This is the penultimate beer in a tradin’ box that was sent to me from MCM on the east coast back in December. It’s always sad when you come to the end of the line, but as I understand it, said gentlemen has the mother-of-all-belly-busting-beer-packages to send to me next week, and in that mother-of-all-packages is a bottle of WESTVLETEREN 12. That’s what he says, anyway. I think he just wants me to float him some more Russian River crap. Stay tuned on that front.
When we consummated the deal late last year, I made it clear that I was in need of as many beers from SOUTHERN TIER as he could bubble-wrap & stick into a box. He delivered some good ‘uns, and this OAK-AGED CUVEE 1 is another winner, albeit less so than other ales I’ve had from this brewer. A little research indicates that this one was a late 2008 limited release, and was retailing for $14/$15 in most places. Whoa. Looks like it even came in a box. We love that sh*t. SOUTHERN TIER OAK-AGED CUVEE 1 is an 11% strong ale, with a great malt/hop balance & some decided booziness. Was it aged in bourbon barrels? I cannot say, but this is not a young man’s beer, if you know what I mean. This is for the big boys. The flavors I’m getting are burnt caramel and nutmeg, along with a vague oakiness that would be expected, right? It’s an oily one, and enjoyable in the sense that you know you’re drinking a beer that a lot of smart people worked on to make just what they wanted it to be. I continue to be very impressed with Southern Tier, and will try their entire lineup before the end of 2009. That’s a promise from us at HBJ to you. 7/10.