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Southampton Grand Cru - Southampton Publick House

Not Rated.
Southampton Grand CruSouthampton Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

377 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 377
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 12.09%
Wants: 141
Gots: 26 | 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: 377 | Reviews: 287
Photo of Sammy
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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 t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SpeedWayJim for hooking me up with this one.

A: Pours a somewhat-hazy light copper color with an off-white head. Very nice carbonation along with a massive head as it was poured into my tulip.

S: Coriander, spice, sweet malt, a bit alcohol creaminess (hard to describe; reminiscent of Rochefort 10).

T: Quite a few spices, not as much as in the nose however. A bit of caramel and sweetness as well.

M: Medium bodied and quite creamy. Not too much of an alcohol presence.

D: Not as complex as some of the better BSPA's, but very nice. Glad I got to try this one.

Photo of metter98
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's always a privilage to drink a top rated beer, especially one from Southampton. This beer holds true to its Belgian Pale roots while giving a bright hoppy taste, fruity dominance, and spicy textures.

The beer sure dresses for the occation. A firm and steady pour proves difficult to get fit into the chalice. A huge, rocky head billows from the liquid in an expansive and lively fashion. Solid but deeply golden in color, the beer pushed into orange, rusty, and amber territories. Great formation of the off-white foam and it lingers for ever. Great lacing on the glass reaffirms the quality of the appearance.

Pear dominant in the aroma but with accompanying esters of pears, apples, white grapes, mangos, oranges, pineapple and figs. Caramel scents and bready malts provide complimentary notes from the malts. Spicy from phenolic character that carry white pepper, corriander, nutmeg, and allspice notes. Hops are really not detected in the nose.

Flavors of the beer hold much more caramel and true barley taste than expected from the Belgian Pales. However, those ripe and lighter fruits shine here very well (see those in the aroma). The sweetness of the beer keeps the spiciness balanced and keeps them in check. Light earthy hops give flavors of grasses, pine, and a slight mustiness that creates complexity.

The body is a bit sweeter and heavier than I expect- making it feel more like a Tripel or a Biere de Garde/Mars. Definately not the bone-dry spicy version that I find in Duvel, but pleasant to drink nonetheless. Fruits and earthy hop bitterness linger long into the finish; almost as deep as the spicy phenols allow.

A very, very nice beer. I cannot make up my mind whether I think the sweetness is an asset or a deterant to the beer- whichever, it is modest. There's also an 'it' quality in the earthy musty components of the beer that is clean and robust which helps to differentiate this beer from the herd. All beers that are rated this highly definately need an 'it' quality beyond just meeting the style.

Thanks JNN4V!

Photo of Phyl21ca
2/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle (Courtesy of Hopdog): Poured an orangey color ale with a small bubbly head with limited retention. Aroma of orange is quite intense with something sweet that didn’t mix very well with the beer. Taste is like a mix between an orange crush and an average Belgian ale and was not really what I expected from this beer. The flavour doesn’t really mix well and body was quite thin. I was expecting to be impressed by this beer based on previous rating but I am now wondering if I totally missed something or if this was a bad bottle. This was definitely one of the worst offerings that I had the chance to try form this usually fine brewery.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Diaphanous tangerine with multiple energetic bubbles leading up to a regal crown that looks like it belongs on one of Belgium's finest. The foam is pale orange-tinted ivory in color and is softly, smoothly rocky. When it eventually begins to relent, sudsy streamers of lace can be seen on the the upper reaches of the glass. Whatever else Southampton did right with this beer, and I'm guessing a lot, they nailed the look of a world-class BSPA.

I love the way a really good Belgian ale smells. This one adds to that enjoyment by putting a twist on the style with the addition of a few of my favorite spices: dried orange peel, ground coriander seed and star anise. I could never have identified them on my own, but I believe I can pick each one out if I really work at it. The order of prominence is just as they're listed on the bottle (and above).

Southampton Grand Cru is the best beer of 2007 so far; by a long shot. One large gulp is all it takes to tell me that this is a magical concoction that can stand tall and proud with the world's most spectacular BSPAs. If Phil Markowski's goal was to pay homage to the best that Belgium has to offer, he's reached that goal and then some. The only question is, will I be able to think of enough complementary adjectives or will I have to reuse a few?

Wow! There's so much going on in each mouthful that I don't know where to start. The pale malt and candi sugar backbone is amazingly supple and is the bedrock on which the rest of the beer is built. Sweet just does hold its own against bitter and spicy. I'm amazed at how much pungent, grassy (probably German) hoppiness is present and I'm even more amazed that it works as well as it does.

In terms of spice additions, none of them overpowers the others. Each one is able to be appreciated in turn if one simply focuses on that particular flavor. It's difficult to point to one reason why this beer is so spectacular. If pressed, I'd say it's the uniqueness imparted by the addition of such non-typical spices. This may be the world's first Imperial witbier. It's definitely the best.

As always when it comes to such delicious, high-ABV beer, I need to slow down so that I can continue to record my impressions. There's very little hint of alcohol on the palate; yet another reason to be humbled by this masterpiece of the brewer's art. It doesn't happen often, but I suddenly find myself wishing I had a case. Make that two cases.

The place where most American brewers (except Allagash) typically fall short when they attempt to brew the Belgian styles is the mouthfeel. Southampton has hit the mouthfeel nail on the head with a solid gold hammer. The sprightly effervescence provided by all those bubbles belies the underlying firm silkiness provided by all that malt. My mouth is as happy as it's been in a very long time.

Beer like this makes me glad to be alive. This is one of the best BSPAs that I've ever had, no matter the country of origin. Sometimes I sit and marvel at the complexity in each mouthful, and sometimes I simply enjoy what's happening to my taste buds. It's only January, but it's going to be hard for any brewer to top the sheer brilliance of Southampton Grand Cru during the remainder of 2007.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -34.8%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Had been intrested in trying this for a while based on teh strong reviews I had seen posted. I am not really that big of a fan of the style, though it does not displease me. Acquired through a BIF before I could get these in North Carolina, it had been awaiting me to try it for a few weeks now, so I delve in. Poured a deep hazy yellowish amber with a large, white head that was very slow to fade and left behind significant lace. Lots of streaming carbonation was evident and bubble chains were rising throughout the session.

Aroma was very sour, with lots of hints of grapes and pears and a slight touch of alcohol. Smell was not overpowering, but not faint either, good balanced and sour smell, almost wine like. First impression of the taste was sour, and lively. Very good feel, due in part to great carbonation gave it a very light and modestly smooth feel. Went down very easy, albeit it did have a somewhat syrupy thickness to it. Their were very bitter flavors present from the start, huge notes of sour grapes, pears and various other fruits were plentiful. A slight noticable grainy or yeast presence was their which came through as it warmed up. Again alcohol was not trying to hide in this one which made it a definate sipper to say the least.

Overall this was a good one to try, and if you are a fan of the style I could see why you would like this. A bit too sour for my tastes, and came off a bit too wine like. I would say give it a try as it is a more than decent offering that is obvious that alot of work when into creating.

Photo of largadeer
3.21/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Bright, clear amber with a fluffy blanket of white froth.

Smell: Sweet, spicy and estery. Banana and melon, coriander, a bit of white pepper.

Taste & mouthfeel: This stuff is absolutely packed with complex fruit flavors; orange, banana, mango, melon and pear all come to mind. Spices are present underneath, with anise and coriander shining through quite strongly. Syrupy, almost cloying sweetness sticks to the tongue in the finish - this one is a bit too sweet for my taste. A hint of drying alcohol appears in the finish after the sweetness subsides.

Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dragged this home from NYC a year ago, now is the time to finally indulge. I'm guessing it's at least a 2 year old bottle, considering the reputation of New Beer Distributors.

Small pop of the cork, and a foamy geyser suddenly builds momentum. Luckily the glass was nearby to catch it! Deep, hazy orange body. Tiny rivulets of carbonation. Overripe fruity aroma of persimmon, and cookie dough.

Taste is complex, some spice, clear notes of dried orange peel, bubblegum, herbal hops, and earthy coriander. Juicy and soft at first, with a moderate fullness. Well carbonated, but not too prickly. It seems to taper off halfway, letting some of the alcohol show through. A fresh bottle seemed drier than this one, with more zesty citrus. The spice is still there, just somewhat subdued.

Delicious and very smooth after 2 years in the bottle.
Made a nice pairing with some aged Gruyere.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
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 TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 10/9/08 at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of apples, Belgian yeast, light malts, spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet and tart up front with flavors of apples & caramel. Then the breadiness of Belgian yeast follows along with a heart malt character. There's a mild hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is nice high-gravity Belgian beer that is worth drinking for a long time.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly clouded gold with a sizeable white head that falls, but not too quickly. Nose is heavy with a yeast influence and a lemon edge. Flavor is tangy and sweet when it is colder. But when it is warmer, it presents a spiced strong ale. The spices peek out much more than the tang or the sugar when it is cold. Feel has a lot of bubble on the mouth, but a thicker liquid feel with a slightly slimy type of character. I know that is a weird word to use, but to me that is what it is. It is not syrupy, but it does have a different type of texture to the fluid. Overall, drinkability is high. It’s a bit too tangy in my opinion, but it’s still another good production from Southampton.

Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to thebouch01 and dfclav for this one.

Light fizzy almost 1 finger head fades semi slowly with a touch of lacing over hazy super yeast chunked golden toasty maple orange color.

Nose is loaded with fruit, Belgian yeast, apple, pear, light candi sugar and touch of sweet syrups, light booze, lots if complex lighter malts, white raisin, light nutty contain like spices

Taste starts with a creamy but complex light Belgian like malts, plenty of sweet additions, light candi sugar, sweet mapleish syrup, fairly sweet overall, perhaps too sweet could use some more aging, tons of fruit with apple, pear, white raisin, light nutty spices, little booze warmth and touch of tingle. Finishes semi sweet, a long Belgian yeast and malt finish, more candi sugar and raisin, slightly sticky, touch of bitterness on the finish.

Mouth is med to slightly heavier bodied with decent carb and some warming booze.

Overall very good, a decent version of an Americanized Belgian grand cru, similar to their abt12 but lighter and more fruit, complex and good, hides the booze decently well, great flavors.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Slatetank
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From the 750series corked and caged brown bottle purchased at Capone's in Norristown, Pa.
Decanted cool into a La Fin Du Monde tulip.

A - With a jubilant "Perrrup!" the cork, which appears discolored and ready to crack is ejected from the neck. A hazy golden amber w/ more than 3 fingers of creamy off white rise above the glass rim and fall to about 2 fingers settling w/ a fine bead and pockets of cloudy head.

S - Fragrant fruity and coriander mixed aromas make a stunning greeting w/ full yeasty esters. Jam-like w/ marmalade and orange rind notes. Nutty and peppery w/ coriander and star anise playing supporting roles.

M - A full, refreshing, highly effervescent crisp feel at first w/ a spicy/alcoholic blend that is smoothed out w/ malt and yeasty notes. A mix of subtle honey-like sweetness and spicy, dry coarse edges superbly blended w/ only a minimal amount of warming.

T - A flavor that has elements of spice and creamy orange notes is very smooth and dry at times. The peppery coriander notes are received at the sides of the tongue and the back of the throat. Melon and other subtle fruit notes lik papaya and gentle citrusy essence that has no specific flavor profile. Much like an Imperial Wit w/ its spice, embracing the palate w/ a balance that gives the malt a chance to support and the effervessence makes for a warmth the belly might not have expected.

Lovely vinous elements w/ a twang of tart orange peel and almost a white grape level of sour in the finish. Lovely nuances of nutty, almost toasty malt w/ an ever so sensible level of sweetness w/ subtle caramel qualities. As the ale warms a slight amount of hops w/ a pinch of earthy flavors add to the spice which is so well blended it is almost in the aftertaste, laying low under the surface like a complement to the yeast giving a bit of an edge to the malt's full and yeast's round influence on the body. It becomes a sipper showing more malt depth with a spice cake like brilliance.

D - A very interesting beer to experience as it evolves over the course of a couple hours, great to enjoy almost as a meal on its own, rich w/ no more spice than needed. Very traditional in flavor w/ new world touches as good as many Belgians from Belgium w/ nuances you have to spend time w/ this ale to appreciate. Deserving of its' place among the greats I wouuld say 5 given the surroundings and uniqueness. Maybe a crumbly cheese on toasted pita points would go well w/ this. Definitely one of best I have tasted this year. Worthy of the purchase of a case, and truly worthy of its high rating.

Photo of russpowell
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from either unholy2 or beeronthebrain, I'll toast them both! Decanted into my Duvel tulip:

Pours an effervescent orange/peach with 1 finger of tan colored head. Also has Fred Eckhart Noisiness! Hazes a bit a the bottom of the bottle. minimal head retention & lacing. plus very viscous in appearance

S: Some apricot & honey

T: Intense passion fruit, much dryness, honey malt, pineapple & lemony hops up front. Loads of toffee & much tropical fruit as this warms, plus honey dryness & some coriander & peppery hops once warm. Fruittyness really picks up the more this warms, along with oaky dryness. Finishes very dry; with slight smokeyness. This almost pulled a 5.0, not quite perfect

MF: Syrupy with a modicum of carbonation. Pretty warming with just a bit of boozy hotness. but within style, almost makes me think mead, very thick!

Complexity & dryness hurts the drinkability, but only a bit. This would right at home in Belgium. Well done SouthHampton!!

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -5.2%

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Southampton Grand Cru from Southampton Publick House
94 out of 100 based on 377 ratings.