Thursday, 6 September 2012
Southern Tier - Gemini 10.5%
Gemini. One of the 88 modern constellations, associated with the twins Castor and Pollux in Greek mythology, and the second manned spaceflight of NASA between Mercury and Apollo, has a double association with space and the number two. There are also two different Gemini supervillains, one in the Marvel Universe and one in the DC Universe, and who can forget (if you are of a certain age) Johnny Morris singing Geminee Geminii about Terry Nutkin's 'pet' California sea lion Gemini.
This Gemini is from the Eastern side of the USA however, Lakewood in New York State to be exact, the home of Southern Tier brewery. Described as an 'Imperial Blended Unfiltered Ale' it is a blend of two of Southern Tiers beers, Hoppe, an Imperial extra pale ale and Unearthly, a potent Imperial IPA, the hop count is pretty impressive: kettle hops - columbus, chinook and cascade, aroma hops - amarillo, hopback - styrian golding, dry hops - amarillo, cascade, centenial, chinook and columbus. It comes in a nice big 650ml bottle, so there's plenty to share around, or keep all to yourself if you're feeling greedy, but beware of its 10.5% abv potency!
It pours a reasonably unassuming medium amber colour with a rocky off-white head, but it's the aroma that drags your nose straight into the glass and gets your mouth watering. There's some nice big resinous pine all stirred up with with some pineapple and mango fruit yoghurt, there is a real creamyness about the smell of this beer that is really inviting. Initially sharp and biting over the tongue, it coats the mouth with a gorgeous oily stickiness. A big tropical fruit butterscotch and toffee explosion is followed by a sticky chewy boozy orange gooeyness. The flavours are wonderfully rich and full - celery, mango, peach, orange blossom water and pineapple are painted liberally all over the inside of the mouth with an enormous glorious paintbrush of deliciousness. The finish has a lovely sticky dry Grand Marnier-like flavour that keeps the mouth watering in the same fashion as when you first caught a whiff of its beautiful aroma.
I've not got much else to say about this beer except -wow!!!
It is without a doubt one of the best beers I've drunk this year, and I want more, much much more.