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Southampton Grand Cru - Southampton Publick House

Not Rated.
Southampton Grand CruSouthampton Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

367 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 367
Reviews: 284
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 130
Gots: 25 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-08-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 367 | Reviews: 284 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rkhaze
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper color with a nice, creamy off white head.

Sweet floral and spicy aromas. Pale malt, orange, tropical fruit, spice and lightly tart Belgian yeast.

Rich and fruity tastes. Sweet and tangy. Really intense, concentrated flavors.Bready malt, ripe tropical fruit, sweet/bitter orange zest and lemony yeast. Finishes dry with the coriander making a big appearance at the end. Mild bitterness coming from the alcohol which is definitly there, although integrated well. A smidge on the sweet side.

A little heavier bodied for the style with a rich, round and slightly chewy mouthfeel. Excellent carbonation level.

Great beer. Deeply flavored and rich with the sweetness and coriander almost being a bit too much for my taste.

rkhaze, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of ejquin
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: Pumpkin orange. A bit light with basically no head at all.

Smell: Nice and yeasty and phenolic. Alohol present. Citrus there but seemed a bit "deeper" to me than most other beligians.

Taste: Weird was my first thought. There definitely citrus and coriander. Also some orange peel. Salty taste at the end. Alcohol lurks in the background throughout but becomes pronounced on finish and leaves a sting. Very sweet on finish as well. Very "winey".

Mouthfeel: It's smooth but also light, and basically no carbonation which is a bit frustrating.

Drink: fine, but downgraded by sweetness. It gets on your nerves after a while.

Overall: This beer is definitely good, but I don't know about grand cru. I'm also kind of mystified at the ratings it has gotten. I was expecting much more. The fact that it is so sweet, combined with a light body with no carbonation is kind of aggravating. It's good, and gets better as it warms, but still. I thought Stonecrusher's review was perfect when he said that this is definitely a complex beer with a bunch of flavor, but none of them really all that delicous. This seemed similar to the unibroue 10 to me but I felt the unibroue was better.

ejquin, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of jaymirage
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to OldSock for procuring this.

Ah, the Grand Cru- I’ve been in the waiting for time and a half on this one. Green bottle, 25.4 ounces, corked & caged. 2005 vintage. After having some unexpected cork fiasco-ness, pouring revealed a light burgundy, maybe with an orangey hue? Disappointingly ‘lackluster’ head. Oh well.

I don’t rate smell because I’m a congenital anosmiac.

As for taste: Wow. Fantastic. Sweet, and fruity: orange peel, coriander, and look! Spiciness! I’m impressed. Like a sweet lambic, with a character not much unlike that of a saison. This beer clearly showcases distinction over balance. On a more uselessly comparative note, my first sip of Hennepin was bliss; my first sip of this reminded me _strikingly_ of that moment. I am wowed.

The mouthfeel is thin, and the carbonation is light to moderate. I would argue that the distinctness of the fruity elements and the lingering spiciness offset the thin mouthfeel, leading to only moderately drinkability. Each sip is packed with flavor, so although one could certainly down this as you would your run-of-the-mill pale ale, there’s certainly no good reason not to sip this as you would any big beer. The spiciness triumphs over the alcohol, masking it spectacularly, but also showcasing the warmth of its background presence. Don’t listen to OldSock. He’s crazy.

jaymirage, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of OldSock
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation and Appearance – Shared with Jaymirage. 2005 vintage in a green (someone must make brown champagne bottles) 25.4 oz corked and caged bottle. The cork took about five minutes of tugging and twisting to remove. Deep reddish-golden, particle filled beer with a lackluster white head.

Smell – Lots of coriander , yeast and alcohol. There is also an earthy, woody undertone. It has a really potent aroma, full of complexities.

Taste – Good flavor, a mix of coriander, yeast, fresh fruits, and earthiness. A bit too sweet for my taste, sweet and tangy apple is the main flavor. There are bits of alcohol around the edges, but it is well hidden. The flavors simply do not balance well, I can taste many distinct flavors but they do not meld together well. The flavor is complex, but just not assembled as well as it should be.

Mouthfeel – Thin mouthfeel, smooth with only a slight carbonation.

Drinkability and Notes – Big and complex, but still relatively easy to drink. This is one of the best American made Belgian style ales, but cannot compare to the many fine strong pales ales made in Belgium or many of the offerings from Unibroue. This vintage, in my eyes, does not deserve the status that this beer has received.

OldSock, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of Goldorak
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Opaque, tangerine colored with a good steady froth on top.

Smell: I knew this was going to be a complex brew from the nose it sported, a sweet and sour combo that reminded me of balsamic vinegar and hoisin sauce, a combination I never thought of creating in my kitchen but that I will definately give a try now!

Taste: Starts off very candi sugar sweet, then it gets even sweeter somehow, than a bit salty and almost peaty, a splash of funk gets into the mix, alcohol not noticeable in the mouthfeel but definately feels warm and fuzzy in my gullet. It blew me away.

Goldorak, Jul 13, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Getting this cork out was no mean feat. I had to take two separate breaks to catch my breath before finally getting it out.

2005 edition
Pours out a deep coppery orange with a medium-sized head of foamy, quickly-bursting bubbles before giving way to little retained head but some nice lacing.

Smell is fruity orange, pineapple, mango, alcohol, yeast, and a bit of sourness. Lovely!

Taste is explosive with the same fruits, but also a strong underlying spiciness that really keeps it from becoming too fruity. Finish is all fruity hops and alcohol, but its perfectly-medium body complements it nicely. There is a nice maltiness throughout, but it never becomes too sweet or over the top. The flavor is in such perfect balance that it feels like any adjustment in any direction would completely destroy the flavor.

Drinkability is downright lethally good at this ABV.

Overall: Wow. This is my first "real" Southampton brew outside of the contract-brewed new bombers, and it's easy to see what the hype is all about. This is just an incredible beer that hits on every level. Damn near perfect.

whartontallboy, Jul 08, 2005
Photo of MichaelWhite
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It's like there's a party in my mouth, and everyone's invited. It had more of a fruity smell than I'd prefer, but the taste and subsequent intoxication more than made up for it. This is the first Belgian Strong Pale Ale I've had, but you know for damn sure it wont be the last. I drank it while watching the Kentucky Derby, I figure if I'm watching the sport of kings I might as well drink like one and the Southampton Grand Cru delivered.

MichaelWhite, May 12, 2005
Photo of ybnorml
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy dark amber/copper beer. With no head. Appearance reminded me of hand pressed apple cider. The aroma was sweet with honey and fruit notes. Also there was a spicey hop presence. All this with an inviting alcohol background. There was a honey like mouthfeel. The flavor a fruit sweetness with an orange peel character. The finish had a nice spicey hop flavor with a nice "warm in the tummmy" alcohol goodby.

ybnorml, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. what an epic struggle i had with this cork. had to take a break before drinking, my forearm/wrist became tight and swollen. an omen?

appearance: rich orange color with absolute lack of carbonation. bubbly belgian head which leaves a thin but very sticky lace on my chalice.

aroma: smells good. not too strong. dark fruits, raisins. horsey horse and tart yeasty notes. slightly tinged with metal, but not offensive.

taste: saisoney with an overwhelming fruit sweetness almost like a christmas beer with its clove aftertaste but light in the body. citrus and fruits come out after multiple sips once the sweetness subsides. abv is missing but a warming in my belly reminds me its there.

reminds me very much of rocs grand cru. very much. more drinkable though.

mouthfeel: light and smooth. acidic mouthfeel in my cheeks. cool.

overall excellent for an american brewery

goodbyeohio, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of mzwolinski
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an attractive peach in color, mostly clear at the beginning but hazy as the yeast inevitably makes its way into the glass. The head starts of thinnish and bubbly, but settles into a remarkably consistent, creamy off-white thin top.

The aroma is delicate, lightly spicy with hints of juicy orange and floral notes.

The flavor as well starts off juicy and fruity. What malt there is in the beginning has a slightly toasty character, but quickly blends into a peppery spiciness, and a rather acidic, lemony finish. As the beer warms, the malts become more assertive, and the beer develops an almost toffee-like aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is creamy and slightly coating, with a moderately dry finish.

Yum, yum, yum. I could drink this all night, but I have a feeling I'd have a very rough morning if I did. This beer is way too smooth for its potency. This is the first Southampton brew I've had, and I'm definitely impressed so far.

mzwolinski, Apr 10, 2005
Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review is from notes taken on 1/29/05, 750ml bottle marked 2004.

This poured into the goblet a dark cloudy orange with a decent sized fluffy white head forming on top. Minimal lacing was left around the glass as the head died down. Aroma is full of fruity esters with notes of apples and pears over a variety of spices. A touch of sweetness and yeast round out the smell, which is great. Flavor starts off with fruity apples with a backing of spiciness, some coriander and orange peel I believe. Notes of other fruits are present. It’s a bit sweet and tart but never too much of either. The fruit and spice carry the flavor nicely. Body is medium effervescent, crisp and refreshing. I can hardly believe this is 9.5 this drinks like a much lighter beer and is so damn enjoyable. I would love to get my hands on some that is fresher to see the difference. I believe this bottle was nearing a year old. Thanks goes to Steve for the hook up.

meathookjones, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of granger10
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I close my eyes and I am in Belgium. This beer is that good. Pours a hazy honeyish orange with a small head but a layer of lacing across the top. Decent lacing around the glass but a little on the flat side. Smell is delicate with a citrus spice note and a sweet pale malt scent. There might be a little alcohol in there as well. Taste begins with the spices, immediately I notice the coriander and what seems to be sweet orange peel. Malts come in with a pale somewhat drier flavor. A breadiness takes over along with the yeast and holds its grip against the spices which are now complementing the beer. Floral aspects wavor in and out. There's an acidity towards the finish but its underneath the depth of flavors and nevers hit my tongue in a strong way. Finish lingers and is a bit dry with some yeast notes, although I didn't see any yeast in my glass while drinking this and I poured a bit strong. The coriander also remakes an appearance in the finish. This beer is really smooth and has a medium thickness but a great depth of flavors. Reminds me a lot of Unibroue 11 which is definitely a good thing. As for drinkability, I could probably drink 3 liters of this and still want more. I am really impressed!

Super many thanks and good wishes for an amazing Christmas time trade from FeloniusPhil for this beer!!!

granger10, Dec 22, 2004
Photo of egajdzis
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy yellow orange color with a medium sized off white head, and light lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet orange, citrus, and musty yeast. Taste was very nice, spicy vanilla oak, sweet caramel, lots of citrus fruits, yeast, and just a hint of alcohol.

egajdzis, Dec 19, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: I managed to pick up this bottle earlier this year during my first trip to New York, in fact during the first of five trips to New York this year, but more specifically on Friday 27th May during a trip to New Beer Distributors with the Evil One. Due to the number of bottles I purchased, Davo mailed on my brews, this was one of the last to arrive back in Long Beach. A 750ml (I Pint 9.4 fl.oz) flat bottomed aqua-green glass bottle. Cork and wire caged with a 2004 dated metal cap. One main label, a yellowy-orange background affair with black text, simple yet impressive. “Southampton – Belgian-Style Grand Cru Strong Ale (ale brewed with spices)”. Listed at O.G. = 22.5 P, 9.5% abv.

Appearance: Streamers slowly punctuate the gorgeously crisp and clear orange marmalade body that casts a sunset amber-golden glow onto my desk when backlit from above. The head is awesome, incredibly smooth, a creamy natured head so often only found in higher caliber Belgian brews. Supreme ½” thick off-white snow cap covers the golden brew. The head rescinds to a slick but uniform 1/8” collar which leaves some attractive sheet lacing. Talcum smooth conditioning supports this brew throughout. I decided to utilize my Westvleteren Goblet for this SPH brew, a mighty gesture indeed for my Westie Goblet is rarely considered let alone used for anything but the best, yet in this case, this is indeed a worthy Chalice. Excellent presentation, a straight 5, hands down.

Nose: Light spicy hints, sharp dried orange peel mixes with a very feint yet defined coriander which mingles with a fruity Belgian yeast odor. You know what, as it warms I get aniseed and liquorice.

Taste: Strong Spanish orange and spicy coriander melt into a spicy yeast laden Belgique Strong Pale Ale backbone. Add to this a doughy like bread feel in the center that gains strength from some malty sharpness with a full-bodied Candi sugar ending, that in turns benefits from a lingering liquorice and anise tingle. Dark fruity finish whisks with a fast freeway Strong Pale Ale twist.

Mouthfeel: A majestic aristocratic beauty that benefits from exceptional breeding, yet it retains a down-to-Earth silky smooth body that has a humble working class attraction. This has an incredible body.

Drinkability: 9.5% abv...are you kidding me!??! Shurely shum mishtake…hic…

Overall: Was it really 7 months ago that I picked this up? Did it really only cost me $8.95?? I actually got chance to visit the Southampton Publick House on Sunday 5th September a couple of months before this bottle turned up. There is no way on Earth that I would have had the patience or self-control to ever cellar any Southampton brews…..so thanks to Davo for doing that for me!!! Cheer Evil One!

Supremely Impressive and Highly Recommended.

TheLongBeachBum, Dec 15, 2004
Photo of putnam
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Originally I rated this with perfect 5s on 7/31/04. Here was my comment:

"A nice tall, hissing, spun sugar top forms over the hazy brass-colored liquid. The muscular, alcoholic aromas suggest orange peels, maraschino cherries, white pepper, buttery, wholemeal biscuits, and creme brulee. On the palate it tags all the bases. Creamy and thick, yet melting in cascades of vanilla, melon, mango and piecrust. The mass stalls once, pauses at mid-palate, then resolves in a gorgeous display of nobility: the bitterness of poppies, the fragrance of sweet basil, the solid, spicy, earthy resonance of birch root."
"I mean my god. This is an awesome beer."

A second bottle, acquired from Buffalo (the first was from Poughkeepsie), was completely different. A raging sourness obscured the sublte, creamy richness and made it a much slower drink of only academic interest. I've changed the "taste" score to reflect the combined experiences.

putnam, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of Sammy
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Sammy, Dec 04, 2004
Photo of AlexJ
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thank you Paul Davis of Troutbrook Brewing for sharing this beautiful beer. It pours a slightly hazy amber color with a rich white head. Aroma is sweet and bready with a good deal of ripe fruit and spice. Mmmmm. Starts with a bit of sour, musty Belgian yeast flavor that gives way to tropical fruits and exotic spice. The spice is perfectly subtle(corriander, cardamon, cloves), some spiced beers are too intense. Finishes with an unexpected nip of hops. Nice, a great beer all the way!

AlexJ, Nov 26, 2004
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After some struggle, the cork comes off with a palpable POP, and I am ready to begin my first encounter with this fabled ale...bottle's a bit heavy, so I'm going to go against the grain, and drink from a glass...no chuggin' for me tonight...deep amber color, a rich orange, almost, with a flush of carbonation filling the glass from top to bottom, and back, all sitting under a sexy head, a gentle, purring thing, all delicate and lacey, gossamer, inviting, urging one to break peace with it's beauty and, go ahead, take a bite...but, first, the nose...bit of sour and must at the forefront, fruity and ripe, tangy and tantalizing...
on the tongue, a tartness at first, tingly hops, rich fruit, dazzling carbonation, . Fruit is a factor, but is never too tart, and not at all too sweet. Citrus, plus some tropical tastes, as well, bit of pineapple, peach, mango, with the lemon and orange...a brilliant choice as a desert beer, for it soothes the soul, and eases the mind, as well as quenching the thirst, and relaxing the palate. Brilliant in many ways, really..."ale brewed with spices" speaks the label, but which, I wonder....coriander, clove, and cardamom are my wild choices, probably wrong, ...not too strong, a "mere" 9.5%,... not too thick and sweet, not too sour, neither. Hey, I've still got half a bottle left to complete my thoughts with, though some time must be spent merely lifting my soul from the normal sphere of the ordinary into realms of the sublime, relaxing in my mind along unexplored rivers of the imaginary universe, sending the mind into places unbespoke, not normally navigated until an elixir like this breaks the spell that confines us all into the normal cages of the physical plane...that sort of stuff.
So. Like I said. Review over. Time to float down the canals of the soul's last refuge and best respose...

feloniousmonk, Sep 15, 2004
Photo of kennyo
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 Vintage

First Southampton in a bottle, not a big fan of their tap products. Many BA's luv this stuff so I was in New Beer in the begining of the year and bought a bottle. Just cracked it open.

Carbonation is a cascade of flowing bubbles. Poured into two glasses, a wine type beer glass and a St. Bernardous glass. In the belgium glass the bubbles were riding the bowl. Beautiful thick, creamy heead, a bitter, lemony taste to the foam

Orange/copper color. This is one beautiful looking beer

Aroma - Biscuit, light alcohol

Taste - this is a delicious beer, sweet/malty, light on the spices, candy like, Delicious. Finally a Southampton product that I tried that warrants the compliments.

kennyo, Sep 11, 2004
Photo of marburg
4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A muddied, browned, dirty gold brew with a fizzy head that fades at the pace of a middle distance runner. Easily ressurectable, though, with a quick swirl of my tulip glass. But let's cut the bull and get to the goods:

A stun-you-in-your-tracks nose does just what my name for it says it'll do. Open bottle. Pour. Sniff. Sniff again. Pause. Sniff. Watch some TV. Sniff some more. Ponder drinking. Sniff again. I already love this beer and I haven't had a damn sip yet. A glorious array of redolent fragrances await the quaffer of this fine ale: dandelions in bloom (as much as a weed can be "in bloom"), orange zest, orange/lemon Pop Rocks in someone else's mouth. This is a fresh, lively, and hopeful beer. Tomorrow will be a better day simply from having smelled this.

Heavy flavor and hearty alcohol! Two trademarks of many quality Belgian or Belgian-inspired ales. Definitely to be found here. Orange liqueor and vodka honeydew with a splash of pineapple from a can. Syupy -- but only in the Karo LIGHT vein. A slight plant bitterness helps this avoid being rock candy sweet. A spectacular wedding gift from some damn good BAs and friends. Superb in every way.

marburg, Sep 08, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cloudy amber, light and sticky off-white head is very nice for the strenght. Unique malty aroma of orange, toasted malt, grahma cookies, plain oat, coriander, bread dough yeast, curacao etc. Very interesting although I’d have hoped for more intensity. Nice complex belgian style palate, peppery, mostly dry. Faint creamy lactic component. Curacao leads to a pleasant fruity bitterness. Light grapefruit lingers for a while in the superb aftertaste. Very yeasty yet even more balanced. Usual Southampton creamy mouthfeel, full bodied, extremely smooth despite the rather high carbonation. Nice beer, sure thing.

Rastacouere, Sep 06, 2004
Photo of RedDiamond
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a compellingly excellent beer, the kind of beer that elicits a long, reflective sigh of contentment with little need to waste words talking. In fact, there’s little need to review a beer this fine at all as the exercise is somewhat pointless.

But let us sketch a profile. It begins in a green 750 ml magnum with a flayed cork and a label describing the contents somewhat clumsily as a “Belgian-Style Grand Cru Strong Ale.” (Note to brewer: Change that for me, would you?) When opened, an energetic *POP* is followed by an outpouring of champagne-like carbonation. The beer pours out in reams of clouded cinnamon topped by an exceedingly tall and durable white head. The head is soft and trails a full feathery lace behind it.

The aroma is complex, spicy, and well sustained. It is absolutely charming. (Did I just say “charming”? I did, didn’t I?) The taste is relaxed and surprisingly mature. The Belgian-style infusion of orange peel and coriander lends spice to the palate but remains mellow, never overpowering. The alcohol is subtle though casually evident.

The mind boggles to consider what this beer might do if aged for a few years. Nothing is overdone or disproportionately exaggerated. The mouthfeel is already silvery; the sediment stays remarkably restrained. The total effect is powerful.

This is a work of uncommon artistry. I drank Southampton’s Grand Cru on a sailboat at sunset and have rarely enjoyed a beer so much.

RedDiamond, Sep 01, 2004
Photo of Crosling
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sunset Orange.

Aroma of orange peel, dry zest, curacao, caramel and butter toffee. A pretty intoxicating blend.

Lovely, perfectly-balanced, simply excuisite and flawless brew. Notes of orange peel, anise, coriander are balanced perfectly by a caramel, dough and toffee maltiness.

Crosling, Aug 30, 2004
Photo of frank4sail
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the toughest bottle I have ever fought with... the cork just would not come out! 2004 bottling. Tropical fruit sweetish nose with corriander notes in the sinus. Wonderful peach look in the goblet with lots of little bubbles and a nice lasting, sticky, thickish white head and lace. Wow what a taste of regal malt and tropical sweetness. Lots of lip smackin' sweet orange/cinnamon/corriander/caramel. Very viscous thick comforting silky mouthfeel. Very smooth.. and very, very drinkable.. it just slides down lovingly. A beer which is a work of art.

frank4sail, Aug 27, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

RoyalT, Aug 17, 2004
Southampton Grand Cru from Southampton Publick House
94 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.