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Southampton Grand Cru | Southampton Publick House

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Southampton Grand CruSouthampton Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House
New York, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-08-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 290 | Ratings: 397
Photo of SadMachine
3.37/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Unfortunately this bottle was very old as I accidentally left it in my cellar for wayyyy too long! I'd be interested in trying this fresh since I'm sure it would be a much better beer!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a cork and cage bomber into a snifter, the beer is a hazy, vibrant, copper-orange coloring with a halo of white head. Aromas of apple, orange rind, apricot, brown sugar, coriander, licorice, subtle woody and earthy highlights, and boozy highlights. Flavors are bold and sweet forward, with a blend of apricot, orange rind, pineapple, and honey, all on a bready and chewy backbone. Highlights of coriander and nutmeg keep the sweetness in balance. The body is rich and full, staying smooth throughout. The aftertaste is more of the fruit and spice blend, with a good solid dose of booze warmth building as you go. The finish is extremely smooth, rich, and layered, with a boozy and fruity linger. Really good beer.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750mL into a snifter.

Creamy oatmeal head. Lots of protein floaties. Orange/copper cloudy color. 4

Smells like agave or tequila, peaches, oversweetened orange and coriander. 4

Candi syrup/like sweetness. Stone fruit... Apricot and peach, sweet malt like a tripel, and a hard to pin down array of spices. Finish lingers with peach flavor. I like this but find the candy-like sweetness a bit overboard. 3.75

Thick and syrupy with a spicy radiance and corresponding carbonation. A bit of a tequila feel here too, definitely feel a solvent quality. 3.75

Not bad but a bit too sweet and a bit too boozy.

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.11/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1pt. 9.4 fl. oz. - caged and corked brown bottle - label dated 6/10/2015

poured into a snifter

Southampton Grand Cru is a light-hazy peach color that looks a lot like apple cider. The head, if you can call it that was made up of clear bubbles that dissipated to a collar of thin bubbles with no lacing. The aroma is made up of light fruit; apples oranges, and light spices were noted. The taste is sweet from the candy sugar, light fruit (sweet oranges and apples) , spicy and even the flavor of black licorice (from the anise) is present. The mouth feel is medium with a light carbonation and alcohol warming at the back of the palate.

Overall, despite the disappointing appearance Grand Cru is a nice drinking American made Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2009 vintage courtesy of Nikki's vintage room. Served in my DT tulip. Pours the color of unpasteurized cider with a loose, quarter inch, off-white head. Clarity is slightly more translucent. Nose expresses figs and prunes, as well as a suggestion of band-aids and Belgian yeast. Taste consistent with nose; however, there's also a honey sweetness, a kiss of something peppery and some faint metallic notes, although not at all displeasing, towards the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an easy, even carbonation and a slightly oily texture. What a great beer - I can't believe it's a vintage 2009. So much complexity and flavor.

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Photo of ausonius
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice big creamy head. Settles leaving Belgian-lace down the entire glass.
Pure, medium palish malt, with creamy Belgian yeast. OK complexity. Lightly spicy.
Carries the alcohol very well.
Good balance, if little backbone. Creamy/malty backend/aftertaste/finish.
Good for the style. Aging fairly slowly (had this one in the cellar 2+ years - drink-by date 6/15 on label)

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Photo of brureview
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Poured a reddish copper color in an Orval trappist glass with no head.

At first, the aroma was not strong- light fruit. As the beer warmed up, stone fruit was very prominent.

This is a light bodied beer with very little carbonation.

Taste: outstanding. Stone fruit, spice. A singular approach to the a Belgian strong ale.
The alcoholic finish is very light, and the light body is deceiving- this is 9.5% ABV.
It's a real sipper which takes time to drink and contemplate.

One of the best Belgian Strong ales I have tasted. Very different approach. I will buy a bottle to cellar.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 8/10/2015. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy golden amber color with a 2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big pear, apple, grape, orange peel, lemon zest, light banana, wheat, pepper, clove, coriander, floral, herbal, grass, candi sugar, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of spice, malt, and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big pear, apple, lemon zest, orange peel, grape, light banana, coriander, clove, pepper, wheat, candi sugar, light honey, floral, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Moderate earthy spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, orange peel, lemon zest, light banana, clove, coriander, pepper, wheat, herbal, floral, candi sugar, light honey, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity and balance of malt, yeast, and spice flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian strong ale! All around great balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.89/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Deep golden amber. Small white collar. Consistently wispy surface.

Smell - A ton of coriander. Big spicy Belgian pale ale. Sweet and a little yeasty. Distinct Belgian sugar aroma.

Taste - Heavy spice again. Coriander and cinnamon. Strong maltiness, mostly pale malt. Light vanilla and a spicy, boozy finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. Looking for something a bit spritzier to combine with the spices.

Overall - It's good, but too heavy. I enjoy the spice combination, as strong as it is.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB Sept 30, 2014.

No pop when the bottle opens, which was a bit of a surprise. Beer is cloudy golden, a bit of orange. Almost no head, just a bit of white.

Smell contains orange, Belgian yeast, coriander.

Taste is very good. Quite dry, some yeast and nice fruit flavours. Orange and pear. The spices come into the fore at the end, coriander in particular. I don't know exactly what star anise tastes like. but there is a strong spice flavour so it is probably there. The spices are strong but well-integrated. They do not dominate as I often find spices added to beer can do. Quite a dry finish.

Full bodied, low to moderate carbonation, a bit of booze. Quite smooth.

Overall, excellent. A really good BSPA.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange with a large frothy white head that quickly disappates into a small head that clings to the side of the glass. Great aroma filled with lemon, coriander, and pepper. Lots of spice in the flavor but not overpowering. A touch of heat from the alcohol is noticable, but is more warming than uninviting. Surprisingly drinkable for such a strong beer. By far the best beer I've had from Southampton to date. Would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of Dope
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle states 9501 9/30/14 (I assume "best by" date)

A: Pours a hazy, light golden-orange. Huge effervescent white head. Fades slowly, leaving an island of foam and decent streaks of lacing behind.

S: Lots of wet grass with oranges and coriander. Bready.

T: Loaded with grainy, yeasty bread. Orange and coriander are present throughout. A bit of cloves, anise and then some grass. Almost get some honey. A spicy, sort of sharp and estery finish.

M: Medium bodied, smooth.

O: An interesting and heavily spiced BSPA. Not as crisp and refreshing as a lot of BSPAs tend to be, this one is bigger, smoother and spicier. Nice balance of flavors and quite complex. I prefer mine on the lighter, crisper side but this is still quite good. Drinkability is oddly high despite the ABV. It's oddly smooth.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: beautiful deep golden beer with a fluffy head that left lots of lace - sediment easily visible throughout the beer, which may be a bad thing for some, but it may be the style - didn't bother me none

S: sweet spices and caramel orange

T: the bottle says it and you can detect it: coriander, orange peel, star anise; plus candi sugar, some smoky cardamom (?) and hidden pine notes

M: soft, fuzzy, and delightful (I had it at just a notch under room temp)

O: super - better than the Beast (Avery brewing), IMO, these being my only two "grand cru" BSPAs - reminds me of a tripel but with more spices and less fruity flavors - has the same soft character and grace.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DrAwkward82 for sharing this one at jmgrub’s tasting.

Best by 9/30/14.

Pours a slightly murky honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, spices, Belgian yeast, and some slight citrus aromas. Taste is pretty much the same with the spices lingering on the finish. There is a mild spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice set of aromas and an even better taste.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.36/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to m100 for trading this. Poured into a Dogfish Head signature snifter. Back label says 9/30/14 indicating the best enjoyed by date.

A - Pours a bronze color with a full inch of off-white head that retains very well before becoming a 1/4 inch head and has fluffy strings of lacing above it.

S - Smells soapy and a bit fruity but with a strange whiff of skunk in the tail end. Hopefully that doesn't show up in the taste.

T- Immediate twang of alcohol subsides to some bitter citrus flavor with notes of grapefruit, soap and a bit of wild bacteria tang. Belgian yeast seems to be present but not in a way that showcases its usual sweetness. Instead it becomes lost in the mire of booze and off flavors. Skunking isn't found in the taste as I was hoping it wouldn't but it's not like things are enjoyable here in the first place. Acidic aftertaste.

M- Sharp and bity in a bad way. A bit fluffy from the high carbonation with a light-ish body.

O- A pretty substantial letdown since I'm a huge Southampton fan. This is only the second beer of theirs I consider just OK.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Waterfront Alehouse in New York, NY

A: Pours a clear amber color with a two finger tall white head. This beer had great head retention and very significant amounts of lacing.

S: Hints of clove, anise, orange peel, and candi sugar. There is a lot of fruit and alcohol present with some pale malts and spices.

T: Lots of spices, malts, candi sugar, and orange peel. Hints of cloves, pale malts, and some alcohol presence.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Enjoyable but not a real easy drinker - there is just too much alcohol presence to be an easy drinker. I think this is a more sipping over an hour or so kind of beer. Very nice beer.

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Photo of mindspin315
3.03/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gentle pour produced a rather big white head. The body is quite odd. Orange colored body that would be very clear, but the sediment is floating and takes over the body. Carbonation, head retention, and lacing are all top notch. A bit to much sediment makes it look dirtier than should be.

Coriander, clove, orange peel, bubblegum, candied sugar, and lemon aromas. Plenty of fruits, bubblegum, alcohol esters, and spices come on really strong.

Getting a huge amount of fruitiness from the yeast. Alcohol is quite noticeable, soapy and creamy mouthfeel, buttery, and carbonation is kind of prickly. Vanilla, lemon sorbet, and coriander are great flavors I'm getting here. Bubblegum and anise flavor really dominate the palate and feel like they should blend in more than stand out like they do. To much going on without settling into something special.

Not a bad beer but the bubblegum and anise flavor seem out of place and definitely to noticeable in the mix. Tone those down a bit and if the alcohol were hidden more this would be a top of the line beer to me.


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Photo of DIM
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a slightly murky, dull golden color. It was served to me with a small, airy looking white head.

s: A very appealing balance of sweet candi sugar and pale malt, and spicy aromas of ginger and nutmeg. Some pear aromas emerged as this warmed.

s: I loved the first sip, but towards the middle of the glass this spice was coming on too strong. The yeasty phenols, pale malt, and candi sugar all work beautifully together. The finish adds grassy hops and spice flavor that reminded most of nutmeg.

m: Big and creamy overall.

o: I fell in love with the first sip, but turns out it was just infatuation.

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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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

10oz into a tulip on tap.

Southampton Grand Cru glides into the glass golden with a small tint of faded bronze within. a nice sheet of bright white up top, leaving a cap and small splotches. OK retention. Smell is fruity with a bready Belgian yeast with trace amounts of candi. No grassy scents, some hints of alcohol. Pretty bold in scent off the tap with a bit candi like scent than alot of American versions. Taste is up front with Belgian essence and a fruit. Apple, pear, small earthy hop bite in between with some candi sugar in the end that does not cloy. First sips give off some alcohol that warms the gullet. The 9.5% is not all the way hidden. Feel is a strong medium with a nice crisp carb. After half the glass this becomes all to easy to drink. A nice stab at the style and much better than alot of American versions out there. I just wish bottles were not so damn pricey, this would be a nice one to slide into 4 packs or so. Until then, I'll grab it on tap.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$2.50/8oz sample... J Ryan's I love you.

Rich golden honey in color with a super sticky white head and lacing. This looks really golden in the light, screams grand cru, but could use a little more carbonation... This problem possibly solved by bottle conditioning (vs on tap)?

Served way too cold, but there is still a strong sweetness mixed with fruity yestiness that cuts through like a knife. The alcohol is also quite pungent.

There is really fruity Belgian yeast and just enough sweetness and alcohol. Quite tasty, especially as it warms up. There is a bold grape-like crispness that follows each sip. I'm reminded of a sensation I get when drinking Nelson, single-hopped beers.

The beer is in fact quite fruity and juicy with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Definitely a delicious mouthfeel for a grand cru and more carbonation than expected!

Amazing price on this beer and it's well worth the money! Thanks again J ryan's for providing outstanding beer at reasonable prices.

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Photo of HopDr
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap on 3 occasions now, poured in a smallish chalice.

A- Nice golden/honey color, very little head but some good lacing. Almost opaque.

S- Beautiful! I am not a big fan of spiced beers, but I think they really nailed this one. Coriander and citrus (I think from additives, not hops), along with belgian yeast-type fruitiness all blended perfectly. All of the flavors are sublet with no one dominating, it is one of those beers that you get something new every time you take a sip.

T- I think they did a nice job here too of keeping it simple, letting the malt take a backseat and provide the backbone to let the yeast and other flavors do the talking. Spiciness comes though in the end.

M- On the thinner side with less carbonation than I usually expect from Belgian-style beers, but it works for me in this one.

O- This is the only beer I have had from Southampton, but it makes me want to try their others. It really is a nice beer, the first night I tried it I had a couple glasses with a meal and thought it was fantastic, so good that I wanted to go back just to try it again on its own to see if it was really as good as I remembered. It is nicely complex, subtle and balanced. This is definitely my favorite American Belgian-style beer I have tried so far.

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Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle from '09. Split with some friends, the brew allears a clear golden orange with some spots of yeast in solution. A creamy yellow head has decent retention across the top throughout the entire duration.

The smell is string of sweet caramel malt or toffee. Orange zest and pulp are also included. Collectieky it comes together like an orange marmalade. Once warm, it almost smells like sweet tea.

The taste mimics the aroma with strong indications of orange marmalade with a bit of toffe to caramel malt sweetness. Herbal bitterness and some citrus breakup the sweetness a bit. Initially is sickenly sweet but gets herbal and balanced with more sips.

This is medium bodied with a smooth feel and modest to lower levtl of carbobation that gives fhe impression of a thicker feeling brew. Yet somehow it is fizzy in the feel when swirled around. The alcohol is well masked behind the bold sweetness. Overall not a bad offering but much, much more sweet than I was expecting.

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Photo of metter98
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yellowish orange in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that gradually died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and a coating of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: There are strong bouquet of citrusy aromas in the nose (orange stands out in particular) along with smells of candi sugars and spices.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has complex flavors of candi sugars with some malty sweetness and notes of orange peel and spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of bitterness and warming from the alcohol is noticeable in the finish.
O: The beer seems to be more malty compared to other beers in the style but hides its alcohol well and isn’t cloying.

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Southampton Grand Cru from Southampton Publick House
93 out of 100 based on 290 ratings.