Southern Tier’s brews are relatively new to Louisiana, as they first arrived here in May of this year. They’ve really made a quick impact here with several beers such as Live, Hopsun, Un-Earthly, Creme brûlée, 2xIPA, Pumking, and several others. I can honestly say I have yet to drink a Southern Tier beer I didn’t like. They consistently crank out quality brews. I picked this beer up in Florida while on vacation, but I hope to see Louisiana carrying it next season. Compass is considered a spring/summer seasonal beer, and with the Louisiana climate and humidity, this one would be a great on a hot Louisiana day.
This one pours a straw/golden color, and it’s very clear. It had thick, foamy head, with great lacing and retention. Once the head receded, a skim of lacing remained on the surface of the beer with a thicker lacing around the edge of the glass.
With the aroma on this ale, I get a good bit of floral, and citrus hops. Overall, the aroma is really well balanced between the sweetness, floral and citrus hops, and the slight hint of malty biscuit tones.
The taste is loaded with flavors… on the first sip I get a large note of floral and citrus, as well as a nice dry bitterness on the backend that doesn’t really linger. As with the smell, the taste is really balanced out well between the bitterness from the rose hips, the floral and citrus hops, and the light malty taste. This one comes in at 9% ABV, but if I didn’t already know that, I’d guess it was more like 4% … it’s that smooth.
The mouthfeel on Compass is medium with a moderate carbonation. A hint of bitterness on the palate, enough to call it a pale ale, but not enough to be in the IPA category in my opinion. But then again, the line between the two types differentiates, depending on who you ask. The finish is very crisp and dry, ABV well hidden.