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Monday, March 28, 2011

Southern Tier Imperial Gemini Review


Continuing with the reviews of the 2011 spring releases at the LCBO, I have with me Southern Tier's Imperial Gemini, a 50/50 mixture of their Hoppe & Unearthly. So far this spring I have noticed a hop influence in the LCBO releases, which is something I am very pleased about. What I am not pleased today is that all the bottles of Imperial Gemini I could find had the white "extra strong beer" label stuck on the front of the original label. This ruins all photos and the cool label, which is very reflective. For shame LCBO.

After letting the beer sit out for a bit to gently warm up to the recommended 5.5 degrees centigrade, I poured myself a glass and was a bit surprised by the color. I was expecting something a tad darker than the hazy pale amber/golden color the Gemini has. That was nothing but a bump on the road, because the moment the aroma hit my nose, I forgot about it. What can I say about the aroma? It is hoppy!!! Some sweetness peeks from underneath in the form of caramel, but is easily overpowered by the strong hop aroma. The taste is even hoppier with some of the caramel sweetness showing up at the start and again in the finish. Some tropical fruits, mostly pineapple, can be noticed but the hops...wow, the hops are strong. The finish is dry and a bittersweet (mostly bitter) blend of hops, caramel and some pineapple. The 9.1% is noticeable but only at the start of each sip because the strong hops overpower that too.

Bottom line is Southern Tier never disappoints, and this is a must try for hop fans.

Scores:
Cost - $9.00 for a 650 mL bottle
Taste - 8.7/10
ABV - 9.1%

Overall - 8.7/10...solid hoppy beer with a high ABV and a tropical twist

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