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French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde) - Southampton Publick House

French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde)French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

80 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 80
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%


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

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-17-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 67 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of AaronRed
AaronRed

New York

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The guy at the beer store told me this beer was flying off the shelf. I decided to try it since I like trying local brews. Pours a nice amber in to a tulip glass, shwoing off it's clarity as well. Not much in aroma, mostly bready, but not offensive. Sweetness dominates at first, but becomes more structured after the first few sips. Hints of some kind of herb. Very well made, shows it's a substantial brew by the way it sits on your tounge, with a nice long aftertaste. Highly recommended and a bit different.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 00:34:43 | More by AaronRed
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a relatively clear amber color with a decent head that drops to a film and leaves a bit of lacing here and there

Smell: Cereal grains, orange peel and a hint of clove

Taste: Opens with a orange peel and holiday spice flavor that is joined by an herbal bitterness at mid-palate; after the swallow, there is an underlying sweetness that joins the herbal flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The version I am drinking is a contract brewed bomber that says "French Style Christmas Ale" on the label; perhaps the recipe has changed over time but I view this more in the Winter Warmer camp than a Biere de Garde, despite what the label says; having said that, I really enjoyed this beer

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 01:55:51 | More by brentk56
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Southampton French Christmas is a ruddy bronze, with a large, creamy, auburn tinged off-white head that has long last leaves lighter, foamy lace. Recently received in trade from Beerisheaven (thx again!) and served at cellar temp, I'd planed to bust this out for Thanksgiving, but never got around to it. A few days later, it paired very well with a plate of leftovers.

Smell is soft, sweet cereal grains, oranges, cinnamon and mint, with light, clean alcohol vapors.

Taste is very nice, a light caramel / toffee maltiness, citrus esters, herbal hops and a drying, sharp, bitter finish. Wow! At first sip it was a bit underwhelming, but once I had a few more, I was super impressed, and really appreciate it's subtle delicacy. This might be the best BdG I've ever had, out of quite a few!

Mouthfeel is dry and creamy, but with a medium body.

Drinkability is extremely good, with a great taste, lighter and dry, it goes down very easily. Still, it's got enough depth that pondering is rewarded. Refreshing and satisfying, it paired well with the left-over turkey - perhaps not perfect (a bit to brawny), but very tasty. I also tried it in direct comparison to an at least 1.5 year old bottle of Sans Culotte, it was so vastly superior I couldn't have another sip until I had savored the last drop of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 07:18:05 | More by ccrida
Photo of gdfan47
gdfan47

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at "The Note" in west chester... they had a pretty good beer selection

it poured a coppery orange color with a little bit of head, that took a bow early

it smelled piney and of holiday spices.. really hard to nail town

it tastes alot like it smells, only not as sweet as you think it might be

its pretty smooth , easy, and enjoyable to drink

really good beer, def suprised to see it at this place and I enjoyed it

I will try as much of this as I can

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2008 01:43:46 | More by gdfan47
Photo of treyrab
treyrab

California

3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised to find this one on my way back to Pittsburgh. Poured into my chalice...

A: Pours a hazy orange copper with very minimal head. There is ample carbonation floating up the glass, but this is nothing special to look at.

S: The smell is rather bland with minor spices. Tons of cinnamon and nutmeg, but really not malt to back it up in the smell. Some clove also comes though...very spicy.

T: The taste is similar to the nose. Very spice, but not much malt to back it up. Reminds me of the Southampton Pumpkin which had the same problem. Not much malt in here at all to balance all the spice.

M/D: The mouthfeel is not too bad, and is adequately carbonated.

Overall, this was an interesting beer that I may just need to get familiarized with the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 03:05:12 | More by treyrab
Photo of Nickls
Nickls

District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From notes)

A - Beautiful ruby red color, with a quickly disappearing white head

S - Very muted aroma, with suggestions of fresh fruit and maltiness

T - The fruitiness of the brew was right up front with a good degree of malt sweetness. Pretty complex tastes, and hard for me to nail down everything to be honest.

M - Medium to thin MF, and a little viscous.

D - Hugely drinkable even though there are some complexities.

Thoroughly enjoyable brew, and I will definitely seek this out again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2008 04:16:33 | More by Nickls
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Gmann

New York

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of the 22oz bomber. Pours an exceptional clear and pretty copper color, nice fluffy egg shell colored head that settled fairly quick into a light ring. The aroma is fairly light, a sweet toasted malt with a touch a hoppy spice. The taste is of a toasted malt with a sprucey hop bite, lemon rind and a tart cranberry like fruitiness. The brew sits well on the palate, slightly chewy, prickly carbonation, finishes with a spicy sweetness. A nice and spicy biere de garde, more of a hoppy spice than yeasty spice.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 02:30:36 | More by Gmann
Photo of TheycallmeTim
TheycallmeTim

New York

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into an oversized wine glass.

A--I should have reviewed this yesterday, the first day on the growler. Because today it's flatter: the head goes from about a finger and a half to a fingernail, although you do get some decent off-white skim that lasts, and even some lacing from it! This beer is no quitter, and the body is a beautiful almost pure caramel, with only a hint more red.

S--Not terribly complex, some floral hints and an earthy, almost root beer smell. Weird, and kinda intriguing, to be honest.

T--Incredibly satisfying. I'm getting plenty of toasty sweetish malt holding up behind all sorts of grain: whole-wheat, more molasses-like pumpernickel, even a touch of spicy rye. There are also hints of pepper and poppy seed that propel themselves (how's /that/ for allieration?!) out from what is mostly a mellow, almost toffee, malt backdrop. Hops aren't much here but I think that's normal for the style. What sticks out as uncharacteristic for the style is the minimal yeast presence. That may be what robs the nose.

M&D--Expert stuff here. Lively bubbles lighten the load of the barley and the alcohol is well-masked. Perfect beer for a fire!

Serving type: growler

11-15-2008 22:33:55 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of Lexluthor33
Lexluthor33

New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper color with a golden touch. Medium sized head and thin lace that holds up well.
The aroma of fruits,caramel and malts. The taste is sweet,malts with a spices and apple hints.
The feel was smooth yet crisp in the finish. Creamy going down and medium body with moderate carbonation.Dry finish.

Notes: I got a good beer for my money. No complaints here as it was easy to drink and a pleasure to have. I felt that style wise they got a little creative,but it was done well and I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 03:24:00 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They did not nail the style, likely intentionally. A fine Belgian near sticky yeasty ale with good malting and a significant but not bold spiciness. Fairly easy to drink after a warm (finally) day and went well with the food. Lightly orangey with lots of foamed bubbles. In a word, sweetish Belgian yeast.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 03:28:06 | More by Sammy
Photo of BeerLover729
BeerLover729

New York

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Huge thick fizzy head that fades to a thick creamy lacing?/head. This copper auburn beer is downright gorgeous.

S: Caramelized and biscuity malt flavors tickle my olfactory nerve.

T: Creamy caramel beer but with a dry astringent finish. Very mild malt sweetness that is very pleasant and palatable with biscuit malt carbo's that are particularly yummy. Yeasty character is mild but complex and notable despite no real phenols or esters.

M: This beer has a heavy light body with pleasant dextrin character despite the dry crips character of this highly attenuated beer. Medium to sharp, vigorous, carbonation.

D: This is a drinking beer. Its smooth crisp character is enticing enough to keep the desire constant but simple enough to not hold you back from drinking this beer as a session beer. In fact I personally could drink this beer all night long.

Notes: Not the most complex beer that I ever feel in love with but this is an amazing brew none the less. The toasty caramel malt character reminds me of and rivals the best octoberfest style beers I have had. Definitely the best winter sessonal I have had all winter 2007-2008. An excellent beer. Thank you Phil.

My bottle is in a 750 mL bottle. It has a red label and it says Joyeux Noel 2007 French Country Christmas Ale a Biere de Garde-style Stong Ale. Just thought I'de mention that since there seems to be a lot of variety.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2008 02:37:22 | More by BeerLover729
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to plaid75 for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Caged/Corked

Got a nice POP! on opening.

Poured into a chalice a very nice cloudy golden orange/mahongny color, high carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, you are left with some nice small islands and sticky lacing. The nose is malty, slightly yeast, spicy, apples, blueberries, and some caramel. The taste is tangy/sweet, malty, fruity, with some caramel. The finish is dry, with a nice bitter finish. Medium body, a very nice well rounded/complex brew. Very drinkable, this is an awesome brew, I'm starting to really like this style. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2007 18:36:19 | More by Wasatch
Photo of kennyo
kennyo

New York

3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this on tap at the Collins Bar. Poured a hazy coppper color with a little head that disappeared after a minute or two. The aroma was sugar, bready/yeast, spice/cinnamon. aste had some malt, some toastiness, a little hop bitterness on the back of the toungue. THis beer is very drinkable but nothing special.

I seem to almost be disapointed with Southhampton beers on tap, I've never been to the brewery, but I'm almost always happy with their bottled product

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2007 01:40:25 | More by kennyo
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a clear and vivid coppery amber, with Alka-Seltzer in a hot tub carbonation madness. Four fingers of light tan head swell even more to an ice cream cone dome. True Belgian lace gracefully adorns the inside of the glass.

The aroma is chiefly yeast, initially at least, and it's tangy and slightly doughy, and there's also tart apple, nutmeg, and clove. Underneath is a husky malt character, full with toffee and dark berry and alluding to a fine malted sweetness. A mere feather of alcohol tickles the nose.

Upon sipping, with a connoisseur's emphasis on sipping, the malt is mildly sweet but flush with caramel and toffee, as well as dark cherry and earthy beery maltfruit. A soft, grapish vinous touch slides in, complete with a low buzz of alcohol. Slices of green apple and a clove/nutmeg duo play off a low-key biscuit grain visit, reminding again of the beer's malty character. The finish slopes slowly from subdued sweetness to a crisp, dry, and refreshing finish. It's simply complex and and craftily wonderful.

Medium bodied, it starts creamily, coating and swirling, then leaves a glimmering crisp glow in its wake.

This just may be the prettiest beer I've laid eyes on. And the better news is that laying my mouth on it was quite a pleasure as well. It has mellow twists and turns, an intriguing yet innocent complexity, and a cozily manageable ABV that makes drinking it damn near an Elysian dream. Words can't thank The Man adequately, so I'll let my actions speak volumes and try to get my tongue to the bottom of the glass.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2007 16:29:37 | More by Foxman
Photo of Lnedrive14
Lnedrive14

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I keep trying these Saison-type rustic ales, and I keep not liking them. I guess I'm just not a fan of the style, so take the review with a grain of salt, I suppose.

A: The most beautiful beer I have ever seen. Amazingly fluffy white head that sticks around for the perfect amount of time. A hazy copper color with maybe the smallest hint of cranberry.

S/T: Very fruity - even has that sort of fruity "bite" that you get after a crisp granny smith apple. I found the taste to be a bit harsh - not inviting like I like my beer. Medium body, low hop bitterness. Not sure what I felt this brew was missing.

M/D: Mouthfeel was great - medium to high levels of carbonation. I could feel the brew on my tongue for quite a while after swallowing, a sensation I rather enjoyed. Drinkability was very low - I enjoyed the brew a bit at the beginning, but the beer was just way too harsh on the palate. Stinging.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2006 03:54:33 | More by Lnedrive14
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle(room temp) a very bubbly medium gold with a large head of foam that grew as the beer was sitting in my New Belgium goblet.

The smell is very fruity and sugary sweet, with notes of, and I'm serious here, blueberry? One of the best aromas I've ever encountered in a brew.

The taste is *so* different....I'm sensing a candy bar with nougat flavour, like a milky way bar, only in liquid form. I know that it's the malts used in this ale that are creating this most unique sensation but I have to shake my head as to how the brewers accomplished it!

Oh yeah, btw, there *are* some hops flavours present and they're doing a fine job but..what the malt is doing in this brew is simply amazing. I just might sip on this 750 all day long!

Bottom line: Here's a brew that's so different from anything I've tasted before, it's scary but...don't be afraid to try it. The adventure is worth it!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2006 18:24:10 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of lou91
lou91

California

4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 –750ml bottle. Damn that was one of the loudest pops of a champagne cork I have ever heard. Needless to say, it left a mighty noisy and active head. It took a while to settle down. Surprise to see it so clear. Nice amber color. Pleasant nose of caramel and sour cherries/cranberries. Subtle but obvious spices – white pepper, nutmeg maybe ginger. All of this is very light but not impossible to taste- better as it warms. A good interpretation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2006 05:36:23 | More by lou91
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

**2005**
Biere de Garde
French Farmhouse-Style Ale

“Southampton Biere de Garde is our version of the classic style of amber ale brewed at small traditional breweries in the Pas de Calais region of France. Brewed with imported malt, French “Strisselspalt” hops and re-fermented in the bottle for a most authentic character. Made with care and patience in Southampton, Long Island, NY USA.”

Presentation: 750ml flat bottomed brown flask sealed with a thumbed cork and cage, with a gold cap which in turn has a gold sticker that says 2005 on it. The cork took some extracting. No strength or freshness but a state Original Gravity of 16.8° Plato.

Appearance: Dark amber body with a fire laden brazen copper clear centre. Well carbonated and lucid, the thick dirty white head stays around. Slow bubble bursts eventually reduce the carpet covering to a thin ¼” even though the halo remains a nice looking bushy expanded foam. Finely dissolved conditioning. Solid presentation.

Nose: Malty throughout with a husk laden finish. Grainy with a powdered malt essence. As it warms some dark fruits sneak through, some oxidized apple slices and caramel. A sharp bitter tingle slaps the finish; this could be the Strisselspalt hops.

Taste: Toasted malts with a light sprinkling of caramelized toffee apples. Finish is dry with some sweetness intermingled with a lovely grassy feel. The yeast plays nicely on the malts and the cheeks pick up the Strisselspalt hops long into the finish. Light spicy bitter feel as I work my way through the 750ml. Strong satisfying start which drives like a tank right through to the finish. This one never wavers.

Mouthfeel: Starts with a lovely soft carbonated malty entrance, the middle is dark and fruity with tannic hints. I think I get the alcohol once the swallow goes, but it mingles with a nice spiced dark fruity feel on the cheeks long after the beer is swallowed. The ending has a characteristic dry powdery feel, so often due to the use of mineral laden water in the UK, but I am not sure if that is the case here or not.

Drinkability: When I first tried a French Biere de Garde it took me by surprise, it was cloying, malt laden and dour. That was a commercial version. Subsequent craft versions revealed all that is appealing about this rarely produced style in France. So it’s nice to try a US-version that has an authentic background, even down to the ingredients. Once you acclimatize to the style it is a very drinkable brew, and the SPH offering is no exception.

Overall: Pretty much on the nail and exactly what you will find in Northern France from the smaller Artisanal producers. A Big New Years Thanks to BA Rapapoda for this one, a mighty fine treat and a great way to start 2006. Cheers Mate, or should I say Mon Ami.

**I hope I have this Beer Review entered properly. If so it seems to me that the listed entry is very confusing (I almost missed it) and ass-backwards being as the “Biere de Garde” is the prominent text and the smaller text “French Farmhouse Style Ale” is in much smaller text below that. And I cannot find any mention of the word Christmas Ale anywhere!!! Someone needs to alter the way this beer is listed to avoid duplicate entries I feel.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2006 06:27:44 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of longpondbeerman
longpondbeerman

Maine

3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Half Time in Poughkeepsie, NY, we brought home a growler for, what else, Christmas. However, we couldn't wait, so we gave ourselves an early gift. The French Country Christmas Ale poured a rich and deep reddish amber with a thin khaki head. Grassy, but in a fresh sweet way, and hoppy to the nose, there is also a hint of maple syrup underneath. Frankly, I found the taste a touch thin and static--a disappointment, really, given what I found to be the complexity of the aroma. The malts dominated (figs, prunes?), the taste settled smoothly, but it never evolved, and the carbonation seemed too demanding.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2005 22:41:23 | More by longpondbeerman
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy

New York

4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage.

Wow, pours out a murky orange-brown color with an enormous white head of eggshell-consistency that slowly recedes into a stickly lace all over my tulip. Beautiful.

Smell is sweetly malty, with a light walnut scent and a huge fruitiness that has little hints of orange, apricot, kiwi, and lemon. A little bit of doughiness, but not really any yeasty/funky scents that I can pick up.

Taste is a subtle powerhouse. Big maltiness lets in fresh-baked-bread flavor, but it then gives way to the fruits. Apricot really lunges to the fore here, but there's also a nice honeydew/kiwi flavor that's very fresh, just sweet enough, and enticing. Other flavors include a little bit of cherry, some nuttiness, and a little bit of grassy hops, but only a tiny bit. Really a lot of neat stuff packed into this one.

Mouthfeel is well-carbonated, not quite spritzy, but lively enough to really do the fruitiness of the flavor justice.

Overall: Fantastic! I've had a lot of good beers lately, but this one is truly superlative. The flavor has so much in it, and I'm still tasting little delicious apricot notes twenty minutes after finishing. Quite a beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2005 03:33:07 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage.

Pours a beautiful amber/brown with a nice head, which goes down into a long-lasting lace. Smell is of some hops, which the bottle tells me is of some French variety.

Taste is a tale of two different tastes. Subtle, but dominant, hops at first. Some other notes. After a few wine glasses (maybe due to warming) it acquired a sour characteristic. Reminded me of a young La Folie. Was this aged on oak?

Mouthfeel was perfect. Subtleness made it quite drinkable.

I had this with thanksgiving dinner. While a good match, more herbal characteristics (which may have been there but I thought I was imagining them) would have made it a better thanksgiving match.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 16:09:34 | More by GeoffFromSJ
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orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2005. Pours a beautiful deep amber orange like a blustery fall afternoon with a two finger bubbly white head on top. Simply lovely with massive active carbonation rising up in the glass. Aromas of light nutty caramel malts initially. Light fruity aromas follow with a simply wonderful fresh yeasty aroma. I get a slight sourness along with some mellow earthy, herbal hops.

First sip brings a light nutty caramel maltiness with a tasty earthen yeast aspect. Slight sourness midway through each sip along with a nuanced herbal hoppiness on the way down. Extremely fresh, elegant and well built...this is a treat to drink. Finishes clean with a lingering spicy nuttiness and an all around hand crafted appeal. Make sure you spend some time with this one as there's a lot of joy to be had from it.

Mouthfeel is smooth, spritzy, light and easy to drink. A tasty treat that I could no doubt drink all day. Easily the best Biere De Garde I have ever tasted. Definetly a brew worth seeking out and another fine accomplishment from Southampton. I'm very glad I still have another bottle of this one for future enjoyment.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 03:57:26 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Autumnal in color, with an expansive, creamy off-white head. The aroma contains more of a roasted, caramel malt character than I would have expected from other samplings of the style. It is offset, however, by a slightly musky straw-like scent and a hint of grapey sharpness. Caramel malt is strong in the flavor as well, and blends nicely into a subtle woody flavor at the finish. A bit sweet at the start, this beer develops a lot of complexity throughout the sip, including a (mostly) grapey fruitiness and a slightly alcohol-spiced finish. Full in the mouth, yet not at all overwhelming. This is a delightfully drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2005 02:04:55 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of palma
palma

New York

4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber/copper. Creates a heafty tan, creamy looking head that lasts forever.

Nose: dark caramel malt, burnt sugar, raisins. Some light Christmas spices as well.

Taste: This beer reminds me of a light winter warmer. Malty overall, with some subtle clove and nutmeg spices throughout. Toasted malt flavor and stong earthy/peaty notes overpower any hops trying to peek through in this beer. Finishes semi-dry with a bit of licorish in the aftertaste. I like.

Mouthfeel: Creamy on the palate with some sugar stickiness after each sip.

Notes: This beer is nothing like Southampton's other Biere de Garde, Biere De Mars. The Mars is lighter (both appearance and taste-wise) and has much more fruit and hop flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2005 04:22:47 | More by palma
Photo of Realale
Realale

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rich deep copper. Massive extremely fine beige head settles slowly to a full rocky cap that laces nicely.

Initial nose is a mouth-watering combination of moderate sweetness and moderate sourness. With a bit of time it snaps into focus with a distinct toffee edge that verges on burnt sugar leading the way. Oodles of yeasty bready malt lurck beneath. Toffee morphs more to tart cherry with time, though the burnt note remains.

Lighter and livlier on the palate than the malt dominated nose would lead one to believe. Complex maltiness is the defining character, but there is a lot going on, all kept interesting by a refeshing acidity that pokes through here and there. Long, lingering finish that exhibits excellent balance.

Lovely soft caressing bottle-conditioned mouthfeel. The beer just foams gently into every nook and cranny of the mouth. Obviously, highly drinkable. An outstanding and flexible dinner companion, but well worth quiet contemplation on its own as well.

Many thanks to MJR for the kind present. 2004 edition from 750 ml.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2005 02:24:32 | More by Realale
French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde) from Southampton Publick House
90 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.