Southern Tier 2XIPA + Gail Ambrosius Truffles

Southern Tier 2XIPA and Gail Ambrosius sea salt caramel will rock your socks off.

Southern Tier 2XIPA and Gail Ambrosius sea salt caramel will rock your socks off.

It’s happening. I’m turning 30. In just one short month, I’ll pack up the hazy memories of a tumultuous decade and set off toward the enlightened and refined existence that surely lies ahead. I will, of course, commemorate this momentous transition with beer. 30 beers, to be exact.

During the 30 remaining days until my 30th birthday, I’ll try one new beer each day and document it here on Brew du Jour. I’ll make note of my progress on the enlightenment and refinement front as well, although I predict slow going.

Gail Ambrosius Beerific Taster's Box LogoI’m kicking things off in style with a fabulous Southern Tier Double IPA. But I’m not stopping there. The inaugural day of the project calls for a little extra flair, so I’m turning to Madison’s patron saint of chocolate, Gail Ambrosius. Your see, over the holidays, the roommate (henceforth known as “brewmate”) and I picked up a Beerific Taster’s Box from Gail’s shop and have become thoroughly smitten with it. The box contains 7 spectacular truffles, along with a list of suggested beer pairings. Chocolate and beer?! Yes…oh yes. The combination is brilliant. If you’ve not experienced this particular form of culinary ecstasy, you should consider your life incomplete until you do.

Back to the matter at hand. Southern Tier Brewing Company has been serving the good folks of southwestern New York state for about 10 years, and its wares have been available nationally since 2009. I had never tried a Southern Tier brew before, but I’ve long heard good reviews. 2XIPA handily supports Southern Tier’s good reputation. Available as part of the year-round standard line up, 2XIPA is a malty, slightly citrusy Double IPA that packs a wallop at 8.2% ABV. The facts:

Southern Tier 2XIPA

Style: Double India Pale Ale
Availability: Year-round
ABV: 8.2%
Hops: Not Specified (although the label notes “4 types”)
Notes: Malty, citrusy, sweet but not syrupy. Not particularly hoppy. Lingering notes of grapefruity bitterness.
More Info:
My Take: Delicious. Highly-recommended.
Chocolate-covered crown-mangler

Chocolate-covered crown-mangler

As for the chocolate…2XIPA proved an ideal partner for a chocolate-encased Caramel Sprinkled With Grey Salt.  Normally, I find caramel objectionably sweet (and a reckless threat to large investments in dental work recently), but the bitterness of the IPA balances the sweetness of the caramel perfectly, producing a remarkable flavor combination.