Southampton Pumpkin Ale - Southampton Publick House
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Ratings: 490 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BuckSpin:
4.1/5 rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Presentation: 22oz bottle in a tulip glass
BAside: any beer that should smell like this deserves a better glass than a Shaker pint!
Poured with some gurgle. lively, energetic, a nice sizzle. Damn, this smells nice! Deep, deep sweet malts, heavy with lush pie spices. What is so intoxicating is the depth - its not sharp or angular in the least. Its like walking into a Victorian parlor, ripe with age, a mantle heavy with fresh fruits & potpourri...just lush. As it blooms the spices do grow somewhat sharper - the cinnamon has a soft bite, like a box of Red Hots, the sensation (and hint of heat) growing & growing. . The nutmeg is pungent, the allspice lurking in the background.
The head, sadly, was practically non-existent, even with a deliberate pour trying to induce it, It was a pencil's worth of mixed parchment colored foam at the best, snapping & sizzling, fading very quickly to a flimsy island floater with a razor thin edge ring. What it lacks in top eye candy it certainly delivers below in the body. Just the most brilliant, crystal clear, copper-toned cherry amber hue, very striking. A slow. deliberate migration of bubbles eases thru it. Shame the head isn't there.
With a thin re-pour from almost a foot away I finally get a finger's worth of foam, but it too quickly fades and laces only in isolated splotches...my only negative about the aroma & visual.
For as spellbinding as the aroma and bewitching the hue, its actually rather tame & mild initially. There is a subtle cinnamon heat overtop a delicate, creamy, semi-sweet malt profile. Any pumpkin qualities are very, very mild, but looking there are some there. They do probably help the full, creamy mouthfeel, which is also furthered by favoring the wet side of semi-dry, a very damp, muted crunch the only astringent aspect noteworthy.
As it warms the malts grow a little wooded, talking on a quasi Scottish Ale quality...a very nice front porch from which the spices trick or treat the tongue. With those spices (growing less strong with each sip) the overall effect has a very slight single malt taste....very nice. It grows more bittersweet, slight burnt caramels, drier, thicker, a tiny bit syrupy & finishing as such, leaving a clean, refreshing, slightly warm & even a tingly cinnamon bite taste.
This was not what I expected, but I really liked this. Aside from the fantastic aroma & great color it, to me, has a lot of characteristics that one might glean from a single malt. In that I do like single malts, to me this is a good thing. The spice bite, sweet caramels, faint burnt aspects, all add up to a very nice beer and a great cool weather one. Ironically, I don't see this going with pumpkin pie, but the cinnamon & sweet malts could make for a nice foil to some spicy fare (Spanish/Thai/Middle East) as well as sharp taste like certain onions, dry aged cheeses. Actually, this might pare really well with a number of Middle Eastern dishes. Pleasantly surprised. I would definitely drink this again, and would recommend it highly to those who enjoy the occasional nip from a noser.
Serving type: bottle
10-06-2007 01:02:44 | More by BuckSpin
More User Reviews:
3.2/5 rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3
Had in a snifter.
Poured this pumpkin hard and was rewarded with a finger and a half of tawny cap. Retention lasts a minute or so and leaves a ring around the glass. A ruddy-amber body glows with caramel highlights.
Clove and nutmeg are appreciable in the bouquet thanks to the slightly spicier than sweet nose. Cinnamon and vanilla do manage to sweeten up the aromas, but they are more buried than the headier spicing. The malt base is sweet and doughy. Good nose for a pumpkin ale, if not a little on the light side.
The palate has a flash of vanilla and sweet graham cracker-y malt before an overbearing mineral bitterness takes over. Just a touch of the clove and cinnamon here, but barely felt in the finish over that earthy mineral quality. And it rides hard into the finish, almost an aspirin like bitterness, that is how astringent it is. Unfortunately, letting the beer warm has done little to change this impression.
More medium bodied and watery, not very slick. Also a very quick finish for this slightly drying offering.
Southampton Pumpkin would be a good beer if the flavor profile was missing the mineral water astringency and aspirin-like bitterness in the finish. Maybe this could have been masked with more vanilla or heavier spicing? With so many other great pumpkin offerings, it would be hard to justify coming back to this again.
Serving type: bottle
12-30-2013 21:16:50 | More by Pintofbrown
Southampton Pumpkin Ale from Southampton Publick House
82 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.