Beer – #207 – Southern Tier – Plum Noir

It was a choice, the Southern Tier Plum Noir, or the Creme Brûlée Stout. The Plum won, not because, but because the plums sounded nicer than an egg custard. In my world.

Wholly new to me then Southern Tier Plum Noir, Brewed by Southern Tier Brewing Company as an Imperial Stout and they hail from LakewoodNew York USA.  Wikipedia tells you that the population is 3,002, and the brewery is the 7th biggest thing, after engines, tools, tools, tools, tools, and tools. Man has to have a release after banging the metal all day. Needless to say they’re on the Bucket List of places to gawk at from the street.

Southern Tier Plum NoirPlums are a diverse group of species, with somewhere between 19 & 40 varieties depending upon whom you ask. We’re using what we consider to be the best to brew with. the Italian plum has beautiful dark skin & the flesh is perfect for fermentation. Plum Noir’s mild sweetness is derived no necessarily from the many malts we use. A bit of plum flavor is present as well as earthy, toasted grains, & hints of caramel with mild coffee overtones

1 US Pint, 22 Fl Oz, 650ml of and the bottle from the brewery says 8% ABV beer, although the importers label say 9.8% ABV , and 4.9 standard drinks.  I’m in denial so 8% ABV – 650ml = 4.1 standard drink units. Saving me a .8.

I know someone who’s had the Creme Brûlée and they thought it was a bit good. I’m hoping that I didn’t make a bad choice. If I didn’t have more beer in my fridge than I can drink I’m sure I’d have both in the fridge.

You get a deep  chocolate and fruit aroma on opening, encouraging. Pours intensely dark and  with a decent, long, head. Aroma settles to chocolate.

You’re met with a smokey beer, and a rich roasted note. Not a full note, but one that makes you take another sip and smile.  You can convince yourself of a fruit aroma if you want to as well.

Tell you what’s good though. This. 8%ABV and not a hint of astringent alcohol.  A beer that is both pleasing and full and yet leaving you room to talk about what’s going on. Nicely carbonated, and as it warms delivering more of the layers, staring with the smoke notes.

And then I thought, Barley Wine, Rich fruits, caramels and malts. This has that aroma, muted but it has them,. It’s giving me a lot of things to think about.  What you never get though is “plums” , but then what does “plum” give you, it’s not like I know what a Plum Brandy tastes like, I’m about 30 years too young.

This is something clever, it’s just good, sweet is there, there is an edge, the aroma entices you, the way that this is a ‘strong’ beer and you’d never know, and then you look and,….. it’s all gone.  Hate it when that happens.

The pdubyah-o-meter says this is nearer 10 than 9 Awesome rather than the lofty Great, the beer where I give you your money back if you don’t like it.  I could pretend that I’m not a bit emotional about this beer, but I’d be lying. At this time, and in this moment, it really is that good.

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