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Southampton May Bock - Southampton Publick House

Not Rated.
Southampton May BockSouthampton May Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

84 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 84
Hads: 94
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 31
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Maibock / Helles Bock |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GreatPondBrewer on 05-25-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 84 | Hads: 94
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pleasant easy drinking malt lager. Some head, pleasant malty and toasty odour, very smooth drinkable and summer refresher. Buttery mouthfeel.Although, the hops kicking in at the finish can be harsh on some sips, the significant malt runs out. Grassy bitter aftertaste.My kids thought it was tasty.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy amber color and and mini-head that drops to a ringlet but leaves shards of lace after every sip

Smell: Toffee-influenced malty aroma

Taste: The toffee comes through up front but, to my surprise, the flavor grows increasingly peppery by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tangy pepper flavors build and add character, while the toffee backbone elements persist

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation and a prickly sensation

Drinkability: The spicy character of this brew elevates the Maibock style to a different plateau; I wouldn't want to drink a lot of it but I definitely like Southampton's take on the style

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yea, I agree with most other BA's in that this beer is very good, with or without considering it's style. It's even better than many of the German counterparts that I have tried. A very nice golden / orange / copper color with a mildly heavy consistancy, nice head retention, and evident lacing. The aromas are all malt with a slight earthy hop spiciness. Boldy fruity with peaches, apples, and appricots. A mild bread / yeast character follows up, promising creaminess and richness. The flavors distribute a pleasant blend of amber malts and subtle graininess. Sweet and balanced bittering. Heavier than normal body with follow-up bready richness. Lightly alcoholic and cooling refreshment. Very nice.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Moejuck: Poured a deep amber slightly cloudy color bock with a nice foamy dirty white color head with nice retention. Aroma of sweet malt is overpowering and a bit surprising for a bock. Taste is sweeter then expected and missing some of the nutty malt quality that I was expecting. Body is quite full with some adequate carbonation. Definitely too sweet for the style and not the best from this usually fine brewery.

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Photo of largadeer
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Tarnished gold in color, pretty murky. A small head forms but doesn't retain very well.

Smell: Malty, fruity, toffee and date primarily. Not particularly aromatic, and what aroma there is isn't as clean as I'd like.

Taste & mouthfeel: Semi-sweet with some mild esters. Toffee, a bit of butterscotch, mild orangey citrus. Body is a bit thin. Slight hop bitterness in the finish, and pleasantly dry, though there's a bit of mineral flavor in the aftertaste.

Notes: Meh.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Luminous saffron beneath a gorgeous cap of firmly creamy, pastel orange foam that could only have come from a world-class brewery. Surface bubbles pop languidly and the head is almost hesitant in its descent. What appears to be a glass-covering amount of lace within minutes of the pour doesn't last all that long, but it looks good while it does. With more eye candy in the lace department, this one could have been special.

I wish the aroma was as good. I like a big noseful of buttery pale malt and/or an impressive amount of spicy German hops in beer of this style. Unfortunately, May Bock doesn't deliver either one. Here's hoping that 'but on the palate it does' will appear somewhere in the next paragraph.

The flavor is a definite step up, although 'one giant leap for mankind' doesn't apply. This is definitely a rock solid version that, nevertheless, doesn't bombard my taste buds with flavor. Plenty of blonde malt holds down the bottom end and provides some amount of sweetness that falls well short of sugary or sticky. I guess the brewery was content to stick to the medium range for the style.

Softly grassy-herbal hops, while not assertive, do contribute a balancing bitterness and a welcome addition to a flavor profile that could use a few more facets. Maibocks aren't generally known for their complexity so I'm not overly disappointed. Too many versions, due to a lack of otherwise aggressive flavors, fail to mask their alcohol all that well. At only 6.7%, Southampton had no trouble at all on that front.

The body/mouthfeel is a perfect fit for the flavor. The fact that both need to be bolder doesn't change that assessent, but it does keep me from liking this beer as much as I might. It does pick up a light silkiness with warming, however, and displays that lagery smoothness that makes up, to a certain extent, for a lack of true, creamy viscosity.

Given Southampton's well-deserved reputation (and my love for their outstanding Double White Ale), I expected more from May Bock. Dashed dreams aside, it's still one of the best versions that I've ever had. Those with an interest in the style would be well-advised to seek out a bottle or two.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

strong amber color with a nice head of white that reached a height of around an inch and half before settling back down to earth and leaving just thin lacing in its wake, but for the style nice and a classic look. aroma of sweet bready malts and a classic caramel aroma that was cut with a touch of grain. nice and clean with a semi crisp feel

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Southampton's May Bock pours a mostly clear orange-amber body beneath a full-sized head of frothy ivory foam. The retention is very good, and it leaves some nice lacing about the glass. The nose is richly malty with a sweet, bready character. It's medium-bodied and smooth across the palate. The flavor is rich and malty, and it's remarkably well-balanced. There's a delicate caramel edge to the malt, as well as a very subtle toastiness. Floral hops flutter here and there; and a spritz of peppery spice from the otherwiise completely hidden alcohol helps to keep it from getting doughy. One of the most balanced maibocks I've ever had!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a decent-sized foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is sweet and malty with a strong note of honey and a decent amount of hops.

T: Just like the smell, the taste is sweet and malty with honey being the most prevalent flavor. There’s a very good hops presence for the style. The after-taste is bready and sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish especially for a style that typically finishes a little sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down with ease, slightly filling, good kick to it; it’s a beer worth sticking with for a whole evening. I don’t drink beers in this style very often, but each time I do, I’m reminded of how much I like the style and how under-rated I believe the style is as a whole. In particular, I think this beer is one of the best in its style.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright golden hue, edging on orange, with a slim, white cap.

Aroma: clean, yet husky, full of cereal husk, grainy, fresh mash,...bold fruit, ripe peaches and apple...wow, nicety, nice, nice...

clean and full on the palate, here comes the apples, crisp and shiny, here comes the malt...and it feels a bit thinner than I'd hoped.
Sleek, chic, and easy, a classic drinker, a bit sweet, clings ever-so to the palate. Then slips off, eases out, rolls away...

Starts and smells promising, but ends a little average.
'S'okay, though...not bad, actually quite good, but I'd hope for more.

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, label tells us that this contract brewed, somewhere besides southampton, N.Y., no freshness indication given. Pours orangy amber, clear with an off white heat and just leaving a bit of lacing. Nothing much to talk about in the nose here. Malty brew, smooth and very drinkable. Notes of maple, vanilla and perhaps a hint of lime well in the background. Fine sessioner, dull style in MHO, but high quality suds none the less.

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Photo of Gavage
4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a clear copper / dark orange color with a super thick 3"+ head. The head lasted quite a while, and a nice painting of lace developed during the session. Very slow rising carbonation bubbles are visible.

Smell: malt and some mild fruitiness. Mild but easily noticeable by the nose.

Taste: nice malty goodness here, with honey, hints of green apples, and a underlying very mild nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: smooth throughout, mildly dry at the finish. The malt tones linger briefly into the aftertaste. Slightly bolder than a medium bodied brew, but not heavy in any means.

Drinkability: perfect. Nothing else to say. This bottle was quaffed rather quickly for the style. Go out and get some, and I'm getting some more !

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a somewhat hazy, orangish tinged, amber color and is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, tan colored head. The aroma is definitely malt focused with notes of green raisins, concentrated malt extract, a touch of honey, a dry bread character, dusty toasted grain and almost something that makes me think of oranges, but I wonder if I am just imagining this last note. A touch of herbal hop notes add a slight edge to the aroma, but really this is a malt dominated aroma.

Lightly sweet, yet with a chew, viscous texture to it. This beer rests on the palate with a full malt character that lingers on in the mouth even after the beer has passed. Flavors of light toffee, hints of butterscotch, caramelized malt sugars and honey-like malt form a substantial part of the flavor. That last note similar to honey seems to have wrapped up in it a soft, subtle note of oranges too. The finish has a very slight bitterness as well as a touch of sharp, herbal hop character & a hint of mint to it.

There is not a whole lot going on here, but, as a good Maibock should be, I really like the clean, pale malt flavor of this brew. It is accentuated just enough by the noticeable hops in the finish that add just a bit of complexity.

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Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. brewed at Mendocino...
Appears a copper toned orange/amber with a 3 finger off white head that slowly fades out. Streaks of lacing are left all around the glass.
Smell is of sweet fruit, toffee, caramel, bready, maple syrup, and candy sweetness.
Taste is of the same aromas. Sweet and bready with some light caramel standing out.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a crispness that hits up front before fading into a smooth swallow.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium slightly hazy copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet grainy malt and a flowery noble hop spice.

The taste was upfront soft grain with highlights of sweet caramel. A good hop bite balanced out the flavor.

The mouthfeel was full and creamy.

Overall a very nice bock. A nice grain bill makes this an easy and enjoyable drinker.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A – Off-white head settles into a medium-thick halo. Maple body.

S – Sweet orange maple layered on top of soft malt.

T – Sweet with a pleasantly carbonated bite up front. Light toasted malt with an orange maple center. Kiss of booze on the backend.

M – Bright carbonation with a medium body. Lightly syrupy.

O – A nice beer balanced on the sweet side of the spectrum. The mildly syrupy body slows down the drinkability.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bomber of May Bock served chilled in a seidel glass.

A: The beer is an amber orange color with 2 finger head on initial pour that does not retain well.

S: The nose is sweet malts and candied sugars.

T: The flavor has firm sweet malt edge with a well disguised alcohol component. The sweetness is fruity with apricots being the primary flavor.

M: This sweetness of the malts is very nice, although the flavor seems to resemble a marzen style beer.

D: Very drinkable and well made representative of the style.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle from bleedingshrimp as part of 120/190 BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" beige head over the clear golden amber brew. Head lasts superbly, with plentiful hunks of lacing. Aroma is moderate maltiness, with enough hops character to cut it nicely. Taste follows along similarly, very nice. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, and drinkability is excellent. I could revisit this one over and over, celebrating Spring all year long if they'd let me.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a mug, the beer pours a hazy amber/orange color with a small white head. It smells like pears, bread and a little nutty. It mostly tastes like grain/bread, but I can also taste some pears and hops too. The mouthfeel is medium and a bit slick. The drinkability is good, as the beer is very smooth and goes down easy. This is the first Southampton beer I've tried, and I think it's pretty decent. Not a bad choice at all, IMO.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Tumbler. The beer looked really good, Clear golden light orange color with massive foamy head. The smell was nearly perfect too, malty and bready (almost like a St Bernardus Tripel).

Flavor was mostly sweet and malty upfront, with a little hops in the after-taste (just a little).

My first Southampton beer, they just started distributing to Ohio. I've also got a Southampton Grand Cru I brought back from New York recently, but I'm waiting for a special occasion for that one.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice honey gold glow in body. Thin, compact cap of off-white is slightly held in place. Keeps a whispy skim and super thin collar and mininal lace sticks in a few spots.

Aroma has a well rounded malt tone of sweetness that's tenderly bready, buttery, and peachy/mango like.

Flavor is pretty solid for a Maibock with a semi chewy malt tone of bready sweetness thats favorably tender and sticky with a bit of pale mango jam and butteryness to it. Not as much spice as some other American renditions, but has a ghostly herbal tug towards the back of the palate.

Feel is slick and semi chewy with a solid malty smoothness that sticks just right within that smoothness. Not quite as big, or sticky/chewy, and lasting in body and flavor as some of the kick ass German Maibocks, but this is pretty solid stuff. From what little I've had from Southampton, something tells me they know what they're doing.

A big East Coaster thanks to the big K "syrbeer" for all the extras from a happily returned box of goodies from long ago.

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Photo of Suds
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful, golden-copper color and very clear. Extremely small head with average retention. The aroma had a little fruit qualities in it, which didn’t really seem to fit the beer (apple). Nice malty front, and just a touch of alcohol in the smell. The beer is a little spicy and drier than I expected. Very low hop presence, but they’re certainly there. Nice balance, and a medium-light body. In my opinion, the beer could have stood for a little more malt sweetness, especially given the style. It’s quite drinkable, though, and I did thoroughly enjoy it.

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Photo of Gmann
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with an average offwhite head that dissipated fairly quick. The smell is of light caramel malt, sort of floral grain aroma. The brew also has a light caramel malt taste, honey, a bit bready, not much hops detected. The feel is moderate and sort of creamy for a lager, which is a bit odd but not bad. A very drinkable brew a bit on the sweeter and lighter end for a boch but a good transition from the winter brews to the summer brews. I expected a bit more of a bitter bite.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed from a couple of 22oz bombers, bottled in Saratoga Springs NY. This May Bock is a clear, new copper hue. Or if you prefer fruit to metal, it resembles light apricot in color... A sustained procession of minute bubbles make their ascent towards head-dom. This creamy, fine topping is off-white, thin after a 1/4" start, and leaves a lovely lace collar in the glass. A far-reaching aroma is heavy on bready/toasty malt, with a light smattering of hops, accented by some green apple, also in play here. Body is a solid medium-plus, with an almost chewy quality to it. Flows creamily over the tongue, yet with a light, foamy touch. A very good feel to things.

Bready/toasty traits abound in the flavor as well, laying just the right amount of malty sweetness onto the palate. It lingers well, too, even after the lightly fruity hop notes come into play. The hops are not overpowering yet definitely make a nice contribution, again in a Granny Smith apple sort of way. This bier also has a touch of a warming effect, and sits extremely well on the palate and in the stomach. Quite tasty. Thnx to Venom for the bottles.


overall: 4.4
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 05/09/2009. I had this on tap at SPH. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet, corny malt, sweet apple, and sorghum. Flavor of pale lager malts up front with a sweet fruity finish. Decent, but palate is a little thin.

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Southampton May Bock from Southampton Publick House
89 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.