Southampton Grand Cru | Southampton Publick House

Southampton Grand CruSouthampton Grand Cru
403 Ratings
Southampton Grand CruSouthampton Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-08-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 403 |  Reviews: 292
Photo of mrmattosgood
1/5  rDev -76.2%

Photo of Phyl21ca
2/5  rDev -52.4%
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.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.24/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sampled at Julio's, reviewed from notes.

Even though I had this in a sample glass, there was still a two finger, rocky head floating on a clear, deep yellow body. The head took a while to die down, and left lacing in the glass.

Aroma... all I got was buttery. I didn't like it. It seemed almost slick with butter.

Taste was sweet, buttery, and not much else. It was like I was drinking liquid popcorn.

Mouthfeel was slightly oily, but a little cloying and sticky at the same time.

Drinkability... sorry guys, couldn't even finish a two ounce sample.

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Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of thegerm87
2.5/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.56/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed on 05/23/2009. Bottle. Pours a cloudy orange with a thick white head. Aroma of sweet butterscotch, orange peel, and sweet malt. Flavor of more of the same, sweet butterscotch, orange peel, star anise, lots of malt. Meh, not a fan...very sweet.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
2.6/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

2005 vintage poured into a goblet at the proper temperature.
This is rather like the tripels that I've had that I have not liked very much.
A not-so-pale pale ale that pours with a nice head and leaves good lacing. Smells potent and interesting... cider like is what comes to mind.
The taste... reminds me of Southampton's Cuvee des Fleurs... but even more unbalanced.
Tastes way too much like apple juice or apple cider. Much too sweet for my taste and I feel much too sweet for the style. Slightly syrupy and cloying in the taste and mouthfeel. The alcohol is at least well used and well concealed.
I did not want a second glass of this.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.66/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Copper colored beer, a little bit hazy. Nice white head that left some lacing behind.

S - A bit too sweet, reminds me too much of artificial sweetener. A little bit of fruit and a dose of spice. Spice is a little overdone, kind of off-putting.

T - This is just a touch yucky. Overly spiced, particularly with the coriander. It's sweet, kind of like corn syrup and caramel, but the spice sticks around so long it gives me the need to wash my mouth out with something.

M - Very dry, lighter side of medium bodied, with moderate carbonation.

O - Spice is often used to cover things up, they should have tried to cover up the spice with this one. Not a fan.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -34.5%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.96/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Removing the cork is such a battle that I expect a whooshing POP once it finally releases. Sadly, all I receive is a pipsqueak pip. Unknown vintage. Received in a trade with BA scthaden.

I’m instantly struck by the oddness the spice profile. After tasting it, I am find that I must place this beer in the same general range of beers like Avery 12 and Rabid Rabbit. Grand Cru is certainly more refined and balanced but it is still similar to the other two in three ways – it’s very spicy, it’s diversely spiced, and some of the spices conflict with one another rather then compliment each other.

Appearance: Carbonation streams frazzle through a clear marmalade body to feed a steady crochet of white lace. Well above average in terms of looks. Retention is flawless. Lace is sticky and clings to the glass in attractive patterns.

Aroma: Orange peel dominates and but fights a constant battle with intense coriander to maintain its supremacy. Unlike wits where these two complimentary spices work together to create a sweet and pleasing citrus aroma, here they fight. One wants to create a soda pop orange Crush nose and the other seeks to make this Mr. Clean. Adding to this is a rather disturbing amount of licorice that I find oddly placed and completely out of sorts with the citric elements. Pepper, white or black, I can’t quite tell hits me next, and though I find it appealing in the aroma, I will soon discover that it causes problems for me in the flavor. Finally, pungent and significant amounts of spring herb blossoms enter the aroma. They remind me of allergy season defeat any chance I might have of enjoying malt or yeast aromas in this beer. As far as I can tell, the entire nose profile is spice. There isn’t anything else here.

Taste: In the flavor I find a pleasing Belgian Pale backbone but it is way too overshadowed by fruit and spice. Here two orange is king but once again it is abstruse in combination with the pepper, anisette, and herbalness. I feel like someone took a small glass of nice Belgian Pale, poured in a few ounces of flower clippings, half a rotten orange, a shot of Pernod, and two tablespoons of pepper. None of these flavors work together here.

Mouthfeel: Psoriasis, itchy, intensely spicy, medium to full bodied, dry, very dry.

Drinkability: ABV is well concealed and if I enjoyed the spiciness, this would be a great drinker. Unfortunately, this beer just doesn’t match my palate. That’s not to say that it isn’t a very good beer. I’m sure for some, if not most people it is. For me, however, this is not a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of deapokid
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of mindspin315
3.03/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gentle pour produced a rather big white head. The body is quite odd. Orange colored body that would be very clear, but the sediment is floating and takes over the body. Carbonation, head retention, and lacing are all top notch. A bit to much sediment makes it look dirtier than should be.

Coriander, clove, orange peel, bubblegum, candied sugar, and lemon aromas. Plenty of fruits, bubblegum, alcohol esters, and spices come on really strong.

Getting a huge amount of fruitiness from the yeast. Alcohol is quite noticeable, soapy and creamy mouthfeel, buttery, and carbonation is kind of prickly. Vanilla, lemon sorbet, and coriander are great flavors I'm getting here. Bubblegum and anise flavor really dominate the palate and feel like they should blend in more than stand out like they do. To much going on without settling into something special.

Not a bad beer but the bubblegum and anise flavor seem out of place and definitely to noticeable in the mix. Tone those down a bit and if the alcohol were hidden more this would be a top of the line beer to me.


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Photo of largadeer
3.21/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.22/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750mL bottle, corked and caged, into a thin pilsner.

slightly hazy bright orange with some rising bubbles and a thin layer of white head.

exceedingly sweet aroma of sugared and honeyed oranges, with some notes of yeast and a gentle, coriander-like spiciness. other fruit tones peek through: apricots, raisins, plums.

an overwhelming sweetness in the flavor, with notes of raisins, oranges and alcohol. gentle carbonation and a medium-light, smooth feel. high sweetness and alcohol notes limit the drinkability.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to bmwfan1987 for this one. Pours a lightly hazed, dark gold - nearly copper - color with a fluffed, off-white head. Awesome lacing.

Nose is very sweet and full of light colored fruit flesh - honeydew melon foremost with some pears soaked in corn syrup.

Very fruity with grainy malts and high alcohol. This could pass for a triple were it not for the coriander. Maple syrup comes out as it warms and the yeast esters are all over the map - fruit, bread dough, herbal. Very Belgian-y beer, quite complex and spices are fairly low-key. For some reason though, I find it to be a bit sweet and the esters really never come together well. Seems like others like it, so maybe this ones just not for me.

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Photo of PatronWizard
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Been chasing down some of the highly rated beers because, hey, I like highly rated beers. Scored this in a trade from Egledhill.

Pours transparent soft orange. Decent white head. Eh.

Smell is weak. Eh. I've stumbled upon an unimpressive set of characteristics so far. Hope it tastes good.

Taste is there. Not over the top yummy, but it's not lacking in strength. Little taste of caramel. Medium taste of alcohol. Spices are there. Again, unimpressive.

Which causes a domino effect into unimpressive mouthfeel and drinkability.

Don't want to sound too harsh, as it's definitely not a bad beer, but I'm seriously underwhelmed.

Wow Erik. Way to help a brother out. Bastard could've warned me that this one wasn't all that great. Thanks PAL.

Overall: waste of time and effort

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Photo of argock
3.27/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Cellared 750 ml brown bottle poured into a Chimay goblet. Purchased in 2008, best by 2012 smudged date on back label.

A: Murky amber with tons of floaters despite a careful pour. Fleeting white foamy head weigh no lacing.

S: Mostly sweet pilsner malt and bubble gum with a light pear yeast ester and dash of coriander

T: Seems like it's probably a shadow of its former self with a washed out pilsner malt sweetness, some oxidation paper, with low bitterness and light orange and coriander notes in the finish.

M: Also thin and a bit lifeless with moderate carbonation and light, light body

O: WOuld love to find this again and try fresher.

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Photo of fartingdog
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beautiful, rich, golden color with a smallish cream colored head, very nice lacing as well.

First whiff was spice, carrot, maybe some faint vanilla. The taste- whoa! this is very spicy, coriander driven beer, maybe too much so. The butterscotch taste and feel of diacetyl is also prominent. Some sweetness lingers. Smooth on the tongue, with a faintly hot alcohol finish. The coriander stays long (perhaps too long) in the aftertaste.

I might like this beer more if the spice was toned down, perhaps with age this will be curbed somewhat. A full 750 was too much to take at once, perhaps best split with a few friends it would make for an interesting sampling. I will say it was well done and quite complex, but it's really not my bag, baby.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured via 750ml bottle on 10/26/09.

A - Poured a hazy amber/orange body with lots of active carbonation and a quarter inch of frothy beige head.

S - Butterscotch is very apparent and dominates the initial aroma, with a hint of spices in the background.

T - Very buttery and sweet with an apparent butterscotch character. Hint of candi sugar and mild peppery spiciness. Overall, the flavor is quite sweet.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. Quite sweet on the palate.

D - Decent example, but not nearly as good as their Saison. I found this to be a bit too buttery and one-dimensional.

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Photo of Pahn
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. 092 10/16/14 is printed on the bottle. Presumably, that would tell me when it was bottled if I knew how long it was supposed to keep.

Appearance: Moderate pour down the side of the glass yields a one inch, rocky and fizzy white head that dissipates somewhat quickly, and (like the beer) leaves little to no lacing. Pours a light, translucent reddish orange.

Smell: Very bready. A fair amount of clove and coriander, with some banana. Generally very earthy, occasionally a little punchy and spicy. Very faint citrus note.

Taste: Wow, that's a bready beer. Lots of fresh white bread and earthiness up front and in the finish/aftertaste. Some spice and Belgian yeast come out in the rather carbonated middle. No alcohol burn at all. The taste is generally more creamy and rich than it is spicy. As in the nose, the orange peel isn't doing much besides adding a faint, ambiguous citrus highlight. The anise is similarly restrained, showing itself only as a mild note in the finish.

Tastes good, but it's occasionally sugary, and not very deep. I like the earthy, bready flavor. 'Grand Cru' is a very strange designation for a taste like this... rating very strictly to style (insofar as you can do that for a BSPA) or taking seriously the boasts on the label (bold and complex), I should probably rate this lower. I think the taste is, at the very least, quite pleasant though.

Mouthfeel: Pretty carbonated, and occasionally too sugary/chalky. Lighter side of medium bodied.

Drinkability: This is a very bready beer... it requires a particular mood to be craved in any way. Honestly, while it's enjoyable to drink, I don't see myself seeking this one out again any time soon. Edit: I dropped a point off drinkability, because I've been at this beer for almost 3 hours, and don't even really want to finish it. This beer simply doesn't taste good enough to drink a 750ml bottle by yourself, which is saying a lot; beer usually gets *easier* to drink, because you get drunk. /Edit

To be blunt, this beer is pretty unimpressive. It tastes good, but the blend of earthy, creamy breadiness and harsh spiciness isn't always that great, despite how nicely restrained the added spices are overall. The mouthfeel is pretty lackluster (especially for a BSPA), and the taste itself isn't particularly interesting. While there are a lot of good flavors and aromas here, none of it is done particularly well. I would pay $7-$8 for a 6-pack of this occasionally, but I can't see why in the world I would buy another 750ml bottle with so many better Belgian style ales available.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to m100 for trading this. Poured into a Dogfish Head signature snifter. Back label says 9/30/14 indicating the best enjoyed by date.

A - Pours a bronze color with a full inch of off-white head that retains very well before becoming a 1/4 inch head and has fluffy strings of lacing above it.

S - Smells soapy and a bit fruity but with a strange whiff of skunk in the tail end. Hopefully that doesn't show up in the taste.

T- Immediate twang of alcohol subsides to some bitter citrus flavor with notes of grapefruit, soap and a bit of wild bacteria tang. Belgian yeast seems to be present but not in a way that showcases its usual sweetness. Instead it becomes lost in the mire of booze and off flavors. Skunking isn't found in the taste as I was hoping it wouldn't but it's not like things are enjoyable here in the first place. Acidic aftertaste.

M- Sharp and bity in a bad way. A bit fluffy from the high carbonation with a light-ish body.

O- A pretty substantial letdown since I'm a huge Southampton fan. This is only the second beer of theirs I consider just OK.

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Photo of SadMachine
3.37/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Unfortunately this bottle was very old as I accidentally left it in my cellar for wayyyy too long! I'd be interested in trying this fresh since I'm sure it would be a much better beer!

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.37/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This bottle of Southampton Grand Cru was purchased at Liquor World, and is from 2004. After a heavy pour, still not much heading, but color is nice, coming out dark orange. Many particles of yeast sediment can be seen as well. The nose has a large presence of mandarin oranges, and other citrus components. Some yeasty character, and honey emerge as strong smells too. Big blast of honey up front from the taste, followed by a bit of that citrus, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is syrupy sweet, to the point that it almost reminds me of a mead. There is some carbonation there to help the drinkability, but the overall sweetness and thick body can make this one difficult to have a lot of. I am surprised that this beer shows the same sorts of characteristics that it did when I had it fresh. It is worth a try I suppose, though not one of my favorites within this style.

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Southampton Grand Cru from Southampton Publick House
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 403 ratings
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