier Pumking
Rod: 3.85 Mugs | Gina: 3.9 Mugs | Jess: 3.75 Mugs | Mike: 3.8 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.82 Mugs
Jess writing Southern Tier Iniquity
*insert lots of discussion about cute, cuddly grizzly bears on the TV*
Mike: "This is the black one eh?"
Gina: "I smell pepper."
Voice from the television: "I'ma dog musher."
Rod: "And then they fight them."
Mike: "There's a bike race on the iditarod, and this is a barleywine."
Gina: "I get pepper."
Rod: "I get pepper and caramel."
Mike: "I kinda get a grape sucker taste out of it."
Gina: "I get smokey."
Mike: "The first time through I got that."
Rod: "Like the sear on raw meat, it's a carcinogen flavor."
Gina: "Like cancer?"
Rod: "Yeah, tastes like cancer."
Mike: "Sweet, tasty cancer."
Rod: "Isn't that what Jesus died of?"
Mike: "Did we get a picture of the pumpkin?"
Jess: "I can drink more, it's okay."
Rod: "I get the roasted flavor in the black ipa."
Gina: "I get a bitter roasted flavor, but not the sweetness."
*Mike leaves to blow his nose*
Rod: "You censor us too much."
Mike: "I really like this."
Rod: "This is, this is my favorite one so far."
Mike: "I like that it's an IPA but then it has some smoke in the middle and it's balanced and it's not just hops there's just a lot going on here."
Rod: "Jess take this down, I'm going to do a monologue. So I think Southern Tier aren't taken seriously because a lot of their Imperial series of beers are one-dimensional but I think at their core styles they are really good, and this Iniquity is really good, a lot of their beers are one off, you wouldn't buy more than one."
Mike: "They just make so many imperial beers, it makes it more miss than hit - it's like 'what's imperial mean anyway?'"
Rod: "I think they're just going with beers over 8%."
*Long involved discussion of Nine Inch Nails on Palladium and the 1990s*
Mike: "4.2 mugs"
Rod: "4 mugs"
Gina: "4.4 mugs, I kinda like it"
Jess: "4.1 mugs"
Southern Tier Iniquity
Mike: 4.2 Mugs | Rod: 4.0 Mugs | Gina: 4.4 Mugs | Jess: 4.1 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 4.17 Mugs
Mike writing Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly IPA
We're watching 1000 Places to See Before You Die on some HD channel, and I suggest we write a book titled "1000 beers to drink before you die."
Gina: "Someone already wrote that."
Rod: "Really? Michael Jackson?"
Mike: "What about '1000 beers to drink after Michael Jackson died'? Maybe we can title the post that. That'll probably piss someone off."
Rod: "Any attention is good attention, just ask David Letterman."
Mike: "Did you see that clip?"
Rod pulls up the Letterman confession clip, Jess opens the beer.
Rod: "Excellent head on this. I guess the Inequity was good for head too."
Jess: "Insert Rod talking about head."
Rod: "I find the exact temperatures on the sides of these thing interesting. Most of them are 40, this one is 42."
Then they attempt to let the dog sample the beer. And the dog drinks the hoppy beer.
Rod: "This smells like oak, it might as well be an oak-aged barleywine. I don't get any hops out of this."
Me: "That tastes like a barleywine."
Rod: "Yeah, it's hoppy, but not IPA hoppy."
Gina: "It's got a finish when you exhale like a smoked cheese."
Jess: "I'm not getting the cheese."
Rod: "I kinda see it, it's the oak and the alcohol, that combined is kinda smokey. Like a smoked cheese."
Gina: "Yeah, barely there, but still present."
A conversation about aha, gabf, and breweries in fort collins happens.
A conversation about Indy's homebrewer clubs (Are they coming to AleGate/TFN? We hope so. Throw down your weapons, homebrew clubs, put on a silly hat, and let's share a beer. Hell, wear a mask, we won't tell your friends.)
Mike: "I love barleywines, and I don't care if this isn't one, it is."
Someone: "I agree, and that's not a bad thing."
Rod: "Homer spit?"
Gina: "Wouldn't that just be a barleywine anyway?"
Rod: "Yeah, but I would think that the malt to hop ratio in a barleywine is more malt, and I think in an imperial ipa... I think there's more hops in an imperial ipa. I think in this the oak sweetened it, and that's why it tastes like a barleywine."
Then the Homer Brewing Company appears on 1000 Places to See Before You Die. They're still in Alaska.
Rod: "Oh man, beer on tv!"
Mike: "Oh sh*t, Jewel's brother is on tv!"
Rod: "Jewel's from Alaska?"
Gina: "Yeah, she lived in a van."
Rod: "Down by the river?"
Then a conversation begins about Jewel's brother, and if he's drunk. The consensus is that yes, Jewel's brother is drunk.
Rod: "I'm gonna go 3.9 because I like the iniquity better."
Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly IPA
Jess: 4.3 Mugs | Gina: 4.0 Mugs | Rod: 3.9 Mugs | Mike: 4.44 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 4.16 Mugs