Southampton Grand Cru - Southampton Publick House

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Southampton Grand CruSouthampton Grand Cru

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382 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 382
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 146
Gots: 27 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-08-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 382 | Reviews: 287
Reviews by CharlesRiver:
Photo of CharlesRiver
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml brown bottle, corked and caged. Pours out a copper light-brown with a good size head that keeps growing. Tons of bubbles in this one. Smell is wonderful. Big and malty with tons of spice, nuts and something a bit doughy.

Taste is so well balanced and just goes on and on. Similar to smell with plenty of malt and spice but also raisins and dates. I also get some slight bitterness that fits perfectly. A slight mineral taste is present as well. Zero alcohol is detected which adds to the drinkability.

I have had this beer two other times, both on tap. I am just as blown away this time as I was then. To me, a perfect beer. My first and only all 5.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This beer poured a bright, glowing orange in color with a gigantic off-white head. The head showed great retention and left monster pools of foam on top of the liquid.

Smell – This has all the classic big, sharp, BSPA smells. The standout though is the spiciness. The huge coriander and wonderfully pure white pepper were sharper than in any other Belgian that I can recall.

The yeasty bread forms the base of the bouquet. The big orangey notes are both sweet and bitter. It smells like what orange puree would be. I really enjoyed smelling this ale.

Taste – The BSPA is super orangey and sweet. Again, the orange peel puree is here in force. The yeast picks things up at the taste, which is always a nice treat. The beer ends with a fine, citrusy bitterness. Excellent!

Mouthfeel – This is medium to full-bodied and very well-balanced and smooth. I couldn’t pick up a hint of the 9.5% ABV. The dryness at the finish rounded out this wonderful offering from Southhampton.

Drinkability – To me this is what a Belgian Strong Pale Ale is all about. It is very balanced, complete, and extremely satisfying.

Comments – Thanks to Davo for sending this one out my way. I split this up with a few BAs at the first annual Fright Night extravaganza.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.96/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Removing the cork is such a battle that I expect a whooshing POP once it finally releases. Sadly, all I receive is a pipsqueak pip. Unknown vintage. Received in a trade with BA scthaden.

I’m instantly struck by the oddness the spice profile. After tasting it, I am find that I must place this beer in the same general range of beers like Avery 12 and Rabid Rabbit. Grand Cru is certainly more refined and balanced but it is still similar to the other two in three ways – it’s very spicy, it’s diversely spiced, and some of the spices conflict with one another rather then compliment each other.

Appearance: Carbonation streams frazzle through a clear marmalade body to feed a steady crochet of white lace. Well above average in terms of looks. Retention is flawless. Lace is sticky and clings to the glass in attractive patterns.

Aroma: Orange peel dominates and but fights a constant battle with intense coriander to maintain its supremacy. Unlike wits where these two complimentary spices work together to create a sweet and pleasing citrus aroma, here they fight. One wants to create a soda pop orange Crush nose and the other seeks to make this Mr. Clean. Adding to this is a rather disturbing amount of licorice that I find oddly placed and completely out of sorts with the citric elements. Pepper, white or black, I can’t quite tell hits me next, and though I find it appealing in the aroma, I will soon discover that it causes problems for me in the flavor. Finally, pungent and significant amounts of spring herb blossoms enter the aroma. They remind me of allergy season defeat any chance I might have of enjoying malt or yeast aromas in this beer. As far as I can tell, the entire nose profile is spice. There isn’t anything else here.

Taste: In the flavor I find a pleasing Belgian Pale backbone but it is way too overshadowed by fruit and spice. Here two orange is king but once again it is abstruse in combination with the pepper, anisette, and herbalness. I feel like someone took a small glass of nice Belgian Pale, poured in a few ounces of flower clippings, half a rotten orange, a shot of Pernod, and two tablespoons of pepper. None of these flavors work together here.

Mouthfeel: Psoriasis, itchy, intensely spicy, medium to full bodied, dry, very dry.

Drinkability: ABV is well concealed and if I enjoyed the spiciness, this would be a great drinker. Unfortunately, this beer just doesn’t match my palate. That’s not to say that it isn’t a very good beer. I’m sure for some, if not most people it is. For me, however, this is not a very drinkable beer.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage. 750ml bottle pours into my glass a slightly hazy deep orange with copper accents. A half inch of fizzy bubbly white head sits atop the brew with lots of active carbonation. Aromas begin with a slightly caramelized toasty grain accentuated by a beautiful citrus spice. Coriander is there with grape skin, lemon zest and a yeasty tone. A bit peppery with a touch of vanilla in there as well. The Belgian yeast really stands out.

First sip brings a sweet grainy maltiness bathed in a bevy of fruity and spicy flavors. The coriander and orange peel come out immediately with lemon zest and grape skin as well. Peppery, spicy yeast merges in quite strongly. There's a mellow licorice on the finish. The strong fruity and spicy flavors are vibrant and really make this beer an experience to drink. The spiciness wins out in the end, this is just a beautifully crafted, tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and irresistibly creamy. Perfect carbonation level, this is a pleasure to drink. It's even refreshing at the same time with no hint of the alcohol content. This 2004 bottle has held up beautifully. Simply an amazing Belgian style Grand Cru from the masters at Southampton. I only wish I had another bottle of this vintage! Well worth seeking out.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Orange in color, with a medium head that dissipates quickly. Very spicy aroma, peppery. Fruit, primarily orange, also present. Great flavor. Sweet, orange. Still very spicy and warming. Maybe some licorice flavor late. Very nice. I think the degree of spiciness, as well as the 9.5% ABV, limits the amount one would drink at one time, but still this was a wonderful beer.

Photo of tjthresh
3.64/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured in to my Delirium Tremens tulip. Pours a nice golden amber witha a sticky whire head. The orange peel is very apparent in the nose. Pepper and sugar are also upfront. The flavor is just the opposite. The peppery coriander and sugars used are very upfront with a sweeter finish. Pretty robust palate. I really enjoyed drinking this beer.

Photo of Billolick
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This stuff is a monumental acheivement in brewing. Pours a serious shade of golden amber, shimmers and quakes with strength and vitality. A strong surge of flavor, boldness and complexity greats the tongue. No doubt about the quality of this lordly creation. Went great with a crab cake. This is a powerful sipper. Seek this one out and savor.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a yellow-orange color with a white head. The aroma is orange peel, coriander and caramel malt. The flavor is orange, coriander, wheat, toffee, candi-sugar and caramel malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml cork and caged bottle at fridge temp poured into a Belgian chalice. Best before date 10/16/14 (had this aging about 1 1/2 to 2 years)

Minimal pop of the cork. Pours out a cloudy deep orange color, about 1 fingers worth of head that fades to some patchy foam. No real lace. Just a touch of alcohol legs.

Initially smells a bit oxidated, a touch of wet cardboard which I kind of expected. It does go away as it opens up, bringing forth some nice candied sugar, some sweet bready malts and some orange peel.

Some bready malts, a bit of candied sugar, orange peel does come through quite a bit, but just slight hints of spice. Vinious notes. A bit of orange/ apple juice concentrate flavor. Some warming alcohol. Finishes rather smooth.

Medium to almost heavy bodied when considering the style, carbonation about right but could have used just a bit more.

Pretty standard Belgian strong. Age has faired this a bit better than expected, but I probably should have drank it sooner still.

Photo of yankeeheel
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 vintage

Pours a lightly hazed medium amber. Large thick off-white head of foam settles out in to a sheet of lace that stays with the brew. Smells very grassy, yeasty and citrusy. Great smelling and so pretty in the glass.The taste is out of this world. I've never been to belgium, but this fits the picture in my mind of what a "real" belgian beer should taste like if the monks brought it down to me personally. The lightest most delicate malt taste passes over your tounge, followed by a slightly tart citrus wave of lemon and orange. Finishes slightly dry without the slightest hint of alcohol. However, my head knows it's there. Mouthfeel is moderate and in perfect proportion with the flavors of this beer. You could drink a lot of this and get in heaps of trouble fast. This is a must drink. If you see it and pass it up it's your loss.

Photo of BadBadger
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Southampton Grand Cru is a very pleasant ale. It pours from the bottle a cloudy golden color. While there was no hint of carbonation when the cork was pulled, a very nice large head forms and sticks around for some time. The smell is richly fruity, but not overbearing. The taste is certainly spicy, with first thoughts being of lemon and grass but then it is followed up with a nice orange peel flavoring. A very nice brew worthy of picking up, if you see it. Enjoy!

Photo of OStrungT
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear golden yellow color with a thin white head. The head fades a little fast, leaving very few laces.

This beer has a citrusy aroma. I smell orange peel and lemon. It also smells spicy. Some coriander mostly. It has a slight peppery aroma. Some grain aroma is also present.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Citrusy and spicy up front, with some grainy flavor in the finish. The alcohol content is well hidden in the flavor.

This beer is full bodied. It goes down smooth, leaving a sweet, citrusy aftertaste. It has a lot of carbonation, fitting the style well.

This beer would probably not make the best session beer. It is high in alcohol, and the flavor is aggressive.

Overall: This beer tastes good. I would drink it again of I had the chance. It might be just a bit too syrupy sweet. Thank you HimerMan for this beer. I am not one beer closer to reviewing all the top 100 beers.

Photo of Shovelbum
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a creamy white head over a clear glowing orange body with bubbles ascending throughout. Head drops to a thin layer that leaves sheets of lace down the side of glass. Aromas of grass, straw and a possible hint of spice—coriander or grains of paradise perhaps? The flavor is an amalgamation of fruit and spice. Pepper, orange and apricot flavors run throughout, with milder notes of corainder and straw-- all of them melding into one another. Moderate noble hop flavors and bitterness. A lean well-attenuated body with a smooth mouthfeel.

Fairly light for a Belgian strong pale, but that doesn’t detract. There’s a nice mixture of spicy and hoppy flavors here that can’t be completely pinned on hops or spices. The malt serves as a blank canvas for the interplay of these other flavors, but is substantial enough to balance the beer. The hop character is prominent, but with soft edges. An Interesting and enjoyable ale.

Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Dan – thanks!

Pours an almost opaque golden-copper color with a white head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of syrupy pilsner malts with large amounts of breadiness. Joining in shortly thereafter are sugar-coated pear and apricots and moderate amounts of leafy hop aromas.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Heavy light malts up front are joined quickly by large amounts of syrupy pear and apricot flavors. Midway through slight hints of spiciness come into play before moderate amounts of leafy hops come into play, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with decent carbonation.

Overall the bottle was 1.5-2 years old and age wasn’t very kind to it. The sweetness was too much and the flavors seem too muddled. I’d like to try this fresh for comparison, but the aged version was something I’d not seek again.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a caramel-tan slightly hazy body with a thing bubbly head that fades to a thin ring. There is a nice carbonation of tiny bubbles and a good bit of lacing with each sip.

S- The smooth slightly yeasty perfume nose has some sweetness and double cream brie rind notes. As the beer warms the aroma becomes even more fragrant with notes of sweet malt and cherry hints in the background.

T- The taste of perfumed honey sweetness, with hints of orange as the beer warms, has a slight brie rind flavor giving way to a dry spice note. The taste of dry fresh coriander has notes of anise and green peppercorns and a faint club soda quality.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a velvety texture and a tight fizz at the finish makes it feel more full in the finish.

D- This beer was complex but had light flavors making it very easy to drink. The sweet beginning was balanced by the dry finish and there was hints of funk blending with complex yeast qualities. Everything about this beer was balanced. I was truly a wonderful beer.

Photo of sloejams
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

last beer to be reviewed from PEBKAC from Top 100 BIF - thanks homeboy

Chalice time for this bad boy, been sitting in my refrigerator for too long. Quarter inch head fills out the straw color, medium carbonation. Smell is clove, lemon zest and maple. The maple really comes through in the mouth with candied fruits and even the slight touch of ginger ale. It got me thinking and then researching: beers made with maple?

Photo of IntriqKen
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is going to be very hard to review for me only because there is so much going on here that I can't even begin to describe it.

Pours a soft, cloudy golden orange with a billowy head of white foam that finally melts to a thick ring of white bubbles.

Aroma is smooth and creamy...tons of warming spices, fresh citrus fruits, and soft anise.

Taste is like the aroma only more so. Sweet belgian type pale malts and candied sugar with lots of spices extract....finish of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is buttery creamy smooth with a warm alcohol finish.

Very complex...too complex for words. I've enjoyed this entire big bottle.

Photo of jmz62565
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange with a giant white foamy head. The head lasts forever and great lacing. This is a very good looking brew. The smell is very pungent with lemon,cloves,banana, and a peppery aroma. The taste is crisp hop bitterness and a blast of alcohol. The normal Belgian spices are present along with candy sugar,corriander, and a fruity flavor. The m/f is medium with the complex flavors mixing well. This is a first class beer and this one, I believe, would be even better with a year or two of cellaring.

Photo of asabreed
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. At least 2-3 years old, but there's no freshness date and I forgot to mark it on the bottle.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Appearance: A coppery orange color with awesome floaties, which I imagine is the yeast, and there's a lot of it, which I love. Huge bubbles on the top, leaving both good lacing and nice clumps. Pretty in the glass.

Smell: So bright and complex that it's tough to give the rating anything less. I keep trying to pick out more, and I can't. Does star anise bring a tropical flavor to the licorice aromas? That's a lot of what I'm getting here. Major sweetness. Caramel malts. Graham cracker. Cookie Dough. Plums. Big peppery spice. Black magic marker. A bit of scotch, which probably comes from the sweeter caramel malts. A wealth of aromas to be discovered here.

Taste: I was wondering when the orange peel would make itself known, and this happens in the lingering finish with the taste, as I got none in the aroma. Tons of sweetness, but there's a good amount of balance with the hops. It makes me wonder how this isn't more toward the 11% or 12% mark, because the complexity and sweetness feels like it. There's also some good husk and earthiness presence at the end. The forefront brings caramel malt sweetness, with some Balvenie-type scotch going on, and a bit of licorice, along with a wealth of bright peppery spice. I'm not sure I'm picking out the coriander here, but it's probably there, adding to the citrus quality at the end. This is the metamorphosis in a beer. Insane.

Mouthfeel: Big and creamy and rich and sweet and wild and everything else. Lots of good carbonation to balance all that's going on. Pretty wonderful.

Drinkability: A completely transcendent buzz comes from this beer. One of the weirdest and euphoric I've ever received, if not the weirdest and euphoric. I'm starting to think wormwood was involved in this or something. But Wow. What a beer. One of those "experience" beers without having to be something completely new. I wish I had a case of this to sit, because weird and wild things will certainly be going on as the beer ages. Get. A. Bottle.

Photo of BillyB
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper color, with deep ruby red highlights and a thin wispy, off-white head.

Aromas are fruity, yeasty, funky, barnyard with some sweet malt and some candi sugar.

Tastes of sweet malt and candi sugar but I like how the sugar is subtler here. Some yeasty, funky, earthy tastes as well.

Incredibly drinkable for such a high abv.

Photo of Sammy
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional beer 2003. Surprising grand cru with bold spice. Good carbonation, full mouthfeel. Must be consumed with food. Lots of spice: cloves, cinammon, licorice anise, corriander and hops and malt for balance. Also the orange and tropical fruit and candy sugar cream in yeast. Like an American over-the-top Fantome. And that's some compliment.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A hazy marmalade body lies beneath a huge head of pillowy off-white foam. Fine bubbles stream steadily upwards - continually adding to the head - and it holds a solid 1/2" or more throughout the entire glass. If that alone made up its appearance it would still be beautiful, but the almost solid sheets of Brussels lace are quite mesmerizing!

Delicate orange and vanilla cream candy (think creamsicle) reside in the nose with just a smattering of brilliant, fresh spice to jazz it up. It's quite alluring, and could almost be enjoyed on its own.

The mouthfeel reveals a meium/light body that's accentuated by a gently effervescent carbonation. It initally tingles the tongue, but then warms to become quite creamy!

The flavor is quite rich without being overwhelming; and it initially accentuates its cookie dough and candyish malt. Midway, however, a supple spiciness and orange flavor appear as it warms. Flashes of alcohol act to enliven its character, rather than detracting; and it finishes soft and sweet with a thin wash of drying alcohol and some residual cookie dough sweetness.

A most impressive brew! Its lush flavors are delivered within a perfect mouthfeel. Extremely well done. and absolutely worth seeking out! This beer rivals some of the top Belgain ales!

Photo of socon67
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pour is copper colored with a bubbly white foam. Decent lacing, and slightly cloudy.

S - Smells spicy (nutmeg, ginger root, cinnamon) and with a yeasty lingering smell.

T - Tastes of candied fruit with a slight spicy bite on the back end.

M - Feels a bit heavy, but easily enjoyable. Raspy on the tongue.

O - One of the better offerings from Southampton. Glad to see one of the locals do a good take on a belgian style.

Photo of dirtylou
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, obtained in a trade or bif sometime in the past, corked and caged

Enjoyed at the end of the jets-patriots game so I can have it reviewed by the time the giants-iggles game starts

appearance: pours into la chouffee tulip...body is a glowing apricot-amber, beautiful foamy white head starts large but finishes at a reasonable level with great lacing. quite a nice appearance

smell: lovely tropical fruit...pineapple, mango-citrus, orange creamsicle, vanilla, orange peels, yeast, coriander

taste: I woke up today craving a belgian treat, so this had to suffice. fresh orange peel, big yeast presence, very tropical - pineapple, pear, peach. booze completely masked by the flavors but its presence is felt in the finish...well spiced with corriander and black pepper flavors. Lovely little beer

mouthfeel: great, active yeast, well spiced, nice booze finish

drinkability: good

Photo of prototypic
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This one's clear (for the most part) and a light bronze or copper color. There's a few small pieces of sediment swimming around, but not much. The head is very active and about a finger and a half deep. Retention was on the short side and a light coat of lace remained.

Smell: The nose is impeccable. It screams "Belgian." There's a strong fruity element to this beer. There's strong apple and pear aromas that are a little sweet and very inviting. The secondary level brings some corriander and orange peel spices. There may be some others, but I can't identify them. Belgian yeast is very prominent throughout and really is the x-factor in the nose. It's excellent. A light hoppy aroma emerges late. It's primarily floral. Alcohol is not noted, which is another amazing feat. All around fantastic smelling beer.

Taste: Where do you start with this one? Let's start by saying that it's extremely complex and loaded with flavor. It's not quite as impressive as the nose, but the "5" is tempting, very tempting. I'm sure this review will not do it justice. It starts off with sweet apple and pear flavors. It's sweet and sugary. Spices are well balanced and complement the other flavors extremely well. There's some corriander, orange peel and probably a few others for good measure. Hops give it an earthy vibe and a nice floral flavor. There's perhaps a touch of graininess to it. The Belgian yeast flavor is as impressive as it is on the nose. Very nice touch. Again, alcohol is blended extremely well and is not notable in taste. Very impressive.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This one's got a nice medium body and is incredibly smooth. Very silky and among the best out there. Carbonation feels light and bolsters the feel even moreso. Easily among the smoothest beers I've tried. Drinkability is extremely high. This is no doubt a strong beer, but it's going down so easy...I'm ready for another 750. Unbelievably drinkable for a beer this size.

What's not to love about this one? Very little. Perhaps the look's just okay. That's about it. This is one tremendous beer. Even if you're not a big fan of Belgians, this one may change your mind. Flat out great beer. I'm so stoked I've got another 750 waiting in the wings. But, not for tonight. Not just yet.

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Southampton Grand Cru from Southampton Publick House
94 out of 100 based on 382 ratings.