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Southern Tier Creme Brulee - Lakewood, NY


PappyVanWise
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Southern Tier's Creme Brulee is a beer that's come up a few times in discussions of other beers.  Some have used it as an example of a beer that's too sweet, while others point to it as a good example of untraditional flavors really making for a unique and delightful drinking experience.  After the first quarter of this glass, I still can't decide which way I lean.

This beer pours a pitch black with very minimal foam.  After a few seconds in the glass a brown head, almost crema, forms on top of the beer.  My initial reaction is that the aroma is much sweeter than the accompanying flavor, and I could see someone taking a whiff and being immediately turned off by this beer.  The first few sips were heavy on the vanilla, which is not a bad thing.  As I drank my way down the glass, the vanilla and sweetness kind of coated my mouth and it became less a beer and more a dessert drink.  I really feel like I'm drinking some kind of espresso beverage from Starbucks, instead of beer.  It's becoming more cloying and coating the more I drink.

I'm about halfway through the glass, and while I'll finish it, I can't really recommend this for beer lovers.  If however, you want something sweet with about a 10% ABV after dinner, this would hit the spot.  A local Richmond brewery, Center of the Universe, makes a Lebowski-influenced White Russian Stout named El Duderino that I'd say is a better version of what Southern Tier is trying to do with this.  That takes the milk and vanilla and combines them with the beer flavors.  This on the other hand is more of a milkshake that has some beer poured into it.

It probably sounds like I'm not enjoying this, but the funny thing is I am.  It's just not beer.  Back around the turn of the millennium, I'd hangout at the Brickskeller and I'd end my night ordering Dixie Brewing's long forgotten White Moose, which was a white chocolate flavored beer.  As you can see from the BeerAdvocate posting, it was not a hit. But it holds a soft spot for 21 year old me, and I'm pretty sure I drank every bottle in the Skellar's stock.  If I had to compare the Creme Brulee to anything else I've had, it would be the White Moose.  So while I can't recommend, I won't blame you if you go for a bottle after dinner while there's still snow on the ground.

Creme Brulee comes in 22 oz bombers and should be around $8.  I'm really curious to hear others' thoughts on this one.

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It probably sounds like I'm not enjoying this, but the funny thing is I am.  It's just not beer.

That's my typical response to Creme Brulee. I do actually rather like it. I just don't think I like it as beer. Though a 50/50 of Creme Brulee and Kasteel Rouge was... interesting enough to get me to try it again.

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